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Marco Volo

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Marcus Wands, better known as Marco Volo was a Waterdhavian noble nuisance and a minor thief who adopted this moniker after stealing an artifact and blaming the real Volo.


Marco comes off as an annoying, persistent and brazen fellow. All this is bravado though as beneath this facade he is a timid man who just wants to be liked for something other than his noble heritage. Despite his lack of real social skill, he can be likable if one gets to know him.


Born into the Wands noble family of Waterdeep, Marcus quickly grew bored of his life. He was too full of energy and fancy ideas about himself. He rebelled against his family and took up the life of a rogue. He thought of himself as a dashing and handsome outlaw, constantly on the run and beloved by the ladies. These thoughts weren't entirely accurate though. He was constantly on the run from the law, but only because of his lack of skill at thievery. He also had several furious ex-girlfriends.

One day though, 'Marco' stumbled upon the hidden retreat of the wizard Sabbar, pocketing the most obvious item he found in Sabbar's study before fleeing. He then sent an anonymous note to the wizard, explaining that Volo was responsible for its theft. He magically hid the artifact in the Spiderhaunt Woods and then began to live life on the lam for a successful heist for once. However, little did he know that he was about to be the center of a whirlwind of trouble.

It turned out that the Lords of Waterdeep wanted Marcus brought in for questioning regarding some recent crimes and were tired enough of his antics to not be swayed by his grandfather Maskar's influence. The artifact Marco had stolen was also none other than the Dragonking's Eye and Sabbar was going to stop at nothing to retrieve it. All this and Marco was about to crash the annual Adventurer's Ball.[1]

He ended up annoying a party of adventurers but fled their company when some city watchmen came to take him in, implicating said adventurer's as his accomplices. He escaped and the Ball degenerated into a massive brawl with the end result of his 'accomplices' being imprisoned.

The adventurers had the charges against them dropped 2 days later and delivered to see Marcus' grandfather Maskar. Maskar asked them to hire 'Marco' as their guide to Shadowdale to deliver a letter to Lord Mourngrym. They found Marco and hired him, but were attacked by the mercenary Felibarr Blacklance. The group escaped the city but were hounded by bounty hunters and the like throughout the first leg of their journey to the Way Inn.

They made their way towards Cormyr, stopping at a Chauntean monastery near Berdusk, where again, they were attacked. They did reach Cormyr, though their reputation as a bunch of criminals that need to be apprehended had preceded them. Marco's group rescued a hapless gnome from some racist humans and that lead them to being rescued from arrest soon after by the gnome's master, Heino. Heino was also on his way to Shadowdale and invited Marco and his group to join his traveling troupe of performers. They eventually got a hold of a copy of the bounty notice put out on Marco for 20,000 waterdhavian dragons that also said that Heino's troupe are to be targeted in order to find him. Marco finally fully explained everything to his companions and descended into an inconsolable depression as the troupe made haste to depart Cormyr. Felibarr had tracked them all this way and had assembled a small army to assail them in retaliation for their previous encounter. He and his force were defeated though and Marcus (as he had begun to call himself again) and the rest made their way to Shadowdale.[2]

Before reaching Shadowdale proper Marcus insisted on leaving the troupe and diverting his companions into the Spiderhaunt Woods so that he could retrieve the Dragonking's Eye and maybe give it back to Sabbar so as to call him off their trail. Their journey in the woods was fraught with danger and very unusual encounters. They also discovered that the Eye had created some kind of fortress around itself and eventually ran into the real Volo who rightfully blamed Marcus for several attempts on his life. Making a truce though, Marcus took the group inside the dome-shaped fortress where they were attacked by hordes of monsters until the lich leading them tried to make peace with the group, explaining that the dome is the creation of the Eye. It was sentient and he suspected that it intended to destroy the world. Marcus lead them to an altar upon which rested the artifact. Remembering a nursery rhyme that he learned as a child, Marcus begins a ritual that at first summoned all of the Eye's servants, including Sabbar who viciously attacked. When all looked lost, Marcus finished the ritual and everyone was transported to another plane. A being resembling a man-like 8-legged dragon emerged, pronouncing the group's doom. However, out of nowhere, Tyr, Sune and Corellon Larethian appeared and forced the creature back into the Eye. The three gods explained both the artifact's and the Wands family's extraplanar histories, tasking Marcus to bring the Eye back to his family to keep it safe. Marcus gained a lot of maturity that day and resolved to retake his place in his family, after all, he had a divine mandate now. He returned to Waterdeep and fulfilled this resolution.[3]



  1. Anthony Pryor (1994). Marco Volo: Departure. (TSR, Inc.), p. 4. ISBN 1-5607-6848-7.
  2. Anthony Pryor (1994). Marco Volo: Journey. (TSR, Inc.). ISBN 1-5607-6869-X.
  3. Anthony Pryor (1994). Marco Volo: Arrival. (TSR, Inc.). ISBN 1-5607-6890-8.

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