Letter: Libarian Sigermane
With the passing of the High Priestess, I pen this missive directly towards you. In the coming weeks, I intend to pen a number of volumes, describing the great heroic deeds of the current adventuring population, to inspire others to greatness, as well as whatever volumes you may be lacking in terms of events.
However, to not waste my time, yours, as well as to ensure that my pockets will be properly filled with riches and secrets, what gaps in your library are currently missing, and what current villains or heroes have deeds that are not yet penned on paper?
With great respect
Elestra of House Thundersword
The Library looks forward to see future submissions by your person, we highly recommend written accounts of current event and tales. Such matters are rarely written in detail until after the occurrences themselves. Otherwise we also recommend referring to our poster, which has a fine selection of wanted lore.
Head Librarian Tonald Sigermane
O-louth last edited by O-louth
I bring you the first of many volumes to come. This one details Tilverton.
Elestra of House Thundersword
A story of shadows and mystery
Before the shadows
Up until 50 years ago, Tilverton was a thriving city, at its height estimated to hold close to 12.000 residents. Situated on the western side of Tilvers Gap, the city was a known lay over for caravans and travelers going north or south of the Moonsea ride. Few travelers on the Moonsea Ride would deny themselves the pleasure of spending a night or two at either the Flagon Held High or the Winking Moon, both excellent taverns. The city was a free port, enjoying its freedom from both Sembia and Cormyr, despite House Rowanmantle owning most of the land in and around the city. In 1357, Cormyr and House Rowanmantle, finally declared the city part of Cormyr. As it is custom with most lands around the boarders of Cormyr, House Rowanmantle were given much freedom in their ruling of the city.
The coming of the shadows
In 1372, in the first Shadovar War, Tilverton became heavily garrisoned. With allies from the dales and from Evereska, almost 10.000 soldiers were at the coming of shadows, Garrisoned in Tilverton. What occurred then remains largely a mystery, in no part due to the involvement of the War Wizards, who have kept the truth hidden from public knowledge. What is widely known is that Tilverton became the battleground of a land battle between Loross and Cormyr. Much magic, both of the talented War Wizards and the dark magic of Loross was casted during the battle. It is widely believed, that seeing defeat, the Princes of Loross conducted a most foul ritual, bringing death and shadow to the area. Few survived the explosion, and few citizens, beyond those who had fled ahead of the battle, made it out alive. The lands became a dark stain on Cormyr, and has been so ever since.
Notable occurrences in recent memory
A good year ago, a group of adventurers, led by Ignatius Pike, traveled to Tilverton, and used the weakened veil between the planes, to forge the Null Staff, a powerful relic that could empower itself on shadows.
A year or two prior, a group of adventurers, led by druids and priests of Lathander, tried to cleanse the city. In a grand ritual of joy, laughter and light, they provoked the shadows and the living darkness. Only a handful of adventurers survived, as their provocation brought forth a giant Nightcaller, who slew most of the adventurers.
Of late, the Church of Akadi has been known to conduct rituals in the area, trying to bring back the winds, and life to the scared lands.
As one travels north of the Moonsea ride, as you get closer to the Tilverscar, you begin to see it. Withered flowers, disturbed trees, and shadows that grow longer, and longer, and longer. Magic becomes increasingly difficult to cast, until you step out of the treeline, and see it yourself. A large pile of ruin, shadow and death. The dead walk, the shadows come alive, and you cannot rely upon your link to Mystra’s wonderful weave of magic. Many adventuring volumes describe that in Tilverton, the planes of Shadow and our world are close to each other, making it ideal for links between the planes. Many adventurers have for the last 10 years tried to cleanse Tilverton, with varied degrees of success. Of late, House Rowanmantle have sworn to reclaim their lands lost to shadow, and are no doubt generous to all who help them towards such ends.
The library find the historical account most excellent and offer 500 gold in reward for this fine sample of lore.
Head Librarian Sigermane
O-louth last edited by O-louth
I place this book in your hands, asking that you keep it safe, but that you wait with publishing it, until the final chapter is completed. I have been fortunate enough to convince the Banite Cohort to let me put their story to paper, and document their journey from humble adventurers, to the heights of what they have become.
The tales of the Cohort; The dreaded Three of Bane
By Elestra Thundersword
In the beginning, they were three. Three devoted servants, three missionaries from Mulmaster. Camilla Carshal, a blessed sword, Karl Steel, a laysword, and dread brother Waynolt. Bound together in faith, they took to the road, traveling down The Moonsea Ride, looking to better their lot in life, and to spread the word of the Tyrant. Their beginnings, one might stipulate, not unlike the Dead Three, the origin of the Divine Tyrant. Their journey was filled with hardship, caravan attacks and acts of banditry against themselves, and whether by accident or divine purpose, the Dreaded Three came upon Arabel.
