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Gormstadd the Rerisen was the head of a temple in Voonlar during the time period roughly corresponding to the term of Bron (sheriff) Buorstag Hlammythyl,[8][9] i.e., from about 1355 DR[10] until at least 1372 DR.[11] Before the Time of Troubles, the temple was the Dark Lord's Hand, dedicated to Bane. After the supposed death of Bane, the temple was rededicated to Cyric and was called the Dark God Reformed.[3][8][9]

DescriptionEdit

Gormstadd had a small head with a narrow face atop a well-built, muscular body that was covered in thick brown hair. His dark brown eyes were nearly black and had a gleam, like pieces of polished flint. When he frowned, his big eyebrows met to form a single line across the top of his face.[1][2][3]

PersonalityEdit

As the high priest of a temple dedicated to the Prince of Lies, he reveled in his role, wielding falsehoods like a weapon and eliciting fear from the common folk wherever he went. He referred to most Voonlarrans as "the local filth" and was cruel to those who dared not retaliate. He was even worse to potential rivals and not above spreading incriminating rumors or eliminating them by arranging "accidents". While belittling most everyone else, he liked to be addressed as "Most Dread Holy".[1][2] He believed that any of his underlings could be spies for his rivals or superiors and was always circumspect to purport himself as a fanatically loyal priest of Cyric.[12][13] He was arrogant and acquisitive, stealing art objects and other forms of wealth, and even trade goods by the wagon load when he could do so without getting caught or when he could shift the blame to someone else.[1][2]

Gormstadd favored women with a muscular build and had fantasies of fathering a family of female warriors that would bring glory to Cyric and ensure himself a place of power and honor in the afterlife. It is unknown if he ever found a woman both worthy and willing to be his mate. He did not feel that his god would approve of simply breeding with an unwilling female.[1][2]

Gormstadd was also a wine connoisseur.[1][2]

AbilitiesEdit

As a consequence of his taste for wines, he had an excellent memory for flavors and smells and could recognize many poisons by taste. He trained himself to do so while building up an immunity to various poisons by consuming very small doses.[1][2]

He also had a good memory for faces, but had to keep detailed notes about names, dates, quantities, and important passages in written and verbal agreements or they would slip his mind. He did not trust having a scribe or a secretary and wrote the notes by hand.[1][2]

Gormstadd knew how to brew potions, craft wands and wondrous items, and cast spells silently.[2][14]

PossessionsEdit

In addition to his stolen wealth, Gormstadd had a suit of full plate of blending +3,[15] a +2 longsword, nine lives stealer,[16][17] and a large, steel shield +3.[2][5][6][14]

In the wilderness northwest of Sembia, where elite Sembian families had a few scattered hunting lodges, he purchased two tracts of land and his own hunting lodge. The first parcel, which contained the lodge and a fishpond teeming with fish, was an old turnip farm called Twilight Gate Farm which had long gone to seed and was then overtaken by the forest. The second parcel was purchased from the last heirs of the Blacklock family and called Owlsklar Wood. It was mostly untouched forest with game for hunting. No one in Voonlar knew of these holdings.[18][19]

ActivitiesEdit

One of Gormstadd's primary concerns was the repairing and rebuilding of the temple,[14][19] which suffered from poor workmanship, raids, and the weather.[20][21] The decrepit state of the building and the delays in repairs were an embarrassment and he was constantly worried that another successful attack on the temple would lower his standing in the Cyricist hierarchy. And yet, he did not fully fund the restoration efforts because he was secretly saving for his retirement redoubt in rural Sembia.[14][19] His insistence that any workers entering the temple proper be devout worshipers of the Dark Sun, and the debate in the building committee about how and where to expand the temple were all the excuses he needed to justify the repair delays.[12][13]

When not busy with mundane temple business, he and Bron Buorstag Hlammythyl hatched plots to thwart the agents from Hillsfar, Shadowdale, the Harpers, and any Chaunteans that stepped out of line. They knew without question that these enemies were behind the raiders, poachers, and spies that regularly assailed their fair city (and historically, the temple of Bane/Cyric).[5][6]

Gormstadd was constantly on the lookout for a potential bride and for goods that he could steal. He went out of his way to be cruel to "the common rabble" and he sowed fear wherever he went. He was always looking for information on his rivals and the heads of state of nearby communities[1][2] (e.g., Shadowdale, Hillsfar, Teshwave, Dagger Falls, Yûlash, and Zhentil Keep) and he had a rumor mill—at least thirty-six agents he called "whisperers", made up of peddlers and traveling merchants from Sembia and the Moonsea. These well-paid (30–50 gp/month) rumormongers acted under Gormstadd's direction to spread lies and innuendo. Occasionally, he would ask certain whisperers to be his "eyes" and report back on something specific that piqued his interest. They would earn an additional fee for this service.[14][19]

As head of the temple, he was occasionally called to meetings with other leaders in the church, and they usually met in various luxurious inns in the countryside surrounding Ordulin, the capital of Sembia.[14][19] On three occasions, Gormstadd pretended he was summoned to a church moot, and instead, went on an expedition to buy land for a fortified retreat he planned to build as a refuge and retirement home. This was the Twilight Gate Farm and Owlsklar Wood mentioned above. He hired a rogue by the name of Aldamair Galashar as caretaker of these lands, who resided at the lodge on Twilight Gate Farm.[18][19]

