The Court of King Edmund
King Edmund III: The young ruler of Southold. In 1503 he was coronated after his father's murder at the hands of Lord Edrin's assassin, Mendel Secord. He only survived this Succession Crisis due to his rescue by the adventuring band Thingol and Company. Since then, he has proved an able, wise, and just ruler, like his father Halfred. But the King is troubled by the Civil War and more recent Third Cortalish War; the mantle of kingship rests heavily on his weary shoulders. He is tall, with auburn hair and piercing blue eyes.
Queen Madeline: The king married his beautiful Alcester bride at the Victory Tournament of 1508, celebrating the end of the Civil War. The Queen is not interested in political affiars, and remains aloof from the public eye. She has since had a single child, Crown Prince Edmund IV, in 1511.
Lord High Chamberlain: Hollend, tall gaunt and hatchet faced, wears authority like a suit of mail. Though quite aged, the steel gray beard still merges with a healthy head of curly hair. He is the most trusted of all the King's advisers, almost an uncle to Edmund. Indeed, it was he that, in defiance of Edrin's claim to Regency in the Succession Crisis of 1503, hired Thingol and Company to rescue Prince Edmund from Andeaver so he could be coronated. As Lord High Chamberlain, Hollend is the most trusted and important man in Southold save the king himself. Orders issued from Hollend are assumed to come from the King himself and must be obeyed without question. Hollend receives information from many minor officials and decides upon what to inform His Majesty. Likewise, royal audiences of lesser importance are often conducted by Hollend.
Lord High Chancellor: Rolf Geraldor, a petty, fat man of thirty, thinks he's important, but he only runs the domestic affairs of the King's Court. The normally friendly Hollend has a strong dislike for this man's pompus attitude, but Edmund keeps him because of his organizational skill. As Lord High Chancellor, Geraldor is the absolute head of the ever-growing civil service, most important of which is the Office of the Exchequer. Nearly every member of the lesser bureaucracy is under his direction, though he makes no actual policy decisions, he merely acts on the King's orders. He constantly argues for an end to the Third Cortalish War given the strain on the economy and difficulty raising taxes.
Lord High Justice: Geoffery Lawgiver, a stout, steely eyed man known for treating everyone as if he were on trial. As the justice system in Southold is run according to the Code of Athelstan, and is administered by the priesthood of Tyr, Geoffery's position is more involved with catching criminals. He has great authority over the Watch's of the various cities as well as the raising of the fyrd. Yet, Geoffery, like nearly all Lord High Justices (which is traditionally a secular position) chafes at the restrictions on his power. He would like to see the courts run by secular authority, and indeed, his constant pressure has convinced King Edmund to give him minor legislative power, and thus he has earned the appellation "Lawgiver." The High Sherrifs of each province report to him (law being one of the centralized functions of government in Southold), as does the High Forester who administers the King's woodlands and prevents poaching.
Lord High Marshal: Count Ethelwulf of Dunthrane, Member of the Order of St. Cuthbert. This warrior is a tall, figure, imposing in his suit of plate armor, the cross of Southold emblazoned on it. Through well over 50, the famous Count Ethelwulf is strong as ever, and his military prowess was tested as recently as 1503, when he crushed a revolt of serfs in northern Dunador. He is a man of few words, but of an awesome, almost fearsome presence. As Lord High Marshal, Count Ethelwulf, besides being in charge of the standing army and the Fyrd, also controls the Royal Armorer and his armory, the hiring of mercenaries or adventurers, and the acquisition of new military technologies and strategies. He is the main military leader in the Third Cortalish War, usually at a forward command post in occupied Silvania.
Lord High Sea Marshal: Count Aldron III, Member of the Order of St. Cuthbert. Born into a family of sailors, Aldron soon took up his father's trade and received a posting as captain of a cog assigned to patrol the Gulf of Southold. He was soon promoted to squadron command, and his ships fought admirably in the Saughin Raids. He later distinguished himself in the Pirate Campaigns and was soon promoted to his current post. Aldron has removed the last of the galleys from Southold's navy, and has pushed for the introduction of heavy caravels to supplement the war cogs. This introspective, visionary seaman has also introduced the championed the crescent battle formation, and focuses on maneuvering into a position to catch the full power of the wind. He is rather young for his post, barely 50. He has pushed for a more active role for the navy in the war, but others have been loathe to let the fleet stray too far into Cortal waters, though he has won nearly every battle so-far engaged.
