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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
6125 Posts

Posted - 04 Oct 2022 :  11:21:21  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The Mage in the Iron Mask (1368 DR)
By Brian Thomsen

Donal Loomis
Donal Loomis was a dwarfish gnome of a man, which is not to say that he claimed any blood lineage to either the dwarves or the gnomes but rather that his overall appearance, unfortunately, seemed to emulate the least favourable attributes of both races. With his bulbous features, stunted stature, and obese waistline, he was easily considered an unsightly wart on the face of humankind. The jagged facial scars that decorated his hairless head, unsightly reminders of the painful removal of tell-tale tattoos, did not help the ugliness of his physical appearance. [Prologue]
Member of the Retreat [Prologue]
when one finds oneself on the wrong side of a revolution, and Szass Tam was one lich who definitely didn't forgive and forget. Donal had had his telltale tattoos painfully burnt off his facial skin, and had applied for sanctuary at the Retreat [Prologue]
Nathor, a fellow conspirator from that ill-fated revolution (against Szass Tam) had also turned up at the steps of the Retreat. Nathor disappeared after three days, and was never heard from again. [Prologue]
Elder of the Retreat [Prologue]
80+ years old [Prologue]
Slain by shadowriders (mercenaries from Thay) in the employ of the Tharchioness when she discovered he rebelled against Szass Tam [Prologue]
First Donal betrayed the Retreat and offered to sell Rassendyll to Dmitra Flas (she offered him amnesty for his crimes against Szass Tam), then he betrayed Dmitra and offered to sell Rassendyll to Selfaril for money. [2]

The Retreat
The Retreat, as the members called it, was originally a place of study, refuge, and retirement for those who wished to devote their lives to the study of mage-craft and other magical arts. Scholarship alone, however, ceased to be enough of a reason for being or means of survival in the dour political climes of the Moonsea region, and the elder wizards who founded the Retreat many years ago decided that it had become necessary to widen their membership to certain other members of society who might help to subsidize their institution through financial endowments, political protection (whether by favours, military aid, or just good old-fashioned blackmail), or diplomatic influence. As a result, the institute of learning and refuge also became a place of sanctuary for political outcasts whose assets or knowledge could benefit their foundation, spies from the south or the west en route to the east or vice versa (Harpers were usually particularly welcome temporary guests whose incurred debts were always paid in a timely and generous manner); or just a convenient and permanent hiding place for offspring born on the wrong side of the blanket by royals or soon to be royals whose legitimate heirs had reason to worry about potential rivals. [Prologue]
As long as the accounts were met, no questions were asked, nor information given out. As a result, numerous members of the peculiar institution who had come to accept their lives of study had no knowledge of their parentage or lineage, and possessed memories solely of their lives within the monastic walls, nor did they desire such information nor opportunities for adventure. Loyola Ignato, one of the Retreat's founders and, according to legend, a mage of some note, had prided himself on his abilities to indoctrinate the young and inexperienced into the ways of life in the monastery. He was known to boast that if you gave him a youth between the ages of two and twenty, the Retreat would have him for life, and many nobles were more than willing to accommodate him. Without exception the Retreat had never lost an initiate to temporal temptations that lie beyond the monastic walls. [Prologue]
Only elders were allowed to venture from the Retreat a half-day journey into Mulmaster to deliver the monthly tithe, as the more youthful interns were prone to distractions that might persuade them to forsake the life of scholarly pursuits [Prologue]
Members stand watch on guard duty (on rotation????) [Prologue]
Elders given title of magister [Prologue]
Inner hall [Prologue]
The shadowriders have orders to kill everyone at the Retreat. Rassendyll is taken prisoner [Prologue]
The Thayan mercenaries captured Donal and slew him with a crystal wand (of Thayan design). Then the Hawks went to the Retreat to pretend to help them against the Thayan mercenaries (whom they had already killed) and slew everyone left at the Retreat, leaving behind the crystal wand to implicate the Thayans [2]
Was under Mulmaster’s protection [5]
Damon of Runyon, elder of the Retreat [6]

Other Lore
Have you gazed upon the Runes of Chaos, beheld the thing which sits upon Thakorsil's Seat, held the Death Moon Orb in your trembling hands, wielded Nyskar's Nightblades, entered the Devouring Portal and walked the Paths of the Doomed, or sat at the left hand of Szass Tam during the Ritual of Twin Burning? [Prologue]
The lark is one of Faerun's most common birds of the morn [Prologue]
Passepout, former sponsored actor and artist of the House of Bernd of Cormyr. Passepout used to be a thief [1,8]
House Bernd, heir is Curtis. Curtis is marrying Shurleen. Maid is Marissa [1]
It is a very serious crime in Cormyr to interfere with the reproductive capabilities of a feline [1]
Ward T.James, resident of Phlan, tours with a group called the S.S.I.-Stupendous Stagecraft Incorporated. They are most famous for their Pools series of plays that set the great classics of Faerun in a mud pit. High drama and mud wrestling all rolled into one. [1]
Rumors of non-Mulan spies in Thay were rampant, and precautions had to be taken.
magically-empowered images of phoenixes in flight, a tattoo of a political appointee in Thay (whose sign is phoenixes in flight, who does he serve????) [2]
Arabellan Brandy [2]
Bowl-headed Greenwood, a bird indigenous to Shadowdale [3]
The call of a bowl headed greenwood bird is used as a signal by Harpers (from the Shadowdale branch????) [3]
Tanyaherst, Sembian merchant vessel, purchases slaves from pressgangs to act as cheap labour. Mulmaster has a spy on board [7]
Seau Raisis, friend of Passepout in Cormyr (is he an actor????), has a dry, flaky, skin problem. Beheaded (was he a traitor????)
Oleigh, cleric in Cormyr
The master traveller, in his research for Volo's Guide to All Things Magical, recalled reading about such masks. If memory served him, he seemed to remember that they usually did more than just hide one's face, but also dampened one's ability to perform magic. Legend had it that in olden days such masks had been used on imprisoned wizards to render them vulnerable to torture and interrogation. [10]
Halruaan ale [10]
On the Road with Crossbow, Hope, and Lamour, a book about a man with a crossbow looking for the meaning of life but instead found love and friends [14]
Knight of the Order of the Hard Day, a warrior order that Honor Fullstaff served with and trains their students from time to time [14]
Ward's Folly, also known as The Pool of Blood, a play in Cormyr with lots of killing [18]

Mulmaster
Also known as the City of Danger [1]
numerous connubial festivals that was celebrated by the thrice-yearly reunion of the High Blade and his bride from the Far East [Prologue]
Sir Melker Rickman, commander/captain of the Hawks. Had an elder brother Jeremy (first born and received all the privileges) who is now dead. Sir Melker was forced to enter the military or the priesthood. When Melker’s father died, Jeremy inherited the estate, Melker (then a sergeant) had Jeremy imprisoned on high treason and executed a week later. Melker was quickly promoted and inherited the estate. Eyepatch. Executed for treason [Prologue,2,3,Epilogue]
The Hawks are the High Blade's own storm troopers. Rumour has it that he regularly dispatches them to do his dirty work throughout the Realms. [Prologue,1]
the prison known as Southroad Keep [1]
Traveler's Cloak Inn, expensive. Dela the barmaid and owner [1]
A permit is required to act. Those buying the permit must pay the theatre tax [1]
Tower of Arcane Might, the guild hall for the Brotherhood of the Cloak. Any mage in the city of fourth level or higher is immediately recruited to their ranks, or else. [1]
Senior Cloak Thurndan Tallwand, succeeded Rathbone after his death [1]
strict rules on magic use [1]
Mason McKern, old and sour faced mage. Same age as Honor Fullstaff. Retired senior member of the Cloaks almost as long as Honor Fullstaff had been blind, living at the Retreat. Friends with Honor Fullstaff despite never having served together. Has a brother mage in Mulmaster who is blind and specialised metallurgy magic, he made the helmet that Rassendyll wears and lives in the dungeons of Southroad Keep in case his skills are needed. Mason served under High Blade Merch, does not like Selfaril much although he is still bound to protect him (he just doesn’t do his dirty work). Younger brother of Loyola Ignato McKern [1,7,9,10,11]
Mulmaster was founded-by various influential merchant groups-in the Year of Fell Wizardry, as a trading fortress way station between the Moonsea, the River Lis, and the Dragon Reach. It managed to not only survive, but thrive during the years of unrest, and eventually, in the Year of Thunder, made a bid for complete domination of the Moonsea, only to be put back in its place by the combined forces of Sembia, Hillsfar, Phlan, Melvaunt, and Zhentil Keep. There was much finger pointing after their failed attempt at expansionism, and out of the anarchy arose the formation of a single seat of power, to rule over the others. This leader was to be called the High Blade, who was to work in conjunction with the other ranking nobles who from that time on were known as the Blades. The first High Blade took power in the Year of the Wandering Wyrm, and quickly assassinated any of the Blades who didn't agree with his way of doing things. From that point on the Blades were nothing more than a puppet ruling council. [1]
High Blade's Study in the Tower of the Wyvern, a private study, a room secret to all but his closest advisors (which did not include his wife, the Tharchioness). Only the Hawk commander and the High Blade know how to use the secret door to access the High Blade’s Study [2]
Slater, valet of the High Blade [2]
Tharchioness's Boudoir in the Tower of the Wyvern [2]
Reid Room in the Tower of the Wyvern, receiving room [2]
Wave and Wink (nicknamed the W&W) and the Smashed Plate, very popular local hotspots [3]
Thayan wizards in service to the Tharchioness are exempt from normal controls by the cloaks [3]
Wattrous (older weasel-like) and Jembahb (younger and taller), members of the Hawks, not known for their discretion. Jembahb was executed for incompetence and Wattrous fled Mulmaster and has a price on his head [3,5,6]
Smagler, easily bribed guard in Southroad Keep [3]
Blough, Hawk [3]
Lieutenant Boston of the City Watch [3]
City Watch man the gates and register those coming in and going out. Also round up drunkards of a night (and throw them in jail presumably????) [3]
Office of the High Blade in the Tower of the Blades [4]
Courtyard between the Tower of the Blades and the Tower of the Wyvern [5]
The harbour has been filled with ships as of late. Several of them are from our allies who have agreed to assist us in the rebuilding of our navy, while others are from certain other interests whose press gangs we have allowed to harvest our detritus in exchange for certain considerations. [6]
Honor Fullstaff, blind former gladiator, 6 ft tall. Lives in a villa along the road between Mulmaster and the Retreat. Has two servants, Hal and Poins. Now works as a swordmaster and tutor. Over 60 years old and still well muscled. His cook is a dwarf named Hotspur. Began his illustrious career in the gladiatorial arenas of Hillsfar where coming in second leaves one with a very short career. No idea who his parents were (they may have died in the arena). Led a slave revolt, instigating the escape of over half of Hillsfar’s gladiators. Hillsfar offered Honor and his gladiators a contract as mercenaries. Eventually the mercenary broke up through attrition etc. Honor then joined the Hawks in Mulmaster and swiftly rose through the ranks to become Captain of the Hawks and the City Watch and Merch’s right hand man. Merch and Honor were closer than brothers. Honor was blinded by Rathbone the leader of the Cloaks at the time. His students have included kings and thieves, and their tuition has varied from debts of gratitude to villas in Cormyr [6,7]
Mischa Tam (relative of Szass Tam????), female advisor to Dmitra Flas. Half sister of Dmitra Flas due to an assignation on her mother’s part. She was neither as potent a magic-wielder or as popular a politician as the First Princess, and she was reminded of it every day of her life, and accepted her fate of never being more than the one who was referred to behind her back as the Second Half-Princess, and the sister of the Tharchioness. Secretly hates Dmitra Flas and is waiting for Szass Tam to choose a new favourite (preferably Mischa) [6,7]
Minister Konoch and Minister Molloch, male advisors to Dmitra Flas [6,7]
Gate of Good Fortune, temple of Tymora [6]
Year of the Bow, Mulmaster’s fleet was destroyed by Zhentil Keep, along with many of the Hawks [7]
Lieutenant Danovich, Hawk, originally trained as an actor. Reposted somewhere far from Mulmaster with very low survival chances [7]
Roche, personal servant (batman) to Captain Rickman [7]
Rathbone was leader of the Cloaks during Merch’s rule as High Blade. He disliked Honor Fullstaff and envied his position as Merch’s right hand man. He arranged an explosion while Honor was supervising the forging and tempering of his own weapon, the explosion blinded Honor (no one was killed). After Honor was blinded the Cloaks became responsible for the High Blade’s security. Rathbone committed suicide (hung himself in the Tower of Arcane Might) after Merch’s death (or was he killed????) [7]
The Villa of Honor Fullstaff is about a quarter days journey (on foot) from Mulmaster). Bardulph, works as a messenger [9,13]
Stiles, an assassin in service to Captain Rickman, one of the best assassins he has at his disposal. Has been contracted to eliminate Wattrous [10]
James, bandit operating outside Mulmaster near the Retreat. Tortured by the Hawks [10]
Warrior’s Arena tavern, favoured haunt of Captain Rickman [11,13]
Lendel, servant in the Thayan embassy, secretly a spy for Captain Rickman. Slain by Captain Rickman [12]
The Company of the Blind, a Cloak Society of old blind men that broker information. Honor Fullstaff uses them [13]
Elijakuk, Chancellor in the Thayan embassy [14]
There are secret tunnels and passages throughout the city, several of which lead directly to the High Blade's private study. Secret tunnels also extend under Southroad Keep [14,16]
Gomar Nabors, guard in the Hawks at the Tower of the Wyvern [15]
Greenstrit, Thayan minister [18]
Necking Tree, a tree with drooping branches to seclude those within [Epilogue]

