Elminster Speaks
(Part #37)

The 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.

Listen well, young one . . .

The Satraps of Delzimmer, Part 2

Jathlet

The traits of this numerous, fecund family include mimicry and nondescript facial features, which has allowed them to impersonate many folk in their travels. Only sixteen Jathlets at most are to be found in Delzimmer at any time. The rest are scattered across Faerûn pursuing trade and theft opportunities with all the skills and avid hunger of the worst sort of Rat Hills merchant (the Sword Coast term for any outrageously dishonest trader, the sort of merchant who'll sell you someone else's wagon when its owner has just stepped into a tavern to sell a keg of ale).

Jathlets own any number of small trading companies working the Tashalar ports, and there are persistent rumors that the family ranks include at least one necromancer skilled in magic that can knit body parts together and alter human physiques and faces enough to hide someone permanently. Enemies of the Jathlets claim these abilities are used to forever trap important persons (kidnapped by the Jathlets) into slavery.

In Delzimmer, folk say "a Jathlet's behind it" of almost any trade transaction or change in the prices of goods, because the family dips their fingers into almost all local mercantile doings.

Jathlets rule their staff by fear, not bothering to pay well or hire for long, and only reward loyalty on the part of their numerous house guards (highly trained and superbly equipped warriors). Jathlets care little for pomp, ritual, or showing off their wealth, and customarily dress in anything comfortable. Their servants have overtunics of Jathlet green emblazoned with the Jathlet at hunt badge. The family maintains no less than three grand houses in Delzimmer, but the oldest and largest is Selkturrets on Alvandaer Street.

Since the recent death of longtime patriarch "Happy" Jolthur Jathlet in a rather suspicious riding accident, the family is nominally led by his widow Elsraea (LE female human Ari6/Rog4), but dominated by its independently operating "forest of uncles." Some two dozen in number and typified by the saturnine Feldaern (NE male human Ari4/Ftr8/Rog6), these men are rarely in Delzimmer for long. There are a dozen younger, more reckless Jathlet sons, such as Dolrur (CE male human Ari2/Ftr2/Rog1), who swagger about Delzimmer trying to prove themselves -- but behind all of these are the mysterious elder mages of the family, of whom I've only met Malthorn (NE male human Ari6/Nec14).

Olaundran

As the Delzemaer saying goes, "One can always tell an Olaundran -- from as far as the eye can see." These are the sort of self-styled nobles familiar to any Faerûnian traveler: nose-in-the-air, luxuriously garbed sticklers for etiquette who demand that all others defer to them (except members of the other three satrap families, whom they prefer to ignore).

Cloth-of-gold (usually with cream silk trim) features prominently in most Olaundran garb, but any expensive-looking fashion may be seen adorning their generally soft, overfed, and overindulged bodies. Their many dozens of servants, however (a ring of whom accompany every Olaundran, at all times), are always seen in uniforms of gold fabric adorned with prominent breast, back, shoulder, and belt-buckle "circle of watchcoins" family badges. It's a popular belief in town that Olaundran servants sleep in their uniforms, disrobing only when the family launderers come by (every few hours) to "take the old and replace it with the new."

Olaundrans own interests in many ships plying the Sword Coast shipping lanes, and so are wealthy enough to own substantial real estate in the centers of many cities of the Tashalar, Calimshan, and Amn. In Delzimmer, they carry on lives of apparent idle luxury, spending much time feasting, pursuing private hobbies, and shopping. (They buy without care for price -- after all, what Olaundran would ever care about money, given the shiploads of coins the family possesses?) Trusted senior family servants (who have recently, in a number of hastily hushed-up scandals, shown a tendency to work and invest for themselves) handle Olaundran trade matters in Delzimmer.

All twelve current Olaundrans are personally well known throughout the city because their dabbling in ever-changing rosters of hobbies brings them into contact with most of the citizenry. The family is led by the frail "Old" Gauthklaun (CN male human Ari8/Ftr4/Exp3), but in daily life his powers are largely usurped by his rotund and cruel adult sons Yolaun (CE male human Ari 5/Ftr 3/Rog 4) and Bezrar (CE male human Ari4/Ftr2/Rog5).

The darkly handsome Bezrar is childless (at least officially), but Yolaun has half a dozen youthful wastrel offspring. This young brood is dominated by the seeker-of-culture eldest daughter (music, poetry, dance, or whatever catches her fancy this month) Rassalice (CN female human Ari2/Rog1/Exp2), and the two brothers born after her, the brawling (hawking, hunting, and wagering-over-beastfights or slave mudwrestling) duo of Elvolaer (CE male human Ari1/Ftr4/Rog4) and Sardrin (CE male human Ari1/Ftr3/Rog4). Delzmaer warn that the most alert and dangerous-to-cross family member, however, is the aging uncle Dendrand (NE male human Ari7/Wiz11/Rog3), because he always gets even.

Read the previous Elminster Speaks column or go to the Forgotten Realms main news page
for more articles and news about the Forgotten Realms game setting.

 



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