Lord High Inquisitor: Krondell the One-Eyed, the master spy of all the kingdom. He used to work for the Thieves Guild in Alcester, but after his eye was put out by an overzealous constable, Krondell switched sides, working his way up through the ranks of the king's spies to his current position. His net of agents reportedly has information on all major personages of Southold. He himself is a rather dark, man, with greased black hair, a scarred face and of course, a patch over his eye. Krondell controls numerous spies placed in other branches of the feudal power structure, especially at the ducal level, for as the recent civil war shows, the noble houses controlling the provinces are the biggest potential internal threat. It is rumored that Krondell also has deep-cover agents in all the nearby capitals, reporting on the actions of Southold's neighbors. Few know of the Lord High Inquisitor's secret forces, the Black Sashes.
Lord High Wizard: Bigby of the Fist. See Conclave of Wizards below.
Lord High Chaplin: High Patriarch Stephen Menote, servant of Tyr Grimjaws. Menote controls the Church of Tyr, the official religion of Southold. He takes this duty seriously, regarding himself as a father for the faithful. Thus his word is almost as powerful as Edmund's, though Menote has no ambitions for power and supports his liege. This patriarch, sometimes called Menote the White, has a long snowy white beard that is his trademark. He is well over 70 years old. During Edrin's last bid for power (the Succession Crisis of 1503) Stephen's brother William, then High Patriarch, was murdered at the hallowed Fontamere Abby. Stephen, the older of the two by far, who had until then led the life of an ascetic monk, agreed to replace his slain brother as High Patriarch at Edmund's request.
Captain-General of the Watch: Sir Balto, recipient of the Canary Cross, is known throughout Dunthrane as the most honest and just of the constables. This is how he attained his current post. He is in his forties, and going bald, but still sports a brown mustache. As Captain-General, Sir Balto has control over the constables of the Watch and when the Fyrd is levied, he commands that as well.
Lord of Princethorpe: Count Abernathy is widely known as a rich, flamboyant fop forever drunk. This particular noble, though powerful, cares little for politics or war. Still, he is a favorite of the people, for his lenient ways and taxes. He is a somewhat rotund man, who always wears gaudy outfits imported from Hule, usually very intricate and colorful.
Lord of Conna: Count Leon is a more serious noble. He asks for peace at any cost in the Cortalish War, moved as his city suffered greatly under the Civil War, and he has seen enough bloodshed. However, he is a steadfast warrior. He is distinctive in that he always wears green and thus has been dubbed the "Green Count"
Representative of the Knights of Athelstan: Sir Gilbert is a proper knight in his thirties, with charcoal black hair and a long mustache. He represents the Knights—the militant arm of the Church of Tyr—who strongly backed Edmund in launching the war against the Cortals. He is quite the cavalier.
Representative of the Order of the Silver Hand: Sir Baldric is an aged knight with much experience fighting the Bloody Spear clan of orcs in the Cruth. He is greatly respected by all, and on the rare occasions he gives counsel, all listen. He represents the Nuadan knights, and is in constant magical contact with both the head of the Order of the Silver Hand at Bracilot Castle, Sir John Philips and with Grand Marshal Anaximenes himself.
Representative of the Forest of Arden: Formerly the famed half-elven ranger Briadorn, the new representative is Melian, a druidess. There has been some chafing in the male-centric Southron court at her appointment, but most have come to respect her views.
Taran Ambassador: Armand, legate of the Kingdom of Tara, represents Taran interests and their commitment to King Edmund. Such is the level of trust between the countries that he attends almost all important meetings of the court. He dresses grandiosely, always with a feathered hat, and has a sharply manicured mustache and beard. His personality is a jovial one, and he is known for his love of gambling.
Chief Bard: Tagus of the Many Tongues, who specializes in lyre music and singing and composing in different languages is the chief songwriter of the realm. Anyone the King wants glorified is immortalized in song by him, usually for some political purpose. He has a fiery beard, and a deep bellowing voice that can be heard for miles.
