Arnold’s Friends

Tipwill Erevard

Tipwill “Tip” Erevard was born to common, loving folk on a farmstead along the river Rauvin on the outskirts of Silverymoon city. He always had deft hands and a sharp wit, inherited from his mother, but he suffered his father’s clumsiness in social situations. Unlike either of his parents, he was not physically strong or skilled at manual labor, perhaps because he never showed the least interest in such things. As a child he had few friends among the hardy farmers’ children, who were mature and working at early ages and had no time for young Tip’s many flights of fancy. He therefore could be found more often with the young girls, earning him ridicule and no few mild beatings from the boys.

Life went on, an unexciting but not unhappy childhood for the young man. Though he had few friends his parents loved him despite his oddities; his father had enough help from Tip’s two strong brothers, and Tip had always been favored by his mother. Tragedy struck when Tip was 14, in the deep of winter, when his mother died swiftly of a deadly fever and cough that swept the region. Tipwill was never the same again: quieter, more introspective, less innocent. There was very little joy in the family thereafter, each working to put food on the table and coins in their pocket but taking small pleasure from the routine. Rather than daydreaming, Tipwill decided to go and seek out that which he craved: mental challenge, magical knowledge, and prestige. He went every year to the Silverymoon Mage’s Fair, and often wandered the environs of the University, looking for his opportunity to be apprenticed or be hired in any function to serve the mages. He managed to scrounge enough coins to buy half-ruined magical texts deemed trifling by other wielders of the Art, and bent his mind to deciphering and extrapolating between them. Without any formal instruction or proper materials, it was frustrating and achingly slow work, but Tip’s mind was a wonder, and he made progress.

So it went until one fateful day, at the mage’s fair which he attended (on the periphery) yearly, when Tip was so bold as to challenge a student of the University, one Drasbin, who had been rude to him in a previous encounter on University grounds. Drasbin disdainfully turned to leave when he saw that Tip did not know the proper rites to initiate the mage duel, but the old wizard Pendaster, among the most learned of the University’s professors, stepped forth and put a staying hand upon his student. Pendaster studied young Tip for long moments with a bushy brow arched quizzically, noting the shaking hands and sweaty brow, but perceiving also something very intriguing about him. The old academic decided to follow the instincts that for all these long years had served him excellently as an appraiser of both magical talent, and the ways of the heart. The awestruck Tipwill watched rooted as the robed scholar ambled up to him and spoke, “I have seen you before, have I not? Sneaking about the University grounds? Trying to infiltrate mage fairs? Snatching up whatever scraps you can from mage shops?” At this Tip squirmed, and many of the swift-gathering crowd snickered. With a swiftness belying his age, Pendaster produced a rolled-up scroll from his sleeve, causing Tip to jump back a step. When the aged professor motioned impatiently for him to take it, Tip grasped the scroll and reverently rolled it open. “Can you understand this?” Pendaster asked while watching him intently. “Yes! Of course!” blurted Tip; but in reality the magical text was mostly gibberish to him … it seemed to be some kind of magical missile spell. “The terms of the duel are one month’s service!” said the aged wizard for all to hear. Satisfied, Pendaster began the ritual of the mage duel.

Tip followed the old scholar’s instructions on how to attune himself to the weave so as to create the affect that would allow he and his opposition to duel in an arena where neither was in danger of death. In the mere moments he had, and with a large portion of mental effort invested in the ritual of mage duel, Tip’s incredible wit proved it’s mettle, for he was simultaneously engaged in feverishly deciphering the scroll. A feeling of elation was overcoming Tip, for he could all but feel the corridors of his mind opening and branching, the seemingly limitless potential being unlocked. He had known that the cantrip he had prepared would never defeat even a raw student, had simply been looking to get attention in defeat; but now he wanted to win! And so it happened in a flash of fate, that Tip decoded the last key of the spell the moment the duel was commenced, and he swiftly read the incantation that sent his foe sprawling, unconscious from a glowing green missile that had slammed into him, as Tip’s scroll burned harmlessly to ash. As the ritual ended, Tip was not the only one shocked at the sudden result. He broke into a wide smile and awaited the praise of the legendary Pendaster … he spoke his name when asked … and blinked when he heard the old professior say,”By virtue of disqualification due to the use of offensive magic items, Drasbin is the winner! Tipwell Erevard is now bonded for one month in his service.”

