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T O P I C    R E V I E W
AJA Posted - 04 Nov 2018 : 06:57:13

(Or Silverymoon, or Irieabor or Westgate, feel free to change any proper nouns and place names)

quote:
Originally posted by OMNISCIENT DM VOICE
As you are shouldering through traffic on the High Road or lifting a jack of zzar in your favorite tavern, you look over and see....

Brief FRA-style blurbs of local Waterdhavians.
Entres are taken from a loose 1E - 3E timeframe.
These NPCs are obviously from my personal Realms; non-canonity abounds! "Published" NPCs that I've altered have their original references noted. Speaking of, I've also included reference notes for various minor official NPCs (published or "Ed Says,") for those who can use more Waterdeep lore but aren't interested in any of my natterings.


==================================================


Aaletha Emmara Raeena Margaster (CN HF Aris)
A noble of House Margaster. Perennial loser of the "Lady Frost" contest at Mother Tathlorn's Annual Snowbound Festival. "Letha" is well known among Waterdeep's high society for her scathing tongue, loud tantrums and black temper. She fled the city in Eleasias of 1370, eloping with the noble Bragaster Raventree and several stolen family heirlooms, but recently returned (without Bragaster or the missing items).

Abaldar Bambrusk (NE HM Aris2/War4/T2)
The Golden Captain. Patriarch of the Bambrusk merchant clan. The Bambrusks, much like their distant blood relatives the Urmbrusks, are plentiful in the eastern parts of Alaron and Gwynneth. They are allied to House Hawkwinter through the marriage of Lord Eremos Hawkwinter to the lady Kyrin Bambrusk. The Hawkwinters regard them as lesser, "rural" cousins, but admire their skill at fighting and forestry. Abaldar divides his time between Waterdeep and Alaron, and is often found at sea aboard the caravel Gloaming Sails, flagship of his small merchant fleet. He specializes in trading elaborate Moonshaen tapestries and floor carpets for good steel weaponry (swordblades, halberd heads, arrowtips, etc.). It is whispered that much of the Bambrusk fortunes were made through supplying Northmen raiders and Moonshaen highwaymen with weaponry, but such tales are best told outside the hearing of Abaldar or his family members.

Abbast el Ammarkhan (N earth genasiM Bar2/F6)
The Red Colossus, The Unbeatable Abbast. A native of Calimshan. Perhaps the most popular "dare-all" (martialist) at the Field of Triumph. These days he prefers unarmed contests of wrestling and brute strength, but in his prime was one of the greatest bloody-blades in Waterdeep. Owns a masterful suit of gold and red mail gifted by the Lord Baerom Thunderstaff, a highcoin patron.

Abradan Lardahar
A master weaponsmith of Silverymoon. Renowned as the crafter of Athar's Shining Blades, a collection of seven masterwork blades (four longswords, two long daggers and a single broadsword) highly sought-after by collectors. The blades are unenchanted (though they would take one easily), with a natural +1 to hit and damage. Their real value lies in their craftsmanship and in their appeal to collectors. Indeed Lord Hawkwinter, owner of the largest single collection, proudly displays his three Lardahar-blades (Righteous Cleave, Knight's Honor and Solemn Duty) on the wall of his private study. Each weapon is etched with intricate details of the life and legend of Athar the Shining Knight, father of the current Open Lord Piergeiron, and all seven are hilt-wrapped in Abradan's trademark white dragonhide.

Adaphra
The Golden Smile. Festhall downdancer, named for the impressive rows of glittering false teeth lining her mouth. Her originals were lost due to the blows of a brutally sadistic Amnian merchant. In return she took his life, his gaudy gold rings (melted down and re-fashioned into her current opulent dentition) and his vitals, which she also had dipped in gold and wore around her neck for a time until her employers claimed they were making customers ill, and demanded she remove them.


==================================================


Aaldric Talzon [ Source: "Arcane Lore: Spells of Defense," Owen K.C. Stephens, Dragon Magazine #271. Name/Description given ]
Adama Miiralin (CG HM P5 of Tymora) [ Source: "The Reports From Undermountain," Steven Schend, Dragon Magazine #227, p.15. Name/Description/Stats given ]


30   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
AJA Posted - 20 Mar 2022 : 02:34:11

HOW THE SEASONS CAME (AND HOW THEY CAME TO BE)
(god-tale, common to the lands east of the Inner Sea)

==================================================

...In The Beginning of All Things the sun sat in the middle of the great hut that was the heavens, and the Two Lands of Toril were left huddled in a corner.

The serene gods of the sunlit side, warm and comfortable in their land of jade forests and bearded dragons, were quite fine with this state of affairs, but the young gods of Faerûn, ever chaotic and disobedient, were left to face the dark corner in punishment, and they grew most unhappy. And so they came together in conference and agreed to ask Chauntea, eldest and wisest of their number, to find some way to turn the face of their land so that it might look to the sun as well.

Chauntea, ever fertile, agreed that this neglected land of Faerûn should enjoy the warmth of the sun as well, and so she set about her task in the logical fashion for which she was known. And Chauntea thought; in all things there is a cycle, and a cycle comes a-round like a circle, or a plow-path, and so to oversee the cycles of the seasons she drafted four great heavenly horses, who would each take turn pulling Faerûn on a path around the light and warmth of the sun. To manage the first pass she chose the sprightly colt Sarantur; next, the energetic charger Aumbril, then the dappled mare Shabruin and lastly, the proud white courser Dunthast. And for this deed she claimed as her payment her favorite, the horse Sarantur, which she would then ride upon, and whose prancing hooves would deliver great furrows to Faerûn, through which her verdant essence would then spread.

And matters came to pass exactly as she had planned, and the Two Lands of Toril were pulled from their corner and whisked around the great hut of the heavens, and the sun for the first time fell across all of Toril, and Chauntea, proud and happy upon her perch, spread green and living things across all Faerûn, and grew powerful. But the young gods of Faerûn, chaotic and ambitious as ever, saw opportunity for themselves in this new arrangement, and they soon fell to scheming ways to take the great horses for their own, and then it was not long before they put their plans in motion.

First, Talos threw his storm-thorns at Aumbril, who leapt nimbly over the lightnings but was staggered before the accompanying thunder and stumbled too close to the great hot sun at the center of the heavenly hut, and and so the lighted days grew long and Faerûn knew great waves of heat, which lengthened days, but withered some crops.

Then, Moander grabbed the reigns of Shabruin, and through his touch rot and decay spread across the sunlit lands, and the trees turned crimson and gold and the fruits of Chauntea's fields withered on the vines.

Third, and worst of all, the courser called Dunthast was imprisoned by Bhaal and Auril in jealous tandem, who then forbade anything to grow in their winter, or suffer the harsh cold. But Bhaal soon grew discontent in winter with no living thing to kill, and so he conspired secretly with Chauntea to foil Auril and allow Dunthast to continue on his way, slowed and manacled, so that some meager amount of animal and plant would continue though the bleak snows.

And finally, and most treacherously, Lathander, youngest and most brash of the gods, then sought to claim the remaining horse Sarantur for himself; but Chauntea was by now forewarned, and hastened to remind the gods of her promised due. Some gods Lathander drew in with whisperings of shared power, and some honored their oath to Chauntea, and so lines of battle were formed, and a great Cataclysm arose, and so many gods died there before Lathander's ambition was quelled and Chauntea rode proud upon Sarantur once again.

...And that is why, today Faerûn has seasons, and why Spring is for growing and Summer is terribly hot, Fall is waning and drear, and Winter will always face the wrath of Auril and the death of growing things.

AJA Posted - 06 Mar 2022 : 02:55:41

Remember when I could rustle up a handful of NPCs without an accompanying truckful of thesaurus-worthy descriptives? Yah, me neither
(If only I could master punctuation as well as the use of obscure adjectives of the 19th Century)

==================================================

Faendar "Brown-Burn"
Stout, dark-skinned, pensive. Black eyes, generous black mane held back by multiple colorful bands. Square and scented beard. Has two of the three painted forehead dots which mark him as a native of Far-and-Fair-Rimmed Turmish. Proprietor of The Leather-Brown Lodge, a hearth-house (fine-coin lodging; less inn and more bed-and-breakfast) in Sea Ward (about half-way on The Rising Ride, follow local's directions towards the sign of The Salted Boot). Their rooms are decent and nautical-themed and their beds are bug-free and mostly soft enough. As for the menu, they specialize in silver derrings (herrings), and offer salt-kip (both plain and mashed with mushroom and wild-onion in hand-pies) and selsk (stewed tomato-onion-and-herring) and a house-special of cleaved-eggs and pickled vrisk, topped with generous shreds of milk-white cheese and smoked herring. Beware the owners' proclivity to over-lade stone-spice (mustard) on any dish presented when he's in the kitchen (hence his common-name).
        Other than that, there is a peculiar great leathery silver-derring mounted firmly above the common-hearth, which grows and lessens in luster with the waxing and waning of the moon, and whose teeth – now long-pried out – were once said to be quite adularescent, and to also shift in size and sharpness (it is rumored that the sword Swiftsting, a shortsword of quickness +2 once in the possession of the Hin adventurer Fletcher Linklyn, was fashioned from one such tooth); and a quiet study, of rosy lamps and alabaster, unchanged from the days when the author Ildrae Roaringhorn (harpist and Harper, now better known as Ildrae "Fairflanks" of Berdusk) once sat and wrote, when this was her own private residence – a copy of her The Leather-Browns, an ode to the herring-fishers of the Sea of Swords, as well as one of The Anticipations of Delight (a risqué tribute to the irresistible and mystical joys of both the faiths of Sune and Lliira), are available here to guests at all times.

Merendulph
Publisher of numerous short-lived and failed broadsheets, across Castle, North, and Trades Wards (Saremon's Morning Mutterings, Saremon's Sweet-Voice, Saremon's Events of the Day, Saremon's Plain-Speakings, and Saremon's Wry Whispers – for those curious, Saremon was his daughter, who was quite inquisitive and curious, and who would have made a first-rate broadsheeter herself, but for her untimely and tragic death in the Bubbling Plague of 1347DR). His two younger sons Melsk and Doran still carry on the family broadsheet tradition, the former as a typeset for The Anklet broadsheet and the latter as a credited voice-of-the-street contributor (and circumspect Red Sash contact) for the Waterdeep Herald (which itself grew out of the foundations of the Morning Mutterings).
        As for Merendulph himself, he fought valiantly against the first sahuagin raider through the door, allowing his family to escape their Dock Ward domicile, but fell right thereafter to the massed fish-men, during the Battle of Waterdeep Harbor. His wife Celastra, a former acrobat and stage-performer, is now an instructor at Amthalae's Finer Points mageling school, where she tutors young spellcasters in such things as the proper foot-patterns to gracefully navigate the inscriptions of a growing summoning circle, and the correct hand-and-wrist movements required to precisely command and re-position the varied forms of the dancing lights and Tenser's floating disk spells.

Qerzerloun the Vorpal Ooze
[KER-zer-LOON] Which actually is not vorpal at all (and also may not be a true ooze, being far more more mobile and cohesive to the gelatinous cube in form), but still quite intelligent, and quite malicious, and, also, quite acidic, and – coincidentally – has a preference for skulls (and all contained therein) and thus dissolves those bits as delicacies first, and – perhaps less coincidentally – can grow forth multiple agile pseudopods when under attack, each one firm and razor-edged, and of quite deadly aim and quite capable of decapitation. Seems to have the knowledge of how to transverse from the Undermountain below to the city above at will, as evidenced by decades of stories and lore from commonfolk, numerous members of the Cellarer's and the Dungsweeper's guilds, and divers adventuring fellowships returned from the depths. When in Waterdeep itself, tales often place Qerzerloun as a-hunt in the side-alleys ringing the Dancing Court and the Moon Sphere.

Shandralassra "Eagle-Mother" Brost (LG ½EF Exp6/F14)
A Wing Civilar (commander) of the Griffon Guard (North Wing). Rides the griffon named Blue Ruin. Practical, determined, gentle, just. North Wing is where all griffon riders called up from the training ranks start their careers, and Shandralassra has ably borne the responsibility of rearing every one of them (hence her epithet). Short silvered-black hair, focused green eyes, high cheekbones and puffy cheeks. Slender, athletic build. Has random scars and random-er tattoos, neither which she will discuss the meaning, or significance of, to anyone not in her innermost confidances. She has already long-decided on her final words, and has had them engraved on porphyry, and delivered them into the care of the church of Torm (in the hope that they one day rest within the hallowed confines of the Heroes' Garden), and they read; "outlasted / outlived / out-fell her enemies, in the end." Is entrusted, and quite proficient with, the artifacts of her office, The Whelk-Shield of Nembûril, and the radiant, spiralling long-lance Elvomiir (more commonly remembered as Torch-Light-Blinding-Bright, thanks to the flowery, enduring affectations of the bard Shusharra "Woadfoot," foremost chronicler and songstress of the Second Trollwar.

