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Hesperdan was an archmage in the Zhentarim. He was considered by some to be perhaps the greatest tyrant mage in all of Faerûn.[1] He also went by the alias Gelvar Thordrunn, a dealer of magical curios and esoterica in Ordulin, Sembia.[2]


Hesperdan, in the guise of Gelvar Thordrunn, took on Malathar Wingstarl (later known as Sememmon) as an apprentice, teaching him wizardry. Gelvar disappeared, believed lost at sea, two years after taking on Malathar, some time between 1234 DR and 1258 DR.[2][note 1]

Hesperdan schemed to bring Fzoul Chembryl to power in the Black Network, thus allowing him to use Manshoon for his own purposes.[3] He did much behind the scenes to foster Semmemmon's rise in the Zhentarim ranks and indirectly sought to mould him to be a foil for Manshoon.[2]

Once, speaking to himself, Hesperdan implied that he might not be considered a "man" after all.[3] Indeed, in 1479, he revealed that he was also the black dragon called Alorglauvenemaus, having mastered the ancient elven magic of weredragoning. His main concern was the plots of Vangerdahast of Cormyr, whom he considered more dangerous than the Zhentarim. He died that year fighting with Elminster and some War Wizards of Cormyr.[4][note 2]



  1. Malathar was born in 1234 DR and moved to Zhentil Keep in 1258 DR so Gelvar's "death" must be somewhere between these dates.
  2. Hesperdan also appears in Hand of Fire, the third book of Shandril's Saga. There he is implied to be a relative of Elminster or possibly the Old Sage himself.


  1. Ed Greenwood (May, 2009). The Sword Never Sleeps. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 178. ISBN 978-0-7869-5015-7.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 George Krashos (July 2007). “Volo's Guide: Renegades of Darkhold”. Dragon #357 (Paizo Publishing, LLC), p. 72.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Ed Greenwood (May, 2009). The Sword Never Sleeps. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 243. ISBN 978-0-7869-5015-7.
  4. Ed Greenwood (May 2013). Elminster Enraged (Mass Market Paperback). (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 978-0786963638.

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