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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 - 26 Nov 2023 : 01:52:26

Adbreth the Wanderer
A renowned tutor of many Northern mages during the 13th Century of Dalereckoning. Author of Adbreth's Necessary Instructions, a primer of ninety-seven basic magical rules and incantations mercilessly and endlessly drilled into his students, that still form the basis of much spell-learning in the North to this day. His sigil is one of the nine that flash briefly upon the warding defenses of Ahghairon's Tower, when pressed by potent magical assault. There are a rare few handful of archmages who know that that same sigil also appears upon the shores of Far Ruenthalaum, etched upon the courtyard flagstones of the blood-red halls of Settingsun; there, where the final far-flung isles of what Men still know of as Faerûn disappear into the endless sea, and the flickering hundredfold aurora and the awakened unveiled stars trace the beginnings of the Celestial Halls of the Gods.


Harnra Moonstar
A noble of House Moonstar [b.1140/d.1208]. First child of Alatheene/Danthelorn. Forced by her mother to excel in the Art and in her bladework. Simply wanted to preserve and record the lost creations of elder magicians, not be bound to fling slaying magics and kill her own kin. Married (eloped, which caused great inter-House friction at the time) into House Wands, took up their mantle. Author of the Historical Handbooks of Guarding and Warding (a three-volume series cataloging many obscure, alternative, and lesser defensive spells of the North and the Netherese Diaspora, such as Orosklur's Bewildering Evasion and Nilmyyra's Shadowy Withdrawal, Feldrear's Thorny Isolation and Zelesk's Congregation of Scarlet and Amber). Two children, Lluhaerla and Nemurnra, both continued into the Wands rolls.


Melskevvyn
A senior apprentice of the master Illuskan book-binder Josselae Juskhalan (of Juskhalan's Sevenfold Bookbindery, Warrior's Way, Castle Ward; three doors north of Waterdeep Way, above the ground-floor shopfront of Of Tethan Vine, a merchantry of Tethyrian wine importers and accompanying tasting-rooms, specializing in the middle-vineyard wines such as Old Wind and Mirtul Melting). He knows not only the obscure secrets of wrangling the lettered page into Ordered Form and Lawful Alignment for suitable Dressing and Binding between solid cover, but has also been educated in such ancient, non-binding, scribes' mysteries such as, "to make golden letters without gold" and "to write letters of secrets" (referring respectively to leaf-ink* and the rare mystic elven moon-runes). He is undeniably proficient at his work, but his troublesome attitude and desire to know the knowledge on the pages instead of simply and ignorantly proceeding with their bindings as paid (which has led to him being caught more than once attempting to peruse a series of runes, or study a typesetting that is beyond his place) has led his master Juskhalan, in desperation, to seek the advice of the clergy of the Font of Knowledge (as they were the ones to originally bring forth Melskevvyn and request this arrangement, which they intimated as a divine direction of Oghma), and to seriously consider dismissing him, regardless of his talents, from his apprenticeship.
        Melskevvyn most often wears a loose overshirt and leggings of striped red and purple, and over that a belted tabard and calf-high soft boots dyed in that fashionable bright icy-green color the Amnians call wyvvergreen. A wrist bracelet and a belt-loop of red waxy beads dangle loose, as is the current fashionable trend among younger (and sexually available) initiates of the Scrivener's and Scribes Guild. When out and about in social situations he daubs dark blue pigment under eyes and on fingertips, purposefully mocking a commonly-known scribes' doom and signifying membership in the Ink Poisonings, a coeterie of young scribes, poets and bards who find fellowship in wine, carousing, wish-fulfillment reveries, and the more scandalous tenets of the god Finder.

* Every fool apprentice dreams of learning the arcane secrets that would allow them to become rich by turning lead into gold. Most of those fool apprentices never measure into anything beyond local hedge-mage, and best they can manage is to turn lead into gold-ish leaf – useful to scribes illuminating book pages, swindlers attempting a quick false-sale, and also highcoin chefs looking to ornament their creative confections in shiny foil (yes, the gaudy gold-foil trimmings eagerly devoured by the noble and wealthy of Waterdeep at their frequent feastings is technically lead, lets move on and not think too hard about that), but not quite that imagined easy windfall, otherwise.


Rovul Merryliir
Author of About Sauces, In A Peat-Flame Kitchen, and The Lore and Legend of the Moonshae Potatoe. One of the greatest chroniclers of Moonshar cookery alive today. His works are well-regarded in culinary circles and have even won him a certain amount of fame in his native Moonshaes, but such renown does little to translate into being able to afford fine lodgings and even finer physical accompaniment in the larger cities of mainland Faer#251;n.
        Instead, he earns much better coin under the pseudonym of Fesk Merryquill, writing made-to-order chapbooks of various romantic (ridiculous and scandalous) situations for wealthy merchants and idle nobility. These frownfrolics* always seem to feature at least one lavishly-described decadent feast or food-inspired lovemaking session, but that is surely just coincidence.

* 'where Oghma frowns, Sharess frolics', the winking motto of the brotherhood of slash, kink, and decadently-deviant coin-scribes across the Heartlands.


Tommobus Arsktamber
Fat, round Hin. Wavy chestnut hair, slightly grey at the temples. Bright eyes, deep laugh-lines, eager smile. Open, friendly. Has a noticeable scarred gash on his upper left lip, and two stained ivory tooth-replacements underneath (the result of being caught up in his first – and last – tavern brawl as a youth. Horrid Uthgardt. Nasty barbarians). He is extremely chatty and has a great deal to say upon most things, especially those which do not concern him.
        Tommobus is the senior bookkeeper for the Castle Ward trading house of Red Hawk Holdings. In his spare time he is head of The Trades Ward Free Sheaf Society, a group of like-minded reading enthusiasts (mostly local Hin, and a surprising number of old "attic witches" who have little in the way of amusements otherwise) who trade well-thumbed chapbooks and months-old broadsheets back and forth among themselves (the fantastical 'Hew It Dead!', a Blade-Tale of Llorst the Ever-Thirsty and the dreadful copper The Necromancer Wore A Russet Cloak being most currently in-demand). They also collectively pay once per year to gather and print a volume of poetry and prose from members and local writers. Such bound-sheaves are of dubious literary quality, but Tommo has heard from reliable sources that copies of no less than two of these volumes have been used separately to gain entrance into the legendary sages' library of Candlekeep – a fact of which he is inordinately proud of, and will bring up in conversation at the slightest prompt.
        His parents named him after Tommobus Ten-Lives, King of the Calicos, a celestial servant long shared under the auspices of the gods Tymora and Nobanion. Tommo of course does not have ten lives, but he has counted no less than ten noticeable moles upon his body, and has thus mapped and presented them to Mother Meldra, "the Transmuter of Tedium", a parlor-witch of note, who has assured him that by carefully calculating size of protuberance and hairs of length, that he is indeed a chosen soul, now living an echo of Tommobus' fourth life, correlating to the time that The Twelve-Toed crept far above the forbidden rafters into Oghma's great Pole-Armory, and then brought forth unto Toril the knowledge of the ten-foot pole, which revolutionized forever the dungeon-delve of Tymora, and also the avoidance of trapping-pits in the Gulthmere that had previously bedeviled the great and noble felines there. According to Mother Meldra's divinations, this means that Tommobus (the Hin) is surely fated then to forever change the method of distribution and access to the printed work, in greater manner than anyone in Waterdeep since Olnoskras the Timid, the Patron of Hand-Books, who brought forth his acquired Lantannar printing-cabinet to the gathered in the great hall of House Maernos, and whose blood then mixed with the first printed chap-books in the city after he was visited, by searching agents of the Ayrorch (how exactly this fate is supposed to come to pass, the parlor-witch has left suspiciously unexplained).
        Tommobus resides in Tamber-Clutter, an apartment in the Warrens (Dock Ward, under Belnimbra's Street, down the Blue Boggart Stairs* at the intersection of Ward's Way), cramped and indeed cluttered with furniture and children (four of his own, and often many of the neighbors), heavy wall-hangings, and numerous colorful unfinished paintings, daubed on old sailcloth or wooden board, and stood on easel or leaned up against any convenient surface, the result of his wife Berrybryl's own artistic hobby. And also the spinning-corner (closest to the hearth, naturally) seized upon by his mother-in-law Tea-Merry, which is inviolate and not to be set upon by any other, be it daughter or daughter's husband, or especially any miserable little scampering hinling. The great orange-striped cats Nimmel and Merry-Mange, however, are allowed to come and go as they please.

* The Blue Boggart Stairs were supposed to be The Blue-Hat Gnome Stairs, but the hired stonecarver had strange notions of what gnomes actually looked like. Or perhaps just a strange sense of whimsy. Regardless, the latter title is their official name and is listed as such on the official maps of the Castle coin-collectors, but to speak of them as such around any local is to reveal oneself as either a foreigner or, worse, a tax-man. There is also the Red-Hat Gnome Stairs at the intersection of Belnimbra's Street and Gut Alley, and the Green-Hat Gnome Stairs on Soldier's Street, but those craftsmen understood their assignments much better and thus there has been no argument given, about their name or physical depiction.

AJA Posted - 01 Nov 2023 : 00:27:04

Aarthur Amblerest
A well-fed and well-rounded Hin, with a sharp eye and a mind well-trained to numbers and the kind of contract-letterings that would make a baatezu nod approvingly. Curly sandy hair, glittering black eyes, and stubby, well-manicured fingers that seem to be vigorously waving in punctuation and hooked through vest-coat in smug satisfaction, simultaneously. A senior member of the Master Mariner's guild – never a sailor or ships master, but one of their foremost salt-binders (drafter of guild laws and contracts between guild members, so-named for the pinch of sea salt sprinkled over every wax seal before official guild agreement and impression). His common dress is a rich brown vest-coat over yellow-and-blue dagger-stripe shirt and smartly-buttoned cuffs; Hin-trousers in the color called "new potatoes"; and low shop-shoes accented in that trendy style the Short Folk call "cow-heels".
        He is a member of the Belts (a 'secret society' of halfling and gnomish sages, moneylenders, and local merchants), and the senior-most "Forthright" (members whose duty it is to hold ceremonial torches, call out the roll and the by-laws of the society, and to serve the refreshments). Aarthur has long been a loyal supporter of the head Belt, the halfling Hobin Boldfoot, and as such is vocally opposed to the recent "invasion" of the society by young Hin, led by the scandalous and disrespectful rogue Halvas "Halfhand," as well as the latter's radical ideas for "reforming" the order.
        Aarthur is a weatherwiser (which is not the same as being weather-wise or having the weather-eye, nor being weather-bitten, mind), one of those strange folk given to know by physical reaction when the weather is bound for an ominous turn – either through change in eye-color, or incessant itchyness of the nose, or in the most peculiar and noticeable wriggling of the earlobes. For Aarth, wise came in the form of nose, which does not itch but feels instead "cold and horrible," and has led to the waist-pockets of his vest being stuffed with nose-rags, sewn up at the corners with the sanctified seals of Talona, Ilmater, and Yondalla, used to sop up any resulting unpleasant effluence.
        He has a particular weakness for the ediram sweets of Tharsult (globular pies made of nammar-bean pounded into a jelly-like consistency, dusted in cinnamon and wrapped up in the edible florescent petals of the fragrant irrael tree), and discreetly favors those shipcaptains whose sails takes them far south to trade in the waters of the Shining Sea.

Bardurast The Storm-Broker
Priest of Talos. A large, warted, ruddy-faced, grey-eyed man, with a soothing voice and an only-occasionally unnerving predatory grin. Astute, ambitious, undeterred in all things. Bardurast is known in the city as a powerful gatherer and sponsor of adventuring fellowships. He enjoys such armed, unruly companies for the chaos and destruction they often bring and he admires their simple-minded drive for magic and treasure. Simple, direct, powerful, as echoes in the storm and ruin of Talos. Such useful tools should be encouraged, and eagerly aided in all things. And occasionally discreetly aimed and unleashed upon an individual or gathering who may stand in opposition to the designs of the Lord of Destruction.

Black-Glance
Minor haunting or phantasmal apparition, area of The Street of Silks, Castle Ward. A ghostly presence on darkened nights of the new moon. Stirrings of dark velvet in the corner of ones' vision and whispers of old poems just down the darkened eaves of nearby alleyways. Bardlings of New Olamn and drunken romantics seem unable to resist chasing those whispers down the darkened alleys. Sometimes they even find their way back.

The Corpse-Hedgers
Mercenary company, active throughout the Western Heartlands. Their name is a direct boast to their official motto, that they will "stack our enemies corpses as high as the highest copse-hedges". Commanded by the stern, loud, many-scarred warrior Baruuska – a proud and surviving member of the noble families of Old Phalom – who bears the device of the Quilacanth (sharp-spine, thorn-pig), the giant porcupine of the Ardeep, upon his both his shield and as personal and company crest; but their logistics and tactics (and the true reason they have endured as a fighting force for this long) is due to their 'Merry Mother', the wizened, "all-seeing" table-enchanter, the mystic hin Merylbra Roaldfoot (and also three of her five daughters, the feared "Eyes Above," who also piggyback on their mother's strange talents to scout the battlefield – in advance and in real-time – and relay important information directly to Baruuska and his lieutenants).

Winter's Lemdro
Legendary haunting, South and Trades Ward. On warm winter mornings when the icicles hang most perilously from the eaves come great, shuddering, gusty sighs and the heaving of attic shutters; drip drop, drip drop chant local children after a body is found impaled by a glittering sheaf of frozen daggers. Hang sweet-cress and merren-root* on your door and above your lintel, trust in the morning administrations of Lathander and Tymora, and never look up if you must cross under a heavy overhang. Drip drop, drip drop.


* Merren-root: carrot-like, stubby, three-pronged, with a sharp taste of ginger. Grows wild across the Dessarin and Rauvin vales, and in the stream-side dells of the High Forest. Gnomes love it, Fey despise it. Used in the preparation of body-tonics, health suppositories, and in certain recipies for subduing the gamey taste of monster meats, especially catoblepas and manticore. In Silverymoon they add it as part of a solution used to wipe down and freshen their chamberpots.

AJA Posted - 07 Sep 2023 : 07:27:14
quote:
Originally posted by MISC'LLANEA
More Books for the Comfy Shelves of your Cottagecore Caster! Edition

"And as he stood before him now, tall and unbowed, his loose dark hair and fierce blue eyes proved he was indeed Ruathymaar, a native born of that barren island rock which grows nothing but mariners and mariner's widows."
        'Chapter IX: Then On They Gladly Sailed'
        The Sûnesbright Knight and The Shaliera of Dreams
        by Semmer Evvendusk
        published in chapbook form, Year of the Helm, 1362DR

Roreld Thurnbrow*
And, as is then written of in the annals of chap-book fame, The Sûnesbright Knight so discovers that Roreld, his erstwhile captive, was indeed Ruathymaar; but not a born mariner, being instead a tarn-lander, a taciturn and sure-footed native of the central mountain lakes and streams of the inner Cragskarrn region (and so, much more proficient in climbing and traversing the mysteries of the dark forest than the ship-borne masts of the feared Northman sailors). But Roreld's blade was swift and feared, and he soon found ready-coin aboard a number of Ruathymaar merchant ships as a seaguard (a warrior carried aboard merchant ships to fight off pirate boarding parties and port thieves), until the day the vessel he sailed aboard, the Ulthaskyr's Lightning, was overwhelmed off the coast of southern Amn, and all survivors were subdued and taken into slavery – but fortunately, he was soon succored by the auspices of The Knight and the stalwart crew of the Sea-Brave, under command of the captain Oldarr.

