Abdel Adrian was an adventurer who traveled extensively across west Faerûn, thrice saving it from ruin during the mid–14th century DR. As one of the mortal progenies of the dead god Bhaal, he lived for over a hundred years well into the late 15th century. Abdel spent most of his extended life in the city of Baldur's Gate, where he served as a soldier and general of the Flaming Fist, as well as a beloved statesman of the Council of Four.
- 1 Names and Titles
- 2 Description
- 3 Personality
- 4 Abilities
- 5 Possessions
- 6 Activities
- 7 Relationships
- 8 History
- 9 Appendix
Names and Titles
Because of his many years and storied life, Abdel was known by many other names and held several noteworthy titles; among his nicknames were Gorion's Ward, the Hero of Baldur's Gate, the Godling, and the Bhaalspawn. His titles included Marshal of the Flaming Fist and Grand Duke of Baldur's Gate.
Abdel was an imposing figure standing almost 7 feet (2.1 meters) in height. He had black hair and a severe look to his eyes.
As an elder statesman, Duke Abdel Adrian often chose to listen to others rather than to speak his mind. When he did choose to speak, his opinions carried significant weight and often suggested a course of moderation.
While the Grand Duke was always one to spend time with Baldurian citizens whenever possible, he was prone to infrequent bouts of severe introspection. Despite this, he still managed to maintain his sense of humor.[note 1] Like other Bhaalspawn, he always felt the need for conflict, at least to some degree.
As a result of being one of the Bhaalspawn, Abdel gained a number of innate spell-like abilities during his early adventuring years. These were lost to him after some time, on the occasion when his divine soul was wrenched from his body.
Abdel preferred to wear rather plain clothing with little decoration or trinkets. He would oblige wearing the uniform of his office when parades were held throughout the streets of Baldur's Gate.
While Abdel was often quiet during meetings of the Council of Four, he led a number of charitable ventures that made him popular with both middle-class Baldurians and residents of the Outer City and even among the agents of the Guild.
Abdel was born in either the Year of the Bright Blade, 1347 DR or the Year of the Spur, 1348 DR to a priestess of Bhaal named Alianna, who served at a temple in the Forest of Wyrms.[note 2] She and the other Bhaalists sought to fulfill the god's intricate plan; he would circumvent his otherwise unavoidable death a decade later by using the souls of his slain children. Fortunately for them, this plan was thwarted by a group of Harpers, among whom served the mage Gorion. Alianna herself was slain by Gorion, and her baby was entrusted to his care.[note 3] Among the other Bhaalspawn were two individuals that would play significant roles in Abdel's life: the babe Imoen and the young child Sarevok. While Imoen was taken in by affable man Winthrop, Sarevok had to be left behind and grew up as an orphan.
From then on, Abdel lived a sheltered life as the foster child of Gorion within the library fortress of Candlekeep. He grew up alongside the lighthearted Imoen, whom he knew as a dear friend rather than a half-sibling.
In Mirtul of the Year of the Banner, 1368 DR, Gorion got word that the life of his foster son was in mortal danger. The sage sent word to his old contacts among the Harpers, including the wizened Elminster and his two trusted friends, Khalid and Jaheira. Soon after, Gorion and Abdel left hurriedly from Candlekeep in the dead of night but were waylaid by an armored figure and his allies. Seeing no way out, Gorion sacrificed himself to the attackers, to allow time for Abdel to flee.[note 4]
The next morning, Abdel was greeted by Imoen. She had earlier snuck into Gorion's chambers and read a private note that made her suspect trouble was on its way. Imoen snuck out of Candlekeep in an effort to come to their aid. As Gorion's last words instructed Abdel to find Khalid and Jaheira, he went a ways north to find them at the Friendly Arm Inn.
Abdel sought answers about Gorion's death. He eventually came to learn about the reports of bandit attacks that plagued the Sword Coast. Abdel traveled south to the Amnian town of Nashkel to investigate. He discovered that the iron mines were being tainted by kobolds led by a Cyricist cleric named Mulahey. Mulahey's correspondence led Abdel to an agent by the name of Tranzig in Beregost, who was himself a subordinate of the bandit leader Tazok. While following the trail, Abdel received some guidance from his father's acquaintance Elminster that pointed him northeast to the Wood of Sharp Teeth.
