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Arivia Posted - 04 Feb 2006 : 12:58:37
Are there any other sources on this secretive group besides LEoF, Pages From The Mages/DM's Sourcebook To The Realms, and the tiny blurb in CoV? I could swear there was something in Waterdeep and the North, but if there is, I haven't been able to find it.
23   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
George Krashos Posted - 27 Jan 2013 : 01:43:21
Ed never passed on stats for the Four Founders. He did however provide a write-up of Agannazar, which I repeat here for the sake of convenience:

Agannazar had shoulder-length blond hair, with “daggerboard” sideburns (“the Elvis look”) and a high forehead. Beaky nose, bushy blond eyebrows, piercing emerald eyes (and I mean PIERCING: glare like laser beams, and had a habit of whirling around to fix people with stares), testy manner, sharp voice. Tended to be restlessly alert (“hyper” is how many modern real-world folk would describe him), but not a gabbler: usually silent unless spoken to. Strode forward purposefully, head forward (the “vulture stalk,” some who saw him at MageFairs called it).

Tended to dress in deep red cloaks, over red or purple silk shirts, breeches and boots (NEVER robes unless “dressed up” to attend a nobles’ revel or attend a royal court). Body covered with a thick pelt of fine yellow hair, but face always clean-shaven.

Frowned all the time; when thinking, often spread the fingers of one hand out like a spider, planted them on a tabletop or windowsill, and bent over to stare down at them, standing or sitting immobile for long periods. Tended to hum (and say “umm-hmm” deep in his throat) when contented, never whistled. Tuneless singer and knew it, so avoided singing. Vain; didn’t like to be embarrassed.

When I called him “testy,” I meant: didn’t suffer fools gladly, didn’t like to have folk disagree with his opinions or judgements, or question his decisions or deeds (however, he held opinions only on matters he’d seen and thought about, mainly magical; he wasn’t a windbag or know-it-all, and detested mages and priests who were).

A loner, whose dealings with the opposite gender were few and of this manner: liked to watch nude dancers (usually in clubs or “higher-class” taverns where patrons were not encouraged to call out comments, throw coins, or otherwise intrude on performances). If the dancers were beautiful elves or half-elves, Agannazar could watch for long periods, and “watching was enough.” If the dancers were human, he usually, after watching for some time, paid for a room and a lass to share it with, but insisted the room be utterly dark and the woman blindfolded and a passive participant; he would tip handsomely and make love vigorously, but never utter a word.

Agannazar traveled widely, created about two dozen spells (most of them concerned with fire effects, and most of them refinements of other, older enchantments), often “hired on” for short periods as a guard-mage with costers or wealthy merchant families, avoided shady dealings and seldom went adventuring, and liked to cook exotic dishes, doodle swift caricatures (from memory, later, not as taunting “performance art” face-to-face) of persons he met and disliked. He was intensely interested in what other wizards were up to, and often paid informants (such as the apprentices of other mages, out drinking) to “tell him the latest.”

So saith Ed. Who spun this up in about two minutes from what he remembered of Agannazar when he roleplayed that mage (and described him to we Knights) when we “saw” Agannazar in a spell that had “recorded” three-dimensional images, with sound, of persons who in the past had cast magic in the room the spell was in. In other words, the room now held a series of short “movies” that could be played back repeatedly for viewing by someone who knew how to call on this spell.

-- George Krashos

The Masked Mage Posted - 26 Jan 2013 : 23:14:56
Lovin' that George... any chance you have stats on them, (I think in 2nd Ed so don't hurt my brain with new fangled modern ones that don't make sense to me :P).
George Krashos Posted - 26 Dec 2012 : 22:17:02
Glad it was useful.

-- George Krashos
MalariaMoon Posted - 26 Dec 2012 : 11:45:58
I've also been searching for lore on the Covenant, so this is gold!
Markustay Posted - 30 Nov 2012 : 05:18:01
Ah, I dimly remember asking Ed a question about that (the two different 'Orcgates' in canon) some time ago. Thanks for reminding me.

