War Mage of Cormyr
Were Azadhast human, he would appear to be in his late twenties or early thirties; untouched by old age, but mature. Slightly short (which he considers a tactical advantage), he stands at roughly 5’4”. His long, black hair, slightly curly, is normally tied back but several curled strands always fall forward, framing his face. His ears are just slightly pointed, evidence of his elven ancestry, and he wears a thin, well-trimmed goatee on his face. His eyes are a patient, deep grey-green.
He favors very simple clothing most of the time, but when on a mission or acting in an official capacity for the Cormyrian crown he always wears his Robe of the Archmage, a beautiful white robe knit from several kinds of fabric and elaborately embroidered with a purple dragon across the back whose claw reaches up and over his right shoulder and whose tail curls down by his left hip. He nearly always wears the hood up, both to extend the robe’s mystical protection to his head and to hide his eyes to prevent his opponents from divining his intentions.
His primary weapon, the Staff of the Magi, is similarly striking; a dark mahogany staff which curls upward in a thickening twist, the edges of the outer spiral crusted with silver veins.
He is never without his signet ring, which contains his arcane mark, and proves his standing as a War Mage of Cormyr, granting him rank within the Cormyrian military and the right to represent the nation when the need arises.
Azadhast’s actual place of birth is uncertain, but he was raised in the scholarly fortress of Candlekeep, on the Sword Coast, in Faerun. His father, Fohrdain, a silver elf who had fled from the Moonshae Isles during the Darkwalker affair, was a mage scholar of minor renown who studied planar theory as his area of expertise. Conducting various experiments to learn more about the link between the world of Toril and other worlds and dimensions, he was said to have simply disappeared from his laboratory entirely one day. He was gone for only a few days, returning exhausted and clad in strange clothing, and refused to speak of where he had been. He seemed aged by many dozens of years, though only gone for eighty hours. Some time later, a baby was left by the gate of Candlekeep in a basket, along with a note written in a strange alphabet. Fohrdain was able to read the strange note, and said nothing but that the child was his son. That child was Azadhast.
Silver elves are known for their magical aptitude and thoughtful nature, and although it was clear that Azadhast was a half-breed, he obviously inherited that nature from his father. Though clever, Azadhast was not as interested in raw, scholarly theory, but supplemented his own magical studies by viewing the Weave as a work of art, often choosing to paint and draw portraits in his spare time, rather than play with the other children or study. He earned high marks in most of his classes, although he struggled in the most advanced theory classes. Evocation was his forte, and he was said to have mastered the lightning bolt spell at age 25, young for someone of his race. He also enjoyed games of strategy, and through hard work was able to master several such games from lands near and far.
Though clever, Azadhast was not an academic genius; he was smart enough that he could have made a place for himself at Candlekeep, but he would have had to work very hard to compete with others to whom scholarly debate and analysis came more easily. Instead, he decided to use the skills those scholars did not have; a unique, artistic view of the Weave, a talent for strategy and common sense, a knack for conversation and diplomacy, and the bravery to test his skills and grow in the art through practical application and in dangerous situations. More important, however, was the desire to find the identity of his mother. His father refused even the slightest clue as to where he had disappeared to during his missing days, and would not tell Azadhast anything about it. When his father died, ending all hopes of being told the identity of his mother and the place of his true birth, Azadhast left Candlekeep alone, taking those first difficult steps in the dangerous journey that would ultimately fit him to become a War Mage.
Visiting Amn, Halruaa, and the Moonshae Isles, he sought some clue on the cold trail of his origins, and attempted to put his talent for magic to constant test along the way. He engaged other young mages in tests of skill and cunning, sometimes losing, and sometimes winning, but always learning. One of his great strengths was to view even a losing battle as an opportunity to grow stronger… perhaps even a better opportunity than winning. Impressing some older mages, he received offers of apprenticeship and very nearly joined the Halruaan Netyarchy, but ultimately he remained a free agent.
Traveling to Thay, he engaged in the dangerous task of learning about its ruling class of Red Wizards. He did so a little too well, and was nearly forced to apprentice himself as an evoker apprentice to Thay. It took all of his skill and cleverness to escape the clutches of the evil nation; a friend of his from Candlekeep arrived to save him and was killed in the escape attempt. Having seen the ravages of their arrogance, greed, and general evil, and having lost a good friend to them, Azadhast remains a hardened foe of the Red Wizards of Thay, and seeks to do damage to their organization whenever the opportunity presents itself.
Opportunity knocked when he learned of a plot taking place during his travels in western Cormyr. A doppelganger had killed a captain of the Cormyrian army and had taken his place, issuing spurious orders calculated to cause unrest between Cormyr and Amn. Azadhast saw through the plot, and using a combination of magic and trickery, killed the false Captain. A War Mage from the Tower came to investigate, and learning the truth of the matter, offered Azadhast an apprenticeship at the Tower. As his idealogies matched Cormyr’s, he accepted. At first, he was assigned a minor mage as his master, but he quickly drew Vangerdahast’s attention; where other mages would cling to their masters, needing to be spoon-fed the next step in their instructions, Azadhast was a picture of quiet competence, capable of overseeing his own studies. In truth, he had already outgrown his own master, and was rapidly advancing his own studies through his innovative use of art in magical theory. He would often sit on the balcony of the Tower and paint the Cormyrian landscape when not studying. Vangerdahast was intrigued by Azadhast’s mixture of art and the Weave into a working magical system, and decided to test the young mage. He was sent out with an undercover Cormyrian agent on a mission to rescue some villagers held hostage in a border dispute with Sembia, as part of a plan which required the casting of a spell he knew. The agent was killed on the way there, in which case he was supposed to return to the Tower, but rather than give up, Azadhast took the initiative, devised an entirely new strategy, recruited a few willing Cormyrian citizens from nearby villages, and with the use of a Phantom Force, Tenser’s Floating Disc, and a minor cantrip (and a great deal of foresight), he accomplished the mission. After a trial period in which he proved his competence again and again, Vangerdahast finally accepted Azadhast as his apprentice.
Azadhast’s work became much more dangerous then; Vangerdahast decided that he would be wasted in the Tower, and so sent him out as a Cormyrian agent, often undercover, to solve problems that a force of warriors would be unable to. Azadhast’s talent for strategy and judgment allowed him to accomplish these tasks, though he nearly perished several times. In the end, however, his skills as an agent grew great, and for years he worked as one of Cormyr’s finest agents abroad. At 35 he met King Azoun and was formally admitted as a War Mage of Cormyr.
Today, Azadhast is quietly but firmly dedicated to supporting the interests of Cormyr at home and abroad, seeing it as the only major world power which can be trusted with his formidable skills (for a mage, Azadhast is not unduly arrogant, but nobody has accused him of humility either). Some, seeing him painting a picture, playing a strategy game with himself, or reading a book on dragon psychology (his favorite subject), think him to be lazy, but all of these things are artistically linked to his aims: to one day discover his own origins, to bring ruin upon the magocracy of Thay, to aid the nation of Cormyr in its mighty task of making the world a better place, and above all, to become ever more skilled in his use of the Weave and his command of the mighty Art.