Traveling through the forest, Abdel was able to discover a secluded spot that housed bandits from the Chill and Blacktalons mercenary companies. Abdel made his way into Tazok's personal tent, met Ender Sai and uncovered the truth behind the iron crisis and the rise in bandit activity. They were not caused by the Zhentarim, as rumors had stated, but were linked to an Iron Throne hideout in the Cloak Wood. Abdel moved from the eastern forest to the western one and discovered the Throne's mining operation. Abdel delved into the mines, interrogated its leader Davaeorn, and flooded its tunnels to prevent the Iron Throne from profiting further.
Abdel learned that the all of the schemes he had discovered so far pointed to one Rieltar Anchev and his son Sarevok. Abdel traveled north to the city of Baldur's Gate and began working under the direction of Scar, the master-tactician of the Flaming Fist, and none other than Grand Duke Eltan. After investigating local merchant costers and some disappearances that plagued the city, Abdel stormed the Iron Throne headquarters in the city. Within, he found further evidence that implicated Sarevok and pointed to an upcoming Iron Throne meeting at his old home of Candlekeep.
Revisiting his old home was bittersweet affair. While Abdel was able to learn more about his beloved foster father, he was made aware of his true nature as one of the children of Bhaal. A few moments later he learned about the immediate deaths of the Iron Throne leadership and was blamed for the deed and imprisoned within the dungeons of Candlekeep. After receiving assistance from First Reader Tethtoril, Abdel learned of Sarevok's ultimate plan: to assume leadership of Baldur's Gate and command the Flaming Fist in a bloodwar against Amn. Abdel confronted Sarevok at his coronation ceremony, revealed his schemes to the city's nobility, and pursued him to the Temple of Bhaal within the Undercity. In a final confrontation, Abdel slew his half-brother Sarevok and spared Baldur's Gate from a grim fate.
Adventures Along the Sword Coast
During his travels, Abdel completed several other adventures independent from his involvement with the rescue of Baldur's Gate. He traveled to the village of Ulgoth's Beard and sailed to a small island of werewolves some ways off the Sword Coast; he delved through the dungeons of Durlag's Tower and uncovered the secrets of the famous Durlag Trollkiller; and he defeated the cult led by Tracea Carol, who was working to summon the nabassu Aec'Letec to Faerûn.
In the weeks after Sarevok's fall, Abdel and his companions routed the last of his half-brother's followers from Baldur's Gate. He was still traveling alongside Imoen, Jaheira, and Khalid, and he was also joined by the Rashemi adventurers Minsc and Dynaheir, as well as the treasure-hunter Safana. As their final action against Sarevok's coterie, they routed the wizard Korlasz from her underground hideout within her family's crypts. Finally the group could take some time off while in the city of Baldur's Gate.
By Uktar of that year, a dangerous new faction arose to threaten the Sword Coast, a crusade of zealots and mercenaries led by a figure known as the Shining Lady. While Abdel's group was staying in Baldur's Gate, he and Imoen were attacked at night by individuals bearing the crusade's symbol. While they both survived, Imoen was poisoned and needed quite some time to recover. Abdel gathered his allies in the city and set out with the Flaming Fist as they rallied with the Coalition forces that were gathering to meet the Crusade in battle.
Over the next few weeks, Abdel and his companions traveled north with the Flaming Fist, as they moved closer to the gathered armies from Waterdeep and Daggerford. Their group was accompanied by the noblewoman Skie Silvershield, daughter of Duke Entar Silvershield. The group encountered the crusade at the Coast Way crossing but were barred from crossing the Winding Water after the Crusade demolished the bridge. They were forced to march northeast to the Boareskyr Bridge, where they were able to break the Crusade's siege of Bridgefort. When Abdel crossed the bridge, he was struck down and bombarded by a vision of Bhaal's death at the hands of Cyric. The event scorched the bridge itself in the shape of Bhaal's symbol.
The Flaming Fist finally united with the rest of the forces and the Coalition's leadership prepared for their final assault against the Crusade at the site of Dragonspear Castle. Abdel led a mission within the underground Nepenthe River to weaken the castle's defenses, just before joining the siege of the castle. The Coalition routed the Crusaders, and Abdel forced the Shining Lady into the castle's dungeon. Ultimately, she was betrayed by her head priest Hephernaan, who opened a portal to Avernus, the realm of his true master Belhifet. With the Coalition forces fighting off what came out of the portal, Abdel ventured into the Nine Hells to bring justice to the Shining Lady, and defeat Belhifet on his home plane.
