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Buorstag Hlammythyl

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Buorstag Hlammythyl was the elected Bron (also seen as "bron", possibly a corruption of "baron"[4]) or sheriff of the town of Voonlar[6][7][8] from about the Year of the Harp, 1355 DR,[3] until at least the Year of Wild Magic, 1372 DR.[5]

DescriptionEdit

Buorstag was a large and exceptionally strong man who received many battle scars over the years. The parts of his face that were not scarred or covered by his untrimmed mustache were prone to developing pimples. He walked with a swagger and had a loud, commanding voice that was usually hoarse. His nickname around town (never spoken in his presence) was the Boar.[1][2]

PersonalityEdit

His years as a mercenary did not increase his wealth, his generosity, or his sense of fairness, in fact, just the opposite. Buorstag was always looking out for himself, using brutality and cunning to greedily build his personal wealth so he could eventually retire in comfort to Secomber, or perhaps acquire a villa in upland Sembia. His underlying fear that enemies from his past life would track him down made him aggressive in the pursuit of money and in the prosecution of potential spies. The only people he deferred to were representatives of the Zhentarim, obeying their every whim.[2][9][10][11]

Buorstag drank large quantities of beer and ale because he thought it enhanced his appearance of manliness to the local population, but secretly he preferred warm milk with plenty of sugar. His favorite foods were roast boar and pepper cheese imported from Tethyr. He was enamored with music, singing, dancing, and well-spun tales. He never missed a performance by traveling shows or minstrels, but observed only from the shadows, places of hiding, or adjacent rooms so no one could see the rapture on his face.[2][9]

He knew his looks were distinctive at best and he was always on the lookout for ways to change his appearance, not only to throw off enemies from his past but to improve his attractiveness to women. Inwardly, he wanted to experience companionship and intimacy with women that didn't require coercion, fear, or payment.[2][9]

PossessionsEdit

Buorstag's personal wealth consisted of a literal pot of gold coins that he kept hidden in the chimney of an unused fireplace in his bedroom in the Locktower, and a belt that he kept looped to the underside of his bed into which he sewed emeralds, rubies, and sapphires he acquired by whatever means. He also kept a stash of various coins buried in a sack near a dead tree in the woods just south of the town dump.[2][9]

While on duty, which was most of the time, he wore chain mail +1 and carried a longsword +1. If needed, he had access to plate armor cached at the Locktower and two gatehouses around town.[2][9][12]

ActivitiesEdit

Main article: Voonlar#Law & Justice

Buorstag was both the judge and the chief police officer in Voonlar, which gave him the power of a petty dictator over some aspects of life in the small town. He was also the treasurer and tax collector, setting the tax rate relatively high compared to other communities in the region. For the most part, the citizens got what they paid for—Buorstag kept the populace safe and business thriving by hiring mercenaries to patrol the streets and protect the outlying farms against orcs and bugbears,[7][8] and he aggressively prosecuted (and often executed) many "public enemies", that is, persons deemed to be a member of the Harpers, the Red Plumes of Hillsfar, or anyone wielding arcane magic in a dangerous or threatening manner.[10][11]

To a large extent, bookkeeping overseen by the Zhentarim kept Buorstag from abusing his power over the public purse, but he had wide latitude when it came to confiscating the property of executed prisoners. Ostensibly, he used such funds for road repair, cleaning and maintaining the public wells, and paying for patrols,[11][13] but at least some of the money went to his personal retirement fund and to pay off various Zhent agents to look the other way whenever an act by the Bron or his deputies might not find favor with Zhentil Keep.[2][9]

The Bron was empowered to raise a militia in times of great need and he regularly called a muster to train the citizenry in the use of pikes and a crossbows which were stored in the Locktower. As an occasional side business, Buorstag sold padded leather jerkins to citizen soldiers who wanted a little more protection.[12][14]

RelationshipsEdit

Buorstag owed his position and power to the Zhentarim who annually rigged the election for Bron in his favor. He remained loyal to them, deferred to the Zhentarim's judgement, and obsequiously catered to their every desire. Zhent agents, including merchants Thardregh Droon and Mortuth Baldreth, envoy Olmaer Naxrin, and at least a dozen others could command Buorstag's undivided attention whenever they were in town.[1][7][8]

His six deputies, Andrus Kriivor, Barimus Whitehand, Caldor Fuldren, Holman Frostfeather, Jalarkh Ohngate, and Marsara Storntil, were all trained by the Zhentarim and picked for their strength, obedience, and lack of ambition. Buorstag treated them professionally but did not get overly friendly because he knew than any of them might report adverse information to Zhentil Keep.[9][12][15]

Few people were fearless enough to confront the Bron of Voonlar, but one of these was Beldryn the Bold, an itinerant priest of Tempus that came through town regularly with a few veteran warriors and even fewer lesser clerics to check on the local shrine, the House of the Helm. He held the Bron responsible for any signs of theft or desecration at the shrine, and openly threatened the disfavor of his god upon Buorstag if any should occur.[16][17]

