Elaith Craulnober (pronounced: /iˈlɑːɪθ krɔːlˈnoʊbʌr/ ee-LAITH crawl-NO-burr) was a moon elf adventurer and crime lord living in the city of Waterdeep. He was a cunning and opportunistic elven rogue with an infamous reputation.
Elaith Craulnober was a tall elven noble in his prime with sharp, handsome features and a graceful build. He was 5'8" tall. Elaith had silver hair and the pale skin common to his people. His eyes were the color of amber. He favored his trademark black cape and elven daggers, which he often used to solidify his already fearsome reputation. He was often likened to a "silver snake" because of his appearance, which in part gave him his alias of "The Serpent."
Elaith was a tragic character who never truly recovered from his initial fall. His descent from nobility on Evermeet to the brutal and heartless crime lord he became contributed to his contrasting qualities. In Evermeet, Elaith was serious and proper, the "epitome of elfdom" according to Amnestria. After his exile, Elaith became a heartless crime lord with a penchant for cruelty. He was portrayed as a manipulative and evil elf whose canny intelligence managed him a worthy position among Waterdeep's nobility. Elaith was a very proud elf, and any slight made to him was answered brutally. Despite his often unforgiving manner, Elaith had a twisted sense of honor, and seemed to fully respect (albeit in a twisted fashion) many elven traditions - including his use of "Elf-friend". During the events of the Songs & Swords series, Elaith underwent a drastic change. He became more questioning of his morality, and even began to actively seek redemption -- through any means possible. He remained an evil crime lord, but his evil and cruel streaks were markedly reduced.
Style was important to Elaith. He disdained the methods of the Zhentarim because they had "no style."
Elaith was the only child of an only son, the last of the Craulnober line in Evermeet. He served as captain of the king's guard in Evermeet. He grew up alongside Princess Amnestria and was later betrothed to her. During their betrothal, he inherited his grandfathers's moonblade, which rejected him. Their betrothal was nullified and in disgrace Elaith left the island for Waterdeep.
In Waterdeep, Elaith became a rogue elf. He was recruited by a band of mercenaries known as the Company of the Claw. They were led by Xander to go treasure hunting (tomb robbing) in Erlunn. Elaith found the complete break from his former traditions and values liberating.
Being obsessed with obtaining a functioning moonblade, Craulnober collected information on various treasure hoards in the region around Waterdeep. In the Year of Moonfall, 1344 DR, he heard of the drunken ramblings of Thalaraz Dlaerve who claimed to have come through a portal deep inside the House of Stone and had bags of rubies to show for it. Elaith kidnapped the besotted warrior and used some version of a mind ream spell on him to extract all the man knew about the place, then disposed of him.
Soon, Elaith began building his own underground empire of crime. He acquired a reputation for ruthlessness as an assassin, intelligence broker, and crime lord. His notoriety was such that there was a well-known ballad written about him called "Silent Strikes the Serpent."
In the Year of Maidens, 1361 DR, Elaith ran into Arilyn Moonblade and Danilo Thann, and aided them in their quest to find the Harper Assassin. However, despite Elaith's fondness for Arilyn, he had his own personal agenda and vendetta - which caused no little difficulty for the pair. In particular, Elaith held no love for Danilo and arranged to have him assassinated, although he later rescinded the job. He aided the two of them in determining that Kymil Nimesin was behind the Harper Assassin in a plot to usurp the throne of Evermeet.
In the Year of the Wave, 1364 DR, Elaith hesitantly joined forces with his hated enemy, Danilo Thann, in order to solve the riddle of the ancient green dragon Grimnoshtadrano in order to obtain the Morninglark harp. Danilo's sought the harp in order stop a sorceress from wreaking havoc; Elaith sought the harp in order to restore his moonblade for his infant daugther, Azariah. With a rag-tag army of minstrels, mercenaries, and riddlemasters - Elaith and Danilo solved the riddle and regained the artifact. Elaith stole the artifact, but after Danilo reminded him of their agreement, he defended Danilo from harm, becoming gravely injured. His selfless sacrifice reactivated the moonblade and allowed Elaith to be healed.
