Alaundo's Library

Noteshdr.gif (2577 bytes)

The work contained on this page is the property and copyright of Damian Naïlo.  It has been formatted for viewing on the web by the Scribes of Candlekeep.  Candlekeep claims no ownership for this material.

Excelsior Town

By Damian Naïlo

A manse of freedom and comfort in the harshness of the Spine of the World, the hamlet of Excelsior Town struggles to remain peaceful and uneventful, outside the affairs of the Silver Marches.

Excelsior Town (Hamlet): Magical; AL LN; 100 gp limit; Assets 975 gp; Population 209; Mixed (humans 89%, Half-Elves 3%, Elves 2%, Dwarves 2%, others 2%).
Authority Figure: Damian Naïlo, LN male half-elf Wiz26/Archmage 5/Netherese Arcanist 1 (Lord of Excelsior).

Important Characters: Celes Cliolaind, CG female half-elf Clr3 of Sune (Member of the Council); Laikos Selatarn, N male human Ftr2 (Second of the Militia, Member of the Council); Claus Whitem,ane, NG male human War5 (Third of the Militia, Member of the Council); Sylaera Moondew, NG female moon elf Drd3 of Angharradh (Keeper of the High Grove, Member of the Council); Storn Blackboulder, LN Exp2 (Owner of the Excellent Wares, Spokesperson of the Miners); Mela Stonar, NG female human Com6 (Spokesperson).


            Militia – War3 (2), War2 (2), Bbn1, Ftr1 (2), Mnk1, Rgr1, Sor1, War1 (8).
            Others – Clr2 (2), Clr1 (1), Adp2, Adp1, Ari1 (2), Exp1 (5), Com3 (2), Com2 (2), Com1 (152).
Notable Imports – Books, inks, herbs, furniture, paper, glass, glassware
Notable Exports - Gems, precious metals, weapons, armor, furs, livestock

Excelsior Town is a hamlet unlike each other. It would be like any other settlement of its kind if it weren’t for two things. Its location, hidden in the foothills of the Spine of the World, swallows the town in perpetual coldness and chilling winds. And second, the impressive sight of tall and gray Excelsior Tower, the stronghold that houses the great power behind the humble place.

Surrounding by nothing but rocks, Excelsior is a beautiful patch of color in the middle of the grim mountains. The women and children of the town, as well as the clergy have taken it upon themselves to make their town look more beautiful. Combining mighty magic and undying love, Excelsior’s houses are carpeted by a layer of flowers of all kinds of flowers, a sight that has amazed many visitors to tears. Rothé herds graze peacefully right outside the walls of the town, safe from external assaults by the town’s powerful wards. Children play and smile joyfully regardless of the wind and the cold, and men work tirelessly, living their lives more comfortably than they could have possibly imagined in such a wild environment. Initially a simple and ambitious mining settlement, Excelsior is now a place where the youngest generations dreams of accomplishing much greater dreams. With the protection and support of a powerful wizard and his companions behind them, the peaceful, educated folk of Excelsior think they couldn’t ask for a better place to live.


Brief History

The half-elf wizard Damian Naïlo lived in Silverymoon until 1358 DR. The Time of Troubles was a time of great peril and both wonderful and painful events in his life. After watching his best friend (who was at the moment the Avatar of Shar) kill his second best friend, and killing his best friend himself, Damian knew his days in Silverymoon were over. Not even bringing both his friends (Ilya and Maliris Silverstar) back to life changed his mind. He spent his last night in the Gem of the North in the High Palace, in one last night with another close friend, Alustriel Silverhand (unknown to all but Damian and Alustriel, their daughter, Shiallia, was conceived that night).

For his dedicated work protecting the city as a member of the Spellguard (which he joined for 21 years: 1329-1350 DR), Damian had been given a grant over a large portion of land (a move still used by Taern Hornblade to attract people to settle in the Silver Marches). Much to Alustriel’s and Taern’s surprise (and chagrin), he requested a large portion of the foothills of the Spine of the World. This was far from a random move. When Damian left Silverymoon, he traveled to the far north, exploring the lands that “belonged to him”, cleaning them from any important monstrous threat (orcs, trolls, giants and the occasional inopportune wyrm). In Althuriak, 1360 DR, Damian hired a group of 20 tough workers. Together, the wizard and his twenty employees were the founders of Excelsior Town, named after Damian’s grimoire. It is by this time that the first known sightings of Sophia, Damian’s young partner, consort and right hand, appear. Nobody knows where she came from or how they met. When the twenty men Damian hired arrived to the Spine of the World, she was already there, clung to the wizard’s arm with an iron grip.

By then, Damian had already used magic to build a tiny cottage for himself (and Sophia) in a relatively secure and not-yet-perpetually-snowy area (yes, they exist). With his magic and the workers’ effort (enhanced by the salary Damian promised them), they quickly built several small but sturdy homes for themselves and their families (Damian only hired people who were willing to settle down in the mountains with him. He didn’t want people quitting and telling people all over Faerûn of his plans). Using powerful wards and teleportation magic, Damian was able to transport his workers to the numerous mines hidden in the mountain caves without drawing unwanted attention. By Kythorn of that same year, Excelsior Town was already an organized (yet very small, just the way Damian liked it) settlement, with a steady flow of mithral and other valuable metals and gems. The miners’ families moved to the hamlet, and the miners became an independent working force, as long as they gave 90% of their mining to Damian, in exchange for the safety the wizard gave them. The miners didn’t complain. Ten percent was still more than enough to maintain their families. Monthly expeditions to Silverymoon brought supplies to the small hamlet, which was otherwise completely disconnected from the rest of the world (Damian didn’t allow anyone who wasn’t a resident to get close to his town).

It was also in this year when Damian ventured into the lair of the old white dragon Arauthator. Several sightings of the powerful wyrm dangerously close to Excelsior Town forced the wizard to settle things with him. Only his great intelligence and his magic helped Damian as he escaped every single one of Arauthator’s traps and wards. Tired and almost completely out of spells, Damian arrived to the dragon’s main chamber. Arauthator could have dispatched the wizard in an instant, given his state, but the dragon, who’s known for admiring capable foes, not only allowed Damian to live, but also accepted the permanency of Excelsior Town, as long as it didn’t grow any larger. After both human and dragon exchanged their common knowledge of magical traps and wards (Arauthator’s lair is almost impenetrable since that day), Damian returned to his refuge, with plans to build his definite residence: Excelsior Tower.