Uladruné [YOO-la-DROO-NAE] of The Bramble-Stumps
Gnomish Speaker (contact) for (and also, former Commander of) The Crows of Calamity (The Black-Feathered Brethren), a rather successful mercenary band continually – and alternately – employed by Waterdeep and Baldur's Gate and Luskan, among others. Has austere chambers and well-appointed receiving parlor on Simple's Street (marked by the sign of the Three Black Feathers and the Three Gold Coins). Shrewd, circumspect, trustworthy, reliable. Has spent several decades honing a poker face and knows how to use it. Loves sticky-sweets, especially honeypots, gold-brittles, marmalade squares, and the fluffy, multi-colored fancy-clouds the baker Lunlûne [Lun-LOON-ay] down Drover's Street in specializes in. Commonly found dressed in gold-embroidered robes of scarlet and cloak of green and vermilion, clasped loose around the throat by chain of topaz and rose quartz. Rumored to have one or more wands under her cloak and robes that may cause grevious injury to any foolish would-be attacker. Always seconded by her bodyguard, Qulglor [KULL-glor], a half-orc veteran of the Crows (black-browed and solemn, and obviously evil-hearted but, when not in – honest and bloody – performance of his duties, loves skipping-ropes and littlestones [marbles] and dressed-up dolls of all manner); as well as her feline companion Tolaska, a shoon-cat (a breed once and properly called djalbra, natives of the Calim desert; short-haired, tawny and banded, with tufts of hair crowning ears and tufts of hair between toes. Folklore claims that when no one is looking they fluff and fan their tails out in an arch that shades their bodies from the noonday sun, and that their golden eyes shimmer cold and blue when lesser genie-kin are about). Uladruné is great friends (and more, some say) with the dwarven sellsword Uladrûne [OO-la-DROON] the Bold.

==================================================

Dathantar [ Source: A 11/14/21 Twitter reply to @TheEdVerse by Ed Greenwood. Name/Description given ]

Handaramatur [ Source: A 11/14/21 Twitter reply to @TheEdVerse by Ed Greenwood. Name/Description given ]

Huldeth Brassfeather [ Source: A 11/08/21 Twitter reply to @TheEdVerse by Ed Greenwood. Name (as "Huldeth Brossfeather")/Description given ]

Malkur [ Source: A 11/14/21 Twitter reply to @TheEdVerse by Ed Greenwood. Name/Description given ]

Selvur [ Source: A 11/14/21 Twitter reply to @TheEdVerse by Ed Greenwood. Name/Description given ]

AJA Posted - 06 Mar 2022 : 02:48:33
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas
Butcher and Bellycheer.... love that...

Is it true that that book attracts Wendigo?

Not that I've heard, but I certainly would be receptive to your reasoning. Given your quote, I suspect you may be giving too much weight to the description of a singular gnome, out of the many hands that have held the tome through the ages; but, then again, we are talking of the Talfir and their ways, which remain strange and largely unexplored to this day, so, who can say? I encourage your investigations into this matter and look forward to whatever you ascertain; my only condition on this being, anything involving the subject of GNOMISH WENDIGOS you come up with, please present to forums user 'Eric L. Boyd' first. I would very much like to hear of his reaction.



sleyvas Posted - 21 Feb 2022 : 18:52:11
quote:
Originally posted by AJA


PAGES OF MAGES AND OUTRAGES (AND ALSO, PROBABLY, ROTTEN CABBAGES)

==================================================

Eneskûl, The Book From Which No Words Might Escape
(Save By Invocation and Bewailing)


A bound and hard-spined tome of dark, tooled nagahide, mother-of-pearl inlaid metal edge-caps, and a circular cover-inset of white soapstone, etched with simple elder-runes for weavings, weirds, gladness, and sorrows. On the first interior page is written nothing but the word Eneskûl; probably fashioned from the Talfir enaer askûl, or meanings/declarations of dominance/bindings.

Spells of unexpected obstacles, bewilderments, disillusionments, and inexplicable ways. Believed to be crafted, written, and collected, at least in part, by Taldnir, "The Buried King Who Walks," during the first of his reigns. Known to contain the forgotten Talfir enchantments Dorelmandur's Burning Words (as burning hands but vocal; target only affected if in hearing range and can understand caster's chosen language), Izbuscra's Shadowy Seemings (distracting shades leer and leap out at the edges of vision causing -2 to hit in combat, -2 to morale checks, save to avoid instant failure during spell casting), Izbuscra's Utter Darkenings (combined blindness and ray of enfeeblement), Nasklur's Sickened Thinkings (target must save v. spells or psychologically manifest sickness; random roll on disease table for affliction; only curable by dispel magic, cure disease, or heal), and Jiljixsar's Nerve Spiders (target sustains massive dead-nerve ["pins-and-needles"] sensations in all extremities. All to hit and physical action rolls and all DEX-based checks made at -1, and personal movement speed reduced by -2 for duration of the spell); as well as the lesser-known Netherese invocations Yûlustyry's Cheery Prospects (+2 to morale checks, +2 to saves vs. fear or panic-inducing effects – including dragonfear) and Eljedra's Stormy Passions (grants save v. death to avoid CON loss upon ensuing casting of any permanency spell; also +3 on any NWP check and +10 on any potion miscibility checks for spell duration; however, castor and/or castee suffers -2 to CON/WIS for 2d10 hours after end of spell).

The book first resurfaced in modern Faerûn in the possession of the acrobatic, occasionally bat-winged thief Isilthûnra "Dare-and-Do-All," but she is soon recorded in the annals of the Gallery Majesta of Calimport as having agreed to a (many-hundred-gold) lawful transaction with the adventurers of The Fellowship of The Storm ("The Fellowship of the Storm-Greyed Eyes, Formed-For, and Dedicated-To, She Who Bears Them," if you really must know), who claimed afterward to have made copy of most of its contents; but who also, not more than a year after, forfeit and voluntarily relinquished it in a rousing game of the tavern favorite Asleep's the Wyrm, to the dark and embittered heretic priestess of Lliira, Anniskaé "The Merry Nothing," who went on to make especial use of the spell Dorelmandur's Burning Words – and would always make sure to accompany it with a (completely unnecessary) trademark curtsy.
        Niskaé was slain some years after, in a falling-out with her erstwhile business-partner, Hoskras the Under-Dweller (guildmaster of The Hate-Fauchards – or, more colloquially, Them's What Hides Behind The Draperies – a derro thieves cabal long driven out from fallen Phalorm and come to new-found prominence in Scornubel); and the tome claimed by him, before fire and force-of-arms rousted them from their comfortable lair back into the deep warrens under Secomber that were once part of the ancient kingdom of Athalantar.
        Eneskûl itself disappeared during the chaos of those battles, only to suddenly re-appear mid-1337DR, in the shop of the gnomish butcher and bellycheer Estesker, Son of Glusk, of The Deeproots, proprietor of Stesker's Sweetmeats and Sweetbreads (located in The Comfortable-Coin's Market, hard to the south-west of The Manytankards), a since-exposed contact for the lamia noble Talathtra of the Wicked Delights. It was found there, on a high shelf alongside various accounting scrolls and yellowed jars of preserved meats of uncertain age and provenance, by the mage Braedos of Daggerford. According to entries in Braedos' personal journal, Estesker was unaware of exactly when or how he had acquired the tome, yet seemed curiously reluctant to entertain offers for it.
        Regardless of that, at some point the book made its' way out of Scornubel and into the wilds, where it presumably rested for a time until coming to light in the hands of Jandrasco Sashenstar, a nephew of the legendary explorer Dabron, who snuck it forth from the unearthly eminence of the Isilthorn (a druids' madness, formed and supported by rough hardstone and columns of red porphyry, where faithlessly awakened souls, enflamed by strange wild-fire, danced above great unsettling mosaics either brightly-illumined or very dark). Jandrasco was later lost in an ambush by orcs in the foothills of the Unicorn Run, and the book along with him; no doubt destined to be spirited away, to the desolate ruins of some goblin warren in the nearby Ebonmallows, to never be heard of again – but it is instead, thanks to the little-read broadsheet Vardalbar's Eye-Opener (An Accounting of Such Things That Should Be Noted And Commented Upon), that dutiful sages now know that Eneskûl was later confirmed to be in the possession of the adventurer – and rumored Harper – Selûne-Splashed (an Ice Hunter runecaster; great, noticible mottles of bone-white randomly scattered across her dusky skin; considered a child of the moon, blessed in divination, luck, and the seeing of things unseen [except under the light of the pure moon]), who is then said to have taken the book northward into the icy wastes, and who has – thus far – not returned.





Butcher and Bellycheer.... love that...

Is it true that that book attracts Wendigo?
sleyvas Posted - 21 Feb 2022 : 14:40:51
quote:
Originally posted by AJA

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas
An adamantine sai, its monouchi pointing downward and its tsukagashira with its embedded blue gem acting like its "head" to a degree floats forward. It briefly "coughs" as if clearing its "throat" to speak before saying, "Hello, forgive me, my name is Lorey Hisstory, psion sai cyclopedia, and I come with a query about the aforementioned staff of Baruskar with the "living ruby" of a "winged lion" atop it. Given my own nature, I have an extreme interest in living magic items, and I wonder how much you've had a chance to study this living ruby? I was perusing some lore in a treatise on the crystallization of the blood of magical creatures, and I quite wonder if the living ruby wasn't the blood of a sphinx. Do you think this might have been possible?


Oh! Oh gracious my! First of all! – good saer sleyvas, yes yes, I'm sure 'it has a mind of it's own' and all that, but, Good and Lawful Gods Above, you don't just whip it out like that! Have a care, man, that thing could take an eye out!


Ahem...On if I know anything more on these matters....unfortunately, no. Are such things as have been mentioned possible? Surely! – after all, what are the strange and myriad Realms Afar but endless possibilities!; and, as we both know, blood-magic and living bindings do become more common the further South-and-East one travels. But, I regret to admit that is about my sum of it. Lore from the East may be my occasional curiosity, but it is by no means my main area of expertise – that, of course, I leave to you; and in that manner I have felt that our collaboration has been most rewarding.

...I forget if it is specifically in Unther or Chessenta (or both) that you are a bit.... 'mage-assassin non grata' at the moment, but I trust that you still have your contacts and your methods. If you (or your, err... 'sai'), should uncover anything else on the subject, let it be known that I would be most interested in hearing whatever you have managed to come up with.


Bright Magic and Mystra Forfend,





The sai "nods" the blue crystal towards AJA and adds, "Ah, I see that hanging around with that red book, which can turn into a weapon mind you, has gotten a little confusing. That being said, I can entirely understand it, especially since he's floating over there invisibly snickering at me. But, that being said, I will note that he is non-grata in Thay, his home of birth, for actions that involved the saving of his wife with the aid of some Durthan witches, and a certain indebtedness to a sage of Shadowdale to hide his wife even from himself. Of course, this was only after he pulled some chicanery to "trick time" and recover her from the dead, for he felt he had wronged her when she was younger. He quickly learned that giving up everything that your heart cared for just to protect it, still wasn't the answer, but he dared not seek Melarra for fear that he put her in danger.
Afterward, he did spend some time as a mercenary in Soorenar, during which he became enamoured with the church of the Red Knight. He aided a young mage-priest of that religion, providing minor magics and spellbooks in exchange for time spent playing games of strategy. Around the time of the start of the Thayan civil war, he discovered that his son by another woman had left behind a lover, unaware that she was pregnant, and that he was in fact now a grandfather. It was then that he travelled to Waterdeep, so that he could seek to meet his grandchildren and their mother, Lady Jillian Doncastle of Neverwinter, mage-priestess of Deneir, clandestine editor of The Waterdhavian Herald and detective of no small skill. That is of course, when he met me, Lorey Hisstory, Psion Sai Cyclopedia, companion of Lady Jillian, and tutor to her children in all matters historical, arcane, and psionic. Many things happened in the intervening years prior to the spellplague, including his granddaughter once meeting Lurue and developing a talent for nature magic, and his grandson proving a burgeoning pupil in the arts of mind and arcane magics. That all came to a close however whenever Lady Jillian got it in her head to find out where that fool Mirt had gotten himself too, yet another mystery to uncover in her little rag. She got herself captured, but I was able to escape and I came to get the aid of that nefarious bounty hunter and his theurgist of the Red Knight friend. We managed to rescue her from a lich, and we were scrying on that overfat lord using a cooperative spell of Sleyvas' own development that required the aid of his two compatriots to stabilize it. The fat one was surrounded by three liches while another lich performed some ritual which was seemingly destroying them, when suddenly magic went awry. You would know this to be the spellplague, and it was this that entrapped Sleyvas in his present form, as well as turning the Lady Jillian into a weaveghost. We found ourselves in Abeir as well, and well, the strange doings that we were involved with over the last century, well, that's a story for another time.

