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The Masked Mage
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Posted - 27 Jan 2018 :  23:11:08  Show Profile  Send The Masked Mage an AOL message  Click to see The Masked Mage's MSN Messenger address Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
Hey Guys

Does anyone have any of Eds old write ups on the Zhent Wizards from his campaign (Whisper/Hesperadan etc)? I'm pretty sure its been posted here but I can't locate it. There are sooo many pages to search.

Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 28 Jan 2018 :  04:08:27  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
You’re very, very welcome, George. As always. I salute you as a tireless Lorelord of the Realms, rescuing us all time and time again.
As to why “How Wisdom Came To The Maimed Wizard” made you think Elminster has been masquerading as Hesperdan (or may be Hesperdan)? Must be the very broad hints I wrote into it.
I’ll keep to hinting rather than confirming outright, but someone dwelling in the Realms who attended certain Magefairs would insist that El and Hesperdan are two separate people (because they were seen in the same place at the same time, though not actually standing and talking together). Which of course strengthens the “masquerading as” possibility (the other weakening further when one considers how hard it would be to do all that El does and still have time to put in any appearances as Hesperdan at all: a Zhent whose survival may well be imperilled, in such an authoritarian organization, by unexplained absences). Which in turn raises the why (exactly) is Elminster adopting the guise of Hesperdan, and also HOW is he managing it (is Hesperdan in cahoots with him? Under his total domination? Can be subsumed mentally, as El “takes over” the body, due to some already-cast spell or curse or . . .?
We just don’t know. Yet. I can let slip that Hesperdan has an important future role to play, but we may not see much of it “onstage,” as it were.
Which should leave a lot of scribes going: Hmmm.
Which is as good a place as any to take my leave. :}


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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 28 Jan 2018 :  04:08:50  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Oh, KALADORM! Wandering mage's notion is just fine, but . . .
Hi again, all. Ed returns with ANOTHER Gerath Hoan reply, this time to the question: “Also, you may remember some time ago Ed posted a lot of useful info on what Manshoon was up to, who his common allies were and some helpful roleplaying notes. Well I was wondering if the same thing could be done for Hesperdan? I haven't read Hand of Fire yet, so I could be missing much lore, but I would be interested to read what his situation was in the Zhentarim and which faction he supports (is he a Fzoul supporter now, or does he rue the end of the good old Manshoon days?). Who are his agents and allies and who are frequent antagonists of his? Any character traits to bring out in Roleplay sessions would also be appreciated. Also, in very vague terms (not too tied to either 3.x or 2nd Edition rules, what type of character and what sort of level would he be?”
Ed replies:



Hesperdan is a wizard of a high level and much experience. He has keen wits, shrewd judgement, a sense of humour, and a strong ruthless streak. He is a “backrooms” Zhentarim, has some sort of connection to Elminster (some scribes have speculated he may BE Elminster, in disguise), and beyond that, the answer to your query must be: no, not yet. I can’t reveal more of him (beyond what snippets of lore are unfolding in the current Knights of Myth Drannor trilogy), because his story hasn’t really been told yet, in print, and I reserve the right to do so. He’s much more fun as a mysterious figure than as a known quantity. Sorry.



So saith Ed. Whom you must admit knows how to keep readers and avid gamers interested for over thirty years, and so must be doing the “tease, slow reveal, speculate about mysteries” thing right. (I, too, enjoy practising the ‘tease, slow reveal, and speculate about mysteries’ technique, but that’s another story. )
love to all,
THO