Damian had made sure to forge a strong relation with his town’s inhabitants. He didn’t want to be seen as a distant figure; neither had he wanted to be feared because of his powers. That’s why he always kept a close watch on those he already considered “his people”. He was respected and appreciated by the miners and well-liked by their families, and the children loved him. With that level of trust, Damian was able to leave Excelsior for relatively long periods of time without fear. That’s how, after leaving Sophia and his people building the first level of Excelsior Tower, he left to Mechanus on Eleinth of 1360 DR, from which he returned with a second girl by his side: Ren Mystril.

Damian finished Excelsior Tower all by himself, a project that took several years, and might never end (The underground level grows larger each year). By the end of the next year (1361 DR), he already had five girls living with him. Besides Sophia and Red, he had added Sion, a super-genius girl from the lowest layer of Hell; Yuina, a shining girl from Celestia (who happens to be Damian’s first love, brought back to life by the will of Ilmater); and Zarim, a sadistic-masochistic slave Damian met in Graz’zt’s court in Zelatar. Together with his five companions, Damian started working on the development of his town. While respecting his uneasy truce with Arauthator, Damian wanted his town to be more than a mining settlement. Even if he knew the mines would last hundreds, maybe even thousands of years if he controlled the trade the way he had planned it, there had to be additional sources of income. Working alongside the five girls, he motivated the townsfolk to engage in other activities: foraging, herding rothé, fishing, some even tried (with moderate success) to grow crops in the cold lands. The arrival of clerics to Excelsior (the first being a cleric of Sune who escaped an assassination attempt from brigands hired by a Sharran cell) opened the possibility of granting semi-formal education to the town’s children (a task Yuina has devoted herself to). That’s how Excelsior grew: not in size, but in culture and quality of life, at the same time Damian gathered more girls.

By 1365 DR, Damian already had thirteen other girls, as well as his daughter, Sarya (whose mother is the mysterious “fey’ri princess”, Tamari Moondown). While he had protected his town all those years from every threat from outside (dragons, giants and the occasional orc horde), he realized it was useless to keep Excelsior outside the rest of the world. That’s how he opened Excelsior to free trade. However, the term “free trade” doesn’t mean much in such a small hamlet, so things haven’t really changed that much from Excelsior’s early times. The few merchants who can (and dare) to do the trip supply the townsfolk with much-needed food, crafts, manufactured items and spices, and leave with gems and precious metals worth almost twice what they sold (Damian’s doing this to encourage further trading. After several trips by a particular merchant, prices stabilize to their proper amount). At the same time Excelsior Town was “presented” to the world, Damian also presented his greatest pride: his elite team, DIVINE. The thirteen girls, now together under a single banner, work as a semi-independent group performing all kinds of deeds, following no rule but their whims and Damian’s orders, which are absolute.


Visiting Excelsior Town

“Excelsior Town” is a very pretentious name. A VERY pretentious name. More than a town, or even a hamlet, Excelsior is a gathering or houses aligned by the sides of what the Excellents (another name for the town’s inhabitants) call “The Excellent Lane”: a rocky road 30-ft.-wide that goes in a straight line from the town’s walls to the inner wall that protects the place’s most notorious landmark: Excelsior Tower. The strong winds and cold weather keep the place clean and remove the characteristic reek of similar settlements. Also, the harshest qualities of winter in the Spine of the World don’t seem to affect Excelsior as strongly. Most folk name their “greatly powerful wizard patron” as the cause of the phenomenon, but it is hard to believe Damian Naïlo is capable of such powerful magic. An intelligent network of underground pipes designed by Damian and DIVINE 03, Sion, melts water from the high-ice caps by simple friction and distributes clean water to the houses, gardens and the Tower.

All houses are very similar, and only the temples and other “public” establishment settle themselves as distinguishable. However, in such a small place, it’s impossible to get lost. Most houses are surprisingly quaint; their boring stone gray clouded by the effort the Excellent have put into adorning their humble residences. Flowers, plants and simple crafts that somehow resist the ferocious weather are common in every house: anything that might give a little color to their world of shades of gray. Every house has an underground shelter, where villagers can hide during a monster invasion, may it be an orc horde, frost giants or worse.

The Excellent don’t have any particular conceptions regarding adventurers. They treat them just the same way they treat any other visitor: with the appropriate hospitality, until they start asking too much. When asked for a place to stay, they point visitors towards the inn, and they won’t accept outsiders inside their houses, not even when the inn is full.


Important Sites

Click Map for full size image

Click for Full Size

1. To Excelsior Tower

2. House of the Gates

3. Mairanna Family Residence

4. Temple of the Four Stars &School

5. Hall of the Council

6. Traveler’s Hall

7. Stonar Family Residence

8. Eltorchul Manor

9. Rathan Mansion

10. Krynn’s Cottage

11. The Giant Mug

12. Storn’s Excellent Wares

13. Balaeron Family Residence

14. The Last Shelter

15. The Excellent Herbatorium

16. The Tower of Tymora’s Four

17. Drykharia Family Residence

18. Whistler Family Residence

19. Dressar Family Residence

20. Fabrice Family Residence

21. Myrea’s Pond

22. Selatarn Family Residence

23. House of the Militia

24. Whitemane Family Residence

25. Excelsior Gate


The Giant Mug: The only tavern in Excelsior, it’s exactly like any other of its kind. A warm place where men gather every night after a hard day’s work, it’s probably the only place where adventurers and outsiders are truly welcome. In a town where anything remarkable happens, tales of distant lands (take into account that for the folk of Excelsior any other place is distant) are encouraged and listened with almost reverential admiration. The owner, a human commoner by the name of Farlaghn Curiel, is better now by his patrons as “wind hands”, because of his Ring of Mage Hand, given to him by Damian when he first opened the tavern, which he uses to whisk tankards without moving from his place (a reminder of Damian’s many nights in Silverymoon’s Bright Blade Brandished). For the men of Excelsior, the best nights in the Giant Mug are those when their Lord himself visits, for it’s free drinks and incredible stories for all.

