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Elminster Must Die! #29-End
by Ed Greenwood

Some call him Elminster the Damned.
To others, he is Elminster the Doomed.
Many believe he has died, and is now a roaming ghost—or that
fell wizards borrow his name to drench it in blame for their villainies.
Others believe he lives still, a man both mad and evil, and have
taken up the cry “Elminster must die!”
(Elminster usually counts himself as part of that last group.)

The Year of the Ageless One had brought early and warm spring to Shadowdale, an endless parade of short but drenching rains with muggy days between.

So begins Elminster Must Die!, the debut 4th Edition appearance of the famed Sage of Shadowdale. As a preview of the forthcoming novel, we're pleased to offer the following Realmslore—courtesy of Ed Greenwood himself—teasing each chapter (including each chapter's opening line).

Look for further Realmslore in the following weeks, leading up to Elminster Must Die!'s August 3rd release (just in time for Gen Con).

Chapter Twenty Nine

To Fill Thy Brain with Weapons

Ah, but sire, I’ve not come
To make thee laugh,
Or sit in the smiling ease
Of triumphant complacency;
I come to rouse thee to war
Before it is all too late,
And to fill thy brain with weapons,
Thy mind with battle-planning!
Ye may as well die doing something
Useful for the realm, at last!

said by Jalavarr the Jester
in Act III, Scene II of the play
The Shunned King’s Doom
by Morthran Taelinth, Bard,
published in chapbook form
in the Year of the Dark Goddess

“So ye see, lass, that’s the dream I’m still living for: imparting hope, making this little thing better and then that one, for all, not just the rulers and the rich . . . and doing it all in the name of Mystra.”

Chapter Thirty

Your Castle or Mine

Lady, will you come now and dine?
To give my best honeyed words their chance
To make thee melt, and gasp, and prance,
My fingers to free gown from spine
Working mutual ravishment in your castle, or mine?

from the ballad
Your Castle or Mine?
composed by Rauleth “Rory” Treln
Minstrel of the Many Cloaks
in the Year of the Dark Goddess

Amarune awaked in darkness, lying amid her bedclothes.

Chapter Thirty-One

We Must Do Whatever We Must

Though love fades and death ends trust,
We still strive on until we’re dust,
Through blood and fire, greed and lust,
We go on braving fangs of gale and gust,
For we must do whatever we must.

from the ballad
We Go On
composed by Marandur Erilogan
a bard of Waterdeep
in the Year of the Prince

Arclath prided himself on a certain supple grace of stride, a smooth saunter that drew the eye.

Chapter Thirty-Two

Hunting Elminsters

Left-handed virgins now, is it?
The king has gone mad!
Next he’ll be having us net him down the fairest moon,
Or out hunting Elminsters.

said by Orinskarr the Sentinel
in Act I, Scene I of the play
Mad King Triumphant
by Haelana Ormkok, Lady Bard,
published in chapbook form
in the Year of the Walking Man

Watching Gods Above, was that the time?

Chapter Thirty-Three

My Hounds to Hunt You Down

I am one of those who comes howling
After the king threatens grandly,
Beware! For I have loosed
My hounds to hunt you down,
And effect a capture—or worse.

Markuld Amryntur,
Twenty Summers a Dragon:
One Soldier’s Tale
published in the Year of the
Splendors Burning

At the sight of a man in the heart of the blue flames Marlin Stormserpent laughed in triumph—but his mirth faltered when the flames fell to the floor with a crash, like the contents of an upended bucket of water, and were suddenly gone.

Chapter Thirty-Four

Rune, Rune, Gone Away

They tell me she’s gone,
fled far and returning nay
Spurning all our banners bright,
Into the darksome night.
Vain horns calling!
Ah! Her eyes they shone,
And come what may,
I’ll dream of her smile,
And artful guile.
Many a man falling!
Aye, in my heart she’ll always stay
My Rune, rune, gone away!

from the ballad
My Dark Rune Gone Away
composed by Laramond Stillsilver
Lord Bard of Lalambril
in the Year of Lost Ships

Alusair had never thought the palace cellars were this big before.

Chapter Thirty-Five

A Great Magic Unleashed

Whenever some bright-eyed fool
Starts to talk of a great magic
That it’s high time was unleashed
I itch to take myself off, right smartly,
Into the next realm. Or the one beyond that.

Markuld Amryntur,
Twenty Summers a Dragon:
One Soldier’s Tale
published in the Year of the
Splendors Burning

Mirt followed his second coinlass of the evening up a none-too-clean flight of stairs, a bottle and two metal flagons in one hand and a somewhat-gnawed leg of steaming mutton clutched in his other.

Chapter Thirty-Six

A New Blade Drawn

I tell you it is a good day,
Though not for some dogs!
For behold! The long-hidden has been found,
And a new blade drawn,
Oh, there’ll be blood and fun this night!

said by Tarlangarr the Warrior
in Act I, Scene IV of the play
Too Many Skulls Underfoot
anonymously chapbook published
in the Year of Seven Sisters

Someone felled those guards,” Arclath snarled.


So ye think ye’ve grown wise in the ways of this world?
No more to know surprise, no more astonished?
Well guess again, moss-covered old sage!
We’ve new marvels for thee here!
Gods will dance, old and new,
Will ye, I wonder, master the new tune?

said by the Unseen Ghost
in Act II, Scene IV of the play
Azuth Meets Magic
authorship unknown, chap-published
often before inclusion in
Roray’s Old Plays
by Eldran Roray of Waterdeep
in the Year of the Doomguard


Storm awoke, and lay still in the near-darkness. The banked hearth beside her was giving out feeble flickers, and as usual she was toasting on her side nearest to it and chilled on the part of her that faced away.

About the Author

Ed Greenwood is the man who unleashed the Forgotten Realms on an unsuspecting world. He works in libraries, writes fantasy, science fiction, horror, mystery, and even romance stories (sometimes all in the same novel), but he is still happiest churning out Realmslore, Realmslore, and more Realmslore. There are still a few rooms in his house with space left to pile up papers in ...

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