As the Coalition forces were recuperating overnight at Dragonspear Castle, Abdel was framed for the murder of young Skie Silvershield by a mysterious hooded figure. Skie's soul was trapped within a dagger, and Abdel was taken to High Hall in Baldur's Gate once again, to face trial for her death. As a token of appreciation for his service, and to free the city from the perceived taint that accompanied one of the Bhaalspawn, the Council of Four let Abdel free, on the condition that he leave the city. He and his former allies fled Baldur's Gate that night but were abducted by the Shadow Thieves and smuggled south to the Amnian capital of Athkatla.
Adventures in Amn
In the Year of the Gauntlet, 1369 DR, Abdel and his companions were imprisoned and tortured by an individual about whom they knew nothing. During their confinement, Khalid and Dynaheir were both killed in a gruesome manner. On Mirtul 1 of that year, the dungeon complex in which they were held came under attack; the surviving group used the opportunity to break free and escape to the open air market of Waukeen's Promenade. There they encountered their captor, Jon Irenicus, the same man who had framed Abdel for murder. Irenicus and Imoen exchanged offensive spells with one another, drawing the attention of the Cowled Wizards. The arcane enforcers apprehended both of the spellcasters and took them to their asylum prison on the isle of Brynnlaw.
Distraught over the loss of his childhood friend Imoen, Abdel made every effort to get her back. He raised over 15,000 gp to pay off the Shadow Thief Gaelan Bayle and learn of her whereabouts. After Bayle informed him that Imoen was being held in Spellhold, Abdel allied himself with one of thieves' guilds in the city and finally set sail to Brynnlaw with the traitorous corsair Saemon Havarian. Once he found a way into the asylum, Abdel was ambushed by Irenicus and his vampire companion Bodhi. Irenicus revealed Imoen's true nature as a Bhaalspawn and used his dark magic to strip her and Abdel of their divine souls. The two Bhaalspawn were then thrown into the labyrinthine dungeon beneath the asylum for Bodhi's amusement.[note 5]
The two fought their way out of Bodhi's maze and reached the asylum once again. Once there, they managed to free the other inmates and confront Irenicus alone. Fighting alongside one another, the group managed to best the mage, though they couldn't prevent his and Bodhi's escape into the Underdark. Abdel gave chase, but he was waylaid for some time. He encountered a silver dragon by the name of Adalon, who guarded the entrance to the surface near the Forest of Tethir. Adalon tasked Abdel with retrieving her stolen eggs from the nearby drow city of Ust Natha.
Once Abdel reached the surface, he met with the elven general Elhan and learned more of the conflict between the elves of the forest and drow who were preparing for a surface invasion. Irenicus and Bodhi stole the relic called the Rhynn Lanthorn and barred entrance to the forest city of Suldanessellar. In order to reach the mage, Abdel was forced to slay Bodhi in her lair beneath Athkatla's Grave District,[note 6] to retrieve the Rhynn Lanthorn, and to restore Imoen's soul before going after his own. Abdel made one final journey into the forest, through Suldanessellar to the Tree of Life, where he found Irenicus.[note 7] The Exile, as the elves called him, was stealing the power of the tree to supplant Rillifane Rallathil as a member of the Seldarine.
Abdel slew Irenicus on the branches of the Tree of Life, though both of their bodies died. Immediately after their shared death, Abdel was wretched from the Prime Material plane to the remnant of Bhaal's domain in the Abyss, which was shaped by the soul he shared with Irenicus. While in that domain, Abdel completed five trials and received corresponding Tears of Bhaal, each of which held a portion of the dead god's essence. He encountered Irenicus once again, who had since gained the ability to transform into Bhaal's avatar, the Slayer. Abdel and Irenicus battled over possession of the soul to which they were both linked, and Abdel emerged victorious. The mage was left to languish in the Abyss, while Abdel's consciousness returned to his body in Suldanessellar after a matter of days.
Abdel was welcomed to stay in the elven city by the grace of Queen Ellesime. As the armies of the Five ravaged the nation of Tethyr, the elves of Suldanessellar grew fearful of Abdel's presence. By the queen's insistence, Abdel visited the Grove of the Ancients on Eleasis 8 of that year. There he encountered the elven Bhaalspawn Illasera the Quick and learned about the War of the Bhaalspawn. Though Illasera tracked Abdel down as her prey, he defeated her and was once again dragged down to the Abyssal domain previously held by Bhaal.