Sometime after acquiring the properties in Sembia, Gormstadd hired an Ordulin survey company called Landlook to discover and document the animal, vegetable, and mineral assets on his land (beast lairs, timber, outcroppings) as well as natural and physical features (water sources, caves, topography) as he cautiously moved forward with his plans for defensible manor in Owlsklar Wood.[18][19]

RelationshipsEdit

Gormstadd was second only to Bron Buorstag Hlammythyl in terms of influence and power in Voonlar. The two of them were good friends who enjoyed getting together a few times per tenday to have a good meal, drink wine, and play chess while discussing how to run Voonlar, plotting against their enemies, and scheming to get rich.[3][5][6]

Gormstadd hated all other faiths, but in particular Chauntea and the head of the Chauntean temple, Lady Immithra Shrae.[22][23] He tried to find ways to discredit her with the people of Voonlar after multiple attempts at outright physical violence were thwarted by the goddess demonstrating her favor for her high priestess. He also had great animosity toward Shadowdale and its leader Mourngrym Amcathra, whom he considered a criminal and a terrorist, such that he offered a 10,000 gp reward for his capture or death.[5][6]

The Harpers were also high on his list of enemies. He called them (and anyone else not under his command that had their own agenda) the "skulking profanities".[22][23] He referred to ordinary people as "the common rabble" and ordinary Voonlarrans as "the local filth".[1][2]

For protection against intrigue by his two Dark Hands (the highest ranking priests below Gormstadd), he fomented a quarrel between them and carefully kept the fire stoked so they would never trust each other enough to join forces and depose him.[12][13]

HistoryEdit

Gormstadd rose to power by successively subverting and eliminating his direct superiors and rivals for promotion.[1][2]

AppendixEdit

NotesEdit

  1. There is a discrepancy about Gormstadd's level. The Moonsea Reference Guide (1995) states he is level 14, but the more recent publication (2001) by Ed Greenwood, states he is level 10 and gives much more detail about his spells and possessions in both 2nd and 3rd edition terms. Therefore, we assume that he lost levels when Bane died during the Time of Troubles and he converted to the church of Cyric.

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 Ed Greenwood (April 2001—May 2003). Elminster Speaks archive (PDF). Elminster Speaks p. 16. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2016-09-03.
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 Ed Greenwood (2001-04-04). Part #13: A Dark Heart to Lead Voonlar. Elminster Speaks. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2016-10-24.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 3.9 John Terra (February 1995). The Moonsea (Reference Guide). (TSR, Inc), p. 22. ISBN 978-0786900923.
  4. 4.0 4.1 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.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Ed Greenwood (April 2001—May 2003). Elminster Speaks archive (PDF). Elminster Speaks p. 7. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2016-09-03.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 Ed Greenwood (2001-04-04). Part #5: The Moods of Voonlar. Elminster Speaks. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2016-09-09.
  7. Ed Greenwood (April 2001—May 2003). Elminster Speaks archive (PDF). Elminster Speaks p. 16, 17. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2016-09-03.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Ed Greenwood (April 2001—May 2003). Elminster Speaks archive (PDF). Elminster Speaks p. 8. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2016-09-03.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Ed Greenwood (2001-04-04). Part #6: Local Faith. Elminster Speaks. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2016-09-13.
  10. Jeff Grubb, Ed Greenwood and Karen S. Martin (1987). Forgotten Realms Campaign Set (Cyclopedia of the Realms). (TSR, Inc), pp. 7, 87. ISBN 0-8803-8472-7.
  11. 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.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 Ed Greenwood (April 2001—May 2003). Elminster Speaks archive (PDF). Elminster Speaks p. 19. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2016-09-03.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 Ed Greenwood (2001-04-04). Part #15: Serving the Dark Sun. Elminster Speaks. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2016-10-28.
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 14.5 Ed Greenwood (April 2001—May 2003). Elminster Speaks archive (PDF). Elminster Speaks p. 17. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2016-09-03.
  15. David "Zeb" Cook (1989). Dungeon Master's Guide 2nd edition. (TSR, Inc.), p. 182. ISBN 0-88038-729-7.
  16. David "Zeb" Cook (1989). Dungeon Master's Guide 2nd edition. (TSR, Inc.), p. 185. ISBN 0-88038-729-7.
  17. Monte Cook, Jonathan Tweet, Skip Williams (July 2003). Dungeon Master's Guide 3.5 edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 227. ISBN 0-7869-2889-1.
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 Ed Greenwood (April 2001—May 2003). Elminster Speaks archive (PDF). Elminster Speaks p. 18. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2016-09-03.
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 19.3 19.4 19.5 19.6 Ed Greenwood (2001-04-04). Part #14: Dark Temple Deeds, Darker Doers. Elminster Speaks. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2016-10-26.
  20. Ed Greenwood (April 2001—May 2003). Elminster Speaks archive (PDF). Elminster Speaks p. 12-13. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2016-09-03.
  21. Ed Greenwood (2001-04-04). Part #10: The Dark God Reformed. Elminster Speaks. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2016-10-26.
  22. 22.0 22.1 Ed Greenwood (April 2001—May 2003). Elminster Speaks archive (PDF). Elminster Speaks p. 11. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2016-09-03.
  23. 23.0 23.1 Ed Greenwood (2001-04-04). Part #9: Voonlarran Religious Politics. Elminster Speaks. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2016-09-13.

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