Main article: Elminster — The Making of a Mage As a young boy, tending sheep in the fertile countryside of the nation of Athlanthar, Elminster has his first encounter with magic: the destruction of his entire hometown by a vicious dragon-riding magelord. The only survivor of the tragedy, Elminster joins a troupe of bandits and later a gang of thieves in the nearby city of Hastarl. Fed up with the rule and power of arrogant mages, Elminster sneaks into a temple of Mystra with the intent of defacing it, leading to a face-to-face confrontation with the goddess. Instead of unleashing her wrath upon the upstart youth, she questions him, and based upon his wise and honest answers and his exceptional potential, Mystra instructs Elminster in the ways of magic and he becomes a powerful cleric and mage, one of her Chosen, a title rarely given and accompanied by a host of powers and duties. Elminster in Myth Drannor[ edit ] Main article: Elminster in Myth Drannor After winning the freedom of Athlanthar from the power-mad magelords, becoming crowned king, and subsequently abdicating his throne, Elminster follows the edict of Mystra to enter the forest of Cormanthor.
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Appearance[ edit ] Elminster appears as a gray-bearded man of weathered visage, with a hawk-like nose and alert, dancing eyes. He speaks in a gruff tone and generally wears nondescript attire. He is almost always smoking a meerschaum pipe that spouts vile-smelling blue or green smoke. He can, however, be imperious, grave, and terrible. Furthermore, he is a natural storyteller and a consummate actor. He rarely reveals the full extent of his true nature to anyone who is not an extremely close friend.
He can portray himself as a trickster , rake , stern father figure, fool, or any other stereotype that he wants to assume, depending on what he wants to accomplish or what reaction he wants to elicit from those around him.
He has no known wife, but retains contact with several previous lovers, including the goddess Mystra — although his relationship with Mystra changed when the goddess was slain during the Time of Troubles and the sorceress Midnight assumed the mantle of the Lady of Mysteries. The Knights of Myth Drannor were also close friends and confidants, and two or three knights were always in Shadowdale in case it was in peril. Media[ edit ] In Dragon Magazine articles written by Ed Greenwood, Elminster often appeared as a wise sage imparting knowledge to a fictional interviewer.
The metafictional conceit central to the series was that, unbeknownst to the other wizards, the meetings were being held in the home of real-world author Ed Greenwood. Greenwood himself was included in the stories as a character, sequestered in hidden locations in order to eavesdrop and take the notes from which the stories were supposedly written later. Elminster was born around DR to Elthryn, the lord of the village of Heldon and a prince of Athalantar , and his wife Amrythale, in the kingdom of Athalantar.
His family was killed by a malaugrym posing as Undarl, one of the magelords of the ancient kingdom of Athalantar. He soon realized that he had no taste for killing, and gave it up when he went to become a burglar in the city of Hastarl, the capital of Athalantar.
He met and became friends with Farl, a local thief, who knew Elminster as Eladar "the Dark". They worked together frequently, eventually forming a gang dubbed the Velvet Hands in opposition to another local gang, the Moonclaws, who were servants of the magelords. When asked if he was interested in learning sorcery, Elminster refused, hating all mages because of the magelords. She spoke to and left the awestruck Elminster with the message that he should learn of magic and worship her. Soon thereafter, while he was still a young adult, Mystra transformed Elminster into a woman named Elmara to strengthen his bond with magic and to know what it is to be a woman.
For a few years, Elmara was a priestess of Mystra. Later, an avatar of Mystra who went by the name Myrjala "Darkeyes" trained Elmara in the ways of a mage and brought her to an ancient Netherese arcanist who taught Elmara a spell that would transform her back into Elminster. In the time that followed, Elminster learned much about magic from Myrjala, reaching the point where he could finish taking his revenge against the evil magelords who had usurped the kingdom.
