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Azar
Master of Realmslore

1307 Posts

Posted - 30 Jan 2023 :  00:51:09  Show Profile Send Azar a Private Message  Reply with Quote
"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."

Stand with anybody that stands right. Stand with him while he is right and part with him when he goes wrong.

Earth names in the Realms are more common than you may think.
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AJA
Senior Scribe

USA
754 Posts

Posted - 31 Jan 2023 :  01:04:43  Show Profile Send AJA a Private Message  Reply with Quote
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.


AJA
YAFRP
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AJA
Senior Scribe

USA
754 Posts

Posted - 27 Feb 2023 :  02:20:19  Show Profile Send AJA a Private Message  Reply with Quote

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.


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

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
YAFRP
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sleyvas
Skilled Spell Strategist

USA
11742 Posts

Posted - 27 Feb 2023 :  15:04:09  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
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.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas

Edited by - sleyvas on 27 Feb 2023 15:33:33
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AJA
Senior Scribe

USA
754 Posts

Posted - 28 Feb 2023 :  02:23:25  Show Profile Send AJA a Private Message  Reply with Quote

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.


AJA
YAFRP
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sleyvas
Skilled Spell Strategist

USA
11742 Posts

Posted - 28 Feb 2023 :  14:22:10  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
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.


Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas

Edited by - sleyvas on 28 Feb 2023 16:19:34
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AJA
Senior Scribe

USA
754 Posts

Posted - 11 Mar 2023 :  04:25:57  Show Profile Send AJA a Private Message  Reply with Quote

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 ]


AJA
YAFRP

Edited by - AJA on 11 Mar 2023 04:34:36
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AJA
Senior Scribe

USA
754 Posts

Posted - 18 Mar 2023 :  02:25:19  Show Profile Send AJA a Private Message  Reply with Quote

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
YAFRP
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AJA
Senior Scribe

USA
754 Posts

Posted - 03 Apr 2023 :  05:03:20  Show Profile Send AJA a Private Message  Reply with Quote

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


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Posted - 30 Apr 2023 :  04:53:20  Show Profile Send AJA a Private Message  Reply with Quote

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!



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Posted - 30 Apr 2023 :  04:58:02  Show Profile Send AJA a Private Message  Reply with Quote

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 Faerϋn 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 ]


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Posted - 14 May 2023 :  07:11:22  Show Profile Send AJA a Private Message  Reply with Quote

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!



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Posted - 15 May 2023 :  19:04:24  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quit feeding the gnome cheese.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Posted - 17 May 2023 :  01:41:16  Show Profile Send AJA a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

quit feeding the gnome cheese.

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


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Posted - 17 May 2023 :  22:56:16  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
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.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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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").


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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)


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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.


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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.


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MISC'LLANEA
Yes! Again More Books (who o'er their lore no bookworm muses)! Edition
"For long ago they learned the fact
That o'er their lore no bookworm muses,
These tomes which half the world collect,
And no one in the world peruses."

        'In A Library', A Song of the Open Road and Other Verses, Louis J. McQuillan, 1916


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

"It takes an understanding of Mystra's Ways to cast magic. It takes a relationship with Mystra Herself to master it."
        Feldaraskar of the Tower Resplendant, Archmage In Blue and Red
        Weaving Strange Patterns
        Year of the Armarel, 1210DR


"As the elder runes say, 'Rosemary is an Herb of the Sun', and perhaps the foremost; a potent gift come green and fragrant from the earthy bosom of Chauntea and kissed in eager vigor by 'Lathander's ardent light'. Clever goodwives utilize it as a charm against the Plane of Negative Energy and all its' attendant ills; and also for Haleness, being born of growth and bold spirit; and finally, in that it is an dominant herb of Chauntea, that it best represents her ethos of Nurturing and Vigilant Caring."
        Myndilar of Battledale
        Abounding In Our Woods: A Comprehensive Accounting of Two-Hundred-and-Twelve Selected Plants Whose Leaves, Stalks, Roots and Fruits are Presented as Fitting Nourishment for Man and the Major Demi-Races, Vol.1 (of 5)
        Year of Warlords, 1030DR


"'So be on your way, and don't bother my door any more. Bright morning to you!'
And just like that, the little faery-hog turned and vanished into the knotted root under the loam – the door was shut, and I never saw him again afterwards!"

        – concluding conversation of Hedger the faery-hog and narration of Meldra Summerlong,
        'Chapter IV: Meldra Mistakes Her Road, And is Set Right by An Upset Hedgehog'
        On the Road and Under the Oaks
        by Darlathla the Dappled
        published in chapbook form, Year of Maidens, 1361DR and Year of the Helm, 1362DR


"It is time for old ways and old wounds to be put aside. If my brother would offer me his hand, let my brother be my brother again, and let there be no more quarrel between us. Let elf and Man, and dwarf and smallfolk once again stride upon Faerûn in brotherhood, and let once-again those who may oppose our cause tremble in fear.
        Let us ever glory in our cause, and strive to attain those goals which ourselves and our gods have long desired. For these are once again 'days worn warm and bright', as our ancestors praised. Far away, there in those days are my highest aspirations; I cannot reach them alone, but I can look forth and see their righteousness, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead. For all that is noble and high and good, I ask now that you would all follow along with me."

        Baeran "the Bold', Duke of Calandor
        A Second Speech to All Mankind
        as written and recorded by his Scribe Most Faithful, Maerdusk
        Year of the Hurled Axe, 928DR
        (whose wording and imagery – from the second passage and following on – was deliberately written to evoke the original 'A Speech to All Mankind', delivered by King Haryd I of Delimbiyran to his soldiers, on the eve of the Battle of Howling Pines, 631DR)


"Reason has Selûne, but those Moons are not hers
The Gold of her Throne is brass, the Silk of her Cosmos becomes drab,
Those 'Enchanted Rocks,' stubbornly defended as the traditionary cause of a hostile few,
An exclusive legendarium rotating in an endless, meaningless panorama

Still, that they lie mirrored in her Celestial sea,
As millions of isinglass stars glint otherwise in the sunlight
Confounding her astromancers
But, oh! delighting me."