And so it was in this same chap-book that Roreld was freed and repaid his life-debt, faithfully serving instead as squire to The Knight on his southward quest, where he was first introduced to the 'Wondrous' Welstevvra (that jade-skinned, emerald-haired, genasi slave-dancer, famed throughout western Faerûn as 'The Harbor of Never-Failing Delights')**, and then he and The Knight fought side-by-side through her captors and slew her slaver, the pasha and debauched panderer Ulsknurram, "The Loathsome Rotundity," and carried forth long enough to see The Knight's gambit succeed; first against Ulsknurram, and then against the mighty, titular Shaleira of Dreams herself.

Afterwards, Roreld voluntarily re-joined The Knight's company during the calamitous events of The Sûnesbright Knight and The Maidens of Manypearls, where he suffered greatly from the attacks of a giant malevolent cray-claws (ed: giant fiendish crawfish) and would have definitely perished, but for the prompt attentions of Welstavvra, who also accompanied The Knight and who, somewhat unexplainedly, had previously gained ownership of The Scepter Colored of Pale Green and Dark Amber (And Possessed of the Powers of Mating and Life, and Birthing and Death, Besides), which served to succor Roreld, and bonded him ever closer to her, his true love.

And finally, after all of that, it was written that he and his true love Welstevvra were wed, and happily retired to the Thurnbrow family farmstead of Thurnwood, in the Rangervales, the southern foothills of the Cragskarrn, and so Roreld occasionally made use of his swift-blade and sure-foot; and Welstravva did also, aided by her own sorcerous talents and powerful Scepter.

        ….and thus things sat for ten unwritten winters, and absolutely nothing noteworthy (to any chap-book author) happened, until…


Roreld was "spun-off" in the Waterdhavian chap-book explosion of the 1360s, where he featured in both the 1365DR Roreld, Amidst The Moon-Splashed World*** ("trapped in that strange fey-wold, where the elves once built their faery palaces out of beautiful thoughts and bright fancies, and the gigantic, powerful, limb-dragging bodies of the Oblong Men now rule over all"); and, having "survived" that, took another headlining turn in the (very much lesser-regarded****), 1367DR Roreld, In The Castle of The Tinnenmen ("lost to that strange, metallic realm, surrounded by weird golems; clockwork in their precision, who doffed their metal caps and whistled in conversation, spun and turned at every predestined position but – when Welstevvra of the Never-Failing Delights came mistakenly calling, their gears suddenly spun widdershins").

His side-journeys then having proved (somewhat) popular, but not enough for any continued written adventures, his story has presumably concluded; therefore, one should feel free to assume that Roreld has triumphed and returned – against all written odds – and as so, still resides with Welstevvra, and their children, in their steading in the Rangervales, fat and content and happy.

        ….unless one should have honest need of his blade (swift and feared), or true use of his wife's sorcerous talents (or her Scepter), and then…


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


* Thurn is the Ruathymaar linguistic equivalent of Roan (specifically, Blue Roan), and "Thurnbrow" was given as family epithet a long time ago, as their issue have been historically noted for the ubiquity of their "sea-salted" blue-black locks


** Welstevvra Welstyn was indeed born jade-skinned and emerald-haired, but never felt comfortable in his skin, even given his genasi heritage. He long felt the embrace of changing waters, but then decided that he would not kneel to the chaotic whims of Umberlee, nor to the strident peacefulness of Eldath. And so his desire to be enveloped and raptured in the warm embrace of flowing waters found purchase, perhaps surprisingly, in the 'uncaring', unjudging waters of the strange Elemental-God Istishia.

And so Welstyn, once initiated, did then as his nightly visions directed, disrobing and scouring, and climbing up the flanks of the towering peak of Sulaskor Bright-Frozen (a prominent peak of the Orsraun range), directly alongside the banks of Ilhaelor, the Old Singer (a wide and tumbling stream, casually coursing down the pine-fells from the snow-fields of the mountains above), and stopping at every divinely-directed location – to rest and commune with The Mother of All Uncaring Waters, and then sleep through the night. This pilgrimage ended after seven climbs, high among the snows and pines of Sulaskor, where Welstyn was understood to submerge themself in the crystal-cold waters of the deep-plunging rock-pool presented to them here (which has never – even as the Ilhaelor continues to flow – ever been there, before or since).

And so Welstyn did, and so Welstevvra emerged, fresh from her watery bath, and so she began the return climb down, of which her memory is hazy, even when she reached the comfort of low ground, and the limestone grasslands and open rocky slopes of the vineyards of Catoblepas Crossing and Sorlynsong, and so then she was just Welstevvra, and always had been, and always would be.

….and thus, then the rest of her tale began to be told….


*** "A wild, exciting, fantastical tale that will rank with the best chap-stories that have ever been published" (Millithburt "the Discerning Quill," reviewed for The Sword of the City broadsheet, 1365DR)

**** "Roreld once again travels on a strange quest, to a strange land, but the weird wonders of this fancy-tale unfortunately fail to achieve anywhere near the same delights as his previous forth-farings" (Millithburt "the Discerning Quill," reviewed for The Sword of the City broadsheet, 1367DR)

AJA Posted - 07 Sep 2023 : 07:08:23

Haffrundh "Quick-Coins" (LE ½OM Exp)
Grumblegut, Honeyed Haff, The Dreggskin. Often described as "the most crooked merchant north of Amn" (a title he wears with some degree of pleasure). Aside from the Xanathar and the Rundeen, Haffrundh is the biggest mover and purchaser of illegal and ill-gotten merchandise in Dock Ward – bar slaves and smokepowder and necromantic enchantments or artifacts. He is also a long-time associate of Mirt the Moneylender, and the two often cooperate in business ventures (for his part, Mirt has now taken to using Haffrundh as a counter to the more aggressive and rapacious forces of the Xanathar). His title of Dreggskin (or, more accurately, "King of the Dregs") is in reference to his sponsorship (and often, organization) of Dock Ward's teeming population of beggars, urchins, cutpurses and street thugs.
        Keeps a civil front through the Trades Ward meatery of Farsklar's Fine Filletings, on Fillet Lane, just west of The Way of The Dragon. The shop there prominently displays hams, hanging, smoked and salt-cured; and also, inside, all-other manner of meats, presented boned, butterflied, malletted, stuffed, rolled, tied, roasted and braised, along with offal and hoof of all nature, and marrow and bonus bloody-bone prime for attic-stewing. The shop motto is 'all manner of meat, animal or monstrous' and, as so, they not only retain good standing in the Guild of Butchers and pay top coin for the best meat-mongers and filleters available, but also keep on retainer the well-regarded wisebeard Ohlorra Ildrarr (particularly learned of strange meats and edible monster parts) who they consult on occasion, when a most rare and unusual carcass crosses their carving benches.
        In general (and in wealthy) circles, Haffrundh is known to be engaging, erudite and soft-spoken, practiced in finding exactly the right way to charm and cozen anyone he talks to. Not afraid to flaunt his position as a merchant of means; makes sure to have his clothing fashioned out of a base of royal Calishite sharwine (a deep velvety black, accented only by the darkest purple flashes and flares when caught just so by flame-light); accompanied by bold adornments of ruby-red, bright turquoise, brilliant diamond and flashing beljuril. Also not afraid to dig deep and throw out the contents of his coin-purse to any needy nearby, nor invite them to come to Farsklar's upon the next morn, to receive a package of meats of their choice.
        In the course of his (true) profession, when crossed or vexed, he is absolutely black-hearted and barbarous, and feels nothing of adding an enemy to the prepared meats on display at the Fine Filletings counters. Cultivates quite the hidden collection of orcish idols and icons, statuettes of their dark gods and fertility idols carved mainly from clay, wood, ivory and bone, a fascination with a part of his heritage that he tries very hard to make sure that no one else knows of.
        Also along that line, to only his most trusted associates has he revealed his greatest fear, of meeting his doom via the 'feathered fates' (arrows); an end 'foretold' to him by one of those randomly-acquired icons; and in thrall of this dread obsession he has spent a great amount on ever-life elixirs and stoneskin enchantments and hedge-mage mumblings and protective amulets. Mirt is one of the very few of whom he has confided in, and Mirt is one of the very few who would not betray that confidence (not to say that Mirt wouldn't just send Asper in to settle things, if it became necessary – and, unfortunately for Haffrundh, his fellow merchant of means Sammereza Sulphontis has also become aware of this supposed 'fate', and has begun considering just how much of Haffrundh's traffic in illicit goods he would really prefer to have for himself).


Post-mortem: Haffrundh eventually overestimated his position and tried to bribe and blackmail himself into Master of the Butcher's Guild, and simultaneously expand his Dregs to forcibly fight and oust the increasing Lower-Ward influences of the Xanathar. Both attempts met with ruin, but not before Mirt sent in Asper to settle things as planned; a most unfortunate effort at that point which led to her capture by the Xanathar, until a successful raid by sellswords personally directed by Sammereza freed her – and then shortly after also slew Haffrundh, via a massed hail of poisoned crossbow bolts, enough to bring down even the most persistent stoneskin and sharp-bolt wardings – a bleak thorning (in the familiar cant of the Shadow Thieves), delivered in broad daylight right outside the shopfront of Farsklar's Fine Filletings.

        ….and, not long after those events there was held another internal vote for Hidden Lord of Waterdeep, and so the little-regarded and first-time considered Sammereza Sulphontis was both nominated and heavily-pushed by one Mirt the Moneylender. And he won election.


Coincidence, surely.


Ieldranndr "Wave-Bright"
(eyell-DRANN-drr) "who sailed o'er the radiant tides of the Heavens, sunlight-toss'd and starry-turn'd" (as first popularized to a larger outside audience in Lights From a Fading Lamp; or, An Examination of the Vanished (and Vanquished) Elder Pantheons of The North, The Savage North, and The Uttermost North, Sheskrra Bluepine, 1141DR). A deific manifestation of the Northern Lights (or "The High Pillars of Smoke," as the Ice Hunters know them).
        One of the minor powers and potent "place-spirits" of the ancient Ice Hunter religion, scattered survivors of the great and on-going collapsing of Faerûnian Pantheons which has long-since claimed the most major of their number. Now surviving as a servitor of Selûne, sheltered and protected by Her from incursions by the god Lathander, who has so long desired the legend of "Wave-Bright" – he who held Men enthralled with just a look and a word – "the mortal hero in whose upturn'd eyes was reflected the radiant lustres of the Tears of a goddess and whose immortal phantom, beguiling and bright, roams and roams across the Realms Above, 'until the morning's light'" (again, framed in the later words of Sheskrra Bluepine, and not necessarily believed by some modern sages to be true to the faith of the Older Days).
        There are still those Ice Hunters who hold to the older ways, and offer correct worship; there are also those minor converts of Selûne who give offering – and, finally, those sects of the Morninglord whose heresy and sub-worship of "The Dawn-Rider" serves to keep the Sails of Ieldranndr full and fulsome but, as their numbers dwindle (and with continual pressure from outside deities such as Hateful Shar and, yes, Vainglorious Lathander himself), the legend of "Wave-Bright" fades further past, into simple folklore and muddled legend.


Nelmruna
A slim, pale, dark-eyed woman of somewhat nervous manner (especially as she scratches idly at her rearmost right jaw when nervous or harshly-questioned. Thin, straight brown hair, streaked with white around the temples. Widowed, has a twelve-year old daughter, Merra, and two younger sons (eight and six), Rarth and Arlion (Arlee). Spends her days employed in carving wooden fretwork for Ylaunnda Arthrae, of Arthrae's Ornamental Eaves, Gables, and Other Architectural Openworks (workshop on the north-eastern extent of The Wagonrace, Trades Ward – no sign, look for the over-arching and over-ornamented eaves, populated by bright green-and-gold archers, and deep purple-and-red mages).
        When in her scarce free time, Nelmra amuses herself in coloring in those rare (relegated to only the best the Waterdhavian printing services have to offer) black-and-white chap-book pictures, via the marvelous (and expensive) color-sticks (chalks) that the gnome peddler Quorldarr over on Robin's Way sometimes offers. Her colorings are true and her true dream is to become an initiate of Oghma or Denier or Mystra, or even Tyr (whose holy-books have many such illustrations of judgement and Lawful punishment that make her shiver, but are, still, quite colorful) – one of those cloistered scribes that illuminate the most holy of books – but none of the attendants of those faiths that she has approached have even let her in past their waiting rooms, and so she has begun to doubt her own abilities.
        In the meantime, she increasingly focuses on her paying wood-carvings for income, and increasingly relies on her daughter to manage and see to her two younger children, even as she realizes that Merra has much the same talents as her, and should soon be apprenticed to a suitable master. But then who would be left to tend the hearth, and keep the house, and see to the boys and make sure that they get fed and put to bed, on those (often) occasions when she has to work late?


Nelskanthra
The Painter of Dark Colors, The Depicter of Delvings. A canvas-painter currently in high popular demand for her portrayals of the dark hallways and darker ends of The Undermountain ("Truthful and Brutal Depictions of the Deep Ways, As Known to Only the Bold and the Venturesome"). Her ouevre is not 'still lifes' but, more accurately 'slain lives', and her canvasses teem with utter blacks and crimson reds, rendered in slashing, frenzied brush strokes and accompanied by bright daubings of treasures, drippings of suddenly-shocking pastel highlights, and splashes of metallic paints, indictive of cast spells.
        Her latest masterpieces sold (most via commission, although the first to Lord Asbrior Sultlue at surprisingly high price, in private auction) are 'Red and Mauve Pulp on Hallway Wall', 'Bitter Branchings', 'Frothing Flagstones' and, 'Silent In The Darkness (Eyes of Red)'.
        She has herself, in truth, never delved too far on Level One past the bright escape of the Shaft of The Yawning Portal, but she continually gains inspiration from actual delvers and their reminisces, earned deep and dramatic from the depths – no, not only of the depths of Undermountain itself, but especially of the 'depths' of the tankards she eagerly and repeatedly buys to hear of them (and the mild tongue-telling vexes she discreetly places upon their drinkers).