The Last Shelter: A very appropriate name for one of the northernmost inns in Faerûn, it is owned by Reah Salvatore, a tall, no-nonsense woman well over her thirties who hails from distant Amn. Brought to Excelsior by her husband, Augustus Salvatore, one of the original twenty miners, she has long gotten used to life in the Spine of the World. Some people say the Wall is the place she truly belongs to. Strong-willed, determined, and with arms as wide as her legs, the “Bear Woman”, as many children call her is the stern face outsiders who plan to spend a night in Excelsior have to deal with.

The rooms are cozy but rustic, and warm thanks to the thick stone walls. Continual Flame torches light every room, and all the walls and doors are sound-proof to ensure privacy. Each room includes its own bath, separated by a curtain. Only five rooms (for two people each) are on ground level, all other rooms (fifteen more, one person each) are underground. The whole outlook of the place, with its sturdy wooden doors and its quiet walls might make some people feel in a prison rather than an inn. The only thing that might make the place a little more appealing would be Reah’s two beautiful daughters: Susannah and Saria (no relationship with Damian’s daughter, Sarya), sixteen and thirteen years old, respectively, who do most of the work in the place. While the older idly watches her days go by without any (noticeable) interest in doing anything else, the younger is impetuous and ambitious, and she dreams of one day joining the Church of Sune.

Prices are moderately steep (they could be worse): 1 gp a day and a night, bath and two (very satisfying) meals. And no, Reah and her daughters don’t offer any “extra service”, so adventurers are encouraged not to ask unless they want to end up face-flat on the cold street.

The Temple of the Four Stars: This remarkable structure (among the plain stone houses) was built to pay respect to Damian’s Four Stars, the four goddesses who have blessed him: Mystra, Selûne, Sune and Sharess. It’s located just before the wall that separates Excelsior Tower from the rest of the town. Since the faith of these particular four deities is not very strong in a town where magic, the moon, beauty and passion are not precisely the people’s priorities, it has become a “wildcard” temple for both villagers and visitors, where they can pray to whatever god or goddess they prefer. For this purpose, no particular holy symbol is displayed in the main altar, and the symbols of the Four Stars are placed by means of Permanent Images at the upper corners of the massive chapel. The rest of the large rectangular structure is plain and unadorned, except for the dome-shaped ceiling, which is made of magically reinforced stained glass depicting a wonderful image of the four goddesses frolicking in a glade, surrounded by nymphs and other fey. Amazingly enough, every sunset, the glass becomes completely transparent, allowing the night sky to be clearly seen from inside the chapel. Both Celes Cliolaind (CG female half-elf Clr3 of Sune) and Lia Salanil (CG female human Clr1 of Selûne), the two ladies in charge of the temple, claim that on certain full moons, the pillar of pure moonlight descends to the altar and bathes it with a pearly and silvery liquid that coats it and immediately solidifies. According to their examinations of the altar with the aid of the representatives of the other two goddesses (Sophia, N female Tarterian Dragon CLr20 of Mystra, DIVINE 01), and Shaila Baster, (CG female human Brd7/Celebrant of Sharess 7, DIVINE 11, Most Beautiful Mistress of Revelry and Voice of Sharess), the substance, successfully identified as moonfire, carries a Purify Food and Drink effect on any edible solid or drinkable liquid placed on the altar, and also removes any curse (other than lycanthropy) that ails any worshiper of any of the Four Gods who touches the altar.

A smaller building behind the temple houses a school for Excelsior’s youngest. Seven days each tenday, children are taught the most basic abilities they might need: simple mathematics, basic history and geography of Faerûn, religion, literature, basic sciences and arts. They also receive basic instructions on the benefits and dangers of magic, both to develop an early respect for magic and to find possible youngsters talented in the Art or the Power. The school is maintained and the lessons given by the two priests, leaded by DIVINE 04, Yuina Silvaria, who’s widely loved and respected by both Excelsior’s children and their parents, in a matter not very unlike Alustriel of Silverymoon is loved in the Silver Marches (in a much smaller scale, of course).

Celes, who arrived to Excelsior escaping from brigands hired by Sharran cultists (who were really Monks of the Dark Moon in disguise), is still concerned about the possibility of a powerful Sharran cell in the Silver Marches. She tries to gather information concerning suspicious events in cities of the North that could give her further insight on the possibility. When she finds definite proof of this she will take it to the Lord of Excelsior.

The House of the Militia: The first building anyone sees when arriving to Excelsior, the House of the Militia is more a warehouse than a garrison. Each member of the 20-men militia lives and rests in his own house with their families, and they all carry gloves of storing which allow them easy access to weaponry if necessary (each habitant of Excelsior Town is marked with Damian’s Arcane Mark, as well as each of the militia’s weapons and magic items. A powerful contingency effect prevents using any of the marked weapons against any of the marked people, to prevent inner conflicts). For that reason, the House, a small, perfectly cubic stone building, fulfills the sole purpose of safe-keeping the militia’s resources (masterwork weapons and armor, and a few magic items). The House is magically locked, and only Lord Damian and the Leader of the Militia, Ren Mystril, can remove the lock (they can do it from anywhere within Excelsior’s walls). The only occasions the House is opened (outside from open conflict) is for the occasional militia meeting assembled by Ren to discuss important matters: from orcish incursions dangerously close to Excelsior, or possible encounters with monsters in the mines.

Storn’s Excellent Wares: Excelsior’s only store sells all sorts of non-magical goods, from food to weapons and armor forged by the owner, Storn Blackboulder himself. Storn was a friend from one of the twenty original settlers, Abel Drakhan of Vaasa. When Abel moved his family to Excelsior Town, Storn and his family followed him blindly, eager to have a share of the riches his friend had promised to his family. This, of course, didn’t please Damian at all. With tears on their eyes, both Storn and Abel pleaded the wizard to allow them to stay in the newly built thorp. Damian punished both Abel and Storn, not only sending their families back to their homes, but also modifying their minds (with a mindrape spell) to erase all memories of Storn and Abel. Damian forced both Storn and Abel to stay and work for him, as a lesson to the others, who learned not to ignore Damian’s rules. More than ten years later, on 1372 DR, the wizard allowed both men to reunite with their families (their memories restored), giving the two men two options: to leave Excelsior Town, not before having all memories of the place removed (to protect the town’s secrets) or to stay, both them and their families working for him. Both families decided to stay. Reunited once again, they didn’t care about where to live. Besides, thinking about it, Excelsior seemed much better than Vaasa.