Leave it to the Red Wizards to go and steal someone elses Orc Horde.

As for Thulnath's Eyes, the name is on the FRIA map (in the right spot), but there are no islands illustrated there, which is why I was a bit confused. I just added a few small islands in that spot. I try not to "just make stuff up" on a map I consider canon, but since there are supposed to be tiny islands there, and we have no canon picture of what they look like, I took the liberty. They are rather tiny and innocuous so it doesn't really upset anything.

I'd rather not bother Eric... he's probably mad at me for abandoning his project (its my ADD - I can't stick with anything for very long).
George Krashos Posted - 29 Nov 2012 : 23:30:40
This hasn't been trumped. The Great Rising of the Orcgates isn't the same as the Orcgate that was opened in Mulhorand. Different event, and first mentioned in Ed's "Prayers From the Faithful" (which still contains about 60 or so realsmlore hooks just dangling for the masses - awesome work).

As for Thulnath's Eyes, you should mosey on to Eric Boyd's thread and ask there. He did have some lore on the place as I (and my hard drive) recall ...

-- George Krashos
Markustay Posted - 29 Nov 2012 : 19:30:34
*** BUMP ***

I was looking for info on Thulnath's Eyes and came across this old thread, and thought it just too damn good to disappear into the aethers.

How much of George's lore has been trumped by newer lore? Isn't it canon (now) that the Orcgate Horde(s) came from another world?

Irregardless, this 'fan work' is just the type of old-school lore FR really needs these days.
sleyvas Posted - 14 Feb 2006 : 14:39:50
Of course, but then again what information do we have from this era... and there's no impending drive for WoTC to develop such for the handful of us that would just die for it. Plus, sometimes Fan Lore is the best.
George Krashos Posted - 14 Feb 2006 : 00:13:01
Keep in mind that these are my own musings and nothing that could be reckoned as anything like "canon" realmslore. But I thought it was a neat aside and believable in the framework of the development of Thay as a nation and society.

-- George Krashos
sleyvas Posted - 13 Feb 2006 : 16:53:38
Hmmm, I really like the part where the covenant got into a war of attrition with the red wizards in the years just following the Battle of Thazalhar (but prior to the Zulkir concept being formed), and that it was this that made them forge a pact to work together instead of chaotically. Since that's the era that I was looking to write about (for fun, if I can ever get off EQ2), this could be some nice backdrop.
Asgetrion Posted - 13 Feb 2006 : 01:06:37
Exactly. In one of our campaigns we actually bumped into some lore about the Covenant. That campaign's DM has converted the 'Age of Worms'-adventure path to Loudwater, and used Ildur, the innkeeper of the Nighthunt Inn, as one of their former associates (I do not know how much the DM knows about the Covenant's actual history, or perhaps Ildur is far more older than he appears to be ;)

George Krashos Posted - 08 Feb 2006 : 23:27:49
Thanks for the kind words Asgetrion. It's a nice little bit of history IMHO, and leaves open a huge number of campaign possibilities.

-- George Krashos
Asgetrion Posted - 08 Feb 2006 : 09:41:23
George - wonderful stuff about the Covenant Just inspirational - left me almost speechless after I read it
George Krashos Posted - 06 Feb 2006 : 23:08:41
Grimwald of the Covenant is not the same as Grimwald of Tilverton and may or may not be the creator of the magic items known as "Grimwald's Dagger" (DRAGON magazine article by Ed). Grimwald seems to be a pretty common name.

-- George Krashos
Vvornth Posted - 06 Feb 2006 : 21:46:01
Their subtlety is somewhat along the lines of the Twisted Rune's it seems to me. IT would be interesting to see mroe of this group/cabal. The Realms have far too few good aligned secret societies that actually take the secret part to heart.
Arivia Posted - 06 Feb 2006 : 09:54:21
Originally posted by tauster

is the mentioned grimwald identical with the one after whom a tavern (thieves guild) in pre-destruction tilverton was named?