Merch Voumdolphin
Merch, former High Blade and Selfaril’s father. Merch himself was far from an angel, and the fact that Selfaril was his son was looked upon as just a slight deviation from the normal rules of ascendancy. Patricide wasn't the first time, and probably won't be the last (has a High Blade been murdered by his son before????) [7]
Merch Voumdolphin began life as a gladiator in the Hillsfar arena with Honor. He planned the slave revolt that Honor led. While Honor formed the mercenary band, Merch romanced a certain Mulman aristocrat's daughter. In no time they were married, and Merch had safely slept his way up the ladder of Mulman high society. There was only one small problem: unbeknownst to him, he had already fathered two sons from a slave girl he had lain with during off hours at the arena, and these offspring were still imprisoned back in Hillsfar.Honor first found out about these two infants that had just been born on the wrong side of the blanket, and he hastened to Mulmaster to alert Merch. Needless to say, he was horrified, torn by his duty to his newly-acquired wife-who was already pregnant-and the illegitimate spawn of his loins. Mason McKern and his brother had pledged their service to the head of the family (which Merch had married into) in return for money to be given to Loyola Ignato (Loyola Ignato McKern) so he could establish the Retreat [11]
Merch’s wife asked the two mage McKern brothers to forge an enchanted weapon that would imbue its bearer with great facility and lethal mastery of the bladed arts. The brothers complied, forging a weapon whose blade was combined from the melted-down blades of several of Mulmaster's veteran swordsmen, including that of the bride's father, whose title of Blade bespoke more of his own experience with one than such a title conveys today. When Merch took the blade in hand, he became a swordmaster the likes of which Mulmaster had never seen. Together with his old comrade-in-arms, Honor Fullstaff, he returned to Hillsfar, raided the slave compound, and rescued his infant sons, who at the time were still less than two months old. Triumphantly, he and his comrade returned with the babes in hand to a prearranged spot where they could meet up with his bride and her trusted confidant. [11]
Merch’s wife miscarried so they chose one of his illegitimate sons to replace his newly dead so. The other illegitimate son went to the Retreat but the man carrying Rassendyll was slain and Rassendyll was believed taken by bandits (Loyola intended to keep Rassendyll as secret to use as leverage later but died without anyone knowing about his secret ward) [11]


Rassendyll
Young mage in training at the Retreat. Kidnapped by mercenaries and delivered to Mulmaster where he was forged into a head case that suppresses magic use [Prologue]

Dmitra Flas
Dmitra Flas also known as the First Princess of Thay, and the Tharchioness of Eltabbar, or just the Tharchioness for short. It was a major diplomatic coup for both Mulmaster and Thay. She spends most of her time back in Eltabbar, and he's been known to continue to play the rogue with the wandering eye despite their matrimonial vows. She visits here three times a year. I believe she just arrived yesterday for her most recent visit. Both sides claim that they were wedded due to their mutual respect and love for each other, but I wonder. [1]
devastating earthquake in Eltabbar a few months back. Dmitra Flas was overseeing the rebuilding when she received word from Donal Loomis about Rassendyll. Her ambassador suggested she could use Rassendyll to escape from her marriage to Selpharil [2]
Ambassador Vitriole of Thay (in service to Dmitra Flass and remained in Mulmaster) executed by Dmitra Flas for failing her and losing Donal [2]
Szass Tam had explained the necessity of her courtship and marriage to the foul westerner as the first step toward an active Thayan presence in the Moonsea area. The powerful lich lord would then be able to extend his influence farther southward to the Dalelands, while exerting further pressures on the other tharches toward an ultimate goal of the unification of all of Thay under his eternal rule. She had been more than willing to assist him in this ultimate goal, even if it meant subjecting herself to the bondage of matrimony. Unfortunately, both of them had underestimated the equally acquisitive ambitions of the High Blade, who saw Mulmaster's Tower of the Wyvern as the jumping-off point for his own expansion of power and authority both south and eastward, power which he had no intention of sharing with his bride, or the real power behind her throne. [2]
Dmitra Flas was legendary in her cruelty, and the execution of Vitriole was only the most recent of her acts of intolerance toward what she considered to be traitorous incompetence. Anything that hindered Szass Tam's ultimate plans was considered to be treasonous within the tharch of Eltabbar, and treason was always punishable by death. [2]
Szass Tam wanted an alliance between Eltabbar and Mulmaster (why????). Dmitra Flas suggested that the seduction was metamorphosed into a diplomatic liaison cum marriage that would form an alliance between Eltabbar and Mulmaster. Szass Tam agreed it was felt that such an official alliance would be more advantageous.
Joechairo Lawre, replacement ambassador for Vitriole. Only took the position to get away from the politics in Thay. Executed for attacking the High Blade (he actually killed Selfaril) [Epilogue]



Southroad Keep
Hoffman, an old dwarf with a long white beard, from the Seventh Dwarven Abbey. Been in the dungeons a long time (before 1357 DR). Senior abbot and protector of the legendary Seal of Robert. The Seventh Dwarven Abbey was attacked by Zhent agents, and I alone survived. Once I had ascertained the safety of the Seal, I came to Mulmaster in search of help. The powers that be claimed I was a spy, threw me in the dungeon, and forgot about me. [2,3]
When a person dies in the keep, their body is placed in a sack with a weight and dropped down the same drain that the garbage goes. It leads to an underground canal that eventually empties out into the Moonsea. The dead are bagged and weighted before the dinner service, and then collected on the same trip they retrieve the plates. I've seen it happen many times over, and it runs like clockwork. You can tell when it happens. The guards ring a bell to signal that someone has to bring down a sack and a weight. [4]
Kupfer, former resident of Southroad Keep, a firbolg. Tortured to death by a bored guard [4]
Office of the Captain of the Hawks in Southroad Keep [7]
Dwight Wrenfield, custodian of Southroad Keep [15]

Chesslyn Onaubra
Chesslyn Onaubra, Harper. [4]
Has a longsword that can be thrown 50 feet (magic????) [4]
Posing as a guard at the Gate of Good Fortune [6]
Has been operating as a Harper Agent in Mulmaster for quite some time. Has an amulet of non-detection to avoid the Cloaks magics [6]
Only the elders of the Retreat were allowed to come to Mulmaster, and then only on a rotating basis as the need arose. One of the elders, Damon of Runyon, would stop by the temple on his visit and leave a series of bets with very specific instructions. When his winnings reached a certain point, it was my place to bring a portion of the kitty to him, and, for a tidy fee, to bring out new betting instructions. He was pretty lucky, at least up until now. [6]
Taught by Honor Fullstaff [7]

Selfaril
The current High Blade is a fellow by the name of Selfaril Voumdolphin, who succeeded his father into the job after assassinating him. That was back in the Year of the Spear. He did recently marry though, to an equally powerful young lady by the name of Dmitra Flas. [1]
Dressed in silken robes with fur trim, and around his neck was a pendant of a blood-encrusted dagger. The blood was made up of red gemstones. [4]
Slain by Thayan ambassador. His body was disposed of secretly [18]

Moonsea
Lighthouse along the shore near Mulmaster with a nearby barracks housing 36 soldiers [7]

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TBeholder
Great Reader

2244 Posts

Posted - 14 Oct 2022 :  04:22:55  Show Profile Send TBeholder a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Gary Dallison

So the question is, did they all have a geas placed upon them. I find it unlikely that 4 separate individuals all felt the need to devote centuries of life to the same task, obeying the same rules.

Is it possible to inherit a geas, or did each wizard inflict a geas upon their descendant knowing the life they would have, was passing on the geas part of their geas, was it passed on through an item perhaps?