The Thelûnndae
The Thelûnndae is the collective name given for the ancient Ice Hunter pantheon – the main gods and goddesses of which are now long-defeated and subsumed by other Orders; an early-modern part of the great, and on-going collapsing of Pantheons – even as many of the minor powers and potent place-spirits therein often gained from the chaotic strife, putting the ruinous pride of their Elders aside, adapting to it, and surviving – in some form – to the present day, attaching themselves as servitors or pact-givers or aliases of the gods of Faerûn.
        Not to say that many of their number weren't culled as well and now exist singularly in oral saga and fey-fable, myths and legends, recalled now only as Sharp-Swift, Wind's-Cry, Walker Between Star-Lights, Little Silver-Stars, Moon-Lark, Older-Than-The-Stars, and The Dancer Where Shadows Weep, or other – now nameless epithets – drifting still and cold upon the air, and smouldering, forgotten forever, upon unmarked celestial graves.
        But there were those who did manage to survive or persist afterwards, including (previous entries in italics); Aelrónn ("The Voice Among The Pines," later Aenroon and also Warragh 'Bright-Spring'), Angwakuur ("That Which Men Know As Hunger," "The Great Black Dire Wolf of the North"), Daskra ("The Vast Bird of The Sunrise"), Dóskul ("The White Watcher," "The Herald of The High Pillars," now humbled and punished as Deiros), Ieldranndr ("Wave-Bright"), Illendótenn ("The Wearer of A Thousand Skins," "The Illusions of Ice"), Keralaskra ("The Feaster-on-Flesh," later Naulanjar "The Eyeless Crow"), Nammarnaera ("the Unquelled"), Nóskalra ("She Who Makes The Tides Run Red"), Róverynn ("The Thunderer From Afar"), and Naulkundra ("The Mother of Ivory and Bone," "The Battle-Maiden of the Frozen North," "She Who Hunts Beasts and Slays Man").

sleyvas Posted - 17 May 2023 : 22:56:16
quote:
Originally posted by AJA

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

quit feeding the gnome cheese.

No silly, Cheese is for haflings. Everyone knows that gnomes much prefer beans.





I stand corrected goodsir.
AJA Posted - 17 May 2023 : 01:41:16
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

quit feeding the gnome cheese.

No silly, Cheese is for haflings. Everyone knows that gnomes much prefer beans.

sleyvas Posted - 15 May 2023 : 19:04:24
quit feeding the gnome cheese.
AJA Posted - 14 May 2023 : 07:11:22

FAERÛNIAN HAIKU 3: Marginally Worse Than the First Two Times


Silvered evenfall
Mount Sar sat and sighed, content
enjoying the frost

High Aryvandaar
A strange eldritch spell takes form
while proud elves stand watch

An old shield hangs scarred
Cold light and haunted shadows
The Fall moon kneels low

In dwarf-lands they say
When war-drums have faded away
Goblins rule the day


A loud and strange noise
Odors of unfamiliar things
Aie! a gnome is come!


AJA Posted - 30 Apr 2023 : 04:58:02

WRAPPING UP A TANGENT (one can only hope)
Continued on (once again) from "continued on from Jelendrae 'Burninghard'"
quote:

No, the reason the Bright-Sleigh flies is entirely due to the bound enchantments, salvageable and restorable even in their downed state, which run outwardly through the steering helm and the confidence of the one steering her; and also to the skills of the Navigator Azagrim "Sky-Reader"; First-Shift Helmsman Faëthander, Second-Shift Helmsman Emmalira, Third-Shift Helmsman Olthaera Tloun, and Initiate Helmsman Izanya Merelghast; and also to the skilled crew who run about ceaselessly trimming and reefing sails and also constantly swab the decks with oils of merethemmel and tinctures of mystic silver to keep them supple and bouyant; and finally, to the Art of the Shipmages Olbarrim "Dawn-cloak" and Keskeldra the Dew-Ringed, whose enchantments continually work to enforce the bound elementals at the heart of the ship, and keep them docile and performing.


Navigator Azagrim "Sky-Reader"
Priest of Selûne. Also strongly favors the tenets of Valkur, Shaundakul, Savras. Has spent a lifetime learning and researching various celestial sky-currents, star-pathings, and higher-altitude weather patterns which allow a skyship quicker and gentler traverse from one end of recorded Faerűn to the other.
        Thin, wiry. Long, failing, grey remnants of a once-magnificent yellow mane, now commonly bound-up when on-duty in an overlarge, trailing, multi-colored cap (often called a terrible windsock or an old-man's nightcap by insouciant lesser crew and helmsmen). Also sports a wispy white beard that never grew out in quite the magely way he wished it to – quite unlike his eyebrows, which seem to unreasonably flourish in the higher altitudes. Never fails to toss his own personal coin overside when the Bright-Sleigh crosses open water (in addition to the traditional ship's tithe); believes strongly that coins gifted from such a height help more to quell chances of a titanic rogue wave or massive reaching kraken tentacles, launched by a goddess so angered by ships that deny her her watery bourne.

First-Shift Helmsman Faëthander
Gold elf, with the typical, effortless, shining hair and shining bronzed skin that entails. Slender, fit, athletic. Has two deeply-darkened, almost amethyst, blue eyes – the color of which being most strange for a gold elf….but, also, 'entirely possible for a part-drow~!' – the latter a dire Elvendom accusation which he spent his entire childhood violently denying, through fists or blades, or options otherwise, to state that he is firmly, not, NOT!, in any way drow (those 'childhood activities', then, serving to explain why the right side of his face has a very visible scar directly down through the eyebrow, and an additional, horizontal, slash across the right cheek).
        Pan-sexual, in that particularly common elven way. Driven, intense, singularly focused in his duties and his personal pursuits. They walk the path of both mage and swordsman, but do not often comment on either. They do, however, huddle with Jelendrae and Azagrim in the autumnal months, and conspire to plot a course to ensure that the Bright-Sleigh is above Waterdeep on the eve of the Tempusan holy-day of Darromath (Sword-Cleansings). Such scheduled visits are common knowledge aboard ship, but never discussed, though fellow crew have observed that Faëthander is keen to visit with both the Rurelkorr (High Runecarver) Haelgoss Llaskhorn at the Hall of Heroes, and also the elders of the Pantheon Temple of the Seldarine upon such occasions.

Second-Shift Helmsman Emmalira
A native of Elversult. Priestess of Lathander. A devout Morninglass. Proudly displays in her quarters a silent, hin-sized, crystal-based phantasm of a vibrant, feather-decorated, human hammer-thrower in action, seamlessly alternating from wind-up to throw to post-release, before resetting (enchantments visually preserving such athletic strivings are common in temples of the Morninglord, but rare and costly otherwise; in order to gain such a thing, Emmaliira had to part with a particularly treasured and kobold-eared work – Chasing All Merriments, authored by Dalgdheld "The Most Daring-Quill", 1121DR, her most favored – and lurid – of her collection of frowned-upon chapbooks, during an anchoring at the Great Library of Candlekeep; and from there discovered from the Monks that this particular depiction was recorded of Neleiros the Bronze, once a wildly successful adventurer and star athlete at the Fields of Pryollus during the 1100's, and later an influential Senator of Cimbar).
        As for the show-crystal itself, she then acquired it in the deeply-darkened back-streets of Memnon – though of the very few she has allowed to view her treasure, she has been extremely (and, curiously, to such friends) evasive on what was the true cost – chapbook aside – of her acquisition.
        Enamored of the shipsmage Olbarrim (only, in truth, his cloak, which she greatly wishes to add to her collected possessions, or at least the knowledge to recreate such things); frustrated that any of her advances beyond the professional are met with gentle, but firm refusal.

Third-Shift Helmsman Olthaera Tloun
A native of Turmish. Cinnamon skin, rounded face and rounder thighs. Dark golden eyes. Heavy dark eyebrows, heavy, curly dark locks, bound by golden filigree into ringlets that reach mid-shoulder-blade, and are often dyed at the tips in vibrant colors. Bi-sexual, currently prefers the quarters of First-Shift Helmsman Faëthander – not only for his powerful convictions, but also for his shared (in her opinion) belief that 'one master might excel another' (or, as otherwise phrased, "knowledge is power, if you know it from the right person"). Deeply desires to dance and spellcast as he does. Adores the teachings of the Faith of Llira. Not a true faithful, but strives to live her life accordingly.

Initiate Helmsman Izanya Merelghast
A native of Sembia. Permanent green streaks in her otherwise brown hair and eyes, a lingering legacy of her distant (water) genasi heritage. Webbed toes as well, not that she shares such things with others! (she keeps her lower legs covered in stockings and heavy socks and leather high-boots at all times, and also does not get along particularly well with the shipmage Keskeldra, despite the latter's attempts at professional friendship). Prominent brow, wide eyes. Sharp nose, sharp attitude, the latter two as common among all native upper-coin Sembians. Bold and blustering, but full of those nervous little motions which leads the rest of the senior crew to see right through her bravado.
        Betrothed by her family at a young age to the halfling Eresk Trotwood, heir to the mercantile concern of Trotwood's Fine Sembian Woodworkings ("makers of superior turnbuckles, pulleys and windlasses, for discerning shipping vessels of all manner and specification"). Fled both Sembia and arranged betrothal at her first opportunity (her fifteenth birthday, one before she was bound to be wed, aided by a sympathetic dowager aunt who provided her with an arcane 'wreath of star-leaves, and moonmist hung from afar, and festoons of star-spray besides' (a helm of invisibility of sorts, one which she still carries and keeps secret to this day, and still dons as soon as she becomes nervous enough and excuses herself from any conversation she feels terribly awkward in).

Olbarrim "Dawn-Cloak"
Ship-mage. Learned his craft as a lad aboard the Tharsultan free-trader Nimmelmar's Merry-Sails, captained by the so-titled Nimmelmar "Deep-Anchor". Of mixed Turami-Calishite ancestry. His epithet comes from his actual rainment, an arcane cloak that very visibly brightens and dims during the passages of day (and contains various other enchantments as well). The cloak is rumored to have been sewed by Lathander himself as the death-shroud of one of his most faithful, the paladin Meskráven, slain in deep fighting during the Battle of the Bones.
        Emerald-eyed, thick black beard forcefully trimmed into a respectable dagger-wedge, as honors the regional Tharsultan traditions of the Tentasmel ('wave-weavers', or, as they are otherwise known to the Realms as, 'ship-mages'). Four wives, two children (Fiunace, Nianué, neither whom are the least interested in the sea, but are both inspired by the mystical concepts of mathematics, instead).
        When in port, in foreign festhalls, enjoys the company of both young women and halflings (but only there, as evidenced by his on-board rebuttals of the Second-Shift Helmsman, Emmaliira). When in Waterdeep, intently huddles in the incoherent company of his former fellow adventuring companion, the mage Elnausker.

Keskeldra the Dew-Ringed
Ship-mage. Water Genasi. Limp dark hair and shining dark skin both appear as if she just stepped forth from the baths. Crystal-clear eyes, crystal-blue freckles scattered on both shoulders and collarbone. The air is always warm and sweet around her but also uncomfortably sticky after a time, especially as her mood sours. Tolerant and even-tempered, to a point. Can bear many things (meska, meska, her favored phrase, as often said in her native Durparan; patience, patience) – but not absurd ignorance or willful arrogance (the latter of which is why her interactions with First Helmsman Faëthander are so typically terse). Distant half-sister of the Harper and Moonshaen griffon-lancer, Ryolavarr.


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

WRAPPING UP &etc.,
(in which I take the opportunity to incorporate a few ramblings I never found a home for otherwise)

'When in Waterdeep, intently huddles in the incoherent company of his former fellow adventuring companion, the mage Elnausker'
Elnausker
The former First Mage of The Company of Minimum Efforts, an adventuring fellowship active in Amn and the Western Heartlands. Now broken and mind-mixed, and ensconced close by the warm hearth of Theldediir's Long Rest, an inn and taproom on The Street of Silver, Castle Ward (where he continually babbles streams of unknowable alchemy and infernal weirds; blue esters, celestial meadows, sorcerous malalignments, intolerable realmery, and the odd angles of Anadian triangles).
        Once sound of mind and accomplished in the Art, his body tragically met with silverfire in the same instant his mind met with the invasions of an intellect devourer, and the result has been manic swings of mad genius and genial madness, wrapped entirely in unintelligible riddle and enigma. The one particular phrase he comes back to now, over and over again, is 'upon this white lake whose mirror is the moon, these ruins which were once skulls, this lawless fire, where the bright-eyed lady took up her spear and rebelled against the lakesmiths and equipagers, and all other gentlesaers of largely fiendish fortune'. Needless to say this, like all his other ramblings, have proven to be just tragically incoherent nonsense.
        He was delivered, disjointed and broken, to Mystra's Arms, the Mystran house of madness, and they healed him to a point; but his former companions despaired of him being immured there, and brought him forth and took him back into their circle, in the hope that friendship and familiar surroundings could better serve him.
        While he is overseen and engaged daily by either his fellow local surviving Companions or paid nurses, two old friends and fellow Workers-of-Art – one the shipmage Olbarrim "Dawn-Cloak" and the other Baerlus Maermandar, a senior Magister of the Mystran House of Wonder – come often to sit with him, and listen, and seem very keen on his ramblings; other, random, strangers have attempted to sit in as well, but his former companions vigorously forbid such intrusions.


'Distant half-sister of the Harper and Moonshaen griffon-lancer, Ryolavarr'
Ryolavarr
One of three long-wing griffon riders who came in over the rooftops of the city in 1372DR, swaddled in multiple layers of oiled cloth and furs and bearing haversacks bristling with scrolls sealed with strange waxes. They claimed to have flown straight from the Moonshaen isle of Gwynneth – an impossible feat given the carrying capacity of their mounts and the vast distance over empty waves – and landed in the aeries atop Mount Waterdeep before taking their mysterious burdens directly to the Castle.
        His companions were a rough warrior calling himself Jormander, whose love of tankard and tavern-talk disclosed most of these details; and a woman who separately did not deign to disclose her name, and spent her time instead cloistered with the blue-robes at the House of Wonder. The trio did not tarry long in the city but also did not return westward, saddling their mounts and flying out over the city walls north-and-east towards the High Forest not half a tenday later.


'the Company of Minimum Efforts, an adventuring fellowship active in Amn and the Western Heartlands'
Formerly of some fame and success, saw both ended abruptly in the depths of the Undermountain, beset by a pack of intellect devourers and their illithid handlers, and then also by the sudden secondary appearance of a party of feared dark elves. That they should have spared a moment to consider whether the drow were active foe or merely passing through was driven home by their leader, a strikingly silver-haired she-witch of fearsome abilities, but by then the battle and carnage was done, and half the Company lay dead, and the rest soon dissolved; Elnausker in his current state; Olbarrim leaving for the comforting embrace of his former ship-board life; Theldediir buying the inn and taproom which now bears his name; Nelglastra finding a place at the Spires of the Morning but still, despite the healing efforts of her fellow priests, leaning heavily upon her staff and walking in constant discomfort; and Heldaur, who now keeps accounts for the Flying Falcons merchant coster and awakens suddenly several nights each tenday, drenched in sweat and night terrors, and is only lulled back to uneasy sleep by the patient efforts of an understanding husband.