A brief, ragged cheer came from the admittedly confused crowd as Pendaster, looking elsewhere, sternly addressed the bewildered Tip, “You would do best not to blindly make use of magic items any old wizard hands you. I advise you to start your servitude by carting Drasbin here back to his room in the dormitory.” When the white-beared mage turned and saw the crushed look on Tip’s face, he smiled, and said, “You have an intellect not often seen, and a passion that reminds me of myself as a youth. But you are young and impetuous too.” Pendaster started to walk away and Tip hung his head and went to attend to Drasbin, but the wizard half-turned and winked, saying, “As one of my students, I will hammer some sense into you along with magical knowledge. Report to me in a month’s time!”

And so Tipwell Erevard’s life changed forever, as the sponsorship and philanthropy of Pendaster granted him entry into one of the most prestigious magical schools in all Faerun: The University of Magic at Silverymoon. Tip apprenticed to Pendaster in return for his tuition, and was worked hard. Rather than pandering to the boy, Pendaster expected the best of him. Nevertheless, Tip would remember his three years there as the greatest time of his life: training under the greatest practitioners of the Art in the North, growing his abilities by leaps and bounds, making friendships that would never die. The faculty and headmaster all saw his boundless potential, and there were the predictable reactions: some attempted to curry his favor, some jealously made life difficult for him, some lifted their noses at the lowborn farmboy, others pushed him hard in the spirit of reaching his potential. There were similar intrigues when it came to Tip’s dealings with the student body. Rather than befriend the most powerful or influencial students, many of whom courted him ardently, Tip chose with his heart and came to be very close with Helesmera of Battledale (sponsored by none other than Elminster!) and Toberin (Tobby, or ‘Tubby’ to those many who derided him). Helesmera was the wisest of the trio, which wasn’t saying much, and often pulled the boys’ fat from the fire; a very capable wizardess she would be, all agreed, and she was not harsh to look upon, either. Tobby was fat and sweaty, the constant target of jests, and would never be the greatest wizard or satisfy his demanding parents; but he was the most honest, truest friend Tip ever had. Their many misadventures in the school are for another tale, but suffice it to say they earned more than a few reprimands and detentions from the headmaster, and also won the undying enmity of Haleus D’aemon, son of the infamous aristocratic mage Lord D’aemon of Luskan. Haleus detested Tip from the start, for his obvious talent which rivaled his own, for his low-born origins, for his popularity won by kindness and earnestness (traits Haleus had been taught by his father to perceive as either airs of moral superiority or abject weakness). Indeed Haleus dogged the trio’s every day at the University, going so far as to corrupt Tharra Miravant, a pretty young student who had fallen head-over-heels for Tip. Tharra had professed her undying love for Tip in front of the whole class, and was devastated when the oblivious young mage brushed her off. Though he felt he had turned her away politely, Tip hadn’t the craft for such things and managed to deeply embarrass her in front of everyone, a feeling of rejection the comely young girl had never experienced. For his part, Tip was still too young and enmeshed in his magical studies to even comprehend such amorous feelings. He did realize the depth of the ill-will she felt for him until much later, much to Haleus’ delight.

