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Gary Dallison Posted - 31 Jan 2020 : 13:12:27
Next up is Cormyr. I don't anticipate I will be altering Cormyr much at all, just cataloguing all the lore in one place and developing a few bits further.

First up was Hermits Wood.
Anyone have any idea who the hermit might be. I was thinking perhaps the ghost of one of the ahast mages or perhaps an aged elf. I think amedahast or thunderahast might have died about the time of azoun II

He doesnt have to be evil, the presence of a ghost should be enough to frighten away most sentient beings.
30   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
pancakewizard Posted - 02 Jan 2023 : 13:25:40
Interesting topic for me this, as I'm currently putting together a Cormyr campaign for DMsguild and I've 'updated' it to 1495DR using as much existing lore as I can.

I'm focused on the newer Cormyr borderlands at the moment around Proskur, the Sunset Mountains and the Gritstone Moorland, but I've got a lot on Redspring and Arabel in the pocket. I can't give much away until published sadly, but here's one thing:

A Grand Tournament Arabellans hold outside their southern walls (near the the Elfskull tavern) to celebrate Midsummer. Events include: a grand melee, jousting, on foot melee contests, archery and side shows. The first prize is a magical diadem said to be blessed by Tymora herself that grants the wearer exceptional luck. It teleports itself back to the city after 1 year to be the next Grand Tournament's prize.

George Krashos Posted - 31 Oct 2022 : 11:50:40
Kathla was born in 898 DR and died in 925 DR. There was no great conspiracy in her death - just her falling afoul of a brigand raid.

-- George Krashos
Gary Dallison Posted - 31 Oct 2022 : 10:39:38
So Princess Kathla (daughter of Galaghard III) killed on the steps of a temple of Helm in Juniril by bandits.

It says in dying she uttered a curse upon the bandits that slew her, and that curse is the reason that the temple has never been restored.

However, the it does not say when the temple was destroyed.

It is possible that Kathla was slain sometime around 900 DR, it may be that Kathla's death precipitated the beginning of the rule of the Witchlords.

We know the final battle against the Witchlords was in 900 DR, and that in the 3 months prior to that battle, King Galaghard III liberated Wheloon, Juniril, and other lands around the Wyvernwater.

So it is possible that Princess Kathla was slain around Juniril before the Witchlords first claimed that land. We know the Witchlords used human troops in battle (and then reanimated them), so its likely they did not rule over a dead land, but used humans until undead proved the better option. The bandits could have slain the princess and then the Witchlords torched the temple.

Does anyone have a date for when the Witchlords first challenged the rule of Cormyr.

Gary Dallison Posted - 31 Oct 2022 : 07:53:57
Page 202 in Volos Guide to Cormyr mentions the Seven Lost Heirs. I'm presuming he is talking about Cormyr.

Never heard this tale before, it is unlikely to be true because the Royal House of Obarskyr has been whittled down to its present roster. But it would be interesting to speculate on who they could be.
Gary Dallison Posted - 29 Oct 2022 : 22:01:59
I've found another Duke of Cormyr. Duke of the West Reaches which was given to the House of Hornshield by King Rhigaerd II for their efforts in combatting the brigands presumably in the Tunland.

So that means Cormyr claimed or had to reclaim the Tunlands sometime after 1286 DR.

Duke is the most powerful title after the royal family. So the Duke of the West Reaches would have been very powerful and if Duke Bhereu is anything to go by a considerable commander of military might (i'm presuming he commanded the troops at High Horn).

Duke Hornshield could have been the Duke Bhereu of his day, a super close friend of Rhigaerd (one of his 20 or so companions during the civil war perhaps) and maybe even a relative.

Regardless, within 15 years Duke Hornshield was dead and his entire noble house extinct, he could have been the last of his line, or someone / something could have targeted him and his family. Varalla was around in Darkhold at that time, and the lich Nyrax, and the black dragons of the swamp, and were wyverns, and all manner of other monsters in the Tunlands.

If Duke Hornshield was off securing the Tunlands, then that means Rhigaerd may have personally put down the Border Raiders in the Stonelands (assuming he did not appoint another Duke after Hornshield's death).
Gary Dallison Posted - 29 Oct 2022 : 21:31:21
Sooo, Wyvernhaunt Keep was used by Gondegal the Usurper.

