Conner was a human thief and conman in the mid–14th century DR. He was the mentor of a young Vajra Valmeyjar and guardian of the kittenlord, and his cons embroiled him in the machinations of the gods.
Conner and VajiEdit
Conner was a warrior, thief, and con-artist plying his trade in Tethyr early in its civil war (which began in Eleint, 1347 DR). In a ruined market town, he spied the young orphaned street-kid Vajra Valmeyjar, or "Vaji" as she was nicknamed. Admiring her spirit, or so he would claim, he took her under his wing, and fed her, cleaned her, and made her his protégé. He trained her as a thief and cutpurse, used her as a distraction for his stealing, and taught her to fight. Together, they fled south to Calimshan.[note 1]
There, Conner and Vaji ran confidence tricks in all the major cities: Memnon, Teshburl, Calimport, and Keltar. In the great city of Calimport, they easily swindled small-time merchants and travelers out of modest amounts, then laid low in another part of the city. When the local authorities began to grow alert or suspicious, they moved on. In this way, they enjoyed a comfortable lifestyle, faced few serious risks and nothing life-threatening, and made it through a few escapades.Finally, the pair went to Manshaka, where law was loose and guards and authorities corrupt, so Conner and Vaji felt safe enough to attempt grander and more profitable cons. Thus, Conner approached Pasha Abon Duum (in fact the tyrannical crime-lord ruler of Manshaka) with a scam in which he claimed that Vaji was the intended bride of Hoar, god of retribution. So impressed was Duum by Vaji that he initially believed this outlandish tale, but even after he came to doubt it, he still desired her. Thus, when Conner's scheme at last went wrong, he was forced to sell Vaji as a slave to Duum, so that he could go free, with their money. She was only twelve years of age at the time. Duum made her a gladiator in the Arena of Blood.
However, Conner had plans from the start to retrieve her. Six months later, Conner returned to Duum with a surefire scheme to rescue Vaji; it failed, and Duum's men beat him and left him for dead in the desert. There he lay dying beneath a desert moon. Yet he was healed somehow, seemingly by divine intervention, and survived. Countless plans followed, all without success, and Conner grew broken-hearted and regretful.
Conner and the cat childEdit
His chance for redemption came when a mysterious woman foretold certain signs and sent him into the midst a vicious battle between the Catlord and the god Malar, the Beastlord, to rescue the kittenlord. Conner claimed to be on a mission from a god to protect the child. The Catlord agreed, and bought time for Conner to carry the child away. He was guided by the foretold signs. Thus Conner became the guardian of the heir to the great cat lord.
Conner claimed to have at one point been trapped on the Astral Plane possessing only one item, but was cut off before he could tell. He also once claimed to have made a deal with beings from the Outer Planes, but Duum thought him a liar. In fact, at some point, the conman did rather more—he made a deal with no less than Tyr, god of justice. He promised to bring the god the Claw of Malar (which Duum possessed), in exchange for some unknown service, debt, or crime.[note 2]
At the Selûne's SmileEditIn the Year of the Prince, 1357 DR, Conner and the boy were traveling on a moor a full day's march from the nearest settlement when fog swept in and they were beset by dire wolves. As he feared the end, a shaft of moonlight transported them to Waterdeep, outside the Selûne's Smile tavern, where they were greeted by the proprietress, Luna. Luna told the young kittenlord a bedtime story, the Song of Selûne. Conner overheard and remarked upon how poignantly she told it. It didn't take long for Conner to work out that Luna was the avatar of the goddess Selûne the Moonmaiden, and that it was she who had healed him in the desert outside Manshaka, guided him to rescue the kittenlord, and rescued them from the wolves.
In fact, Vajra Valmeyjar had escaped Duum and the Arena all on her own, and was now a free woman living at the Smile, so Conner studiously avoided meeting her. He admitted this to Luna, saying their reunion would be unhappy, that Vajra would likely kill him on sight, and that he'd deserve it.
The final conEdit
Later that year, Duum's bounty hunters drugged and kidnapped Vajra out of her room in the Smile. Conner discovered what had happened and alerted her friend Timoth Eyesbright, claiming to be an old friend of Vajra's, and they were joined by Salabak, a former gladiator comrade of Vajra's. Eventually, they caught up with the band, Salabak distracted them with the illusion of a dracolich, and Conner and Timoth slew them with arrows, rescuing Vajra. She struck Conner and accused him of being complicit in the abduction. Together, they related their past together for Timoth. However, returning to Waterdeep and the Smile, they discovered the patrons unconscious; recovering, Kyriani explained that more bounty hunters and a mage had put a potion in their drinks and kidnapped the kittenlord.
Conner, Vajra, and Salabak tracked the mage, Chancil Crystalheart, to Memnon in Calimshan. Conner had come to distrust and suspect Salabak. Although waylaid by his agents, Conner tricked one into leading them to Chancil's house, where they learned he had the cat child and served Abon Duum, while Conner met secretly with the Catlord. In order to steal back the kittenlord, Conner proposed that Vajra pretend to be his captive as he tried to collect her bounty from Chancil. Chancil disbelieved Conner's story and summoned a cyclops to beat him, relenting only when he was convinced by Vajra's hatred of Conner. Chancil gave Conner half the reward for Vajra. However, he tied her bonds too tightly, she couldn't escape and thought he had double-crossed her, and the plan failed; Conner and Vajra only just got away, but without the kittenlord. The pair parted on bad terms again, and Conner kept the money he'd gotten from Chancil. He left, but Vajra was knocked unconscious afterward and delivered back to Abon Duum, who also received the kittenlord.