It was the deceitful young mage who duped Tharra into spear-heading the prank that went tragically awry and lead to Tobby’s falling death near school grounds. Haleus had provided Tharra with one of his father’s scrolls, a spell of Scare that she cast upon Tip and Tobby in the woods near the University. Many of the students had been informed of the prank, and were on-hand to witness the entertainment; Thara planned to get back at Tip by giving him the scare of his life, making him wet his robes, in front of everyone. But the plan went wrong, for instead of running headlong into the forest as Tip did, Tobby climbed a tall tree and did not stop until he reached thinner branches which broke under him. Tharra, who had been screaming for Tobby to come down when she realized the danger he was in, watched helplessly as he plummeted to his death at her feet. The mortified young girl looked pleadingly at Haleus, but the despicable adolescent, who seemed surprised yet not displeased, merely smiled and walked away. Tharra was expelled and her fate not exposed to the other students, but before she went she sought Tip out. She allayed his guilt regarding his abject flight when he felt he could have saved Tobby (as Helesmera and Pendaster did also), and she made a solemn apology with wet eyes. She revealed the entirety of the plan and Haleus’ involvement, and told Tip flatly that the boy had been unremorseful. Haleus, for his part, was largely exonerated of any wrongdoing, over Pendaster’s objections, in large part due to his father’s direct involvement in the proceedings. One night a few days after, as Haleus served one of the lonely detentions that were his ‘punishment’, Tip confronted him. It was then he learned the depth of the little snake’s true depravity, for Haleus not only made no apologies, he spoke venom and rubbed salt in Tip’s wounds of grief. Tip lost control then, and pummeled the snake for how long he did not know, but when several professors and students pulled him off of Haleus, the boy was unconscious and covered in welts and blood. So did Tipwell Evervard become known to and earn the enmity of Haleus’ vile father.

The gravity of the beating and Haleus’ father’s influence lead to calls for Tip’s expulsion. Though Pendaster counseled Tip to fight this with the old man’s aid, he began to feel it was time to move on. In the end, it was decided Tip could graduate, and the young mage must depart thereafter. Although he had once planned to study in the University forever, earn a professorship and teach like Pendaster, the halls of the University would now never be the same for him, and he could not countenance continuing proximity to the hateful Haleus. So after the grand graduation ceremony, Tip bid tearful farewells to elderly Pendaster and Helesmera, both of whom had been so true and faithful to him. Unbeknownst to them, Haleus and his father watched them with baleful eyes.

 

Phlugyar Zolond

“ You wonder my story began? Wondering how adrow ended up here?  Come sit by there hearth and share a cup of mulled wine with me, and I will recount my beginnings to you”

Menzo

I was born in the most powerful of drow cities, Menzoberranzan, in 1224 DR. I was born into a Minor Noble House, House Zolond,. It was ranked the 59th ranked house in the city.  Our family had assassinated the 60th house, which had displeased Lloth and, subsequently currying LLoths’s Favor.

My father, Drovic Zolond, was a weapon master and instructor at Melee-Magthere, The drow school for Warrior. My Mother, Ilvaria Zolond, was a minor priestess at Arach-Tinilith, the Temple of Lloth.

I was tested as all noble drow children are,  at a young age of 25 years old, similar to that of an 8 year old human child.  Most Females are sent to the to Arach-Tinilith to become priestesses of Lloth to a varying degree. Fortunate, apt, Males are either sentto Melee-Magthere, to become warriors or sent to Sorcere, to become Wizards. The unlucky males who didn’t did not pass any of the aptitude tests, tended to have “accidents or disappeared”, being regarded as inferior in this matriarchal society.

One of the masters, Juliani Baenre, the dean of Evocation, noticed I had “spark of the Arcane” in me and sent me to Sorcere. I spent 41 years practicing my spell casting, honing my art arcane. Treachery was common among the apprentices, backstabbing each other , stealing scrolls, spells, and spell books to advance past your peers.

There was even a “few favoured” students poisoned by there peers. The Instructors were equally harsh  and more. One  of the instructors laughed in mirth as a student summoned a babau, promptly lost control, and was ripped apart by it. The Instructor then dismissed it with a contemptuous flick of the wrist when it was done its grisly task. I certain the masters also “removed” some students who were either too promising or too poor.  I always made sure I kept my skills hidden, kept a very low profile, and used the minimal art necessary to accomplish whatever task I was given.  We were always beaten, burnt, or attacked with magic, to ensure that we always maintained our concentration during spell casting, failing this was fatal.