Royal Armorer Paltran: Paltran is the master weaponsmith and armorer of the realm. Indeed, this humble ex-serf's work rivals that of many of the dwarven smiths themselves, though even Paltran's work pales in comparison with that of Durmingar the Dwarven Smith of Kala. Paltran is an affable man in his 40's, uncomfortable around nobility but grateful for this opportunity to serve his sovereign.
Royal Cartographer Thomas of Long: Thomas is a fat, bald-pated devotee of the god of technology and science, Reorx. He is quite devout in his worship (a religion quite rare in Southold and more attributed to the dwarves) and is generally well-respected. Yet, though he produces accurate, readable maps and masterfully directs the ten-year census, he is agonizingly slow in his work. First commissioned under King Halfred in 1490 to undertake the census, Thomas has served as Royal Cartographer ever since. He is currently in the process of making a thorough system of maps covering the entire realm.
High Forester of Dunador Haldale: Haldale is a self-taught ranger who learned the arts of woodcraft as a serf on the banks of the River Laine in the Canolbarth Forest. He acquired enough money to buy his freedom, and, after several years of wandering, he was noticed by the Lord High Chamberlain, Hollend. After an apprenticeship under the previous High Forester, Haldale assumed the position he holds to this day. In his duties, it is widely rumored that Haldale has released several serf poachers, knowing they would otherwise be executed. Yet he is a valued servant of the King, who enjoys hunting in the well kept Royal Estates. He was recently disgraced when the King's hunting lodge, Blackhill, was attacked by the infamous raider Skarda. Yet, at the conclusion of the matter (in which the Bywater Six played a vital role in the defense of the Sovereign), he was forgiven, as the attack came through a mirror and could not have been prevented.
Sworn Executioner of Dunador: Even the name of this official is unknown, as he is only seen in black hooded garb. It is widely suspected that he is an ax specialist taken from the ranks of the Black Sashes, but this is unconfirmed.
Duke Aimar II of Andeaver, Head of the House of Andron: Duke Aimar II is the impetuous young son of that late plotter Duke Aimar, slain by Thingol & Company during the Civil War. Nobles of Andron have always had something of an independent streak, and the current ruler of Andeaver is no different. His standard is a red lion rearing on a white field.
Duke Duncan of Anorien, Head of the House of Cawdor: Duke Duncan is a grizzled veteran, and one well loved by the people of his beloved province. Like most nobles from the House of Cawdor, Duncan is unswerving in his allegiance to the Crown, often keeping the bulk of his forces--including the famed Third Bywater Expeditionary Army--deep in Sylvania, despite the potential threat posed by the Videssians to the north. His standard is a horizontal white stripe on a red field.
Duke Garthran of Hadlech, Head of the House of Hador: Like the legendary members of the House of Hador, Garthran is quite the dashing hero. In his youth, he led several campaigns against the orcs of the Cruth, and suppressed many a pirate band. Even in his current position, Garthran craves adventure, and has the honor of the greatest of knights. His standard is a white cross on a red field, with yellow borders.
Duke Harold of Sylmarch, Head of the House of Galloway: Duke Harold is not held in high esteem by the other nobles, who see him as somewhat craven and too diplomatic. Actually, he has done a fair job of walking the tightrope between Dunthrane and Gos. After the dog soldiers seized Woburn, Harold negotiated with a number of Cortalish ambassadors and received the assurance that the Cortals would push no further into Sylmarch. Harold's standard is a gold lion with paw outstretched on a red field.
Duke Warwick of Balar: Warwick was Count and Lord High Marshal of the Armies of Southold until the end of the Civil War in 1508, replacing the treacherous Lord Edrin. It is well-known he opposed the war with the Cortals, preferring to attack the ancient Videssian enemy instead, and was “promoted” out of his important post to Balar. Warwick recognizes that Balar is not a lucrative province, yet he looks forward to ruling the wild land. He plans on pacifing the countryside, especially the dangerous foothills of the Marston Peaks and the bandit (both Huler and Southron) infested routes to the Great Pass. Duke Warwick’s standard is of a gray wolf with claw raised on a blue field. His son, Baron Warwick Kenilworth II, was recently named Viceroy of New Southold in the newly discovered land of Aztaltica, but was soon overthrown by the Silver Legion and its General, Morgan Cordell. Rumors at court are abuzz that there may have been a nefarious plot involving the father and son in the enterprise and the Duke has not been seen at court since.