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Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 28 Jan 2018 04:09:15
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 28 Jan 2018 :  04:09:46  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Hi, Gerath. Hesperdan and Eirhaun both appear in HAND OF FIRE, the third and last book in the Shandril’s Saga trilogy, which should see print in mass market paperback form this April, I believe. Both of them also appear in my short story “How Wisdom Came To The Maimed Wizard,” which was published on the WotC website and will PROBABLY appear in THE BEST OF THE REALMS BOOK II: THE STORIES OF ED GREENWOOD, a WotC mass market paperback to be published in July (if recent history is any guide, it might actually show up in bookstores during the last week of June), ISBN 0-7869-3760-2 (or if you prefer the new thirteen digit ISBNs, 978-0-7869-3760-8). Once you read that latter story, you’ll be able to guess why I can’t say more about their present situation just now.
And yes, I’d certainly say that one of the early Manshoons (even when there “was only one,” his ‘cloning around’ was such that he’d died several times over, so none of those we know now are even close to the original) is still lurking, and working with certain powerful Zhentarim wizards to bring about Fzoul’s eventual downfall (and most of the rest of the priests, so the wizards end up ‘on top’ again), only VERY subtly this time, so that once Fzoul and his fellow priests notice something is wrong, the slow process will have reached the ‘inevitable’ stage. We’ll all just have to see if they ever succeed. :}


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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 28 Jan 2018 :  04:10:13  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
That's what came up on a quick search of my NAS, looking for Hesperdan.

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AJA
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Posted - 30 Jan 2018 :  00:16:20  Show Profile Send AJA a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Ah, Whisper. Such an energetic, nasty man, a low-level mage who punched far above his weight because he was so active in meddling and scheming (rather like Elminster, come to think of it). He was almost the perfect Zhentarim "low-level guy on the ground in this locale" until we came along.
I'll leave it to Ed to reveal more (because some implications and leads connected to Whisper are "still in play" in the home Realms campaign).
love,
THO


quote:
No, all Zhentarim mages do NOT have a “special Brotherhood name.” A few have taken “bolder, cooler” names by personal choice when first attempting to join the ranks of the Zhentarim (usually because they are dissatisfied with their birth name for some reason), but it’s not a practice encouraged by the Brotherhood, done all that often, or undertaken to denote being accepted into (or achieving a rank within) the Brotherhood.
In this specific case, Whisper was a long-ago wizard of middling power (9th to 12th level, I believe) who fashioned his own tomb out of a “hidehold” he’d constructed for himself, earlier in life, and was interred there.
This is in the bygone days when few humans dwelt in the area, and elves dominated (Whisper was the “classic” sort of mage who wants to dwell and study in isolation, far from fellow humans who might pester, and built himself a tower in a desolate, rocky part of the Stonelands that doesn’t survive; a dragon tore it apart after his death to take any treasure that might lie therein, and to make of it a roost and perhaps nest for breeding). This “first” Whisper’s real name is now forgotten; in life, he used the nickname given to him for his normal speaking voice, which was a hissing, menacing-sounding (even when he wasn’t trying to sound menacing) whisper.
His remains had vanished (no one knows where or how; if he became undead, he never returned to “haunt” his tomb) by the time a much later Zhentarim mageling (novice wizard of low power) happened upon them after being ordered to the vicinity of Eveningstar to be the local Zhent spy and “safehold keeper” (host of a place where visiting Zhentarim members could hide in). The mageling took the name (and fell, impressive “villain behind much” reputation in local folklore of the original Whisper, which was probably largely undeserved) of Whisper, and gained much power from the magic items he found in the Crypt.

Whisper’s 2nd level status is not a misprint; he gained not just the original Whisper’s magic, but the Seven Lost Rings you refer to, and many other tomb-treasures and hidden treasure caches he found in the Stonelands, and used these items to wield Art far above his trained mastery. So, yes, he is using Chain Lightning, but it does come from a magic item (a ring of spell storing, if I remember rightly, but it could also have been from other items in the large pile he amassed).

AJA
YAFRP
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The Masked Mage
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Posted - 30 Jan 2018 :  02:40:40  Show Profile  Send The Masked Mage an AOL message  Click to see The Masked Mage's MSN Messenger address Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Fabulous. I had forgotten the 2 Whispers bit.