But as to the living ruby, I must say we may have a special interest in this item. There are stories of the Wakanari Highlands of Katashaka with its leaders being the Council of the Reborn Phoenix. Sayaed, a former androsphinx who placed his spirit into a phoenix egg before it rehatched, was once said to have been attacked by someone seeking his blood in particular..... I do wonder if the blood of the Phoenix-born Sphinx might not have been used....
AJA Posted - 21 Feb 2022 : 03:51:51

PAGES OF MAGES AND OUTRAGES (AND ALSO, PROBABLY, ROTTEN CABBAGES)

==================================================

Eneskûl, The Book From Which No Words Might Escape
(Save By Invocation and Bewailing)


A bound and hard-spined tome of dark, tooled nagahide, mother-of-pearl inlaid metal edge-caps, and a circular cover-inset of white soapstone, etched with simple elder-runes for weavings, weirds, gladness, and sorrows. On the first interior page is written nothing but the word Eneskûl; probably fashioned from the Talfir enaer askûl, or meanings/declarations of dominance/bindings.

Spells of unexpected obstacles, bewilderments, disillusionments, and inexplicable ways. Believed to be crafted, written, and collected, at least in part, by Taldnir, "The Buried King Who Walks," during the first of his reigns. Known to contain the forgotten Talfir enchantments Dorelmandur's Burning Words (as burning hands but vocal; target only affected if in hearing range and can understand caster's chosen language), Izbuscra's Shadowy Seemings (distracting shades leer and leap out at the edges of vision causing -2 to hit in combat, -2 to morale checks, save to avoid instant failure during spell casting), Izbuscra's Utter Darkenings (combined blindness and ray of enfeeblement), Nasklur's Sickened Thinkings (target must save v. spells or psychologically manifest sickness; random roll on disease table for affliction; only curable by dispel magic, cure disease, or heal), and Jiljixsar's Nerve Spiders (target sustains massive dead-nerve ["pins-and-needles"] sensations in all extremities. All to hit and physical action rolls and all DEX-based checks made at -1, and personal movement speed reduced by -2 for duration of the spell); as well as the lesser-known Netherese invocations Yûlustyry's Cheery Prospects (+2 to morale checks, +2 to saves vs. fear or panic-inducing effects – including dragonfear) and Eljedra's Stormy Passions (grants save v. death to avoid CON loss upon ensuing casting of any permanency spell; also +3 on any NWP check and +10 on any potion miscibility checks for spell duration; however, castor and/or castee suffers -2 to CON/WIS for 2d10 hours after end of spell).

The book first resurfaced in modern Faerûn in the possession of the acrobatic, occasionally bat-winged thief Isilthûnra "Dare-and-Do-All," but she is soon recorded in the annals of the Gallery Majesta of Calimport as having agreed to a (many-hundred-gold) lawful transaction with the adventurers of The Fellowship of The Storm ("The Fellowship of the Storm-Greyed Eyes, Formed-For, and Dedicated-To, She Who Bears Them," if you really must know), who claimed afterward to have made copy of most of its contents; but who also, not more than a year after, forfeit and voluntarily relinquished it in a rousing game of the tavern favorite Asleep's the Wyrm, to the dark and embittered heretic priestess of Lliira, Anniskaé "The Merry Nothing," who went on to make especial use of the spell Dorelmandur's Burning Words – and would always make sure to accompany it with a (completely unnecessary) trademark curtsy.
        Niskaé was slain some years after, in a falling-out with her erstwhile business-partner, Hoskras the Under-Dweller (guildmaster of The Hate-Fauchards – or, more colloquially, Them's What Hides Behind The Draperies – a derro thieves cabal long driven out from fallen Phalorm and come to new-found prominence in Scornubel); and the tome claimed by him, before fire and force-of-arms rousted them from their comfortable lair back into the deep warrens under Secomber that were once part of the ancient kingdom of Athalantar.
        Eneskûl itself disappeared during the chaos of those battles, only to suddenly re-appear mid-1337DR, in the shop of the gnomish butcher and bellycheer Estesker, Son of Glusk, of The Deeproots, proprietor of Stesker's Sweetmeats and Sweetbreads (located in The Comfortable-Coin's Market, hard to the south-west of The Manytankards), a since-exposed contact for the lamia noble Talathtra of the Wicked Delights. It was found there, on a high shelf alongside various accounting scrolls and yellowed jars of preserved meats of uncertain age and provenance, by the mage Braedos of Daggerford. According to entries in Braedos' personal journal, Estesker was unaware of exactly when or how he had acquired the tome, yet seemed curiously reluctant to entertain offers for it.
        Regardless of that, at some point the book made its' way out of Scornubel and into the wilds, where it presumably rested for a time until coming to light in the hands of Jandrasco Sashenstar, a nephew of the legendary explorer Dabron, who snuck it forth from the unearthly eminence of the Isilthorn (a druids' madness, formed and supported by rough hardstone and columns of red porphyry, where faithlessly awakened souls, enflamed by strange wild-fire, danced above great unsettling mosaics either brightly-illumined or very dark). Jandrasco was later lost in an ambush by orcs in the foothills of the Unicorn Run, and the book along with him; no doubt destined to be spirited away, to the desolate ruins of some goblin warren in the nearby Ebonmallows, to never be heard of again – but it is instead, thanks to the little-read broadsheet Vardalbar's Eye-Opener (An Accounting of Such Things That Should Be Noted And Commented Upon), that dutiful sages now know that Eneskûl was later confirmed to be in the possession of the adventurer – and rumored Harper – Selûne-Splashed (an Ice Hunter runecaster; great, noticible mottles of bone-white randomly scattered across her dusky skin; considered a child of the moon, blessed in divination, luck, and the seeing of things unseen [except under the light of the pure moon]), who is then said to have taken the book northward into the icy wastes, and who has – thus far – not returned.

AJA Posted - 21 Feb 2022 : 03:46:43
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas
An adamantine sai, its monouchi pointing downward and its tsukagashira with its embedded blue gem acting like its "head" to a degree floats forward. It briefly "coughs" as if clearing its "throat" to speak before saying, "Hello, forgive me, my name is Lorey Hisstory, psion sai cyclopedia, and I come with a query about the aforementioned staff of Baruskar with the "living ruby" of a "winged lion" atop it. Given my own nature, I have an extreme interest in living magic items, and I wonder how much you've had a chance to study this living ruby? I was perusing some lore in a treatise on the crystallization of the blood of magical creatures, and I quite wonder if the living ruby wasn't the blood of a sphinx. Do you think this might have been possible?


Oh! Oh gracious my! First of all! – good saer sleyvas, yes yes, I'm sure 'it has a mind of it's own' and all that, but, Good and Lawful Gods Above, you don't just whip it out like that! Have a care, man, that thing could take an eye out!


Ahem...On if I know anything more on these matters....unfortunately, no. Are such things as have been mentioned possible? Surely! – after all, what are the strange and myriad Realms Afar but endless possibilities!; and, as we both know, blood-magic and living bindings do become more common the further South-and-East one travels. But, I regret to admit that is about my sum of it. Lore from the East may be my occasional curiosity, but it is by no means my main area of expertise – that, of course, I leave to you; and in that manner I have felt that our collaboration has been most rewarding.

...I forget if it is specifically in Unther or Chessenta (or both) that you are a bit.... 'mage-assassin non grata' at the moment, but I trust that you still have your contacts and your methods. If you (or your, err... 'sai'), should uncover anything else on the subject, let it be known that I would be most interested in hearing whatever you have managed to come up with.


Bright Magic and Mystra Forfend,

sleyvas Posted - 16 Jan 2022 : 01:24:40
quote:
Originally posted by AJA


Azurardham (N DM F6)
Son of Thoros, Blood of Khorddham. A princeling of the gold dwarves of Stonendror's Crag in the southern Shaar. Named for the draconic cohort of his grandfather, the blue wyrm Azaurdhaeghrul of the Thousand Thunderings. An avid hunter and gamesman. He has made himself no friends amongst the wemic tribes of the Shaaran grasslands, as they are currently his favorite prey. Travels with the Bold-Bloods, a coterie of young dwarven nobility, fellow huntsmen, overly-dramatic bardlings, and hard drinkers.

Baruskar
Born in Unther; has spent most of his adult life accumulating power in neighboring Chessenta. Gaunt, haughty, darkly-glittering. Hair of white-streaked blue-black, carefully curled and styled; thick dark beard. Deep voice, as penetrating as his stare ("he mutters incantations as others mutter swears"). Said to have a heart "as cold as the northern ice." Never found without his long-twined walking-staff, topped by a winged lion carved of living ruby ("a summoner of tooth and talon and roaring louder, ever louder, once enraged"). An adventurer of undeniable prowess; survived the siege of The Bireme Towers, the assault on The Vermilion Garrison, the extra-planar Cages of Bronze, and the personal enmity of Torusk of the Ingenious Chains (a Naer-Talun [Master of the Host] of the demon lord Graz'zt; handsome and vulgar; bathed in scents of rose and lily and drippings of scarlet pomegranate; gold chains in his ears, gold chains about his neck, gold chains linking his beringed fingers). Not a member of the Cimbaran Senate, but still one of the highest (and mightiest) among the Sceptanar's inner council. Quite willing to sell access to the ear of the Sceptanar; please beware of what payments he may ask in return.

Erlogar Sarhawk "The Curator of Unmasked Lords"
A Trades Ward sage with a very specific focus, that being the carefully-curated names and histories of known Hidden Lords of the past, their social stratus, public personas and recorded statements, and meticulous examination of what picture that forms of how the Lords traditionally choose to add to their ranks. Has the merchant Sammereza Sulphontis high on his list of current Lords (which few believe), as well as the powerful, outspoken and conservative noble Maskar Wands (which most seem to).

Orando the Well-Watcher
Fat, short, half-haired. Cheerful, amiable, a lover of gossip. A peripatetic seller of rush and floor-straw (along with the fragrant herbs commonly used to scatter among it). Well-known among the commonfolk of the Lower Wards. The communal wells and water pumps of Waterdeep are tied only with the city's taverns and tankard-houses as gathering spots for the exchange of gossip, slander, and salacious rumor, and Orando makes sure to frequent them all. Hears things, sees things. Reports back to Surrolph Hlakken, his contact among the Red Sashes. Occasionally sells a juicy morsel of information to other, less enlightened power brokers, but only if doing so won't imbalance the general status quo. Plus, a man's got to eat, after all.

Riorsk the Bull-Lion
A champion of the Thousand Thunders pride of the Western Shaar; enjoys the delights (and brawling challenges) of the festhalls and taverns of the cities of Ormpur and Shiertalar as much as the hunts and boundary skirmishes of his native lands. A great, cheerful wemic brute; powerful, rippling muscle, stout, of bright chestnut-sorrel, with cream-colored calves and tail and flowing mane, the latter of which he keeps dyed a vibrant blood-red. Everpresent in panoply of tawny lion's-mane cloak (lined inside with diamond-patterned cloth of gold and red), Calishite damasked-steel breastplate and bracers, and his accumulated scars of sword and hot irons. Legends claim at the dawnbreak celebrations before The Battle Beyond the Sunset ("where the red glow of the setting sun was long outshone by the awful crimson tide of blood on the starlit field of battle") he trod on the shadow of the goddess Reskurédra (Red Knight), and in so doing gained great control in battle (the psionic wild talents of danger sense and adrenaline control). Wields a massive glaive of ebony and crimson steel which he won at the battle that gained him his fame but is of a much older, Ilythiiri design.

==================================================

&Addendum;

Azaurdhaeghrul of the Thousand Thunderings
(AHZ-aur-DAY-gruhl) Aided the wemic, allowing them to settle comfortably into seasonal camps and amass great herds of meat on the hoof, from which the wyrm would then come and dine at his pleasure; he aided the dwarves as well, who gave him gifts of precious metals and pretty things in return; and, when he caught wind of something he wanted, he would then send the wemic (on the surface) and the dwarves (down below) to raid and retrieve it for him. But then he died (in battle with enemies unhappy with his raids and with his political consolidation of the area) and the dwarves and the wemic were found with no real use for each other, and so here we are.





I like the dwarf / dragon / wemic tie ins. Oh, and pardon me, but a certain sai wants to speak, and I've learned its easier to let him than to try and shut him up.