Storn spends his days mining or working at his forge, making fine weapons and armor to sell or give to the Lord of Excelsior (who turns them into magic items). His wife Brulanna and their son Wulf look after the store. All items sold here are 15% to 25% cheaper than their ordinary price. Storn is also a member of the town’s council. Storn’s sells nothing magical. Regardless of who’s looking after the store at the time, whenever asked for magic items, Storn, Brulanna and Wulf point at the huge looming Excelsior Tower, with the words “I’m sure you could find all the magic you could ask for and more over there…if the Lord’s willing to talk.”

The High Grove: Not truly a landmark of Excelsior Town, the High Grove is the residence of Sylaera Moondew, an elf druid of Angharradh. This small grove is located in the very middle of a small forest a mere quarter of a mile away from Excelsior Town. A small paradise of eternal spring in the sheer coldness of the rough mountains, Sylaera claims it blessed by the elven gods, and she also claims the spring that marks the exact center of the grove possesses healing qualities. She might be right about the forest being blessed, for it has been noticed that orcs seem to actively avoid the place.

Sylaera was already in the grove when Excelsior was founded. The fair, tall, blonde and fierce-eyed druid immediately appeared before Damian, pleading him not to destroy the land she had sworn to protect. Damian promised not to cut down a single tree or taint a single drop of water as long as she gave shelter and aid to his people if necessary. Their agreement has held true to this day. Damian doesn’t allow any lumbering of the nearby areas, and he designed a unique aqueduct system to prevent harming Sylaera’s spring. On the other side, the druid has offered her healing abilities and her knowledge of the land to the folk, and has eventually grown fond of the people of Excelsior, who respect her and appreciate her good nature. She pays close attention to the needs of the people and the situation of the nearby areas, and makes sure to voice her opinions on these matters as a member of the town’s council.

The Excellent Herbatorium: You couldn’t ask for a better name for this little shack, located by the right side of the street, halfway between the Tower and the town’s entrance. A small wooden plaque with the store’s name and a finely carved image of what seems like a black dragon (a Tarterian Dragon, but Damian’s the only one who knows that) are the only indication that the puny wooden house is in fact a store. However, once inside, visitors will be positively amazed. The candle-lit store which (badly) attempts to look mysterious has a fine selection to offer, at least for a store in such a remote place.

Fifty-year-old Alcazar Tiruel (LN male human Adp3) and his ten-years-younger wife Mariah (NG female human Adp1) have in stock every scroll and potion of every level-0 and level 1 Adept spells, as well as some higher level items they have received as gifts from DIVINE members. They also have an incredible wide collection of alchemical items, as complete as any similar shop travelers could find in Waterdeep or similar metropolises (the 100 gp limit doesn’t apply to the store’s alchemical items). Their only son,, Alfred, works as a miner, and most of the money he gains is used in the creation of these items. People who can gather unusual or expensive ingredients for them are always welcome.

Traveler’s Hall: Located right in front of the Temple of Four Stars, the second and last temple in Excelsior Town is a haven for travelers and merchants from both Excelsior and outside Excelsior. Regardless of being a general purpose temple, the four priests in charge have successfully spread worshipping of their three gods. Alyssa Ratharil (N female human Clr2 of Waukeen), Mizer Mathick (NG male human Clr1 of Waukeen), Maia Tremere (CG female human Clr2 of Tymora) and Lina Hiras (CN female half-elf Clr1 of Shaundakul) welcome visitors every day with open arms and kind words. Most miners stop at the temple every day before leaving for work, townsfolk who are leaving on a trip always visit the temple to ask for the gods’ blessing, and every Excellent counts of the clerics for tending to the ill and wounded. However, as expected, each priest has ideas of their own. Alyssa wants a place in the council, so that she would have more control of the town’s economy. Lina would prefer to build a temple in Silverymoon, from which she would control Shaundakul’s faith in the Silver Marches.

Regardless of the hamlet’s very small size, the priests are very satisfied with their work, and they are certain their patrons are pleased with what they’re doing. Besides, they have the backing of two members of DIVINE: DIVINE 03, Sion Valkurien, who was Chosen of Waukeen for a few years while the goddess was captive in the Abyss; and DIVINE 08, Angelique Lorean, Most High and Most Favored Atalara of Tymora (most people just call her Chosen of Tymora, even if that’s a mistake, in the strict sense of what it means to be a Chosen).

Hall of the Council: Located right next to the Traveler’s Hall, its rightmost wall barely touching Excelsior Tower’s outer wall, this small yet sturdy stone house remains locked most of the time. It houses the meetings of the town’s council twice every tenday (the fourth and ninth day). The Lord of Excelsior and only he can open the lock. The insides are very simple. Continual Flame torches light the small rounds, where a large rectangular table with ten seats. A drawer on the right wall keeps parchment, quills and ink for ten people. A door on the far wall leads to a small kitchen where Sophia, DIVINE 01, prepares food for the council members during the meetings.

ExcelsiorTower: The main landmark of Excelsior Town, the huge eight-level tower is the residence of the Lord of Excelsior, Damian Naïlo and his elite team, DIVINE. Villagers are forbid to approach the tower, and they have never dared to, well aware of the wards that keep anyone but its inhabitants from crossing the outer gate. What little outsiders can see is, of course, the Outer Wall, a 60-feet-tall and 1-feet-thick wall of stone built in its entirety with Wall of Stone spells. A large gap in the middle of the wall is the only entrance to Excelsior Tower. The gate has no doors or portcullis of any kind: its wards are powerful enough to prevent unwanted entrance to the fortress. Between the wall and the tower, a beautiful garden of green grass and small white flowers carefully kept by DIVINE members adorns the path that leads to the main entrance, a huge double iron door. Any inquiries about the insides of the tower are answered with shrugs and empty answers, for the villagers can do nothing but guess. No villager has walked past that door. On rare occasions, the Lord of Excelsior allows the town’s children to play in the garden, but that’s all.