        Tloruun of the Luminous Dreams
        The Tides of The Ocean of Stars: or, Obscurities and Inquiries Regarding The True Colorations of Selûne-In-Her-Multitudes
        The Year of the Stone Rose, 1017DR
        (Tloruun, in his time, claimed to be a visionary and sooth-sayer on par with Augathra, and spent many, many words on realigning the Heavens [and base reality] around his vision of the god Selûne – 'his vision' being filtered through the personal lens of a wildly manic love/hate relationship with Her – and whose written word still finds purchase among, and makes hay with, heretics and Sharaans, and temporarily-embarrassed lycanthropes and contrarians of all levels of thought, through to the present day)


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Azar
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Posted - 09 Dec 2023 :  19:14:55  Show Profile Send Azar a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The boy's face was pallid, writhing to-and-fro, practically boiling in sweat. In the dimness above that canvas of agony emerged a wrinkled hand grasping a loose oval of small, dark and grinning skulls threaded by fine silver links; most were carved from obsidian, but some were hematite, onyx and even black opal. As the macabre rictuses gently swayed, a voice - male and sonorous - began to chant in a curiously beatific tongue. Several seconds passed before a hint of relief finally crept into the recitation.

Squirming ceased. Eyes opened. Though the sweat remained, all other indications of suffering were simply gone. Upon meeting the gazes of those skeletal smiles, the youth recoiled. Instantly, the beads were withdrawn and another face appeared above the bed...the kindly visage of an elderly man. "Be at ease, child. Through Lathander's grace have you been saved from sickness.", said Dawnmaster Ghorast, with naked happiness spread across his features.

Stand with anybody that stands right. Stand with him while he is right and part with him when he goes wrong.

Earth names in the Realms are more common than you may think.
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Posted - 10 Dec 2023 :  07:07:01  Show Profile Send AJA a Private Message  Reply with Quote

In the alcove where she had quietly slipped during the noise and exertations of the scene beyond, the Dawn-Hammer and Finder of Heresies Barshaele narrowed her eyes and worried at her lower lip. "The Dawnmaster avails himself of appurtenance not commonly found within the cleansing rituals of Lathander. Curious. I wonder where exactly he studied his tenets?"

Standing just behind her left shoulder, steepling his fingers and obviously unnerved by the presence of the Dawn-Hammer, the Prior Rolder whispered, "Yes, but the child shows undeniable improvement. Can you then argue with the results?"

Barshaele reflexively rubbed the well-polished hilt of the the sword slung at her side, and considered her response for a moment, while she keenly watched the ongoing interaction between the Dawnmaster and his revived patient. "It would indeed appear that this Ghorast has successfully drawn forth the child's infections. But my concerns lie in what else was dragged forth, and seized upon, as well."


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Gelldra the Spring-Dancer
A dryad of myth, Favored of Chauntea*. It is said that Gelldra was once abducted by the kobolds of Kurtulmak, who wished her for his bride, but she was saved by the rival urds of Kuraulyek, who were so enrapt by her graceful dancing that they then gifted her a glittering pair of wings. So now, when Gelldra dances, her wings can lift her up out of reach of vengeful kobolds (and other assailants) and keep her safe.
        Of course, now while she dances those beating, gittering wings also serve to sweep the heavy snows off of the first green shoots of Chauntea, clearing the way for Nurrenneld, the Wonderful Awakening of the goddess (the first spring thaws). Among the first growths to come forth then are the hardy shoots of the iruvel (honest purples, crocus) – a particular delicacy of the urd and a minor deific boon from Chauntea, to those who succored one of her favored servants.

* "No mere dryad but a druas, a nymph greater than dryad or hamadryad, who was granted life past that of her tree and bound instead to the higher tasks of a nature deity. The druas (both singular/plural) of Chauntea are few these days, and date to an age when she walked Faerûn as The Wildmother. There are also still a spare handful in the Moonshaes; younger, created in her aspect as The Earthmother, instead." ('On Grummerlang and Golden-Arn: or, The Stranger Servitors and Champions of The Deities of Forest and Nature', Thorthel Black-Tipped, 1218DR)


Ilithember
The Black Harpist, "who shot a star to Faerûn (as if it were a game bird)"*. And that star was Orobeda, the Star of Dragonflies and Iridescence. Orobeda captured the Black Harpists heart and he saw her back to health, and then swore a vow to see her returned to her rightful place in the heavens.
        Through the legendary course of this journey the pair met, and met the aid of, such allies as Namma Selkiesworn, and the Laughing Marigolds of the Summerstones, and Tommobus, King of the Calicos; and were in turn opposed, and harried, by such villains as the dragon Murksome Melaukra, and The Unamused Muses of Beshaba, and Nomrauth, Giant King of the Mighty Hills. Even the Great Archer Solonor came forth to Faerûn to walk with them for a time, and gave Ilithember knowledge of the path to gain the coast and a token of the gods, to obtain swift passage once there.
        And so, finally, Ilithember and Orobeda arrived to the coast, and then sailed west across the endless horizon to that celestial stairway called The Dawn Beyond The Sunset, and passed beyond the recorded span of history. Today, Orobeda once again reigns high in her shining spot in the night sky (one of the thirteen that comprise the elven constellation Correlian), but of Ilithember there is nothing more. He is now found on Faerûn only in the form of the Arrow-Leaved Aster (held holy to Solonor Thelandria), and in the heavens overhead, where his one-stringed harp Tanthaltor hangs, a great cosmic bow of iridescent colors (otherwise known to humans as Arathandorl, or the Color Spray Nebula).
        The elves admit to the loss of Ilithember but hold steadfast that, if Tanthaltor should ever be called upon in defense of the elven cause (by either fervent prayer or the highest of elven sorceries), The Black Harpist might come forth once again, standing alongside Solonor Thelandiira, and rain down upon Faerûn such deadly slaying-shafts to defeat even the mightiest massed foes of Elvendom.

* the enduringly popular subject of a litany of myth and legend; folklore, saga, dramas, chapbooks and stage-plays including, but by no means limited to;
The Ilitherial, Ilithember of the Elves, Ilithember The Archer, The Songs of Ilithember, The Song of The Black Harpist, The Harpist Who Shot A Star To Faerûn, The Harpist Who Shot His Star To Faerûn (from Faerevel's Elven Delights), The Archer and The Star (from Baulzend's Hidden Treasures), The Elfin Archer and The Dragonfly (Tales Told By Ol' White Whiskers), The Black Archer and The Celestial Fairy (Mother Maerymna's Menageries), Ilithember Enstarred, One Arrow In Autumn, and Ilithember and Orobeda, A Romance of The Heavens


The Lost Wanderers
The Three Celestial Sisters of Ice Hunter myth. The heavenly kin Karpri, Ulornae (Anadia) and Elkulur (Coliar), left behind to close and latch the Far Gate when the first gods first came forth to Faerûn. Abandoned now to wander the Starry Heath, they constantly seek out over the Rim of the Heavens for the family that travelled onward without them – and yet still the Great Silver Lamp (Selûne) and the Blue Lodge (Faerûn) remain forever out of their reach. And while The Sisters call and wander, and even as their adventures are many and great, it is whispered that, close-by the latch on the Far Gate, wretched fingers emerge there and wriggle forth, and the Latch itself ever moves and comes closer to unfastening whatever is left enclosed behind it.