Buorstag's best friend in Voonlar was Gormstadd the Rerisen, Strifeleader of Voonlar and high priest of the local temple to Cyric called the Dark God Reformed. They played chess and had supper together at least two or three times every tenday. They enjoyed discussing the administration of the town, inventing schemes to increase their wealth, and plotting traps and defenses against real and imagined attacks from Shadowdale and Hillsfar, whom they blamed for the vast majority of spies, poachers, and raiders that (in their minds) plagued Voonlar. They also shared an intense hatred for Lady Immithra Shrae, High Harvestmistress of the local temple to Chauntea called the Bounty of the Goddess.[18][19]

HistoryEdit

Buorstag was born on a farm just north of Voonlar that was eventually reclaimed by the wilderness. He and his bad-tempered father did not get along and conflicts eventually got violent. In his youth, Buorstag would run away to Voonlar when things got heated at home. In his teens, he left home as soon as he was able and lived the life of a mercenary, fighting in the northern Moonsea, the Vast, and the Vilhon Reach. He briefly served well-established families in Sembia and Westgate before finally returning to Voonlar. Shortly thereafter, around 1355 DR,[3] he was elected Bron, probably with the backing of the Zhentarim who ensured that his tenure continued uninterrupted for many years.[7][8]

In his early years, he fell right in step worshiping Bane, the Black Hand, but after the Time of Troubles he smoothly realigned himself with the church of Cyric,[1][2] as did his friend Gormstadd who rose to be the Dark Patriarch of the rededicated temple in town.[20][21]

Rumors & LegendsEdit

Sometime in the Year of Wild Magic, 1372 DR, a haughty Zhent agent visited Voonlar and took a little too much pleasure in ordering the Bron around, watching him jump to serve his every whim. This young agent enjoyed a splendid night of "wine, women, and song" and then vanished the next day. Officially, he concluded his business and left town, but the rumor mill believed the Bron and his deputies grabbed him in the dead of night, bound him, gagged him, and buried him alive somewhere on the outskirts of town.[11][13]

AppendixEdit

NotesEdit

  1. The web article The Bron of Voonlar says he is a 4th level fighter, but this is clearly out of sync with the other sources.

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Ed Greenwood (April 2001–May 2003). Elminster Speaks archive (Zipped PDF). Elminster Speaks p. 2. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2016-09-03.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 Ed Greenwood (2001-04-04). Part #2: The Bron of Voonlar. Elminster Speaks. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2016-09-03.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Jeff Grubb, Ed Greenwood and Karen S. Martin (1987). Forgotten Realms Campaign Set (Cyclopedia of the Realms). (TSR, Inc), p. 87. ISBN 0-8803-8472-7.
  4. 4.0 4.1 John Terra (February 1995). The Moonsea (Reference Guide). (TSR, Inc), p. 21. ISBN 978-0786900923.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 162. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  6. John Terra (Feburary 1995). The Moonsea (Player's Guide). (TSR, Inc), p. 10. ISBN 978-0786900923.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Ed Greenwood (April 2001–May 2003). Elminster Speaks archive (Zipped PDF). Elminster Speaks p. 1. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2016-09-03.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Ed Greenwood (2001-04-04). Part #1: Voonlar. Elminster Speaks. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2016-09-03.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 9.6 Ed Greenwood (April 2001–May 2003). Elminster Speaks archive (Zipped PDF). Elminster Speaks p. 3. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2016-09-03.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Ed Greenwood (April 2001–May 2003). Elminster Speaks archive (Zipped PDF). Elminster Speaks p. 5. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2016-09-03.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 Ed Greenwood (2001-04-04). Part #4: Justice and the Law. Elminster Speaks. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2016-09-09.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 Ed Greenwood (2001-04-04). Part #3: The Bron's Deputies. Elminster Speaks. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2016-09-03.
  13. 13.0 13.1 Ed Greenwood (April 2001–May 2003). Elminster Speaks archive (Zipped PDF). Elminster Speaks p. 6. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2016-09-03.
  14. Ed Greenwood (April 2001–May 2003). Elminster Speaks archive (Zipped PDF). Elminster Speaks p. 4. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2016-09-03.
  15. Ed Greenwood (April 2001–May 2003). Elminster Speaks archive (Zipped PDF). Elminster Speaks p. 4-5. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2016-09-03.
  16. Ed Greenwood (April 2001–May 2003). Elminster Speaks archive (Zipped PDF). Elminster Speaks p. 9. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2016-09-03.
  17. Ed Greenwood (2001-04-04). Part #7: The House of the Helm. Elminster Speaks. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2016-09-13.
  18. Ed Greenwood (April 2001–May 2003). Elminster Speaks archive (Zipped PDF). Elminster Speaks p. 7. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2016-09-03.
  19. Ed Greenwood (2001-04-04). Part #5: The Moods of Voonlar. Elminster Speaks. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2016-09-09.
  20. Ed Greenwood (April 2001–May 2003). Elminster Speaks archive (Zipped PDF). Elminster Speaks p. 16. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2016-09-03.
  21. Ed Greenwood (2001-04-04). Part #13: A Dark Heart to Lead Voonlar. Elminster Speaks. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2016-10-24.

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