Sage of Shadowdale has something to say about pretty much everything.
Despite having pages in Dragon Magazine, Dungeon Adventures, and Polyhedron
Newszine, the Old Mage still has more to speak of the Realms. Not wanting
to anger an archmage, we decided it would be best to give him a weekly
column from which to discuss the finer points.
well, young one...
Moods of Voonlar
desire to encourage trade--rather than losing caravans to Hillsfar, Sembia,
and more southerly Dale routes--has led them to pressure Buorstag to curb
traditional open local hostility to nonhumans. Simply put, Voonlarrans
hate and fear anyone who doesnt look human.
half-elves, dwarves, halflings, gnomes, and even half-orcs (if openly
armed) can expect to be tolerated, so long as they keep to inns, taverns,
holy areas, and major shops. Hard stares, shouted jests and slurs, and
thrown stones will constantly remind them of the underlying local hatred
of anyone not outwardly human, however. The Brons silent, impassive
deputies stop public beatings of, and thefts from, such dogheads,
but do little more unless offered ready coin.
tolerate Buorstags brutal rule because the Bron keeps the peace,
encourages trade, taxes equally, and hires mercenaries to diligently patrol
the streets and outlying farms. The Bron is respected for scouring the
land for thieves, outlaws, and troublemakers, like Harpers and poachers
from the Dales. Most Voonlarrans regard Dalesmen as sly, thieving
rogues--dishonest by nature-- given to night raids and highway robbery
unless firmly curbed by strong and ready blades. Voonlarran mercenaries
often skirmish with Shadowdale patrols, and Voonlarrans remember well
the "burning and butchery" done by the Knights of Myth Drannor
to Banite clergy and temple guards.
head of the local temple of Cyric, offers a standing reward of 10,000
gp for the capture of Mourngrym Amcathra, dead or alive. Considered the
leading terrorist and thug of the lawless Dales, the elf-lover and self-styled
Lord of Shadowdale, Gormstadd lets everyone know that Mourngrym
is a fugitive from justice in distant Waterdeep.
fear and respect Zhents, despise Dalesfolk, hate people from Hillsfar
and Cormyr (regarded as a kingdom of shining-armored idiots),
and envy the rich folk of Sembia. To a Voonlarran, theres no such
thing as a poor Sembian.
Schemes In A Dark Tower
the Bron, Dark Patriarch Gormstadd is the most influential man dwelling
in Voonlar. He and Buorstag are firm friends, and they dine together at
least two evenings a week, playing chess and scheming to enrich themselves
and govern Voonlar the best way they see fit.
both hate Lady Shrae, matriarch of the local temple of Chauntea, and constantly
try to find some pretext to attack her or her temple without arousing
the ire of the locals, who see Shrae as a friend who eagerly tends them
without asking for payment when theyre sick.
past attempts to openly strike at the temple were disrupted by rifts opening
in the earth, blinding spontaneous showers of fruit and tree boughs, and
other manifestations of Chaunteas wrath. Its now clear to
both men that the Great Mother watches over Lady Shrae. Theyve reluctantly
concluded that they must wait for Shrae to stray from her calling and
lose Chaunteas favor, or that of the townsfolk. Thus far, shes
shown no sign of doing either.
two men growl darkly in her direction, and occupy themselves in the meantime
with plots against the spies, poachers, and raiders who skulk from Hillsfar
and Shadowdale to assail fair Voonlar.
Strifeleader of Voonlar; 10th-level human male specialty
priest of Cyric: AC 2 (plate mail of blending, +3, shield +2); hp
64; THAC0 12 (magical weapon); #AT 1; Dmg 1d8+2 (long sword +2, nine
lives stealer ); S 14; D 11; C 15; I 14; W 18; Ch 13. SA: +1 on
saves vs. illusion or phantasm, can cast black talon once/day,
can summon an aerial servant that will fight for him, can create
a dark aura or skull of secrets once/day, can cast phantasmal
killer once/tenday. Spells: 6/6/4/4/2: 1st-curse, command,
cure light wounds, darkness, detect good, faerie fire; 2nd-aid,
chant, hold person (x2), flame blade, spiritual hammer; 3rd-dispel
magic, prayer, pyrotechnics, speak with dead; 4th-abjure,
cure serious wounds, dark aura, free action; 5th-flame
strike, insect plague.