The only problem is that Wyvernhaunt is located on the Tunlands side of the western Stormhorns.

Gondegal's main base was Arabel and the West Reaches which are two places very far apart.

I can only imagine that the West Reaches was filled with malcontents that declared for Gondegal (probably because they felt ignored so far from Cormyr).

This defection may have been what caused increased patrols of the Tunlands by Cormyr (that and the increased activity in Darkhold.
Gary Dallison Posted - 29 Oct 2022 : 10:04:15
So the Sword Heralds blurb in Volos Guide to Cormyr (pg 228) mentions a mage called Glonder in one of the verses to find a Sword Herald safehold.

Glonder supposedly rode the entirety of Calantar's Way (which runs from Suzail to Arabel) in a single 24 hour period to meet and defeat a dragon.

Now in Stormlight there is mention of a war wizard called Glondar of Hilp, who determined a means of stealing the abilities of others (supposedly gleaned from avatars of Bane and Gargauth).

Now Hilp is located on Calantar's Way and as a war wizard it is likely that Glonder was in Suzail at the time (where a large proportion of war wizards are stationed (compared to elsewhere in Cormyr, especially the high powered ones that can take on a dragon).

Could the two be the same person (a minor spelling mistake perhaps, they do happen - Storm Heralds and Sword Heralds for example).

Musing on some possibilities, why would a War Wizard on his own rush from Suzail to Arabel to take on a dragon. Dragons are not super common in Cormyr and are always considered dangerous, usually requiring a significant mobilisation of military might to fight them.

So if Glonder is Glondar, then presumably he already possesses the ability to steal abilities from others, and so he targets a dragon next to vastly increase his power. He could have been successful and perhaps even become a late addition to the Sword Heralds or tried to steal their powers (his tale would be around the 1000 - 1100 DR range which is about right for the last appearance of the Sword Heralds).

Perhaps the dragon in question was one of the same brood as plagued the Firefall Vale.

I wonder if the book at the beginning of Stormlight was actually Glondar's tome (including his notes on stealing the abilities of others), which would explain how Athlan found out about Glondar and his past.

Just a possibility. They could be entirely separate, but the timing might work together, the geographic locations work for them being the same. The occupations kind of work as Cormyr tends to put all mages in the council of mages or the war wizards (in modern day). And lets face it, anyone that comes into contact with an aspect of Gargauth (being imprisoned means avatar is not possible) is almost certainly going to become corrupted and betray their principles.

Just a thought, they could be separate, but there are enough coincidental similarities to hint at the possibility of them being the same.
Gary Dallison Posted - 29 Oct 2022 : 08:15:57
I'm enjoying the answers you give.

I wonder is Elminster likely to give people the opportunity to locate potentially fabulous wealth and powerful magic just to slightly irk vangerdahast (and because it's his job to ensure that magic gets free).

A trapped sword herald releasing info piece by piece until someone finally gets all the keys to release him from his own inter dimensional trap is also likely.

One odd ball idea is that vangerdshast himself is releasing this information on orders from the crown. We know the king likes to go walkies among his subjects. Those he deems worthy of aid might find a clue to fabulous wealth come into their possession if they have the wits and courage to solve it.

Anyway, onto glondar / glonder next
George Krashos Posted - 29 Oct 2022 : 01:19:07
It's an interesting point re the Sword Heralds (and the typo reference to the Storm Heralds which Ed magnanimously said wasn't a typo and that they were a separate group - he loves covering up for other people's screw ups) and I think the key is the word "disappeared". It appears that they had an earlier public presence. Certainly if they were used by noble houses to create safeholds. The interesting thing is that they existed around the time of Myth Drannor and Amedehast (we'll have to blame Steven Schend for that date) and operated with Crown approval - likely because they agreed to construct a bunch of safe holds for the Crown.