Melancholy Pale
An echo of an elf-maid of old Eaerlann; wiry, iron-grey of skin and hair, who stalks near to Loudwater on nights of pale green moonlight, accompanied by a fey train of soft silvery radiance and hopping, moon-haunted robin that echo dead. dead. terribly dead. She most often walks insensate in her pale green moonlight and does not see, but on rare occasion her eyes focus sharply and suddenly upon the living who cross her path. Her gaze then is powerful, sometimes sad and sometimes merciful. Those so arrested may pass or may pay a most terrible toll; the robins' echo is the same, regardless.


Stornshamber
Eldathan new year's festival, and ceremonial figure of the same name. Most often observed in rural communities and around old-growth forests. The Stornshamber slowly ambles through the streets, a great looming figure wrapped in strips of birch-wood and heavy hooded robe of dark velvet, crowned with elk-horn and mistletoe, handing out clusters of vibrant crimson berries invested by the faith of the goddess with indescribable feelings of warmth and hope and good cheer; then, later in the evening, the birth of the new moon and the quiet peace of the new year is celebrated with great bonfires, and rum and figs and honey.
        Sometimes the Stornshamber is a man, provided and costumed by the local clergy of Eldath. Sometimes the Stornshamber comes forth on its own, emerging from the darkened forest to conduct the holy ritual and then return to the eaves, carrying blood and bone in imitation of the reddened ivory crescent overhead, the sacrifice made to quiet the struggle in the new year to come.*

* "Do not misunderstand what Eldath is. The humans too often make this mistake. Eldath is a presence of the Forests of Old – the Forests of Faerie, before the Intrusions and the Invasions of Man. She walked proud alongside Silvanus in the time before The Oakfather chose to turn from her, to walk with The Wildmother instead. And those were the Younger Days, indeed, before The Wildmother then betrayed herself and set her mind to leave the Forest, to become the content and disgraced Chauntea of the Fields.
        Eldath is of peace, yes. But peace in human terms and peace in the Forest are very, very different things. The pools of the Forest, the pools of Eldath, are sacred and, as such, sometimes require sacrifice."
        Arvendhal Black-Browed, Uoryyndhal** of the High Forest,
        in lecture to his apprentice, the Ostleress Ilnmarlûné
        Year of the Flying Serpent, 833DR

** OO-or-INN-dahl, "Great Beastmaster" (from the High Netherese, similar in meaning to the elvish Andrenothorn, "Wildrunner")


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sleyvas
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Posted - 02 Jan 2024 :  19:19:22  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Lol, I need to come back and reread the above when I have more time.... but I love the "unamused muses of Beshaba" and the "King of the Calicos" (given that most calicos are female cats)... I'm betting you have more easter eggs buried in that.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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AJA
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Posted - 05 Jan 2024 :  23:57:52  Show Profile Send AJA a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas
and the "King of the Calicos" (given that most calicos are female cats)...


Indeed! and, as such, his title was always given in mockery and jest; at least, until his eighth life*, that dismal day when the foulest Netherese enclave of Usklurrendurr's Domain** (The Red House of Targus, The Dread That Drives Mothers To Hold Their Children Closer to Their Breast, the floating essence of The Lord of Slaughter***) suddenly reincorporated out of the unprecedented storm-clouds over the Lands of Gulth and the Lands of the Coast, as hungered and as rapacious as the tales of old.

It was there that Tommobus proved that he was worthy to command the prides of Nobanion, and it was there that Tymora came to recognize him personally, and then all of The Calico, and all those of the foo and other pawed and furred inhabitants of The Beastlands who had long mocked him fell in a line and knelt also in his honor; and as so Tommobus, the messenger and the mischief between the Houses of Nobanion and Tymora, truly became King of the Calicos.


....and yet, despite that, poor Tommobus still remained such a great and devastating disappointment to his mother, Fiaufuh the Insoucient, Mistress of the Unclaimed Laps, The Golden Mouser of Waukeen – to whom he was always awfully lacking, and who never failed to scold him loudly at all family gatherings for such unforgivable sins as not being more of a success like 'that great and Gygaxian' Cat Lord, or for not doing his family duty and commiting to court 'that lovely girl from a good family', Bastet!


….and Oh! if you are wondering about what became of the Queen of the Calicos, her foul disappearance, and the mystery of why her dominant title remains open and unclaimed, well, of such things are the tales of Tommobus' tenth life made, now is not the time to tell of them….



* recognizing, as always, that neither time nor temporal presence means much to either cats or elves – especially in regards to the events of Tommobus' infamous third and sixth lives

** a towering, irregular, weeping crimson, crenelated and turreted and spearpointed mass that was The Roar of Triumph (see ***, below)

*** "from which the thunder of hoofbeats could be heard always advancing, from far away"; and, "from which before it, continually fled a long desperate procession of Low Folk, driven from their humble homes by the news of the imminent terror overhead" (referenced from Bwel Bandor's The Savage Songs of The Reaver and The Jelisquerium of Juljellisq the Reddend, respectively)


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sleyvas
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Posted - 08 Jan 2024 :  18:24:34  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by AJA

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas
and the "King of the Calicos" (given that most calicos are female cats)...


Indeed! and, as such, his title was always given in mockery and jest; at least, until his eighth life*, that dismal day when the foulest Netherese enclave of Usklurrendurr's Domain** (The Red House of Targus, The Dread That Drives Mothers To Hold Their Children Closer to Their Breast, the floating essence of The Lord of Slaughter***) suddenly reincorporated out of the unprecedented storm-clouds over the Lands of Gulth and the Lands of the Coast, as hungered and as rapacious as the tales of old.

It was there that Tommobus proved that he was worthy to command the prides of Nobanion, and it was there that Tymora came to recognize him personally, and then all of The Calico, and all those of the foo and other pawed and furred inhabitants of The Beastlands who had long mocked him fell in a line and knelt also in his honor; and as so Tommobus, the messenger and the mischief between the Houses of Nobanion and Tymora, truly became King of the Calicos.


....and yet, despite that, poor Tommobus still remained such a great and devastating disappointment to his mother, Fiaufuh the Insoucient, Mistress of the Unclaimed Laps, The Golden Mouser of Waukeen – to whom he was always awfully lacking, and who never failed to scold him loudly at all family gatherings for such unforgivable sins as not being more of a success like 'that great and Gygaxian' Cat Lord, or for not doing his family duty and commiting to court 'that lovely girl from a good family', Bastet!


….and Oh! if you are wondering about what became of the Queen of the Calicos, her foul disappearance, and the mystery of why her dominant title remains open and unclaimed, well, of such things are the tales of Tommobus' tenth life made, now is not the time to tell of them….