If anyone knows where in the scrolls Ed has given other such Zhent descriptions I'd love to compile them. Thanks.
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The Masked Mage
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Posted - 30 Jan 2018 :  03:45:07  Show Profile  Send The Masked Mage an AOL message  Click to see The Masked Mage's MSN Messenger address Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Should also mention that in the Magister there is an item called "Whisper's Rod of Transportation" - presumably developed by either the first Whisper or another Whisper altogether.
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Dalor Darden
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Posted - 30 Jan 2018 :  04:52:34  Show Profile Send Dalor Darden a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Wasn't "Whisper" that the Knights went against only like 2nd level or something?

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The Masked Mage
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Posted - 09 Jun 2018 :  03:33:25  Show Profile  Send The Masked Mage an AOL message  Click to see The Masked Mage's MSN Messenger address Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Resurrecting this thread:

I've been looking back at the texts containing Hesperdan. These include Hand of Fire, The Sword Never Sleeps, and the short story mentioned above.

The basics from those sources are Hesperdan is "centuries" old, and occasionally disappears for decades at a time. The brief descriptions of him include maroon robes and pointy shoes, and boney hands with green veins.

The "very broad hint" Ed mentioned in the quote above is the scent of pipe smoke that the Maimed wizard recalled he had smelled before.

Despite this, there are other hints that suggest rather strongly that Hesperdan and Elminster are not one and the same.

First, while both are ancient and powerful wizards who enjoy pointing out the lack of patience and wisdom of younger wizards, they have different personalities. Hesperdan is openly cruel.

Also, in the novel Hand of Fire, they are working at cross purposes. Hesperdan would like to see Shandril dead and Elminster works to delay that inevitability.

Finally, in the Sword Never Sleeps, Hesperdan, who has a habit of talking to himself - unlike Elminster - acknowledges to himself that he is not a man. Whatever else Elminster is, that doesn't fit.

It also suggests that Hesperdan might be something other. Perhaps another shadowmaster or some such.
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The Masked Mage
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Posted - 09 Jun 2018 :  03:34:06  Show Profile  Send The Masked Mage an AOL message  Click to see The Masked Mage's MSN Messenger address Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Does anyone know of other sources he is included in?
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The Masked Mage
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Posted - 09 Jun 2018 :  05:22:26  Show Profile  Send The Masked Mage an AOL message  Click to see The Masked Mage's MSN Messenger address Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Masked Mage

Resurrecting this thread:
Finally, in the Sword Never Sleeps, Hesperdan, who has a habit of talking to himself - unlike Elminster - acknowledges to himself that he is not a man. Whatever else Elminster is, that doesn't fit.

It also suggests that Hesperdan might be something other. Perhaps another shadowmaster or some such.


I'm referring to this passage:

"Moreover, shifting Fzoul to the fore so I can use Manshoon for my own purposes is going to take some seasons on top of that. 'Tis a very good thing I'm a patient man."

He stood thinking for a moment and almost absently corrected himself in a voice so soft even he could barely hear it. "Well, 'patient,' at least."
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The Masked Mage
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Posted - 09 Jun 2018 :  05:26:14  Show Profile  Send The Masked Mage an AOL message  Click to see The Masked Mage's MSN Messenger address Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Masked Mage
I'm referring to this passage:

"Moreover, shifting Fzoul to the fore so I can use Manshoon for my own purposes is going to take some seasons on top of that. 'Tis a very good thing I'm a patient man."