'the Tempusan holy-day of Darromath (Sword-Cleansings)'
"An unsharpened sword is nothing but a length of dull iron and dull use" (The Teachings of the Lord of Battles, Galeshar of Ruruin, 1152DR). And what truly is a length of dull iron in Faerûn, compared to tearing tooth or wicked talon, or flaming hell conjured by foul mage? Nothing. The sword then is nothing without the whetstone (darroma). Master bladesman and master chef have long ago learnt the importance of the darroma, and that is why they are masters.
        There is also of no less importance to the blade the cleansing (ilarramath), the wiping and cleaning of the weapon after combat and bloody use. This is not only practical in a physical sense, but in a metaphysical one as well, as a blade left uncleansed and bathed in gore and death will soon become corrupted and invested with the foul negative energies of devils or fallen gods – and its' wielder too, soon enough! All regions, and all religions, have their own methods for the ilarramath, but in Waterdeep and Northern environs there is preferred, by those who hold such things holy, a slurry of askatho (honing-oil), and hardfast (waters specifically blessed by the priesthoods of Tempus or other martial gods) and bloodred (the crushed and muddled petals of the dwarf ruby-rose), coated and then scraped on a blessed whetstone (or, at the least, one previously rubbed with comfrey and yellow swordtrue, and left to purify in direct sunlight for a time); ideally thereafter washed with a tincture of mystic silver, and then carefully polished by an unsullied cloth ritually blessed by the faithful of Tempus.


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

Aumanus Tulver
[ Source: A 03/17/23 Twitter reply to @TheEdVerse by Ed Greenwood. Name/Description given ]

AJA Posted - 30 Apr 2023 : 04:53:20

THE FIVE (one) NPCs YOU MEET IN WATERDEEP
(it's still April, therefore I can still make the deadline for the April Fool's issue of DRAGON™ Magazine, right? Right??)


Alshandlaera 'She Whose Scales Shimmer Through the Night')
(continued of Alshandlaera 'She Whose Scales Shimmer Through the Night'
A great silver wyrm, one of the three mythic pullers of Selûne's celestial sleigh, 'o'er whose moonlit skies flies blithe and bright' (pulled in trio with the great gold wyrm Malstavryth 'Midwinter's Silent Overseer' and the great white wyrm Aerargeld 'Glimmer White-Wing'. Famed and praised in Selûnite song and verse, especially as excerpted from the following, popular, eponymously-named paen;

Then one foggy Shieldmeet E'en,
Selûne came to say,
"Alshandlaera 'She Whose Scales Shimmer Through the Night',"
Won't you guide my sleigh tonight?
Then all the great wyrms loved her
And they shouted out with glee,
"Alshandlaera 'She Whose Scales Shimmer Through the Night',"
You'll go down in history!


AJA Posted - 03 Apr 2023 : 05:03:20

MISC'LLANEA
More Books for the Comfy Shelves of your Cottagecore Caster! Edition
Yes, of course it has cookbooks. And chapbooks! And, and… wait, is that a .gif joke? In MY Realms!?!


"or, as the Hinfolk say, 'where Tarly Mumble-Cups and Tam Cabbage met', and where they shared in the slaying of a kobold of note; but thereafter neither would concede the point and so they batted the severed head back and forth by means of their knobbed shillelaghs, until the head was dropped into a crevice beyond reach and thereby defeat was finally acknowledged; and thus was the most gentlehinly sport of gif conceived and in the ages since, its' rules codified, though its' titular pronunciation was and still remains an open argument among Halflingdom."
        Douglath Hybilgreen
        Hybilgreen's Words for Common Things: or, A Hin-Book for Humans, and Other Races That Use the Common-Speech
        Year of the Vengeful Halfling, 939DR

"Cathlyre are skinned, not plucked, before cooking, and the skin entire with the feathers is put over the roasted bird, and the tail opened out before placing the dish on the table, making it a most unique and colorful centerpiece to any imminent feasting."
        Orleneira, Hearth-Chef Outrageous of Baldur's Gate
        Orleneira's Concise Guide to Colorful Cookery and Masterful Entertaining
        Year of the Striking Falcon, 1333DR

"And so Rodanyy sat heavy under a Midwinter night sky that glowed with stars eerie and breathing, and despaired. And she sat there still, while the Wood of Shar grew thick and fast around her, too tangled for all but a single star to shine through. For that star was Astandelora, an elder Moon-Maiden of Selûne, who knew well all the turnings and swervings of the darkness.

And so Astandelora came forth, scented of cedar and sweet honey, and knelt, a small white star at the feet of Rodanyy. And she gently reached forth her hand and lifted her head up and looked strongly into her eyes, where the moonlight shone bright, and said unto her, 'Listen now, maiden of Man, and understand. The Old Year has died. Selûne is wrath in the sky before us. Shar is low and trembling underfoot. Those who would never yield must now stand and shine forth, and rise high in the darkness'.

And Rodanyy looked back at her with a sharpened gaze, and gathered herself under the sudden retreat of the Night, and rose purposefully to her feet."

        excerpted from 'The Celestial Lay of Rodanyy of Roabrûne, Moon-Maiden of Selûne and War-Weaver of the Silver Traceries'
        Saeluth of Saerloon
        Year of the Petulant Dragon, 1135DR

"It is commonly said that 'The Art is Opportunity'. Well, I say 'Age is Opportunity', and for much better reason; The Art, and the mastering of it, is all of knowledge and purpose, and those are the very same things that come naturally to the aged in their evening twilight. But for the aged, that 'opportunity' is tempered by experience and scars invisible, and no longer poisoned by the sanguinary dreams of youth."
        Mreladiskra of the Starry Coven
        Mreladiskra's Malcontentments: or, My Sayings and Doings
        1100DR, Year of the Bloodrose

"And as he stood before him now, tall and unbowed, his loose dark hair and fierce blue eyes proved he was indeed Ruathymaar, a native born of that barren island rock which grows nothing but mariners and mariner's widows."
        'Chapter IX: Then On They Gladly Sailed'
        The Sûnesbright Knight and The Shaliera of Dreams
        by Semmer Evvendusk
        published in chapbook form, Year of the Helm, 1362DR

"And here we come to the prided and praised export of Durpar and The Shining Lands; Marratha the Goldenweal, the far-sung 'sweet-sharp', the 'honing-stone of Chauntea'. As written of in the masterly Julmathon's Legendarium; 'the root then pounded with honey and graced with a hedge-charm of fitness, meant to lean fat and give the weak strength'. It is said that the warriors of Deluthamatheir marched and fought for six tenday straight on a diet of nothing but, until their enemies were routed to a man, whereupon they dropped dead all of sudden heartstop."
        Mindlethist the Poulticier
        Herbs Both Puissant and Green-Growing
        Year of the Vigilant Fist, 1259DR

"Bright and fair is the Elembar-land and merry are the men who tread upon her"
        excerpted from the ode, 'The Merriments of Men'
        The Valors of Phalorm
        by Eldarendor, Foremost Sage and Song-Scribe of the Court of King Davyd Snowsword, of The Kingdom of Man
        Year of the Crawling Crags, 692DR

"People tend to think me foolish. Vainglorious. 'A lunatic attention-seeker without a care in all Faerûn'. They may have the merest makings of a point, but it ends no further than the tips of their own nose. For I indeed have a care. I have several dozen in fact; husband, children, family, fast friends. It is for them that I throw myself into harm's way, not for some simple child's fantasy of fame and fortune. It has oft been said that 'Fortune Favors the Brave', and it is for my love of them that I make myself brave. Because I believe that Tymora's fortune does indeed carry the day.

"And because I believe without hesitation, that they would do the same for me."

        The Fortunes of Family
        Dardathra Flame-Scarred, The Mothering Blade of Tymora
        Year of the Wingèd Gift, 1156DR

"When the sky becomes crystal and blue and the air clear and cold, and the elevations become quite high; and so I am of the sure-footed beasts of the mountain crags. My skin changes. I am then a new beast. Oh! It is good to change the skin and the mind. Don't you get sick to be always the same, familiar, threadbare wolf?"
        the character of Narglemas Many-Skins
        excerpted from the play 'The Were Who Wore Many Skins'
        derived from older legends of Narglemas the Many-Skinned
        penned by Dalesfar of Ithmong
        Year of Azure Frost, 1057DR, and a stage-standard in the Western Heartlands to the present day

"No? You have not yet changed your skin? The day here practically demands it! Your ears should be open wide, to hear the voice of such things. You are afraid then of what the others will fear. You need not! They can only repeat what they know, but they can never do. To do, one must forget fear and embrace the higher wonders and illusions."
        the character of Narglemas Many-Skins
        excerpted from the play 'The Were Who Wore Many Skins'
        derived from older legends of Narglemas the Many-Skinned
        penned by Dalesfar of Ithmong
        Year of Azure Frost, 1057DR, and a stage-standard in the Western Heartlands to the present day

AJA Posted - 18 Mar 2023 : 02:25:19

continued on from Jelendrae "Burninghand"
Her epithet of "Burninghand" is due to the fact that the fingers and back-side of her right hand, wrapping around her wrist and up her arm halfway to her elbow is a mix of vibrant tattoo-work, as well as an apellation that she carefully cultivates through noticeable use of flaming and incendiary spells.

Those who know her well enough or work closely enough with her to have seen her quarters believe it is her cabin desk and its' obvious 'emblems of speed and promptness' that allow her to Master the Bright-Sleigh, but this is not true. What is true, is that the markings on her hand are not tattoos, but an actual (semi-) physical gauntlet, an arcane artifact of ancient age, that bonded and merged with her flesh.

Note that Master in this case, does not mean that she is the reason the Bright-Sleigh flies. Jelendrae (and her gauntlet) is simply the reason that the Bright-Sleigh (found crashed and long-abandoned high in the Cloven Mountains of Erlkazar) responds to commands or sorcerous inputs at all. And also the reason for the colorful sails and the unique three-headed prow, which were physically re-shaped at her whim.

No, the reason the Bright-Sleigh flies is entirely due to the bound enchantments, salvageable and restorable even in their downed state, which run outwardly through the steering helm and the confidence of the one steering her; and also to the skills of the Navigator Azagrim "Sky-Reader"; First-Shift Helmsman Faëthander, Second-Shift Helmsman Emmalira, Third-Shift Helmsman Olthaera Tloun, and Initiate Helmsman Izanya Merelghast; and also to the skilled crew who run about ceaselessly trimming and reefing sails and also constantly swab the decks with oils of merethemmel* and tinctures of mystic silver** to keep them supple and bouyant; and finally, to the Art of the Shipmages Olbarrim "Dawn-cloak" and Keskeldra the Dew-Ringed, whose enchantments continually work to enforce the bound elementals at the heart of the ship, and keep them docile and performing.


* Oil from the merethemn shrub-plant native to the dry eastern highlands of Halruaa, which are actually quite favorable to the pliancy and bouyancy of ship timbers treated with such. Nimbral is a great importer of this oil for their waterbourne ships – as is Lapaliiya, for the bows of their infamous archer units.

** It's the stuff silly sages and sillier alchemists misinterpret as moon-silver (the drippings obtained from pressing raw starmetal); or Derro's-Gold (arising from the belief that the Derro prize silver as other races do gold, in their enchantments); or heavy magic (and sometimes called super heavy magic) – and also a disconcordant parade of "one of a number of things that the goddess Lurue dipped her horn into, in popular mythology, once". It's actually a variation on the everbright treatments used on arms and armor, discovered by the Halruaans to be particularly effective at defending against the worst of the high-altitude elements.

I mean, that's what my reliable local sage tells me, and I pay him good coin, so surely he wouldn't?


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

continued of Aerargeld 'Glimmer White-Wing'
Aerargeld 'Glimmer White-Wing'
A great white wyrm, one of the three mythic pullers of Selûne's celestial sleigh, 'o'er whose moonlit skies flies blithe and bright' (pulled in trio with the great gold wyrm Malstavryth 'Midwinter's Silent Overseer' and the great silver wyrm Alshandlaera 'She Whose Scales Shimmer Through the Night').

When Aerageld was still a wyrmling it is said that she sat outside her lair in the Northernmost Realms and stared for hours untold into the deep black velvet of the night skies and the glittering and diamond-bright beacons that called to her, and also the giant overarching silvery disc that was close enough for her to read the wendings and the ways on its' surface, but still far enough to lurk, tangibly, forever out of reach. It was these scintillating bright spots in the skies that fascinated and confounded her.

Ice she knew, glittering and cold. Snowflakes she knew, flashing and intricate. But those dull things were touchable and knowable and the stars, flashing and cold, and the moon, glittering and intricate and unfathomable, were not. And so one day her heart swelled and her courage peaked, and she took flight to find out the answers that had so long evaded her.

Upward she flew, past the warm boundaries of bluish skies.
Upward she flew, into the black velvet of the night skies.
Upward she flew, into the great Sea of Night, where Faerûn ceases to exist and the Celestial Heavens and the Realms Unknowable begin.

And upward she flew still, into The Void and The Doom of Living Things, and when she finally reached her destination and landed among Selûne's glittering Celestial Domain, her wings were completely grown over in ice, and her heart had frozen and ceased to beat.

But with her final failing breaths there her eyes beheld the magnificence of the goddess Selûne, wrapt in all the unknowable majesty and mystery of the stars and the moon, solemnly approaching her, an endless trail of luminescent and serene Handmaidens in her wake. And Selûne reached out her hand and uttered forth, "breathe my child and be reborn, for you have found that which you have travelled far and faithfully for", and suddenly the inescapable ice fled from her wings and the fatal coldness fled from her heart, and Aerargeld, reborn, knelt and asked to be allowed to stay and learn of the wendings and the ways of the stars and the moon, and of all their mysteries besides, and to this Selûne agreed, in return for the wyrm becoming a herald at the head of her celestial sleigh, and they had many teachings and conversations during their endless journeys ever since.

AJA Posted - 11 Mar 2023 : 04:25:57

Ambygale and Osburr Boltbelly
Brother-and-sister team of Hin cobble-cooks, most often set up their colorful stall and cooking apparatus around the confines of Caravan Court, in the deep foredawn before the true hustle and bustle begins. They make a strong morning-brew of roast calanor berries and chicory-root (potent, but liable to upset the delicate stomach), and offer a full-fulsome (or a 'Luskan-fry'), a hearty wake-fast of bacon, scrambled eggs, blood sausage and low-beans, served to-go in a 'bowl' of hollowed hard-bread.
        Osburr is gregarious and irrepressible, and masterful at the the charming and unskilled 'little-songs' of the halflings, while Ambygale is reserved and silent and singularly focused on her culinary bladework and cookery.

Jelendrae "Burninghand"
Lady-Master (captain) of the sky-ship Bright-Sleigh. Her ship, led by its' brightly-colored sails and distinctive three-headed dragon prow (the carvings corresponding to Malstavryth 'Midwinter's Silent Overseer', Alshandlaera 'She Whose Scales Shimmer Through the Night', and Aerargeld 'Glimmer White-Wing', the three mythic pullers of Selûne's celestial sleigh, 'o'er whose moonlit skies flies blithe and bright') navigates the cloud-ways between Halruaa and Silverymoon, with oft-recorded stops in Waterdeep, Candlekeep, and Ormpur. How she gained the command of such a ship is unknown; she does not appear to be Halruaan and, despite her long captaincy of the Bright-Sleigh, there appears to be no record of her life before that (or of the ship itself, for that matter).
        Her cargo holds "a great collection of strange and wonderful rareties, perilously gathered from The Realms Afar" (large black pearls and thick wedges of fine tortoiseshell, beast-skins, saffron, strange honey; priceless glowstone sculptures and fruits of many hues, vibrant and sweet, and otherwise unknown to the folk of the Northern Realms), as well as more mundane but valuable and easily-transported goods – well-grown and perfectly-whorled lengths of wood cut precisely to the specifications of wand and stave are always welcomed in Silverymoon!; and also personal missives, the urgent, sealed and encoded kind requiring the speedy travel favored by guilds and governments, and not a few secretive societies besides.
        Jelendrae prefers her hair unbound and her feet unshod, wears slit robes patterned with either repeating motifs of birds in flight or mixed offsetting patterns of golden shell and silver goblet. Her voice is loudly blunt and brazen, and forged through many years of commanding her way through howling gales. Her own personal cabin is a cramped affair, horizontally ringed with shelves of colorful potted wildflowers, mosses and lichens, all attended to with the utmost care, and featuring a single simple bed and a singular desk, carved with interwoven arrows and lightning bolts and other emblems of speed and promptness.