* recognizing, as always, that neither time nor temporal presence means much to either cats or elves – especially in regards to the events of Tommobus' infamous third and sixth lives

** a towering, irregular, weeping crimson, crenelated and turreted and spearpointed mass that was The Roar of Triumph (see ***, below)

*** "from which the thunder of hoofbeats could be heard always advancing, from far away"; and, "from which before it, continually fled a long desperate procession of Low Folk, driven from their humble homes by the news of the imminent terror overhead" (referenced from Bwel Bandor's The Savage Songs of The Reaver and The Jelisquerium of Juljellisq the Reddend, respectively)






A shaven pated monk of the Monastery of the Yellow Rose appears as though from the shadows

Ah, yes, Tommobus of the Many Martyrings... it is said that once he led a great many Foo Lions to aid St. Sollars before his own first Martyring, and from him was learned the fighting style known now as the "The Calculated Contrivance of the Chaotically Colored Cats". This is a story much favored by younglings who come to our shrine to be trained.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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AJA
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Posted - 10 Feb 2024 :  07:34:44  Show Profile Send AJA a Private Message  Reply with Quote

Arbane Irauviir
Half-elven author of The Intermittent Elf, An Indescribable Bitterness, and To The Half-Born – musings on, and explorations of, the gulfs between races and between pantheons that he and his fellow "Mortals of Faerie" occupy, and the peculiar struggles and solitudes that come from such. His writings still find purchase not only among half-elves, but also a great number of humans and elves considering engaging in such a union and, perhaps surprisingly, a number of half-orcs who suffer from a similar disconnect in their lives.
        Arbane (no, not that Arbane – no relation, though he is named after one of the two of prominence) split his formative years between the forest of Cormanthor, in the old elven wayhome (now little more than a fastness) of Waevenwode, and in the fields of Deepingdale, in the farm-steading of Featherfalling – and, in his adulthood, experienced the ultimate in both culture shock and inherent human biases, when he settled himself in the Sembian metropolis of Selgaunt. All of these things greatly influenced and guided his writings – and amplified his internal turmoil – but still did not stop him from offering his sword-arm to the defense of Selgaunt, when the rapacious and vengeful wyrm Haraunglaur "Old Bitter Woe" came attacking, during the Dragonflight of 1356DR.
        His surviving daughter Ilveldrae still lives, and keeps shop in the Northmarket of the city of Saerloon. She is married to the human wood-winder Sorlbrin and has four children, three of whom look – and present – perfectly fine as human, to the noble and wealthy of Sembia. The fourth is a dreamer, and rambles on in a childish way of faerie and of reverie, and manages to cause her no amount of trouble and social embarrassment with her peers.


Averloon
"Averloon of the Sea's Farthest Reach." A warrior of some myth and legend in the coastal human habitations of The North. Said to be a prince of The Evershores, a fabled and fabulous island paradise out beyond the Sea of Swords. Driven to sea (and then, to Waterdeep), when his home city was enveloped and dragged into the ocean depths by the rapacious tentacles of a colossal sea-kraken.
        Sages interested in such things believe that the fantastic tales of Averloon have some basis in the deeds of Averren* Redblade, an Illuskan privateer who escaped the fall of Uthtower some centuries ago. If true, then Averren's sword and loyal companion (the legendary 'sunblade of Averloon' and Waveswise, an ebony dolphin figurine of wondrous power) are still waiting to be found, most likely where Averloon is said to have made his final stand, and met his doom, beset by sahuagin off the northern coast of Mintarn ("Of his bones are coral made, down where sea-devils keep his grave").

* Averloon (Ever-Wander[er]) in modern Northern Common, from the Middle Moonshaen, versus Averren (Sea-Sworn; or, Born-To-The-Sea) from Old Illuskan


Daskra "The Vast Bird of The Sunrise"
One of the minor powers and potent "place-spirits" of The Thelûnndae, the ancient Uluthuin (Ice Hunter) pantheon – the scattered survivors of the great and on-going collapsing of Faer#251;nian Pantheons which has long-since claimed the most major of their number. Formerly the deific embodiment of Ice Hunter relief and release over the annual triumph of The Long Dawn over The Long Night, now only one of a varied collection of Lathander's servitor-heralds of dawn and sunrise – this one of which Lliira has long coveted and tried to claim, due to their personal remit being the joy and bright colors and pent-up emotional release of the first true sunrise after the interminable Northern Night.
        Daskra also once held sway over those clear and colorful gemstones which shone just so in the firelight – said to be frost, burned-bright by heavenly radiance, and to possess various powers locked within, and thus reserved only to the highest ranks of shamans and warriors (in reality, those rich or accomplished enough to trade for the cut stones with arctic dwarves or odd southern merchants), but this part of the legend has faded away almost entirely from the Realms, even among the last of the few remaining faithful.
        The Vast Bird of The Sunrise, perhaps due to their radiant feathers mimicking the full spectrum of the sunrise and being edged in the most molten of golds, has also in recent times come to be conflated with Selûnite legends of the great gold wyrm Malstavryth, 'Midwinter's Silent Overseer' – 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 white wyrm Aerargeld 'Glimmer White-Wing', and the great silver wyrm Alshandlaera 'She Whose Scales Shimmer Through the Night'). Selûne herself does not officially encourage these appropriations, but neither does she officially disavow them. It is said that Lathander remains unamused at this, but still encourages the use of Daskra as a messenger between their houses, perhaps in eternal hope that the Dawnlord might come ever closer to the Moonmaiden.


The Enigmatic Company of Companionable Enchanters
Adventuring company of note in The North. Did have a pair of wizardly enchanters, and a bard who fancied herself as enchanteuse for….other reasons. First achieved prominence upon defeating The Riot of Horns, that fiendish cacaphony, noisy and obscene, a heresy of Milil, which had descended upon and occupied the Dessarin hamlet of Orson's Green. After that, they entered into the halls of bardic fame by slaying The Bedizened (a sorcerous menace claiming to be a fallen lantern archon of Celestia, rather than a relatively mundane spellshade – the remains of a former mage of the Arcane Brotherhood, filled with irradiant menance and delusions of grandeur) and The Medusa of Tyrant Eyes (an abomination whose malevolent locks did not end in stone-hissing snakes, but instead in the bright and terrible orbs of the beholder, powered with all of its' attendant horrors).
        Unfortunately, following on those triumphs, it is said that the Company – the enchanters and the enchanteuse, and the fighter and the priest of Azuth, and all of their half-dozen henchmen – foolishly disappeared into the ensnared eaves of The Spider Plaints (notable for both its' resident phase spider population, and for the numerous remnants of the planar degeneracies of centuries of Netherese experimentation), and have not been seen of, or heard from since.
        It is unlikely that they would have fallen prey to the ethercap, alert as they were, and as so were most likely lured in and set adrift, unwittingly, unmoored further and further, into a linked, chained constellation of mage-horrors and nightmare realms of an elder age – the poisoned sorceries of Wretched Dolorous (formerly The Tulip Skylines), Dimmerloom (The Sotanghon Fields), and Scour-Sky (The Eglantine Weaves) – all formerly bright, if idiosyncratic, other-places manifested by the archmages of Lost Netheril; a series of pocket-planes unmoored and abandoned after their Fall, and terribly fouled in the centuries since by the creeping influences of the fiendish Lower Planes and the maddened Far Realms.
        Most importantly, if anyone should have definitive proof of their fate, the House of Wonder in Waterdeep would be quite interested in hearing of it, as they have a clone of the enchanter Belthraun waiting to be awakened, and the daughter of the fighter Ronsil has been promised a very powerful set of shield and glove, entrusted to their care, to be delivered upon either her sixteenth summer or her sire's demise, and the priest of Azuth left a considerable sum of gems and tradebars to be given over to the House immediately, upon news of her passing.