Stretching the words out a bit... maybe Hesperdan "used Manshoon" by tampering with the clones and causing the Manshoon Wars...
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George Krashos
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Posted - 09 Jun 2018 :  10:45:21  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ed has told me this about Hesperdan when I queried him about Elminster's statement in the last bits of "Elminster Enraged":

Hesperdan and Elminster had a secret gentlewizards’ agreement to mind-share certain things, including “watching and listening through each other’s eyes and ears at key moments.” Think of Hesperdan as a double agent, helping “the good guys” so they could thwart what Hesperdan saw as Manshoon’s increasing megalomania and the beholders’ not giving a fig for any humans surviving, meaning the eye tyrants, with Manshoon’s connivance, could and were leading the Zhentarim to do ever more reckless and destructive things, not become the “grudgingly accepted authoritarian powerhouse that does good for all of Zhentil Keep, plus conferring stability and law and order to the Moonsea region, and so gets obeyed, however grudgingly” that Manshoon and Hesperdan and some other senior Zhents originally agreed it would be. At a crucial moment and on a crucial matter (aiding the stability of the Weave upon Mystra’s fall by not slaying some of her intended recipients of her divine fire), Hesperdan betrayed Elminster by killing certain individuals and magically trying (and failing, because his special spell couldn’t be practised and perfected beforehand) to seize their small amounts of divine fire for himself—in other words, Hesperdan tried to pull what Larloch attempted at the end of THE HERALD. El knew what limited trust he’d put in Hesperdan was gone forever, and Hesperdan now Knew Too Much (thanks to what had gone on during their agreement) to be allowed to continue living (and doing more villainy).

This was why Hesperdan was living as a dragon after the Spellplague.

-- George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus
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dazzlerdal
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Posted - 09 Jun 2018 :  11:20:55  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Now that is interesting. I always imagined manshoon was more of a moderating influence on the zhentarim, helping it dominate trade and the moonsea but never being reckless. I thought fzoul and the beholders were the reckless megalomania tyrannical influence.

Hence when fzoul took over the zhentarim rapidly expanded and started fighting everyone, whereas under mansion it was careful and measured expansion.

Did I get it wrong or did manshoon deliberately play up the megalomania to root out potential double agents.

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George Krashos
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Posted - 09 Jun 2018 :  15:10:22  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well, Manshoon was insane after all.

— George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus
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dazzlerdal
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Posted - 09 Jun 2018 :  16:27:45  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Was he, even more interesting. He seemed to have very lucid moments allowing him to form intricate and extensive plans.

Is this insanity actually more of a split personality or perhaps multiple and indeed different personalities belonging to something other than himself.

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The Masked Mage
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Posted - 10 Jun 2018 :  04:43:43  Show Profile  Send The Masked Mage an AOL message  Click to see The Masked Mage's MSN Messenger address Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Yeah, I don't buy Manshoon as insane - unless one counts willingness to do things others balk at as insanity.

I would not have any trouble with 1 or even many of the clones from the clone wars being insane as the result of their situation.

As far as being a moderating influence, I don't see that either. Manshoon has obsessions and, short of his own destruction, does not seem to care much about what attaining those goals costs. He also is the king of holding grudges, so if it costs him 1000 men to kill one enemy who wronged him 50 years ago, that would be a bargain in his view. None of these traits sit well with being a constant dominating force on the Moonsea.

More recently, however, we see him move away from some of these obsessions - specifically his desire to conquer Cormyr (primarily based on their past opposition).
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Brimstone
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Posted - 11 Jun 2018 :  15:29:53  Show Profile Send Brimstone a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Wasn't Hesperdan in The El short story in Realms of the Dead Anthology?

"These things also I have observed: that knowledge of our world is
to be nurtured like a precious flower, for it is the most precious
thing we have. Wherefore guard the word written and heed
words unwritten and set them down ere they fade . . . Learn
then, well, the arts of reading, writing, and listening true, and they
will lead you to the greatest art of all: understanding."
Alaundo of Candlekeep
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The Masked Mage
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Posted - 12 Jun 2018 :  03:42:55  Show Profile  Send The Masked Mage an AOL message  Click to see The Masked Mage's MSN Messenger address Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Brimstone

Wasn't Hesperdan in The El short story in Realms of the Dead Anthology?