However, the most distinguishable feature of the tower is the mysterious blue light that can be seen every day at the top of the tower. What little is known is that the intensity of the light grows stronger by the day, until it’s “expended”. The villagers have noticed that, after an important monster invasion is repelled, the next day the light has returned to its dull, pale blue, so most conclude the light is somehow related to the hamlet’s magical defenses. They have, though, learned not to ask. For most of them, such powerful magic is something they shouldn’t concern themselves with.

Note: Excelsior Tower will be detailed in a later document.


The Council of Excelsior

The town’s affairs are discussed and controlled by the Council of the Excellent: a group of nine people who together handle all the matters concerning the well-being of Excelsior and its inhabitants. Leaded by the Lord of Excelsior, the original founder and absolute governor of the area, Damian Naïlo, the council has agreed to stay out of the Silver Marches’ affairs. Regardless of the Lord’s magical might, the hamlet’s size makes it too risky to offer aid or get involved with the much larger cities of the North. The members of the council are introduced by their seating on the council table starting on top and going clockwise.

Damian Naïlo is the Lord of Excelsior. A powerful wizard, descendant of human Netherese and elves of Myth Drannor, he has inherited great arcane powers mixed with great intelligence and wisdom. Excelsior Town is one his most notorious projects, a backup which allows him to be at ease to do his never-ending magical research. While there are mixed opinions outside of Excelsior concerning Damian, within the town there’s nothing but respect and admiration for the wizard, who has never ceased his concern for the well-being and the quality of life of “his people”.

While every decision is settled by majority of votes, Damian’s words are, nevertheless, absolute. Even if everybody else in the council disagrees with his decisions, nobody dares to act against him. So far, his choices have always turned for the best, so no one has any reason to complain. While he spends most of his time locked in his tower, researching, or on occasional trips everywhere across Faerûn, he occasionally likes to take long walks through his town, always accompanied by his consort, Sophia. With his villagers, he is humble and honestly interested in whatever they have to tell him, sharing gifts of magic and wisdom, which he always seems to have in store for everyone. The villagers fear his magic, but love his kindness and appreciate everything he has done for them.

Sion Valkurien, DIVINE 03 and Chosen of Oghma is in charge of the town’s treasury. She gathers the taxes from the villagers every season and makes sure the town’s finances: investments, mining, trading with other towns and cities, maintenance of the town’s buildings and aqueduct, etcetera. Her godly intelligence and her innate organizational talents are the reason Excelsior can maximize its earning and grow gradually richer. While the stag-like horns on her head make her look intimidating and somehow diabolic, Sion is in fact not violent at all, only interested in the gathering, protection and sharing of lore. However, forgetting the fact that she is, after all, one of Damian’s DIVINE is a terrible mistake.

Ren Mystril is in charge of the town’s militia. However, the militia isn’t really in urgent need of her leadership, hence she’s much of a “wild card” around town, doing a little of everything. She can be found doing absolutely anything, from herding the town’s rothé to helping a random woman clean her house. Being one of the DIVINE members who spend more time in Excelsior rather than in some mission, she knows everything that happens in the town, which is the true reason she’s in the council. Her keen eyes and brightness allow her to see things nobody else has noticed until Ren mentions them in the meetings.

Celes Cliolaind, cleric of Sune from the Temple of Four Stars is the representative of the clergy in the town’s council. Damian asked her to join, so that he wouldn’t get the town’s clergy against him later. Since there are no real conflicts between faiths in such a small place, regardless of the excessive amount of clerics in Excelsior, Celes’ position is just that. However, she comes up with a useful idea every once in a while, so there’s no real reason to depose her.

Laikos Selatarn is the second of the militia, right below DIVINE 02, Ren Mystril. While the militia is not a fully fledged military force (you can’t call 20 people a military force), they keep close watch on monster activities in nearby areas, as well as the road between Excelsior and the High Grove. They also watch over the town’s rothé, who graze outside the hamlet’s walls and they’re in charge of the night watch. Laikos was the only one with at least some military experience before arriving to Excelsior, and that’s why he was appointed to be second. To him, the militia is boring and uneventful……and he wouldn’t like it any other way.

Sylaera Moondew, druid of the High Grove, sits in the farthest seat, right in front of the Lord of Excelsior. She’s in the council to make sure any decision made doesn’t affect or harm nature in anyway. She insists that the wilderness of the Spine of the World must be protected, not only to make sure the flora and fauna don’t disappear, but to stay true to their agreement with the white wyrm Arauthator. She’s also a great supporter of the idea of growing plants in the town, not only for aesthetic purposes but to improve the quality and cleanliness of Excelsior Town.

Storn Blackboulder is the spokesperson of the miners in the town’s council. His purpose is to point out any complains or inconveniences the miners might have about their job, as well as report the progress of such mining activities. He also keeps track of the mining schedule with Sion, and together they select each day’s mining location and how the mining groups are distributed. Finally, he reports any monster sightings within the mines, so that DIVINE or, if needed, the Lord of Excelsior himself, deal with the problem.

Mela Stonar is the spokesperson of the commoners in the council. A chubby, kindhearted woman in her late forties, Mela is in charge of dealing with minor problems concerning the townsfolk. Her judgment is usually enough to settle disputes among the common folk, but she’s obliged to report to the council whenever a certain problem gets out of her reach. She also reports any damages to the town’s buildings or the aqueduct and the goods that might be needed the most at any given time.

Yuina Silvaria, DIVINE 04, is the Lady of Foreign Affairs. She’s Excelsior’s official representative in all diplomatic missions, from commercial agreements with the cities of the North and the Sword Coast to social gatherings with political leaders of the Silver Marches. She also controls the flux of foreign merchants inside the hamlet and the import/export ratio. Finally, she’s in charge of Excelsior’s school, and she makes monthly reports on the children’s progress.