Woelûndra
Dark-skinned, dark-haired. Strong chin, high cheekbones. Arresting, flashing, emerald-green eyes. Slim, sinuous, broad-shouldered. Daughter of a Turmish father and a drow mother met, and later bonded, in a grove sacred to Eilistraee (Iridescent Deep, a hidden forest dell just mid-point on Hoar Head – the most prominent sea-ward bluff jutting off the cliffs ringing the western Trollbark Forest – a local landmark for ships hugging the coast, and source of a large number of overwrought tales of love and betrayal and vengeance, 'as certified by the god Hoar' – in truth, named for the large carpets of Semmer's Veil, the little, pale, white trailing vine-flowers that resemble nothing so much as morning hoar-frost, everpresent on the sward and broken cliff-side beyond).
        Mastered the lyre-harp as a youth, played in a hire-band called The Faint Elfins, travelled the tradeways of the Western Heartlands in search of employment. In 1362DR her troupe was beset by leucrotta out of the Rat Hills, and the few survivors barely managed to flee to the safety of the Southgate of the City of Splendors.
        She now earns coin trading on the novelty of her racial heritage, by working as a barmaid at both The Yawning Portal and The Crawling Spider. Saves her coppers to buy full, unsponsored membership in the Council of Musicians, Instrument-Makers, & Choristers (in contrast to her success as a tavern-wench she has so far found no one willing to sponsor her, regardless of her evident talents, due to her obvious drow blood) and studiously practices both her spell-song (quite middling, and likely to remain as such without the attentions of a master) and her bladework (deft and deliberate), in hopes of joining an adventuring company set to delve the Undermountain – both for fame and gold, but also for a chance to meet with the rumored good drow of the depths, where she is certain that she would be greeted as a kinded spirit.


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AJA
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Posted - 09 Mar 2024 :  03:06:22  Show Profile Send AJA a Private Message  Reply with Quote

MISC'LLANEA
Something Similar, But Said By a Magician! Edition

"Take for instance a sentence such as: 'She and I were born about the same time, and used to live at Brighton.' You may anticipate a story when you hear those words, but you cannot be thrilled by the anticipation. Now take something similar, but said by a magician, Edgar Allan Poe: 'I was a child and she was a child, In a kingdom by the sea.' There you have a spell at once, or at least the beginning of one, one is half enchanted already, one's spirit is prepared already for a far journey, and a very far journey: those simple words call to it far from here, for a kingdom by the sea is far on the way to fairyland."
        Lord Dunsany, The Donellan Lectures, 1943


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"Oh! This reminds me of the time old Morelwhiskers summoned a Tuskrel Demon, which came out of the summoning circle and turned half-around and, though still supposedly under compulsion, stepped forth from his enspelled bounds and, with a flourish, grabbed one of his eight sharpened tusks and waggled it in the observed Tuskrel fashion of greetings. He then explained quite clearly that he was travelling forth solely for pleasure, and would hate to be obligated and doomed to inaction. And with that he turned half-round again and leapt a most mighty leap, from the chamber through the opened door, and we never laid eyes upon him again.

I did hear tell some months later that there was a Tuskrel Demon passing his time in the festhalls of Riatavin, and I immediately sent my wife forthwith to invite him to return and spend an evening with us, if it would amuse him, but when she arrived he had already departed, and so he never came to tea with us, although we did again hear afterwards that he had become quite a regular delight among the dancing floors of the cities of the grand Lake of Steam.

As for old Morelwhiskers, well, he has since been removed from the confines of the Summoning chambers. He does receive a periodical missive from his demon, apparently exclaiming great delight in its travels and dancing; and let it be said that the response to these exchanges of letters makes the old man seem frightfully jealous and prone to rage but, otherwise, there seems to be no great harm to have come from any of that."

        Bermiskrel Fish-Hand, War Wizard of Cormyr, Third-Born Heir of House Longbrooke and Accomplished Mage-Graduate of the Seven-Starred Towers
        As I Practiced My Art: or, A Reminiscence
        Year of the Shameful Plea, 1121DR


"It was a lovely night, and Selûne shone brightly and her moonlight brought vision to all things possible and imagined. Nelemdrae was kneeling at the edge of the lake, and in the moonlight reflected in the calm waters she saw as always the birch trees of her youth, and the far star Astandelora glowing brightly through their boughs. The words that Astandelora had come forth and spoken to her two nights ago echoed again, loudly in her head.

'A bird does not swim upon the water fearing what lies beneath it. A bird swims upon the water because it knows that is where it is meant to be. The simplest of deeds are also the most extraordinary, in ways that only the most faithful can see. You still have a fear of what lies beneath, a fear of what lies beyond. Perhaps, instead of fear, choose instead to hear the bird and listen to the extraordinary things it has to say.'

In that moment, a weird cry echoed across the lake. Nelemdrae raised her eyes to see a great, strange bird come swimming upon the water. It had a long blue neck and a white breast, and upon its back was constellations of colorful stars swirling on a shining black sky. The bird swam over the lake so fast that it left a great wake behind it, and then suddenly it dived and was gone. Nelemdrae blinked twice and the words echoed loudly again, 'perhaps, instead of fear, choose instead to hear the bird and listen to the extraordinary things it has to say.'