I have not read it yet, but I will shortly if i can find it. A quick google search tells me its called "The Many Murders Of Manshoon"
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Brimstone
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Posted - 12 Jun 2018 :  14:47:47  Show Profile Send Brimstone a Private Message  Reply with Quote
That was the story!

"These things also I have observed: that knowledge of our world is
to be nurtured like a precious flower, for it is the most precious
thing we have. Wherefore guard the word written and heed
words unwritten and set them down ere they fade . . . Learn
then, well, the arts of reading, writing, and listening true, and they
will lead you to the greatest art of all: understanding."
Alaundo of Candlekeep
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The Masked Mage
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Posted - 13 Jun 2018 :  05:50:40  Show Profile  Send The Masked Mage an AOL message  Click to see The Masked Mage's MSN Messenger address Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Yeah, having difficulty finding a digital edition or a paperback that is not outrageously priced...
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The Masked Mage
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Posted - 23 Jun 2018 :  22:02:36  Show Profile  Send The Masked Mage an AOL message  Click to see The Masked Mage's MSN Messenger address Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Reading through the Knights Of Myth Drannor series.

Therein Hesperdan has a brief run in with "Old Ghost." Where he demonstrates that he is a total badass, has vast knowledge of both magic and the personal history of his lesser mages, AND claims to have been among those who created the Mythal of Myth Drannor. All of these tie in nicely to connecting him to Elminster...

This kind of brings me to a theory on Hesperdan. What if his connection to Elminster is deeper than just two old wizards who enjoy a pact. Perhaps he is a duplicate of Elminster or they have had their minds "melded" or something. Perhaps the result of some unique mirror of opposition. Maybe the old Mystra thought Ed was getting a little too good and so set up his opposite for balance. Perhaps El's mythal ghost was given life and a dark streak. Just snowballing but I like the possibilities.
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LordofBones
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Posted - 24 Jun 2018 :  03:39:40  Show Profile Send LordofBones a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Elminster is Jekyll and Hesperdan is Hyde. Problem solved.


Edited by - LordofBones on 24 Jun 2018 03:39:58
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 24 Jun 2018 :  05:24:40  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Masked Mage

Reading through the Knights Of Myth Drannor series.

Therein Hesperdan has a brief run in with "Old Ghost." Where he demonstrates that he is a total badass, has vast knowledge of both magic and the personal history of his lesser mages, AND claims to have been among those who created the Mythal of Myth Drannor. All of these tie in nicely to connecting him to Elminster...

This kind of brings me to a theory on Hesperdan. What if his connection to Elminster is deeper than just two old wizards who enjoy a pact. Perhaps he is a duplicate of Elminster or they have had their minds "melded" or something. Perhaps the result of some unique mirror of opposition. Maybe the old Mystra thought Ed was getting a little too good and so set up his opposite for balance. Perhaps El's mythal ghost was given life and a dark streak. Just snowballing but I like the possibilities.



It's a bit comic bookish, but what if Hesperdan is some sort of clone of Elminster? Maybe a clone that went rogue, or perhaps someone grabbed one of El's old Kleenexes and tried to grow his own Elminster...

I also like the idea of some enemy of Elminster's, trying to forcibly rip some of El's knowledge from his brain -- and something goes wrong. He gets much more than he bargained for, and what he stole from Elminster merged with what was already there. So his original evil self and part of Elminster's mind and memories merged, giving us what is essentially Elminster's evil twin. Still kinda comic booky, but it appeals to me.

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Brimstone
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Posted - 24 Jun 2018 :  21:47:51  Show Profile Send Brimstone a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Twirls Mustache...

"These things also I have observed: that knowledge of our world is
to be nurtured like a precious flower, for it is the most precious
thing we have. Wherefore guard the word written and heed
words unwritten and set them down ere they fade . . . Learn
then, well, the arts of reading, writing, and listening true, and they
will lead you to the greatest art of all: understanding."
Alaundo of Candlekeep

Edited by - Brimstone on 24 Jun 2018 21:48:11
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