I graduated as a novice at 66 years old in 1280 DR. it was then that lloth became silent , no longer answering her priestesses prayers.  Menzoberranzan was in chaos as a result. They could not keep their power loss secret for long, soon there was an attack on the city by slaves, and disillusioned males. The wizards managed to put down the revolt. Soon after though, an army of Duegar beset our city, the Tanaruk Legions of Kaanayr Vhok, a cambion, and the traitorous rebel house Agrach Dyrr. It was during this fighting that my second mentorship began.

grim

I was assigned to a reconnaissance patrol to assist in assessing our enemies strength and positioning in the Under dark outside our city.  After two days, we were ambushed by Duegarr, and almost all wiped out. I managed to escape having used an invisbilty spell, and stealthily vacating the combat area.  I was battered, bloodied, weak from lack of food and water but I was free. I traveled for many days , eating whatever I could find , and drinking whatever water source I could find. I was thoroughly lost though; my best estimate was I was some where in the endless caverns. After a few more days of traveling, I saw a glimmer throughthe darkness, I approached cautiously through a narrow cavern tunnel, and I emerged into a huge cavern, and the glimmer was coming from a a myriad amount of gold.  I had never seen so much opulence in one place. The sheer amount of it was overwhelming. I picked up a jewel-encrusted chalice, which set off a cascade of gold coins to shift down, revealing a very large reptilian Green eye. Gasping in horror,  I fought back waves of Terror as the the Eye opened and It’s monstrous form rose from underneath all the plies of gold.  The Green Dragon bellowed in rage “ Who dares

To steal from the mighty Grimnoshtasdrano?” pools of acid were flying out of its mouth, sizzling and burning wherever they landed.  I barely had my wits about me, I remembered something one of the masters at Sorcere had mentioned about Grimnoshtasdrano, he was called the riddling dragon. The huge Green Wrym whirled to me and began to draw in its breath as to unleash its acid. I quickly dropped to my knees and spoke in the most derential tones I could muster,

“Great Grimnoshtasdrano, I came to immerse my self in your magnificent presence, not to steal,” I cried. The dragon sneered, “ you, little Drow, are a liar, your kind have trespassed here before and tried to pilfer my gold, but ended in my gullet!” He roared.

“I challenge you game of Riddles,” I implored, “If I win, you let me live! If you win, you eat me, do with me as you wish, ……unless you think you have sufficient wit to win??

Impudent Elf, you assume to mock my superior intellect!! You have no chance so I accept your challenge, the first to be stumped loses, I will eat you slowly,savouring every morsel!! The Wyrm snarled.

I racked my brain for some of the best riddles, as I knew, my survival depended on it. I looked the wyrm directly in the yes and asked the first riddle,  “at night they come without being fetched and by day thety are lost without being stolen.” TheDragon ponderedfor a second and rumbled out a laugh “ Stars! You will have to much better that that, foolish elf!”

Grimnoshtasdrano then took his turn and asked “ The beginning of eternity, the end of time and space, The beginning of every end and the end of every place”

My mind raced as I considered the answer, and finally it came to me as the dragon began to lower its head to me. I cired out “The Letter “E

The dragon smashed his tail down onto a pile of gold in frustration,  sending it flying. “Correct!”

“My turn’, I intoned, “what runs over fieldsand woods all day , under the bed at night sits not alone, with its tongue hanging out, a-waiting for a bone?”

The Dragon leered and responded, “It’s a dog! Simplelton” to which I responded” wrong , it’s a shoe! Dogs are sometimes alone, but shoes are always in pairs.

The dragon raged and spewed a gout of acid at a cavern wall to far left. “you still have to answer my Riddle!”He growled!!

He asked “ I never was, am always to be, No one ever saw me , nor ever will,  And yet, I am the Confindence of all to live and breathe on this terrestrial ball,What am I?”

I smiled at my luck, at having heard this same exact riddle from the head of Sorcere, Arch-Mage Gromph Baenre. I calmly responded “Tomorrow”

The dragons eyes widened alarmingly.” How could you possible best me??”