You are right about Dhalmass and the timing issue, but there's nothing to say when their verses were discovered or written, only that they "left behind" their list as a series of verses. I think that they disappear well before that king's reign (we know they are still operational in c. 1070 DR) and it's interesting to note that the zulkirs of Thay confirm their rule in 1074 DR. Maybe in hunting down some renegade Red Wizards who have fled west, Thay clashes with the Sword Heralds, which causes them to go underground. It's notable that Thay is also fighting the Covenant at this time, and it might be an indication of Thay looking for magic to combat this threat, including the ability to build safe holds in the North as sanctuaries for their wizards who are taking the fight there. Whatever happens, they go underground, and likely have their ranks winnowed away. It might well be that the list wasn't offical or sanctioned by the leadership of the Sword Heralds. Given Khelben infiltrated them, I can imagine that Elminster did so also, and his hand in the dissemination of the list appears likely. It's a very Elminster thing to do. He's just playing coy in VGtC.

Anyway, lots of conjecture and stuff to build on. For later.

I am enjoying the points you are raising.

-- George Krashos
Gary Dallison Posted - 27 Oct 2022 : 16:11:17
Next conundrum.

The Sword Heralds. We have a date for the Sword Heralds beginning their work around 620 - 640 DR and probably quite a bit longer. I dont believe there is an end date but Volos Guide to Cormyr says the Sword Heralds died or disappeared centuries ago.

All that is fine, except when you read the verses that people used to track down the hidden refuges. The Dawninghunt refuge mentions a statue of King Dhalmass who reigned 1210 to 1227 DR.

Now i'm assuming the statue was built after his reign (not a guarantee but most people arent so vacuous as to build statues of themselves), but that then means the verse (presumably created by the Sword Heralds) referenced the statue of a king who appeared long after the Sword Heralds existed.

The other verse references a mage called Glonder (perhaps a misspelling of the name Glondar who was a mage mentioned in Stormlight????) who did something famous 300 years ago which may also possibly have been after the Sword Heralds disappeared.

Which leaves a few possibilities.

The Sword Heralds are still around and are leaving clues to find them.
Someone else found these refuges and is leaving clues for other people to find the treasures within.
The Sword Heralds only vanished 100 years ago and wrote all these verses just before they disappeared.
Or something else.
Gary Dallison Posted - 27 Oct 2022 : 08:16:08
Cheers George, can't believe i missed that one.
George Krashos Posted - 27 Oct 2022 : 06:42:58
Rhigaerd II defeated the Border Raiders in the Year of the Shadowtop (1314 DR) as per the timeline in the 2E FR Campaign Boxed Set (Running the Realms, p.17).

And yes, my understanding was that they were always based in the Stonelands.

-- George Krashos
Gary Dallison Posted - 26 Oct 2022 : 14:53:54
Onto the Crystal Grot.

It was discovered sometime between 1187 DR and 1210 DR (during the reign of King Pryntaler.

Apart from Vangerdahast, Amble Obarskyr (the discoverer) and every King since then (save Salember and Gondegal), only 6 Purple Dragons have known its location.

That list has one glaring omission which means that Jorunhast, the High Mage of Cormyr at the time did not know its location.

I have it from the best of sources that the Crystal Grot was lost for a time (its discoverer died and the 2 apprentices, who must have been Purple Dragons, did not know the precise location - they knew what the surroundings looked like but not how to get there).

This means that the Crystal Grot, while being discovered sometime during Pryntaler's reign was lost shortly afterwards, and only rediscovered recently.

The fact that the rightful Kings since its discovery have all seen it presents a problem, one that could perhaps be explained by a picture or painting in one of the many secret rooms, or that it is actually located within the Royal Court somewhere that the royals visited but not the High Mage Jorunhast.
Maybe the rumours in Volos Guide to Cormyr are correct and the portal to reach it is located in the Royal Court and it is in a place restricted to Obarskyr's only - such as the Royal Crypt.
Gary Dallison Posted - 26 Oct 2022 : 10:45:18
I may have found where it cannot be

Apparently Border raiders were once a constant problem, sweeping in from the west to raid Tyrluk, Eveningstar, and even Arabel.

Since High Horn was built these border raids have all but stopped.

I'm assuming High Horn was completed a long time ago, so the border raiders cannot come from the west. Which leaves the north or east. Sembia and dalelands seem fairly stable, so yet again it leaves the Stonelands as the primary location.
Gary Dallison Posted - 26 Oct 2022 : 07:54:41
Any suggestions.