The final seat (to Damian’s right) doesn’t belong to a member of the council. It is used by Sophia, who idly sits by her consort’s side and silently watches the meeting take place. She has no voice (she’s mute, after all) and no vote in the council.


Lore and Secrets of Excelsior Town

The Mines: The fact that Excelsior is primarily a mining town is not unknown at all. However, the details behind Excelsior’s mining procedures are Excelsior’s most guarded secret, and the reason Lord Damian demands absolute allegiance to hi, to the point of not allowing villagers to move out of Excelsior. Whoever decides to live in Excelsior does it for life.

There are many natural caverns with valuable ore and gems in the Spine of the World and the North in general. To make sure it stays like that for a long time, Damian initially enforced a rotational mining cycle, in which the miners work at a different place every day. Eventually, when the number of miners grew, he divided them in several small groups and sent each group to a different place. This not only ensures that a particular mine won’t be emptied until a long time has passed, but also prevents possible monster attacks, who would have time to plan an ambush if the miners always visited the same place.

To accomplish this, Damian has devised a careful procedure. First, he personally explores the eventual mining site, wiping it from any dangerous monster presence. Second, he built the House of the Gates, a small and ordinary stone shack built aside from the main bulk of Excelsior Town, east of Excelsior Tower. As the name says, the house holds, aside from the tools needed for mining and a warehouse to store the day’s production, several (the exact number is unknown to all but Lord Damian and DIVINE 03, Sion Valkurien) portals leading to the different mining sites in the North. For security reasons, at least one DIVINE member accompanies each of the three mining groups every day. Damian has made sure his selected mining sites aren’t too close to places used by the people of the Silver Marches, for it would quite troubling if they found out he has people mining all over the North.

It is rumored that Excelsior’s miners also work in other planes, mining extremely rare and valuable metals. It might be true, for Damian always seems to have a steady supply of Pandemonic Silver, Astral Driftmetal and Abyssal Bloodiron for his experiments.

The Excellent Mythal: How Excelsior Town possesses a mythal is yet unknown. It is unconceivable that Lord Damian Naïlo might have enough power to raise a mythal by himself. Before the mythal was raised on Nightal of 1372 DR, Excelsior was protected by a complex series of multiple magical wards and traps, which needed to be renewed after a certain amount of time, which was extremely troublesome to both Damian and his DIVINE. The permanent mythal doesn’t have any of those problems, and it’s far more efficient than any series of contingent wards. Yet, raising such a powerful magic is something beyond the grasp of the wizard, regardless of how powerful Damian is. Several people have asked him about it, including some of the Chosen of Mystra and even some DIVINE members. Damian always winks mockingly as he answers: “I had the aid of a goddess”.

All DIVINE members carry a yisir (Guardian, in elven) token, which allows them to overcome some of the arointed effects, as well as allow them to use most of the vanguard spells. Only Damian and Sophia carry the artura (Greatest Master) token, which allows them to use all the vanguard spells and ignore all the arointed effects.

Arointed Spells  
  Spells with the Death Descriptor** 30000
  Spells with the Teleportation Descriptor* 30000
  Conjuration (Summoning) spells* 30000
  Cleric Spell: Antimagic Field 6000
  Wizard Spell: Antimagic Field 5300
  Wizard Spell: Mordenkainen's Disjunction 7650
*Keyed component; a character in possession of any  
token can ignore this arointed effect and cast normally  
**Keyed component; a character in possession of an  
artura token can ignore this arointed effect  
Prevalent Spells  
Antipathy (against chaotic, lawful and neutral 72000
evil creatures without a token; keyed to (base 3 x
aberrations, demons, devils, dragons, drow, 12000
giants, goblinkind, orcs, trolls and yugoloths) x2 for key)
Consecrate 1200
Control Weather* 4550
  (base 9100, x2 for key, 
  x1/2 for spell trigger x1/2
   for being renewable)
Death Ward 5600
  (2800 x2 for duration factor)
Detect Scrying 2800
False Vision 4500
Invisibility Purge 3000
  (1500 x2 for duration factor)
Subvert Planar Essence 26400
  (6600 x4 for duration factor)
*Keyed component; only a character in possession of an  
artura token can activate this effect.  


Vanguard Spells

All the vanguard spells in Excelsior’s mythal are keyed to Lord Damian Naïlo and the thirteen members of DIVINE, who carry the ward tokens. The costs given below have all been doubled because each component is keyed. Additional adjustments are detailed below where needed.

Amanuensis (within Excelsior Tower only, artura token only, spell trigger) 750
Chalkboard 100
Detect Magic 100
Detect Poison 100
Dispel Evil 9000
Feather Fall 200
Fire Storm (spell trigger) 6000
Fly (CL 6th) 1800
Fortunate Fate 18200
Greater Dispel Magic (CL 20th, spell trigger) 12000
Greater Ironguard 18200
Heal (CL 6th) 13200
Know Vulnerabilities 2800
Lesser Restoration 1200
Mending 100
Prismatic Sphere (within Excelsior Tower only, artura token only) 15300
Read Magic (artura token only, spell trigger) 50
Remove Curse 3000
Remove Paralysis 1200
Silence 1200
Snilloc's Major Missile (CL 10th) 10000
Sunburst (spell trigger) 6000
True Seeing 13200


Prevalent Powers

Dismissal 40000 (doubled for keyed effect)
Snilloc's Major Missile (CL 15th) 40000 (doubled for keyed effect)
These spells are keyed to affect the same kinds of creatures as the Antipathy prevalent spell

The total cost for these components is 454700. Dividing this value by1000 yields a Spellcraft DC modifier of +455. Adding this modifier to the base Spellcraft DC of 25 brings the DC to 480. The wards extend 1000 feet in all directions, adding +36 to the DC. The total Spellcraft DC is 516. While the powers of Excelsior’s mythal are well documented, no information exists on the mitigating factors used in the development of the Excellent Mythal epic spell. It is know that, if Damian indeed raised the mythal, he had no additional spellcasters aiding him, for the only ones he’d trust for such a thing are his DIVINE girls, and they claim not to know a thing about it. Sophia, being Damian’s consort and the person closest to him, might know some, if not all of the truth behind Excelsior’s mythal, but she’s not of much help since she talks to no one but Damian (through their telepathic bond).


