Officially dead NPCs: Who were they? (and) Yes, you can still use them.

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If there's one thing Realms novels are good at, it's killing things.

Specifically extraneous characters who, like a hapless redshirt on some doomed away mission, have their moment in the spotlight before being disintegrated, run through, turned into a boneless mass of flesh, inflicted with a time-delayed spell that will cause their heads to explode at sunset, or crushed by falling stone, wild horses or the boot of a giant.

Sometimes these redshirt characters escape a grim fate and are never seen again.

Either way, the nice thing about novel characters like these is they make great non-player characters (NPCs).

Think about that for a second: you know at least a little bit about the NPC so you have something to build on, it's likely your players won't even know who the NPC was or what novel they came from (even if the novel mentions the NPC's name*), and you can pretty much bet your house the NPC won't show up in some future novel or sourcebook, thereby contradicting whatever use you put the NPC to.

Without further ado, this thread is all about resurrecting those dead NPCs. It's about figuring out who they were and what they'd be like if we suppose they survived whatever novel-inflicted doom that killed them, as well as fleshing out the the lucky ones who survived, so we can use them in our Realms games.


*And if you think your players might remember, just change the name. Too easy.

Given the nature of this thread, minor spoilers will be impossible to avoid.


Consider yourself duly warned.





Novel Character, Book Killed In and Page Number


Highknight Guarding the Royals #1, died in Bury Elminster Deep, page 93 aka Torantha of Redspring

Highknight Guarding the Royals #2, not dead (yet!), Bury Elminster Deep, page 93

War Wizard Guarding the Royals #1, died in Bury Elminster Deep, page 93

Hired Mage #1, he who died while guarding treasonous Lord Melder Crownrood in Bury Elminster Deep, page 46

Hired Mage #2, he who died while guarding treasonous Lord Melder Crownrood in Bury Elminster Deep, page 46

Veteran Purple Dragon Ilstan Narbrace, whose doom is depicted in Bury Elminster Deep, pages 53-55

Veteran Purple Dragon Gorloun Hethel, whose doom is depicted in Bury Elminster Deep, pages 53-55

Veteran Purple Dragon Mandron Saldar, whose doom is depicted in Bury Elminster Deep, pages 53-55

Veteran Purple Dragon Berent Thallowood, whose doom is depicted in Bury Elminster Deep, pages 53-55

Swordcaptain Unstrarr Troon, whose doom is depicted in Bury Elminster Deep, pages 53-55




Highknight Guarding the Royals #1, died in Bury Elminster Deep, page 93

The latest Elminster Trilogy has its share of Highknights, several of them young and lacking experience, but none short on boldness and loyalty to the Forest Kingdom.

Inexperienced or not, these Highknights are just as skilled at dying as any who came before them.

HGtR#1 did exactly that. Standing adjacent to King Foril and Crown Prince Irvel, HGtR#1 confronted and was slain by a dozen murderous nobles during the Council of the Dragon.

Let's give this brave Highknight a name and assume she survived the encounter by the swift application of healing magic (if not a resurrection paid for by apologetic nobles).


Torantha of Redspring
(Lawful Good Human Fighter 6 with the Purple Dragon Character Theme*) 

Torantha of Redspring is a loyal Highknight in service to King Foril. Torantha's unwavering loyalty to the Crown and her desire to plumb the depths of a conspiracy regardless of any peril to herself became apparent to her superiors when she reported a war wizard who was working on the side for a pair of ambitious, upcountry nobles.

Torantha was witness to a war wizard pilfering valuables from the home of a merchant. Having walked in on the war wizard unannounced she expected her death by spell to come quickly, but was surprised when the war wizard offered her an on the spot bribe to look the other way. Thinking quickly on her feat, Torantha accepted the bribe and offered to be the lookout for the mage, claiming her status as a Purple Dragon Swordcaptain would turn away any suspicion while the war wizard did his work.

The war wizard (one Dornal Thresk) took Torantha under his wing. He utilized her to confront and arrest rich merchants and minor nobles, whom he later enspelled to reveal the locations of their valuables and hidden-away riches. This information Dornal passed on to his noble masters through intermediaries, though sometimes he would steal the riches himself (with Torantha and her men keeping others out of buildings and rooms while Dornal did his thieving) before delivering the goods to factors working for the two nobles.