There were speculations on High Magic meddling with Baerauble and/or Obarskyr line.
IIRC, it was vaguely not-quite-confirmed.

quote:
Originally posted by Gary Dallison

The Mage in the Iron Mask (1368 DR)
By Brian Thomsen
...
Loyola Ignato

And the usual quality of editing strikes again. But also, here we see the problem with Salvatore: standards for 2nd-3rd tier writers dropped to this level, back then.

People never wonder How the world goes round -Helloween
And even I make no pretense Of having more than common sense -R.W.Wood
It's not good, Eric. It's a gazebo. -Ed Whitchurch
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Demzer
Senior Scribe

854 Posts

Posted - 14 Oct 2022 :  14:02:23  Show Profile Send Demzer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by TBeholder

quote:
Originally posted by Gary Dallison

The Mage in the Iron Mask (1368 DR)
By Brian Thomsen
...
Loyola Ignato

And the usual quality of editing strikes again. But also, here we see the problem with Salvatore: standards for 2nd-3rd tier writers dropped to this level, back then.



Ah, so it's the Jesuits he has a beef with
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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
6125 Posts

Posted - 14 Oct 2022 :  15:09:24  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The naming conventions in Murder in Halruaa is only marginally better.

As for the magical effect connecting Thauglor, the elf, and the kings.

I'm not sure that magic comes with an easy interface where you can easily spot that magic is occurring on individuals, especially beings like dragons and elves which are inherently magical.

So to pick apart such magic as was working on thauglor and iliphar would first require that you know it exists, and then possess the skill to manipulate or recreate something without the original instructions (which is a good way to get your head blown off I think).

It seems unlikely that iliphar told baerauble about such a thing, it also seems unlikely that baerauble (as good as he was) could recreate something iliphar did.

So, I still maintain that iliphar possessed an item that kept him alive and in good health for so long, and that item was passed onto the obarskyrs. The only missing part of the link is how that comments to thauglor but I think I've figured that out.


Still not sure about the geas. The book says there isnt a geas, but the behaviour of multiple different beings all behaving in the same manner suggests the opposite (what are the chances of having 5 individuals separated by many generations and upbringing and yet all possess the same intractable devotion to a throne they had no connection to before becoming royal mage - the odds are astronomically against it).

So perhaps the mage royal that killed salember lied about the geas, or perhaps he was merely stating the truth that there is no geas to protect the king, omitting the fact that there is a geas to protect the realm / throne even if that means protecting it against the king.

Or we have a situation where there is a magic that is like a geas (but is not a geas) that moulds the behaviour of the afflicted, and can be passed from one incumbent to the next (the cat allowing the passing of the magic from the one that blew up - or supposedly blew up, I dont recall a body)

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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
6125 Posts

Posted - 17 Oct 2022 :  00:07:10  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Murder in Halruaa (1367 DR)
By Richard Meyers

Pryce Covington
Ex-business partner of Gamor Turkal (Gamor quit to find a job with more leisure time) [1]
His father deserted his family [1]
he was born, in the tiny city of Merrickarta in the basin surrounded by the northern mountain ranges [1]
At the age of eight, he tried his hand at acting, and he was fairly good at it, but he hated having an audience. They were always analysing his performance rather than accepting his character. [1]
at the age of fifteen he had slopped out his share of pigpens-both human and animal-but soon all manner of creatures were calling upon him for all manner of tasks. Whenever anyone needed two extra hands to move a shipment, two extra feet to run an errand, or extra eyes to witness a transaction, an extra nose to sniff out information, and extra ears to objectively consider a problem that had become too subjective, Pryce Covington was there. Soon he needed more arms, legs, eyes, ears, and an extra nose, which was where his tavern mate Gamor Turkal had come in. Gamor was lazy, but he had a spectacular memory. He was a bit too cagey for his own good, but always looking for an edge had its upside as well. He was perfect for some jobs Pryce wished to avoid and dreadful for assignments Pryce specialized in-in other words, the very definition of a perfect partner: a person with mutually inclusive neuroses who would always make you look good and never threaten your position. but things started to get out of hand when they stumbled upon a new form of highly lucrative assignment. It consisted of running to see if magically transmitted messages sent by mages had arrived without interference from outside sorcerers. [1]
The cloak itself was a dusky blend of dark colours, like the sky just after sunset. Pryce could distinguish some blue, some black, and even some purple, interwoven with flecks that could be compared to stars just coming to life as daylight fled. Around the edges, it seemed to turn grey, like the promise of a new world just over the horizon. The circular clasp, which could not have been more than two and a half inches around at most, was one of the most ornate metalworking jobs Pryce had ever seen. Glimpsed superficially, it looked like a standard circular clasp with some sort of vine design, but upon closer examination, it looked like a cross-section of dense forest… like looking deep into a briar patch. As fingers circle the clasp it springs open. The cloak warms the wearer (magically????). Belonged to Darlington Blade. The cloak absorbs all magic lesser than Geerling’s [1,3,6]
His mother died [1]
Has had some experience with jackalwere [4]


Halruaa
ruins that lined the east side of Lallor Strait [1]
Skie, Halruaan coin [1]
light grey tunic, woven from the sturdy silk of worms found only in the dying leaves of fallen trees at the base of Mount Alue [1]
dark red vest, made of cloth from the famed dye works of Achelar [1]
finest Maerbian wine [1]
seaport of Githim in the south (of Lallor) [2]
Bandit Wastes hundreds of miles to the north (of Lallor) [2]
suspicion of outsiders was commonplace in Halruaa. It was a rich nation and quite exclusive. Having faced invasions on a regular basis from jealous outsiders, Halruans had become cautious by nature. [2]
Merrickarta, travel hundreds of miles down the Nath, past Lake Maeru, over the River Maeru, to the dangerous Lallor Pass. It was a tiny strip of serviceable land wedged between the undead-riddled ruins of the Zalasuu-Assundath Swamp, the monster-infested mountains of the Zhal Strip, and the bandit-filled desert of the Lower Swagdar outlaw wastes. [2]
Akhluar Swamp known for sinkholes [2]
Tathtar known for magic [2]
stevlyman tree. The botanical wizard Usherwood Stevlyman had developed this particular species of tree many years ago, along with the much-beloved, multi-coloured flowering pollandry plant. The tree was cherished for its rich brown colour and its elegant shape. [2]
Fall Festival [2]
Halagard Prime and Halarahh Golden, expensive wines [3]
Impersonating a mage is punishable by death [4]
Council of Elders are intractable in their laws [4]
Jackalwere in the north of Halruaa. Constantly on the move, preying on unsuspecting travellers. Like all ambush artists, jackalweres prefer finding unprepared victims rather than prepared adversaries. Magical gaze puts victims to sleep. Children are full blooded jackals, born of a jackal mother and jackalwere father, with no human consciousness whatsoever. Jackalwere are cursed to have human consciousness, they feel their hunger but also empathy and pity [4,9]
Halruaa had nine schools of magic, and the disciples of Mystra had erected a castle for the study and even worship of each one. The tenth castle was on Mount Talath and honored them all. Pryce already knew of the locations of several of them-Enchantment, Alteration, Summoning, and Necromancy. [6]
Inquisitrix Castle in Lallor is the school of illusion in Halruaa [6]
the navy at Zalasuu [6]
Halruaa is ruled by a Council of Elders, of which Geerling Ambersong is but one. Of course, there are four hundred elders, but you know only thirty-nine are needed to achieve a quorum. [6]
Zalathorm has predicted every attack on Halruaa for the last half century. The finest diviners on Mount Talath fear that one of the greatest threats to our country and people is yet to come… from within [6]
Zalathorm rules a hundred and forty miles away from Talath, in the city of Halarahh [6]
Only a person with a clear heart and good intentions (towards Halruaa????) is allowed to enter a Castle of Mystra without fear of punishment [6]
Shipgrave Isle buccaneers, Outlaw Waste barbarians [6]
they looked everywhere but directly at him, practically outlining his form with their gaze if they happened to turn their heads in his direction. It was a universally accepted courtesy for the incredibly famous. [7]
Mount Alue to Achelar [7]
Darlington Blade, the most famous adventurer in the Shining South. [7]
Pollandry, plant with colourful blooms [all]
Zzuntal, known for being hot
Broken ones were once human, but they had been used as living subjects of sorcerous experiments that were disapproved of at best, or openly forbidden at worst. The rumour that many were the result of reincarnation spells seemed validated by Devolawk's strange heredity.
Mongrelmen were known for their skills in pickpocketing, mimicry, camouflage, and all the variations thereof.
aromatic Toussaintie brew (tea????) [9]
Marriss insect secretions, used to sweeten things (like Toussaintie brew) [9]
Eckhearts, a game [9]
Ambersong skyship, Geerling had plans to have one [9,11]
Githim (settlement or location????) [11]
Great Mystran Skyship Verity made of the finest stevlyman wood. Polished plates along the hull that mimicked the appearance of a dragon turtle. The hum of the central silver shaft of levitation and the two golden cylinders of control, one at each end of the ship. The power source had to be recharged once a year by council members. Captain Renwick Scottpeter. On the bow of the great ship was a beautiful figurehead, shaped by Minsha Tyrpanninq, Talathgard's finest sculptor. It was an interpretation of Mystra in flight, created entirely of electrum. The goddess's serene, smiling face looked up at the clouds, and her gown-swathed figure seemed to draw the ship irrevocably up toward the heavens. [12]
fiery Haerlu wine, one of the things Halruaa is famous for (after skyships) [12]
the Halruan Salute"-a nod of the head while pointing at the brain with the forefinger. [12]
Mount Talath, home of the Central Temple of Mystra, where Priestess Greila Sontoin lives. Greila Sontoin is said to possess unearthly wisdom and rumoured to be over 125 years old. The Order of Mystra is located here, they learn the wisdom of the ages [12,14]
Minsha Tyrpanninq, Talathgard's finest sculptor [12]
River Ghalagar [13]
white bevittle trees. [14]
Mycontril's Last Resort, destroy everything in a thirty-foot radius, using the power of all the remaining spells in a caster's memory, required diamond dust worth five thousand gold pieces, a pure platinum ring… and the finger bone of an archmage. [14]
a Halabar dancer [15]