Relevant Families of Excelsior and Individuals of Note

Mairanna Family: The Mairanna household houses a young couple, Bradh and Marie, both 24 years old, and their young adopted daughter Nina, with only 8 years. According to what they have shared with the townsfolk, Nina is the daughter of one of Bradh’s friends, who died in a distant war. The Mairannas live in a large and spacious two-story house at the far northeastern corner of the town, close to the House of the Gates. For some reason, Lord Damian doesn’t allow anyone to build anything in that area. As a consequence, the Mairanna residence is rather distanced from the rest of the village. The Mairanna couple is an energetic, youthful duo, who has successfully managed to grow carrots, eggplant and strawberries on the outskirts of their household. Some people have noticed that Bradh and Marie are somehow similar, both sharing common traits like their facial traits, their red hair and almond eyes, to the point that people not acquainted with them might mistake them for brother and sister. Aside from that little detail, the townsfolk are quite fond of the Mairannas, regardless of the fact that they’re a little hyper and plain weird at times. They are also assiduous travelers (at any point there’s a 60% chance that one or both Bradh and Marie are out of town).

The little girl, Nina, is another story. She’s the only young girl in Excelsior who has refused to attend classes at Lady Yuina’s school. She never plays with the other children, and no one has ever seen her smile, or any other emotion whatsoever. She seems to spend her days locked in the house doing who-knows-what. And her parents don’t seem to care at all about their daughter’s activities (or lack of activities).

The Mairanna family has a secret, only known to Lord Damian and his DIVINE. The Mairanna couple isn’t a couple. They’re in fact brother and sister. They’re not twenty-four; they’re at least a hundred years older. And young little Nina isn’t young at all; in fact, she’s much older than her “parents”.

The three people known as the Mairannas (their true names are known only to them, and it seems not even Bradh and Marie know Nina’s true name) are not humans. They’re elan: former humans who went through a mysterious ritual to gain psionic powers and great longevity. Bradh (CG male elan Psion 9 {Kineticist}) and Marie (CG female elan Psion 5 {egoist}) were brother and sister when humans, and have remained together after their transformation. They chose Excelsior Town, a secluded, peaceful land, as their base from where to rest and prepare for their many trips all over Faerûn. All of this they’ve done under the guidance of their elder, an extremely powerful elan: Nina (LN female elan Psion 10 {seer}/Wizard 10/Cerebremancer 6), who is well over seven hundred years old and witnessed the fall of Myth Drannor. She’s a product of a time when elans performed their transformation rituals on children, to see if the ritual’s effects somehow depended on the recipient’s age. The fact that she has survived all these years is a testament to her great power, ability and wisdom.

Of course, such a wonderful “young girl” wasn’t unnoticed by Lord Damian of Excelsior. Nina politely declined Damian’s proposal to become DIVINE 14, claiming that the time for her to engage in any battle was long over. Despite of that, Damian’s and Nina’s relationship is openly friendly (some would even say romantic, if they saw them together), and Damian respects and loves Nina just as much as he loves the DIVINE girls. Nina often visits Excelsior Tower (and Damian often visits the Mairanna residence) by means of a secret passage known only by Damian, Nina and DIVINE 12, Solaris.

Balaeron Family: Rijkaard Balaeron was one of the original miners who arrived to what would become Excelsior alongside Damian Naïlo. He hasn’t quit working as a miner since then, but now he has his family by his side. His wife, Lynjala, looks after the house while he’s gone, and does all the housework. The family member of note is their eleven-year-old daughter, Lillia, who is Lord Damian’s youngest apprentice. Unlike Damian’s other two apprentices, whose studies and fields of specialization are well documented, neither Lillia nor Damian have made comments on the young girl’s studies. What is known is that Lord Damian personally supervises Lillia’s training, unlike the other two apprentices, who are often sent to study with one of the DIVINE girls, often Lady Sion or Lady Sasha.

Malik Eltorchul (LE human male Ari1) is a distant cousin of the current patriarch of Waterdeep’s Eltorchul noble house. Well aware that he won’t rise much higher among his own relatives, he left the City of Splendors to search for easier ways to amass money and rare materials. He was eventually drawn to Excelsior and its lucrative (and just as secretive) mining operations. He’s very interested in finding out the secrets behind Excelsior’s mining business, and just how do Excelsior’s miners extract so many different and valuable minerals. He has tried bribing the miners, to no avail: in their minds, there’s no amount of money that would make them get on an archmage’s bad side. In the meantime, Malik has turned his residence in a shipping business, helping the flow of produce in and out of Excelsior. Damian is well aware of Malik’s intentions, but he has no reason to act against the Waterdhavian (yet). After all, thanks to Malik the villagers have easier access to products from other towns, and Malik does pay his taxes.

 Rathan Family: Khemed Rathan (CG human male Ari1) is a sixty-seven-year old former Calishite merchant who made a fortune of trading Chultan gems to Calimshan, Amn, the Border Kingdoms and the Nelanther Isles, has finally settled down and retired after his wife’s death, far away from his country and from any potential threats to his hard-earned wealth. Khemed remarried before moving to Excelsior. His new wife, an indescribably beautiful Amnian brunette named Atala, is almost thirty years younger than her husband, and is clearly only interested in the money and luxury Khemed can give her. As such, she is not very fond of Excelsior’s rural environment, and spends most of her days enjoying Silverymoon’s revelries and shifting from one affair to another. On the other side, Khemed’s three children, born from his late wife. Having being raised with love, care and values, they cannot accept their step-mother, and will not cease their efforts until their love-blind father realizes Atala’s mischief.

