I have a much shorter list of the young rapscallions and poseurs who’re giving the Deep trouble circa 1497-99 DR. Here we go: DEPLOYABLE YOUNG NOBLES OF THE DEEP IN THE 1490S DR:
These are all young players’ among the nobles; restless “doers” who habitually step outside their family compounds and the ranks of fellow nobility to truck with merchants, adventurers, and shady sorts. They are inquisitive, interested in new things and innovations and “what’s different,” and are apt to get mixed up in intrigues that go beyond who gets to dance with whom at the next revel, and who was most clever in their cutting rudeness to someone else at the last feast.
So here we have:
- Tanther Urmbrusk, a prank-player.
- Srandor Sultlue, a deadly “don’t get in my way, I slay” sort.
- Rarantorn Argent, a merry, jovial drunkard.
- Anthaud Agundar, a nasty “I get more than even” investor and manipulator.
- Sameira Kothont, an ambitious, “I want influence and a leading society reputation” social climber.
- Harlent Gauntyl, a handsome intriguer, who’s both a con man and in cahoots with the Xanathar.
- Vrantavvar Ruldegost, a rival intriguer who works with monsters in Skullport, adventurers, and shady merchants/smugglers.
- Dzarlantra Tesper, a high-society nice young airhead who’s really a skilled actress playing that role, and behind closed doors is an accomplished, capable envoy.
Human Male, Chaotic Evil, Fighter 9
A good-natured, easygoing, well liked and fairly good looking “friend to all” who is a joiner of fellowships, clubs, and causes, always up for a new entertainment (way of wasting time, from a card or party game to a risky sport like sneaking aboard ships by night to climb their rigging and leave rude trophies on mast tops. He’s notorious as a player of pranks, which betimes go wrong or even cause fatalities but are never nasty or intended to maim. (Among his family, whose ranks include some really sinister sorts like his uncles Korthul and Morland, Tanther’s considered a softie who’ll never amount to much and who mars the reputation of the family with his “too-friendly frivolities.”) Tanther likes a party, has a large and veteran capacity for drink, a strong stomach for all manner of food clashing in it, great stamina (he can roister for days and nights on end and not grow weary or even yawn, though when he crashes, he’s out like a light and snoring heavily for long periods, if left uninterrupted), and is skilled and enthusiastic when it comes to the ladies.
Human Male, Chaotic Evil, Rogue 12
An urbane, outwardly pleasant person who inwardly keeps constant score in life, calmly and cold-bloodedly; he has to best everyone he meets (over time, not necessarily within every deal, conversation, or encounter), unless he exempts them (as he does his own kin). If you seriously impede his wants and doings, he arranges your death (preferably dealt to you in person, but he’ll employ agents or arranged “accidents” if he’s busy with more pressing matters (or foes he respects more). Deadly with a blade, he won’t hesitate to slay anyone if he thinks he can avoid blame and consequences, and will make very sure of kills (beheadings or repeated impalings trump a single stabbing thrust) and enjoy doing it. His other pleasures include gambling (he must win, so cheating is fine), “wenching” (seduction and sex that preferably involves inflicting pain; he most enjoys this when partners seem to enjoy receiving it), and revelry. Srandor is a notorious roisterer who often still goes from revel to revel to feast to club to tavern, until past dawn. His stamina never flags.
Human Male, Chaotic Good, Fighter 9
A merry, jovial and dashingly handsome epitome of the gifted, popular young noble, always prominent in news and gossip. A roisterer and a drunkard who doesn’t often get disparaged as a heavy imbiber as he’s a natural athlete with superb balance and coordination, so can deftly catch, throw, aim himself, and successfully attempt intricate intercepts of moving objects even when slurred with drink (unlike most folk, he doesn’t stumble or reel, just blacks out and collapses when he’s really overdone it). Naturally friendly to all rather than being haughty or adverse to associating with strangers, the grubby, or non-humans, he has friends and contacts all across the Deep, high and low, and makes more all the time—as he’s fun-loving, generous, and likes to aid others and has the knack of not offending them by how he gives that assistance. He loves informal celebrations, flirting, and lighthearted fun, will try to invite or draw servants and onlookers into it, and thinks that’s really what life is for. An unambitious drifter who deals with adventurers for the fun.