Like most servants of The Tyrant, they were not welcomed with open arms, but were shunned, discarded as vicious and cruel, and like so many before them, they had to make good with the opportunities presented to them, exterminating rats, kobolds, and whatever work a sellsword must take to purchase a bed and a meal by the end of the night.
Yet they had a purpose, a divine calling. They carried out, accepting grudgingly the name calling, the aggressive nature of the inhabitants of Arabel, especially within the adventuring community. Meager beginnings, of a tale that would take them to the highest honors a god and his church can bestow upon a mortal.
The day it all began to change
After days and weeks of taking whatever employment they could find, Karl Steel had taken upon himself to earn a bit of extra coin as a blacksmith. From his home in Old Town, he picked up an old, rusted axe, and ventured into the Kings Swamp, looking for coal for his creations, like he had done so many times before. Just outside the gates, two known faces appeared. Tamila, a slender woman known for her uses of kamas, and Wrozar, a large man with an equally large scythe. They attacked Karl, subdued him, and drained him of blood, leaving him for dead.
Karl, known for his fierce determination, began to slither, then crawl, then slowly walk, making his way to his long time ally, the blessed sword Camilla. Using Banes blessings, she healed him, and the two decided to stop the ritual for which Karls blood was to be used. A fierce battle erupted in Old Town between the four. The infernalists were soon joined by Perappi, a Halfling wizard of some renown, and soon after, dread brother Waynolt too joined the battle. Magic missiles, large demonic spiders, and the green light of Banes divine powers lit up the streets, as the six of them fought a battle between the forces of chaos, and the forces of Order. Into the sewers, into Downtown Arabel, the six of them fought on, until only one side remained.
The three infernalists were given the choice; Repent, or death. While the mage and Wrozar repented, offering their prayers to the Dread Lord, Tamila refused stubbornly, and thus was executed in the Old Town arena. This caused the “false repenters” to once more attack, this time with renewed magic and fresh supplies. They managed to defeat Karl, but against the Dreaded Three, they met their demise, and by the powers of Bane, Karl Steel was raised from the dead. And so, in a large pyre, three infernalists were burned and eaten by the Hell Hound of Camilla. The cold, green light of Bane shone brightly over the arena that day, as he showed his pleasure of the work of the Dreaded Three.
Word quickly spread after the battle, and few enemies dared to stand against the Dreaded Three. They continued their preaching, they continued to grow in strength, and just like the Dead Three defeated their enemies, one by one, so too did the Cohort.
The Divine March
Years ago, against The Temple of The Unquiet Night, The Axe of Tempus challenged the Dread priest Deschurr. In a divine March, The Axe of Tempus thought himself superior to all other faiths, inspired by the actions of Tempus during the Silence. But Bane and his Cohort leave no strife unchallenged. And so the Dreaded Three called upon a Divine March against the Temple of the Triumvirate. Joined by their adventuring companies, Anton the Mage, Laysword Ward Rogers, The King of Gnomes, and Eesha Fallingleaf, seven adventurers marched against the Axe. The Axe, having few champions to call upon, hired the mercenary band known as The Harrowed Huntsmen to defend the temple, despite the Cohort having saved the Huntsmen on more than one occasion.
7 men and women marched against 60, and against the greatest warrior known in the North, The Axe of Tempus. According to Karl Steel, it is tradition for the servants of Bane to use the undead during divine marches. And so, in the glory of Banes cold green light, and with a retinue of undead, the second Divine March of Old Town began. Old towners barred their doors, for to stand between the forces of Bane and Tempus, few mortals would dare. The battle was epic, and walking over corpses, the Dreaded Three and their allies, slowly made their way into the temple itself. Here, dispelled, without his blessings, The Axe of Tempus made his final stand, against the odds, while the remaining congregation cowered in fear. The battle was fierce but swift, and at the end of it, The Axe of Tempus fell to the blows of Karl Steel and Camilla Carshal.
For their efforts, Karl Steel became an anointed Knight of the Green Flame, and dread brother Waynolt will forever be known as Bishop Waynolt of Bane. But furthermore, the Temple of Green Flame now sits like an Iron fist upon the inhabitants of Old Town.
The conversion of House Mertoi
In the aftermath of the Divine March, the Dreaded Three ventured to Easthaven, fending off an attack by the Albino werewolf, a war they had taken part of several times. As their enemies lay dead, Lord Mertoi emerged from her keep, kneeled before The Bishop, and asked for her fears to be removed. By the Bishops hands, and by the powers of Bane, Lord Mertoi converted for all to see, her fears of much and more vanishing, replaced by the steel resolve of a servant of Bane.
