The Council of Elders of Halruaa, whose individual members were referred to as Halruaan elders,[3] was the prime governing body and policy makers of the magocratic nation in the Shining South.[1] It was comprised of an immensely diverse collective of powerful,[3] independently-minded spellcasters that, despite their differences, managed to come together in order to govern the country.[2]

As of the late-14th century DR, the council was overseen by the nation's Wizard-King, Zalathorm Kirkson,[4] whose reign began in 1262 DR.[5]


Only arcane casters were eligible to join the ranks of the Council of Elders, the vast majority of which were wizards. Other spellcasters were not respected in Halruaan society, so few of them ever stayed in their homeland long enough to attain the level of talent necessary to become a member of the Council.[3]

Although the 400-plus members of the council[2] were proven wizards, being an arcane spellcaster was not enough to hold authority in Halruaa. After passing a divinatory background check, they had to prove their mastery of the Art with unique displays of arcane force and knowledge, enough to make them famous all across the land.[3]

Such individuals that achieved this feat, and earned the title of a "Halruaan Elder", were granted permission to participate in the nation's revered and prestigious ruling council. This assembly served as the the court of the Netyarch, where the group discussed the official policies and important matters of the country with the head of state.[3]


Tasked with a never-ending quest of new spells and magic items, a sizable number of elders rarely appeared in the court, choosing instead to venture forth in search of wondrous magic elsewhere in Faerûn. Thus, they were free to travel and experiment as they pleased, as long as they did not put their country and its citizens at risk.[3]

In the event that the Netyarch, or wizard-king, died, the Council would select the next Netyarch from among their ranks. This was typically the most powerful elder. Power was measured by a complicated system based on the opinion of other elders, ranking of specialization, and general level of magical might.[1]


Council meetings were conducted by Zalathorm, often facilitated by his unique crystal orb that allowed him to contact any member regardless of their location on Toril. Most of the time only half of the attended meetings and at least thirty nine council members were required for a meeting to occur.[1] Except in the most dire of circumstances only a tenth of council were required to participate in order to have a successful vote.[2]

If an issue so warranted, a special vote was called and a magical summons sent to each elder of the council to return to the palace of the Netyarch in Halarahh. Although some time was given for all the councilors to arrive, those that couldn't had to live with the critical decisions made in their absence.[5][2]


Through their research and exploration of arcane knowledge in Faerûn and beyond, the elders of the Council became even more masterful spellcasters. They were experts at manipulating metamagic, could engage in Halruaan circle magic and often maintained a repertoire of signature spells.[6]



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Tom Prusa (1993). The Shining South. (TSR, Inc), p. 4. ISBN 1-56076-595-X.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Thomas Reid (October 2004). Shining South. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 133. ISBN 0-7869-3492-1.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Thomas Reid (October 2004). Shining South. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 27. ISBN 0-7869-3492-1.
  4. Thomas Reid (October 2004). Shining South. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 131. ISBN 0-7869-3492-1.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Thomas Reid (October 2004). Shining South. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 132. ISBN 0-7869-3492-1.
  6. Thomas Reid (October 2004). Shining South. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 28. ISBN 0-7869-3492-1.