Then the bird suddenly surfaced before her, impossibly big before the shore, and the stars upon its back grew to encompass the entire heavens overhead, and Nelemdrae knew that she was staring face to face with the goddess herself."

        excerpted from 'Nelemdrae, Who Came To Know Herself'
        Songs Sung Softly to Selûne,
        Feyfancies and Wonder-Tales of The Faith
        Aruen of Mistledale
        Year of the Knight, 1140DR


"Their lusts – for gold, for blood, for wander
Took them all, down where men never see the Sun"

        excerpted from 'The Devils Under The Mountain'
        Ulskendra Fair-Hair
        first printed in the broadsheet Treasure Type V (Berrothea Forgequench, publisher)
        Year of the Banner, 1368DR


"I knew where we were well enough, and did not like the knowledge.

The faint markings on the walls were svirf-runes, at some not-too recent point defiled and scarred over by the grasping spider-font of the drow. What we had presumed was the gnome-halls of Grelnorrd were now given over to the dark elves, and to say that our formerly-reasonable delving had become quite precipitous was to understate. My companions, of course, did not entirely percieve how dreadful a position we were now in.

'Are these symbols so bad as that?' asked Norelnee, the first to register my ill-disguised reaction.

'Just so bad,' I replied."

        Hulemhorn the Ever-Eager
        In Darkness Deep and Black
        Year of the Cold Soul, 1281DR


"It was twilight, and the children soon tired as the stars overhead whirled faster than they could keep up.

The first snow of the new year continued to fall softly, and the vivid glow of the celebratory pyre lit up the encircling faces of the gathered in stark relief. The wizened shaman Efthror reluctantly turned his eyes from the snaps and sparks rising from the pyre and speaking, each one, with the fervid, eager voice of the ancestors of the tribe, and adjusted his view to the looming ring of dark pines beyond, now waving and writhing within strange elfin shadows.

A moment, and then a wolf's howl pierced the enchanted eaves of the forest, the sign of the beast-god he had been awaiting. In ancient response, the wizened Speaker of The Hunt drew breath and gave out his full-throated answer, powerful and direct, to the encroachments of the ringing pines.

The holy call from beyond the darkened eaves echoed forth once again, now unmistakeable in meaning, this time tremendous and hungered. The shaman smiled eagerly, and his eyes grew bright. Through the blazing iridescent flames before him he now perceived, among the encircling young-folk of the tribe, the lupine grins of no less than a dozen – no, more! of blooded and faithful warriors.

Efthror could barely contain himself from hopping, foot to foot, around the fire. The gathered would not know it just yet, but this was going to be a good year, indeed, for the Tribe of the Gray Wolf."

        Leliindra the Long-Tressed, 'The Grey-Worn'; wultheskra, 'In The Shadows'
        formerly of, and exiled from, The Lady's College of Silverymoon,
        My Time And My Transformations Among The Grey Wolf
        Year of the Shield, 1367DR


AJA
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AJA
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Posted - 28 Apr 2024 :  01:04:18  Show Profile Send AJA a Private Message  Reply with Quote

Dóskul "The White Watcher," or "The Herald of The High Pillars"
One of the minor powers and potent "place-spirits" of The Thelûnndae, the ancient Uluthuin (Ice Hunter) pantheon – the scattered survivors of the great and on-going collapsing of Faerûnian Pantheons which has long-since claimed the most major of their number. Dσskul was once The Great White Owl, who visited the aftermath of battlefield and slaughter and gently shepherded deceased souls to the afterlife of The Opalescent Unknown; he is now humbled and punished, and caused to fly no more as Deiros, defeat, one of the two warhorses of Tempus, whose mighty crested mane is manifested of sharp sword-blades, and whose armored flanks strike the earth like the clang of mace on shield; whose nostrils flare wide and run red and viscous with the spilled blood of a thousand thousand battlefields.
        Dóskul remains the ancient, fervid foe of the fiend known as Naulanjar – Keralaskra, "The Feaster-on-Flesh" – the hopping, eyeless crow who plotted and carried out the White Watcher's defeated demotion, and thereafter gloated of the deed when it stood proud upon the left shoulder, and whispered lies into, the ear of The War-God That Was. It is foretold that there will one day come a reckoning between the two but until then the former White Watcher bides his time, even as the sharp sword-blades of his charging crest strike the suffering and regret from the newly slain, and the clang of his armored flanks announces the faithful battlefield fallen with honor, upon their arrival into the Halls of the Wargod.


Jondorf "Jondo" Gallowleaf
Hin proprietor of Golden Gallowleaf, a halfling pipeweed-and-sundries shop recently opened along the Hin-dominated stretch of Snail Street (east-front, south of The Street of Curtains, Dock Ward. Sign of the upright Golden Leaf, curled bottommost to the dexter, and hung from a single Knotted Gallow. The shop also boasts a quite heavy brass hin-pipe as a front door-pull). 'First choice of lords and ladies across Faerûn! A heavenly leaf, fragrant enough to robe even Sune's splendid flanks! Without a doubt, the finest pipe-leaf outside the Purple Hills! Look for the Gallowleaf seal on every pouch!'
        Carries many of the popular local and import leafs and blends (earlyspring, shadowsteep, brightgleam, warmadays, foxfae, bluebeauty, among others) but also specializes, of course, in golden gallowleaf, brought direct from his clan holdings in the Purple Hills of Tethyr. Golden Gallowleaf the shop also carries an entire array of 'Brightwater' scents ('bottled straight from the Celestial waters of Sune'), meant to be added to bath or chamberpot (sweet-lime and something called 'elvish lilac' are currently in fashion!), the craftings of which he entrusts entirely to the three Amuilae (am-WHEEL-ae) sisters of Amphail, who do most wondrous things with regional flower tinctures and local horse effluence – though, admittedly, the kinds of things that Jondo's avid shoppers might rather not be informed of.
        Jondorf is a new-ish member of the Belts, a 'secret society' of halfling and gnomish sages, moneylenders, and local merchants (and, increasingly, young roustabouts led by the young Hin rogue Halvas "Halfhand"). While he does quite enjoy the silly pomp and circumstance of the society and values the mercantile connections he has since made, his heart does stir from the impassioned speeches of the young Halfhand, of grand desires to to reclaim the ancient Hin realm of Meiritin or to place one of their own number among the Lords of the city, and he has since pledged his support and finances to their cause.


Ormalyu
A native of Turmish, a metal-working artisan who chose to travel the trade-roads westward to learn from the masters of his craft. In the end those travels took him to Waterdeep, where he now works as a gilt-wender (a craftsman who devotes his talents to imitations of true gold – imitations made quite convincingly of alloys of copper and zinc and other, more toxic reagents, used to ornament furniture, moldings, various other architectural details, and even jewelry – all of which are in high demand among the lower class of merchantry who wish to puff up their social status, and even noble families in financial disarray, who have sold off all of their real wealth but are still desperate to claw their way back into relevance via any means necessary).
        Regardless of client, the artistry of a true gilt-caster ranks high among the masters of any other craftsman and is worthy of acclaim, even more so given the dangerous substances they use in the pursuit of their craft (some pray to Gond, some to Tymora, a few even to Ilmater or Grumbar or Finder; their works may benefit more one way or the other, but in the end their tragedy is the same, regardless). Ormalyu himself sees to Kynshab* but also favors Lathander, as the dawn of every day inspires him anew; and also Talos, in that the great destructive properties he works with bring turbulent feelings and physical debilitations, but also masterful, wonderous aftermaths.

