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The anchorites of Talos were a loosely organized group of half-orc shamans and mystics dedicated to Talos. They were active in the late 15th century DR around the Sword Coast North.[1][2]

Organization[]

The anchorites of Talos were a reclusive group who rarely operated in large numbers. All members shared both human and orc ancestry, and were blessed by Talos with mastery over lightning, including allowing them to cast lightning bolts at their enemies. In addition, the anchorites were all wereboars, and revered one of Talos's servants, the primal spirit known as Gorthok the Thunder Boar.[2]

Activities[]

The anchorites served Talos's will by inflicting destruction on those they saw as intruding on their territory.[3][4] They performed rituals in honor of Talos, often involving humanoid and animal sacrifices followed by dancing. These rituals were used to invoke Talos’s favor, to create magical storms in his name, and to summon Gorthok the Thunder Boar to wreak havoc.[5] The anchorites also nurtured and made use of other monsters to attack local populations, including ankhegs[3] and blights.[6]

Tactics[]

Anchorites tended to prefer to attack from a position of advantage. They used their magic to breed or compel monsters to fight for them,[3] relied on the strength of Gorthok the Thunder Boar,[4] and would use their boar shape to catch enemies off-guard.[3] They sometimes kept domestic boars on hand so that they could hide among them while in bestial form.[5][6] They were also known to summon storms to attack and discombobulate their enemies.[5][7]

Base of Operations[]

The anchorites did not have a centralized base of power, however they were known to make sacrifices to their god and to perform their rituals at a sacred site in Neverwinter Wood known as the Circle of Thunder.[5] They also occupied a ruin known as the Woodland Manse near the Circle, which they used as a base from which to harass local hunters.[6]

Possessions[]

As shape-shifting hermits, the anchorites had little use for most possessions. The wore clawed gauntlets for use in combat,[2] and crafted gruesome totems as part of their rituals. These totems often took the form of effigies marked with the holy symbol of Talos, and were bound in hair and/or dipped in pig's blood.[8]

Relationships[]

Among the orcs of the Sword Mountains, they were respected as mystics and advisors, and would provide blessings to the tribes in times of hardship.[1]

They were generally opposed to "civilized" folk, making them a threat to the safety of nearby towns, such as Phandalin and Leilon.[9] They were also known to attack logging operations within Neverwinter Wood.[3]

When the Cult of Talos arose with plans to sow destruction up and down the Sword Coast, many anchorites joined them.[10][11][12]

History[]

The anchorites of Talos were active in the late 15th century DR, shortly after the Second Sundering in which their god Talos was once again recognized as a distinct deity from the orcish god Gruumsh.[13][14]

The anchorites became notable threats during the period in which the white dragon Cryovain claimed the area north of the Sword Mountains as his hunting ground. A tribe of orcs was driven from their stronghold at Icespire Hold by the dragon, and made their way to the anchorites in Neverwinter Wood for assistance.[1] Bolstered by these orcs, the anchorites became more bold in their efforts to push logging and hunting operations out of their territory,[3][4] and plotted to summon Gorthok the Thunder Boar to aid them.[5]

At the same time, or perhaps beginning even before the arrival of Cryovain, many anchorites joined forces with the Cult of Talos, led by Fheralai Stormsworn, who aimed to wreak havoc on trade in the region.[10] The magic of the anchorites bewitched the lighthouse beacon atop the Tower of Storms on the coast of the Sea of Swords, luring ships to crash on the cliffs so that the cult could plunder them.[7][11] When this scheme captured a death knight-dreadnaught, several anchorites ended up helping to crew the ship.[11] Likewise, when the Cult ultimately laid siege to the town of Leilon, many anchorites joined the fray, summoning bolts of lighting upon the defenders.[12] During this time, many other cultists began referring to themselves as "anchorites" as well.[10]

Members[]

Appendix[]

Appearances[]

Adventures
Dragon of Icespire PeakSleeping Dragon's WakeDivine Contention
Referenced only
Storm Lord's Wrath

References[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 |Christopher Perkins (September 2019). “Dragon of Icespire Peak”. In Scott Fitzgerald Gray ed. Dungeons & Dragons Essentials Kit (Wizards of the Coast), p. 7. ISBN 978-0-7869-6683-7.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 |Christopher Perkins (September 2019). “Dragon of Icespire Peak”. In Scott Fitzgerald Gray ed. Dungeons & Dragons Essentials Kit (Wizards of the Coast), p. 51. ISBN 978-0-7869-6683-7.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 |Christopher Perkins (September 2019). “Dragon of Icespire Peak”. In Scott Fitzgerald Gray ed. Dungeons & Dragons Essentials Kit (Wizards of the Coast), p. 34. ISBN 978-0-7869-6683-7.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 |Christopher Perkins (September 2019). “Dragon of Icespire Peak”. In Scott Fitzgerald Gray ed. Dungeons & Dragons Essentials Kit (Wizards of the Coast), p. 47. ISBN 978-0-7869-6683-7.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 |Christopher Perkins (September 2019). “Dragon of Icespire Peak”. In Scott Fitzgerald Gray ed. Dungeons & Dragons Essentials Kit (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 18–19. ISBN 978-0-7869-6683-7.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 |Christopher Perkins (September 2019). “Dragon of Icespire Peak”. In Scott Fitzgerald Gray ed. Dungeons & Dragons Essentials Kit (Wizards of the Coast), p. 44. ISBN 978-0-7869-6683-7.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 |Christopher Perkins (September 2019). “Dragon of Icespire Peak”. In Scott Fitzgerald Gray ed. Dungeons & Dragons Essentials Kit (Wizards of the Coast), p. 40. ISBN 978-0-7869-6683-7.
  8. |Christopher Perkins (September 2019). “Dragon of Icespire Peak”. In Scott Fitzgerald Gray ed. Dungeons & Dragons Essentials Kit (Wizards of the Coast), p. 35. ISBN 978-0-7869-6683-7.
  9. |Christopher Perkins (September 2019). “Dragon of Icespire Peak”. In Scott Fitzgerald Gray ed. Dungeons & Dragons Essentials Kit (Wizards of the Coast), p. 11. ISBN 978-0-7869-6683-7.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Shawn Merwin, James Introcaso, Will Doyle, Bill Benham, Christopher Lindsay (2019-09-04). Storm Lord's Wrath. Dungeons & Dragons Essentials Kit. D&D Beyond. Retrieved on June 28, 2021.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 James Introcaso, Will Doyle, Shawn Merwin, Bill Benham, Christopher Lindsay (2019-09-04). Sleeping Dragon's Wake. Dungeons & Dragons Essentials Kit. D&D Beyond. Retrieved on June 29, 2021.
  12. 12.0 12.1 Will Doyle, James Introcaso, Shawn Merwin, Bill Benham, Christopher Lindsay (2019-09-04). Divine Contention. Dungeons & Dragons Essentials Kit. D&D Beyond. Retrieved on June 28, 2021.
  13. Logan Bonner (August, 2009). “Domains in Eberron and the Forgotten Realms”. In Chris Youngs ed. Dragon #378 (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 36–37.
  14. Steve Kenson, et al. (November 2015). Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. Edited by Kim Mohan. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 21, 24, 38, 118. ISBN 978-0-7869-6580-9.
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