Under the guidance of a solar, Abdel began to learn the full extent of the divine powers of himself and the other spawn. Whereas his previous descent into Hell had led to a meeting with a wraith of Sarevok, this trip reunited Abdel with his half-brother in earnest. Sarevok asked for a small portion of Abdel's soul in order to live as a mortal, albeit not as a Bhaalspawn. In return, Sarevok would offer Abdel the information that his journey would take him to the Tethyrian city of Saradush. Abdel began his journey to learn more about his mortal mother, his siblings, and his place in the conflict around him.
Abdel arrived at a city under siege by the fire giant army of the Bhaalspawn Yaga-Shura. The residents of the city, and even the region as a whole were terrified of the Bhaalspawn due to the war that raged around them. In Saradush, Abdel met Amelyssan, the head priestess of Bhaal who masqueraded as a protector to the dead god's children. Abdel broke through the siege and defeated Saradush's paranoid ruler Gromnir Il-Khan, before finding the secret to Yaga-Shura's seeming immortality and besting him on the field of battle.
In the name of stopping the war, Amelyssan directed Abdel to her ally Balthazar at his monastery in Amkethran. From there Abdel journeyed out and slew two other members of The Five, the drow spellcaster Sendai and the blue dragon Abazigal. With the death of each Bhaalspawn, those who still lived came closer to achieving ascension. Upon returning to the monastery in Amkethran, Abdel learned of Balthazar's ultimate plan, to slay his fellow Bhaalspawn before taking his own life to prevent Bhaal's return. The seemingly last two remaining children of Bhaal battled in Balthazar's throne room for some time and Abdel emerged victorious.
After returning to his pocket plane, Abdel was confronted with the truth about Amelyssan. She prevented Bhaal from receiving the essences that were released from the death of his children, so that she would ascend to godhood herself. As Abdel ventured forth to the Throne of Bhaal, he battled Amelyssan as she harnessed that power. While Amelyssan could not be killed while wielding Bhaal's essence, it left her body when she was defeated by Abdel. He in turn, was presented with a choice: to keep the divine power as his own and ascend as the new Lord of Murder, or to surrender his divine essence to be hidden away in Mount Celestia and remain a mortal. Abdel "chose" the latter, unaware that his destiny was not entirely within his own control.
Life as a Statesman
After his adventuring days had come to a close, Abdel returned to his first home of Candlekeep. For some time he lived a quiet life of introspection and deep thought as Gorion had done before him. A vestige of Bhaal remained within the retired adventurer however, and the "dead" god decided that Abdel would aid him in his scheme to regain divine power.
Bhaal's vestige compelled Abdel to move north to Baldur's Gate and became an enlisted man in the Flaming Fist. He started as a private and quickly ascended within the its ranks. When Duke Valarken killed the Marshal of the Flaming Fist during the mid–15th century, Abdel took over as the head of the mercenary company. Despite his initial protests, he was also granted the title of Grand Duke that traditionally accompanied being Marshal.
On Returning Day in the Year of the Narthex Murders, 1482 DR, Abdel stood in front of a large crowd of Baldurians gathered in the Wide. Part way through his speech, he was confronted by Viekang, the only other remaining Bhaalspawn that managed to survive the bloody crisis that ended a century earlier. Viekang attacked his half-brother, and the crowd became uproarious. The two Bhaalspawn fought one another until one emerged victorious by killing the other. While it was unknown which man died that day, the victor of the battle underwent a gruesome transformation into the avatar of Bhaal known as the Bhaalspawn Slayer. Chaos broke out in the marketplace, and many in the crowd were killed.
Eventually the monstrosity was slain by the Flaming Fist aided by a band of local adventurers. The following day, the city of Baldur's Gate held an austere funeral for the Grand Duke Adrian. As befitting his role as Grand Duke, Abdel's body was interred beneath High Hall in the Upper City. As it was during his life, tales of Abdel's adventures spread far across the Realms even after his death.
- In the Baldur's Gate novel and accompanying Dragon magazine article, Abdel is described as being dour and brooding.
- While it is not explicitly stated that the temple of Bhaal in the Forest of Wyrms is the same temple featured in the origins of Abdel Adrian and Sarevok, there is evidence to suggest that it is. The original Baldur's Gate game states that the Harper Gorion was a lover to and killer of Abdel's biological mother. The Throne of Bhaal expansion reveals her identity as Alianna, a priestess of Bhaal and the mother of Abdel Adrian. Baldur's Gate: Siege of Dragonspear features the story of how the forest temple was raided by members of the Harpers, one of whom nearly killed his lover before rescuing her infant child.