The end of the Cohort of Bane
As the sun rose over Arabel, a group of adventurers led by the Banite Cohort, departed the Temple and traveled north, on the very same road they had walked so long ago. Their journey was not too hazardous and only light resistance was encountered. The destination, Zhentil Keep.
The Cohort arrived at the siege lines and slipped through, meeting with the commander of the Keep. He gave them their assignment. At a prearranged time, the Martyr battalions would attack the Shadovar upon the length of the line, to be followed up by strategic attacks upon certain objectives. Their objective was to defeat an ancient netherese lich in service to the Shadovar, releasing the legions of Zhentarim soldiers that had been animated.
Upon the eve of the battle, Sir Steel knighted his squire, Ward Rogers, into the Order of the Green Flame, as he had earned the right to stand among our members time and time again. As they witnessed the Martyr battalions charge forth, zeal for the Tyrant in their hearts, The Dreaded three and their followers began their attack. They fought through their most potent undead, dread knights, dread knight commanders, and rotting flesh giants. They then had to fight through swarms of their own former allies, now turned undead. Once they were destroyed, the cohort charged into the final chamber, finding the lich and assaulting it. They were faced with spells such as meteor swarm, horrid wilting, and a foe that could not be dispelled. The fight was long, over an hour, and the Cohort took many casualties, but in the end, the lich was struck down. Most of the Shadovars undead destroyed, they claimed their fallen brethren, burned the camp, and departed.
Now the Shadovar and their siege is weakened, and the Cohort, showing their devotion to their gods, have earned their place amongst the most prized Zhentarim forces. Sir Steel, Eesha Fallingleaf, Bishop Waynolt, Champion Camilla Carshal, Sir Rogers, and Finger Tussgut now pledge their loyalty to Zhentil Keep, and shall serve them for eternity. A tale that started with three inexperienced adventurers from Mulmaster has turned them into the stuff of legends or nightmares, depending on the eyes that behold them.
I have finished the tale, and place it in your capable hands.
Another excellent account of historical events, the library rewards you 1000 gold for this fine sample of lore.
Head Librarian Sigermane
If your funds are low, perhaps we can find some other means of payment. I have spend many hours of interviews, detailing the account and deeds of the biggest and most notorious group of adventurers this city has seen in a small age, that will surely be of higher value than 1000 gold.
The UAMC has chosen to lower the funds granted to the library, now when most tomes desired from the public has been written. Thus the rewards and donations have been lowered so that authors and scholars can still receive rewards for their hard work. If you desire more gold, I suggest you contact the local temple and request payment for promoting their church.
Head Librarian Sigermane
I have no desire to promote the church of Bane. However, I do feel their story is worthy to inspire others, be it so they too may rise for greatness, or so that good, honest folk can see that unless challenged, the darkness will spread.
I shall claim my 1500 gold, and shall consider my work finished for the library, for the time being at least.
Mr.Moloch last edited by
Your obvious commitment to the spread of knowledge for the sake of learning is most commendable Dame.
Head Librarian Sigermane
I have created yet another volume. I noticed your collection on volumes regarding the nobility of Cormyr to be greatly lacking, and has thus written one for your shelves. I shall expand it with relevant studies of the current and former nobles of note within or around Arabel, to help educate the masses on the subject. If there are any specific topics in that regard that you wish to see written, you know how to reach me.
A defense of Cormyrian nobility
By Elestra Thundersword
There has often been a hefty debate, especially within the northern parts of Cormyr, as to why certain individuals are to be privileged compared to others. Why does a lord get rights, while the man who tends the lord’s fields does not? Based upon Arabels ancient history, old volumes and observations within and around Arabel, I shall with words and by deeds, defend the social constitution that is the nobility of Cormyr.
Nobility in Northern Cormyr
The nobility in Cormyr are individuals, given special privileges by the King. From a historical perspective, the first noble houses were either family members of the Obarskyr household, or close allies such as The Silver family, which later became known as the Silver houses; Huntsilver, Crownsilver, Truesilver. Noteworthy, these are also considered the Royal Noble houses, due to their many blood ties to the Obarskyr household.
From a common man’s perspective, most nobles are the same. However, from a more descriptive perspective, there are three “types” of nobles.
The first are landed nobility. These Houses have hereditary titles that pass from Lord to eldest child, upon the lord’s death. In Northern Cormyr, the most known families are Wyvernspur, Hardcastle, Hawklin, Bhaliir, Deschurr, Fezznick, Winter, Mertoi, while in the south, families such as Dracohorn, Eldroon, Rowanmantle, Silverhorn, Thundersword, are more widely known. The landed Lord is in the eyes of the Law, the only direct “noble” of a family, and is often referred to as the Matriarch or Patriarch of the House. He or she rules the family, and all family members answer directly to him.