Conclave of Wizards
These six good archmages (informally led by Lord High Wizard Bibgy who is detailed in the section on the Royal Court) make up an informal council which sits in Southold’s defense in all matters magical. They were the first to see the threat of Vecna’s Disjunction, but unfortunately were slain while investigating; since resurrected. They tend to become involved in political or adventurer affairs only when absolutely necessary, preferring to focus on their research. For instance, several refuse to aid Southold in the Third Cortalish War because King Edmund invaded the empire, and it is not a war of defense.
Amstard the Artificer: Amstard the Artificer is an elven archmage who lives in the Forest of Arden, in a tower outside Shady Vale. Beneath this is an impressive laboratory, accesible only via phase doors. As an enchanter, Amstard's primary work is the creation of magical items, most for the Rangers of Arden. Given his clientle, Amstard's specialty is enchanting bows and arrows. While somewhat solitary, he is quite a jovial elf at heart, a true friend of the commoners. He is the only non-human member of the Conclave, and takes little interest in the grand political talk of wars and such things that transpire at many of the meetings. Nevertheless, Amstard is a stout enemy of the powerful forcres of evil that blight the land. He resists involvement in the Cortal war, as the enemy has not invaded Southold. He particularly appreciates fine elven music, and his spells reflect this. On those rare and disagreeable occasiions when Amstard must fight, he prefers charm and immobilization magicks.
Bibgy of the Fist: Lord High Wizard of Southold, Bigby of the Fist is a wizard in every sense, complete with dark-blue cloak and flowing beard, Bigby is famed throughout Arik for his spells, more than a dozen of these are in circulation, most dealing with a hand or fist (hence Bigby of the Fist.) Indeed, all would rank him among the top dozen mages in the world (live and undead). Bigby works for the King because he is provided with funds for his research, and other than an occasional spell, is generally left alone. The Lord-High Wizard has a very forceful personality, though he is weak in body. For years he has refused most audiences, forcing visitors to conduct all matters through the no less abrasive Timmotain.
Gondal: Gondal the Great was one of the apprentices of the fabled armchmage Cheiromar, and is one of the greatest archmage since him. He travelled quite a bit during the 15th century, espacially on extra-planar jaunts with his friend archmage Zenjik, slaying demons. The two slew the demon lord Drak Venal and retired from active adventuring. Unlike Zenjik, however, Gondal remained in the "public eye" as it were, running the Dunthrane College of War Wizardry and occassionally aiding Anorien. While he favored attack magicks in the begining of his career, Gondal's current specialty are innovative defensive magicks. He is not so reckless as he once was, but as a scheming foe, is probably all the more dangerous to his enemies for the change. He is second only to Bibgy, his friendly rival, in Southold's Conclave. He has been active in the war against the Cortals, using some great spells to erect great fortresses in the hard-pressed early days, and supplying items and siege attack support since. He was captured by Banite Colstan Rhuul in 1511, but was rescued by the Conclave.
Mekkarri the Magnificent: Mekkarri the Magnificent is the powerful mage who runs the Dunthrane Arcane Academy (a subdivision of the Royal Academy of Dunthrane). He is quite personable, for a wizard, and is known to enjoy jokes and riddles of all kinds. He was slain a few years back by Lord Soth at the gates of Dunthrane, but was soon resurected, and has since renounced conflict. He feels he is too old for such battles and only trains others. He has always preferred the life of the academician in any case, though few would call him a sedentary "hedge wizard" due to his great power and noted past exploits. Mekkarri appreciates subtle rather than direct magicks, and is a fond fan of Green Islander music. In conflict situations, he would prefer to immobilize enemies than to slay them outright.
Otliuke the Illustious: Young, short, and puny, Otliuke has overcompensated for his drawbacks by being overly agressive and abrasive. Unlike the older and contemplative members of the Conclave, Otliuke believes in the use of offensive firepower. However, he dislikes fire magicks, as his first death was at the hands of a red dragon. He has travelled extensively throughout the cold, mountainous borders between the Thaar and Rockhome, relying on his magicks and items to keep his frail body alive. Uncertain of his standing within the Conclave, he wonders why the others admitted and continue to tolerate him. He is even more uncomfortable because of his coarse lineage; his parents were peasant fisherman near Athethelred’s Tower, Andeaver. They owned a small boat on the River Laine, though Otliuke himself was never that good at catching fish; besides, he couldn't swim. He whistles peasant folk songs and drinks mead and low-quality beer often. To this day Otliuke lives in an austere tower outside his native town.