Lallor, the Jewel of Halruaa
Halruaa's most exclusive, least-explored city. [1]
an impressive twenty-foot-high wall that surrounded the city of Lallor. The wall seemed to be made of shimmering boulders that appeared to be wet. the boulders interlocked cleverly. Unless someone stood on the very top of the wall, Pryce and his grim companions were totally out of any city dweller's sight. [1]
Mark of the Question. Not far from the wall stood a most extraordinary tree, a magnificent mass of barkless, smooth, almost shiny wood, rooted in a grassy incline that led up to the wall's base. Somehow, perhaps with human assistance, the tree had grown into the bent form of a giant question mark [1]
Lallor Gate. Even from this distance, the gate was obviously a magnificent construction. The woodworking was exquisite and seemed to shine in places, as if the logs were mortared with silver and gold. Suddenly, incredibly, a large eye opened at the very top of the gate, The Eye of the Inquisitrix, No one enters without being recorded. It had to be twenty feet across, stretching from one side of the gate opening to the other. The pupil was as black as darkest night, the white as milky as the stars in the sky. But between the two was an oval that changed colour from brown to blue to green in rapid succession. [1,2]
The line outside Lallor Gate was actually two lines: one very short, along a beautifully paved rock roadway; and one very long, in a muddy pathway that looked more like a narrow ditch, created by decades of hopeful immigrants desperate for an opportunity to prove their worth to the founding fathers of this bay-side retreat. The two roads ran parallel, nestled between a cunningly constructed landscape, obviously designed for both beauty and security (it watches newcomers and intruders). [2]
The Lallor inquisitrixes prided themselves on their security. Only the finest law-enforcing inquisitrixes could work in Lallor, and that was only after many years of service and extensive biyearly tests. Naturally they would want to secure their jobs by being as efficient as humanly possible. That meant letting no missing person remain missing for long. [2]
access to Lallor came only after a thorough explanation of who you were and a complete examination of what you could be. An admissions clerk in a thick, elegant, hooded vestment sat behind a floating slab of marble, upon which rested a pile of parchment. Standing slightly behind this clearly disapproving character was a stone golem. Nine and a half feet tall, at least two thousand pounds, and chiselled to look like a cross between a gigantic headstone and a huge tree trunk [2]
Matthaunin Witterstaet, admissions clerk at Lallor. Informal job title is a Greeter. Friend of Gheevy Wotfirr, has a cottage in the northeast shadow of the Lallor Wall. Cleric, gate guard, immigration officer, one of the most respected members of Lallor. Geerling Ambersong gave him his choice of posts and he chose gate guard for the fresh air. One of the most respected seers of magical presence in Halruaa [2,9,11]
Both the city and the wall had been built very cunningly and very well. The wall encircled three quarters of the municipality and nestled on the highest elevation of the city. Beyond the wall, the city sloped lazily down to the shoreline of Lallor Bay. As Pryce had discovered earlier, only the very tops of the city's highest castles could be seen from outside the wall. The slope also kept everyone who waited in line to take the entrance examination from seeing too much of the glory that was Lallor. only Halruaa's best and brightest would dare live amidst such splendour. The buildings were of various widths and sizes, but they all seemed to grow out from the lush green vegetation that surrounded them, interspersed with refreshing splashes of riotous colour from rare pollandry plants. Some buildings were classic mansions of tan and dark brown plaster, while others were extensive cottages of precious stone. All were veritable palaces of the most amazing design and construction. Others appeared like huge bulbs of both organic material and opaque glass. The bulbs were not only of many dusky colours but also of many shapes, some more pointed and some more round, but all large enough to comfortably house extended families. the more familiar castles that befit the great wizards of any Halruan city. These low, wide constructions almost formed an inner wall of their own, which stretched from one end of the city wall to the other. [2]
Berridge Lymwich, Mystran Inquisitrix of the first rank, stood about five feet, three inches tall-the top of her sandy-coloured hair came to his sternum-and she must have weighed a hundred pounds soaking wet. small feet wedged into skin-tight boots, bandy but well-shaped legs in dark hide pants, small but powerful torso within the U-necked, blood-red tunic with the white-and-gold-dotted black epaulets, deep-purple cowled cape that swept off her shoulders. Big, dark blue eyes, a snout of a nose, high, prominent cheekbones, and thin, thin, thin lips. Make that lip, the top one was merely a straight gash a few centimetres above her sharp chin. Her sandy hair was pulled back in a tight, short pigtail. her incisors were a bit sharper than normal. [2]
Grand Mage Geerling Ambersong. The primary mage in the realm's most exclusive community, master of Darlington Blade. Well over seventy. Disappeared recently. Geerling Ambersong wanted Darlington Blade's identity to be kept a strict secret until he personally presented him to the Lallor citizenry at the Fall Festival. He presented the cloak publicly last Fall Festival. He wanted Darlington’s identity secret so he wouldn’t be sullied by politics or favours. Geerling forbade his daughter to learn magic, he even told the council that she must never learn spellcasting. Geerling probably sired Dearlyn at the age of 80 [2,3,4,5,6]
Mystran Inquisitorium, they monitor all arrivals at Lallor through the Eye of the Inquisitor. Headquarters in Lallor the Mystran Inquisitrix Castle [2,3]
Schreders At Your Service, an exclusive restaurant and bar located in the oldest part of Lallor located on the waterfront. Owned by Azzoparde Schreders, a full-bearded, ruddy-faced man in a white shirt, black pants, and brown apron stood before him, arms spread wide. His head was as round as the moon, and his thick black hair came down from an equally round bald spot. His arms, torso, and legs were round, thick, and sturdy, and his expression, like his restaurant and bar, was open and inviting. Beautiful blonde serving maid. Everyone knows that if you need refreshment or information, Azzoparde Schreders is at your service. [2]
Darlington Blade. Even lowly messengers in far-off Merrickarta had heard of Blade. The legendary adventurer-wizard who studied with an exalted but eccentric mage, who was the primary mage in the realm's most exclusive community (Lallor), which was the vacation spot for many of the nation's most prominent wizards and other important citizens. [2,3]
Sheyrhen Karkober, serving maid at Schreders. Tall, with a thick mane of yellow hair. Shapely, with a wonderfully curved body contained in a flowing off-white dress, held amazingly close to her by a laced-up bodice of brown leather. Blue eyes. [3]
Dearlyn Ambersong, daughter of Geerling Ambersong. Her neck was long and fine. Her hair was even longer and shone from across the tavern like the dark red and black embers of a deep fire. Her hair was bound by brown leather laces, as was her light brown bodice. Her shirt was the same colour as his, although hers was open at the neck in a deep, narrow V. Her full, loosely gathered skirt was a deep maroon and appeared neither summer-light nor winter-heavy. Her boots were also brown, with a copper and silver flash at the heel and toes. Spitting image of her mother, named by her father. Inherited her mother’s temper. Believes her father should have spent time teaching her magic rather than Darlington Blade. [3]
Lynn Amberson, Dearlyn’s mother, died in childbirth. [3]
Teddington Fullmer, a short, round man-stout, befitting his product-with a magnificent moustache and goatee and a prominent widow's peak. He wore a dark-coloured coat over an ornate vest, a ruffled shirt, and copper breeches under shin-high boots of expensive leather. A successful trader of Luiren stout and Ulgarthian coffee, for whom Covington had worked when the businessman was investigating the exportation of Nathian ore deposits. He had ultimately decided to stay with liquid assets [3]
Gheevy Wotfirr, winemaster at Schreders. Halfling, curly salt-and-pepper hair and a moustache less beard that mixed almost every known colour. He had an open, friendly face, marred only by an obviously big mouth. Used to deliver ale and grog to a preselected position outside Lallor’s city walls (the Mark of the Question) for Geerling Ambersong, he accidentally saw the real Darlington Blade on one of these deliveries. His family knows of certain healing ways. Has a halfling burrow in the hill between Azzo's restaurant and the Ambersong residence. Secretly Darlington Blade, also secretly a half derro halfling, Geerling Ambersong wanted to believe if he taught magic and enlightenment to a murderous derro the creature would be redeemed and no longer need to kill, Geerling was wrong [3,4,14]
Asche Hartov, a tall, thin, almost cadaverous Nath mine owner, with whom both Pryce Covington and Fullmer had had less than straightforward dealings. In order to maintain the secret of Fullmer's interest in Hartov's ore deposits, Pryce Covington had told Hartov that his name was Cost Privington. Fullmer pulled a secret big for Merrickartan ore that Asche was selling at the very last minute [3]
Gamor Turkal wasn't exactly well liked around Lallor. No one could understand why Mage Ambersong insisted that he be treated with such deference and respect. Turkal certainly didn't treat anyone else that way [4]
Inquisitrix Castle. The windows looked like huge gemstones of different colours. They bulged out as if someone had catapulted red, green, and blue jewels the size of boulders into the walls, and they had stuck halfway through. There was no classic gate. This castle's "gate" was a simple, unadorned wooden door with a plain copper doorknob. The entire Mystran Inquisitrix Castle rested on top of a single, simple door, which in turn seemed to float a paper's thickness above the water of Lallor Bay, which in turn hovered over a solid concrete shelf, covered by only a single inch of placid, crystal-clear bay water, known as the The Lalloreef Strait. Only an Inquisitrix or a guest of an Inquisitrix has ever been known to move it (the concrete shelf). Even children consider it off limits [5]
To our east, the Azhal Mountains, crawling with thieves. Farther east, Kethio, the Great Swamp, teeming with beasts of all kinds, both natural and supernatural. Beyond that, Dambrath. If the malicious Dambraii ever tried to invade us again, Lallor could well be the first city they attacked. To the north, the Bandit Wastes. I don't imagine I have to tell the likes of you the sort who populate that forsaken area. The Bay of Azuth, which lay just beyond Lallor Bay. Go south and you won't have to travel far to be within reach of the Ship-grave Isles and the Stormtails, where many a ship is beset by Dambrathian raiders, monster whirlpools, South Shining Sea pirates and dragon turtles. [6]
Geerling Ambersong is respected like a king in Lallor, he has watched over Lallor for 75 years and kept it safe and free [6]
Geerling Ambersong can't choose his successor without the approval of the council of Elders [6]
Geerling Ambersong has a secret workshop – Berridge Lymwich is looking for it (along with every other mage in Lallor [6]
The Mystran castle of Illusion appears different to each person who visits it, even repeat visits are different. The exterior remains relatively constant, but the interior is always changing. Its image is influenced by the eyes that perceive it, and it alters its appearance accordingly, depending upon the strength, will, ability, and mood of the individuals within at any given moment. [6]
A series of tunnels lies beneath the city
A jackalwere named Cunningham and his children lair outside Lallor. Cunningham knows the tunnels beneath the city quite well [4,8]
Devolawk, a 5 ft tall Broken One (monster) made up of the mixing of a hawk, vole, and a resuscitated man (giving him his name). Associate of Cunningham, lives in the tunnels beneath Lallor
Gurrahh, a 7 ft tall mongrelman. Associate of Cunningham, lives in the tunnels beneath Lallor
Devolawk was created by Gheevy to test his magic on. Gheevy then ensnared Cunningham in this as well. Gurrahh was ensnared by Cunningham break into the workshop of Geerling Ambersong [8,14]
Geerling Ambersong’s workshop located in the tunnels beneath Lallor. It was a room dug out of the very earth beyond the cave wall, a section of which served as the door. All the furniture was made of stone, the chairs made comfortable with thick, comfortable-looking, ornately decorated pillows. There were stone tables and stone shelves, some attached to the wall and supported by stone legs and braces, while others seemed to float of their own accord. There was a modicum of solid and liquid refreshment-even some barrels from Schreders-but mostly every surface was covered with spellbooks and magical items. It was what Dearlyn Ambersong had dreamt of all her life. She looked as if she were about to faint. Large roughly bound volumes featured the engraved A of the Ambersong family on their covers. They were all crammed with different-coloured parchment, detailing spells and conjuring not yet imagined. There were models of an Ambersong skyship, hovering in the air near the stone ceiling like heavenly stars. There was even a girdle of priestly might, glowing with unknown power, standing of its own accord on a rock shelf. There were beakers, bottles and tubes of every colour, shape, size, and consistency-some made of glass, some of gems, some of wood, and some of steel. Inside were powders, liquids, beads, and flakes of every imaginable magical necessity. It was all so amazing and impressive that it took several seconds before the three explorers noticed something incongruous on the floor. [9]
Lallor militia units in specially designed uniforms with short swords specially designed for indoor use [11]
Inquisitrixes, in their own uniforms of black and gold [11]
a few elves and half-elves whose interest in illusion was so great that they were allowed to study in the city. [12]
Mystra Superior Wendchrix Turzihubbard, direct superior of Berridge Lymwich and the principal authority at the Lallor Mystran Inquisitrix Castle.
Teddington Fulmer, Asche Hartov, Gamor Turkal all plotted to steal Geerling Ambersong’s workshop of artifacts out from under Gheevy’s nose (doublecrossing him). Gheevy / Darlington killed Gamor Turkal and Geerling Ambersong and tried to implicate Pryce and Dearlyn. [14]