* a legendary Turmish place-spirit which shares a name with a mountain in the Orsraun range – the latter also known in Common as The Goldmist, 'where the rivers and the forests alike are enflamed with the vibrant hues of the setting sun'. Kynshab was a fabled giant smith who forged many enchanted blades and shields and bracelets for the heroes of Turmish, and from which the sparks of his hammerings lit up the forests, and illuminated the mountain streams which were used to quench his forgings ('until the very mountain itself glowed as golden').
        Kynshab once forged a sword for the hero Tolagar which was then used to slay Orrenkan of the Red Fangs, a favored stalker of Malar, and in response the Beastlord took out Kynshab's right eye, in order that he might never see properly to forge such a weapon again; and so Knyshab's right eye remains blind and bandaged to this day, but he continues to forge swords – only now his weapons are made to be balanced exclusively for left-handed wielders, as that is all his remaining eye can see – swords for such corrie-fisted heroes as Beyldae Steeltresses and Olbantur Roaringbeard, both of whom are said to have climbed the Goldmist and sought aid from the maimed place-spirit lurking in legend upon its glowing flanks


The Society of Stone-Tongues
An obscure fellowship of sages and specialized lore-hounds dealing in ancient history and ancient stone, whose motto and self-descriptor is an equally-obscure melding of giantish and rock-gnome, with just a bit of galeb-duhr thrown in; astraros, muil ruis onarrd, sar ruel, gohruel, tinla toranja ibnurrg tael, arsh ruel sotaghra ('those eternal, who sit long and listen long, and endure the many elements and their own needs, and forget the world entire, until the whole of the stone becomes their present and past, revealed'). It is actually quite pithy in two of its original tongues, but loses a great deal in the translation – as do many of the members' successful conversations with the varying stone and rock-formations of Faerûn, a known issue with any humanoid sitting and starving oneself in the wilds for lengthy periods of time, regardless of their resolve or mystic technique.
        The larger academic community considers them cranks and crackpots, weirdbeards who fly off the handle at the mere mention of arcane conveniences such as stone tell or speak with stone (seriously, don't mention stone tell or speak with stone around them). Despite this, the Stone-Tongues have indeed proved occasionally effective at sussing out the ancient memories and eternals truths that only the various rock formations of Faerûn now remain to have witnessed, in their long eternal watch.
        There are currently two branches of the Stone-Tongues, one each in Waterdeep and Silverymoon. They both agree that much of their knowledge was descended from the great Gnurrg Grimdrinker, who was said to have sat, and suffered, and learned at the feet of the cruel Nomrauth, Giant King of the Mighty Hills (in 'The Time That Wishes To Be Forgotten', that Elder Age after the giants had been bested by the dragons and driven from many of their rightful realms). Nomrauth is still known to the gnomes as Niskelmaur, The Great Granite, and was once commonly discussed by the Netherese in their ancient texts as Jilkandro, The Abstract and Algebraic*.
        Notable members (Waterdhavian branch only): Annagawl the Blue, Dammarthan Whisp-White ('Weird Eye of Dugmaren'), Hobbramus "Stone Hobb" Hackleberry, Orltambar "Old Troll"

* Gnurrg, of course, later famously accompanied The Black Harpist Ilithember on his epic quest to restore the dimmed star Orobeda to the heavens, and in doing so took up arms against his former master, in the place that was called the Gelbredosk Moruin – once a location of importance to the elder giantfolk, now largely forgotten today and known only to humans as the Asandor (ancient Talfir ascan 'valley', dulir 'stone'), a rugged stone vale lying between the ringing, wind-scoured hills of Baldhead, Big Boulder and Cleanshorn**, of the western Fields of the Dead

** there was also once the Selûnite monastery of Silvery-the-Spire perched high on the shoulder of Cleanshorn, which was said to boast a 'Holy Eye' to the heavens above – specifically devoted to those truths to be percieved there, beneath the skin of the moon. The faithful of the Spires focused their devotions and their Eye upon the luminous being of Celestial Selûne, and it is said that this unwavering zeal did indeed reveal great knowledge; but also that their observances were, in time, answered in kind by terrible fiends bubbling up from whatever truths the 'Eye' managed to perceive from the placid surface of the bright, naked orb overhead.
        Whatever caused its demise, the stones (and scattered bones) of the remnants of Silvery-the-Spires still perch, ruined and silent, on the high shoulder of Cleanshorn today. It seems that none but a few select elder Moonpriests know the full truth of the fall of the monastery, and from where their dooms truly came from, and that all of them have instead sworn a sacred oath to never, ever, speak of such things.
        As a final note, the Stone-Tongue Arbelt once sat among those fallen stones and attuned himself, and attempted a conversation. He was later found some distance down the valley, screaming and incoherent, by the ranger Bitterbreath. He lives, of sorts, today in the care of the healers of Solemn Silver (the Selûnite asylum and refuge in Berdusk), but he also does not speak – with the stones or with anyone else


Telmar Tarunsar
A successful adventurer in Waterdeep and environs in the early 1350s. Over the course of his decade-long career as a fighting-man the tendons and joints of his left shield-arm and right knee received significant enough damage (not only from the stress of repeated combat and hard falls, but also from wight and gelatinous cube and various necromantic energies) to suffer beyond the affordable ministrations of temple cleric and back-alley hands-healer alike, which lead to an early retirement – still, a better fate than many suffered by the average delver, whose endings are most often impaled upon a spike-pit, burned alive in arcane flame, or slain and eaten by the monstrous dwellers of the depths. Before retiring he did manage to loot a number of valuable chalcedony statuettes and paraphernalia* from some cultist chapel in the Undermountain, which he later sold and then used the profits from to invest into a Mariner's Guild-brokered scheme that netted him quite a sum, most of which he banked with the House of Beauty, to be used later to fund the education of his young daughter, in a manner of her eventual choosing.**
        After his adventuring days came to an end Telmar tried for a late apprenticeship at the Cellarers' and Plumbers' Guild, but the dangers of the sewers did not rise to even his lessened expectations, and he quickly grew bored and gravitated back to the haunts of his youth. He now works most eves at the Yawning Portal, as either chamber-ward or door-guard (indoor/outdoor bouncer), in order to still feel the thrill of an armed and dangerous gathering, and to live vicariously through the delvings, successful or otherwise, of those youths with more spirit than sense.
        In the meantime, woe to the fancy-blade come to peacock at the Portal who would disregard Telmar's stature and earned glare, and only see his greyed hair or lamed leg – the latter of which has never been fully healed (despite the efforts of interested parties including his own mother Esdora, who still runs a healing-and-herbalist shop on Carter's Way; and his former companion Isenna of Ilmater, with whom he adventured and loved deeply, but who now serves her faith far from Waterdeep, in the war-torn lands of Tethyr), but with which he has learned to adjust, and regain much of his old movement, and test his mettle – there is a reason that Durnan keeps him employed.
        Indeed, despite his voluntary 'retirement' Telmar remains restless, and – as he comes to realize that his injuries are not quite so career-ending*** – still might be available as henchman to a fellowship that catches his favor (and whose hire-spiel preys upon his love of the depths, but also meets the acknowledged approval of both his daughter and his pipe), and in such a situation he can still be an asset. He is not as fast (MV9) or as strong (STR12) as he once was but his swordarm still strikes true, and he remains a quite-capable company cook (+1 to morale checks for any henchman or hireling who have recently eaten his meals), and his knowledge of dungeon depths and accompanied terrors is still quite formidable (bonus to surprise checks or secret door rolls while in dungeon locations).

