Kriios Halambar, commonly nicknamed "Old Leatherlungs", was a talented maker of lutes and harps in Waterdeep in the mid-to-late 14th century DR. He was the proprietor of Halambar Lutes & Harps and the Master Musician of the Council of Musicians, Instrument-Makers, & Choristers, the musicians' guild of the city.[1][4][2][3]


Kriios had oddly large and black eyes and heavy eyelids. His face typically bore no expression whatsoever, making him quite inscrutable.[3]


He was highly wealthy and accordingly just as snobbish. He thought himself above such mundane matters as arranging music for a noble's feast,[3] as his peers in the guild often did[1][2] in order to make a living. He was also a harsh music critic.[3] Through his entire life he complained of the weakness of his body and that he would surely die soon, a statement at quite odds with his long life.[4]


A lute-maker without peer and a harp-maker of goodly skill, Kriios Halambar supplied musicians with the instruments they used. Halambar's lutes produced a distinctive mellow sound, for which his shop was recognized all along the Sword Coast, but how they did this was his trade secret. In fact, in the cellars, he secretly soaked the wood in harbor water. His instruments sold for no less than 1000 gold pieces, or more.[3]

He was also known to sing.[4]


In addition to his musical instrument shop, Kriios Halambar was owner of the legendary Harp that Sings by Itself. He kept it as the prize piece of the store, an attraction that drew in customers. It stood upon a velvet-draped plinth, high out of reach of thieves and curious hands, and well protected against theft—the covered plinth was actually a stone golem guardian put there by the mage Khelben "Blackstaff" Arunsun. Considered priceless, it was not for sale, and he would hire agents to retrieve it if it was stolen.[3]


Kriios Halambar was born around 1280/1281 DR.[1][2][note 1]

Circa 1301 DR, aged about 21,[note 2] Kriios Halambar was first elected as Master Musician of the Council of Musicians, Instrument-Makers, & Choristers. He would retain his position in every election that followed, every seven years, despite his advancing age, through to 1357 DR and past 1368 DR.[1][2] Over the years, he had a half-dozen or so assistants and would-be replacements, but he outlived them all, even singing at their funerals.[4]

Halambar worked with the bard Danilo Thann (a regular of his shop) on a plan to re-establish a bardic college in Waterdeep, following Iriador "Garnet" Wintermist's attacks in the Year of the Wave, 1364 DR. Led by Halambar, the Council of Musicians, Instrument-Makers, & Choristers was among those who supported the founding of New Olamn, in the Year of the Staff, 1368 DR.[5][6][7]

Old Leatherlungs finally died during his eleventh term in office, in the early 1370s DR. The position of interim Master Musician passed to the Voice of the Council, Maxeene Rhiosann.[8]



  1. Waterdeep and the North (1987), set in 1357 DR, says Kriios is 77 years old, placing his birth in 1280 DR. City of Splendors (1994), set in 1368 DR, says he is 87 years old, placing his birth in 1281 DR.
  2. Waterdeep and the North says Kriios had been guildmaster for 56 years, placing his first election in 1301 DR. City of Splendors (1994) says he had been guildmaster for 66 years, placing his first election in 1302 DR. It is not until City of Splendors: Waterdeep (2005) that an election is pinned to a specific year, 1377 DR; subtracting 7-year periods from this places the nearest election in 1300 DR. It is clear that some of these values have been rounded up or down, but an average of 1301 DR is assumed here.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Ed Greenwood (1987). Waterdeep and the North. (TSR, Inc), pp. 3, 23. ISBN 0-88038-490-5.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 Ed Greenwood and Steven E. Schend (July 1994). “Who's Who in Waterdeep”. City of Splendors (TSR, Inc), pp. 40–41. ISBN 0-5607-6868-1.
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 Ed Greenwood (January 1993). Volo's Guide to Waterdeep. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 16–17, 224. ISBN 1-5607-6335-3.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Dan Mishkin, Jan Duursema (May 1989). “Beneath the City of the Dead”. Advanced Dungeons & Dragons #6 (DC Comics), p. 25.
  5. Ed Greenwood and Steven E. Schend (July 1994). “Campaign Guide”. City of Splendors (TSR, Inc), p. 46. ISBN 0-5607-6868-1.
  6. Eric L. Boyd (June 2005). City of Splendors: Waterdeep. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 29. ISBN 0-7869-3693-2.
  7. Dale Donovan, Paul Culotta (August 1996). Heroes' Lorebook. (TSR, Inc), pp. 36, 37. ISBN 0-7869-0412-7.
  8. Eric L. Boyd (June 2005). City of Splendors: Waterdeep. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 51–52. ISBN 0-7869-3693-2.