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Cerest Elenithil was a gold elf originally from Myth Drannor. He was the offspring of an illicit liaison between his mother and another elf. Because of his illegitimate birth, he was never fully accepted by his family and left Myth Drannor at an early age.
After leaving Myth Drannor, he traveled to Baldur's Gate where he began buying and selling magic items. During his time in Baldur's Gate he befriended a human adventurer named Elgreth Tearn. The two teamed up with a young couple who were interested in studying the effects of the Spellplague on Faerûn. During one of their expeditions, the group explored an old tower which had been ruined by the Spellplague. They accidentally released dormant blue fire, which killed the couple and horribly scared Cerest's face. Elgreth was also touched by the blue fire as was the couple's young daughter, Icelin.
Elgreth's spellscar gave him the ability to detect anything magical, a skill very useful to an artifact hunter like Cerest. Elgreth suspected that Cerest would want to use Icelin in his quest to find magical artifacts so he adopted Icelin and took her to Waterdeep and left her in the care of his brother, Brant. Elgreth's spellscar was apparently debilitating and resulted in his premature death in Luskan.
Years later, Cerest accidentally found Icelin when she saved him from certain death when a horse spooked and nearly ran him down in South Ward. Cerest believed that Icelin had the same abilities as Elgreth and reported to the City Watch that Icelin had stolen magical artifacts in order to have the Watch capture her. During his search for Icelin, several of his men broke into Brant's shop and murdered Brant.
Icelin sought the help of the local butcher, Sull, and the two traveled to the dilapidated section of Waterdeep harbor known as Mistshore. Cerest enlisted the help of two gold elf thieves to track down Icelin and they caught up to Icelin in Mistshore and briefly detained her. However, Icelin escaped to the Crib, the home of one of Mistshore's crime lords. Cerest and his underlings managed to track Icelin to the Crib but she escaped once again.
Cerest finally caught up to Icelin on a half-sunken wreck in the harbor but was killed when Icelin activated dormant Spellplague within the wreck. The blue fire that killed Cerest restored his facial features.
Cerest's mind was apparently warped by the Spellplague and he had no conscience and no understanding of how his actions affected others.
Prior to his disfigurement by the Spellplague, Cerest was extremely handsome. Half of Cerest's face was scared from his encounter with the blue fire.