An adamantine sai, its monouchi pointing downward and its tsukagashira with its embedded blue gem acting like its "head" to a degree floats forward. It briefly "coughs" as if clearing its "throat" to speak before saying, "Hello, forgive me, my name is Lorey Hisstory, psion sai cyclopedia, and I come with a query about the aforementioned staff of Baruskar with the "living ruby" of a "winged lion" atop it. Given my own nature, I have an extreme interest in living magic items, and I wonder how much you've had a chance to study this living ruby? I was perusing some lore in a treatise on the crystallization of the blood of magical creatures, and I quite wonder if the living ruby wasn't the blood of a sphinx. Do you think this might have been possible?

sleyvas Posted - 16 Jan 2022 : 01:03:53
quote:
Originally posted by AJA

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas
On your notes regarding skyships, I have heard that not just any giant sea turtle shell will work towards the creation of skyships. In fact, the giant sea turtles whose shells can be used on skyships seem to have ties back to breeding with dragon turtles. While that would make most think that this would make their shells inclined to water travel, not air, it in fact makes these shells "elementally inclined", and the use of levitation spells works on the shells in a way that others would call a form of "metamagic".... taking the natural inclination of the shells and changing them from water oriented to air oriented. There have in fact been some wizards who have been rumored to have applied these same theories to turtle shells to allow them to sail on pools of lava unhindered or even sail across the earth by "metamagically enhancing" them with fire shield and stoneskin respectively.

Interesting. Most interesting. I had an acquaintance down Veldorn way, who told tale of a wizardly cabal which harvested the living lungs of a red wyrm and installed them into the lower hold of such a vessel. His correspondence claimed that the ship then managed to achieve flight in the same way as those utilizing elemental propulsions. He also swore that the timbers of the airship constantly flexed and bowed, as if in macabre imitation of drawing and exhaling breath as it soared through the skies. And that the rudder was fashioned of dragonspine running up amidships, and even entwined into the bow (I did not dare to ask him what, if anything, was utilized of the brain!).





I had heard of that too. It was supposedly the Black Flame cabal of Unther, whose teachings would go on to inspire the red wizards in their uprising against Mulhorand. One of its members reputedly made this airship, eventually settling in the shaar. Over time, his spellbooks and other notes made it to the city of Peleverai, and some say that he even survived and was there on the day of the dragon attacks over eight centuries later. Further stories relate that the cult of the dragon either recruited him, killed him, found his books and studied them, or destroyed his books as sacreligious. Of course, that all kind of sounds like some bard's tale if you catch my drift, even though sometimes bards have a whiff of truth in their tellings.
AJA Posted - 15 Jan 2022 : 01:50:28

Azurardham (N DM F6)
Son of Thoros, Blood of Khorddham. A princeling of the gold dwarves of Stonendror's Crag in the southern Shaar. Named for the draconic cohort of his grandfather, the blue wyrm Azaurdhaeghrul of the Thousand Thunderings. An avid hunter and gamesman. He has made himself no friends amongst the wemic tribes of the Shaaran grasslands, as they are currently his favorite prey. Travels with the Bold-Bloods, a coterie of young dwarven nobility, fellow huntsmen, overly-dramatic bardlings, and hard drinkers.

Baruskar
Born in Unther; has spent most of his adult life accumulating power in neighboring Chessenta. Gaunt, haughty, darkly-glittering. Hair of white-streaked blue-black, carefully curled and styled; thick dark beard. Deep voice, as penetrating as his stare ("he mutters incantations as others mutter swears"). Said to have a heart "as cold as the northern ice." Never found without his long-twined walking-staff, topped by a winged lion carved of living ruby ("a summoner of tooth and talon and roaring louder, ever louder, once enraged"). An adventurer of undeniable prowess; survived the siege of The Bireme Towers, the assault on The Vermilion Garrison, the extra-planar Cages of Bronze, and the personal enmity of Torusk of the Ingenious Chains (a Naer-Talun [Master of the Host] of the demon lord Graz'zt; handsome and vulgar; bathed in scents of rose and lily and drippings of scarlet pomegranate; gold chains in his ears, gold chains about his neck, gold chains linking his beringed fingers). Not a member of the Cimbaran Senate, but still one of the highest (and mightiest) among the Sceptanar's inner council. Quite willing to sell access to the ear of the Sceptanar; please beware of what payments he may ask in return.

Erlogar Sarhawk "The Curator of Unmasked Lords"
A Trades Ward sage with a very specific focus, that being the carefully-curated names and histories of known Hidden Lords of the past, their social stratus, public personas and recorded statements, and meticulous examination of what picture that forms of how the Lords traditionally choose to add to their ranks. Has the merchant Sammereza Sulphontis high on his list of current Lords (which few believe), as well as the powerful, outspoken and conservative noble Maskar Wands (which most seem to).

Orando the Well-Watcher
Fat, short, half-haired. Cheerful, amiable, a lover of gossip. A peripatetic seller of rush and floor-straw (along with the fragrant herbs commonly used to scatter among it). Well-known among the commonfolk of the Lower Wards. The communal wells and water pumps of Waterdeep are tied only with the city's taverns and tankard-houses as gathering spots for the exchange of gossip, slander, and salacious rumor, and Orando makes sure to frequent them all. Hears things, sees things. Reports back to Surrolph Hlakken, his contact among the Red Sashes. Occasionally sells a juicy morsel of information to other, less enlightened power brokers, but only if doing so won't imbalance the general status quo. Plus, a man's got to eat, after all.

Riorsk the Bull-Lion
A champion of the Thousand Thunders pride of the Western Shaar; enjoys the delights (and brawling challenges) of the festhalls and taverns of the cities of Ormpur and Shiertalar as much as the hunts and boundary skirmishes of his native lands. A great, cheerful wemic brute; powerful, rippling muscle, stout, of bright chestnut-sorrel, with cream-colored calves and tail and flowing mane, the latter of which he keeps dyed a vibrant blood-red. Everpresent in panoply of tawny lion's-mane cloak (lined inside with diamond-patterned cloth of gold and red), Calishite damasked-steel breastplate and bracers, and his accumulated scars of sword and hot irons. Legends claim at the dawnbreak celebrations before The Battle Beyond the Sunset ("where the red glow of the setting sun was long outshone by the awful crimson tide of blood on the starlit field of battle") he trod on the shadow of the goddess Reskurédra (Red Knight), and in so doing gained great control in battle (the psionic wild talents of danger sense and adrenaline control). Wields a massive glaive of ebony and crimson steel which he won at the battle that gained him his fame but is of a much older, Ilythiiri design.

==================================================

&Addendum;

Azaurdhaeghrul of the Thousand Thunderings
(AHZ-aur-DAY-gruhl) Aided the wemic, allowing them to settle comfortably into seasonal camps and amass great herds of meat on the hoof, from which the wyrm would then come and dine at his pleasure; he aided the dwarves as well, who gave him gifts of precious metals and pretty things in return; and, when he caught wind of something he wanted, he would then send the wemic (on the surface) and the dwarves (down below) to raid and retrieve it for him. But then he died (in battle with enemies unhappy with his raids and with his political consolidation of the area) and the dwarves and the wemic were found with no real use for each other, and so here we are.

AJA Posted - 15 Jan 2022 : 01:47:51
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas
On your notes regarding skyships, I have heard that not just any giant sea turtle shell will work towards the creation of skyships. In fact, the giant sea turtles whose shells can be used on skyships seem to have ties back to breeding with dragon turtles. While that would make most think that this would make their shells inclined to water travel, not air, it in fact makes these shells "elementally inclined", and the use of levitation spells works on the shells in a way that others would call a form of "metamagic".... taking the natural inclination of the shells and changing them from water oriented to air oriented. There have in fact been some wizards who have been rumored to have applied these same theories to turtle shells to allow them to sail on pools of lava unhindered or even sail across the earth by "metamagically enhancing" them with fire shield and stoneskin respectively.

Interesting. Most interesting. I had an acquaintance down Veldorn way, who told tale of a wizardly cabal which harvested the living lungs of a red wyrm and installed them into the lower hold of such a vessel. His correspondence claimed that the ship then managed to achieve flight in the same way as those utilizing elemental propulsions. He also swore that the timbers of the airship constantly flexed and bowed, as if in macabre imitation of drawing and exhaling breath as it soared through the skies. And that the rudder was fashioned of dragonspine running up amidships, and even entwined into the bow (I did not dare to ask him what, if anything, was utilized of the brain!).

sleyvas Posted - 31 Dec 2021 : 20:29:16
On your notes regarding skyships, I have heard that not just any giant sea turtle shell will work towards the creation of skyships. In fact, the giant sea turtles whose shells can be used on skyships seem to have ties back to breeding with dragon turtles. While that would make most think that this would make their shells inclined to water travel, not air, it in fact makes these shells "elementally inclined", and the use of levitation spells works on the shells in a way that others would call a form of "metamagic".... taking the natural inclination of the shells and changing them from water oriented to air oriented. There have in fact been some wizards who have been rumored to have applied these same theories to turtle shells to allow them to sail on pools of lava unhindered or even sail across the earth by "metamagically enhancing" them with fire shield and stoneskin respectively.

On the Shou and their ships, I have heard similar rumors, in that the reason they were able to get so many "helms" in such a short time was that they worked a deal with an arcane group of beings to "bind" dragon spirits found in the spirit world to their dragonships. There are those who say that in doing this, the emperor of Shou Lung angered the dragon spirits, and they may have begun to work towards removing him from power for the betrayal. There are those who say that the Shou Emperor went to such extremes because he had learned of the empire of Wa developing their tsunami's using ki helms made from giant bamboo gathered from the isle of Machukara and its balsa wood locust vessels using rudders of propulsion created by binding the spirits of giant flying grasshoppers into them. Some say that the arcane individuals that helped the Shou in turn hoped that the Shou Emperor would crush competitors entering their market.
AJA Posted - 31 Dec 2021 : 02:05:49

Anafandar "Fearless Fann" Dahzoun (N HM T4/F6)
Riotous black beard and curling mustache. Soft-spoken and quick-witted, with an easy grace and disarming smile. Always guarded by his companions, the scowling cinammon-maned brute Unskar (CN ½OgM Bar8) and the thoroughly-tattooed wizard Zelrûnae (NG HF Inv8). Master (captain) of the Lissome Wend, a flying merchantman out of the Great Shining South. The Wend is powered by "bound elemental animal spirits of air and sky" and, when the aquamarine sails billow and the suns' rays hit it just right on its' passage through the clouds, great roiling, snorting horse-heads can be seen alongside, and ghostly undulating feathered serpents' tails trail out from behind.*

Elsk (Elskanar) of Ilmater
White, wide-sprayed hair and beard, heavily-rouged cheeks and forehead. Dark eyes. Unbowed despite impressive years. Soft-voiced and soft-mannered, as befits one of the Order of Soft Silences (Ilmataran monks, Stoicists; utter neither shouts of rage nor cries of pain). Commonly found in white robe tasselled on all ends like teardrops, sturdy high-laced white sandals, and blue girdle embroidered with red rosettes. When not engaged in conversation, frequently fiddles with a number of differently-sized orbs of carved jasper fished from a pocket. Plagued by persistent rumors of once having been an agent of Bhaal (even said to keep a scarlet assassins' neck-cord wrapped round beneath his girdle).

Hannold "Hanno" Airubuck
A newly-arrived Lord's Court personage. Dissolute, seeking patronage; late of Baldur's Gate. Curling blonde hair gone to flowing white. Red-rimmed, watery blue eyes. Easy, bitter, dismissive laugh. Spent much of his youth as the Pip (flute-pip, piper: flute-player sat at the upcurved prow of every hin fishing vessel, prompting the oars and sails onward and encouraging the tired arms of netters and line-casters alike) on countless halfling fishing scows off the Sword Coast; later roamed the Western Heartlands for many years as part of The Green Feathers adventuring fellowship. Had a voice that could once mimic the singing of the thrushes and the wafting desert breezes, now dulled by age and misuse and dungeon miasma; his passions now lie in painting canvas scenes of river and land, in jarring colors of gold, silver, scarlet, blue; red-walled farmhouses, cone-shaped terraces, wide beds of pearlescent flowers, wicker boats and serpent-oared barges. Prefers purple tunic, leather vest tooled in foam-eddy style, belt of gold chains and a single great topaz, low boots of crimson leather; his two constant companions are a short sword in an agate-inlaid sheath and an ever-inflated wineskin slung at his side.