I don't know---the deeds listed for that Grimwald seem quite at odds with the neutral good alignment suggested for the Covenant in Pages from the Mages and the DM's Sourcebook To The Realms.
tauster Posted - 06 Feb 2006 : 09:27:12
is the mentioned grimwald identical with the one after whom a tavern (thieves guild) in pre-destruction tilverton was named?
George Krashos Posted - 05 Feb 2006 : 23:14:36
I thought about writing up the Covenant in "Cloak & Dagger" format for a Dragon submission years ago and made a start (which provided much of the stuff re-quoted by Sage above) using notes from Ed (which I changed here and there to suit the greater whole of the history of the North) and bouncing ideas off Eric Boyd (who had half a Dungeon submission on the very same subject years ago also ...). Eric has tried to sneak Covenant lore into LEoF and CoS:W (the latter with some success) but the crunchy stuff (a feat and other bits and pieces) always drops off the table. Similarly, the background material provided by Ed on the Four Founders never seems to make the cut either. I actually had high hopes that the Covenant would be featured in detail in CoV but that wasn't to be (and I was happier to see the Impiltur stuff anyway), so this very secretive cabal of mages remains exactly that - for now.

-- George Krashos
Arivia Posted - 04 Feb 2006 : 16:41:16
Originally posted by The Sage
[Stuff from George]

Wonderful, wonderful. I'm afraid at this rate, I'll break LEoF from the sheer weight of stuff I have shoved into it. Thanks.
The Sage Posted - 04 Feb 2006 : 15:58:38
As for references to the Covenant in WatN... a quick scan through the PDF revealed nothing.
The Sage Posted - 04 Feb 2006 : 15:56:30
Originally posted by Arivia

Are there any other sources on this secretive group besides LEoF, Pages From The Mages/DM's Sourcebook To The Realms, and the tiny blurb in CoV? I could swear there was something in Waterdeep and the North, but if there is, I haven't been able to find it.

Actually, George provided us with some great Covenant info on the WotC boards back in September of last year -

"The Covenant was formed in 673 DR when the four most powerful (of their time) mages of the North came together in common purpose to safeguard the future of human settlement in the North. The Four Founders, as they are known, had all suffered at the hands of orcs. The mages Agannazar and Grimwald had suffered loss in the depredations of the Everhorde around Neverwinter in 611 DR. Their fellow archmage Ilyykur, had seen his holdings in the Greypeak Mountains plundered by the Horde of the Wastes in 614 DR. Similarly, the mage Presper had lost his wife and daughter to roving orc raiders in 624 DR.

When the last ruler of the Kingdom of Man died without an heir in the Year of the Triton’s Horn (697 DR), the land of Delimbiyran splintered into a patchwork of small realms. These small holdings were scattered throughout the Dessarin Valley and formed around surviving nobles of Delimbiyran and other strong individuals who seized the chance to carve out a kingdom with their sword. The slaughter inflicted on the orcs of the North by their pyrrhic victories over Phalorm and the Kingdom of Man, had afforded the small realms and holdings that formed in the wake of Delimbiyran an opportunity to prepare and guard against the inevitable time when the orcs would come again. The leaders of the Covenant recognized that human civilization needed time to build its power and prosperity against the next destructive tide of goblinkin and saw its salvation in the orc-hating, Uthgardt tribes of the North.
In the Year of Watchful Eyes (705 DR), Argloar and Ultatht “Oldbones”, then the chieftains of the Black Lion and Sky Pony tribes respectively, were awed by the spectacular spells of Agannazar of the Covenant. With his Art, he single-handedly destroyed an onrushing orc horde that streamed forth from the Lurkwood, although in truth he was joined in battle by over a score Covenant mages who were cloaked by invisibility. These two proud Uthgardt were cowed by the display and agreed to refrain from raiding, feuding, and skirmishing with each other as was customary amongst the Uthgardt. In the past, such conflict had drained away their best warrior blood, leaving their tribes too weak to prevent the next orc horde from flooding across the North in yet another destructive tide. With one alliance secured, the Covenant worked to forge others.

