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...
Shrae works closely with her friend High Harvestmistress Glamerie Windbough
(NG hf P9), a calm, longsighted woman who heads the House of Plenty temple
of Chauntea in Shadowdale. Glamerie often warns Shrae of impending Dale
raids, so the Bounty is ready to shelter adventurers fleeing the Brons
forces or the Cyricists.
messengers are Trueseed Rolivar of Voonlar and Trueseed Anassra Velomyr
of Shadowdale (a witty, sharp-tongued, and attractive NG hf P6, known
for her skill at painting portraits and in identifying seeds). On journeys
between the two temples, these and other holy agents seldom
have fewer than eight temple guards; such clerical parties are mounted,
heavily cloaked, and travel only after receiving the Brons (grudging)
acknowledgement of their right to passage.
part, Gormstadd of Cyric devotes his time to concocting and advancing
schemes to hamper and harm all of his foesand hes a man governed
by his hatred of all other faiths (the Chauntean clergy in particular),
Harpers, Shadowdale, and skulking profanities, by which he
means all folk not under his command who work in or near Voonlar to advance
their little schemes and plots.
the Bold of Tempus can call on several adventuring bands of a dozen or
so warrior priests of Tempus each who patrol the Moonsea lands striking
at bugbear and orc raiding bands. These groups can be hurled against Cyricists
or Zhents who grow too brutal in Voonlar. Many raids the Bron blames on
Shadowdale (which is, after all, a farming community) have in truth been
chastisements of Tempus upon his hired mercenary troops. Whenever
Buorstag moves to eradicate or terrorize Voonlarrans of other faiths,
or dares to reach out at Yulash or Shadowdale with whelmed military might,
"the angry hand of watchful Tempus will fall." This is typical
of the Wargods rough justice in many frontier landsbut followers
of Tempus are just too few and too busy to themselves become tyrants.
the small, wounded (missing a few eyestalks) beholder Xathcrism lurks
in the woods near Voonlar, moving about often. For its own entertainment
and hunger for power over others, Xathcrism has duped several brigand
bands into worshiping it, calling itself "Banes Eyes"
and claiming to be the manifestation of Bane
lesser in my divinity, I am more attentive to you, my faithful. Obey me,
and you shall know great wealth and power as my favored. Work in the dark
and in hiding against the false ones who turned from me to the ridiculous
rituals of Cyric. Smash them here, and so begin holy work that shall not
end until all of you have known what it is to rule a town, a city, a realm!
As you grow, so too shall my dark strength, until we rise together to
make all the Realms tremble!
trembling begins, it seems, with raids on travelers and adventurers in
the woods, not directly against Cyricists. Xathcrism has twice drifted
out of hiding to fight with its faithful, and has even spit out weapons,
coins, and potions of healing in steel vials to aid stricken servants.
Beyond plunder and killings, its aims remain mysterious.