Human Male, Neutral Evil, Rogue 11
A dark-haired, dark-blue-eyed, short, slender, quiet man of tight lips and usually stone-faced-blank expression, who is ruled by greed tempered with patience. In life, he must get ever richer, but can take short-term losses and small gambles if he has to—so long as someone else is to blame, in his mind, and can be made to pay (often with their life, but he’ll settle for any city real estate they own, or other worldly goods if he must; if they have nothing, he’ll try to have them kidnapped and sold to slavers; he knows some covert “takers” in Scornubel). Anthaud’s a superb actor who can convincingly feign fear, confusion, naivety, and drunkenness—but if he’s awake, he’s hawk-alert and calculating, always coldly calculating. He tries to avoid personal combat, preferring to let hired swords do his dirty work or to lure pursuers into deadly traps he’s arranged. He carries a small personal arsenal of family-made weapons that don’t look like weapons, many of them poisoned, and is an energetic investor and manipulator, who calls on his mentor, his uncle Hamnaer, to help him get more than even against anyone. A nasty man.
Human Female, Chaotic Neutral, Fighter 2/Rogue 4
A buxom blonde with knee-length hair who’s almost never seen without a lot of body jewelry and artfully-applied cosmetics that make her striking indeed. Her family’s city real estate holdings and close, amicable work with the relevant guilds and the Palace to redevelop ever-larger, grander buildings on their lands have made them fabulously wealthy, and Kiyrn, his wife Roevaeryl, and Kiyrn’s sister Avanthra are influential and much courted for the investment funds they control. However, Kiyrn’s eldest daughter Sameira (unlike her younger brother Branthen and sister Vaerelle, who’ve moved to, and extended the family businesses to, Baldur’s Gate and Athkatla, respectively), has stayed at home and seems determined to become the next great Kothont in the Deep. She never misses a noble revel, wedding, or high-society feast, and her ambition is so hot and strong that the city can smell it when she glides grandly into a room—or perhaps that’s just the lush scents (mainly mingled fruit essences) she always wears. Always in danger of becoming plump, Sameira has turned to wizards to work spells on her to curb her hunger, but she’s always thirsty. And restless, and horny. She hates cold calculation, preferring to sail the hot tides of her emotions and enthusiasms of the moment, so chases fad after fad. She’s terrified of boredom, and chases it away by taking up with this band of adventurers and that sinister rogue and yonder monster (and she never has any public romances or affairs, secretly bedding doppelgangers whom she aids with her influence to buy more and more buildings in the city, just as they aid her with deceptions and impostures).
Human Male, Neutral Evil, Rogue 14
Blond, green-eyed, burly and very handsome, Harlent plays the “idle young noble who likes revelry, drink, and ladies” but this is just a role he acts. Behind this mask, Harlent is a man who enjoys the embraces of just about any creature, and lives for the fun of swindling and deceiving those he despises (most folk), with fellow clever beings. He doesn’t mind if someone out-swindles him, the game of avoiding taxes and fencing stolen goods and besting others in business deals is its own reward. Being clever, and thinking up new ways of manipulating others, are what drives and truly delights him. He’s an accomplished “con man,” and has recently started working with senior agents of the Xanathar, for mutual benefit. He knows the crime lord is using him, and doesn’t mind in the slightest, as its interests, backing, and longer reach of “many covert agents” enables him to pull off greater and greater cons. He loves fine wine and snails (the latter for eating, racing, and keeping as pets; he even has some that devour human flesh, which comes in handy for tortures and body disposals on some rare occasions, though he prefers to avoid killings; they take time that could be used for the fun of more manipulations). He tries new foods and diversions with an eye to their utility as manipulative tools.