I quickly took a gamble, would you care for a secondary wager , I have one more riddle,  If I win, you teach me everything you know about magic, become my mentor, if I lose,  well, ……

“Accepted!” grinned the dragon. I began“ There was a Green house. Inside the Green house, there was a white house. Inside the white house, there was a red house. Inside the red house, there were lots of babies. What am I?”

It was almost comical to see a green dragon turn purple with rage. I waited several minutes and stated “Times is up , It’s a watermelon!”

Grimnoshtasdrano gathered his composure, and finally spoke,  I will keep my word as promised, unlike some of my kind. I will be your mentor and you will listen  to everything I have to say , as I have little patience!  You will learn to speak proper Draconic, yours inflection and pronunciation is horrible. I will reveal some of our culture , and you will be one first ever to be taught the arts arcane by a Wyrm, and onebest mages as a result.  There is a price though, your life is spared as promised, but you will be my eyes and ears outside these caverns, other Wyrms who wish my horde, that tiresome Lich Aumvor, meddlesome harpers and other treasure hunters. You will also clean up my lair, count and assemble my gold forme, and last ly you will clean my scales once a month.

I worked very hard at grasping everything he taught me. I also toiled diligently, cleaning his cavern, monitoring all the comings and goings, and activity in and around the endless cavern, and finally keeping his scales pristine. I even taught him the drow game of Sava, a strategy game somewhat similar to chess., which he enjoyed tremendously. We actually enjoyed each others company, becoming friends to a degree, he was honest  for a dragon and was not as treacherous as my brethren in Menzoberrazzan.

This kept up for 50 years, when Grimnoshtasdrano finally announced that my he could not teach me any more, that I learned all I could from him. He told me “ you were a fine student. I will assist you and give you these spell books from Mages who have tried their hand at me over the years and five baubles from my hoard. Nothing comes without a price, my friend, as nothing is free. There may be a time when I summon you,  and you will assist me”….he stated ominously.

“I bid you farewell and safe travel” he rumbled.

“Farewell, Grimnoshtasdrano” I bade him, grabbed 2 rods, a Cape, a Belt, and a pair of spectacles with 4 spellbooks, leaving the caverns , never returning until much later. That is another story though.

I realized that in all the I spent in the caverns , I realized howmuch I was at peace away from drow society,. The Treachery, evil Vileness seemed like a memory of the past and now repulsed me. I felt liberated.  I headed up to the surface world for adventure, not knowing what was in store me.

I wandered out in the High forest.A day into my Exploration, Shrill screams reverberated around me. I did my my best to determine the direction , ran towards as fast as I could.  Four large shapes were attacking smaller form as I approached. It was a small band on Gnolls attacking a group og wood Elves.  There was an elderly Wood Elf down on the ground bleeding from a broken spear through his Leg. There was a young female Wood welf wielding a Short sword, trying desperately to keep the bloodlthirtsy Gnolls at bay, with two elven children hiding behind her, crying. Time seemed to come to grinding halt, as every one noticed me for the first time. There was  a momentary pause as  people were trying to decide I was friend or foe. I took advantage and casted a spell immediately and a web at the four gnolls, catching 3 of them as one managed to dive out of the way. The Gnoll got, leapt up from the ground, charging at full speed wield an Axe, but he was not fast enough as Electrical missiles shot form my fingers and striking him the chest, blowing him of his feet, where he lied with a smoking holein his chest. Agnoll was managing to extract himself from the web, but the female intercepted him and gutted him.  The other two Gnolls, seeing half there force dead and dying, quickly surrendered. “Leave, never to return, or  you will die horribly” I bluffed, and giving the circumstances , did not require much effort to flee as I dispelled the web.

Once they were gone, I approached the wood elf on the ground. The female moved to block my path, telling me “to stay away!”.  “Listen, If I meant any of you harm, you would have been dead by now, so are you going to let me try to save his life, or are we going to waste precious time?” I snapped at her. She backed away hesitantly, and I started to inspect his injuries. There seemed be a broken bones, and he had a deep cut which was bleeding profusely. I quickly got a spare tunic out my sack, using “prestidigitation” to clean it, and wrapped it above theCut to staunch the blood flow.. I had the female help in holding him down as I reset his leg with a “Snap!” He cried out in agony. I pulled out a bottle of wine and cleaned the would and then used a small needle and fishing wire and started stitching up the wound as best I could.

