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Council of Savants

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The Council of Savants were an advisory body to the duergar Deepking of Gracklstugh, and was made up of derro savants.[1]


Only the thirty-six best derro savants were admitted into the council, and succession almost always included an incumbent member's demise. The savants controlled members of some duergar clans through magic and guile, and were always looking for ways to expand their influence.[1]


The start of the Council coincided with the beginning of the derro presence in the Deepkingdom. In the Year of the Cairngorm Crown, 972 DR, the scattered derro tribes in the Northdark launched yet another Uniting War, this time against Gracklstugh. The duergar under the new Deepking Tarngardt Steelshadow VII (his predecessor Barthorn V having died in the derro's assault) launched a crusade to exterminate the scattered derro clans throughout the Northdark, and several hundred derro were brought back to Gracklstugh in chains. For centuries, the derro were only labor slaves but slowly their numbers increased.

In the Year of the Deluded Tyrant, 1063 DR, King Tarngardt VII ordered the derro freed and granted them all the rights and privileges accorded to Gracklstugh's duergar inhabitants. Those duergar lairds who speculated that a secret coterie of derro savants was behind this sudden change of heart found themselves the targets of assassination. The Council of Savants was established shortly thereafter. Since their emancipation, the derro grew in power and influence while the Deep King's authority declined.[2]

The Council's grip over the Deepkings continued until Horgar Steelshadow acted during the Silence of Lolth. Indeed, Horgar was underestimated by the Council and so remained free from their control. When he became the ruler of Gracklstugh after the mysterious death of Tarngardt, the Savants lost most of their influence.[3]

Under Horgar Steelshadow V, derro influence was as its lowest because the new Deepking employed the Keepers of the Flame as a shield against the Council.[1]



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Christopher Perkins, Adam Lee, Richard Whitters (September 1, 2015). Out of the Abyss. In Jeremy Crawford ed. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 54. ISBN 978-0-7869-6581-6.
  2. Eric L. Boyd (1999). Drizzt Do'Urden's Guide to the Underdark. (TSR, Inc), p. 60. ISBN 0-7869-1509-9.
  3. Bruce R. Cordell, Gwendolyn F.M. Kestrel, Jeff Quick (October 2003). Underdark. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 153. ISBN 0-7869-3053-5.

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