Human Male, Neutral Evil, Rogue 6, Fighter 4
House Ruldegost is a popular noble family in Waterdeep, with many and varied interests and successes, and a wide variety of living members. They all bear the shining mantle of the far-traveled gallant adventurers, sponsors of adventurers, and very successful merchants of the last seventy years, including the nigh-legendary seacaptains Urtharl Ruldegost and Tansheira Ruldegost, “She-Wolf of the Seas.”
Ranthar and Tulvin and Lasheira Ruldegost are all popular, socially-busy, energetic younger Ruldegosts, but their younger brother Vrantavvar (like his namesake uncle, who long ago retired to Scornubel and has been a focus of disquieting rumors of monster-breeding and worse, in his declining years) is a quieter, more private person, with iron-strong control of his facial expressions and voice. The younger Vrantavvar was introduced to certain drugs by his uncle as a young boy, and has both enjoyed their effects and built up a near-immunity to them, so his uncle started dosing him with poisons so he’d become nigh-immune to them, too—with, Elminster informed the Harpers, great success. The elder Vrantavvar did this because he wanted a young, vigorous sidekick to assist him in his smuggling activities to and from Skullport, and the younger Vrantavvar took to it like a natural, making much more extensive contacts in Skullport than his uncle ever did. Including quite a few “monsters,” with whom he works frequently on activities “of mutual benefit” (a favourite phrase of the younger Vrantavvar).
Over the last decade, the young Vrantavvar Ruldegost has built an empire of trading connections between various folk of Skullport and shady merchants of Waterdeep—and calmly fended off repeated attempts by the Xanathar’s agents to eliminate him, or take over this or that strand of his trading network. Vrantavvar’s own agents of choice as go-betweens and to thwart the Xanathar’s agents are hired bands of adventurers who came from outside the city, and are seeking hirings or their fortune in the Deep. He provides steady employment for many, and in return they have pruned so many branches of the Xanathar’s network that the crime lord sent Vrantavvar a formal, explicit “I’m going to leave you alone now, please stop” message. Which Vrantavvar was quite happy to do; he much prefers to spend his time making everyone illicitly richer. He hates paying taxes, has no qualms about trading with beings who eat humans, and thrives on the thrills he gets from the dangers involved. He’s also become incredibly personally rich—so much so that he’s buying city real estate in Baldur’s Gate, Athkatla, and now in Cormyrean and Sembian cities, and hiring distant agents in such places to act as his landlords and reinvest the rents in their own sideline businesses (he doesn’t care if they cheat him, he’s already made more than he can ever spend in his life). He’s toying with the idea of toppling any local rulers who cross him or harass his agents or trading partners with converging bands of anonymously-hired adventurers.
Human Female, Chaotic Neutral, Rogue 8
A skilled actress who plays a carefree, rather brainless young thing who loves beautiful clothes, pretty things and shopping. However, behind closed doors, she acts as a accomplished, shrewd, forgets-nothing (so, can read a long, complex document, memorize it, and quote it accurately from memory) envoy/go-between for many noble matriarchs and patriarchs behind closed doors, to deal with each other, guildmasters, senior courtiers, and others. It’s rumored she has some sort of bodyguard or family guardian angel who stalks her, watches over, and steps in to save her skin when need be. (These rumors are true: her aunt Taura Tesper, who’s really the steel dragon Arantaryltaura, scries “Dzarra” and steps in at the last moment to let her escape, or keep her life.
Dzarlantra is an accomplished dancer, singer, and handharpist (but she’s not a Harper, though they’ve several times tried to recruit her). She’s perky, lithe, beautiful, and eversmiling. She adopts all the latest hairstyles, changes her wardrobe constantly, and is very much part of the “high life” social whirl of Waterdeep.