I looked at her and said” we have to get him to a real healer or a priest , This is only temporary and he may not make it.” I stated.  She nodded” Our village is not far from here”. The four of us took off, the Female and I struggling to carry him. It seemed like an eternity, but we finally arrived. The elderly elf was taken by a group of elves, presumably to a healer. Wood elf warriors then promptly surrounded me, armed with spears and longbows My possessions were taken from me, and was gagged, bound hands and feet, and tied to agree under guard by five wood elves. I voiced my displeasure but all that came out was “Mumpph Fyummm, Uh Uh” , which did not seem to offend anyone overly much. After 3 days, The young female elf I rescued came to see me and cast some sort of divine spell on me. She seemed startled by the results, and then conferred with the guards, having a heated exchange with them. The guards, grudgingly released me, giving menacing looks and telling me “to watch myself!”.

She looked at me, and said” I am Alara, I apologize for this but we hat be sure of your intentions. The man who you rescued was my father, Tvarien, Our village priest. If you please, come with me, my father as he wishes to thank you personally.” I finally noticed she was tall for her kind almost six feet, with the tanned complexion natural to wood elves, with strawberry blond hair and emerald eyes. She was easy on the eyes. I met with Tvarien, and he thanked me. We struck a deep friendship as I stayed in this Village, Nordahaeril, for 10 years. I earned the trust of villagers, having being mentored as a priest of Tymora by Tvarien,. I served as a village priest, healing the villagers, animals and livestock, even as a midwife, assisting in the occasional birth. I also defended the village with arcane spells on occasion. Alara and I fell in love and were marriedin 1350 DR, when I was  126. We spent five more joyous years together before I started getting ominous dreams, even nightmares. They were filled with dark skies all over, Cities and villages burned , destroyed or taken over by angry figures cloaked on shadows,  floating citadels and Demons, and Effreets.. I did not know what to make of this. I spoke at length to Tvarien and Alara of this and we prayed to Tymora for guidance. The following morning, she answered in my dreams as a beautiful human with a mischievous grin, sat and wine with me, she said “your answers to your questions all over the realms.  Start in the land where Calim and Memmnon first fought” The next morning I awoke with a two headed gold coin on my chest. It was a sign, and I knew from my history and Geography lessons learned from Grimnoshtasdrano’s scattered library books he had, that the land in question was Calimshan. I informed Tvarien and Alara I had to leave on this quest as the fate of the world depended on it. Alara pleaded with me to let her come with me, but I would risk her  getting hurt as she was now expecting our Twins. I said my good byes and consulted with Grimnoshtasdrano, for  any knowledge he knew of Calimshan, their cultue and their language Alzhedo. I spent a week gathering intel and learning the basics of there language and departed to Calimshan, using my “Phantom Steed” spell.

I arrived in the Capital city of Calimport after two weeks of hard riding. Blacked Garbed raiders on horse had beset me. They were quickly immolated with of my few well-placed Fireballs.  I then had navigated on the sea just next to the coastline to avoid future confrontations.  I arrived in Calimport , It was hot , a very dry heat. I discreetly cast endure elements again to maintain my comfort. I visited the local wizards guild and Temple of Tymora to see If I could find some thing to guide me in diving my visions. I spent 16 hours in the wizard’s guild when I finally came upon a clue in a book. It was about the Ancient human empire of Netheril and their fallen empire.  There were certain references and remarks insinuating a certain number of their wizards, may have escaped to the plane of shadows., becoming shades??  I was not 100% sure on how to proceed next I went to visit a few sages, a small sort of Bards college even a few taverns. I finally gleaned that there is was rumored to be an ancient broken abandoned temple, dedicated to the Goddess Shar, the mistress of the night and darkness., in the Calim Desert.  I cross-referenced whatever ancient city maps I could muster, taking down sketches. I narrowed it down to a section of the desert, close to the center, where Calim the Genie and Memmnon started their war. I restocked up on supplies, and was waylaid by a company of Were rats as it was getting dark, upon returning to the Inn I was staying at.  it was a close battle, as I had four adversaries, but I managed to overcome the  odds with a few timely spells, and dispatched three of them and sent the fourth fleeing for his misbegotten life.