Maist Belachos (LE HM F16)
Grim-Eyed, Lion of Anhur. Legendary Chessentan swordsman. Shorter than his legend claims. Close-cropped greying hair, strong chin, wary grey eyes. Has the flat, hard, emotionless "sword-stare" that so many of his ilk achieve after too-long periods of delving the darkness and facing horror and death as a matter of course. Light and graceful on his feet. Wields The Incalescent Blade of Zalagha ("The Light More Red Than Flame" – a flametongue sword said to have been forged on the infernal plane of Phlegethos at The Pit of Flame by the god Anhur himself). Has assembled around him the elite mercenary Grim Band (immediately identifiable by the rattling chains affixed to the outside of their shields and dangling from the crowns of their full helms), currently under retainer to the city-state of Luthcheq.
        Maist was recently met under the night-darkened eaves of the Chondalwood by a moon-splashed horse of faerie, whose tendrils ran up and ran through him, and whose light, musical laughter revealed herself as the fey goddess Selûne, a transformational encounter which has him pondering a change to his blood-soaked ways.

Wolevaé
Alchemist Without Accident and Deliverer of Distant Delights. An expert vendor of fireworks and faerie-works, well-known in the courts and temple squares on festivals and high holidays, where she sets forth her purple-spangled stall and her coin-cry; "Flutter-flames and uni-caroms and bizzleburrs and Besker's Delights! Bingers, bangers, gobbo-bongers! Shoops that go bsst, and sharps that go brrst! Hand-fanners, pave-snappers, cheery-cherries, wyrm-dancers, caryatid columns! Fantastics of flame and fun and signifiers of sound and fury! Rattle the Heavens, rattle the windows! Rare devices from Lands of Elf and Lands of Gold and Lands of Gond!" Slender, dark-haired and dark-eyed, as willful and spirited as a loosed will-'o-the-wisp. Knows her craft and will not hesitate to gainsay any presumptuous mageling who comes to her preaching the superiority of the prestidigitations of The Mother of All Magic.


==================================================

* On Airships
It takes a lot of elemental spirits and a lot of binding spells to convince boats to go against their very nature and fly instead of float. The helmsman, especially, finds themself continually wrestling against not only the vagaries of air currents and the deviancies of rogue air elementals and the very impossibilities of 3D movement, but also the contradictory pulls of gravity itself. Some say this is also compounded by divine interference from Umberlee, who is loath and wroth to let the little boats – and the fervent prayers of the men aboard them – escape her briny grasp (some say this is also due to restraint from the goddess Selûne, who is happy to help sailing-men find their way across the darkened seas, but not so eager to allow them unfettered access into her celestial boudoir, where they might make inappropriate glimpse of her). In addition, the sails and the rigging on airships are mostly the same, yet also completely different in purpose, from their seaborne cousins, and so require a highly-specialized crew who are best-served starting as veteran sea tars, and then spending great amounts of time being retrained back up from the absolute basics.

(but what about using a simple Fly spell?)
There is no fly spell known to Man powerful enough to lift something the size of a true sailing vessel. Some mages with more magical ability than modesty have indeed enchanted small skiffs or sleighs, or ostentatious one-man thrones, with custom spell variations, but anything larger requires elemental input. It should be noted that elemental spirits are not full-on elementals, being instead minor creatures of the Elemental Planes – easier to bind and control, but requiring more of them to power a true flying ship. Actual air elementals themselves are quite powerful and, once unfettered by resting contact with the opposing elements of earth or water and embraced by the open skies, grow quite ferocious and unruly under even the best bindings. The Halruaans seem to have mastered the art of controlling such creatures and thus have some of the most powerful airships known to Man, but most other attempts at such things have ended with the flying ship faltering and crashing down to Faerûn sooner rather than later. The elves seem to have their own reliable methods of buoyance and propulsion enchanted into their own gossamer skyships, but what that is remains unknown (some have begun to theorize that it may align with the strange forms of pluma magic newly-unveiled from the Far Lands of Maztica, currently a fervid branch of magely experimentation and discourse).

Finally, there are persistent rumors of the Shou and other denizens of the East, located across the desolate wastes of The Hordelands, having armadas of skyships of their own, but Faerûnian sages well-versed in such matters decry these stories, and say that such things are not true constructed craft, but rather eastern skywyrms tamed and harnessed with bit and bridle and man-made towers upon their backs, much as the grounded elephants and howdahs of Mulhorand and lands still further south.

Whether that idea is more or less comforting to the reader seems to be an open question.

sleyvas Posted - 27 Dec 2021 : 20:39:15
quote:
Originally posted by AJA


and the independent steading of Nevermaiden (whose sons are all daughters, and dance beneath trestles of high-wreathed honeysuckle and thousand-starred wild twine)...





Note to self: Do not even enter the confines of Nevermaiden, lest one find oneself in the midst of a theft of a particularly ingenious and cruel nature.
AJA Posted - 27 Dec 2021 : 01:31:36

NONSENSE (once more unto the babbling breach, dear friends)
"If the narrative seems to ramble at times, well – that's the way Elminster talks, and I've never quite dared to cross swords in earnest, verbally or otherwise, with him."
(Ed Greenwood, Polyhedron Magazine #57, p.20)

==================================================


"The Way to the Wonderful Sun"
Final excerpts of the journal of the ranger Tammer Trail-Hound, penned c.1312DR
Recovered in part from a goblin-den of the eastern High Forest, and salvaged as best possible
by Mintiper Moonsilver, 1345DR

"Starting at the village of Highbranch, astride the Trade Road (dominated by caravan-grounds and the way-stop of The Fine and Fiddle (simple, standard rush-strewn floor, wooden benches and tables, side-booths with hanging lamps and the option of woven reed screens for a bit of privacy; beetroot cheese-tarts a specialty of the house, thanks to the halfling hearth-cook Wheyburr "Master Whistle" Whistlethistle), the eastern peasant's path takes one through the closely-gathered homes, down past Laurund's Peat-Pond and the vibrant heath-bell and indolent bracken of The Staggards, over the low rise where the rotting potatoes, rutabegas and forage-beets mark the dead farmhold of Winter-Over (killed to a person by unusually-rapacious troll raiders just a season ago), and then on through the hamlets of Leafshorn (where they wear yellow caps and never brown) and Barleymorn (where they sport brown caps and never yellow) and the independent steading of Nevermaiden (whose sons are all daughters, and dance beneath trestles of high-wreathed honeysuckle and thousand-starred wild twine)...

...the way then narrows into a darkened, overhung and moss-underfoot trail leading on towards Merry Robin (a house of lovely spirits, opened to all by the gnomish greeter Whelrae "Well-Whistle" Whetwhistle, joyous next to the old graveyard, grey and chill), the abandoned cottage and way-marker of Yellow Post (where pixie and fire-fly play), and Old Knight Oak (wreathed in ground ivy and cloaked in fern and...

...would seem any pretense of trail ends here, swallowed into the same overwhelming foliage that swaddles the great arboreal eminence, accented by the rusted blades and silent skeletal remains that fit snugly into the dusky bole and bark of the great tree. But local hedge-witches have long swore that venturers who push forward here, along the same stilted cardinal wind, will eventually lose sense of both diurnal and seasonal passing but may press forward...

...and then onto Deepen Hollow (half-hidden in green ivy ruin but always aglow and marked by sunbeams of pale yellow, orange, and deep-red), Stranger Dreamings (whose cadence rises and falls, singing of old times, old faces, old wonderings), The Silent Stair (spiraled downward from the starlit skies), Wanderhome (where discordant voices cease, and slumberous moonbeams hush all, even the whistlings of elder days)…

...will find respite and clarity, however brief, beneath Elendethil-Over-Way (the massive, skeletal, high-branched white-oak eminence, which guards the purpose of what comes next), before arriving at the mirrored, sun-seared penultimance of The Whettlebones (twin, twined arches formed of the gleaming vertebrae of wyms long gone), and, finally, if one dares far enough, The Land of the Wonderful Sun (where unnamed rivers wend through cradles of flashing silver and bright buried gold, and the steady star-lights of the overarching heavens ripple in an unseen wind, and a throne sits, empty, amid the cold whistlings of a grand hall, awaiting one bold enough to simply come and claim it).


'If one is bold enough to come claim it'. And so, there it is. Is that me? I believe I am. I know I am. As I sit here, beneath the bones of Elendethil, I hear it call to me. Whisper – no, whistle to me. I will not fail. I will press forward and…"


==================================================


Other passages from Maglas's Chronicle of Years to Come (translations not guaranteed to be correct)

"where the king-fishers of old cast their lowly runes on the sun-dappled banks of the Oceans four
and so dictated the flow of tide and battle

when upon the rebellion of Lath Llerian, he who opened the Golden Door (and Golden Dooms) of the Dawn *
they were met in the high gallery forest and entreated to choose a side

and so the king-fishers of old did cast their lowly runes, instead, in succor of the First Men and the Nentoriel **
but their efforts were doomed to fail, spurned by both gods and elves

disgraced and exiled to The Tears of the Spring ***
enchained in silence

where they watch and brood and dream of return
and touch Faerûn nevermore, but for those seven days and nights Where Sorrow Has Laid No Scar ****

then they come, still proud in blue silk and bright embroidery,
and burnish the sun, in the hues of a hundred fading flowers and the blood of the moon-white lady *****

and sing song of those long-ago days on the sun-dappled banks of the Oceans four"



* according to Maglas, a Personage of Sun and Song, Father of Inspiration and Invention, The First-Born of Faerûn-land; obscure and often relegated to the most esoteric of sagely discourse, but still claimed and co-opted by faithful of the Morninglord whenever it suits their purposes
** the Half-of-Elves, first of the race born of man and faerie
*** that eldritch nightmare where the sorrows of every green shoot that fails to peek above the frost, and every kit that is snatched up by overhead wings, and every child suddenly expected to make the leap from adolescent to adult but falls short, come to linger and echo
**** upon the general occurrence of the Winter solstice
***** Selûne, who inlumined them to the other gods and waiting elves as she was bound to, and sorrowed then of her deed for-ever after


AJA Posted - 27 Dec 2021 : 01:15:22
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

quote:
Originally posted by AJA


MISC'LLANEA
Every night, Oghma had a thought. And every night before bed, Oghma took that thought and swallowed it, keeping it locked deep within his great belly.

And every night the insolent Lathander crept down the Binder's snoring gullet and stole that thought, and brought it forth upon the dawn, and whispered it into the ear of the Sun, so that the Sun might then rise and shout it forth across all Faerûn.
        -Excerpted from The Chondathan Book of Tales, various authors, compiled by Elskedra of Teziir, 1236DR)


And lo, the roosters heard the idea best and would crow it upon the wind for all to hear who might be less inclined to listen with a pillow over their eyes. Thus its said that the best inventors wake up early with the cock crows and Oghma is made secretly pleased.

Among the finest of 'Just So' stories.

sleyvas Posted - 20 Dec 2021 : 12:58:08
quote:
Originally posted by AJA


MISC'LLANEA
Every night, Oghma had a thought. And every night before bed, Oghma took that thought and swallowed it, keeping it locked deep within his great belly.

And every night the insolent Lathander crept down the Binder's snoring gullet and stole that thought, and brought it forth upon the dawn, and whispered it into the ear of the Sun, so that the Sun might then rise and shout it forth across all Faer#251;n.
        -Excerpted from The Chondathan Book of Tales, various authors, compiled by Elskedra of Teziir, 1236DR)




And lo, the roosters heard the idea best and would crow it upon the wind for all to hear who might be less inclined to listen with a pillow over their eyes. Thus its said that the best inventors wake up early with the cock crows and Oghma is made secretly pleased.
AJA Posted - 20 Dec 2021 : 00:32:19

MISC'LLANEA
Every night, Oghma had a thought. And every night before bed, Oghma took that thought and swallowed it, keeping it locked deep within his great belly.