Nyst The Moonmaulk
(NIST) A dandy and fancy-stave of the first order. Haughty, confident, flouncing, idiosyncratic. Blessed by the Art and fortunate enough to know it, exactly the kind of apprentice that thrives in Blackstaff Tower (or flames out spectacularly, even odds). Engaged in a long-standing and entirely-inappropriate romantic relationship with one of his teachers, Gulfrûne, which only serves to puff his collar that much more. Among his peers and his detractors (largely the same thing) he is commonly called Moonmaulk, after the overly-flavored and sweetened Waterdhavian milk-pudding of the same name.
        His preferred attire is a long show-coat of red leather, tooled with red roses, outlined with long tasselled fringes and gleaming with half-a-hundred silver studs, over a white under-shirt of lacings and throat ruffles, and trousers of red-and-blue checker pattern, tucked loosely into crimson calf-high boots ornamented with rosettes of chased silver, and fastened with braided silver lacings.
        Has as a familiar the Dessarin dun-cat, Quickfellow (unusually fussy and timorous but, if forced, can still unleash a roar to honor their forebears).

'Rune-Marked' Nadrelimbrar
An ancient limb-bowed forest guardian, on whom was invested the sigils of not just one, but five masters of the Weave, forest-friends all, including Tulrun of the Tent and the great druid Uthgang Jyarl. This investiture has served to strengthen and fortify Nadrelimbrar and, upon the (violent) event of their death, empowers fatal transformation into a fearsome rampaging nature elemental, in order to ensure that the vengeance of the Forest does not go unheeded.
        The last time a ritual of this sort was performed was for Raorthrust "Snow-Bowed," greatest ent of his age, a direct scion of Emmantiensien the Treant King, The Titan of Morn and Noon and Night (himself one of the Four Flinders, the four surviving branches of Nelebrimmaur, the First Ent, sundered and quartered by Bahgtru during the War of Elf and Orc). Raorthrust fought against the madness of House Vyshaan and the burning of the nature fastness of Miinthintle during the Last Crown War, and in his transformed wake he left the slow-healing scars now known as Narmista (where darkling autumn and the Patchwork Princess reign year-round) and Illhazel (where thick ravines, carved of relentless root and savage storm, are now host to darkly-whorled trunks and everpresent, many-clawed branches that seem to follow every movement, and crowd in upon tresspassers with feverish eagerness).

Ulthorst
A sage in the field of giantkind (with specializations in languages, major lineages, and legends and folklore). Tall and lank, and stringy-haired and awkward. Has solid researches and obscure references not only of Ostoria, but also many of the varied giantish diasporas afterwards (especially those of the more far-ranging cloud giant kingdoms). Low-lit and scroll-lined parlor on the Moorewalk, South Ward. Fancies adventuring parties, very willing to offer a discount on his services if there is a real possibility of him getting his hands on actual giantish records or remains of any sort.


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


'the Dessarin dun-cat'
The species of which has the aformentioned over-coat, as well as traditional black ruff, leg-bands, and forehead blaze; underbelly and sides sometimes spotted with smoky grey; has long, tufted ears and occasionally a darker brownish-orange 'moon-curl' (underchin "beard"); loves sunshine and blue sky and the crunch crunch of hunted bones, and chafes at home imprisonment.
        Legend says that the dun-cat under great duress can roar and call forth a 'hail of fangs', a barrage of piercing offensive missiles; and also that it may physically manifest the tall grass, to efficiently obscure its position; and finally that, late in the gloaming, it repeatedly coughs and issues forth the last absorbed sighs of sunset, and that such effluence may be taken up and carried forth by fortunate travelers, in lieu of lost torch or lantern.
        Not to be confused with the dunstripe (slevvercat), which haunts the more overgrown regions of the High Forest and outdoes the dun-cat in both size and in the barbaric brilliancy of their teeth; nor with the Dessarin honey-cat, whose troublesome territoriality and insouciant lack-of-care continually torments any visitor near their dens.



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


Ahghairon the Old
Ahghairon was born Ahghairon Belnoth Undrur, but once he left home never used anything other than his first name (which was also his great-grandfather's given name). He acquired or went by other names in his early life, but by the time he was resident in Waterdeep, he was only "Ahghairon" to the world. "Many were those who thought me Wise; But I always thought myself Merry" (apocrypha, attributed to, and said to have been inscribed upon the lid of the tomb of, Ahghairon the Old, deep in his spell-locked and -guarded tower). [ Source: Ed Greenwood, Ed Greenwood Discord Patreon channel #q4ed, 02/21/23. Full name/naming history given. Additional detail by me. ]

Haeradauntra the Silent Shadow
[ Source: Ed Greenwood, Ed Greenwood Discord Patreon channel #q4ed, 03/09/23. Name/description given ]

sleyvas Posted - 28 Feb 2023 : 14:22:10
quote:
Originally posted by AJA


Turns out that in the Realms roosters are just like elves, and can breed with absolutely anything.

Including elves. What do you think aarakocra are? "Wait, but aarakocra are parrot-people." Yes, that's the elven part. All poncy and pretty.

Also, The Shaar is totally overrun with Roosterphants.

Another thing not to ask about.





You know, I had heard a rumor that hollyphants were actually an export to the outer planes from Katashaka, being rumored to be born of a strain of golden feathered roosters believed to have been sent as a divine blessing by "the Dawn Cock"... a giant rooster believed to live in the upper boughs of Yggdrasil and which heralds the coming of the sun... It's believed there is a village on the western shores of Katashaka which has an extremely non-magical variation of Hollyphant that are treated as sacred by the local population. The same population is said to possess a small variety of griffin, known as a griffock, which appears to be a mixture of rooster and leopard. I had blown such stories off as Leiran fallacies, but perhaps.... nah, probably just another instance of similar development.

AJA Posted - 28 Feb 2023 : 02:23:25

Turns out that in the Realms roosters are just like elves, and can breed with absolutely anything.

Including elves. What do you think aarakocra are? "Wait, but aarakocra are parrot-people." Yes, that's the elven part. All poncy and pretty.

Also, The Shaar is totally overrun with Roosterphants.

Another thing not to ask about.

sleyvas Posted - 27 Feb 2023 : 15:04:09
quote:
Originally posted by AJA



* infernal fowls, Abyssal cocks – roosters bred with nupperibo (don't ask) to be black of feather and bleak of heart. Talons as long and as eager as a hungry Hin's supper knife. The ever-sinister Xanathar or malicious drow beast-melders in the deep ways have long been rumored to be the source of these vicious creatures – as have the nobles of House Phylund in the city above (sometimes even in conjunction!)





But... I ... want... to ... ask .... {rolls 1 on will save} ROOSTERS not HENS? That is one horny rooster. Guessing the nupperibo had to be shapechanged.
AJA Posted - 27 Feb 2023 : 02:20:19

MISC'LLANEA
Presenting within a series of interesting and informative amusements, courtesy of enterprising scribe Delbra Narganna, the self-styled 'Opportunistic Quill of Oghma', and her most excellent on-going chap-book 'Narratives and Esoterica'. Published and graciously reproduced here for purview under the auspices of Tym Limited, Waterdeep, whose offerings can be commonly found for distribution and purchase in discerning scroll-shops and brandished for sale by chap-criers at all prominent way-moots across the city.

(please note that any strange editorial asides which may appear herein are not approved or recognized by the author or her publisher, and should in no manner be considered authoritative, and futhermore should be reported immediately to the nearest representatives of the Guild of Scriveners, Scribes, and Clerks or to the Watchful Order of Magists and Protectors)


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

'The Court of The Lord of Ulversdeeping'

"...and behind him followed his council, a veritable whos-who of gnomish lordlings and suzerains, announced proudly alongside their official titles; living ruby Immyrbell of Gnollhead; high hammer Noleskar of Quaint Carve; Bleskul of Blue Nod, thistlecrowned; Borenbrul, primary axe-man of Noth Dwelling; and then Gimbro, jerrif of Winding Windfells. And they each carried proudly a signifier of their holding; and so Immyrbell carried a great ruby faceted in the half-round rose Gnollhead fashion, and Noleskar held aloft the carving-hammer Annadrawn, tied in ribbons of purple and gold, and Bleskul wore his great golden thistle-crown brightened with droplets of alexandrite, and Borenbrul brandished seperately both knobbled and carved halves of the axe Twainlight Fair, and then came Gimbro carrying a golden fell-ferret in outstretched arms, the excited creature loudly and animatedly maintaining its' displeasure the entire way."
        excerpted from 'Observations From The Court of The Lord of Ulversdeeping, Taken On the Occurrence of The Ninth Shieldmeet of The Current Lord, Therein'
        originally published in Narratives and Esoterica (vol.II, issue IX)
        by Delbra Narganna, Sage of Small Matters and Opportunistic Quill of Oghma
        Year of Rogue Dragons, 1373DR


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

'Night-Rings' and the Sporting Amusements of the Commonfolk

"Increasingly in the alleys and courts of the Lower Wards are found 'night-rings', spectacles of blood and combat in poor imitation of the pomp and pageantry of the Field of Triumph. The crowds here are smaller, but no less eager to cheer and thirst for blood and spend their coins wagering on the outcomes. They feature some half-dozen bouts of various flavor, promoted by street-criers who hype the upcoming show and advertise the chosen location some days in advance.
        It is whispered that these proceedings (and a large part of the profits from them) are organized by the crime-lord known as the Xanathar, or by any number of smaller street gangs active in Dock and South Wards. The Lords have not yet seen fit to crack down upon these events (and to be fair, they are honestly more professional and contained than your typical Dock Ward tavern-brawl), but it is commonly rumored that they do have eyes and ears amongst the crowds.
        Vendors of food and drink roam the edges of these gatherings doing brisk business while plentiful sums change hands in betting, both before the show and around the ring as the night progresses. Entertainments begin with 'blade-tongue' bouts to warm up the crowd, then move on to bare-knuckle or blunt object (commonly short-staff or cudgel) matches in which the combatants beat each other senseless. The bloodiest matches are last, the animal fights, and unlike the earlier rounds are usually to the death; all manner of creature are welcome, but anything too big or too exotic is not to be found here, as it would earn more coin being displayed at the Field instead. The stars of these animal fights are usually the infernal fowls* which never fail to send the crowd home happy."
        excerpted from 'An Accounting of the Curiosities and Sporting Amusements of the Commonfolk of Waterdeep'
        originally published in Narratives and Esoterica (vol.II, issue XII)
        by Delbra Narganna, Sage of Small Matters and Opportunistic Quill of Oghma
        Year of Rogue Dragons, 1373DR


* infernal fowls, Abyssal cocks – roosters bred with nupperibo (don't ask) to be black of feather and bleak of heart. Talons as long and as eager as a hungry Hin's supper knife. The ever-sinister Xanathar or malicious drow beast-melders in the deep ways have long been rumored to be the source of these vicious creatures – as have the nobles of House Phylund in the city above (sometimes even in conjunction!)

Names found on a typical night-ring card:
Barrel-Gut Barlo 'as wide as he is wicked'
(not to be confused with fellow brawler)
Bugbear Broon 'killed, cooked and ate his last three opponents'
Hoar's Revenge, an infernal fowl, also 'killed, cooked and ate his last three opponents'
Nelbror The Slop Street Assassin 'master of all manglings and bully-boy of the beatings'
Hammer-Fist Hargran 'has fists harder than Gond's howling forge-hammers'
and
The Leaping Slasher (infernal fowl) and Death-Jowls (pit-dog) and The Ravenous Unraveler (one-eyed snow tiger)

Jethil
'The Cobblestone Chanter'. 'Each word hits with the blow of a thrown cobblestone'. Engages in competition at a number of 'night-rings' in the alleys and courts of the Lower Wards, using a variety of off-the-cuff vulgar, amusing and insulting word-play to 'defeat' his opponents (the winner is acclaimed by popular crowd support, and the loser is pelted by rotten vegetables and other, more unfriendly, projectiles). He works for-hire as a street crier and door-musician when not competing, and also keeps an eye out for adventuring groups newly-arrived to the city, who may be in need of a torchbearer or knowledgeable street guide.

Mother Consequences
Beldra, a native of South Ward. 'You have sown your folly, and you are now reaping the consequences'. Formerly a veteran sparsword at the Field of Triumph. Slowed by an earned collection of infirmities and an addiction to strong drink. Now earns hard coin knuckle-fighting at a variety of 'night-rings' in the alleys and courts of the Lower Wards, splitting the bill with such luminaries as The Nag Street Ripper and Barrel-Gut Barlo.

The Nag Street Ripper
Giant, bristle-haired, over-scarred mastiff. 'Teeth like a look into Tempus's sword-closet'. Owned by the grudge-coin Rosk Toghruul, who puts him forth at a variety of 'night-rings' in the alleys and courts of the Lower Wards. Currently a bettors favorite, has taken on all comers, from infernal fowls to snow-cats to bred pit-dogs.


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Sea Gulls and Their Uses
'The Sea Gulls see plenty. The Sea Gulls hear even more. The problem with the sea gulls is, that the sea gulls don't ever remember what they see or hear. Not for long, anyways…'

"In the great swirling confusions and bustling industries of the Docks are passed along a great many valuables and spoken aloud a great many secrets. It is commonly thought that the tumult and noise are more than enough to foil any attempt at spying or eavesdropping (magical or otherwise), but the truth is that nothing transpires here without being seen or heard by the gulls of the docks, everpresent nearby, wheeling and squawking, underfoot and overhead. Of course, what is plainly seen or heard to the human experience is not at all the same to the gulls, and divining that information and attempting to translate it into something useful is a rare and specialized talent even among those who might have the means of converse with them in the first place.
        In Waterdeep, the foremost of these weird-talkers are the man known only as The Gullmaster and the woman called Mistress of the Grey Wings – one of which is under the thumb of the Xanathar, and the other of whom is in the pocket of The One (although which is which seems to be a matter of open disagreement). Then there is Foambeard Fendrul and The Dock Street Seer, said to be the most useful of those other, lesser lights which attempt to incorporate the gull-sight into their whisperings and general information brokering (Fendrul by the way is Hin, and the only 'beard' he has is the namesake foaming one formed from the contents of the tankards he is constantly at the bottom of!).
        There is also, perhaps, Sea-Mad Seasquall, a curious man-creature* which capers and squawks and behaves more as a man lost to the throes of lunacy, but who does have insights for any who can decipher them (and not only second-hand overhearings from nearby gossipy gulls but also inherited remembrances of favored wind currents and sunlight glinting on the whale-roads of the Trackless Sea, and islets piled high with pirate treasure and sparkling with pearl and other sea-wealth disgorged from the depths)."
        excerpted from 'Strange Stories of the City: The Winged Scallywags of Waterdeep'
        originally published in Narratives and Esoterica (vol.II, issue XII)
        by Delbra Narganna, Sage of Small Matters and Opportunistic Quill of Oghma
        Year of Rogue Dragons, 1373DR


* in truth an ordinary gull luckless enough to have been caught in a wild magic storm and reincarnated into human form under the moon-mad light of Selûne**

** moon-mad light of Selûne (those strange nights when the moonlight comes down widdershins, or 'falls upside-down', and things are seen not where they were, and what is and what was dance around each other with wild abandonment, and the fae elves in their forest homes weave their mithril and brew the inks for their eldritch moon-runes; "on those nights when Malar sneaks to the top of Selûne's celestial white tower and rides her moon-beams with abandonment, down into the souls of those unfortunates born with a bit too much of the wilderness in them", cf. Noemara's Northern Knowings and Sayings)

AJA Posted - 31 Jan 2023 : 01:04:43
quote:
Originally posted by Azar
"You must think me a cynic", she said, regret spreading across her features.