I healed myself, but was bitten. I prayedin the morning to Tymora for a cure disease, to avoid any chance of lycanthropy.  I traveled several days via Phantom steed, endured scorching desert weather along with biting sandstorms, but finally I located what I was searching for. I found the collapsed abandoned temple but it was caved in. I was distraught. I gathered my composure and searched the ruins., and with Tymora’s grace I found what seemed to me a secret entrance. I cast nock and opened the stone trap door parted to reveal a set of spiral stone stairs going down. Thanks to my innate drow gift, Dark vision, Iwas able to see perfectly, avoid some more obvious traps. I ran into two wraiths, left behinds as guards. I was able to destroy them with the power of Tymora.  I searched all over several different rooms, until coming across what seemed to be high priests chambers. I managed to dispel some protective runes and wards on the doors and in the chamber itself. I ransacked the room and finally came across a huge dusty tome. It was written in Lorass, a version that Netherese nobles spoke. I was literate in  Netherese due to my long training with Grimnoshtasdrano,a nd able to decipher as it was written some ssort of code as well. What was a high priest writng in lorass for. I read for the tome for two whole days, only stopping to eat and drink via my create food and water spells.

I uncovered that this was a prophecy of the return Of cabal of Netherse Wizards from the planes of shadows, they worshipped shar and some how discovered alternate source of Magic: Shadow weave???? What is this? Where did they get this? There were so many unanswered questions. There were pages missing as well, perhaps these pages could give me more insight on their history, culture and future plans. This had an ominous feel to it. There were also other Temples mentioned. I verified with my knowledge of current and ancient Geography, and deduced that Rashemen, Thay, Halruaa, Mulhorand, and Anauroch.

I visited them all over the next few years , Visiting Rashemen and speaking with the witches of Rashemen, the Wychlaran, speaking with some Red Wizards in Thay, visiting Halruan mages, even riding on a famed Flying ship,  visiting Mulhorand, and speaking with a high priest and a few higher ranking  mages, and finally, with the Beddine Priests, where I learned Midani, their native tongue.

My travels were fruitful; I learned many things about different languages, cultures, religions, magic. I was also able to find some more answers from recovering either partial or complete pages of this mysterious Tome in regards tomy search for answers to my portents about these Netherese wizards, shadow magic, and Shar, butnot nearly enough, It seemed every answer begged more questions. I needed to know more….

I returned home to Nondahaeril, my village, to be with my wife, and my twins and my friends. This would give time to absorb what I have learned, to reflect on it. Perhaps I will consult My Green dragon mentor, to see if he can shed some insight to this.at the veryleast, this will give me time to consider my next move.

The next decade was eventful.  I was contacted by  a Halfing Rogue named Reggie, and a Dwarven Cleric, Erised. They some who knew of my Portents in regards to the Shadovar? It seems that they had been petitioned by an Human Arch-Mage, Pendaster, to find out what I had uncovered so far. We exchanged information, then They inquired if I would accompany them of a few missions, to get more answers.

Harper pin

I agreed, and we set for more than a few adventures, during which , I was recruited as a Harper agent.  I can still rememeber reciting the Harper code underneath a Star filled Night:

“Harpers work against villainy and wickedness wherever they find it, but they work ever mindful of the consequences of what they do.

All beings should walk free of fear, with the rightto live their lives as they wish.

The rule of law aids peace and fosters freedom, so long as the laws are just and those who enforce them lenient andunderstanding.

No extreme is good. For freedom to flourish, all must be in balance: the powers of realms, the reaches of the cities and the wilderlands into each other, and the influence of one being over another.

Whatever it takes, a Harper will do. Pride never rules the deeds of a true Harper.

Freedom is a multiversal right, thoughHarpers can spare themselves less freedom than those they work to protect when the need presents itself.