The stone lands is just such an area, nominally claimed by cormyr but out of its control.

Something internal though would likely classify this as a rebellion and not a war (like gondegal).

Perhaps the border raiders were in the stonelands and that is why cormyr claims the region, it defeated an enemy and claimed control but could not hold the territory.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 25 Oct 2022 : 23:02:10
Originally posted by Gary Dallison

One possible answer is that the Border Raiders were considered an outside force and that is the reason why it was considered war, whereas the rebellion was against an internal threat (albeit with mercenary military units).
This means that the Border Raiders originally came from outside Cormyr.

The Border Raiders could have been in the Stonelands or the Tunlands as these are the only border regions at this time that are not occupied by a stable nation (although in theory the Dalelands could have been home to a force of raiders but i figure we would have heard about it).

While these are obvious conclusions, I feel they are based on a common misconception: in the Realms, much like any fantasy setting, borders are more theoretical concepts than actual rigidly defined lines. Just because a line on a map says an area is within a specific border, that's not always the case. Borders are often something of a frontier, sparsely settled and sparsely controlled. Often, the only rigidly defined borders are those that are geographic barriers, like mountains or a river. Anything else is kind of "yeah, the border is in this general vicinity, somewhere."

So the Border Raiders could have been operating from within an area that is nominally within Cormyr's borders but not really under Cormyr's control.
Gary Dallison Posted - 25 Oct 2022 : 21:57:50
Looking at Cormyr again while i take a break from the novels.

One thing i've noted is the mention of Cormyr being at peace since King Rhigaerd II defeated the Border Raiders.

So trying to figure out a date for this event has led to a few questions.

Who were the Border Raiders
Why is the campaign against them considered a war when Gondegal's rebellion was not

One possible answer is that the Border Raiders were considered an outside force and that is the reason why it was considered war, whereas the rebellion was against an internal threat (albeit with mercenary military units).
This means that the Border Raiders originally came from outside Cormyr.

The Border Raiders could have been in the Stonelands or the Tunlands as these are the only border regions at this time that are not occupied by a stable nation (although in theory the Dalelands could have been home to a force of raiders but i figure we would have heard about it).

So assuming they are Tunland or Stoneland based, who were the Border Raiders. It is possible they were Zhentarim backed mercenaries posing as bandits and raiders. One thing i also discovered while looking at this is that when Rhigaerd exiled Jorunahast, he also effectively disbanded the War Wizards. Those affected War Wizards likely did nothing wrong except be a member of the organisation and suddenly found themselves vilified because of the actions of their leader.
Also, in the Baldur's Gate games there is a set of boots of stealth connected to Rhigaerd and a network of spies that were destroyed by treachery from the inside. I'm wondering if some of these former War Wizards became part of the spy network and eventually engaged in treason.

Its not inconceivable to imagine War Wizards who worked for Salember on Jorunahast's orders becoming angry at their loss of status, some go rogue immediately (the ones that enjoyed persecuting Rhigaerd's followers) and join or setup the Border Raiders. Others go rogue later after being relegated to the position of spy and become disaffected with their perceived punishment.

The Zhents around 1300 DR are just beginning to become strong, in 1303 DR they may have been involved in the formation of the ogre horde that strikes the Moonsea in that year, and a few years later they lead an alliance against Mulmaster so their underhanded activities were starting to become apparent.

Then on to the dating. 1301 DR The Year of the Trumpet is auspiciously named for this event, indicating a victory of sorts. The following year Princess Sulesta is born so why not have Rhigaerd spend the next few years following his defeat of Salember in 1284 DR trying to rebuild the war ravaged Cormyr, then fight off a guerilla war from Zhent sponsored bandits aided by his own former War Wizards.

Anyone have any thoughts or information i have missed regarding Rhigaerd and his border raiders.
Gary Dallison Posted - 17 Mar 2020 : 12:20:50
Just been cataloguing all of Brian Cortijo's responses to make sure i've got all Cormyr lore.

I was going through and noted a few links between the ahasts and Elminster to the point that i think the Ahasts are all descended from Elminster. Not sure if this is common knowledge or not.