At this, he smiled while dropping a handful of coppers just beyond his now empty plate.



"No, no, not at all. I have met many cynics and I have come to know even more during my time in Waterdeep. The coarsest of cynics can be fundamentally decent. You...you consumed your conscience long ago. This false humility is as charming as a ballroom dress on a corpse. I do not know what you and your companions are planning, but I want no part of it."

Well, first off, I enjoyed reading that.

Second, if it was in reference to something on the previous page (or any other) I'd like to know, because I can't seem to place it.

Either way, I'm intrigued and would like to know more, especially of the parties involved.

Azar Posted - 30 Jan 2023 : 00:51:09
"You must think me a cynic", she said, regret spreading across her features.



At this, he smiled while dropping a handful of coppers just beyond his now empty plate.



"No, no, not at all. I have met many cynics and I have come to know even more during my time in Waterdeep. The coarsest of cynics can be fundamentally decent. You...you consumed your conscience long ago. This false humility is as charming as a ballroom dress on a corpse. I do not know what you and your companions are planning, but I want no part of it."
AJA Posted - 23 Jan 2023 : 04:14:23
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert
If I may... Instead of "Selűne shine bright, cast on me your Light this night.", how about "Selűne shining bright, bathe me in your silver Light."

Wooly, you may indeed always may!

Or perhaps instead, "Bless me" or "Defend me with your".

I appreciate the input. Final draft was definitely a bit clunky but trust me, first draft was even worse (I'm sure you can see the remnant of the original inspiration of 'Star light, star bright, wish I may, wish I might, have this wish I wish tonight')


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

EDIT:

Okay, I think I've settled on;
quote:

their oath is "Shine Strong, Shine Bright" (from the full and formal "Selûne Shine Strong, Selûne Shine Bright, Defend Me With Your Light This Night,", this latter used only on initiations and high gatherings)

Contrasts also with the more aggressive "Shine Forth, Strike Forth" of the other Order.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 23 Jan 2023 : 02:13:48
quote:
Originally posted by AJA



The Palisaded Order
A militant order of Palisaded Selűne, an aspect of the goddess bright and overwatching, shining down upon Her faithful. The Order (The Knights of Palisaded Selűne) work to keep the dark horrors of the night at bay, especially in civilized lands and strongholds of Selűne. Heavily-armored paladins and crusaders. High-ranking knights bear helms or shields engraved with luminous mithril or silver halos that shine forth with holy power (protection from evil, 20'r). Their symbol is the Lucent Halo, their oath is "Selűne shine bright, cast on me your Light this night." Grandmaster of the Order: Durnath the Truly Luminous. Other notable members (separate entries in italics): Emmaliir of Silverymoon, Hlaela Hearth-Mark



If I may... Instead of "Selűne shine bright, cast on me your Light this night.", how about "Selűne shining bright, bathe me in your silver Light."
AJA Posted - 23 Jan 2023 : 01:21:47

Nelkurth
Wandering street-vendor, most often found with his carry-chest around the Market and outside of temples on the various holy days. Thin, angular, bony. Long bronze hair braided in purple and pinned with tin stars. Speaks with an urgent voice and a friendly smile. Claims to hail from east of Calimshan. Concocts and peddles various paste and plumb-deep treatments for goblin-rash, bleed-waste, enflamed talons, haemorrhoids, large haemorrhoids, blanched haemorrhoids and other malignant rectal ailments. His wares do not bear the accompanying sigil of the Guild of Apothecaries and Physicians; he claims this is because, in his culture, use of lowly guild-marks on holy ointments is to be utterly forsaken, rather than the fact that the contents of his brightly-colored squeeze-bladders are nothing more than de-worming horse-paste and scented oil of apples.
        If an irate customer returns to him a second time, he declares that their case is most disturbing, and recommends a second purchase, as they should have come to him sooner! If they track him down a third time, he swears that this is no ordinary malady, but obviously the malign work of evil spirits or the vengeful vexes of a rival, and directs them to the Street of Whispers abode of the 'Master of Mysticisms', his fellow charlatan Ezendril (from whom he gets a cut of the profits from any referred mark). Ezendril will do his usual theatrics and mummery, and offer a warm cup of numbing tea and a pat out the door. Anyone then irate enough to return to Ezendril will be told that this malady is 'beyond the reach of the mystic arts' and a matter for the gods, and be directed onwards to the great temples of the city (of which the mark obviously lacks the social standing or the spare coin to interact with, or they would have gone there first!).

Ohlazar the Brazen
The Nilpur Knight. A great slayer and hunter-of-monsters. Fearless and ferocious. Preferred to walk among monsters as he could not control his bloodlust well enough in civilized society. Slew, among others, the Tejarn Basilisk, the Beljuril King of Keczulla, the Twenty Spectral Sailors of Murann, the Dire Blood-Lion of The Greenfields, and the Whispering Nemmel-Nymph of the Fields of the Dead. Long claimed his greatest personal 'conquest' was the dowager matron Estrel, of House Bladesemmer, and applied the nilpur (yellow languid) she gave him as his own personal crest on shield and heraldic device thereafter. Disappeared into myth and legend after setting out to take on the great red wyrm Klauth. His sword, the great and glowering blade known as Bleaksilver, is presumed to have been lost along with him.

Robin of the Red-Breasted Coat
A particular servant of Lathander Morninglord, loaned in good faith from Eldath of the Waters since time immemorial – and often found walking in the similar company of Tabithra Broadbrim (Chauntea) and Tommobus, King of the Calicos (Nobanion). In modern times represented as a Hin of particularly stout and genial stature, of flaming red locks and sideburns, wide smile and wide-held grasp on the edges of his scarlet-and-silver overcoat. Very fancy and social, and particularly fond of any dealings involving Mankind.
        A Herald of the Morninglord, in the houses of compassion, new beginnings, and re-birth. Sings songs of favorable Spring plantings, spreads good fortune. Covers the dead children in the wood with blankets of fir and snow, serves as a messenger for those lost, loved ones. A protector from storms and lightning, and all other malices of the Gods of Fury (and thus famed as Robin 'Scorched Breast', whose defense of sapling and renewed beginnings comes at the particular ire of Talos and his furied lightning-throws).

quote:
Originally posted on p.03 (29 Dec 2018) by myself, and re-posted here for pre-edit reference:
The Knights of Palisaded Selûne
The Palisaded Order, The Argent Shield. A militant order of Selûne, charged with bringing light to the darkness and keeping the dark horrors of the night at bay. They always take the vanguard during the Boon-Time of the Goddess (the darkest nights of the month, when bands of cloaked, chanting Selûnites wander through the city streets, alit in silvery, pale-yet-surprisingly-bright moonfire radiance which clings to the streets and alleys for a time after the Lady's faithful have passed. Such excursions on the deeply-darkened streets are often contested by faithful of Shar, and the resultant skirmishes between the two faiths are viewed by the Selûnites as a prime way to "battle-harden" their flock). Heavily-armed paladins and crusaders. High-ranking knights bear helms or shields engraved with luminous mithril or silver halos that shine forth with holy power (protection from evil, 20'r). Grandmaster: Durnath the Truly Luminous. Their symbol is the Lucent Halo, their oath is "Shine Forth, Strike Forth, O Selűne!"

The Palisaded Order
A militant order of Palisaded Selûne, an aspect of the goddess bright and overwatching, shining down upon Her faithful. The Order (The Knights of Palisaded Selûne) work to keep the dark horrors of the night at bay, especially in civilized lands and strongholds of Selûne. Heavily-armored paladins and crusaders. High-ranking knights bear helms or shields engraved with luminous mithril or silver halos that shine forth with holy power (protection from evil, 20'r). Their symbol is the Lucent Halo, their oath is "Selûne shine bright, cast on me your Light this night." Grandmaster of the Order: Durnath the Truly Luminous. Other notable members (separate entries in italics): Emmaliir of Silverymoon, Hlaela Hearth-Mark

The White Order
A militant order of Selûne Shining-White, an aspect of the goddess in her full battle panoply and lawful fury, gleaming of silver and mithril. The Order (The Knights of Selûne Argent) is charged with bringing Selûne's Holy Light into the darkness. Heavily-armed paladins and crusaders. Unlike Palisaded Selûne, her followers do not defend, they actively seek out and throw themselves into combat against the various evils of Faerûn. They always take the vanguard during The Boon-Time of the Goddess (the darkest nights of the month, when bands of cloaked, chanting Selûnites wander through the city streets, alit in silvery, pale-yet-surprisingly-bright moonfire radiance which clings to the streets and alleys for a time after the Lady's faithful have passed. Such excursions on the deeply-darkened streets are often contested by faithful of Shar, and the resultant skirmishes between the two faiths are viewed by the Selûnites as a prime way to "battle-harden" their flock). Their symbol is The Holy Orb (full and bright white, overlaid by three vertical blood-red stripes indicative of Selûne's swift-starred justice), their oath is "Shine Forth, Strike Forth, O Selűne!" Grandmaster of the Order: Nystra Maldanthar. Other notable members (separate entries in italics): Klaedra Tarm, Ostael, Thommaril Stormsharr


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

Estrel, of House Bladesemmer
Lost her husband early on and, having been retired into dowager status, found a great faith in Ilmater, and gifted away all her jewelry and valuables to the poor and retired into a life of growing and cultivating brilliant flowers. Later had a brief, intense romance with the renowned slayer Ohlazar, but ended their relationship after a time. It is whispered that she became aware of some horrible affliction or curse that he was under, which formed his reasoning for their union, and that she begged him to seek deific help for this affliction, but that he violently refused.

Bleaksilver
The ancient weapon most commonly associated with the legend of Ohlazar, slayer of monsters. A sword of great power and rumored fell appetites. It is said that calling out the ancient command word (aummenaur) would cause the blade to flare with sudden, dazzling white radiance, a blinding light that caused all enemies engaged with the wielder to be glare-blinded and hobbled in combat. The sword was forged from the silver bones of the Lustrum Urmmendrô, the Achromatic Sheen, of the Quasi-Elemental Plane of Minerals, and it still bears his bane by which the wielder is compelled to seek out gemstones, and jewelry of the same, and take them for themselves – even (or especially!) if it means attacking and killing their current owners.

AJA Posted - 14 Jan 2023 : 19:13:35

LEGENDARY THINGS and FANCIFUL ENCHANTMENTS
"Yet the very same precise codification of magic, its workings, and the details of its clashings that make it understood and somehow more 'fair' around the gaming table has, by the nature of exhaustive explanation, robbed magic of its chief glory: awe." ('Putting The Awe Back In Magic', Ed Greenwood, enworld.org/threads/putting-the-awe-back-in-magic.667200/)


The Black Egg of Semuanya
Dwarf-sized, black and leathery with eerie crimson veinings just visible through the shell. Believed to be a slumbering avatar of the lizardfolk god Semuanya. It is said that those who would crack the shell and drink from the yolk may gain tremendous power. Conversely, those who manage to discover a way to hatch the profane orb would gain a follower of great strength and savagery, but certainly evil intent. Good luck getting it to crack or hatch, or anything else though. It seems content to slumber and occasionally pulse in its eerie crimson veinings, and not respond otherwise to any known physical or magical proddings.

The Door Into The Dark
An ancient and sinister cabinet of Jhaamdathan make. It is rumored to open a far-spanning gate road via psionics or sheer strength of will. Repeated journeys cause users to be haunted by wild, dolorous visions of love and death, darkness and solitude. Some report feeling their skin and souls stretched thin, of giving in to the twilight between light and the dark. These latter voices are corroborated in obscure writings such as Kalorth's Whispers and Thirsts and Thendrika's Rare Echoes, alleged first-hand accounts which aver that repeated use of the cabinet's functions cause the traveller's very soul to strife with itself and unravel, and that those who lose this internal battle are instead irrevocably turned into a puppet of the planes of shadow and dolor, a cruel shadeling that has full memories and abilities and believes itself to be true but is in fact a cosmic duplicate, with ones' real self trapped for eternity in a crystal prison in an endless hall, lost among the vastness of the grey Plane of Limbo.

The Iron-Spangled Coat
An enchanted suit akin to studded leather, imbued foremost with powerful protective bindings, and then the devotions of the herdsman and the wild song of the herbwife. A druid's war-coat, made from great strips of white birch, tinted with roaring hazel and studded with blood pearls bargained from the green copse of Aslaudree, the Gorger-of-Beasts.
        Morlenth "Boiled-Black" of Yr Glàn had the pearls prized out to satisfy the colossal dowry of his daughter Marsla to the Calishite satrap Sarlu Khonthurr, destroying the enchantments. It was later re-made by the great Ffolk smith Eraldyr, who used iron melted down from the helms of the Hateful Chiefs, captured during the great slaughter of the Oak Plains, which gave the suit a new life but severed its druidic connections. Eraldyr then gifted it to the hero Rald, who wore it for the rest of his campaigns against the bog-men of Gwynneth, and afterwards until the day he laid his sword aside. Rald had intended the suit for his son Elfdren, but it was plundered from his cellars when his keep was raided by sea-reavers out of the Pirate Isles, and most likely lost thereafter to the wilds of mainland Faerûn.

Lionsfang
In some folk tales, after Red Lion loses his pelt to the slayer Tauraven he retreats to Ithûval to lick his wounds and recuperate. He begs a cauldron of fish stew from the lord's wife, giving her as payment his right foremost fang. This is later forged into the bastard sword called Lionsfang (The Lion's Bite in some older sources), still the prized and most sought-after relic of House Cassalantar, descendants of the lords of Ithûval and greatest proponents of this tale. Needless to say, it is best told away from the hearing of any Uthgardt of the Red Lion tribe.
        Milkily translucent, like moonstone. Retains inherent memory of the blood and taste of every species and race ever bested by Red Lion, and hungers and strikes accordingly. Growls and grumbles when stalking or having sampled afresh the blood of such prey, bringing terrors of death and sharply increased fear to those so marked.