Conner followed her to Manshaka, but appeared to only indulge himself at a pleasure palace and appeared callous about Vajra's fate to Salabak. He later watched her fight in the Arena of Blood. After Vajra escaped again, he met her, Salabak, and the Catlord in the dungeons beneath the Arena. However, the Catlord confronted him over his failure to protect the kittenlord; despite Conner's desperate claims to have another plan, the Catlord appeared to slay him for his failings.
Eventually, Duum and his forces captured the Catlord and Vajra, and Salabak's treachery was revealed. Duum went on with his scheme, using the Catlord's power to take them all to the plane of Gladsheim to confront Tyr, god of justice—who revealed himself to have been Conner all along. In fact, the rogue had faked his death with the Catlord's aid, apparently to let Duum go ahead with his plans in false confidence: Duum could not predict what Conner was really up to, and Conner's boasts of having made a deal with beings of the Outer Planes meant Duum, although dubious, was reluctant to set foot there. Now Duum was too shocked to resist as the Catlord snatched away the Claw of Malar. Duum sent the kittenlord to attack Conner, but the boy broke the spell. Tyr took the Claw of Malar, and agreed that with Conner that they were "square", but warned him he was watching the scoundrel. Duum was thwarted and left to face Justice itself, and Tyr sent Vajra, Conner, and the Catlord and kittenlord back to Toril.
At last, Vajra had a showdown against her true betrayer, Salabak, who was devoured by a froghemoth. Conner comforted a grieving Vajra and admitted his guilt and failings in abandoning Vajra to slavery, and also revealed his many failed attempts to rescue her from the Arena of Blood. The two were reconciled.
Later, back at the Selûne's Smile, as Vajra and her friends celebrated, Conner spoke with Luna, admitting he'd deduced her to be the goddess Selûne who'd been guiding and aiding him. He felt she'd given him a chance to redeem himself for abandoning Vajra, but she explained she'd done so, not to redeem Conner, but to open Vajra's heart again. Conner spoke of moving on to new cities and cons.
Conner had a muscular build with brown hair, which he typically wore long and tied back in a ponytail. As a young man, he had stubble around his chin and lip, but later in life grew thick sideburns that joined a moustache.
Conner spoke like a honorable gentleman but this concealed a deceitful nature. He was often mistrusting and cynical, and always had a clever plan up his sleeve, or claimed to, at least. He played up the appearance of a callous thief who indulged himself with his ill-gotten gains, but he had a good nature and carried guilt for his abandoning Vaji. He professed himself not to be one of "the good guys".
- ↑ "Shackles of the Past" (#13) describes Vajra as a thief and con-artist in Tethyr before going to Calimshan with Conner, but is contradicted by summaries of her early life in "The Bounty Seekers Of Manshaka" (#2) and Dragon #246, which state that the orphaned Vajra fled south to Calimshan and there met Conner and became a thief and con-artist. The former account is uncertain and was written before Vajra's early life was fleshed out in #13, while the latter appears to be a misreading of the story in #13. This article adopts the sequence of events in #13, as it is a clear and unambiguous flashback.
- ↑ The particulars of this arrangement are unknown.
- Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (comic book series)
- vol. 1, issue 2: "The Bounty Seekers Of Manshaka"
- vol. 1, issue 3: "The Secret of Selûne's Eye"
- vol. 1, issue 5: "The Spirit of Myrrth: Part 1 of 4"
- vol. 2, issue 13: Spell Games, Part 1: "Shackles of the Past"
- vol. 2, issue 14: Spell Games, Part 2: "Shell Game"
- vol. 2, issue 15: Spell Games, Part 3: "Cat & Mouse"
- vol. 2, issue 16: Spell Games, Part 4: "The Last Betrayal"
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Dan Mishkin (December 1989). “Shackles of the Past”. In Elliot S. Maggin ed. Advanced Dungeons & Dragons #13 (DC Comics).
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 Dan Mishkin (January 1990). “Shell Game”. In Elliot S. Maggin ed. Advanced Dungeons & Dragons #14 (DC Comics).
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Dan Mishkin (February 1990). “Cat & Mouse”. In Elliot S. Maggin ed. Advanced Dungeons & Dragons #15 (DC Comics).
- ↑ 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 Dan Mishkin (March 1990). “The Last Betrayal”. In Elliot S. Maggin ed. Advanced Dungeons & Dragons #16 (DC Comics).
- ↑ Brian R. James and Ed Greenwood (September, 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 139. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 Michael Fleisher (January 1989). “The Bounty Seekers Of Manshaka”. Advanced Dungeons & Dragons #2 (DC Comics), pp. 9–10.
- ↑ Dale Donovan (April 1998). “Rogues Gallery: The Heroes of Selûne's Smile”. In Dave Gross ed. Dragon #246 (TSR, Inc.), pp. 70–74.
- ↑ Michael Fleisher (February 1989). “The Secret of Selûne's Eye”. Advanced Dungeons & Dragons #3 (DC Comics), p. 9.
- ↑ Dan Mishkin, Jan Duursema (April 1989). “The Spirit of Myrrth”. Advanced Dungeons & Dragons #5 (DC Comics), pp. 8–9.