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Bastabar Yulgont was a cleric[note 1] of Cyric with the rank of Dark Hand who resided in the Dark God Reformed temple in Voonlar circa the Year of Wild Magic, 1372 DR.[1][2]

DescriptionEdit

Bastabar was on the high side of middle age and his once-toned body had become rotund and flabby. His hands and face were weather-worn and bore the scars of many battles from his former life as a warrior. His voice was low and husky, giving his speech a gravelly menace.[3][4]

PersonalityEdit

He was a man of few words but he made those words count, delivering them straightforwardly and with emphasis appropriate to the situation. He was bitter about growing old and seeing younger priests rise in the ranks of the church of Cyric more rapidly, passing him by. He fantasized about getting rid of his Dark Patriarch Gormstadd and his fellow Dark Hand Meirgin Windtalon, perhaps by using passing adventurers or other outsiders to eliminate one or both. Then, he would rally the Fingers of Cyric (the temple guards) and avenge them in glorious battle and be promoted into Gormstadd's place or even higher. However, Bastabar was cautious because he knew that bold actions could easily backfire and cost him his head. Until such opportunity presented itself, he watched for shifts in the political wind and any actions by his foes that could be reported or exploited to their detriment.[3][4]

His jealousy began to manifest itself in an occasionally recurring dream. He dreamt of having Meirgin Windtalon staked out on the altar of the Dark God Reformed, screaming in agony as Bastabar disemboweled him and fed his guts to the flaming braziers on either side of the altar for the glory of Cyric. This dream would wake him up in the middle of the night, laughing gleefully.[4][5]

AbilitiesEdit

Bastabar had one trick up his sleeve that he cloaked in mysticism and obfuscated with meaningless ritual: he knew the secret of enchanting wands so they could be activated without being held in the hand.[4][5] The large carving of the Dark Sun symbol of Cyric that hung in the main sanctuary of the Dark God Reformed had a number of wands worked into the sculpture inside the eyes of the skull and the tips of the rays.[6][7][8][9] He retained ultimate control of this magical arsenal and used it to inflate his importance and play up his accomplishments as much as possible. Other than this, Bastabar was not very skilled in the practice of magic.[4][5]

ActivitiesEdit

Bastabar took over the task of training all novices and lay worshipers that were thinking of becoming priests. He treated them in an avuncular manner, cordially to almost kindly, and stern only when necessary. He cultivated them as possible supporters if and when he got the chance to move against Gormstadd and Meirgin.[3][4]

RelationshipsEdit

While his relationship with the novices was relatively good, his rivalry with Meirgin Windtalon was intensely antagonistic, barely hidden behind temple courtesy and feigned politeness. Gormstadd never completely trusted anyone and was especially wary of his two Dark Hands, so he carefully cultivated the rivalry between them so they would never think of joining forces to oppose him.[1][2]

Among the townsfolk, the two Dark Hands were justifiably feared and early on folk had dubbed them "the Bloody Hands". After a few reprisals against those who spoke the nickname within their hearing, the citizens shortened it to "the Blood", which was either more acceptable or beneath the notice of the Dark Hands. The villagers were aware of the intense hatred between the two and gleefully fanned the flames because it made good theater and they hoped it would result in the removal of one or both from Voonlar, or Toril.[3][4]

HistoryEdit

In his younger days, Bastabar was a fighter who experienced many conflicts and adventures from which he bore the scars. A short time before he retired and entered the church of Cyric (or perhaps Bane, before his supposed death), he stole the secrets of controlling wands remotely from a priest of Bane who was dying, and kept it a jealously guarded secret.[4][5]

AppendixEdit

NotesEdit

  1. The source mistakenly states that the clergy of the Dark God Reformed are fighters. In fact, only the temple guards known as the Fingers of Cyric were fighters, the rest of the staff were clerics. For corroboration, see Forgotten Realms Campaign Set: Cyclopedia of the Realms page 87.

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Ed Greenwood (April 2001–May 2003). Elminster Speaks archive (Zipped PDF). Elminster Speaks. Wizards of the Coast. p. 19. Retrieved on 2016-09-03.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Ed Greenwood (2001-04-04). Part #15: Serving the Dark Sun. Elminster Speaks. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2016-10-28.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Ed Greenwood (April 2001–May 2003). Elminster Speaks archive (Zipped PDF). Elminster Speaks. Wizards of the Coast. p. 20. Retrieved on 2016-09-03.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 Ed Greenwood (2001-04-04). Part #16: The Dark Blessed. Elminster Speaks. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2017-02-02.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Ed Greenwood (April 2001–May 2003). Elminster Speaks archive (Zipped PDF). Elminster Speaks. Wizards of the Coast. pp. 20–21. Retrieved on 2016-09-03.
  6. Ed Greenwood (April 2001–May 2003). Elminster Speaks archive (Zipped PDF). Elminster Speaks. Wizards of the Coast. pp. 12–13. Retrieved on 2016-09-03.
  7. Ed Greenwood (2001-04-04). Part #10: The Dark God Reformed. Elminster Speaks. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2016-10-26.
  8. Ed Greenwood (April 2001–May 2003). Elminster Speaks archive (Zipped PDF). Elminster Speaks. Wizards of the Coast. pp. 13–14. Retrieved on 2016-09-03.
  9. Ed Greenwood (2001-04-04). Part #11: Into the Dark Sun's Embrace. Elminster Speaks. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2016-09-20.

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