After a terrific battle, Elminster persevered and assumed the throne of Athalantar. As he and Myrjala left the kingdom, the so-called Mage Royal, Undarl, attacked them, and the sorceress revealed herself to be Mystra. She offered to make Elminster one of her Chosen, and he readily accepted. In this novel, Elminster travels to the city of Cormanthor.
Elminster remains in Cormanthor for over two decades, and is present when the mythal is raised and the city is renamed Myth Drannor. The Temptation of Elminster[ edit ] The Temptation of Elminster  moves the timeline ahead several centuries. At the outset of the novel, Elminster emerges from a dusty tomb, after being trapped there in stasis for many years.
During much of this book, Elminster restricts his use of magic on orders from Mystra and he must again learn to survive by his wits and the skills he picked up earlier in his life. The Time of Troubles[ edit ] Elminster was instrumental in forming the Rangers Three, who aided him in recurring battles with the mysterious Shadowmasters during this time. Elminster also took time to defend Shadowdale from an army of Zhentarim led by the avatar of Bane. Bane and Elminster battled, and both were caught up in the spell that Elminster had called upon to dispose of the avatar.
Elminster was originally thought to have been destroyed, but when he later reappeared it became apparent that he had merely been transported to another plane of existence for a time.
With the present crisis averted, all seemed calm, but the Shadowmasters had other ideas. Elminster and the Rangers Three, along with their allies, managed to frustrate and foil the plans of this race of shapeshifters. Elminster also confronted the overgod, Lord Ao , over his instigation of the Time of Troubles while innocents were being killed.
As the critical moment of the Time of Troubles approached, Mystra knew of what was to come and shed most of her power into the human wizard Midnight, so that all of her essence would not cease to exist. Since Elminster obtained his power from Mystra, this change left him personally powerless at a critical juncture. The two of them were later reunited with the other two members of the band, Itharr and Belkram, but even the Rangers Three could not prevent Elminster from being wounded in battle.
Despite this setback, Elminster and the rangers, along with their allies, freed High Dale and defeated Manshoon of the Zhentarim. They also outlasted the Time of Troubles, and Elminster regained his magic.
The collision tore at the fabric of reality and created a rift to the Nine Hells. Elminster realized that the only way to close the portal before a legion of devils spilled forth onto Toril was to close it from the other side. In the opening of Elminster in Hell, Elminster narrowly managed to close the portal at the expense of much of his magical strength.
In the most graphic scenes of The Elminster Series , Elminster was subjected to brutal tortures, surviving only because of his exceptional endurance and ability to heal himself with silver fire. Realizing that her presence in Hell was less than inconspicuous, due to the Pact Primeval that prohibits the presence of any god in the Nine Hells, Mystra retreated and dispatched more subtle agents to find him; first Halaster Blackcloak , the Mad Mage of Undermountain who was defeated and then the Simbul.
After much searching, the Simbul found him, and together they defeated Nergal and returned home. Narnra is a thief who was raised by a single mother in Waterdeep. She eventually finds her way to Marsember and becomes involved in the intrigues of the Cormyrean nation. She also meets an old man who turns out to be Elminster, and learns that he is her father. Effects of the Spellplague[ edit ] Following the events of the Spellplague caused by the destruction of his patron, Mystra, Elminster lost much of his power but remained unaging.
He continued to live in Shadowdale, but he became bitter and withdrawn. He also serves as a trainer, equipment store and healer to the party. In the final climactic battle, Elminster is captured by the balor Gothmenes and dragged from Limbo to be used as a bargaining chip for the crystal of Bane, which the party has stolen. When the party finally crushes Gothmenes, Elminster is rescued from the Abyss as the gods return reality to normal. He makes a final appearance to thank the party for rescuing him and implies that they are the only ones with knowledge of how close the Realms came to falling under Bane.
He also appeared as the primary quest giver in "Well of Dragons". Comic books[ edit ] Elminster is involved in the story arc "Dragonreach"  in the Forgotten Realms comics. He assists another wizard, Dwalimor Omen, in stopping an individual who was slaying dragons in the Realms.
Elminster in Myth Drannor