All of this Torantha meticulously noted down over several days and nights, without the aid of magic to protect her mind should Dornal ever attempt to enspell her and question her loyalty. After a tenday she turned over all the gold and valuables Dornal paid her with, as well as her reports of his activities, to her superiors.

On their recommendation Torantha was elevated to the rank of Highknight. One of her first missions was to lead a team to abduct Dornal from his room in the barracks shared by the war wizards and the Purple Dragons in Suzail.

She recalls with pride the look of doom worn on Dornal's face when he was presented to the Mage Royal and the Lord Warder for interrogation. She never saw Dornal again.

The fate of the two nobles is a mystery. Torantha knows they were never arrested (she led the team to capture them too, but neither noble could be found even after their factors were captured and interrogated) and she assumes they were tipped off and fled Cormyr rather than face charges of thievery and conspiracy.

Torantha was nearly slain at the Council of the Dragon. She knows at least one of her attackers survived the killing magic that deboned several nobles of the Realm. Her views on the nobility in general have soured and she relishes each opportunity to investigate the nobility of Cormyr.


*See Character Themes: Heroes of Cormyr, Dragon #407.
Highknight Guarding the Royals #2, not dead (yet!), Bury Elminster Deep, page 93

...
War Wizard Guarding the Royals #1, died in Bury Elminster Deep, page 93

While posing as a scribe attending to the King and Crown Prince during the Council of the Dragon, this poor, unfortunate Wizard of War had his throat slit by murdering nobles trying their level best to kill the two Royals.

Methinks this war wizard ought to live on in undeath as a ghost haunting the Hall of Justice, where the Council of the Dragon was held. Or maybe as a ghost that harasses the family of the noble who slew him, appearing at inopportune moments whenever any of that family conduct business not in the best interests of Cormyr.
Hired Mage #1, he who died while guarding treasonous Lord Melder Crownrood in Bury Elminster Deep, page 46

Choking on acrid dust spat in your face is bad enough, but not being able to draw your last breath until after your throat is slit...well, that's just low.

Let's give this fellow back his second wind, shall we? ;)
Hired Mage #2, he who died while guarding treasonous Lord Melder Crownrood in Bury Elminster Deep, page 46

Employing a hired mage is no guarantee that the fellow will be articulate with his words. Some hired mages, such as Hired Mage #2, hurl accusations like spells, but discover too late that accusations are powerless unless backed up by swift action.

Manshoon knew this, which is why dearly departed Hired Mage #2 left the contents of his head splattered all over the finest room in the Rearing Merdragon in Suzail.

Let's put his head back on, shall we?
Great idea!

I really like Ed Greenwood's character names so I frequently raid books (whether RPG or novels) for names he has created without concern for whether or not the character is alive or dead. 
Cheers Imruphel aka Scrivener of Doom
Do you think it'd be against the rules to post a short list of Realms names from various sources? Something that gives the first and last name of somebody, but no title or other info (like where the name came from)?

On the one hand it seems like it'd be pretty useful, but on the other hand it could be a big no no.

What do you think?
What do you think?



It sounds like a really useful idea to me. I wonder if a further level of obfuscation could be added by splitting the first and last names and then ordering them alphabetically? That way you have two lists but no idea which name belongs with which. That should decrease the amount of spoilerage (spoilerosity? spoilerability?) further, and also distance it from stepping on the toes of anybody's IP.

People could then mix, match or gain inspiration from either or both lists.

[Sorry for the slow response to threads recently, I have been away for a week and have just gotten back. Other thread replies incoming when I have them drafted]

My approach to the NPCs of previous editions.

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I always saw the High Level NPCs as shepherds of the Realms not its defenders. Making sure that not too many sheep were lost as they milled around (as they are wont to do) and bringing on the young'uns into the job. In that way a shepherd never has time to go and hunt down all of the wolves but is pretty dashed effective at keeping them away from the sheep when they rear their heads.
"It was a puzzle why things were always dragged kicking and screaming. No one ever seemed to want to, for example, lead them gently by the hand." - Terry Pratchett
I wonder if a further level of obfuscation could be added by splitting the first and last names and then ordering them alphabetically?

Excellent idea! Really very good.

I think I'll approach the mods on the Community Business Forum with the idea and see what they say. If they're cool with it I'll create the list as a wiki and link it in the sticky of Realms Useful Links at the top of this forum.

Got a 'go ahead' of sorts on the Community Business forum so I'll get to work on the names list and hope to have something setup on a wiki page by the end of the week.