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Gorstag was a battle-axe wielding warrior and one of the best friends of Garthond, a wizard who had often fought the Cult of the Dragon, and Dammasae, an adventurer whom Garthond had rescued from the Cult. After the birth of Shandril, the family decided to move from Elturel when Shandril was old enough to withstand the rigors of travel, in order to foil the Cult's pursuers and asked Gorstag for help.
The four moved to the east in disguise. But at the Bridge of Fallen Men near Cormyr, the Cult attacked from ambush. Garthond gave his life for the freedom of his wife and daughter. Before he died, Shandril's father destroyed nine cult mages and three swordsmen. Gorstag and Dammasae were both wounded, but they fled with Shandril toward Shadowdale.
Sadly, Shandril's mother did not live to reach their destination. After Dammasae died, Gorstag turned south toward Deepingdale, hoping to leave the infant Shandril with the elves there. He then planned to retrieve Garthond's writings and the magical items that were Shandril's inheritance. The elves brought word to him, however that the Cult had broken into Garthond's tower and prepared its basements to become the lair of one of their dracoliches, Rauglothgor.
Counting on the fact that he was not well known to the Cult and thus he would be able to keep Shandril's location a secret from them, Gorstag stayed on in Deepingdale, raising her as a servant girl. When she was old enough, she helped him run the inn he had purchased.
Shandril ran off to become an adventuring thief at the age of 16, bored by her quiet life and eager to see to world. This led to her discovery of her power of spellfire and the true story of her parents.
However, the news that a spellfire wielder was active in the Realms began to spread. Many powerful evil organizations started to hunt for her. The cook of The Rising Moon casually discovered Gorstag's secret and he soon sold it for a high price. Many arrived at the inn and in the skirmish Gorstag was killed.