Zenjik Demonslayer: Zenjik was once a successful adventurer, but a few decades ago, he decided to take a sabbatical after he achieved a great triumph, the defeat of one of the six Pit Fiends, Drak Venal, after that demon had travelled to Grund. He has since constructed his stronghold near the thriving border town of Liveoak, north of the Cruth, meawhile keeping in contact with his former adventuring companions, including Gondal the Great. He is very friendly to most adventurers, feeling an affinity to them and understanding their frustrations, though he enjoys testing them in his enchanted garden.
As an archmage, Zenjik is quite wealthy, his three-story walled castle being his most single asset. The people of Liveoak hold Zenjik in respect and awe, though he largely holds himself aloof from their affairs, he has had occassion to use his great powers in defense of the town. Secretly, however, many inhabitants of Liveoak fear and dread Zenjik, for what mortal man could defeat a demon without otherworldly assistance? Zenjik has not become involved in the Cortalish War, which he considers one of agression, and will not become involved unless Southold is invaded. However, there are rumors he is a backer of a strange exploration expedition to the south.
Other Personages of Note
Anaximenes, Grand Marshal and High Priest of Nuada: This great clerical leader heads the worship of Nuada throughout Arik, though most of his flock (and influence) reside in Southold and more precisely, the northern province of Anorien. He is of mixed Minoan and Southron blood, approximately fifty-five years of age, but retains the great strength he was famous for during his crusades in the Minoan city-states. Anaximenes was not a great theologian, but a warrior, and would probably not have become Grand Marshal had not his brother been removed in 1507 and the clergy desired a more traditional, warlike leader. Some have denigrated his lack of ambition for exerting influence and control over Southold as his brother did, but none question his piety, and he has proven an excellent wartime leader. Anaximenes ultimate goal is to invade the Videssian Empire, as Bywater is too close to hostile territory and the Southrons in the Videssian client state Alesia should be free.
Anaximander, Former Nuadan Grand Marshal, Anaximander was forced to abdicate to his brother Anaximines in 1507 over the scandal of the Anorien Inquisition. Anaximander was a driven leader, of mixed Minoan and Southron blood, which makes his climb to the top of the hierarchy even more amazing. He is approximately sixty years of age, but retains the great strength he was famous for during his crusades in the Minoan city-states. His hair and beard are the color of steel, and his voice is a low rumble. He was without a doubt, the best Grand Marshal since the Second Cortalish War, but many say he reached too far in spreading the faith’s influence, angering the nobles and the priests of Tyr. Today he is a traveller, bringing Nuada’s message to the people, and fighting injustice despite his age. He is often seen at the front lines in Sylvania dueling enemy Banites and Fire Wizards. He wears a nondescript cloak, but beneath is shining magic plate armor, gauntlets of ogre power, and the mighty Mace Nuada’s Revenge.
Black Arrow: This wandering ranger (readily recognizable by the large black patch over his left eye socket) is something of a legend among the serfs and freemen farmers of Southold. The first reports of his solitary adventuring career turn up in 1498 in central Dunador. He pursued lycanthropes exclusively, even those considered not considered evil. In fact, over the years, he is thought to have hunted wereboars to extinction (in Southold) and made significant inroads on the werewolf and weretiger populations. The hatred for lycanthropes is foremost in Black Arrow's mind; he has consistently disregarded great treasure hoards, taking only enough gold and gems he could comfortably carry, and any magic weapons or armor he could find. His practice of telling the local peasantry of these now-guardianless treasure hoards earned him a great deal of admiration from the populace. Yet Black Arrow is more of a legendary figure than a hero to most people; the totality of his character, absorbed with the slaying of lycanthropes, makes him difficult to admire. Black Arrow ceased his hunting for a time, and helped organize the Miscreants in order to slay the great Prince of Werewolves, Garth. After the Miscreant's claimed defeat of Lloth, this enigmatic hunter disappeared for several months, only to return to slaying more lycanthropes. For a time he travelled with the moon dog Dante, but they soon parted ways. In 1511, he briefly reunited with his old comrades, now called the Intrepid Paragon, to pursue a resurrected Garth to his doom. There is a difference in him since; his hunts today are almost mechanical, lacking the great hatred he possessed in days of yore. Black Arrow does not keep any known residence; though is occassionaly seen around Logan’s Run in Hadlech, and can usually be found where lycanthrope activity is high, inexorably plying his trade of slaughter.