A landed lord may grant noble titles to who he or she sees fit, but are answerable to the patriarch still. Because of it, there can be more than one “Lord Wyvernspur”, as the Patriarch can and often will grant titles to members of his family, but there will only ever be one “Lord of House Wyvernspur”. In and around Arabel, this was last seen with Lord Paertrover, who appointed his nephew, from the Eldroon family, to become his heir and a Lord Paertrover. The same nephew later renounced his title and returned to Marsember, leaving House Paertrover without an appointed heir.
The other branch is the granted titles of nobility. Often, the King will grant a title to a leader of a city or town, where the noble governs in the name of the King. Lord Lhal of Arabel is likely the most well-known lord with a granted title. The title in such case is most often tied to a specific task. This could be governing a city, a high ranking officer in the army, or a special title of respect given to a commoner who has performed feats of such a magnitude, that the King feels it should be recognized. Lord Galloway is a fine example of such. It should be noted that in the case of Lord Myrmeen Lhal, she was later granted lands, and given a hereditary title by the King for services rendered.
The final aspect of nobility, are knights. Individuals can be knighted by either the King, or by a landed Lord. The title is not hereditary, but is offered the same rights and privileges of any other noble. Most landed nobles grant the title of knight to exemplary servants or retainers. Sir Tomblight, later warden of the Arabel Militia, is an example of how Lord Hardcastle knighted a dedicated servant. In Cormyr, one can also be knighted through service in the Kings Army. The knightly order of the Purple Dragon is one of the most famous knightly orders in the known realms, the very symbol of the duties and expectations the King has to his nobles. In later years, Arabel has seen two such knights. Dame Kingswood and Dame Alenueth are two examples of Knights of the Purple Dragon around Arabel.
In the case of knights without a direct link to either a landed Lord or to the Purple Dragons, the story of Dame Calahan and how she became a noble, should serve as a lasting inspiration to any who dream of knighthood.
The Duties and Expectations of Cormyrian nobility
From an objective perspective, the duties of a Cormyrian noble are simple. They are to serve the Crown of Cormyr, by collecting his taxes, protect the lands entrusted to them, and come to his aid when The King calls upon them. They are in turn afforded great liberties to govern the lands entrusted to them by the Crown, are afforded special rights within the Laws, and may keep a small retinue of armed soldiers, depending on the size of their lands. Each year, the “Lord of The House”, must travel to Suzail, and swear an oath of fealty in front of the King, using the sword Symylazzar.
A defense of Cormyrian nobility
Why should nobility have rights the common man does not? And what benefit does Cormyr have of its nobility? Two relevant questions often asked which we shall discuss. To the first question, of why nobles have rights others do not.
Greater liberties are necessary in order to be the leaders of men. It is custom in Cormyr to follow in the footsteps of your parents in regards to occupation. Farmers become farmers, merchants become merchants, and in the case of nobles, leaders become leaders. Where the farmer is taught from a young age how to plant seeds, when an apple is ripe for being plucked, how to care for his animals, a noble scion is taught from they can walk, how to lead. They will be taught languages, so that they can help negotiate trade deals with foreign lands, so that the apples from the farmer can become exported apple cider. They are taught military history so they can better protect the populace living on their lands, philosophy so they may better understand the unspoken needs of the people they are to care for, and they are taught to make the harsh decisions expected from a leader.
While a small sample amongst the noble class only care for themselves, the greater majority understand that their privileges of their status, is also a burden they must carry for the greater good of the populace. In the case of Arabel’s vast history, the greater majority of the nobility have shown time and time again, that they carry such burden, if not with humility, then with great respect. It was Lord Fezznick and Lord Deschurr, who despite often being in conflict with one another, fought side by side during the Zhentarim war, holding the northern gate. It was Lord Lhal who rode out and fought the devil Dragon when Kreswell attacked, and it was the knights of the Red Harts and Merciful Sword, who always stood in the very front of any attack against the city. They did not accomplish their great deeds on their own, of course. But by example they showed the greater populace the way during the cities’ darkest hours.
And that is the very argument I shall make, when I describe the benefit Cormyr sees from its nobility. While one can never expect from a common man to tend to his neighbor’s field before his own, one should always expect that the nobility of Cormyr place upon themselves the burden of looking to the many, before looking to the individual, but in order to do so, they must be positioned with a vantage point across the landscape. The rotten apples of the noble class enrich themselves before they tend to the populace. The REAL nobles enrich themselves BY tending to the needs of the populace. For it is by doing so, that they become noble. Not by a title granted by the king, but by being the embodiment of leaders, and by placing upon their shoulders the needs of the many.
A young boy, clutching a gold piece in his hand, is sent to annoy the librarian for a response