In the Year of the Banner, 1368 DR, Elaith discovered the magical qualities of the Dream Spheres - a mercantile product used to create dreamscapes for the upper nobility of Waterdeep. In an attempt to test the "evil" of his soul, Elaith took a legendary intelligent tel'kiira—a magical artifact used to magnify a person's magical capability. Legend says that the tel'kiira would bend an ordinary person's soul to evil, but if wielded by a truly vile being, the artifact would bow down to his will completely. Temporarily fooled by a false copy of the artifact, Elaith, believing himself beyond redemption, sank down to the evil streak of cruelty and ruthlessness he was previously known for. However, at the end, he once again aided Arilyn and Danilo in destroying the evil telkiira to restore order in Waterdeep.
Foremost of Elaith's abilities were his fearsome reputation and his willingness to commit the vile, cruel acts. Elaith honed his reputation to a point where he was nigh untouchable in the City of Waterdeep. After the restoration of his moonblade, Elaith preferred to hire mercenaries to perform his illegal activities for him.
Aside from his wealth and reputation, Elaith was also very capable in combat. The Serpent was known for his quickness and agility. Elaith was also a master in wielding daggers, and often dual wielded them to confuse (or to toy with) his opponents. As a wizard, he also exhibited various magical capabilities, including scrying and invisibility.
Elaith was very familiar with the criminal underground, and practiced larceny quite easily. He was known to deactivate locks and traps with ease, and to blend well into shadows.
Elaith was a collector of magical items, and as such, his entire inventory would be impossible to note. However, some of his more notable possessions were as follows.
Elaith possessed a dormant moonblade, an elven artifact that rejected him as its owner because of his questionable character and instigating his exile. The moonblade was reactivated in 1364 DR when Elaith was gravely injured for the sake of the Harper Danilo Thann. His last thoughts were only for his daughter; the moonblade, sensing a change of heart, healed him and restored itself. Elaith held the moonblade for his daughter, planning to give it to her when she was old enough to inherit it.
Elaith owned a magical dagger that returned to his hand after it was thrown. He obtained it through a trade from the Harper Danilo. He also kept a black knife tucked in his left boot. This knife was used to create a necromancer's rune on the foreheads of dead bodies that prevented others from speaking with their spirits or determining the cause of death.
Elaith's strongest bond was with the Princess Amnestria of Evermeet, Arilyn Moonblade's mother. He was a distant relative of hers and grew up with her. They were later betrothed. Their betrothal was nullified after Elaith's moonblade rejected him and he went into self-imposed exile. Elaith's unresolved emotion for the princess was such that it was one of the few things that could break his iron self-control. During the The Dream Spheres, he was almost killed because of this weakness.
Elaith has two children, although only one of them was known to him. Azariah Craulnober, for whom he attempted to recover the dormant moonblade, was sent to Evermeet to be fostered in the royal household, to inherit the moonblade when she is old enough. For Azariah's sake, Elaith attempted to avoid situations in which he might be killed, although he continued his evil dealings.
Elaith's other closest companion was, ironically, the Harper who was formerly his most hated enemy, Danilo Thann. Early in their relationship, Elaith tried to have Danilo killed because he detested the human noble. However, after Danilo saved his life in 1364 DR and grew fond of Azariah, Elaith developed a grudging respect for him. Elaith named Danilo an elf-friend in return for the Waterdhavian bard saving his life, though he has been known to refer to this as an act of supreme folly.
Elaith viewed the half-elven assassin Arilyn Moonblade as elven royalty - even saying that she should have been his daughter (because he had been betrothed to Amnestria, Arilyn's mother). Initially mistaking her for Princess Amnestria, he forged a tentative alliance with the brooding half-elf.
Elaith professed a seething hatred for Arilyn's human father, the Harper Bran Skorlskun - a former friend. Whether this hatred stems from his human heritage, the human's inability to protect Amnestria, or the fact that she loved the human more than she loved him - was not made clear. Bran was not fond of Elaith, either, blaming him for the deaths of the Company of the Claw. It was implied that Bran and Elaith had previously adventured together in that band.
Elaith briefly spent time with the charming rogue Bronwyn Caradoon, secretly a Harper Agent sent to sabotage one of his plans. He had displayed an uncharacteristic attraction for Bronwyn, an attraction that constantly prevented him from killing the sly female rogue.