From that time, the mages of the Covenant whispered almost continuously into the minds of the mightiest warriors and shamans of the Black Lion, Sky Pony, Red Tiger and Thunderbeast Uthgardt tribes. Through their Art they manipulated a peace and alliance between the oft-warring tribes aimed at making them, in the words of Agannazar, a “human wall against all goblinkin”. Their efforts were soon to be rewarded. This alliance of Uthgardt tribes is known to have shattered and blunted a whelming horde near the headwaters of the Surbrin in 729 DR, and was responsible for the hunting down and slaying of no less than two-score orcish chieftains in the early 700s DR.

After this time, the mages of the Covenant no longer used spectacular spells to awe and cow the Uthgardt tribesmen and spoke less and less often into the minds of their leaders. Instead, they turned to towards the founding of a “school for shamans” that they hoped their apprentices would carry on, posing as ancestor spirits and guiding the Uthgardt shamans into keeping their tribes allied in common purpose against the orcs and their kin. Initially, this plan of controlling the Uthgardt through their shamans seemed to work well and freed the Covenant mages to pursue their own ends via different methods. The passing of the years however saw cracks emerge in the tribal alliances that had served so well to keep the goblinkin in check. Firstly, the role of bulwark against the humanoid hordes began to place a great strain on the manpower of the tribes. The Goblin Wars that commenced in the Year of Strife (753 DR) saw the warriors of the Red Tiger and Thunderbeast tribes almost decimated by the goblin hordes that streamed out of the Valley of Khedrun. The Black Lion and Sky Pony tribes fared better but still suffered greatly from orc bands that would raid almost continuously south from the Moonwood and Lurkwood. With its best warriors falling, and with them the future of the tribes, the Uthgardt alliance began to falter and was soon shattered by the thing it feared most: civilization.

The actions of the Covenant and its manipulation of the Uthgardt had succeeded in giving the humans who had survived the fall of Delimbiyran, the Kingdom of Man, the breathing space to consolidate their power and holdings in the North. Initially hesitant, humans began to believe that the orcs had been defeated forever and soon surged northward to settle new lands. The founding of the city of Mirabar in 626 DR by the aged and wandering Prince Ereskas of Amn attracted many settlers displaced by the fall of Phalorm and proved to all that the inhospitable North could be tamed. In time humans formed other realms, the most famous being Stornanter which was founded in 806 DR by the famed Laeral, the Witch-Queen of the North. The encroachment of human settlement began to unravel the alliance of Uthgardt tribes that the Covenant had so carefully constructed. To the Uthgardt, other humans were just as dangerous as the orcs and altogether more frightening. By the Year of the Patchworked Peace (802 DR) the Uthgardt had returned to their nomadic ways and warred on all who traversed their lands, orcs, goblins or humans, whether Uthgardt or not.

With the collapse of the Uthgardt alliance, the mages of the Covenant began to work with the burgeoning realms of the North in order to unite them against the goblinkin threat. Whilst many holdings and kingdoms paid lip service to the counsel given by Covenant mages, they sought only to use this group to gain an ascendancy over neighbors and enemies. Hamstrung by their refusal to seize power and unite the North by force, the Covenant could find no ruler who had the power, respect and personality to bring the humans of the Northlands together. This was especially so when Laeral, a charismatic and admired leader, mysteriously disappeared in 841 DR leaving her realm in chaos and leading to its swift demise as squabbling nobles and neighboring rivalry tore it apart.

