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Shandril Shessair

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Shandril Shessair is the main character in the novel Spellfire.

Shandril was the daughter of Garthond Shessair, a wizard who had often fought the Cult of the Dragon, and the Incantatrix Dammasae, an adventurer whom Garthond had rescued from the cult. Dammasae had the ability to use spellfire and passed on that power to her daughter. The family lived quietly in Elturel only until Shandril was old enough to withstand the rigors of travel, for the cult - which already knew of Dammasae's ability - wanted the child as well as the mother.

When Shandril was eight months old, the family fled with Gorstag, a battle-axe wielding warrior. The four moved to the east in disguise. But at the Bridge of Fallen Men near Cormyr, the cult ambushed them. 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, The Rising Moon.[1]

Shandril ran off to become an adventurer at the age of 16, bored by her quiet life and eager to see the outside world. She joined the Company of the Bright Spear as a thief, but that group was soon decimated in a battle by a large party of cult members. Shandril was captured and imprisoned inside an old tomb.

She managed to escape using a magical device that was hidden in the crypt. Unfortunately, the magic teleported her into the fiend-infested city of Myth Drannor, where she was again captured by the cult. Symgharyl Maruel, The Shadowsil, the cult's archmage, intended to make 'good' use of Shandril's blood, initially mistaking her for the missing Cormyrean princess, Alusair.

An apprentice mage by the name of Narm witnessed Shandril's abduction and enlisted the aid of the fabled Knights of Myth Drannor. With the help of the Knights and Elminster, Narm was able to rescue Shandril just before she would have been consumed by the dracolich Rauglothgor.

During this conflict, a strange creature capable of absorbing magical energy, known as a balhiir, was accidentally released from a crystal sphere where it had been contained. The presence of the creature foiled all magical attacks belonging to the Knights, cult members and the dracolich itself. It was mentioned in lore that only the person who released a balhiir could destroy it. Henceforth, Elminster asked Shandril to absorb the energy of the balhiir itself and release it at her will.

Filled to bursting with magical power, Shandril released the force in the form of bolts of lightning that blew apart Rauglothgor, the cult members, and much of the surrounding terrain. Elminster began to have suspicions regarding the amount of spellfire Shandril had used in the battle being much more than what the balhiir had absorbed.

After more major battles, Elminster and the Knights brought Shandril and Narm back to Shadowdale, where his suspicions regarding Shandril having a latent ability of spellfire were confirmed. He eventually tested Shandril's spellfire ability and helped her refine it. Shandril and Narm were soon married, in between attacks by the cult and the couple then received an invitation to Silverymoon, issued by Lady Alustriel, ruler of that city. Alustriel promised protection from those who sought Shandril's power, as well as further instruction in the use of spellfire. Shandril and Narm prepared for a long journey.

The pair's first stop was Deepingdale, where Shandril was reunited with Gorstag. They were betrayed, however, by a cult member and had to flee again. A third dracolich was sent to destroy Shandril and Narm, but Shandril managed to absorb its magical breath weapon, destroy the undead beast, and heal Narm's injuries. A dwarf named Delg Hammerhand, another survivor of the Company of the Bright Spear, caught up to the pair and joined them on their journey to Silverymoon.

As the trio continued their travels, in the second book in the Spellfire trilogy, "Crown of Fire", Shandril learned that she and Narm were going to be parents. It was then that the Zhentarim began to move against them. In one Zhent attack, the evil men had dug a pit in the trail to catch the heroes as they fled. Only Delg got trapped in the pit, and the threat was easily dispatched by Shandril - after blasting his cohorts to bits with her spellfire, she 'persuaded' the sole surviving Zhent to help get Delg out of the trap. It was not long thereafter that the trio became a quartet when Mirt 'the Moneylender' ,whom was also a member of the Lords of Waterdeep assisted them with the Zhentarim's relentless attacks.