In the meantime; Khemed’s first daughter, forty-two year old Mala, and her husband, Dalvin Greywood (who happens to be a Harper), work under the supervision of DIVINE 04, Yuina Silvaria; managing a large business of gemcutting and jewelry crafting in Silverymoon; which exists thanks to the precious stones mined in Excelsior. She secretly sponsors groups of spies and adventurers to keep track of Atala’s movements in Silverymoon, afraid of her step-mothers possible meddling with rival merchants and worse enemies. The second child, thirty-year old Wynarn, has been with the Knights in Silver for the last nine years, and he has become a leader of renown among the younger ones. Finally, the youngest daughter, beautiful sixteen-year-old Silindyl, stays in Rathan Mansion, tending to her elderly father, studying during her free time, which she also spends helping the clergy of the Temple of Four Stars and Yuina Silvaria at the school. As a consequence, Silindyl is well loved among the youngest in Excelsior. Silindyl is well-aware of the many male eyes on her, but so far she has shown no interest in the many advances aimed at her. What nobody knows is that  what she loves the most is Excelsior, and her dream is to be able to look after her beloved town…………as DIVINE 14.

Krynn Karthantil (LG half-elf male Mnk1) is a monk of the Sun Soul devoted to Lathander. However, his boundless enthusiasm and devotion to the cause of good is clouded by his incredible incompetence. Shunned by his comrades, Krynn has adopted a self-exile, retiring to a humble cottage in the far northwestern corner of Excelsior. He spends his days in quiet meditation, his presence almost unnoticeable by his fellow Excellents. He idly waits for a chance to prove himself once again, a way to gain the trust and respect of his fellows.

Tymora’s Four: the band of adventurers known as Tymora’s Four has built a small stone tower, a little separate from the bulk of Excelsior’s residences. They use this place mostly for storage, and as a temporal residence when their many adventures take too much of a toll on them. In exchange for the many magical wards Lord Damian and Lady Sophia have placed on the tower, and the added protection of Excelsior’s mythal, the adventurers pay a monthly fee, and have made the promise of aiding the village in the direst situations. There has been no need for them to fulfill this part of the contract…yet. Meanwhile, the group continues their job as secret champions of Lady Luck. Their common faith has led them to undertake most (if not all) of their missions in the name of Tymora, as that is the sole source of their noticeable renown.

Tymora’s Four are (currently –the group has changed members in the years for several reasons common to adventuring groups everywhere–) Rey Tanthil (CG human male Clr10 of Tymora), his wife Jenna (CG human female Ftr8), their friend Zech “Gale Wind” Twinfeathers (CN Halfling male Rog7/Divine Seeker 1 of Tymora) and Alindra Maldrin (NG half-elf female Wiz7/Arcane Devotee 1 of Tymora).

Drykharia Family: thirty-two-year old Wendy Drykharia lost her husband eight years ago. He was one of the original miners who arrived to Excelsior, a young man full of ambition and enthusiasm to earn enough money to look after his young wife. He owed it to Wendy, who had abandoned her family and a comfortable life in Waterdeep to follow him. However, he was victim of a drow ambush to one of Excelsior’s mines. Lord Damian and DIVINE didn’t arrive in time to save him. Ashamed for the loss, which he blamed on his lack of caution and preparation, Lord Damian swore Wendy and her son, Galadreth, would live the comfortable life Wendy’s husband had wanted for them. Currently (end of 1373 DR), Wendy is 32 and her son Galadreth is 15, and the young lad is undergoing apprenticeship in Excelsior Tower. Damian has discovered Galadreth’s excessive (“unhealthy” Damian has said) interest in Necromancy, and has decided to specialize in that school (treat Galadreth as a LN human male Necromancer 3).

Whistler Family: While Allan Whistler (LN human male War3) spends is days working for the militia, his wife Daria has gathered several women from the town to create her own business. Together they make some of the North’s finest wool clothes, with the help of a sponsor from Silverymoon named Malao Soliaren (LN Male Human Ari1/Exp3). He has aided the women with magic items that help them speed up their work and improve their work’s quality (items that grant bonuses to Craft checks). However, what Daria and her partners in business ignore is that Malao Soliaren is an (unwilling) informant for the Cult of the Dragon. Malao’s part of the profits goes to the Cult’s coffers, and the man uses the women to gain as much information as possible about Excelsior Town. The Cult’s diviners have detected an unknown dragon somewhere in the Excelsior area, and Malao’s mission is to find it. Both the Cult and Malao are well aware that this unknown dragon cannot be Arauthator, for the divinations spoke of “a dragon with wings of night”. Of course, this dragon is none other than Lord Damian’s wife and DIVINE 01, Sophia of Mystra.

Dressar Family: The only family member of note here would be the first son, thirteen-year-old Kerendall (CG human male Transmuter 3), one of Damian’s apprentices and probably the heir to Damian’s studies on alteration and metamagic. That is, unless Damian and Sophia have a child, which is unlikely (it’s not that they don’t want one, Mystra knows they do, but all attempts so far have failed, so………).

Fabrice Family: Rillevan Fabrice (LE human male War3) works for the militia, and lives with his wife and three children in a large two-story stone house in southern Excelsior, near the Outer Wall. While he acts as a normal, rather quiet but loving husband and amorous father, he is in fact an undercover spy for the Arcane Brotherhood’s Overwizard of the North, Valindra Shadowmantle (who happens to be an old “acquaintance” of Lord Damian of Excelsior). By means of magic items, he informs Valindra of the traffic of goods to and from Excelsior, so that the Brotherhood can organize caravan raids. He also sends info on the town itself, as well as everything he can get from Lord Damian himself (Valindra wants to keep track of her old enemy’s moves). Little do they know that Lord Damian is much more aware of what’s going on in Luskan than Valindra of what’s going on in Excelsior.

Myrea Ahrmaesuol (NG male half-elf Rgr1) tends to a little pond in southern Excelsior. Myrea’s Pond, as it has come to be called, is mostly a playground for children who can stand the bitter cold waters and a well for families to collect clean water for cooking and washing. Some families actually prefer the pond’s water to the water from Excelsior’s aqueduct (nothing but personal preference, there’s no actual difference). Myrea is part of the militia, but spends most of his days cleaning the town (an occasional necessity –Excelsior is very clean), foraging, hunting and watching over the growth of plants within Excelsior’s walls alongside the druid, Sylaera Moondew.


Excelsior Town Adventure Seeds

Return to Traveler's Notebooks

Return to Alaundo's Library