So Elminster trained Amedahast i think, likely he met Alea Dahast (she was in Myth Drannor i believe).

Filfaeril was born in 1306 and her birth prompted the return of Vangerdahast to Cormyr. Filfaeril is a descendant of Elminster.

Vangerdahast trained with Elminster.

Lots of links, why does Elminster have such an interest in the mage royals of Cormyr.

A few oddities about Amedahast and Alea Dahast as well. Alea had a grandson listed in Cormanthyr Empire of Magic, so she almost certainly had other children with elven partners. Is it stated anywhere that Amedahast is the child of Baerauble, i've got it that she is the child of Alea and someone so respected by the Elven Court that they are given wardship of the Forest Kingdom along with Faerlthann (that could be Elminster or Baerauble, presumably Elminster would be more known to the Elven Court).
Gary Dallison Posted - 10 Mar 2020 : 20:56:51
Up to the Purple Dragons.

I've noted that there are full time professional soldier, and shorter term soldiers ("short swords" i believe they are called), and presumably part time members as well.

Mixing this with information about the veteran companies and militias i've come up with the following.

When someone joins the Purple Dragons they are most often given the "Short Sword", a term of service lasting 3 years, with an option to extend to 5 years. During this time they serve as guards to non-essential locations (walls, gates, local lords, etc), engage in patrols (around the settled areas), and serve alongside veteran Purple Dragons (see below)

Those that serve with distinction and survive 4 or more combats are given the "Long Sword". At which point they become permanent members of the Purple Dragons. These members form the core of the Purple Dragons soldiery (some 4000 strong) and are given to guard essential locations (High Horn, Citadel of the Purple Dragon, Royal Court, Royal Palace), they also patrol the border regions where combat is likely (west reach, east reach, etc).

Lastly are the part time members (known as the "Wooden Swords) which form the militia. These serve a tenday a month, or 3 months continuous service in a year. When active they make up the majority of the Watch in a settlement (supported by Short Swords).
Gary Dallison Posted - 01 Mar 2020 : 15:24:33
Trawling through the sourcebooks page by page.

Havent yet come across a dividing region within the city of suzail except for the Court Precinct which obviously holds the royal court.

I'm thinking of having the docks, east side, west side, and the hub in the centre.

Came across a few things. The office of lord Chamberlain was created to combat vigilantes exploiting plague times and burning down plague houses and coming back later to sift through the ashes for gold.
The purple throat plague was during gorauna time and I figure after her death and the chaos of her meddling there would be a period of growth and the establishment of order. So I'm thinking the office of Lord Chamberlain is made during the reign of Thargreve the Greater.

Next up was the Hall of Heroes in the Royal Court that holds the pitchfork of a farmer that defended an early queen of suzail from orcs. I find that orcs and goblinoids are used interchangeably in older books and Hlundadim attacked cormyr during the reign of King Moriann so perhaps it was his queen the farmer defended. It doesnt say whether either the queen or the farmer survived, I'm inclined to think not.
Gary Dallison Posted - 27 Feb 2020 : 21:50:58
So, looking at the succession. Gorauna must have been some kind of evil witch, creating this purple throat plague that killed half the dynasty and killing nearly a score of kings and queens herself.

Also noted that prior to King Galaghard I, every king or queen was short lived (those that gorauna didn't slay that is). Following Galaghard I (excluding Galaghard II and Draxius), all the kings live until they are over 80.

Can longevity magically be passed on from parent to children, do they somehow persist in the body to be inherited by offspring, or was someone else trying to keep the obarskyrs alive as long as possible (while someone else tries to kill them).

Did Gorauna actually die, and why didn't she become a ghazneth. Perhaps she is still around as some kind of spirit
Gary Dallison Posted - 19 Feb 2020 : 21:39:38
Moving on from the Men of the Basilisk to the Purple Dragons of Cormyr.

I realise they arent exactly a clandestine secret organisation, but they are quite large and they are potentially an organisation that PCs can fight or join.

So first thought / question.

When were the purple dragons founded.

I realise that there has been an armed forces in Cormyr for a long time, but has it always been called the Purple Dragons, and when did Cormyr first have a centralised army under the control of the Crown (typically feudal realms raise levies and require nobles to field an agreed number of soldiers from their household, its a big reason why a nation creates nobility).