The humans of the North were treated to a rude awakening however in the Year of the Sky Riders (936DR). The orcs of Uruth Ukrypt swept down from their warrens in the Sword Mountains and overran the patchwork of human-ruled lands in the western reaches of the Dessarin Valley. Scared into action, the humans of the region banded together under the leadership of Nimoar of Waterdeep and smashed the orcish armies in the Orcfastings War, helped in no small part by a cadre of battle wizards furnished by the leaders of the Covenant. This alliance led to further cooperation during the Second Troll War in 940 DR. Whereas in the First Troll War in 932 DR Nimoar and the forces of Waterdeep had faced the trolls alone, when Warlord Gharl proclaimed his intention to end the threat of the “everlasting ones” forever, his call to arms did not go unheeded. Forces from Silverymoon under War Captain Aeroth joined with armsmen from Illusk under Lord Galnorn and a host of warriors from other holdings and small realms to fight alongside Gharl on the barren Evermoors and bring fiery doom upon the trolls. It appeared that the humans of the Northlands were finally learning to cooperate and band together against a common foe.

Elated at the response of the kingdoms of the North to the threat of the trolls, the Covenant seized upon the mood of the time to whelm them against the eternal threat of the orcs. When scrying Covenant mages discovered a vast orc horde forming deep within the northern mountains, they alerted the rulers of the North to the impending threat and roused them for battle. And so it was in the Year of the Telltale Candle (955 DR) that a host of human armies joined together north of present-day Triboar at the invitation of the Covenant. Such armed might had not been arrayed since the time of fabled Phalorm and the mages of the Covenant looked on with satisfaction, confident that they were witnessing the dawn of a new age of unity and cooperation throughout the Northlands.

For over a tenday they waited, eager for battle and prepared for the impending slaughter, but the orcs did not come. At first the warriors jested that they had scared the orcs back into their mountain caves, but soon rivalries and age-long fears came to the fore. Who was protecting their homes and farms? Which realm or settlement had sent only a token force whilst planning to usurp the holdings of their rivals? As tempers flared and the orcs failed to march, the Covenant saw its dream die. Their counsel of patience was rebuffed and the Four Founders were accused of supporting some human realms in preference to others. The end came all too soon. Slowly at first, but with increasing swiftness, the humans turned and marched for home in what sages would dub “the March of Fools”. As they trudged away they heaped curses and insults on the “lackspells” of the Covenant who had apparently misled and deceived them.

The events of that dark tenday almost tore the Covenant asunder. Baffled by the failure of the orcish horde to appear, the most powerful wizards of the Covenant searched for answers and their powerful divinations found them many hundreds of leagues to the south. A massive army of orcs was laying waste to half a hundred cities and realms stretching from the Shaar to the plains of Mulhorand in what sages would soon call the Great Rising of the Orcgates. How the orcs had come so far from their mountain caverns in the North was soon revealed. Thayan archmages, fearing for the security of their fledgling nation, had opened a series of portals and lured the orcs through to ravage the South in a pre-emptive strike against their rivals, both near and far. Seeing their carefully laid plans in tatters, many members of the Covenant swore vengeance against the Red Wizards.

Thus began the conflict between the mages of the Covenant and Thay. Secretly at first, but with ever-increasing boldness, the Covenant hunted and slew a host of Red Wizards. Those in power in Thay took several winters to discover who or what was culling their ranks with such singleminded persistence but with the hand of the Covenant revealed, the Red Wizards quickly marshaled all of their Art and hurled it at them. Many mages of the Covenant perished in that first, fell assault including the wizard and senior Covenant member Alamanth. He was slain in battle on a ship off Port Llast, arrogantly sporting a wand of whips he had stripped from a Red Wizard he had slain. The sorceress Phelanshalee was banished from Faerun by a curse that traps her to this day on another plane save when the moon is full. Also destroyed was the senior Covenant mage Karsosh “Steelspell” Linthorn who was vanquished by the fiery breath of the great red wyrm Ondorlathlar, the charmed steed of the powerful Red Wizard Eradis of the Scarlet Talon. Many junior Covenant members and apprentices were also slain in this first savage flurry of spellhurling but both the Covenant and the Red Wizards soon settled into a stalemate of attrition.