Khelben "Blackstaff" ArunsunEdit
- In the first-edition sourcebook Waterdeep and the North and in later editions of the novels, Elaith's surname is spelled Craulnobur.
- In the game Neverwinter Nights, Elaith could be found in Port Llast seeking a number of gems in order to take his daughter back to Evermeet. However, as explained in Elfsong, Azariah was sent to Evermeet some years previously.
|“||As you will learn, my pride has a very high price indeed. – Elaith Craulnober, Elfshadow||”|
|“||Elaith Craulnober, under different circumstances I believe we could have become very good friends. – Laeral Silverhand of the Seven Sisters in grim agreement with Elaith's twisted justice, Elfsong||”|
|“||Better to embrace evil than to become overcome by it. – Elaith Craulnober, The Dream Spheres||”|
|“||Thanks, but I don't want you to get troubled on my account. No offense, but who will believe that you fought to protect my honor? – Bronwyn gently refusing Elaith's offer to help, The Dream Spheres||”|
|“||The difference between a rogue and a hero often comes down to who tells the tale. – Danilo Thann describing Elaith, The Dream Spheres||”|
Novels & Short StoriesEdit
- Evermeet: Island of Elves
- Silverfall: Stories of the Seven Sisters
- "The More Things Change" (in Realms of Infamy and The Best of the Realms III)
- "Speaking with the Dead" (in Realms of Valor)
- The City of Splendors: A Waterdeep Novel
- Neverwinter Nights (chapter 2)
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Elaine Cunningham (April 2000). Elfshadow. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 120–121. ISBN 0-7869-1660-5.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 182. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Elaine Cunningham (April 2000). Elfshadow. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 128. ISBN 0-7869-1660-5.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 Elaine Cunningham (April 2000). Elfshadow. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 175–176. ISBN 0-7869-1660-5.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Ed Greenwood (1987). Waterdeep and the North. (TSR, Inc), p. 51. ISBN 0-88038-490-5.
- ↑ Dale Donovan (July 1998). Villains' Lorebook. (TSR, Inc), pp. 22–23. ISBN 0-7869-1236-7.
- ↑ Elaine Cunningham (April 2000). Elfshadow. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 173–174. ISBN 0-7869-1660-5.
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Elaine Cunningham (December 1994). “The More Things Change”. Realms of Infamy (TSR, Inc.). ISBN 1-5607-6911-4.
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 Elaine Cunningham (April 2000). Elfsong. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 0-7869-1661-3.
- ↑ Elaine Cunningham (April 2000). Elfshadow. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 185. ISBN 0-7869-1660-5.
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 Elaine Cunningham (April 2000). Elfshadow. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 198–199. ISBN 0-7869-1660-5.
- ↑ Ed Greenwood (July 2000). “The New Adventures of Volo: The House of Stone”. In Dave Gross ed. Dragon #273 (Wizards of the Coast), p. 76.
- ↑ Elaine Cunningham (April 2000). Elfshadow. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 121. ISBN 0-7869-1660-5.
- ↑ 14.0 14.1 14.2 Elaine Cunningham (April 2000). Elfshadow. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 0-7869-1660-5.
- ↑ 15.0 15.1 Elaine Cunningham (May 1999). The Dream Spheres. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 0-7869-1342-8.
- ↑ Elaine Cunningham (May 2007). “Games of Chance”. The Best of the Realms III (Wizards of the Coast), p. 317. ISBN 978-0-7869-4288-6.
- ↑ Elaine Cunningham (April 2000). Elfshadow. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 177. ISBN 0-7869-1660-5.
- ↑ Richard Baker, Ed Bonny, Travis Stout (February 2005). Lost Empires of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 145. ISBN 0-7869-3654-1.
- ↑ 19.0 19.1 Elaine Cunningham (April 2000). Elfsong. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 310. ISBN 0-7869-1661-3.
- ↑ Elaine Cunningham (April 2000). Elfshadow. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 174. ISBN 0-7869-1660-5.
- ↑ BioWare (June 2002). Designed by Brent Knowles, James Ohlen. Neverwinter Nights. Atari.
- ↑ Elaine Cunningham (April 2000). Elfsong. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 282. ISBN 0-7869-1661-3.