The Fellowship of the Purple Staff was a group of like-minded priests and other faithful who united in the Year of the Banner, 1368 DR, to settle the area of the Gulthmere Forest and other lands north of Turmish and turn it into a civilized theocracy they called the "Holy Realm".
By the mid-1370s DR, the Fellowship of the Purple Staff was made up of followers of Chauntea, Helm, Selûne, Lathander, Sune, and Nobanion—primarily clerics and paladins. There were also a few wizards that supported the group. The Fellowship believed that establishment of the Holy Realm was ordained by their deities and that they were carrying out divine will. The vast majority of the members were human, but elves, half-elves, and dwarves were also represented. Almost all non-evil inhabitants of the region were welcome to the Fellowship, as long as they were willing to work hard and had something to contribute.
The Holy Realm was envisioned to be a scattering of temple-farms isolated by the old-growth trees of Gulthmere, connected by roads built by their wizard allies. They planned on sustainable areas for harvesting timber and expected to eventually export lumber, animal pelts, ore from the nearby Orsraun Mountains, wooden items, armor, tools, and clothing, becoming a significant trading entity with its neighbors around the Sea of Fallen Stars.
The Fellowship regularly sent scouting parties into the forest, looking for suitable settlement sites and noting any problem areas. They often hired bands of adventurers to banish pirate camps and to hunt down evil or dangerous monsters. Membership dues also paid for assisting crafters to set up a shop in the Holy Realm on the condition that they stay for a minimum of two years.
Base of Operations
By the end of the Year of Wild Magic, 1372 DR, the Fellowship had founded three hamlets with a total population of 900 souls in the northeastern section of the forest, connected them with roads, and surrounded them with fortifications. The roads also connected to those that led to Telpir and Amry on the Dragon Coast. Their main area of concentrated effort was the portion of the forest east of Cedarsproke.
Most of the members of the Fellowship were worshipers of Chauntea, Helm, Lathander, Nobanioin, Selûne, or Sune, and therefore the group had cordial relations with the churches of those deities. Some members were also members of various orders within these churches, such as the Field Guardians of Chauntea and the Vigilant Eyes of the God of Helm, and could request aid from them when necessary. In the 1370s, the organization reached out to the Harpers as a like-minded group that understood the balance between nature and civilization, and had an active diplomatic presence in Turmish, Cormyr, Sembia, and some of the city-states along the Dragon Coast. The Church of Silvanus withheld judgment and watched carefully to see where the Fellowship drew the line between nature and civilization.
Enemies of the Fellowship included the anti-civilization People of the Black Blood, who wanted to turn the settlers into lycanthropes and live a tribal life of subsistence, and any pirates inconvenienced by interference from groups hired by the Fellowship. The followers of antagonistic deities such as Bane, Malar, Shar, and Talos also did not want to see the Holy Realm established, but, as of the early 1370s, none of these groups had formed any significant organized opposition.
Members of the organization were called "Fellows" regardless of gender. New members were called "Newfellows" during a one-year probationary period and could be removed from the ranks by a majority vote of Fellows. Each Fellow had one vote and all issues put up for a vote were announced at least three tendays beforehand. All members were expected to pay dues, although, in the early years, much of the funding for Fellowship business came from the wealthier senior members.
Each member was expected to volunteer at least one contiguous tenday per year to applying their skills to the betterment of the community, and could be called upon at other times if the need was great. Newfellows usually began their probationary period with their tenday of service and were often asked for a second tenday in the latter half of their first year. Members did not get any compensation for this service beyond room and board, if needed, although, rare or expensive material components for spellcasting were provided and the cost of item creation covered, so as not to unduly burden the caster. Typical service tasks included:
- Clerics: Healing; cast zone of truth and lesser geas for judicial trials; lead worship services.
- Druids: Heal animals; enrich crops with plant growth; prune vegetation with diminish plants as needed for roads, etc.; educate the populace about living in harmony with nature; lead worship services.
- Paladins: Military leadership; guard a village; provide security for important people, places, or things.
- Rangers: Patrol the outer reaches of the Holy Realm; scout in advance of expansion; guard the community as a whole; promote respect for nature and its creatures.
- Wizards: Assist with roads and other public works projects using levitate, fabricate, wall of stone, and mending; cast continual flame for street lighting; improve the appearance of defenses with illusory wall.
The Fellowship of the Purple Staff was founded in 1368 DR by priests of Chauntea, Helm, and Selûne from Turmish, wooded enclaves near Starmantle, and various other places around the Vilhon Reach. As word spread, paladins from other faiths became interested, and soon, the Fellowship included followers of Lathander and Sune as well. The organization's incursions into Gulthmere Forest at first angered the followers of Nobanion, but after some negotiation and explanation, the Nobanionites agreed to an alliance in 1372 DR. By the end of that year, the Holy Realm had grown to three small, fortified settlements in the northeastern portion of the forest with a total population of around 900 settlers, and had established trade connections to Telpir and Amry.
- Delthym, cleric of Chauntea
- Helm Bornson, paladin of Helm
- Jehastra Wintergaze, ranger of Selûne
- Breyarg Stonebreaker, paladin of Gorm Gulthyn
- Kerri Talindras, cleric of Sune
- Rindon Wasatho, ranger of Selûne
- Thomas M. Reid, Sean K. Reynolds (Nov. 2005). Champions of Valor. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 80. ISBN 0-7869-3697-5.
- Thomas M. Reid, Sean K. Reynolds (Nov. 2005). Champions of Valor. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 82. ISBN 0-7869-3697-5.
- Thomas M. Reid, Sean K. Reynolds (Nov. 2005). Champions of Valor. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 81. ISBN 0-7869-3697-5.
- Ed Greenwood (August 1994). “Elminster's Everwinking Eye: More Hidden Powers of Turmish”. In Jean Rabe ed. Polyhedron #98 (TSR, Inc.), p. 25.