The Many-Starred Tables
Magical cosmic constructs upon which Selûne's Handmaidens are said to gather and weave the silvery twilight of the Heavens, 'from mighty looms immaculate and cold'. Valkur Far-Sailor was said to have absconded with one and placed it aboard his ship, where it granted him unmatched knowledge of the night sky and the ability to craft sailcloth of potent magical properties. Lluriendel of the Elves, grasped and drained by the pustulent god Yurtruus during The War of Elf and Orc, was then placed upon such a Table by Sehanine and wrapped all over in long, flowing rainments of silvery twilight, and returned to Faerûn as Entheriel, to continue serving out her divine writ. And seven were claimed as seized by agents of Loathsome Shar, during The Days of Endless Night, who then proceeded to corrupt and utilize them in weaving far-reaching bindings of Chaos and power, in dark mockery of the true Weave of the goddess Mystra.

Olodonar's Cursed Sea Weft
An enchanted fishing net made of cold iron links; when cast into the water only brings up the bones of dead sea life and those unfortunates lost to the sea. Can be very promising for an enterprising necromancer, and was instrumental in recovering the lost remains of the elf king Elorilentar (with the blazing chunk of starmetal that was later forged into the dagger Brightweird still imbedded in his skull), otherwise not terribly useful. Throwing it over a live creature doesn't have any effect a regular net (made out of cold iron links, mind) wouldn't.

Sheldarra's Coat of Ivory
A fantastical dress of interlocking ivory plates and beads, each one intricately carved by the dwarven artisans of the Great Southern Rift. Overlaid by a great choker and accompanying shoulder-piece of warm amber. The legendary marriage-dress of the "Princess of Ships" Sheldarra Stormweather, paid for by the full fortunes of the Stormweather coffers and the favors long owed to her devoted father (one of which was an ancient marker, called in and absolved in full, originally pledged between Marukus Stormweather and Elueshendavva "Scales-of-Silver-on-Stars," terminating the servile ridership of Elueshendavva in return for the mithril filigree required to link the various plates and beads of the dress, provided from the contents of dragon's hoard).
        Not enchanted by wizards, but said to have been powerfully invested by the high priesthoods of Sune and Selûne. Lost during the chaos of the Guildwars, stolen by unknown hands (though the Stormweathers blame the covetous Urmbrusks to this day).



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

'of the elf king Elorilentar'
his fate excerpted from the tome, Elven Epithets (801DR, Greylaura of Mosscrown)

Elorilentar sought to force his way West, over the sea, to the dominions of the gods and the glories he felt were promised to him. Sehanine, as Keeper of the Western Skies, summoned a mighty storm and blew him and his fleet all the way backwards to what is now called the Sea of Moonshae. And Elorilentar, in his madness and his hubris, climbed the mast of his ship and raised his fists and damned Sehanine, and called for her house to be brought down, and for all the stars in her skies to be torn out one by one and brought before him. And to this Sehanine said, "if you wish to have the stars down, you shall not have to wait so long for them," and cast out her hand and caused a great starfall that illumined the entire night sky, of which they still tell legends of in the Moonshaes, whose unrelenting violence pierced Elorilentar and his fleet a thousand times over, and sent them all swiftly into the darkened depths, and to their doom.



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

'of the elf king Elorilentar'
his fate excerpted from the tome, Elven Epithets (801DR, Greylaura of Mosscrown)
(and further annotated by the personal grace of the Lady Alustriel Silverhand of Silverymoon)

Elorilentar sought to force his way West, over the sea, to the dominions of the gods and the glories he felt were promised to him*. Sehanine, as Keeper of the Western Skies, summoned a mighty storm and blew him and his fleet all the way backwards to what is now called the Sea of Moonshae**. And Elorilentar, in his madness and his hubris, climbed the mast of his ship and raised his fists and damned Sehanine, and called for her house to be brought down, and for all the stars in her skies to be torn out one by one and brought before him. And to this Sehanine said, "if you wish to have the stars down, you shall not have to wait so long for them," and cast out her hand and caused a great starfall that illumined the entire night sky, of which they still tell legends of in the Moonshaes, whose unrelenting violence pierced Elorilentar and his fleet a thousand times over, and sent them all swiftly into the darkened depths, and to their doom.***


* when the elven fastness of Evermeet was first brought forth upon Faerûn, there were those who felt that they had best claim to rule there (especially, in the case of high elves like Elorilentar, those who traced their lineage directly and unquestionably back to Tintageer of Old). They would not be persuaded and they would not be denied. This led to an internecine strife that passed fleetingly and was gone, lost to the onset of ages and the dedicated efforts of the elves themselves to forget such things (chiefly so that such vulgar grasping and bloodletting not be allowed to sully the pristine eminence of Evermeet the Eternal, the Sea-Girdled Mother of All Elvendom)

** the defenses of Evermeet are very effective

*** the defenses of Evermeet are very effective

sleyvas Posted - 27 Dec 2022 : 20:24:24
quote:
Originally posted by AJA


A VISIT FROM ELMINISTER
apologies to Henry Livingston, Jr., and/or Clement Clark Moore
(no apologies to Ed Greenwood, this is all his fault)


'Twas the night before Mystra's Demise, and all through the steading
Not a creature was stirring, not even the mimic in the bedding
The flumph-bags were hung by the hearth with care,
In hopes that a new edition soon would be there;
The PCs were nestled all snug in their beds;
While visions of +5 Longswords danced in their heads;
And Khelben in his bedrobe, and Laeral sneaking Schnapps,
Had just had a look over sage Werthead's maps
When out on Mount Waterdeep there arose such a clatter,
The Walking Statues turned to see what was the matter.
Away to the window Khelben flew via spell,
Tore open the shutters and he gave quite a yell.
Selűne doing snow-angels on the new-fallen snow,
Gave a lustre of midday to Mount Waterdeep below,
Khelben rolled to disbelieve as what did appear,
But a miniature sleigh that said 'Ed Greenwood's alter-ego' on the rear,
With the Old Goat himself so mischieviously sinister,
Khelben knew in a moment he must be Elminister.
More reliable than Tolkien's eagles his Lorelords they came,
And he oh-ho-ho'd, and heh-heh'd, and called them by name:
"Now, Krashos! now, Elaine! now Erin and Eric Logan!
On, Brian! on, Other Brian! on, Erik and Steven!
To DMsGuild! to Candlekeep's groovy hall!
Now Lore away! Lore away! Realmslore for all!"

And then, in a twinkling, Khelben heard overhead
Not prancing and pawing but furious scribbling instead
Khelben drew in his head, Laeral turned around,
Down the chimney Elminister came with a bound.
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the flumph-bags; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his peak'd nose,
With a cheeky flash under his robe, up through the chimney he rose;
He sprang to his sleigh, to his Lorelords gave a cheer,
And away they all flew and did quickly disappear.
But Khelben heard him exclaim, 'ere he drove out of sight –

"A new edition is coming, prepare for a lore re-write!"





And in the near woods, under starlight's soft glare, stood Storm wielding wood axe and wearing nothing but hair
AJA Posted - 23 Dec 2022 : 23:39:34

A VISIT FROM ELMINISTER
apologies to Henry Livingston, Jr., and/or Clement Clark Moore
(no apologies to Ed Greenwood, this is all his fault)


'Twas the night before Mystra's Demise, and all through the steading
Not a creature was stirring, not even the mimic in the bedding
The flumph-bags were hung by the hearth with care,
In hopes that a new edition soon would be there;
The PCs were nestled all snug in their beds;
While visions of +5 Longswords danced in their heads;
And Khelben in his bedrobe, and Laeral sneaking Schnapps,
Had just had a look over sage Werthead's maps
When out on Mount Waterdeep there arose such a clatter,
The Walking Statues turned to see what was the matter.
Away to the window Khelben flew via spell,
Tore open the shutters and he gave quite a yell.
Selûne doing snow-angels on the new-fallen snow,
Gave a lustre of midday to Mount Waterdeep below,
Khelben rolled to disbelieve as what did appear,
But a miniature sleigh that said 'Ed Greenwood's alter-ego' on the rear,
With the Old Goat himself so mischieviously sinister,
Khelben knew in a moment he must be Elminister.
More reliable than Tolkien's eagles his Lorelords they came,
And he oh-ho-ho'd, and heh-heh'd, and called them by name:
"Now, Krashos! now, Elaine! now Erin and Eric Logan!
On, Brian! on, Other Brian! on, Erik and Steven!
To DMsGuild! to Candlekeep's groovy hall!
Now Lore away! Lore away! Realmslore for all!"

And then, in a twinkling, Khelben heard overhead
Not prancing and pawing but furious scribbling instead
Khelben drew in his head, Laeral turned around,
Down the chimney Elminister came with a bound.
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the flumph-bags; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his peak'd nose,
With a cheeky flash under his robe, up through the chimney he rose;
He sprang to his sleigh, to his Lorelords gave a cheer,
And away they all flew and did quickly disappear.
But Khelben heard him exclaim, 'ere he drove out of sight –

"A new edition is coming, prepare for a lore re-write!"

AJA Posted - 23 Dec 2022 : 23:37:21
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas
I like that concept of the three gallstones of Bane being equated to a comet that supposedly heralded the births of Elminster and the Simbul. Might the third "gallstone" be Sammaster as a way to fit them as chosen of Mystra? Not sure if the timing would work.

It is an interesting thought experiment. I was thinking instead about what kind of legendary items you would get from the gallstones of a god. Very angry, very painful objects.

sleyvas Posted - 23 Dec 2022 : 14:24:14
quote:
Originally posted by AJA


"But the utmost care must be taken in the preparation and selection of these dishes. Never allow even small quantities of poorly-butchered organs or ill-cured flesh into the final dish. Roast mutton accompanied by a wrap of bacon of stirge forms the basis of a most delightful repast! Conversely, even the slightest measure of stirge bladder when added to your mutton roast comes for no good, and indeed is said to be what formed the three gallstones of the god Bane, when he was served such at the banqueting after the birth of the saturnine star, K'thoutek."
        Murrhy "The Slightly-Adventurous" Barleybuckle
        The Slightly-Adventurous Chef's Guide-Book to Cooking With Monstrous Materiels
        Year of the Riven Skull, 1250DR

<snip>

"My future starts every morning with the cock-crow. As does the future of all Faerűn. Every morning, there under Lathander's light, we all begin anew."
        Oadaunra Windstreel, Illumining Quill of Lathander
        A Candle-Book of The Morninglord's Devotions
        Year of the Frozen Flower, 1221DR




I like that concept of the three gallstones of Bane being equated to a comet that supposedly heralded the births of Elminster and the Simbul. Might the third "gallstone" be Sammaster as a way to fit them as chosen of Mystra? Not sure if the timing would work.


On the Illumining Quill of Lathander..... it makes me think that there should be divine minor artifacts for Lathander, pulled from the tail of "the dawncock"... a variant Phoenix that appears to be like a rooster. Picturing something that "writes" as fiery light anywhere, even on the air.... and picturing followers of Deneir wanting to acquire these artifacts and use them in service to their own god.

AJA Posted - 19 Dec 2022 : 02:08:07

FIVE PASSAGES FROM FIVE BOOKS
"Five passages from five books? Found bound and printed on shelf and in nooks? Five passages my fate, by hook or by crook! Oh Deneir, tell me quickly – where must I look?"
        From the play, A Little Deadly Knowledge
        Premiered at Rallathae's Red Round Room, Silverymoon, 1364DR


"Faithful of the Moonmaiden are often gathered in ceremony to be baptised or bathed 'in the Serene white light of the Goddess', and regard this as a most holy of blessings. But consider this; while the moonlight may indeed be a divine anointing oil, under whose all-embracing purview do these rituals truly take place? If Sister Selûne is the vessel then whose silent hands reach out to gather the assembled under her umbral cloak, and through whose grace are conducted these most holy of nocturnal rituals?"
        Naraundra, Foremost Night Sister of the Moon
        Heresies and Great Services of the Moonmaiden
        Year of the Harp, 1355DR

"But the utmost care must be taken in the preparation and selection of these dishes. Never allow even small quantities of poorly-butchered organs or ill-cured flesh into the final dish. Roast mutton accompanied by a wrap of bacon of stirge forms the basis of a most delightful repast! Conversely, even the slightest measure of stirge bladder when added to your mutton roast comes for no good, and indeed is said to be what formed the three gallstones of the god Bane, when he was served such at the banqueting after the birth of the saturnine star, K'thoutek."
        Murrhy "The Slightly-Adventurous" Barleybuckle
        The Slightly-Adventurous Chef's Guide-Book to Cooking With Monstrous Materiels
        Year of the Riven Skull, 1250DR

"A dull throb was what I felt after I cast my first spell. I had expected some glorious, exultant rush, trumpets blaring, a moment of utter sublimation into the embrace of a goddess, but instead there was merely an insistent ache, as if some small part of my mind or jaw was suddenly ripped away and removed without warning. That dull ache after casting always remained, no matter how proficient in the Art I grew. The triumphant rush, on the other hand, the feeling of total exhilaration, that only manifested after the first time I reached into the Weave and used it to immolate another man right where he stood."
        Kalasso of the Numberless Sorrows
        Discourses in the Dusk
        Year of the Emptied Lair, 973 DR

"My future starts every morning with the cock-crow. As does the future of all Faerûn. Every morning, there under Lathander's light, we all begin anew."
        Oadaunra Windstreel, Illumining Quill of Lathander
        A Candle-Book of The Morninglord's Devotions
        Year of the Frozen Flower, 1221DR

"Now, the surest way of gaining the goodwill of a king is to gain the good graces of those who have the most influence upon him – in most cases either the court wizard or the court jester. Fortunately for the clever envoy, they both enjoy the same simple vices, foremost among them a weakness for bright, fanciful devices that jingle and jangle."
        Andalthun Marlemoor, Lord of Shoring Pale, Foremost Scribe of the Queen's Speeches and Unordinary Councillor to the Court of His Majesty, King Palaghard The Second
        On the Art of Royal Flattery
        Year of the Empty Goblet, 1252DR


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Shoring Pale
An awful, dark, damp, cursed hold at the northerly west-end of the Lake of Dragons ('a shivering gloom of wooded dells and black-bouldered shoreline', as wrote the Cormyrean travelogue author Elmadros Illnimble), north of the river Tun, where the crags run close to the coastline and it is said that the prevailing tides of the Lake bring all the bloated, decaying, newly-undead corpses of sailors and other drowned unfortunates to its' bleak pebbled shore, stinking and rotting and eager for one last embrace of warm living flesh ('disgorged from the useless graves of the sea, unsheltered and swelled with the tides'). Built early on in Cormyr's history, to defend against barbarian raids coming up along the river. The keep itself rose around a squat, six-sided stone tower most sages agreed was of ancient dwarven build. Nominally a crown holding, traditionally given out to those whose services warranted a knighthood, but annoying or graspingly ambitious enough to be shuttled off to some monster-infested, godsforsaken hole-in-the-wall. Later fallen into complete abandonment and finally, in 1371DR, absorbed into the newly-created Barony of Warmshores.


sleyvas Posted - 28 Nov 2022 : 17:37:31
quote:
Originally posted by AJA


Bembrel Ripplewove
Gnomish former member of the Fellowship of the Lucky Falls (of Fortune), an adventuring company of some minor fame. At the end of his time in the Lucky Falls, Bembrel fell under the sway of a circle of Moander-stained algoids in the Mere of Dead Men. He was seized and drowned, and anointed in golden algae and crowned with bog-myrtle, and raised anew as a servitor of the Shambling Rot, to walk among Men and thereby spread the seed of Moander. He is currently active in the Undermountain and the Deep Ways of Skullport, in an ambitious scheme to corrupt and enslave the beholder known as the Xanathar, and to turn its' network of operatives in the city above towards Moander's aims.
        Dead, glassy eyes which see all but never seem to focus on any one thing. Smells like loam and acrid sweat. His lower chest cavity, which he takes great care to conceal under several layers of flowing and protective clothing, is a great gaping wound from which spills out throbbing, luminescent fungi. Can use the spores and putrescence from these innards in ineffable ceremony to raise up the dead as his servitors (akin to ju-ju zombies). He does not bleed or tire, and has surprising resistance to fire and flame of all manner. Retains the abilities he had in life, as an accomplished thief and illusionist. He has been assured by the Voice of the Shimmering Stagnancy itself that one day, if his efforts are true, a thing of pileus and mycelia, of spreading, iridescent, gossamer-like questing filaments, and foul and ever-spreading black spores, will be born from within him, his continuing rebirth into eternal life.