And every night the insolent Lathander crept down the Binder's snoring gullet and stole that thought, and brought it forth upon the dawn and whispered it into the ear of the Sun, so that the Sun might then rise and shout it forth across all Faerûn.
        -Excerpted from The Chondathan Book of Tales, various authors, compiled by Elskedra of Teziir, 1236DR)

==================================================


Nondéaskor
The Celestial Fisher who, in the whispered and unfathomable ages before even the elder gods had yet learned to crawl, roamed dutifully across the night skies in his coracle and, upon those magic tides, gathered up every third star in his trailing net as was his due, until glitter'd Selûne, risen newly proud and protective and shining-bright, joined hands with her ever-shadowed sister Shar, and together they cast him out from The Great Sea of Night into The Void That Is Neither Dark Nor Light. And then the sisters took up his burgeoning catch, and proceeded to place the many bright orblings as it suited their whimsy, much as gleeful children painting upon a blank wall, and it is said that this was the last time that woeful Shar ever laughed aloud in glee, and thus there came to be what is now known as the consternation of constellations, or the concert of heavenly concourses, that curious parade of animal and man and dragon and other merry marcher that endlessly advance through the ever-moving tapestry of the heavens.
        But some of those bright baubles obtained from Nondéaskor's net caught the Moonmaiden's eye, and she greedily drew them forth and hid them in the folds of her robes, only later releasing them as foremost of her servitors, celestial servants with names such as Asshak the Flanged, Tarnra the Bright, Fateful K'Thoutek (The One Who Bows With Blessings and Banes), Red-Roaring Gommur (the King's-Killer), and The Celestial Weaver (later reborn as the all-seeing Savras). And upon discovering these thefts Shar was ill-pleased, and it is said that thus did the original rift between the First Sisters first open. But of the former and the latter, and the other many, many tales that have already been told, they will not be repeated here.
        Meanwhile, that ancient fisher, bereft of coracle or catch, but still strong of pride and gained of hatred and long-sought revenge, is now called Olrandaskar instead, the Lone Wanderer, companionless, with fearless gaze and long streaming trail, horribly flaming with wrath and portents, fated to one day to return from his long exile and fall upon Faerûn as a great red dragon, a borrowed moon of the darkest hue, or a celestial torch, tossed devastatingly upon the driest of tinders, and from such horrible vengeance none shall survive.

==================================================

"To command others is to first submit yourself. This is the inescapable Divine Order of the Lord of Tyranny. There is only one Tyrant and all others are his vessel or his slave. All that is commanded by you, you shall first have it commanded unto you. This Bane demands!"
        The First Lesson In Obedience
        Tothund the Ever-Lurking, Dreadful Danger of Bane
        The Year of the Necropolis, 641DR

"Finding out that exact instance when 'I won't' becomes 'I want' is still, to me, the greatest moment of sublimation into the embrace of the goddess."
        Of The Habits of Obedience
        Andreleene "The Whip of Soft Whisperings," Lasting Bite of Loviatar
        Year of the Tardy Guests, 1146DR

"But now, dear friend, my right to ask
How fares thy lowly murd'rous task?
It seems to me, your path lies clear
Thwarted only by friendship dear"

        – The merchant-lord Jondrus Glarygaunt, spoken to the youthful apprentice Andelar
        Excerpted from the play Deft Dances In the Moonlight
        Year of The Lion (1340DR), penned by Tarsakh Munder

"If you continuously think and long for a certain object you are almost sure, eventually, to obtain that which you desire. If not, don't despair – after all, such situations are what adventurers are for."
        Murrester the Over-Bold, Golden Fool of the Twelfth Royal Court of Saoyaster
        Illuminated Thoughts
        Year of the Dying Dwarf, 750DR

"oum tar rahkla" ("come and find out")
        famed challenge of Iutzae the Spur-Shelled, Last Queen of the Thurrokh
        said in response to the demand of surrender by the gnome commander Rarsen Deepenglow
        during the Gnome-Kobold War of 1123DR

==================================================

"An Evening Walk In the Undermountain"

It was but some few nights ago
I wandered down this loathsome floor
I pray that I may never know
The fate of those who passed before

The shadows pressing all about
The risen bones and claws were springing
I heard the Curate's strident shout
And my companions anguished begging

I was not dulled, my mind was clear
All horrid sights and sounds to hear
My eyes could see, my ears did peal
And in my heart, there grew such fear

And yet that I still stand here so
A coward, yes, I say within
Those friends now lost that I did know
My fault, they're now entombed therein


AJA Posted - 23 Nov 2021 : 00:28:03

Anathaen "Greatshield" (LN HM F/P of Torm)
Considered the highest-ranking Waterdhavian priest of the God of Guardians ("The Voice of Torm"). Very devout, very pious, very stern in nature. Strong and stocky. Square face, hook nose, close-cropped grey hair. Owns a prized suit of heavily-engraved and darksteel-inlaid platemail +2 and a gull-winged helm of free action. Can often be found at either the Palace, consulting with the Lords and the blackrobes; or at the Castle, engaging and attending to the guardsmen there. It is commonly held that it was his grevious blows that killed the malignant dragon turtle "Old Greengnaw," during the Battle of Waterdeep Harbor.

Appleharp Stillhearth
A halfling civilar of the Watch. Stout, firm of speech, no-nonsense. His parents named him Appleharp in honor of Andamar, the legendary Hin "Bard of Apples" (who ate an apple of the gods, raising their ire, strung it's core as a mouth-harp, and performed a jig that got them all dancing and made good his escape, and had other adventures afterwards). Despises his given name, prefers to be called Rorst (which he considers a good, strong, "human" name). A devout follower of The Triad.

Belastra
Peripatetic owner of the colorful Castle Ward push-cart whose sides and top sailcloth-cover are both labelled "Belastra's Welcome Expeditions" (hand-pies hot and piping, and a merry tune to boot goes un-labelled, but not un-said, as part of a very enthusiastic sales-pitch when making her rounds). Always makes sure on her circuit to bow her head and murmur to the little alcove-altar enclosed inside the iron-railings of the front yard of what is now called the House of Shyrrhr – that alcove being dedicated to Aelúnaskra, The Autumn Flame, who sang songs "wondrously beautiful and bittersweet" and who fell here, in 936DR, beset on all sides by orc raiders (as she fell to the earth it is said that Holûvhh Third-Born, of the Blood of Lurue, came forth and touched his horn to her, and her spirit rose, "flashing like a star out of the twilight," and drove the orcs away from the Hold of Nimoar, and has looked after residents of what is now this part of Castle Ward ever since, one of many local spirits of the city).
        Belastra believes that that "beautiful and bittersweet" song has accompanied her and protected her her entire life, and she holds Aelúnaskra and Lurue as her most favored of the many benevolent powers of Faerûn.

Glaeftamm Gledden
Hammer-Hands. Last of the great Moonshaen warrior-priests of the Earthmother. "Golden Gledden" and his crew of raiders were finally laid low by an alliance of the warchieftan Haelaur and the sea reavers of Ruathym. His vitals were claimed by the reaver Tholgos Black-Blooded (and are said to have been used in the enchantments that created the Green Library's famed Sages Font), while Haelaur commanded the equally grisly trophy of Glaeftamm's azure-tattooed right arm. The (magically-preserved and enchanted) "Hammer of Gledden" (functions as a war hammer +3 which can cause an effect similar to a Power Word, Stun on a natural 20) is currently in the possession of the House of Heroes.

Myndalan "Sevensigils" (LN HM Div13)
An ex-apprentice of Khelben Arunsun and member of the Red Sashes. Myndalan was personally recommended to Durnan by the Blackstaff. While initially suspicious of the diviner and wary of potential conflicts of interest, Durnan has since come to rely heavily on Myndalan and his ability to uncover information otherwise unavailable to ordinary means. Durnan was about to promote him into a more influential role in the Sashes, but the recent troubles surrounding the Blackstaff have made him cautious once more.
        Originally trained as an initiate of Deneir, Myndalan learned early on the merits of information and lore-gathering. As noted, his role in the Sashes organization is sussing out information unvavailable to conventional means, including magically scrying and eavesdropping on Sash targets. Myndalan knows that Durnan is the One, and suspects him of being one of the Lords as well (like most citizens of the City of Splendors, Myndalan once kept his own personal list of potential Lords suspects – he was especially suspicious of, and attempted to scry on, both Durnan and the merchant Sammareza Sulphontis, but an informal visit by the Blackstaff quickly taught him to beware of foolish prying into such matters).

sleyvas Posted - 03 Nov 2021 : 00:49:33
I like the idea of the dark comforters coming around and actually "opening old wounds" as it were in their attempt to comfort. That's a good addition.
AJA Posted - 02 Nov 2021 : 23:24:17

NONSENSE
(and your own fault for reading it)

==================================================

BY THE BOOK
Where They May Roam, or; Calamitous Callithumps, Frigorific Flailers and Duran Durians
A Naturalists Guide To All Manner of Fantastic Beast and Wizard-Weird
Being A Long and Most Careful Study of The Many Wondrous Creatures of Southernmost Faerûn
As Presented Through the Eye of Wizardly and Alchemical Enlightenment
And Delivered Here, This Day Upon the Seventh of Tarsakh, In The Year of the Sylvan Wardings

        –Agatharn Brightsilver, "Observer Foremost of Peryton and Poltergeist," Third-Most Pinioned of the Fellows of Pinguid Hall, 1134DR

Creative Created Foods & Water
A Guide to The Best Delectable Foods and Dishes
As Can Be Summoned By Any Clever and Faithful Priest of Any Lawful Deity

(a part of the collected Know Thy Deity and Thy Abilities series)
        – Compiled and Edited by Eleskaul the Creative Inflector, under the gracious auspices of Tym Ltd., Waterdeep, 1359DR

==================================================

DRAMATIS PERSONAE
Dark Comforters / The Ladies of Little Solace(s)
An order of Shaarans found in cities throughout the Western Heartlands (the Waterdhavian chapter is specifically known as The Ladies of Little Solaces, and is a circle of six or seven women run out of the Trades Ward domicile of Nelorva Nonsk, their unquestioned leader). The Comforters come around after deaths and family tragedies and offer consolation and comforts for sorrow, distress, loss, and misery (and sometimes misfortunes, but this is often hotly contested by Beshaba). They can also be called on for daily woes and exhaustions. While their words are soft and soothing they are also carefully chosen to raise and exacerbate painful emotions, like picking at an old scab (or a fresh wound). There are some who whisper that the Comforters feed on these despairs and sorrowful emotions much as a vampire on fresh, hot blood. In Waterdeep, the Ladies are great enemies of lily-gilders and Thayan smoke-dens (they want emotions raw and open, not smothered under numbing agents) and any other priestly organizations that offer genuine support and healing (though the latter opposition is done discreetly, under the public-facing logic that faithful of Shar are best prepared to handle such matters).

The Unshorn
An order of Ruathymaar berserkers who wear their beards as priests do their holy symbols (and in as many varieties). Said to flagellate themselves with the flat of their blades until their skin is as tough as iron, and to rage and trance in battle beyond the point where an ordinary man would drop dead from his wounds. Found at the prow of every North Isle warship, the slapping of their blades forming a gruesome synchronization with the beating oar-drums and the chants of the Ruathymaar war shamans.

Anskauril
Anskauril the Half-Red, who once clove the Twin Realms of Abeir and Toril in twain in a fit of jealousy, and whose uncontrollable passions threatened to burn and boil all of the mortal realms, until the Elder Gods imprisoned him in a cage in the heavens and forbade all from uttering his name, which is why he is only remembered by mortals now as The Sun; Soon, light, sometimes thought to be the root of Sune, as passion and emotion and source of the wizardly school of enchantment/charm (one of the most outlandish claims ever made by the mad cultists of Imaginary Ao is that further similarity in pronunciations prove that Anskauril is not Sun but Son, progeny of the Overwatcher themselves, but that is considered nonsense of the highest order by all others).
        Of those others who defy the gods to remember him, it is said that he is still visited to this day by his love Chauntea, who lays with him in his imprisonment and is fertile, until her hair and body is terribly singed and she must withdraw and turn her face from him for a time until she recovers, and thus the link between the Twin Realms survives and endures.
        Finally, it should be noted that, of all the gods, in all the ages, from the most-mad to the most power-hungry, only one has been so reckless as to try and lay claim to Anskauril's terrible burning mantle, and that being the brash Lathander, the Morninglord, the Dawn-Bringer, he who would fancy himself as far more. There are many among his celestial peers who look dimly upon these efforts, but, as followers of The Golden One are quick to remind, "few masters are understood – or admired – by their servants."

==================================================

SELÛNITE FUN-FACT!
Lunar eclipses are the greatest terror for any faithful of the Moonmaiden. These are not the usual time-honored cycles of waxing-and-waning, this is visual proof of the Enemy Shar overwhelming their favored goddess, a clarion call to support and succor.

During such times they rush out en masse, to find the nearest Shaaran and kill them in the name of Embattled Selûne.

In the old days they did this in the belief that the enemy blood spilled in "holy combat" would serve to fortify and strengthen the Moonmaiden in her struggle. Nowadays they know this isn't true, but that the fewer worshipers of a god there are, the weaker that god is so, hey, same result.

True priests of Shar are the target of course – active servitude being preferred ("worth more" in matters of ritual and blood) over regular old observance or acknowledgment – but if a true worshiper is not soon found the moon-mob may just go to the next most prominent target. If the eclipse is a short one, this isn't much of a problem. If it lasts long or is unnatural in nature (the Missing Moon of 1043DR and the Moon-Dark Riots of 1345DR being prime examples) then that may become a bit of an issue, as increasingly frantic Selûnites seek to drag anyone with even a hint of association with the Dark Lady out of their beds.