The years passed with each side failing to deliver a telling blow despite many spellbattles, ambuscades and even a few formal duels between Covenant mages and their counterpart Red Wizards. It is thought however that the confrontation with the Covenant served as the catalyst for the formation of the Council of Zulkirs in Thay, as this magocracy sought to consolidate and enhance its power and influence. Sages and historians alike have pondered on whether a fragmented and decentralized Thay would have survived its future confrontations with such diverse groups as the Harpers, Rashemen and the sleeping giant of Mulhorand had it not been for the Covenant and the changes they brought about.

The death of Ilyykur in the Year of the Deluded Tyrant (1063DR) saw the balance finally tilt toward the Red Wizards. The mage Ruelve, an archlich and senior Covenant member, had been driven insane after investigating some items of power left behind in his abode, the Green Tower, on a small island southwest of Ruathym. These items, believed to be artifacts from other worlds, had been collected by the planewalking wizard Thulnath, the builder and former owner of the Green Tower. The mad Ruelve began to send magical missives to other Covenant mages urging them to join him in developing spells to raise new continents and flood the current ones, “scouring fair Faerun of the contagion that the passing history of the rise of the brutish have left over the lands”. When challenged by other senior Covenant wizards led by Ilyykur, Ruelve responded with a flurry of spells and the ensuing spellbattle saw the death of Ilyykur and reduced Ruelve to a twisted undead wreck bound within the Green Tower.

As the full fury of the Red Wizards of Thay was brought to bear on the Covenant, Agannazar, Presper and Grimwald were hounded into flight from their abodes and refuges whilst their apprentices and other less powerful Covenant wizards were swiftly overwhelmed. With their membership decimated and scattered, the three remaining leaders of the Covenant commanded that the surviving members go underground and cease all open involvement in the doings of the folk and realms of the North. In addition, Presper and Grimwald resolved to leave Faerun through a series of portals, drawing as many Red Wizards as possible after them into a series of magical traps and ambushes. Agannazar disagreed with this strategy believing that showing such dark mages other worlds to explore, rape the powers of and despoil only allowed them to grow in power and bedevil others. His refusal to flee or hide made him the focus of all Red Wizard assaults and they came for him armed with grim purpose and mighty Art. In the Year of the Disastrous Bauble (1081DR) Agannazar is believed to have gone down fighting in the explosive destruction of the School of Wizadry in Neverwinter. Ere he was torn apart he sent more than a dozen Red Wizards to their dooms including Pharazeen, then the Zulkir of Evocation. Presper and Grimwald departed for other worlds and planes in the Year of the Maelstrom (1101 DR), putting their plan of luring away their foes into action.

With the Four Founders slain or forced to flee, the Covenant disintegrated as many of its members denounced or foreswore their membership. Presper and Grimwald continued to communicate with the few remaining members but over time, the Covenant simply ceased to be. Today, the Covenant is the stuff of legend, however the mage Savengriff has recently returned to the City of Splendors intent upon re-establishing this ultra-secretive cabal of mages. His personal planar explorations brought him into contact with the fugitive founders of the Covenant and Presper and Grimwald tasked him with recruiting like-minded wizards to their cause. His efforts may yet see the Red Wizards of Thay confronted by their age-old enemy in the not too distant future – a conflict which may escalate into the most titanic wizardwar since the ancient days of Netheril and their battles with the sorcerers of Thaeravel.

-- George Krashos"

To which he adds --

"Make sure people know it's 'fan lore' rather than 'creator of the whole dang sandbox' lore."
Arivia Posted - 04 Feb 2006 : 14:11:43
Originally posted by Kajehase

I've found a mention of them in Pages from the Mages III Dragon Magazine December 1984 (before the Old Grey Box!!) and later reprinted in the Forgotten Realms supplement by the same name.

Yep; they've a spellbook in the DM's Sourcebook To The Realms which was updated to 2e in Pages From The Mages.
Kajehase Posted - 04 Feb 2006 : 13:57:15
I've found a mention of them in Pages from the Mages III Dragon Magazine December 1984 (before the Old Grey Box!!) and later reprinted in the Forgotten Realms supplement by the same name.

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