Merrickarta
Tiny city in the basin surrounded by the northern mountain ranges [1]
Chomp 'n' Choke Tavern [1]
Victoria and Rebecca Benetarian, twins, pretty [1]
Petarius, wizard, uses the services of Pryce Covington. Has two apprentices (male) [1]
Near the river Nath [1]

Other Lore
Luiren stout [3]
Ulgarthian coffee [3]
The skin of wizards was said to be the most succulent of all [4]
Why. According to the great Netheril philosopher Priest Sante, author of these texts, it is the letter, and question, that should lie at the heart of every decision-but especially on the lips of every future enforcer of that decision. For things may ever change, but the letter, and the question, should remain constant. [7]
finest of Cormyrian spirits, which aged better with body heat liberally applied to one side, and one side only, for as long as possible during its lifetime ripening process. [7]
A haunt. The restless spirit of a person who died leaving some vital task unfinished. A haunt can't take over a body of the dead. a haunt must remain within sixty yards of where its body lies [10,11]
The girdle of priestly might only appeared after the Time of Troubles. Priests of Mystra took it as a sign that the goddess had regained her power. Geerling Ambersong created his own version that gave him greater strength and protection [11]
extremely rare bottle of Jhynissian wine [14]

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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
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Posted - 22 Oct 2022 :  19:01:02  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Stormlight (1365 DR)
By Ed Greenwood

Firefall Vale
Young Lord Athlan Summerstar, Patriarch of House Summerstar. Loved Firefall Vale. The great Storm Silverhand had shown him a lot of things when she trained him. Knight of the Realm, Harper (friend or agent????). Slain in the Haunted Tower, burned his insides out [prologue]
Firefall Vale, tucked away in the angle where the marching trees of the Hullack Forest met the western slopes of the Thunder Peaks. Dismissed as backwater by major nobility in Suzail [prologue]
the Summerstars of Firefall Keep [prologue]
the Haunted Tower of Firefall Keep, oldest tower in the keep. it does have some phantoms, plus the usual rats and bats, and is used-to meet with young Shayna Summerstar. Home to a book that floated in the glowfield in the hidden room at the heart of the Haunted Tower. The book was almost as tall as he, open to two fascinating pages of runes that crawled and writhed under his scrutiny. The tome fairly crack-led with magic. It must have been floating there in its hiding place at the heart of the oldest tower of Firefall Keep since the death of his eldest uncle, Orm Hlannan Summerstar-or perhaps it had been a treasure brought back from dragon hoards in far lands by Athlan's father, Lord Pyramus. [prologue,1]
Orm Hlannan Summerstar, Athlan’s eldest uncle [prologue]
Lord Pyramus Summerstar, Athlan’s father. Warm, strong voice, now dead [prologue]
Old Renglar Baerest, scarred old seneschal of Firefall Keep had ridden with his father for years. Shoulder to shoulder, they wet their blades in battles for king and country. Had been a Purple Dragon for years before agreeing to serve the House of Summerstar. Slain, his insides dug out and his skull burned empty. Knew almost every passage in Firefall Keep and the ways of the Vale beyond. [prologue,4,6]
Athlan Summerstar murdered on Flamerule 4 1365 DR [prologue[
Dowager Lady Pheirauze Summerstar. Now matriarch of House Summerstar after Athlan’s death. Grandmother of Athlan Summerstar. 60+ years old, tall and slender and a great beauty, haughty. Vengeful and vindictive. Lady Pheirauze has never remarried but persistent rumors have linked her to no less than three generations of the Illance noble line. I'd not speak disparagingly of that family-nor allude to any closeness between it and herself-if I were you. Slain by the murderer [1,4,9]
Shayna Summerstar, younger sister of Athlan. Heir to House Summerstar. Her stunning beauty had built to a peak, and her wilfulness was making her dalliances with every second or third young and handsome Purple Dragon armsman in the vale increasingly difficult to hide. Dominated by the murderer (after he killed Lady Pheirauze) and ordered to kill a guard and Ilgreth [1,9]
Cremated ashes had been placed on the traditional saddle bowl and the dead lord's horse had been whipped into a gallop to strew them wide and far over the vale. the priest of Chauntea on the solemn march down to the family crypt to inter the traditional lone handful of still-smoking ashes in Athlan's upturned helm. When it was all over-after the crypt doors had' boomed shut and been sealed with a final benediction and the priest had scuttled away with the traditional gold goblet full of gold lions as payment. [1]
Janrath, rider / messenger in service to the Summerstars [1]
Lady Zarova Summerstar, nominal head of House Summerstar. Mother of Shayna Summerstar, and daughter in law of Pheirauze Summerstar. Originally born Zarova Battlestar. known as a woman of serene silence in court gossip. Lady Zarova has tried to take her own life more than once, when her mother-in-law was particularly… difficult. Before wedding Pyramus, she was of the noble house of Battlestar, who dwell on the West Shore, not far outside Suzail. She'll be intensely uncomfortable if you ask her anything front of Pheirauze or Erlandar. [2,4]
the bodies of Athlan and Arkyn can't be raised, spoken with, or magically read in any way. They seem burned out from within, and utterly dead and lost to magic-worse than stones, which can at least be made to tell us something [2]
Uncle Erlandar Summerstar, curly bearded and suave. His large emerald earrings. Erlandar; be warned that he likes to crush women or bed them, and will not rest, now, until he's served you with one fate or the other. Uncle Erlandar, reportedly thrice the rogue in his day than Thalance will ever be [4,11]
two maiden aunts, Margort and Nalanna Summerstar. [4]
Thalance Summerstar (son of Erlandar????), cousin of Shayna and Athlan. Likes to visit loose women and taverns [4]
Firefall Keep named for the vale it stands in-but the vale got its name centuries ago, when House Summerstar was founded. A nest of red dragons laired high in the nearby peaks- wyrms so fierce and hungry that elves dared not dwell in the vale, despite whatever bargain had been struck between the old Purple Dragon and the elven Lord of Scepters. Dragons that suffered no elf to stride uneaten in the vale welcomed men even less-or perhaps, welcomed them into their gullets even more. When the founder of House Summerstar, Glothgam Summersstar, led his men into the vale, he won past repeated swooping attacks. In time the dragons retreated to their caves high in Mount Glendaborr-caves you can still see today, if you don't mind facing the ghosts of dragons! There, they worked a mighty magic. Then, as now Turnwyrm Brook flowed down the heart of the vale to join the Immerflow, and Glothgam was camped beside it. As he and his men were watering their horses and bathing, the brook's flowing waters became a roaring river of flame! Many died screaming in this Firefall, but Glothgam did not quail. The wyrms swept down from on high to see what death they'd wrought-and he called on the powers of the enchanted blade he bore the Sword of the Summer Winds, and soared aloft to meet them, slaying three before the others fled. [4]
Turnwyrm Brook in Firefall Vale, joins the Immerflow [4]
An old song about Firefall Vale. The song centres on the sword, not on Glothgam. and speaks of the greatness the blade could bring Cormyr. Years after minstrels first sang the song, rebels borrowed its words so they could recognize each other at midnight meetings. When the rebellion failed, the king of the time outlawed the ballad-and the Summerstars of the day were only too happy: they'd grown very tired of visiting thieves tearing down every third panel and tapestry in the keep looking for the lost sword. [4]
the last great royal hunt. It had left from the vale to try to reach Mount Glendaborr. En route, many monsters had been slain. The true nature of the 'ghost dragons' that drifted half-seen around the nearby mountains was obviously a matter of hot local controversy [4]
Ilgreth Drimmer, elderly steward of Firefall Keep, black beard and moustache. Served with Renglar Baerest in the Purple Dragons [4]
There have always been deaths in the keep. Mainly among us-the servants, and always in the Haunted Tower. Warnings to us, to keep out. Once it was a chambermaid and a hostler who'd gone there together, if you take my meaning. They were found by the daily guard patrol, lying in each other's arms-headless. They never found the heads [4]
Lady Maerla's Room, a room in Firefall Keep. Maerla had been a Harper and a quiet, strong-willed woman who'd dabbled in magic, the family history said. She was an adventuress who'd married a Summerstar out of love. It was also said in the family that Maerla's room was haunted-more strongly than the entire Haunted Tower, if folk Maerla disapproved of tried to sleep in her bed. [4]
Summerstar crypt, In a dank and deserted lower level of Firefall Keep [5]
Summerstar nobles were interred in the crypt with enchanted daggers [6]
A Summerstar was at King Galaghard's side when he went in to see the Last Elf, on the eve of the battle where he broke the power of the Witch-Lords [7]
Twilight Turret, a tower in Firefall Keep [7]
Lord Pyramus Summerstar secretly wedded Princess Sulesta, Rhigaerd's daughter [7]
Lord Pyramus was Storm Silverhand’s lover (once or twice) [7]
The dragon of the keep, watching over me [7]
There is a griffon stabled in Firefall Vale
Narlargus, old servant and personal dresser of Lady Pheirauze, she whips him and brands him with candle wax during love making sessions. Slain by the murderer because he knew too much about Lady Pheirauze and her secrets [9]
pitifully few enchanted items of consequence the Summerstars owned. A few light globes, a healing hand that Athlan had hidden away somewhere, a brazier that needed no fuel… little that could readily serve in a battle. [11]
Hall of Honor-full of portraits of stuffy-looking Summerstars glaring down out of frames [1]
Gargoyle Stair, at the end of the Hall of Honour [11]
the great vaulted hall at the heart of the Haunted Tower. a high-backed seat that still bore the stains where one Summerstar had killed another on it, a century ago. [11]
Mathom Drear, cellarer of the ewer, stooped with age, carries water all day [11]
Thurdal, understeward, serves dinner. Slain by the murderer [12]
Athlan discovered the notes of Glondar of Hilp, once a war wizard of Cormyr, who determined a means to steal the knowledge and abilities of others by killing them. Glondar came upon it in notes left by men he came to believe were avatars of two gods: Gargauth and… Bane. [12]
The dragoneye scepter, metallic and sticklike, with a single great eye as its head. Hidden in Firefall Keep [14,15]
Lady Zarova's coronet, magically enchanted (it might allow the wearer to persuade or command people, but only if worn by a Battlestar????). Can fire a ruby ray of light that burns what it touches [14,15]
Redgarth Hall [15]
The murderer reduced much of Firefall Keep to a rubble choked shell [17]