Harpers police their own. A Harper whohears the call of personal power can no longer hear the sweet song of the harp. A Harper who seizes power, and holds it above all else, is a traitor to the harp. Traitors must die for freedom to live.

Without a past, no being can appreciate what they have, and where they may be going.”

Words to live by, it seems.

Shadovar

The War started shorty after. The Shadovar armies invaded, quickly and efficiently conquering much of the world. They Commited Terrible atrocities to mixed breed creatures, such as half orcs, half elves, at best they were slaves , at worst butchered on a mass scale.

I returned to Nordahaeril to find it a smoking ruin, finding only a handful of survivors.  My wife had been raped and died trying protecting our twins, who also had been killed. I was filled with rage, and vowed to find out  how to defeat the Shadovar, and to extract my revenge!

I continued my investigations, consulting with the aid my friends, the remanants of the Harper organization, Erised, Reggie,  Grindelman,. I alos received insight from Pendaster, who was undergoing a transformation into a Baelnorn.  My studies have led me he conclusion that Memnon’s freedom should be secured so he may release “The Old One” from beneath the sands of the Anauroch.  Reginald Brandyken, also a Harper quested to release Memnon from his tomb beneath the Sea of Shadows decades ago, but has not returned.  I do not knowwhat the “Old One” is, other than it is the bane of the Shadovaar, and they locked it up.  The Shadovaar also aided the Djinn in imprisoning Memnon, as Memnon is the only being powerful enough to release the “Old One” with his fire.

Further studies into all of this call into question what most know of Amaunator.  When Amaunator was reborn, he reabsorbed god-powers from Lathander, Selune and Sune, killing those 3 gods, allowing Shar to take advantage of the Power Vacuum, and bring many gods under her dominion.  Amaunator, however, is represented as an ancient Netherese Sun-God, It would be  more appropriate to think of him as an Ancient FIRE god.  His fires in the sky are whatis represented by the Sun.  It seems that what you know as the Sun is actually a great Dragon-Door Portal into the Elemental Plane of Fire. 

On Dragon Doors…Dragon Doors are Wyrmholes between dimensions.  They will come up, at some points. My master told me  tales of the great Exodus of the Dragons from their world into this one, via Dragon Doors.

Memnon

Memnon, himself, is entrapped in a prison formed by a mirror within a Dragon Door Portal.  This tesseract mirror has served to imprison him in a pocket dimension where his power is reflected back on itself, so he cannot escape.  Within the pocket dimension, he has full power, and this is the King of the Efreet…the most powerful Fire Creature in existence, with the exception of Amaunator, who is now bent to Shar’s will.

It seems that har and the Netherese have done all they can to imprison or “enslave” the greatest FIRE powers in the multiverse.  Shar murdered Amaunator millennia ago with the aid of the ArchMages of Nether, scattered his powers that then coalesced into three different gods…plus other soul shards that scattered across the universe.  Some say these soul shards can be formed into life…but that is for you to figure out how that might be…or who that might be…

Ashton of Arn, when he returned the Crown of Amaunator to Rhyester’s Matins in Silverymoon (former Church of Lathander) provided the conduit for the reunion of the Shards of Amaunator that were Lathander, Sune and Selune.  He became the Avatar of Amaunator, and ascended to Godhood.  That vacuum, however, let Sharand the Netherese seize much power and begin their war on Aber-Toril.  In his new, weaker state, Amaunator was easily enslaved by Shar (most don’t know this, certainly not Amaunator’s faithful or the general public) and bends to her will.  Amaunator’s clergy still receive powers, and is seen as the “good” god, by comparison, but Amaunator’s church only has the power that Shar allows it to have…

I was contacted by Pendaster tomeet with Captain Stubinkin and his First Mate MoonBuck in the Tall Halfling (where my Harper acquaintance Grindelman is the owner).  Stubinkin is an AirShip Captain.  Pendaster knows of some Reggie’s family who is seeking Memnon’s Tomb, so he believes it would be a prime opportunity  to find some allies against the Shadovar.

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