I have a few thoughts. It seems like King Duar fought Magrath the Minotaur with 20 companions that were known as the Purple Dragons.

I reckon that name remained in history but was not applied to the military for many years after. In this time it is possible that the Crown had a permanent military force larger than most noble houses but only really big enough to guard Suzail and the Crown estates.

Now by 900 DR, King Galaghard leads an army (known as the Glory of Cormyr) against the forces of the Witch King. This is a fight for survival on home soil and is the kind of driver necessary for the creation of a national army (nobles tend to automatically resist any attempts for the King to create a large military force under his direct control). The fact that the army has a special name says to me that it was a special creation to fight the Witch King and an achievement of note. After the war it would be easier to keep the army going and thus keep a permanent national army of considerable size.

By the time of the Kingdom of Esparrin it seems clear that Cormyr has a national military that secures and patrols its territory, although its size is still up for debate.

Then in 1286 DR we have King Salember the Red Dragon battling the forces of Crown Prince Rhigaerd which are known as the Purple Dragons, i'm assuming King Salember named his army the Red Dragons. I would peg this as the official date of the naming of the Purple Dragons as the armed forces of Cormyr.

Anyone have any thoughts or firm dates regarding the Purple Dragons
Gary Dallison Posted - 18 Feb 2020 : 20:47:03
Decided to add a bit about the basilisk that is never mentioned in the Men of the Basilisk.

The Basilisk (Evil, Greater Basilisk): The Basilisk (whose name is Sscartaunissk, but no one has ever bothered to ask) has remained imprisoned within the Auantiver Labyrinth since 658 DR, hovering between starvation and insanity, forced to feed on rocks for nutrition, and left with only the remains of petrified monsters for company.

In 1247 DR a number of foolish humanoids stumbled into the Basilisk's prison canyon and once again she was able to feast upon flesh once again. Every year new, stupid, defenceless humanoids would blindly stumble into her home and run around in a panic before she ate them, petrified them, or they ran into a narrow passageway accessible behind her main sleeping chamber, and escaped.

Once the insanity of hunger left her, and she gained focus from the game of stalking those walking meals that entered her lair, then her wits returned to her and she began to notice several details. First was that all of the humans carried a dagger bearing a symbol she remembered from when she was first hatched (the symbol of House Auantiver), second is that all the humans that escape her teeth flee down the same passageway.

Sscartaunissk has formulated a plan to escape, she has been gradually consuming the sides of the rocky canyon in which she is imprisoned, widening it so that eventually she will be able to fit through it, she has lined the passage floor with statues in various poses of escape (making sure that they are looking back towards her), and is moving them apart gradually to cover her excavations. Whenever she has fallen ill (she has an allergy to dwarves), a man arrives to nurse her back to health, he is capable of magic and is immune to her gaze, he also wears a ring bearing the symbol (of House Auantiver).

Sscartaunissk's plan is to widen the passageway enough to fit through and then attempt to devour a witless meatbag and its dagger, then she should be able to pass on to where-ever they disappear to at the end of the passage. If that fails then she will feign illness and wait for the man to come and cure her, and then attack him with her full fury (or at the very least bite off his hand) and again escape her prison. Once free she will gratefully devour beings until she is sated and then flee towards the nearest mountain.
ericlboyd Posted - 17 Feb 2020 : 13:49:14
I think I had this story in mind when I wrote it.

Obviously, not the same plot, but that was what I was thinking about.
Gary Dallison Posted - 17 Feb 2020 : 13:44:23
Seems sensible enough, it is different because of its diplomatic organisation without the secret baddie, so I'll keep that.

I suppose there is no teziir cell because that's where the most important asset is (the exit portal) so you wouldn't want any illicit activities in that region (so nothing can be traced back to you). I guess the octad as a whole look after the chapter house and make sure no one buys it.

I do like the idea of a surviving auantiver lich. I did wonder why anyone would build the labyrinth in the first place. Even if the fashion was for a dangerous game for nobles to play, at some point someone would die and if they were important you would be in the poop.