As their journey carried them into the Stonelands of Cormyr, the band of heroes was attacked by Zhentarim mages and a force of gargoyles. Delg was taken aloft by one of the stony flying beasts, and as he rained axe blows upon the creature's body they both plummeted from the sky. The dwarf was impaled on a shard of rock and could not be saved. Shandril comforted him as he died, and then set about destroying his killers.

The death of Delg was what convinced Shandril that she had to take a stand against her pursuers. She cremated her friend's body with spellfire, and then instructed Mirt to guide her to Zhentil Keep so she could take the fight to her enemies at their source. He agreed to do so, but instead of heading directly there by a long overland route, Mirt took Shandril to Eveningstar and introduced her to its ruler, Lord Tessaril Winter. After the Lord of Eveningstar came to respect Shandril's need to confront her pursuers, she consented to use a teleport spell to get Shandril to her destination much more quickly.

Shandril found herself transported to Spell Court in the Citadel of the Raven, a fortress that the Zhents took over by trickery years earlier - surrounded by a ring of beholders. She was able to dispose of all the eye tyrants by using spellfire, but then collapsed from fatigue. Mirt, who had followed her magically through the use of a roguestone, grabbed her unconscious form and managed to keep her out of the clutches of Zhent soldiers who were closing in on the two of them.

He got her to a safe place - a house of pleasure that was being run by an undercover Harper - and soon thereafter the two returned by magic to Eveningstar, where they were reunited with Narm, Tessaril, and their other friends. The heroes resolved to return to Zhentil Keep and finish what Shandril and Mirt had begun.

In this climactic battle, the heroes faced the evil priest Fzoul Chembryl and his minions. Another Harper undercover agent, Sarhthor the wizard, took Fzoul's javelin through the chest - a javelin intended for Shandril. As he died, he implored Shandril to touch his head, absorbing his life energy, and create a crown of fire - the most powerful form of spellfire known. Shandril did as he instructed, and with the awesome power that then came under her control she blew away the Wizards' Watch Tower of Zhentil Keep, down to its foundations.

With at least that enemy out of the way, Narm and Shandril were free to resume their long-postponed journey to Silverymoon, after spending some time resting and recuperating in seclusion. After the triumph at Zhentil Keep, Elminster informed her that the child would be a girl and that - as Shandril had - she would inherit the power of spellfire from her mother.

She began her travels to Silverymoon with the aid of a caravan master, Ortho Voldovan, and his guards, two of whom were Harper agents. Unknown to all of them, the entire caravan was filled with Zhentarim, Thayan, and Cult agents. As the caravan was whittled down during the journey, Sharantyr of Shadowdale was dispatched to find and aid Shandril. After a long journey, she caught up, only to discover her old friend Voldovan was not himself; a Red Wizard of Thay had slain and taken his place before the journey ever started. Shandril lost control upon discovering all of her enemies, and began a maelstrom of fire. As she slaughtered everyone within reach, Alustriel of Silverymoon, Laeral of Waterdeep, Mirt, and Asper, his companion, all teleported to Shandril to try and stop her. Shandril, however, blasted them back as the Chosen of Mystra and Waterdhavians tried to reach her. Narm was stabbed brutally during the fight, and Shandril, seeing this, blasted him with spellfire, trying to heal him. When Narm collapsed, Shandril was overcome with grief, believing that she'd killed him. Asper pleaded with Shandril to stop, but Shandril waved farewell to her friends and fed herself spellfire. The resulting explosion blinded Asper for days to come. Shandril was gathered by Mystra, who gave her the power to appear whenever spellfire or silver fire was used. Narm survived and Shandril told him not to grieve, and to find another woman, as life was long.

Motivations/Goals: Edit

In the long term, Shandril simply wants to live a quiet life with her family and friends. She desires no conquests, no deaths, and no more power than the spellfire she already wields.[2]

References Edit

  1. Ed Greenwood (January 1996). Volo's Guide to the Dalelands. (TSR, Inc), p. 110. ISBN 0-7869-0406-2.
  2. Ed Greenwood (February 2005). Spellfire. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 0-7869-3599-5.

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