Sage of Shadowdale has something to say about pretty much everything.
Despite having outlets in many forums the Old Mage still has more to say
about Faerûn. Not wanting to anger an archmage, we decided it would be
best to give him a regular column from which to discuss the finer points.
well, young one . . .
Satraps of Delzimmer, Part 1
four wealthy, well-established local families unofficially rule the trading
city of Delzimmer. They can be very dangerous if crossed (for instance,
although none of them officially keep slaves, they employ drugs to enslave
certain individuals -- slayers, thieves, and personal bodyservants --
to their wills). Wise visitors learn all they can about these folk, and
as with all self-styled nobles, their feuds and intrigues are long, involved,
and as ye might say, "Byzantine."
I provide a more cursory "know thy potential foes" guide, taking
two families in this missive, and the remaining pair in the next.
traditionally haughty, aggressive, and thankfully small in number family
runs to black hair, hooked noses set in ugly ("strong," as flattering
bards say) faces, and fat, squat, long-armed and bandy-legged physiques.
However, 'tis the failing of far too many "outlanders" (as Delzemaer
call all visitors) to consider them stupid brutes. They tend to shrewdly
act such parts so as to learn more about strangers.
dwell in Belarkhuruin (from an old local word "haroon" or "grand
house"), a many-spired dark stone mansion set in walled gardens between
the Wide Way (Delzimmer's main street) and Gaunthan Street. They breed
and sell many stout horses, collect sculptures, and own companies of stonemasons
based in several cities of the Tashalar. They also partake of the banking,
warehousing, and caravan outfitting trade shared by all four Delzemaer
like gold, have much ready coin on hand, and maintain a strong standing
army of well-armed and -trained guards armed with blades of all sorts
and hand crossbows equipped with poisoned darts. (Most of the poisons
cause sleep or paralysis, but some are more deadly.) Belark livery is
crimson, so family members (save for funeral and wedding robes) seldom
wears the color. The Belark Hawk badge appears on all family documents,
contracts, gates, and servants.
is led by their grossly fat patriarch, Oldyle (NE male human Ftr8/Rog5).
His heir is Hlonsker (LE male human Ari3/Ftr6), who has two maliciously
sadistic younger brothers, Corauth (CE male human Rog6) and Aslyn (CE
male human Rog5) who delight in causing trouble for all in Delzimmer.
There are also half a dozen wastrel uncles, but no blood-offspring Belark
females in the current generation.
clan tends to be tall, thin, sophisticated and handsome, with large, dark
eyes, cheekbones that would not look out of place on a pureblood elf of
elder heritage on Evermeet -- and a cold, calculating, "take the
long view" manner. Unlike the brutish Belark, they eschew aggression
and proudly wear their family colors just as their servants do.
than any other wealthy Delzemaer family, the Harlhaun reward and train
their senior servants, giving them power to act as trade agents for the
family, and paying them well. Years of such treatment have resulted in
a large, fiercely loyal, dedicated and shrewd staff of servants who are
proud to wear the Harlhaungreat sea green (the house color) and the Harlhaun
sword of honor badge. All of the servants are trained in arms, although
only somewhat under half customarily serve as guards.
dwell in their walled mansion of High House, which stands amid wooden
gardens that feature a sequence of pools that drain into each other (the
water being endlessly pumped around in a cycle) in a long, narrow triangle
on the western side of Delzimmer that is bounded by Alonthan, Baerkezel,
and Taloth Streets. They engage in the commercial activities common to
all the satrap families, and also trade in gems, perfumes, and herbal
and alchemical products. (Some folk whisper that poisons are also important
cloaks their true feelings behind elaborate manners, even in their private
dealings, and are adroitly steered by their patriarch Maraunt (LN male
human Ari16/Exp4), whose hobby is perfecting new scents and subtle drugs
(often both in the same draft). His daughter Arleithe (CN female human
Ari4/Wiz2/Exp1) is a bitter, sensual dark beauty who considers herself
thrice as brilliant as her two louder younger brothers, but sees herself
being steadily relegated to the mother of the house role since the death
of her mother Maulauke, as her brothers try to assert their fitness to
take up the family reins soon. Her brothers are a scheming pair who devote
much of their time to working subtle evil on each other's ambitions, family
standing, and private pursuits: Lariond (LE male human Ari3/Ftr9) and
Narthel (LE male human Ari2/Ftr6).
the previous Elminster Speaks
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