The Host Tower of the Arcane, sometimes stylized as the Hosttower,[note 1] was both an academy of magical training for the Arcane Brotherhood and the headquarters for their political and economic power in the city of Luskan.[3]

Description[edit | edit source]

The Host Tower was located on Cutlass Island at the mouth of the River Mirar in Luskan.[4] It resembled a massive, dead tree with a central spire and four skyward-reaching "limbs" oriented to the cardinal directions. Each of these limbs was covered in lesser spires, towers, and balconies, and contained living quarters, laboratories, summoning chambers, and arcane libraries.[5] The building radiated an aura of magic that many residents found so uncomfortable that they purposely avoided looking at the building.[6]

The top of the central spire was occupied by the leader of the Arcane Brotherhood, the Archmage Arcane. Each of the Brotherhood's four Overwizards occupied the limbs and were given titles and duties based on the cardinal direction of their spire.[5] It was said that every apprentice received their own alchemical laboratory and meditation chamber within the Tower.[6]

Defenses[edit | edit source]

While the Host Tower had no obvious physical defenses, it was rumored to have many magical ones. It was a well-known fact that would-be intruders often ended up incinerated or worse.[5]

History[edit | edit source]

The earliest account of the Host Tower's existence comes from the Mirar Saga, a Northlander oral tradition recorded in 1237 DR by a loremaster of Waterdeep, which claims the Tower existed during the Northlanders' first migrations to the Sword Coast.[7] This account would suggest that the Host Tower has existed since at least -3000 DR.[8] This is significantly earlier than when the Tower was actually built,[9] so the story likely conflated this first migration with a later one.

The Tower was raised by the netherese arcanist Melathlar in −354 DR to protect Illusk from phaerimm attacks, an effort which cost Melathlar his life.[9] Twenty years later in -335 DR, another arcanist named Maerin discovered the fiery primordial Maegera beneath Mount Hotenow. He commissioned the dwarves of Delzoun to build the city of Gauntlgrym in the mineral-rich caverns above the god-like being, and he created a magical siphoning system that took seawater from the Sea of Swords and transported it via roots 'grown' from the Host Tower to Gauntlgrym to keep the primordial's power under control. This process was completed by -321 DR.[10][11]

In 95 DR, Illusk came under attack from Uthgar Gardolfsson and his raiders from Ruathym. The wizards who ruled the city, called the Grand Cabal, fled into the Host Tower and abandoned the city. Without them, Stefan Blackspear led the people of Illusk in repelling the invaders. He became the first Highlord of Illusk a year later, and immediately decreed that wizards were to be exiled from the city.[12] However, the Grand Cabal persisted in the Host Tower, eventually becoming liches[13] and weathering no less than three orc hordes (in 152 DR,[14] 306 DR,[15] and 611 DR, all of which failed to enter or damage the Tower[16]).

It was not until 806 DR that someone managed to penetrate the Host Tower's defenses. Laeral Silverhand entered the tower and encountered the Cabal, and ultimately sealed the ancient spellcasters back inside.[13] They remained trapped for half a millennium until the arrival of Arklem Greeth in 1311 DR, who managed to bypass Laeral's magic and free the remaining members of the Cabal, who helped him set up the Arcane Brotherhood.[17]

The Host Tower would serve as the headquarters of the Brotherhood for the next several decades. They became the true rulers of the city, now known as Luskan, and based some of their organization's power structure on the architecture of the Tower.[7][18]

In 1376 DR, Greeth broke his staff of the magi during an invasion of Luskan by Waterdeep. The resulting explosion nearly leveled the Tower and killed most of its inhabitants.[19] For over a century, the Tower was a strange ruin haunted by undead, and the locals would not go near it.[2]

The Host Tower was regenerated in 1486 DR.[20] An effort was mounted to reconstruct it by Catti-brie, Gromph Baenre, Lady Avelyere, and others via the power of Maegera and the root system connecting it to Gauntlgrym. The dwarves of Gauntlgrym marshaled numerous raw materials, including original stone from the Host Tower, and the primordial "grew" the structure out of molten rock at the behest of Cattie-brie.[21] The Arcane Brotherhood was reestablished shortly afterward with the Tower once again as their headquarters.[20]

Appendix[edit | edit source]

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Appearances[edit | edit source]

Novels
Referenced only
The Crystal Shard
Video games

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. The alternate spelling Hosttower of the Arcane was used in the following sources:

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. Edited by Jennifer Clarke Wilkes, et al. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 176. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. Edited by Jennifer Clarke Wilkes, et al. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 148. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  3. Ed Greenwood (1993). Volo's Guide to the North. (TSR, Inc), p. 121. ISBN 1-5607-6678-6.
  4. Kim Mohan ed. (2015). Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 97. ISBN 978-0786965809.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Jason Carl, Sean K. Reynolds (October 2001). Lords of Darkness. Edited by Michele Carter. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 114. ISBN 07-8691-989-2.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Philip Athans (2008). A Reader's Guide to R. A. Salvatore's the Legend of Drizzt. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 142–143. ISBN 0-7869-4915-5.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Jason Carl, Sean K. Reynolds (October 2001). Lords of Darkness. Edited by Michele Carter. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 109. ISBN 07-8691-989-2.
  8. Brian R. James, Ed Greenwood (September 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. Edited by Kim Mohan, Penny Williams. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 29. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Brian R. James, Ed Greenwood (September 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. Edited by Kim Mohan, Penny Williams. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 47. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  10. Brian R. James, Ed Greenwood (September 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. Edited by Kim Mohan, Penny Williams. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 49. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  11. Matt Sernett, Erik Scott de Bie, Ari Marmell (August 2011). Neverwinter Campaign Setting. Edited by Tanis O'Connor. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 12. ISBN 0-7869-5814-6.
  12. Brian R. James, Ed Greenwood (September 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. Edited by Kim Mohan, Penny Williams. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 61. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  13. 13.0 13.1 Brian R. James, Ed Greenwood (September 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. Edited by Kim Mohan, Penny Williams. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 103. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  14. Brian R. James, Ed Greenwood (September 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. Edited by Kim Mohan, Penny Williams. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 65. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  15. Brian R. James, Ed Greenwood (September 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. Edited by Kim Mohan, Penny Williams. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 69. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  16. Brian R. James, Ed Greenwood (September 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. Edited by Kim Mohan, Penny Williams. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 92. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  17. Brian R. James, Ed Greenwood (September 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. Edited by Kim Mohan, Penny Williams. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 134. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  18. Jason Carl, Sean K. Reynolds (October 2001). Lords of Darkness. Edited by Michele Carter. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 111. ISBN 07-8691-989-2.
  19. R.A. Salvatore (Oct. 2008). The Pirate King. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 978-0-7869-4964-9.
  20. 20.0 20.1 Kim Mohan ed. (2015). Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 17, 98. ISBN 978-0786965809.
  21. R.A. Salvatore (October 25, 2016). Hero (Kindle ed.). (Wizards of the Coast), chap. 15. ISBN 9780786966059.
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