Cormyr
Whenever warriors of Cormyr came across any magical thing that had even a whiff of secrecy about it, they had a disconcerting habit of running to the same war wizards they grumbled so much about. [prologue]
A falling star plunged to earth in the sky over the Stonelands on the day of Athlan Summerstar’s funeral [1]
Murders of nobility might be hushed up, but never the sudden deaths of heirs or of any noble in a border hold. These days, Sembia was looking westward with ever-hungrier eyes. [1]
The deceased are burned by holy handfire to banish any harmful magic (custom or does it really banish harmful magic????) [1]
War Wizards called privately “the Happy Dancing Mages” by Purple Dragons [1]
Ergluth Rowanmantle was growing stout. There were white hairs in his side whiskers, but the veined and corded hands that swung his mace of office were still strong. He wore a heavy broadsword in a plain battle scabbard at his belt, not the glittering rapier favoured by his fawning counterparts who dwelt closer to Suzail. The boldshield of the district of Northtrees March was a sensible man and a veteran warrior, risen to his present rank out of competence and not gentle birth. There was not a man within a hundred miles that Renglar Baerest respected more. Knew Shaerl Rowanmantle, describes her as fun. His kin (the Rowanmantles) are full of pompous court bootlickers. Reports directly to Baron Thomdor. hairy, muscular arms, carries a mace of office and a heavy broadsword [1,2,5]
Arabellan Dry (wine) [1]
To you, and to Azoun," – traditional toast among the Purple Dragons. "May one of us find his grave before the other” – traditional reply [1]
the security of the realm demands that the death of any noble be investigated-and the violent death of any heir brings wizards of war to the scene. [2]
Six Harpists concert in Suzail????) [2]
House Wolfwinter [2]
House Battlestar, dwell on the West Shore not far outside Suzail [2,4]
Muskrin’s Well, a well just above a pool (the gate from Daggerdale emerges into the pool). Phernald (man, is he local????) likes to “entertain” maids by the well [3]
brittle tart, nobles serve it with dry wine at the end of most high meals [4]
Weather magic has always been a temptation, but the teachings of Baerauble-if any of his own words have survived-should tell you why it must be avoided. Weather magic affects more than one's own land. Things can quickly escalate into wars that ruin realms and break the power of both combatants. [4]
“Soldier's Farewell”, a mournful cry to fallen soldiers [4]
I know of over two hundred Harpers who've perished in Cormyr in the past decade (how many more that Ergluth doesn’t know of????) [5]
Concealing who the victim was is the only reason I know besides disease banishment to set fire to a man's face [5]
a Purple Dragon ring, scarcely more than a dozen such items in all Faerun. It allows the wearer to command any lord, officer, official, or common citizen of Cormyr, in the king’s name. It compels you to obey me as if I were the king [7]
stonemountain cheese, a sharp cheese (from the Thunder Peaks????) [7]
The shieldstone was a Rowanmantle family secret (is it a spell or a magic item, Ergluth Rowanmantle can use it so I suspect it’s a magic item????) [9]
Azoun’s eyes – a dish of Oysters in spiced ales [12]
Old coins – a dish of Egg, cheese, and marrow pies [12]
Marsemban tarts - Pastries topped with parsley and potato, containing diced salmon and crab in a sauce of almond milk, wine, leeks, and persimmons [12]
a manor-house he'd once seen after two wizards had dueled each other to death in it: a rubble-choked shell. [17]
Some overclever Sembians were stirring up trouble in Marsember again [18]
a map of eastern Cormyr, and ran a finger along the trails north and east of the Wyvernwater. There was the hold of Hawkhar, seat of House Indesm; Galdyn’s Gorge, home to the Yellanders; and Firefall Vale, home to the Summerstars [18]
Dragons didn't fly about Faerun as ghosts… they just didn't. Something about their magical nature, he supposed. Wherefore this phantom dragon must be magically compelled, or shaped, or created [18]

War Wizards
Broglan Sarmyn, leader of the Sevensash investigation team of the War Wizards. He was of average height and build. His hair was the hue of mud and going thin on top. It turned grizzled grey in his large but carefully trimmed sideburns, the man's only touch of visible personal style. Permanent worry lines creased a high forehead, and a touch of grimness hovered about the mouth. His robes were a year or two behind high fashion. A man uneasy in court society but decisive behind closed doors and out among the common folk. A good teacher who adopted the pose of the gruff, growling bear favoured by so many swordcaptains of the Purple Dragons. A good man-principled, and with a love of the realm. Has a spell reflection amulet (should work against one spell) given to him by Vangerdahast. Knows a spell that can return things to their previous shape [2,3,5]
Lhansig Dlaerlin member of the Sevensash team. A short, burly man with a broad face and an easy smile sketched a flippant, one-handed salute, his eyes mocking. Slain, his insides burned out [2,3]
Hundarr of the Wolfwinter noble house. Member of the Sevensash team. Tall, sharp-featured mage whose elegantly cut black hair was shot through with streaks of white. Slain by the murderer, his head burned out [2,7]
Sevensash investigation team (not named because it has 7 members, although it does have 7 members) sent to investigate the death of Athlan Summerstar in Firefall Keep. The team is currently 1 member short, the 7th member is currently giving birth (she is a woman). [2]
Chalantra, 7th member of the Sevensash investigation team, currently giving birth. Described as a cold bitch by other members of the team [2]
Corathar Abaddarh. Member of the Sevensash team. This mage was young, thinlipped, and wintry-eyed, so eager to impress that he practically quivered, like a dog leaping to be let off the leash. Slain by the murderer [2,14]
Insprin Turnstone, recently transferred to the Sevensash team from Vangerdahast's personal Enforcers. An older wizard, his face was weather-beaten, his eyes were the colour of dull steel, and his black hair-what little he still had -had almost all gone grey. [2]
Murndal Claeron. He was a darkly handsome man with a close-trimmed moustache and the sort of beard that puts two little corners to the chin before slicing up to join the sideburns. He had glistening brown eyes and a half-smile. Trouble. As ambitious as a hungry snake, and probably possessed of the same tactics. Member of the Sevensash team. Slain by the murder, his eyes burned out [2,6]
The Enforcers (Vangerdahast’s personal team within the War Wizards????) [2]
Mother Laspeera Inthre, called herself Laspeera Naerinth, before she married her mysterious man. He keeps to her quarters all the time-and I do mean all the time-cloaked and masked. The mask, they say, changes his features constantly, so that none know what he truly looks like. He can cast spells but wears a blade. Married to Aundable Inthre [2,18]
Broglan Sarmyn armed members of the Sevensash with Spellblades in case they needed to kill Storm. [5]
Spellblades, powerful weapons, using them comes with a price. If used incorrectly they can cause a magical backlash that could kill dozens in a radius. Looks like it is made of blue flickering light. Does something if spells are used by the victim [5]
I gave you the only cloak of concealment I brought, to keep the spellblade hidden until you were ready to use it,” the leader of the war wizards explained. “It’s bonded to you now.” (does this mean that War Wizard items are only useable by who they are bonded to????) [6]
Vangerdahast is wont to say: “not quite so fast”, Sir Broglan. [7]
Vangerdahast and Elminster did not part on the best of terms, now Vangerdahast avoids Shadowdale. Elminster forgave Vangerdahast (what did he do????) that same night, but Vangerdahast has not forgiven Elminster [7]
Broglan has a spellstone, an obsidian orb that allows him to communicate directly with Vangerdahast [7]
Only war wizards can enspell other war wizards, and then only for certain specific things-else the Dragon Throne would've faced attacks from hostile mages long since. Vangerdahast never breaks that rule unless the very safety of Cormyr is at stake [7]
Laspeera has just completed a survey of all magic users and magic items in Cormyr. Some of the noble houses were clever enough to reveal a few to Laspeera in hopes that she’d not think they had others [18]
Aundable Inthre, married to Laspeera. a peerless master of strategy and foresight lurked in this back room of the palace, keeping watch over the realm [18]

Shadowdale
Sylune has a body now, she just doesn’t use it much [2]

Daggerdale
A hill in an uninhabited corner of south eastern Daggerdale. The little bowl that dimpled the hilltop wasn't visible from below-nor the small ring of standing stones that filled it. The ancient, moss-covered sentinels of craggy, fissured dark rock reached to the sky like the fingers of some long-forgotten, half-buried god. They stood in a tight circle, enclosing nothing. Contains a one-way gate that will take you to Muskrin’s Well on the western side of the Thunder Peaks. Used by Storm on occasion [3]

Thunder Peaks
A trail leads through the mountains from east to west. Starts at Farlight Stones to Muskrin's Well. A one-way gate in Daggerdale leads to Muskrin’s Well. [3]