* and also a masterful pipe of luminous white-and-green ivory of unknown origin, boasting an overlarge bowl carved halfway between snake and wyrm, with serpentine hinged jaws and slitted eyes aimed true upwards, which sends forth the most intricate smoke-shadows at minimal – or no – effort on the part of the smoker. The pipe speaks to him as he idly puffs, although it often chats in a most peculiar manner, in lovely poems of meter unknown.
        Telmar has no idea of some of the things it speaks, oddities such as the lovelies of dark wendings, or the soft ministrations of Cedilla, but greatly enjoys the jests and riddles that it engages in. So he sits and listens and puffs, especially in fits of depression, as the rhymes and comforts of the enchanted smoke-hook worm their way ever deeper into his mind. He has named the pipe Chogol, or Thinking-Smoke (perhaps an unconscious nod to the Illuskan chargal, or 'unnatural flame')

** that latter would be the young Mistreldrae, who is physically weak, spindly and frail; quiet and given to disregarding the attentions and conversations of others, and instead absorbs herself in reading all the latest 'buckleswash' novels and singing the most awful love-lorn ballads (and none of those attitudes and inclinations should be considered surprising, given that her father would rather spend his time engaged in the company of armed strangers over the attentions of his own daughter). She has also shown an affection for numbers and a possible mind for spellcasting; all Telmar can do is hope that in time she outgrows her rough edges, and pray that in the meanwhile she does not fall under the shadow of either the Dark Gods, or the Dark Art.
        Misteldrae's mother was Elskra, a seamstress and dressmaker and childhood lover of Telmar. Elskra knew that Telmar loved her as well, in a way, but she also knew of his infidelities with his companion Isenna and so she chose to separate herself from him in front of the Lords, and also to give over custody of their child in the (correct) assumption that his adventuring career would yield more gold than her dressmaking. For some time after that Elskra went on with her life and regretted giving over the child she bore, and then instead of regret chose to devote herself to her craft and to the folk around her.
        She rented a single attic room in Dock Ward and became quite familiar with the other residents of her tallhouse, and so her life passed until she found herself squaring off against three sea-devils during The Night of Bloody Waves, in defense of two young siblings from the floor below her. And she was slain, and the children as well, and sometimes in Faerûn that is just the way the dice fall upon The Table Where Tyche's Daughters Laugh. She is now interred in the City of the Dead in the Commoner's Crypts, her cremated remains bound in a purple ribbon and a tiny aquamarine gemstone, a posthumous honorific given to those ordinary citizens who gave their lives for their fellow Waterdhavians during the Battle of Waterdeep Harbor.
        Telmar does not visit the crypts. There is not only Elskra interred there, but also a number of other men and women he once loved and called friend and companion. He did ensure that his daughter knew of her mother's resting place and encouraged her to visit, but is of the belief that Mistledrae never did. In fact, she visits often, in solitude and in secret. She believes that she shares a bond with the spirit of the mother she never really knew, and ascribes many of the exaggerated attributes of the chapbook heroines she reads to her and imagines that, as they visit, they talk, and bond, and sing together.
        Note that she isn't correct in this but, still…. something does talk and sing, and respond to her there; at least in the times when no other visitors or members of the Guild of Chandlers and Lamplighters are lingering nearby.

*** if one were to ask Telmar's pipe Chogol to give its' opinion on that particular matter, it might very well choose to smoke forth and curl quite vigorously about Telmar's right leg. His suddenly-strengthened right leg. It would be quite obvious. But then, Telmar probably wouldn't notice. Or care. In fact, probably neither would you….


AJA
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Edited by - AJA on 03 May 2024 01:39:11
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sleyvas
Skilled Spell Strategist

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Posted - 01 May 2024 :  23:43:25  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by AJA


Dσskul "The White Watcher," or "The Herald of The High Pillars"
One of the minor powers and potent "place-spirits" of The Thelϋnndae, the ancient Uluthuin (Ice Hunter) pantheon – the scattered survivors of the great and on-going collapsing of Faerϋnian Pantheons which has long-since claimed the most major of their number. Once The Great White Owl, who visited the aftermath of battlefield and slaughter and gently shepherded deceased souls to the afterlife of The Opalescent Unknown; now humbled and punished, and caused to fly no more as Deiros, defeat, one of the two warhorses of Tempus, whose mighty crested mane is manifested of sharp sword-blades, and whose armored flanks strike the earth like the clang of mace on shield; whose nostrils flare wide and run red and viscous with the spilled blood of a thousand thousand battlefields.
        Dσskul remains the ancient, fervid foe of the fiend known as Naulanjar – Keralaskra, "The Feaster-on-Flesh" – the hopping, eyeless crow who plotted and carried out the White Watcher's defeated demotion, and thereafter gloated of the deed when it stood proud upon the left shoulder, and whispered lies into, the ear of The War-God That Was. It is foretold that there will one day come a reckoning between the two but until then the former White Watcher bides their time, even as the sharp sword-blades of their charging crest strike the suffering and regret from the newly slain, and the clang of their armored flanks announces the faithful battlefield fallen with honor, upon their arrival into the Halls of the Wargod.





Like this.. haven't read the rest yet... but wanted to make sure I'm reading this correctly. So, previously he was an "owl" form and now he's one of Tempus's horses? Which I totally get and can happen when we're talking divine thing, just want to make sure that's where you were going.... and not that Tempus' horse basically stole his role.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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