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Cowled Wizards

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The Cowled Wizards are a secret organizations of wizards in Amn. They were originally created by Alisar of Esmeltaran in the 13th century. Alisar and the mages wanted to preserve magical lore and they saw themselves as saviors of the Art and as agents of Azuth and Deneir. Moving underground, they became librarians of lore and teachers to those with potential. The Cowled Wizards also kept an eye on foreign wizards passing through Amn, keeping rogue wizards in line to protect Amnians and the Cowled Wizards' secrecy.[1]

OrganizationEdit

Each cell of Cowled Wizards is isolated in a town or city and ruled by the highest-level mage in that area. As long as politics do not pit one cell leader against the first and still largest Athkatlan cell and its leader, local Cowled Wizards can meet others in Athkatla in secret rooms beneath Jann Lane. There they can organize things and get into contact with distant Cowled Wizard cells, and join or communicate with them. By day, the members work as merchants, booksellers, herbalists, apothecaries, or the like. During their meetings they wear their cowled hoods and robes. This style of wear is based on those of graduates of the School of Wonder, which was destroyed a long time ago. Any Cowled Wizard can share his identity with family, local wizards, or correspondents, but the Cowls allow anonymity if desired. Most of them know only two or three members by their true names.[1]

Recent historyEdit

A few members chose to use the knowledge and power of the Cowled Wizards for their own ends. Their motives were in most cases political ones, and they used magic to erase rivals, fix deals and took other actions not condoned by their fellows. In general the Cowled Wizards dislike roguish actions and usually censure or eliminate the guilty to prevent their own discovery.[1] One of the more political ambitioned wizards was Thayze Selemchant. He was one of the founders of the Council of Six and ended the Trade War in Amn in 1333 DR.[2] He was killed in Marpenoth 1362 DR when other members of the Council found out that he was a Cowled Wizard.[3]

Around 1368 DR Lady Varytha Gheldieg of Eshpurta was one of a trio attempting to regain an agent among the Council of Six. But they were unaware that the Council already watched them through Tyrda Q'Helvor, the Pommarch at that time. But the most dangerous to the cabals of any of them joined their ranks as the apprentice of Varytha. The lovely elf Zallanora Argentresses, who gains admirers and volunteer tutors among the Cowled Wizards but is also one of the most ambitious and dangerous necromancer in Faerûn.[1]

The Cowled Wizards in the game Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of AmnEdit

BGII cover This article or section is about elements from the game Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn.
Video games are considered canon unless they contradict content in some other Forgotten Realms publication.

The Cowled Wizards are a secret and powerful organization based in the capital city of Athkatla within Amn. Operating separately from the ruling Council of Six, their main job is to find and destroy "deviant" wizards, sorcerers and other arcane spellcasters within the city. Although they are feared in Amn, they are tolerated because the general populace fears rogue spellcasters more. Nobody is aware of their numbers, though they keep an asylum on the island of Brynnlaw, referred to as Spellhold, where they house their offenders.

The group has lost power of late however, as the evil elven mage Jon Irenicus briefly took over Spellhold, killing a great many of the Cowled Wizards.

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Steven E. Schend (1997). Lands of Intrigue: Book Three: Erlkazar & Folk of Intrigue. (TSR, Inc), p. 8. ISBN 0-7869-0697-9.
  2. Steven E. Schend (1997). Lands of Intrigue: Book Two: Amn. (TSR, Inc), p. 18. ISBN 0-7869-0697-9.
  3. Steven E. Schend (1997). Lands of Intrigue: Book Two: Amn. (TSR, Inc), p. 19. ISBN 0-7869-0697-9.

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