Interestingly, Lawful or Tyrran governments that are against religious slaughter in general tend to look the other way in these times. Sure the moon-mob may have killed a few tangentially-Shar-related citizens, but overall the Selûnites are good allies. Especially against the horrid things that go bump in the night. And much more fun at parties than those overbearing Baneites or foul-smelling Myrkul-men. Plus, they were obviously "moon-mad" at the time, and everyone knows that that is a real thing, from love to rage to lycanthropism. Can't be helped, really.

==================================================

FAERÛNIAN GRAMMAIRE
A faeries' dozen: thirteen of course, have ye never been told a bed-time tale? Ah, also sometimes nine, though only in older, colder, antemosaic sources. And...and, perhaps seven, though I warn ye against speaking as such, and take no responsibility for what may befall ye after…

Ker-ek!: the famous battle-cry of the bullywug (not to be confused with "Ger-ek!," their equally famous laughing croak)

Thaun-whistle: halfling device which produces much the same shrill RWEEE as does a RW-electric guitar. Mostly a war-whistle designed to be played from concealment, to strike fear into the hearts of enemies, but some recent Hin music has begun to incorporate it as well.

'Wave and flame': Ruathymaar farewell, relating to the proper funerary rites for a warrior (laid in a coracle and set alight and set adrift, into the sea)

==================================================

AGAIN, NONSENSE
"Four Portals to the Garden Lead
Where Elf and Sprite and Fey-Kin Dance

Four Portals far from Settled Men
Through Branch and Wind and Starr'd Expanse

Four Portals sought by Those of Greed
To spacious Halls of Glittered Lees

Four Portals beyond Mortal Ken
Under Silver-topp'd Moon Lit Trees"

        – Augathra the Mad
        "The Prophecy of the Portals" (apocryphal title, first applied during the Seventh Council of the Black Emendations, 1074DR, now commonly accepted)
        Pages 221 and 222 of The Book of the Black

AJA Posted - 09 Oct 2021 : 18:38:36

A bit of housekeeping; the remainder of the "minor published NPCs" list


Andlazara [ Source: Volo's Guide to the Sword Coast, p.136. Name/Description given ]

Bormor Ruldegost [ Source: Eric L. Boyd, Mages & Sages 07/30/21 Twitch stream <twitch.tv/videos/1103332783>. Name/Description given ]

Bormor II Ruldegost [ Source: Eric L. Boyd, Mages & Sages 07/30/21 Twitch stream <twitch.tv/videos/1103332783>. Name/Description given ]

Glorarra Summermantle [ Source: A 09/27/21 Twitter reply to @TheEdVerse by Ed Greenwood. Name/Description given ]

Glorindel [ Source: "Picture This: Many Magical Paintings," Nigel D. Findley, Dragon Magazine #179, p.13-14. Name/Description given ]

Glormae Indranth [ Source: A 09/27/21 Twitter reply to @TheEdVerse by Ed Greenwood. Name/Description given ]

The Hanging Tree of Ravencourt [ Source: Realms By Night, Part Three: The Magistree <archive.wizards.com/forgottenrealms/DnD_RBN_003.asp>. Name/Description given ]

Imber Felhaur [ Source: A 09/21/21 Twitter reply to @TheEdVerse by Ed Greenwood. Name/Description given ]

Iylas Phindrel [ Source: A 09/27/21 Twitter reply to @TheEdVerse by Ed Greenwood. Name/Description given ]

"Lady Mask" [ Source: A 05/09/21 Twitter reply to @TheEdVerse by Ed Greenwood. Name/Description given ]

Rognor Gost (Ruldegost) [ Source: Eric L. Boyd, Mages & Sages 07/30/21 Twitch stream <twitch.tv/videos/1103332783>. Name/Description given ]

Taszeana Sultlue [ Source: Ed Greenwood Presents: Elminter's Forgotten Realms, p.130. Name/Description given ]

Thraea [ Source: A 09/14/21 Twitter reply to @TheEdVerse by Ed Greenwood. Name/Description given ]

Yunth Hothemer [ Source: City of Splendors: Who's Who In Waterdeep, p.92. Name/Description given ]

Yvvik Chourm [ Source: Realms By Night, Part Seven: Kahla the Ghost of Heroes' Garden <archive.wizards.com/forgottenrealms/DnD_RBN_007.asp>. Name/Description Given ]

sleyvas Posted - 06 Oct 2021 : 18:21:45
quote:
Originally posted by AJA

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas
But the '80's you say? I recall that to be around 1373.

Quite possibly. There was a lot of this peculiar white powder floating around in the air back then. Made everyone's memories a bit unreliable. "Nothing within these pages is false, but not all of it may prove to be true" and all that. A plot by the Thayans, some say. Or just ol' Eldath, having a good laugh. Anyhow, better don't trust any history or narrative past, say, mid-1370's. Just common sense.
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas
For instance, Hael and OOTS (the proper spelling by the way), some say that they were taught by an otherworldly bard of great reknown, who was believed to be an Elan, and Hael may even be his son, named after Hael's mother.

Well done!





The blueweave ghost nodded her head in understanding at the statements of being unable to trust history

Yes, I've heard from some that with the resurrection of Amaunator's sun in the early 1370's, and thus the resurrection of a second god of time, that numerous "timelines" have burst off around 1374..... though what exactly a "timeline" is is something I've yet to get an answer for since we all know that there is only one plane of time associated to a crystal sphere of the prime according to Chronomantic principles. One would think that they were trying to say that something started happening to the realmspace crystal sphere around that time, but by Deneir's Glyphs, I don't know what they believe. Some even say that Deneir died when the spellplague occurred and the Great Glyphs the shell of the sphere changed, but I know I heard his voice when I awoke from the blue fire that sucked me into the weave onto Abeir.

In fact, there are those, who say that the Snarl, sung of by Hael and OOTS in their song Sunderings of Wonderings, may be the source of these calamities. Its believed that only the Hilt of Many Colors attached to the Blade of Thickened Plots wielded by the Man of the Woodland Green can truly stop it. But, what do I know... I serve Deneir, and through him Lady Mystra, just as my companions, Lorey Hisstory and the Red Book of Spell Strategy, serve Auppenser and the Red Knight.... and we have not the sight of the gods, but only those glimpses that they allow us.
AJA Posted - 06 Oct 2021 : 02:17:35

"I am glad you are here with me. Here at the end of all things, Candlekeep."
– J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King [ citation needed ]

Well, not like, for real THE END, but lets be honest, we've been scraping that barrel of "yes, this author here or that adventuring group there are kinda interesting, but so were the thirty-four before them" for awhile now.

Entries will continue every so often as I make effort to finish out the list (we're getting down into things that need more of an IMC explanation than an entry, and I'm not really a fan of those) and dredge old notes (and thunk up new ones!), so there is that ... just enough to avoid calling it 'officially done' and having to bother with compiling and formatting and .pdfs'ing it into a finished product.


Other than that, it's Candlekeep's problem now, and I officially stick Alaundo with the bill for maintaining it and Wooly with the responsibility for moderating it so, Hah! Suckers!



AJA Posted - 06 Oct 2021 : 02:11:10

Aleena Paladinstar (LG HF Aris6/W9)
A tall (tall enough that she once wore her father's armor and decieved people into thinking him present by aping his stride and movements), striking woman with a reclusive, thoughtful nature and a brow that is frequently furrowed in thought. Sole child of the Open Lord Piergeiron (whose finely chiseled features and bright, unflinching olive green eyes she inherited) and his late wife, Maethiira (who gifted her with curly auburn locks and an unmistakable sense of grace and poise). Aleena is every bit her father's daughter, headstrong and adventurous yet highly intelligent and educated. She acted as Khelben's agent for awhile (which led to her joining both the Knights Errant adventurers and Force Grey, as the cloaked Anaskurl, or "Lady Raven"), but now keeps her distance from the scheming archmage. Aleena is rarely to be found in Waterdeep these days as she has taken to travelling across Faerûn, attending various courts and gatherings of the powerful, and studying at centers of learning. In this manner she acts as a "goodwill envoy" for the city, and manages to gain quite a bit of information to pass back along to her father. It is commonly believed that Piergeiron is grooming Aleena to someday take a place (his place) among the ranks of the Ruling Lords of the City. [ Source: City of Splendors: Who's Who in Waterdeep, p.80. Name/Description given. Additional detail by me. ]

Dannil Balambar (LG HM Pal10 of Helm)
A great bear of a man, with a riotous handlebar moustache holding up a nose that had been violently broken more than once during his adventuring career. Member of the Knights Errant adventuring company. A product of one of Waterdeep's overcrowded orphanages. Dedicated his life to protecting the weak and helpless, especially fellow orphans, whom he habitually gathered around him. Was overly friendly with a number of Tcharess Brandeth's "Merry Bold Maidens," which earned him more than one rapier-thrust to his backside from the half-elven swordswoman. A goodhearted soul who never took himself too seriously, loved drinking and feasting and the telling of tall tales, yet was steadfastly loyal and was never known to have abandoned a promise nor foresworn an oath.
        Rescued the bullyblade Per Dayan from the streets, making him his squire for a time. The latter eventually came under the tutelage of the elven rogue Vespaeren and renounced his squireship (which crushed the paladin, who regarded Per as a "little brother," though he never disclosed his true feelings on the matter). Dannil later adopted Darnos the Axe, another young Waterdhavian malcontent, as his new squire.
        Wielder of the intelligent (and righteously vociferous) broadsword Asûnedra Bold Clamor ("fly to a brother's aid whoever they may be, exhort those who goeth astray, raise them that falleth, never bear malice or enmity toward thy brother") and the (thankfully quiet) three-headed morningstar Helm's Hydra. Died fighting the heretic Helmites of the Griffon Hammer Banner in Amn.

Darnos the Axe (CN HM F5)
A rather unattractive, squat and muscular man. Thought to have orcish blood somewhere in his ancestry. Darnos grew up in the poorer sections of Dock Ward and was leader of a group of street toughs (the Headsmen), until he challenged Dannil, a member of the Knights Errant adventuring company, to combat, and lost. The paladin, still wounded over being rejected by his first squire, picked Darnos up by the scruff of the neck (all 5'7, 220 pounds of him) and set about transforming the bullyblade into his new squire, and a respectable member of society. While he never quite accomplished those goals (from that point on, Dannil and Darnos fought each other far more than any foes the Knights encountered), Dannil did manage to civilize the young Axe (short for "The Tyrannical AND Titannical Bloody-Axe of Blackcobbles," as Darnos used to boast), until the pair met their end fighting the heretic Helmites of the Griffon Hammer Banner in Amn.

Jorynn "Lady's Luck" Halstaff (CG HM T2/P13 of Tymora)
One of the fastest-rising stars in the Tymoran hierarchy (where he holds the title of "Wandering Fortune of the Goddess"). Jorynn is a true believer in the Lady of Fair Chance; brash, good-humored, defiant and utterly fearless. He has already died three times following "The Lady's Way" to a fault, and shows no signs of slowing down yet. Possessed of short, unruly hair, shining eyes, and a toothy grin. Jorynn's adventuring career began early on when his elder brother, who had inherited their Moonshaen estate, returned from inspecting the herds one evening to find Jorynn engaged with his wife. Swiftly boarding a merchant caravel travelling to the mainland, Jorynn became one of the founding members of the Knights Errant adventurers. Now that the Knights have largely disbanded, Jorynn travels the North, doing the bidding of Tymora and Her church. When in Waterdeep, he can frequently be found in the company of the ladies Corinna Dezlentyr and Kyriani of Selûne, and the Hin adventurer Dimvel Stoutkeg. Rides the chestnut mare Merrylegs. Wielder of The Beljuril Blade and the Ebony Mace of Icerim.

Per Dayan (N HM F6)
A swordsman of sardonic temper and grim humor. Medium height, thin, wiry build. Mop of dark black hair, large sideburns, surprisingly youthful face. Wears a variety of bracers, ornamental bands and leather wraps on his forearms, to cover extensive scars, burns and acid damage. Once the squire of the paladin Dannil Balambar, spurned him for the tutelage of the elven rogue Vespaeren. He is extremely deadly with knives and daggers and other small-bladed weapons. A former henchman of the Knights Errant adventuring company.

AJA Posted - 06 Oct 2021 : 02:08:28
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas
But the '80's you say? I recall that to be around 1373.