Harpers
Arkyn Hornblade, Harper Agent, working in or near Firefall Vale around the time of Athlan Summerstar’s death. Murdered (beheaded) by people unknown. Knew almost as much about Firefall Keep and Firefall Vale as Renglar Baergast, plus a few extra secret ways [1,6]
Vrespon Flarnsharn, sent to Shadowdale from Hillmarch in Cormyr. Lives in Hillmarch. He is to deliver a message from the sorceress Aldaneth of Hillmarch. [2]
Laspeera of the War Wizards spoke to Aldaneth asking that Storm Silverhand go to Firefall Keep and investigate the death of Athlan and Arkyn Hornblade. [2]
Inspiring the young is part of the Way of the Harp [3]
Orling the Bold, newly made Harper Agent, pinned by High Lady Dragonbreast an hour ago [7]
celebratory revel for the new-honoured Harpers would begin, and Twilight Hall would be plunged into dancing and drinking and dalliance. [7]
silently glowing glass display case in Twilight Hall that rose proudly on its plinth in the center of this little antechamber. Within was a ring. It had always floated there, turning slowly. It winked at him as some curve of its sculpted dragon caught the light. Something from Cormyr, wasn't it. Silver gold and electrum ring, a Purple Dragon ring (given to Storm by Azoun), the gold band: a tiny sculpted dragon of electrum, heat-tinted to a delicate mauve and surrounded by a disk of silver. This belongs to Storm Silverhand and she can call it to her at will over any distance [7]

Storm Silverhand
Has recurring nightmares about Maxan Maxer and his death years ago, which she failed to prevent [2]
Is named in Athlan Summerstar’s will – much to the displeasure of the elder Summerstars [2]
Of the Seven Sisters, Storm outstripped only Dove in her mastery of magic. [3]
Storm Silverhand couldn't call on Mystra directly to find out things; that had always been one of the Forbidden Things. Moreover, since the ascension of the young mortal Midnight to the Mantle of Mystra, the Lady of Mysteries really didn't know much more than her Chosen. [3]
Maxan Maxer was his name, a good and law-abiding man from Turmish. He was quick with a blade, and one of the most thoughtful beings I've ever met. He was always anticipating, thinking ahead, and arranging things to flow easily. We lived and laughed and adventured together for years, until he fell… in the Year of the Bright Blade. I saw him die. We were in a ruined city north of Escalant, fighting tanar'ri. Cambions and dretches had been scouring the countryside, seizing farm folk and bearing them off to an old temple there. All of the foul ones served a marilith who sought more power. She believed-perhaps rightly-that the ritual she'd discovered or devised would yield to her the life-forces of sacrificed humans so that she could grow far more powerful than others of her kind… and come to dominate them. We fought our way into the temple and disrupted her ritual. Disrupting the ritual caused spellstorms that made southern Thay perilous. It bad been going for a long time, and the energies burst out in waves of enchanted fire and wild magic. The temple roof fell. Many humans and tanar'ri alike died. My beloved hewed his way almost to the marilith, striking ahead where I could not reach, being engaged with too many foes. A tanar'ri drew six blades and fenced with him. I heard her hiss in glee: 'A worthy opponent to slay!' Maxer proved a worthier opponent than she'd thought, lopping off several of her arms. As I cut my way free of the last cambions around me, I heard her shriek with rage, and saw her writhing, racked with pain. She stopped toying with my beloved. She ran her snakelike tail up around his neck from behind.. and tore his head off I saw his body jerk and spray out lifeblood… I saw his head roll across the temple. Before I could avenge my love, the marilith fled in spell-smokes, still clutching his body. When all was done, I could find no trace of his head, either. [7]
Storm is Marchioness Immerdusk-of Cormyr, a title given me by the king Baerovus of Cormyr. Storm adopted the king's bastard son, Casplar Hundyl Immerdusk, as her own. She reared him, versed in the principles of law and loyalty. By ennobling me, Baerovus was able to give his unacknowledged son a senior rank at court. Casplar became the first lord chancellor of Cormyr, scribe of the laws-and so the noble house of Immerdusk was founded. [7]
Knows Vangerdahast well, he likes his back scratched a particular way [7]
Storm went to see Othorion, on the eve of the battle where he broke the power of the Witch-Lords, [7]
Knows Galkyn's bolt spell
Storm can use silver fire to heal herself, to destroy magic, and to encase the entirety of Firefall Keep in an invisible sphere of silverfall (she willed the silverfire out of her body, into the earth and all over the keep to cover it completely – it was very draining on her ). Once the keep was sealed, the silver fire would bring her no instant energy-she'd need to eat, drink, and sleep again. It would shield her from no more spells, and bring her no more new ones once those in her mind were cast and gone. She'd already lost the means to farspeak the other Chosen, and to hear folk around Faerun speaking her name or the Rune of the Seven. If she was hurt, healing would come very slowly. So long as the silver fire thrummed and flowed around Firefall Keep, trapping her foe in it with her, she’d be little more than an ordinary mortal.
spent years in the South as a tavern-dancer and pleasure slave because of her impish streak of behaviour (wilful defiance????) [12]
Has a necklace (in the same design as Queen Filfaeril’s necklace) that protects the wearer with an ironguard spell and protection against missiles [12]
There was a power learned by-thankfully-few archmages since the days of Netheril, the ability to "hang" spells so that they waited, cast and ready to take instant effect in an unseen, undetectable limbo. [17]
a spell of deeper slumber crafted by Azuth himself [17]
Cannot be harmed by meteor swarm, instead it heals and renews her [17]
Immune to lightning bolts and chain lightning [18]
a ward-away, a manyjaws, and a blood lightning. All spells known to Storm [18]
fire trance, slowly coming back from, well, a sword's edge away from death. [19]
Storm Silverhand fighting at Maxer’s shoulder, laughing in battle as their sword sang in unison; Storm dancing with her sisters on air, their bare feet well above the waters of a moonlit pool; Storm comforting a stricken Harper and giving of her own life-force to keep him alive; Storm playing with a child orphaned in battle, comforting the young girl as she deftly purged the worst horror from the infant mind and replaced it with the faces of kindly Harpers to be her new parents; Storm leaping in front of a young Harper in battle to take the sword-thrust that was meant to slay him [20]
Maxan Maxer was cleansed of Bane’s touch and restored to himself again [Epilogue]

Murderer
Burns the insides out of people (skull, body)
People slain by the murderer cannot be raised or communicated with (souls consumed????) [4]
Drains magic from items and people – when he uses the fire on people he gains their spells and abilities, also the occasional memory [6]
Memories include being a man shivering on his first battlefield, side torn open, as the wolves came trotting nearer, then a woman shrieking under the brutish cruelty of her lord, in a room where the rippling blaze of candles brought no warmth nor comfort; and then a man again, watching from the battlements on a day of chill fog, as a falcon came streaking down to tear a dove from the air in a flurry of bloody feathers [6]
Can recall the taste of divinity and longed for it again (was he a god previously????) [6]
Can change shape to take on the forms of people (anyone, not just people he has slain) [6,8]
Chosen of Mystra don't need to sleep, but someone seemed to have forgotten to tell Storm's body that. She'd been wounded before, and swung a sword for hours in battle with her own blood raining down around her in tongues of silver flame… but she'd been younger then [6]
Something with talons had shredded the enchanted cloak (can the murderer assume the form of a bird????) [7]
Knows a spell to teleport the dead (magic unknown to Storm) [7]
Can assume the form of Maxan Maxer (did he slay Maxer or burn out his head????) [7]
His victims must be dying before he can absorb them
Acquired the ability to fly from a griffon
Acquired the ability to dominate others with his mind from Lady Pheirauze [9]
Can send mists and floating skulls to warn others away [9]
Eater of All, Slayer of Mages [11]
Can partially burn out a victim leaving it a mindless husk (not dead), he can then imbue it with memories and spells and abilities and give it a purpose [11]
Is gradually losing control as he acquires more memories and abilities (is he doing it too quickly????) [14]
Will not allow himself to depend on anyone for too long in case they betray him [14]
The man-thing who once might have been a small, twisted part of the god Bane. The man who had once, perhaps, been a part of Bane roared in fresh pain. [15]
You are no true god," Storm said, knowing she spoke truth, "but the twisted remnant of some unfortunate Bane took as an avatar-and abandoned later, leaving behind in a mortal body some dark shadow of himself as he went on to possess another. Shapeshifter… sorcerer… all powers stolen from victims, under the goad of Bane's madness. Who were you, at first? Who will you be, again? [20]
a few of the memories of Bane she'd gone seeking. The first was the spicy taste of his satisfaction as he entered the body of the marilith and possessed her mind, crushing her will forever. He feasted on her memories, and found among them that one of her greatest triumphs was her recent rebuilding of the ravaged body of the mortal Maxer, to be her pleasure-slave. Bane passed into Maxer, and saw what sustained and drove the risen man: his vivid memories of his beloved Storm Silverhand and her powers. Storm, a Chosen of Mystra! Bane exulted, slaughtering hapless creatures at random in a wild orgy of death as he celebrated glee. Storm would be for him a road to wounding Mystra and prying away some of her great power! The Dark God decided that Maxer must be his new mortal form, to protect it fully. He used subsumption to drain the powers of the marilith into this new body. He became Maxer-or rather, Maxer became Bane, mortal awareness dwindling as the god seized his form. A triumphant Bane set about scheming how to get at Mystra through Storm… and how to corrupt the Harpers to his will, whatever else befell. Then came the disaster of the Fall of the Gods, and madness. Only the burning goal of regaining godhood kept this abandoned remnant of Bane from utter and irreversible insanity. Still, he was trapped in a mortal shell, with little more than the power of subsumption and the ability to see magic and living things in darkness and slumber. Though firmly in thrall to the wandering mind of Bane, Maxer remembered Storm and yearned to be with her again. The twisted intellect that had once been a part of Bane, perceiving her powers, wanted to possess her… and so began the long journey and clumsy scheming that had led to Athlan Summerstar's murder in Firefall Keep. [20]
The mortal who had become Bane, so long ago, had come from… somewhere else, and still had secrets that he was fighting wildly to keep from her, secrets that he would keep hidden at all costs. At all costs… there was a sudden red roiling of disgusting, elongated internal human organs, bloated and wriggling, as the foe mentally turned himself inside out-and burned. He was slaying himself, to keep from yielding to her. He was dying utterly at last. He was… gone, a drifting wisp of smoke in the heart of the leaping silver fire. [20]