Black Viper: The Black Viper is a daring thief, identity unknown, currently operating in Bywater. The Viper started low, robbing merchants stores and the like, in late 1505, but has moved up to the nobility. The thefts are bold and intricate, and have left the Guild (of Thieves) in mute admiration of this independent's skills. This thief is so arrogant as to leave taunting notes at each theft site, signed “the Black Viper.”
Caligistro: A rich architect who lives in a sprawling mansion in Bywater. Caligistro is renowned the world over for his variation of the Neo-Videssian architectural style, that emphasizes high arches and vaulted ceilings (though without flying buttresses). He is, in fact, a Videssian exile, having fled his native land after Emperor Otho inspected the half-completed pleasure house Caligistro was designing, and the structure collapsed, nearly killing the Emperor. In fact, one of Caligistro's apprentices had done the deed, seeing a perfect opportunity to kill the depraved leader. Regardless of Caligistro's innocence, he was sentenced to death, but just before the execution, he was pardoned on a whim by Otho (who dearly wanted his pleasure house built). Caligistro fled the country after that, realizing that any second Otho might have him executed. He settled in Bywater in 1497, and his influence can already be seen in some of the mansions of the House of Cawdor. Indeed, the Ducal Palace, newly completed in 1503, was designed by him. Regardless of his architectural genius, Caligistro is quite a unlikable man. He is extremely obese, quite racist (believing in High Videssian superiority), and an effeminate whiner.
Captain Jack: A one-legged, one-eyed ex-pirate who plied the Rivers Laine and Greyflood for well-nigh twenty years. These days Jack runs merchantman cog up the Laine from Dunthrane to Luln, occasionally, it is rumored, smuggling the odd cargo of zonga (Videssian drug) or fugitives into Dunthrane. Jack is quite the crusty old seaman, and is rather difficult to get along with.
Morgan Cordell: General Cordell commands the Silver Legion mercenary company, undoubtedly the second most powerful in Southold behind the Flaming Fist. While Cordell supports the tenets of just war—as Nuada is the Legion’s patron--he has little use for chivalry, and will use any stratagem needed, even engaging in military actions of questionable morality. While not a harsh man, Cordell is prone to bouts of ego and temper. Cordell no longer resides in Southold, but is Viceroy of New Southold, the newly discovered continent of Aztaltica.
Durjack: A Southron adventurer from Wyrm's Gap, famous for wielding two throwing axes. Durjack never joined an adventuring company, but has travelled far and wide nonetheless. He is a hefty, balding wanderer past his prime, but still a force to be reckoned with. Durjack is also known for his fiery temper, and any comments about his wife usually see the offender fleeing (the damage at Blaskor's Retreat in Bywater is such an example.)
Eltan: Leader of the famed Flaming Fist Mercenary Company, Eltan is one of the greatest and best-outfitted warriors in the realm (and indeed the world). See the entry for his organization under Military for more.
Eskahelion: This is one of the most respected of the gold dragons of Arik. Though not the most physically powerful, Eskahelion is probably the most intelligent, often serving as sage for dragon and occasionally humankind. He has several human agents, including dragon masters (mages like Liet of Bywater) and dragon knights who ride his three offspring. Eskahelion also keeps in touch with Southold's Conclave of Wizards to keep informed.
Hobarth: Hobarth is a prominent adventuring cleric in the priesthood of Bane. He is, in fact, in charge of the covert Southold chapter of Bane since Colstan Rhuul left to adventure in Bane’s name. Hobarth is an oily, plump, sadistic man dedicated to his fell god.