- The rest of the notes in this article describe the version of Abdel Adrian as described in the aforementioned novel. The novel version of Abdel was born in 1343 DR. He was rescued from a Bhaalist cult by Sir Daesric of the Hands of the Loyal Fury.
- In the novel, by this year, Abdel had spent the last eight years working as a mercenary along the Sword Coast and Amn.
- In the novel, while in the asylum, Abdel transformed into the Slayer.
- In the novel, Abdel had a romantic encounter with Bodhi.
- In the novel, Abdel and his companions battled a version of the Ravager that housed the body of Imoen within.
- Baldur's Gate • Baldur's Gate: Tales of the Sword Coast • Baldur's Gate: Siege of Dragonspear • Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn • Baldur's Gate II: Throne of Bhaal
- Philip Athans (August 1999). “Rogues Gallery: Baldur's Gate”. In Dave Gross ed. Dragon #262 (TSR, Inc.), pp. 70–74.
- BioWare (December 1998). Designed by James Ohlen. Baldur's Gate. Black Isle Studios.
- Beamdog (March 2016). Designed by Philip Daigle, et al. Baldur's Gate: Siege of Dragonspear. Beamdog.
- BioWare (September 2000). Designed by James Ohlen, Kevin Martens. Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn. Black Isle Studios.
- BioWare (June 2001). Designed by Kevin Martens. Baldur's Gate II: Throne of Bhaal. Black Isle Studios.
- Ed Greenwood, Matthew Sernett, and Steve Winter (2013). D&D Encounters: Murder in Baldur's Gate (PDF). D&D Encounters. Wizards of the Coast. p. 15. Retrieved on 2015-07-01.
- Ed Greenwood, Matt Sernett, Steve Winter (August 20, 2013). “Murder in Baldur's Gate”. In Dawn J. Geluso ed. Murder in Baldur's Gate (Wizards of the Coast), p. 4. ISBN 0-7869-6463-4.
- Ed Greenwood, Matt Sernett, Steve Winter (August 20, 2013). “Murder in Baldur's Gate”. In Dawn J. Geluso ed. Murder in Baldur's Gate (Wizards of the Coast), p. 5. ISBN 0-7869-6463-4.
- Ed Greenwood, Matthew Sernett, and Steve Winter (2013). D&D Encounters: Murder in Baldur's Gate (PDF). D&D Encounters. Wizards of the Coast. p. 14. Retrieved on 2015-07-01.
- Ed Greenwood, Matthew Sernett, and Steve Winter (2013). D&D Encounters: Murder in Baldur's Gate (PDF). D&D Encounters. Wizards of the Coast. p. 12. Retrieved on 2015-07-01.
- Ed Greenwood, Matt Sernett, Steve Winter (August 20, 2013). “Campaign Guide”. In Dawn J. Geluso ed. Murder in Baldur's Gate (Wizards of the Coast), p. 37. ISBN 0-7869-6463-4.
- Philip Athans (August 1999). “Rogues Gallery: Baldur's Gate”. In Dave Gross ed. Dragon #262 (TSR, Inc.), p. 71.
- Ed Greenwood, Matt Sernett, Steve Winter (August 20, 2013). “Campaign Guide”. In Dawn J. Geluso ed. Murder in Baldur's Gate (Wizards of the Coast), p. 43. ISBN 0-7869-6463-4.
- Philip Athans (July 1999). Baldur's Gate. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 0-7869-1525-0.
- Chris Avellone (January 1999). “Baldur's Gate: Candlekeep”. In Dave Gross ed. Dragon #255 (TSR, Inc.), pp. 54–58.
- Brian R. James, Ed Greenwood (September 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. Edited by Kim Mohan, Penny Williams. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 148. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
- BioWare (May 1999). Designed by James Ohlen. Baldur's Gate: Tales of the Sword Coast. Black Isle Studios.
- Philip Athans (September 2000). Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 0-7869-1569-2.
- Brian R. James, Ed Greenwood (September 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. Edited by Kim Mohan, Penny Williams. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 149. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
- Ed Greenwood, Matt Sernett, Steve Winter (August 20, 2013). “Murder in Baldur's Gate”. In Dawn J. Geluso ed. Murder in Baldur's Gate (Wizards of the Coast), p. 3. ISBN 0-7869-6463-4.
- Ed Greenwood (23-5-2021). Abdel & Bhaal (Tweet). theedverse. Twitter. Archived from the original on 24-5-2021. Retrieved on 24-5-2021.