Other Lore
The Old Wandering Knight, a mournful song [6]
First Prophet of Azuth [7]
I doubt he can be restored, short of direct divine intercession… Mystra doesn't tend to do such things even for great mages [7]
silent watch spell. Allow the caster to see out of the eyes of anyone they cast it on, for about a twelve-count, when they call the casters name aloud. Once only, and only if they call desiring to summon me, not if they merely say the name in normal converse. (magic known to Storm) [7]
“Sweet reason oft in short supply”, a quote from a famous Cormyrean poem [7]
Mystra’s Kiss (a saying of something good, is her kiss a boon????)
Rune of the Seven
Watchful eye spell. Like a magic mouth spell, it is triggered by certain conditions-in this case, by any attack in this room that unleashes fire or draws blood, or by entry into this room through any way but the doors I know of. I’ll write down the word of activation for you; don't speak it aloud until you really need to. The spell creates sound and moving images of what befell in its area of effect when it was triggered-hopefully showing us just what was said and done after an attack occurred. (Magic known to Storm) [10]
Many elven men can be transported to the heights of passion by stroking the tips of their ears [12]
Mystra's Way to let us all forge our own paths in life; we know only what we can learn ourselves [12]
Calishite olive oil [13]
I Walk Carefree In the Moonlight., ballad [15]
Old Rubytbroat, exotic liqueur [18]
amberfire wine [18]
fingerblade spell, allows it to use its finger like any sword it has touched [18]

Dragoneye Sceptre
Home to Dendeirmerdammarar, LORD OF THE THUNDER PEAKS. MOST MIGHTY OF THE OFFSPRING OF ARNFALAMME REDWING [16]
Amedahast the Accursed One bound Dendeirmerdammarar into the Dragoneye Sceptre [16]
The Dragoneye Sceptre was drained by the murderer and he absorbed the dragon. At some point the dragon was released as a ghostly phantom which flew to attack Suzail. Vangerdahast turned the phantom back into the dragoneye gem using Amedahast’s magic [16,18]

Royal Palace of Cormyr
Salantrin's Hall. Tavilar Tapestry, said to have been given to his long-ago predecessor Amedahast, for her (unspecified) services to the elves, the hanging stretched along the entire north wall of the chamber. It was a glowingly vivid deep woodland scene whose lighting kept pace with the day outside, from bright morning through each day to the deepest gloom of night-though in the tapestry it was always summer, and never rained. The magic of the tapestry often made birds and animals move through the scene, and from time to time, stags would bound through the trees, and a splendid elven hunt would ride soundlessly after them. It was a rare treat to see the shining white moment when a lone unicorn would appear and pause briefly to look out into the room. [18]
Lionsrest Hall. A secret door (magically concealed with multiple traps and false openings and illusions) leads to a storeroom containing a slim dark staff and 7 crystal scrying orbs (all connected that allow Vangerdahast to scry far away[18]

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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
6125 Posts

Posted - 22 Oct 2022 :  19:17:40  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I like Stormlight, it shows what happens when powerful magic users just throw spells about, everything gets destroyed.

Some things bother me though.

First is this creature is supposedly Bane, but there is nothing definitive that says it was. The creature became an avatar of Bane at some point before the Time of Troubles, although i think a more accurate description would be that it became an Aspect of Bane.

As an Aspect it would be imbued with Bane's power but remain free willed and essentially independent of Bane. You could view it as a Chosen of Bane but to be honest i think there are other ways to imbue yourself with a gods power and not all of them have to be at the behest of the god. So when the Time of Troubles hit this Aspect was unaffected much like the Chosen of Mystra and the Baneliches.

What bothers me is that this thing tried to lure Storm to it so it could reclaim divinity. But it did so by murdering Athlan Summerstar, who for some reason had invited Storm to Firefall Keep in his will, the question is why would Athlan invite Storm to Firefall Keep in his will, that is never revealed.

The Bane Aspect was a mortal with secrets of its own, presumably so terrible that it chose to destroy itself rather than let Storm find them. And then there are its abilities. It absorbed a marilith in its past (presumably gaining its teleport / blink ability. It takes the form of a sharn so i'm guessing it was one in the past or absorbed one (making it really powerful).

Then there is the notes of the war wizards GLondar of Hilp who discovered a process that allowed one to steal the abilities of others. Athlan was researching these abilities for some reason before the Bane Aspect killed him. Why would Athlan even know about them unless he had encountered the Bane Aspect and knew it was after him.

The book in the Haunted Tower, which was actually the Bane Aspect, supposedly held secret magic, i'm guessing Athlan was searching for it for some reason or using it to learn magic.

We also have the magical blade of the Summerstars, the Sword of Summer Winds, which is never revealed and presumably is no longer in the keep (otherwise the Bane aspect would have found it when he utterly demolished the keep).

We have a red dragon imprisoned in a gem, presumably from the same region as the red dragons that Glothgam Summerstar slew. I wonder if perhaps the battle was just a feint to draw out this big red dragon so that Amedahast could trap it, i'm guessing the big fight happened at Firefall Keep (why else would the sceptre be there).

Lots going on that i'm struggling to connect. Loved the story, full or lore and spells and items and history and insight into famous characters.

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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
6529 Posts

Posted - 23 Oct 2022 :  04:57:36  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'd forgotten that lore tidbit about Sulesta. She died young, only 29 years of age, so the Lady Zarova must have been his second marriage. Intrigued as to why it was a secret marriage. Will have to ask Ed.

-- George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus
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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
6125 Posts

Posted - 23 Oct 2022 :  07:04:04  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm sure I've read about the sulesta secret before, and I've never read the novel before so it must be mentioned in one of his scrolls here or on twitter perhaps. I know there definitely is a scroll containing more lore about firefall vale so I'll see if it has anymore detail on the marriage (and anymore answers for me)

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Seravin
Master of Realmslore

Canada
1185 Posts

Posted - 08 Nov 2022 :  23:31:31  Show Profile Send Seravin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Sorry went back a few pages and I notice you're in the Nobles series - have you gotten to The Simbul's Gift yet?
This is probably my fave Realms novel ever, and the amount of lore is staggering in it. Can't wait for you to read it.
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maransreth
Learned Scribe

Australia
155 Posts

Posted - 15 Nov 2022 :  08:51:20  Show Profile Send maransreth a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Seravin

Sorry went back a few pages and I notice you're in the Nobles series - have you gotten to The Simbul's Gift yet?
This is probably my fave Realms novel ever, and the amount of lore is staggering in it. Can't wait for you to read it.



Nope, the most recent Nobles novel was Mage in the Iron Mask, so two more to go to Simbul's Gift I believe.
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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
6125 Posts

Posted - 15 Nov 2022 :  09:06:41  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
That's so weird, I could have sworn I posted a reply, but it appears to have vanished.

Anyways, I'm 5 novels from the Simbuls Gift i believe as I'm reading them in publication order (skipping RAS novels though).

I'm currently taking a break from reading the novels while I work on my own rpg system (classless, skill based), and also cataloguing all the lore from computer games. Just for a bit of variety.

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Seravin
Master of Realmslore

Canada
1185 Posts

Posted - 15 Nov 2022 :  22:03:47  Show Profile Send Seravin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
No worries, everyone needs a break now and again but I hope you'll return to this amazing thread soon. I'm re-reading Simbul's Gift now so will have it fresh in memory when you get to it (well..fresher than it was)
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Athreeren
Seeker

59 Posts

Posted - 16 Nov 2022 :  10:13:09  Show Profile Send Athreeren a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Gary Dallison

cataloguing all the lore from computer games.


Where are you doing that? I've done a few games, but those take far longer than books, and I'd like to complement my research with your own!
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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
6125 Posts

Posted - 16 Nov 2022 :  10:24:41  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Just on word documents.

I took all the item descriptions of magic items from the baldurs gate and icewind dale games. Not done conversation though.

I then started work on gateway to the savage frontier and tried to arrange all the event descriptions and journal entries and magic items into a single place. That took a few weeks. It's not perfect but it includes most of the important stuff from a lore point of view.

Happy to share and collaborate if you are doing something similar. We can compare methods.

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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
6125 Posts

Posted - 16 Nov 2022 :  19:05:21  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
If you want a copy of what i've got then email me at dazzlerdal@"geemale".com

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Athreeren
Seeker

59 Posts

Posted - 17 Nov 2022 :  12:54:57  Show Profile Send Athreeren a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Gary Dallison

Just on word documents.

I took all the item descriptions of magic items from the baldurs gate and icewind dale games. Not done conversation though.

I then started work on gateway to the savage frontier and tried to arrange all the event descriptions and journal entries and magic items into a single place. That took a few weeks. It's not perfect but it includes most of the important stuff from a lore point of view.

Happy to share and collaborate if you are doing something similar. We can compare methods.



The magical items are interesting, because they can come from anywhere in Faerûn, and thus give us much more diverse lore than the characters and events in the games. I tend to focus on the areas that are relevant to my games (between Daggerford and Tethyr), as well as the information that might be relevant to the characters. Gathering all the lore from the games like you do for the books would take forever (and I haven't yet found a good way to organise the information). The main difficulty is that some text can be difficult to access, for instance when a particular combination of choices and characters must be selected to reveal the option, so the games need to be replayed many times to learn everything.
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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
6125 Posts

Posted - 17 Nov 2022 :  13:48:54  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
That's why partially computer savvy nerds use editing tools to take the data right out of the game files.

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maransreth
Learned Scribe

Australia
155 Posts

Posted - 19 Nov 2022 :  06:00:57  Show Profile Send maransreth a Private Message  Reply with Quote

quote:
Originally posted by Gary Dallison

cataloguing all the lore from computer games.


Do you mean like the books that are available in the BG games? I found a website that lists all the text inside each of the books, if that helps.
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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
6125 Posts

Posted - 19 Nov 2022 :  09:28:24  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
All the books and magic item descriptions and important dialogue.

I found a site that gives some if the info, but inside the game are lots of items and dialogue that they ultimately decided not to use but still exist and might prove useful.

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maransreth
Learned Scribe

Australia
155 Posts

Posted - 19 Nov 2022 :  23:37:24  Show Profile Send maransreth a Private Message  Reply with Quote

That makes sense - I had forgotten that a number of the magic items had a background to them.

This is the page that has the text of all the BG books, but not Icewind Dale - https://baldursgate.fandom.com/wiki/Books
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maransreth
Learned Scribe

Australia
155 Posts

Posted - 19 Nov 2022 :  23:55:26  Show Profile Send maransreth a Private Message  Reply with Quote

Thinking about it more, I decided to see if they had item descriptions, and lo and behold they do - https://baldursgate.fandom.com/wiki/Items.

Then for Icewind Dale: Books - https://icewinddale.fandom.com/wiki/Category:Books, and Items - https://icewinddale.fandom.com/wiki/Category:Items.

But if you want to continue playing the game ... :)
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