Maldraedor: Suzerain of the blue dragons, reputed to be the oldest and most powerful evil dragon on Arik. Maldraedor lives in a mountain lair, with a human village, Kalmarak, at its foot. His best servant is the immensely powerful warrior called the "Wyrm-Blade", though another powerful servant of his, the dragon hunter Sorath the Black, was recently slain by the rival blue dragon Akanax. The people of Kalmarak worship the aging beast, providing quite a defense for his lair. The suzerain himself is never actually seen, his audience room contains but a statue of him, albeit one capable of animation. Maldraedor has lived over four millennia, and he is beyond the simple good-evil morals; he exists solely for himself. Those wishing an audience with him must first answer a riddle of his making to prove their worthiness. Few know of the existence of this dragon; several dozen sages and adventurers at most. It is said that
Maldraedor is furious that one of his favorite chess rivals (an ancient blue dragon, along with her clan) was recently slain by the ultra-powerful adventuring group Bad Company. Perhaps he will send his many agents (which technically includes, aside from the Kalmarak and many powerful allies, all of blue dragonkind) to slay them. If anyone had the power to accomplish such a feat, it is he.
Magooan the Pirate: A half-crazed pirate that sails a sloop up and down the River Greyflood. He only plunders ships flying the standard of Duke Duncan's House of Cawdor. Magooan's hope is to weaken the Duke of Anorien economically, while raising an army with the funds plundered to overthrow the him. In short, he plunders in the name of a free Anorien, and is also reportedly a member of the Free Born Movement. His dream is to free the serfs and set up a democracy in Anorien. Yet this pirate is also a Southolder patriot, for during the Videssian Incursion of 1505, his forces disembarked and fought on the side of Bywater's troops, turning the tide of the battle. Magooan and his band have a large bounty on their heads, and are wanted alive. Those in the know are aware that Magooan maintains a base in Undermountain's dreaded Skullport.
Morune: Great Sorceress of the Flaming Fist, see Military under that organization for more information.
Pyrohelix: Pyrohelix is a huge red dragon that lairs in the Wyrmsteeth Range. Considered the leader of the reds, he is probably the most powerful draconic example of that species. However, in comparison to Maldraedor, suzerain of the blues, Pyrohelix is young and weak in intelligence and spell casting. Yet, this wyrm is the undisputed king of dragonkind in the arena of physical combat. Unlike Maldraedor, Pyrohelix sees no visitors, and indeed seldom talks save for guttural curses. Luckily he spends most of his time warding off attacks from his ambitious "minions." It is only a matter of time before one reaches the power to topple him, but this span will be measured in centuries.
Questor Thews: One of the best alchemists in the realm, Questor Thews works under Mekkari the Mage at the Dunthrane Arcane Academy. He prepares potions and minor magic items for adventurers, primarily. Indeed, he even spent some time adventuring in the Green Isles with Thingol & Company, and has developed a friendship with Fingon, the elven mage of that company, as well as many of his prominent pupils, like Lieutenant Dmitry Vladimirovich of the Silver Legion.
Raven: This seeress is the most perceptive of her enclave, known as the Bird-Sighted. These druid-like people live on the plains outside of Liveoak. At adolescence, they put their eyes out in a bizarre ceremony, transforming their means of sight to a specific bird that accompanies them always. As mentioned, Raven and her bird Mun are the most sensitive of all the Bird-Sighted.
Rourk the Shark: A prominent loanshark based in Alcester, Rourk is a filthy rich scoundrel with several dozen underlings. It is said that he has a special agreement with the Thieves' Guild, and pays them a percentage of his gains. If you need money fast, Rourk will give it too you; if you are unable to repay in full (including the outrageous interest he charges) you'll have several bounty hunters or worse sent after you.
Stonne: This powerful eleven wizard left the adventuring party known as the Miscreants to pursue his own goals. It is believed he has returned to the Galathiene, but these reports are unconfirmed.
Talis: A druid of Silvanus who once travelled with the Bywater Six. After an unsuccessful foray to Videssos (or so the rumors go), he decided to quit the adventuring party and live in Birnham Wood south of Bywater. It is said that he rebuilt an ancient dungeon there known as the Hall of the Beast Tamers for studying nature. In 1515 he left for the new world of Aztaltica to set up a circle to Silvanus,
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