I figure the auantivers went extinct because the crownsilvers, bleths, and truesilvers drove them to poverty and made sure other misfortunes befell them (you kill my heir I make you as poor as a commoner).
But if there was an auantiver baddie that was intending to feed off the souls of a few adventurers then that might make sense, i bet he couldn't care less about his relatives (he is an evil lich after all or he wanted to be).

ericlboyd Posted - 17 Feb 2020 : 13:37:04
Originally posted by Gary Dallison

I have of course been using that write up as the primary source, it is excellent stuff.

Since you wrote it Eric, have you any thoughts on a secret patron, or on the involvement of the basilisk itself (is it just a prisoner).

I wonder if the auantivers are truly extinct.

Hi Gary,

You could certainly spin them that way, with a secret patron, but that would make them very similar to the Knights of the Shield. My intent was to show what a group of ruthless merchants could accomplish without a wizard or god "behind the throne" (i.e. Cult of the Dragon or Knights of the Shield), so I would keep them different than that.

There of course could be a secret in the Labyrinth that the Men haven't discovered. If the most recent batch of recruits (which might include a PC?) stumble into that while trying to escape, that might be cool. Maybe, for example, the most recent batch of recruits in 1375 DR was all wiped out, except for one, who simply vanished. Now the Men are trying to hire adventurers (who they will then destroy) to figure out where he went.

That secret part of the stronghold might be home to an Auntiver lich or somesuch.

Gary Dallison Posted - 17 Feb 2020 : 12:52:17
I have of course been using that write up as the primary source, it is excellent stuff.

Since you wrote it Eric, have you any thoughts on a secret patron, or on the involvement of the basilisk itself (is it just a prisoner).

I wonder if the auantivers are truly extinct.
ericlboyd Posted - 17 Feb 2020 : 12:50:18
Men of the Basilisk
Brief write-up: Cloak & Dagger, page 137.

Full write-up: Polyhedron #142, pages 20-27.
Gary Dallison Posted - 17 Feb 2020 : 12:41:27
Started a write up of the Men of the Basilisk.

Noted a few things.

Firstly, that Battlegate Keep is the site of the portal that leads to the Auantiver Labyrinth that all new recruits are required to survive. However the catacombs of Battlegate Keep are also a hideout for the cult of the dragon and the two organisations are enemies (even though the cult is mostly unaware of the men of the basilisk).

It seems curious that during the induction process potential recruits are required to visit the ruins on a named day. Perhaps this day is when the cult of the dragon will be busy or away from its base. Perhaps the men of the basilisk have a member within the cult (the sorcelisk seems a good candidate).

Secondly the men of the basilisk have cells in iraeibor, selgaunt, saerloon, marsember and four other cities. But there is no cell in teziir and yet that is where the exit portal from the labyrinth emerges and where they have their annual meetings.

I wonder if there is a secret cell that operates in teziir and secretly manipulates the octads.

Lastly, the basilisk in the labyrinth is much greater than a normal basilisk, has black dragon blood in his veins, and is at least 8 centuries old. I would expect such a creature to be quite intelligent and probably to be part of the organisation if not secretly running it.

Perhaps he could be manipulating the octad through the symbol (a reptile eye with eight basilisk legs coming out of it)

I have noted that one of the men of the basilisk is a senior war wizard who has kept the war wizards away from this society. Could it be that he directed the war wizards towards other groups like the fire knives in order to advance his station in the war wizards and the men of the basilisk (who are not above using criminals to further their objectives).
George Krashos Posted - 16 Feb 2020 : 15:06:09
I love Tom to death but describing the language of the Great Dale and Ashanath as "Auld Cormanthan" doesn't make much sense. This is especially so when the more westerly language of Impiltur and the Vast is noted as being "Easting". The first Dalefolk (well, the first eastern Dalefolk to be more accurate) came from these latter regions, not the Great Dale.

I'm with Gary, the only explanation I can think of is one of reverse nomenclature. The more famous and widespread inhabitants of Cormyr, the Dales and Sembia have their language labelled as "Cormanthan", which is mainly a geographical label. When studying its more obscure and less widespread origin/root tongue, it may be that this was labelled as "Auld Cormanthan" by sages and loremasters seeking to make a connection between the two.

-- George Krashos

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