Gilgrae (JILL-grey) Shaleshoe
"Lady Master of Lure and Illusion and the Sleighted Arts of Concealment and Confusion." A sparkling, cheerful, ever-talkative whirlwind of a gnome. A former member of the Fellowship of the Lucky Falls (of Fortune), an ill-favored adventuring fellowship. Gilgrae took a different path than her companions in the Tower of Nonsuch, deep in the Elder Thistles, and found herself disappeared into the extra-planar realm of Eftsoons. Her fate after that is unrecorded, though her companions mourn her as lost and her death has been entered into the rolls of the City of the Dead.

The Deadman's Marsh-Weird
Deadly haunting of the Mere of Dead Men. A threadbare axe-man whose ghostly lanthorns dazzle travellers' eyes, and leads them stumbling astray into the nearby waiting marsh. If this iridiated hypnosis has no effect, the bone-handled woodaxe slung on his back may instead. The bard Elyrid Llaryn once claimed that he was able to win a victory against the Weird by engaging it in a riddling contest of truth and falsehoods, but it's probably best to just run if met, or to avoid the outskirts of the Mere at twilight altogether.

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The Elder Thistles
They are as they sound; a part of Faerűn that was old when Uthtower was young, and which refused to change when the Mere came into being. Unfortunately, they could not fully resist the dark energies unleashed and so became mazy, and dark and resentful, tangled home for those fey who would have otherwise drowned and were likewise turned, twisted and tormented.

The Nonsuch
Querlűntra (Quer [as in query]-LOONTRA), a ruin-chanter. Master of the Tower of Nonsuch, deep in the Elder Thistles. Keeps possession of The Moon-Starred Book and the wanderings that lead one to the extra-planar realm of Eftsoons. Attended by the ruin elementals Oarfoot, Tumbletorn and Roughstone. On powerful nights the Tower is host to gatherings of the corrupted fey of the Thistles, celebrations garish and terrifying. It is often on these nights that malevolent hoary hunters fly forth under the moon, seeking prey to drag back to the realm of Faerie. Before the Doom of Uth and the birth of the Mere of Dead Men, the Tower was the home of the Lady of Moonlight and Roses, a nominant of the Seelie Court (which may or may not be Querlűntra of old), but is now entirely a stronghold of the Unseelie upon Faerűn.

The extra-planar realm of Eftsoons
Where the Host Innumerable of the Strange Ohm and the Impearled Suns once made their domain. A veil of soft mist and subtle air thoroughly pervades it. A peculiar luminosity lies on the glittering horizons, a bleeding nadir through which an intrepid traveler may find themselves in The Before, The After, The Now; or even in The Possible (although which horizon is which can never be determined or ascertained aforehand). The only thing present here now is the goddess Leira and the god Savras, and the patterns of their strange, hypnotically swirling dance, from whose eddies form scenes of memory and those moments yet to be experienced, and whose ineffable conversation forms the truth and mystery of all Faerűn. They do not respond to query or physical impediment, and any attempt at the latter will be met with simple, yet utter deletion from all of reality.





The extraplanar realm of Eftsoons got its name from a former visitor, the dwarf named Gaurel the Glibtongued, who managed to barely escaped from the realm several centuries prior. In his words, "Anyone that be entering yon place may as well expect to be Farruked Soon, so I be taking to calling the place F'd Soon.".

But Gaurel never truly came to understand the true power of the place, and neither did his dozen companions, none of whom emerged from the realm with him. Such cannot be stated about the wily Gilgrae however, for as she watched the weft and wane of Leira and Savras, she discovered that this was a magic plane of possibility... a way to travel back or forward in time within a single year, in order to "fix" something that has gone horribly wrong. However, one must be exceptionally careful to never meet oneself, lest they cause a paradox that simply and utterly results in the deletion of the person from reality.

So it is that Gilgrae has been repeating the same year over and over, sometimes travelling forward and sometimes travelling backward. Luckily for her, prior to entering the realm of Eftsoons, she had been working as a scout for her party, so she has been able to subtly direct them to change their actions. However, she has also come to realize that she is ALSO able to interact with individuals OUTSIDE of the Mere of Dead Men, and she has taken it into her head that she should contact another group of adventurers to come and help her party by also entering the realm of Eftsoon and changing the way things proceed by working together.

Gilgrae has learned much from the images created by Savras and Leira. Primarily, she has learned that neither wants Moander to gain a foothold in the world, and in saving Bembrel Ripplewove she can stop the machinations of Moander. Gilgrae is motivated further by the fact that, due to the insight of Savras, she knows that she carries the unborn son of Bembrel, and she would not have her son grow up without his father.

Unfortunately, Gilgrae is opposed by the Nonsuch, an antler browed follower of Beshaba, and her "ruin elementals", Oarfoot, Tumbletorn and Roughstone, who believes it is her mission to destroy followers of Tymora. In fact, it was Querlűntra who first attracted the Fellowship of the Lucky Falls to the area, for she thought she was receiving visions from her goddess. In truth, Moander corrupted the visions sent by Beshaba, which should have led the entire company into a trap and to their deaths prior to entering the Mere of Dead Men. Moander specifically sought to entrap Bembrel Ripplewove for his own machinations. But Beshaba recognizes that Moander's meddling has still caused grave misfortune from the Fellowship of the Lucky Falls, and so at present she does not seek to stop Querlűntra.

At present, Gilgrae believes that the best course of action that she can hope to enact would be to get another group of adventurers to rescue the innocent prisoners and find the six chestfuls of gold and silver under the floorboards of Bonecrusher's Mill. All the while she and her fellows would fight Bonecrusher and his goblin servants. Thus, they would never consider themselves exceptionally lucky and they would never take the name that would attract the ire of Beshaba.

So far, Gilgrae has been unsuccessful in her shenanigans, but she firmly believes that it was the hand of the gnomish gods that first led her to the fireside stories of the "dwarf" Gaurel the Glibtongued in a dockside tavern, for surely Garl Glittergold would gladly see her son risen to adulthood so that he may save the many gnomes of Faerun as she has foreseen in The Possible in the realm of Eftsoon.
AJA Posted - 27 Nov 2022 : 00:10:10

The Fellowship of the Lucky Falls (of Fortune)
A former adventuring company of minor note. The Lucky Falls found six chestfuls of gold and silver under the floorboards of Bonecrusher's Mill, the ruined old millhouse west of Red Larch where the goblin servants of the ogre Bonecrusher once ground the bones of unfortunate travellers to make his bread (Bonecrusher was descended of Lorog, one of the "Ten Tyrants," ten ogres who captured the town of Triboar in the wake of the Orcfastings War and reigned there for a time, demanding two pig or sheep for each every night, and making the poor villagers play instruments and their daughters dance for them until fingers and feet were worked to the bone).
        The fellowship rode high off of this fame for a time, until a series of misfortunes in the Elder Thistles and the Mere of Dead Men saw them fall apart through attrition and infighting. Only the cavalier Urmyth Caskantalar, the bladesman Gost Thaunharp, and the bard Elyrid Llaryn are currently known to remain in Waterdeep and environs.

Urmyth Caskantalar (Cass-CANT-alar)
The former leader of the Fellowship of the Lucky Falls (of Fortune), a now-disbanded adventuring company. The Lucky Falls found six chestfuls of gold and silver under the floorboards of Bonecrusher's Mill, the ruined old millhouse west of Red Larch. They returned four of those chests to the people of Triboar, who were so grateful in return that they gifted Urmyth personally the masterful spear Tamlusk ('which augurs nothing but bloodshed and death', once wielded by the foremost of the "Ten Tyrants"), and a spirited roan warhorse which he named Saraskar and still rides today.
        Urmyth was adopted into the Caskantalar family of Triboar as a youth, after his parents and elder siblings were slain by orc attack (a regrettably common arrangement in the more deadly regions of the Realms). It was there that he was taught to wield a sword and to ride, and to fight effectively on horseback, skills he put to use as a senior officer of the Triboarran militia for some time until he left for Waterdeep and adventuring fame.
        Now out of work and out of sorts, haunting the seedier taverns of the city and on the lookout for a new group of adventurers (and a new round of glory!) to join.

Bembrel Ripplewove
Gnomish former member of the Fellowship of the Lucky Falls (of Fortune), an adventuring company of some minor fame. At the end of his time in the Lucky Falls, Bembrel fell under the sway of a circle of Moander-stained algoids in the Mere of Dead Men. He was seized and drowned, and anointed in golden algae and crowned with bog-myrtle, and raised anew as a servitor of the Shambling Rot, to walk among Men and thereby spread the seed of Moander. He is currently active in the Undermountain and the Deep Ways of Skullport, in an ambitious scheme to corrupt and enslave the beholder known as the Xanathar, and to turn its' network of operatives in the city above towards Moander's aims.
        Dead, glassy eyes which see all but never seem to focus on any one thing. Smells like loam and acrid sweat. His lower chest cavity, which he takes great care to conceal under several layers of flowing and protective clothing, is a great gaping wound from which spills out throbbing, luminescent fungi. Can use the spores and putrescence from these innards in ineffable ceremony to raise up the dead as his servitors (akin to ju-ju zombies). He does not bleed or tire, and has surprising resistance to fire and flame of all manner. Retains the abilities he had in life, as an accomplished thief and illusionist. He has been assured by the Voice of the Shimmering Stagnancy itself that one day, if his efforts are true, a thing of pileus and mycelia, of spreading, iridescent, gossamer-like questing filaments, and foul and ever-spreading black spores, will be born from within him, his continuing rebirth into eternal life.

Gilgrae (JILL-grey) Shaleshoe
"Lady Master of Lure and Illusion and the Sleighted Arts of Concealment and Confusion." A sparkling, cheerful, ever-talkative whirlwind of a gnome. A former member of the Fellowship of the Lucky Falls (of Fortune), an ill-favored adventuring fellowship. Gilgrae took a different path than her companions in the Tower of Nonsuch, deep in the Elder Thistles, and found herself disappeared into the extra-planar realm of Eftsoons. Her fate after that is unrecorded, though her companions mourn her as lost and her death has been entered into the rolls of the City of the Dead.

The Deadman's Marsh-Weird
Deadly haunting of the Mere of Dead Men. A threadbare axe-man whose ghostly lanthorns dazzle travellers' eyes, and leads them stumbling astray into the nearby waiting marsh. If this iridiated hypnosis has no effect, the bone-handled woodaxe slung on his back may instead. The bard Elyrid Llaryn once claimed that he was able to win a victory against the Weird by engaging it in a riddling contest of truth and falsehoods, but it's probably best to just run if met, or to avoid the outskirts of the Mere at twilight altogether.


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

The Elder Thistles
They are as they sound; a part of Faerûn that was old when Uthtower was young, and which refused to change when the Mere came into being. Unfortunately, they could not fully resist the dark energies unleashed and so became mazy, and dark and resentful, tangled home for those fey who would have otherwise drowned and were likewise turned, twisted and tormented.

The Nonsuch
Querlûntra (Quer [as in query]-LOONTRA), a ruin-chanter. Master of the Tower of Nonsuch, deep in the Elder Thistles. Keeps possession of The Moon-Starred Book and the wanderings that lead one to the extra-planar realm of Eftsoons. Attended by the ruin elementals Oarfoot, Tumbletorn and Roughstone. On powerful nights the Tower is host to gatherings of the corrupted fey of the Thistles, celebrations garish and terrifying. It is often on these nights that malevolent hoary hunters fly forth under the moon, seeking prey to drag back to the realm of Faerie. Before the Doom of Uth and the birth of the Mere of Dead Men, the Tower was the home of the Lady of Moonlight and Roses, a nominant of the Seelie Court (which may or may not be Querlûntra of old), but is now entirely a stronghold of the Unseelie upon Faerûn.

The extra-planar realm of Eftsoons
Where the Host Innumerable of the Strange Ohm and the Impearled Suns once made their domain. A veil of soft mist and subtle air thoroughly pervades it. A peculiar luminosity lies on the glittering horizons, a bleeding nadir through which an intrepid traveler may find themselves in The Before, The After, The Now; or even in The Possible (although which horizon is which can never be determined or ascertained aforehand). The only thing present here now is the goddess Leira and the god Savras, and the patterns of their strange, hypnotically swirling dance, from whose eddies form scenes of memory and those moments yet to be experienced, and whose ineffable conversation forms the truth and mystery of all Faerûn. They do not respond to query or physical impediment, and any attempt at the latter will be met with simple, yet utter deletion from all of reality.


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'Only the cavalier Urmyth Caskantalar, the bladesman Gost Thaunharp, and the bard Elyrid Llaryn are currently known to remain in Waterdeep and environs'

Elyrid Llaryn (original entry on 03 Feb 2019)
The Silver Swallow. A bard of middling fame in the city. Fair-skinned and sandy-haired. Recently outed as a member of the vigilante Red Sashes and presumed to have left the city with his companion Jesshyra of Daggerford, a vendor of perfumes and aromatic sachets. Elyr was once a higher level, but was drained by a tenormog, a bard's-bane or eldritch lullaby, which left him with his voice and learned knowledge, but stripped him of his mastery over song and spell.

Gost Thaunharp (original entry on 13 Mar 2020)
Youngest son of the noted Chondathan harpist and adventurer, Markos Thaunharp. Brother of Ruvheld and Torghus. Follows the goddess Tymora, unlike his Tyrran brothers. Fair skin and hair, dancing green eyes. Smaller than his brothers. Quick-witted, eager, brave to the point of foolishness. Wears The Smouldering Hades Cloak (a hooded cloak +2; fire shield, either version 2x/day; smoky, acrid fog cloud 1x/day), fashioned by his mother from the pelts of the infernal Hades Hounds of the Dolordelve.

The human fighter Relthorr (slain by a giant troll-frog in the Mere), the half-elf ranger Ylendrel (left in disagreement on a caravan bound for Scornubel), and the dwarf priest Barlenda (faithful of Haela, killed by the same algoids that captured Bembrel) comprised the rest of their number.


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