Quite possibly. There was a lot of this peculiar white powder floating around in the air back then. Made everyone's memories a bit unreliable. "Nothing within these pages is false, but not all of it may prove to be true" and all that. A plot by the Thayans, some say. Or just ol' Eldath, having a good laugh. Anyhow, better don't trust any history or narrative past, say, mid-1370's. Just common sense.
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas
For instance, Hael and OOTS (the proper spelling by the way), some say that they were taught by an otherworldly bard of great reknown, who was believed to be an Elan, and Hael may even be his son, named after Hael's mother.

Well done!

sleyvas Posted - 30 Sep 2021 : 13:12:35
quote:
Originally posted by AJA

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas
Wasn't Eskra the Never-Satisfied that bard the ended up married to Askrig the Ever-Giving, a noted manager of High Coin Lasses in Neverwinter?

Ah! You know of her? Excellent!

So then, let us recap: Eskra was the nom-de-plume of a rotund, outspoken, rowdy female dwarf whose close friends and lovers knew her by her given name of Dorutha (often shortened to 'Dorra' or 'Ruthie'). She crafted the persona of "Eskra the Never-Satisfied" as both public alias and wish-fulfilling alter-ego (and one in which she did, indeed, achieve satisfaction). She was also known to use the pseudonym of 'Valausk' when she wrote poetry for the journals of the Order of the Lambent Tongues (a local gathering of Selûnite scribes and bards: "graceful fire and expressive vehemence," as described by the Order elder Tuirlaugh "Old Ink"), and also when she wrote paid lyrics for local bardic fellowships*. She was never known to have given out her clan-name, and in necessary social situations would use the common dwarven generics of 'Ironhammer' or 'Farhall' instead. To anyone inquiring if her appellation survived her post-marriage years, her standard response was a very droll, "dearie, never say never."

Eskra outlasted not only the fellowship that took inspiration from her, but both of their later emulators (The Company of Wine-Dancers and The Fellowship of Feared-Goings**). She eventually met her death, hip-deep in a ballroom awash in buttercream-and-flamefruit cake, at the birthday party of a Wavesilver noble, swinging both wine bottles and halfling wait-staff around by the neck and laughing at the top of her considerable lungs. Brought down three of the Thayan redrobes arrayed against her (one of whom enlarged the already-towering name-day presentation of pastry and frosting, and another of whom had hidden a pair of shrunken, obedient abishai within), and died, with a smile on her face at least.


* You've probably heard the popular 80's(DR) ballad "Neveren Boys and 'Dhavian Girls" by the Xoblob Shop Boys (which, despite common rumor, was not a reference to her marriage to Askrig). Or the evergreen festhall standards of the spellsinger duo Hael and Ootes (specifically, "I Can't Roll For That (No Can Do)" and "Out of Touch Range").


** Who were individually inspired by too much wine indeed, and by the following passage;
"Those too near night
Have eyes on feared-goings
Those who dread the night
Set blades on blood-flowings"

(just the sort of stuff angsty young Waterdhavians adore, really)





a blue ghostly female wielding a staff whose top was a candle with an eye in it's base fades into view.

Wait... she wrote "Neveren Boys and 'Dhavian Girls"? I must say I loved the beat to that, and the vocals of the bard were wonderful. I acted a bit like a kid in dancing about the house, pregnant as I was with the twins at the time. Life was good then, as I worked as the secret editor of the "Waterdhavian Herald", one of numerous rags
of the same name which spread the city's gossip at the time. I must admit to being infatuated for a few weeks, such that I went down to the Xoblob shop in hopes of meeting them, only to find out they no longer worked there. I did buy a cat there that was in a cage out of pity, only to discover that it was a Paka. Ah, but those were good times, when I thought myself a detective, and before I ventured into the sewers to chase down the mystery of where Mirt had disappeared to.

But the '80's you say? I recall that to be around 1373. Maybe you mean when they became so much more popular with the song outside of Waterdeep? I must admit, at that time, in my late twenties, I had a thing for singers. My heartbond at the time was a song mage, who I believed at the time to be trying to be mysterious by saying he came from another world, only to find out when I met his father, the exiled Thayan bounty hunter Sleyvas, that it had in fact been true.

In fact, did you know that a lot of the singers you mention are extraplanar? For instance, Hael and OOTS (the proper spelling by the way), some say that they were taught by an otherworldly bard of great reknown, who was believed to be an Elan, and Hael may even be his son, named after Hael's mother.

Lady Jillian Doncastle of Neverwinter
AJA Posted - 30 Sep 2021 : 00:43:08
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas
Wasn't Eskra the Never-Satisfied that bard the ended up married to Askrig the Ever-Giving, a noted manager of High Coin Lasses in Neverwinter?

Ah! You know of her? Excellent!

So then, let us recap: Eskra was the nom-de-plume of a rotund, outspoken, rowdy female dwarf whose close friends and lovers knew her by her given name of Dorutha (often shortened to 'Dorra' or 'Ruthie'). She crafted the persona of "Eskra the Never-Satisfied" as both public alias and wish-fulfilling alter-ego (and one in which she did, indeed, achieve satisfaction). She was also known to use the pseudonym of 'Valausk' when she wrote poetry for the journals of the Order of the Lambent Tongues (a local gathering of Selûnite scribes and bards: "graceful fire and expressive vehemence," as described by the Order elder Tuirlaugh "Old Ink"), and also when she wrote paid lyrics for local bardic fellowships*. She was never known to have given out her clan-name, and in necessary social situations would use the common dwarven generics of 'Ironhammer' or 'Farhall' instead. To anyone inquiring if her appellation survived her post-marriage years, her standard response was a very droll, "dearie, never say never."

Eskra outlasted not only the fellowship that took inspiration from her, but both of their later emulators (The Company of Wine-Dancers and The Fellowship of Feared-Goings**). She eventually met her death, hip-deep in a ballroom awash in buttercream-and-flamefruit cake, at the birthday party of a Wavesilver noble, swinging both wine bottles and halfling wait-staff around by the neck and laughing at the top of her considerable lungs. Brought down three of the Thayan redrobes arrayed against her (one of whom enlarged the already-towering name-day presentation of pastry and frosting, and another of whom had hidden a pair of shrunken, obedient abishai within), and died, with a smile on her face at least.


* You've probably heard the popular 80's(DR) ballad "Neveren Boys and 'Dhavian Girls" by the Xoblob Shop Boys (which, despite common rumor, was not a reference to her marriage to Askrig). Or the evergreen festhall standards of the spellsinger duo Hael and Ootes (specifically, "I Can't Roll For That (No Can Do)" and "Out of Touch Range").


** Who were individually inspired by too much wine indeed, and by the following passage;
"Those too near night
Have eyes on feared-goings
Those who dread the night
Set blades on blood-flowings"

(just the sort of stuff angsty young Waterdhavians adore, really)

sleyvas Posted - 19 Sep 2021 : 02:33:38
quote:
Originally posted by AJA

The Company of Wine and Dancing Girls
Local fellowship of bored nobles and wastrel sons. Lurk menacingly in festhalls and darkened alleys, swash their buckles and blades upon many up-Ward tavern tables, and have recently begun to lower themselves from the Yawning Portal into the first few chambers of the Undermountain (which is where later blade-fellowships will most likely encounter their foolish corpses). Named after the lurid memoir, In The Company of Wine and Dancing Girls, penned by Eskra the Never-Satisfied, whom they have taken as a sort of patron saint.
        Led by the bladesinger Belzoun Malask, self-titled "Singer of Satisfactions and Stabbings"; notable members include the well-tutored warriors Yethrel Wavesilver and Aeldren Stormweather, and the quiet, no-nonsense invoker, Merrimul Phul.




Wasn't Eskra the Never-Satisfied that bard the ended up married to Askrig the Ever-Giving, a noted manager of High Coin Lasses in Neverwinter?
AJA Posted - 19 Sep 2021 : 00:42:12

Auskerl
The Spenglid Spear. A rather new martialist at the Field of Triumph. Unnaturally tall (standing near seven-foot), rail-thin and long-limbed. Pale-skinned and -haired, watery blue eyes. Wild blonde beard. Field criers trumpet his parentage as "the frost-spirits of the Frozen Northern Wastes." Favors spear, glaive and weighted net, weapons that take advantage of his agileness and long reach.

The Company of Wine and Dancing Girls
Local fellowship of bored nobles and wastrel sons. Lurk menacingly in festhalls and darkened alleys, swash their buckles and blades upon many up-Ward tavern tables, and have recently begun to lower themselves from the Yawning Portal into the first few chambers of the Undermountain (which is where later blade-fellowships will most likely encounter their foolish corpses). Named after the lurid memoir, In The Company of Wine and Dancing Girls, penned by Eskra the Never-Satisfied, whom they have taken as a sort of patron saint.
        Led by the bladesinger Belzoun Malask, self-titled "Singer of Satisfactions and Stabbings"; notable members include the well-tutored warriors Yethrel Wavesilver and Aeldren Stormweather, and the quiet, no-nonsense invoker, Merrimul Phul.

Denby "Dapper Den" Wilderapple
A charismatic, engaging, and endlessly creative halfling. As well-dressed as his nickname might imply. Sole heir to the honey-and-meads empire of Over-Sweet Manors ("pleasantries from the green lands of wave and leaf", vast Hin mercantile holdings in the Purple Hills of Tethyr). Took his family fortunes and absconded to Waterdeep to build Candletop Scriptorium, his broad Trades Ward attic workshop, where he enlisted the middling talents of a legion of apprentice scribes and largely-untrained type-setters and block-carvers to set to print his vision of a chap-book empire; endless "dreadful coppers" with lurid titles such as The Man In High Boots, The Moonlight Sleeps White, The Ever-Seeking Hand, In A Silvered Sleep, A Long And Lonely Sea, O Death A-Tremble, With A Sudden Flame, The Demon With Red-Shod Feet, and The Purple-Robed Moon.
        While he was quite a success in terms of inspiring the myriad of dreadful coppers and fantasticals and truthdelver chap-book publishers that infest Waterdeep today, his passions far outstripped his finances and in 1344DR he hung himself, naked, in a shoe-and-boot closet (although it should also be noted that it was whispered in certain circles that he owed "a few many-hundred" to the Lord Serpent, one of Waterdeep's notorious "under-lords"). It was also discovered after his passing that he was owner of The Patched-Work Quilt, which was equal parts song of celestial accompaniment and crystal hypnosis ball, a Thing of Lliira and Deneir, a vampiric engine of inspiration and merriment and artistic madness. The Quilt disappeared soon after this discovery, taken away by unknown hands (and is currently highly sought-after by agents of the lesser god Finder, who would pay handsomely for any information of its whereabouts).

Iron-Eye, The Throat of Fire
An enchanted siege weapon of blood and flame the orcs liked so much, they took to worshiping (this behavior is likely encouraged by either Talos or Tempus – someone is collecting those prayers; this would seem similar to Fire-Crake, a comparable ancient construct the orcs of the Stonelands dug out of the sands of the Netherese Desolation, near to fallen Anauria). An engine of fiendish device, iron and blackened brass, fashioned into wicked angles and cruel hungers. Long in use by the orcs of the High Moor in their endless battles against the encroaching realms of the Sword Coast, later recovered by the forces of the Citadel of Many-Arrows, who used it to similar ends. The sooty wretches who man it and load it with hardstone and heavy magic are mostly captured slaves overseen by whip and club; while the orcs who give Ol' Iron-Eye devotions are appreciative of it, they are by no means fools to its' rapid wheezing, choking, and soul-draining effects.

The Merry Lantern-Flames
Local adventuring trio, bound together by the shared trauma of the death of most of their original company (of the same name) at the soul-freezing clutches of sea-swollen ghouls in the catacombs deep under Risen Olcheoth, which clawed its' way up from the storm-darkened waves of the Sea of Swords, fashioned of wet pebble and shell and seaweed once fastened to the rocks below and animated by a singular, malicious purpose.
        In their surviving incarnation they are Narran Blackbramble (halfling Planetouched [D'hin'ni] sneak-blade; bright-eyed and rosy-cheeked; keeps his head shaved and his tongue liberally oiled with whatever alcoholic libations are at hand); Llaeril Oddsbear (Uthgardt warlock; as she lay on an icy ledge below the Ever-Mounting Stair, her lifesblood flowing out, she swore a blood oath to Nammarnaera the Unquelled, a great primal Lady of the wild North, who granted her succor and fearsome powers; formerly a warrior of the Black Raven clan); and Ilnavé Wyrmfrost (gnomish priestess of Garl Glittergold [ of a sort – speaks of the prosperities of Garl and the self-improvements that come about, and are rewarded, through it ]; vain, superior, condescending; regards dungeon-delving as the only true path to self-enrichment, both of the monetary and spiritual kind).
[ Note: For info on d'hin'ni, see "Legacies of Ancient Empires: Planetouched of Faerûn," Eric L. Boyd, Dragon Magazine #350 ]


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