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Shamur Uskevren, née Karn,[4] was a famous red-masked thief in Selgaunt in the late 13th century, and the matriarch of the Uskevren noble house during the mid-14th century DR.[3] Due to unique circumstances involving an arcane mishap, assumed identities and devious political schemes among the aristocracy of Sembia, Shamur lived a double life for most of her years.[1]

She was torn between her assumed role as a loving mother, dutiful wife and noble lady of one of her nation's prosperous families, and her true self, who craved the excitement and exhilaration brought on from a life of adventure.[1]

DescriptionEdit

For all intents and purposes, Shamur presented herself as a typical woman of noble birth. She carried herself with a dignified grace, her courteous and polite manner were only seldom undercut by her dry wit and adroit humor. To hide her longing for her true pleasures in life, Shamur maintained a particularly austere demeanor, which often gave her the appearance of years beyond her "actual" age. Despite her demure facade, she was a skilled leader and never held back demonstrating her natural intelligence or skill at managing others.[1]

Shamur was an attractive woman, well into her middle-aged years, with a fair complexion, pale blonde hair and gray eyes. She favored tasteful and conservative clothing, even while in court, favoring light blue and gray fabrics and silver jewelry.[1]

RelationshipsEdit

For many years Shamur maintained a cold but cordial relationship with her husband Thalamon. While they initially entered into a loveless marriage of convenience they had become quite estranged throughout their decades together as Lord and Lady. While Shamur expressed distinct sentiments of resentment and lack of fulfillment during this time, certain events in their later years together led to a reconciliation of sorts between the couple.[citation needed]

HistoryEdit

BackgroundEdit

Shamur was born in the Year of the Wagon, 1273 DR,[1] daughter of Javis Karn of the noble Sembian Karn family. As a child she was a bold and mischievous who preferred challenging herself with great feats of dexterity to the life of leisure afforded to her by her birth.[1]

Bored of the banal life of a noble teenager in Selgaunt, she began sneaking out of Argent Hall and took up a career as a thief within the city. She received extensive training from her mentor, the experienced burglar Errendar Spillwine.[5] Shamur loved the exhilaration and thrill found in her secret life and became quite infamous throughout the city and all of Sembia.[6][7]

In 1292 DR, Shamur discovered the powerful magical sword Albruin had been left in her bedchamber by someone who had been fleeing the Scepters of Selgaunt. She kept the blade for a year before it was bought by a merchant on behalf of Prince Thaum of Telflamm.[4]

In the year 1298 DR, Shamur's identity was revealed, and she was forced to flee her home city. After traveling through the Dalelands, the skilled thief fell in with a group of treasure hunters from the Moonsea and joined them in breaking into an old crypt south of Elmwood. Within the burial chambers were arcane devices the likes of which no one in her band had seen before. Their trespassing released a shadowy guardian spirit which assailed Shamur and her comrades. An errant spellblast activated the magical apparatuses they discharged bolts of energy throughout the room. One of these blast struck the enchanted pearl necklace around Shamur's neck, which then exploded.[7][1]

In an instant the chamber appeared entirely different to Shamur. The ceiling of the crypt had fallen in, the magical devices were destroyed and her allies appeared as if they had been dead. She soon came to realize that 50 years had passed on Toril, while she hadn't aged a day. She returned to her family in Selgaunt and found they were nearly in ruin. Their last hope at turning their fortunes was to marry off Shamur's grand-niece off to Thamalon Uskevren, with the hopes of forming a strong alliance with the Uskevren family. Unfortunately the young noble girl fell mysteriously ill and had died.[1][7]

Second LifeEdit

Shamur's family implored her to take the place of the young relative who was named in her memory, and to whom she bore an uncanny resemblance. With a strong sense of obligation and a sense of fate about the situation, Shamur stepped in and married the well-off lord of House Uskevren in 1348 DR, and began a second life as a noblewoman of Selgaunt.[8] As shrewd as her betrothed was, he never saw the through the ruse and Shamur successfully masqueraded as fully committed to her role as the matriarch of the Uskevren family. As unfulfilling as she found the life, Shamur remained dedicated to the well-being of her family.[1]

1372 DREdit

On Hammer 15 1372 DR, Shamur's father, the elderly Lindrian Karn, was killed Marance Talendar and possessed by the shadow-creature bound to his service Bileworm. By taking over Karn's corpse, the fell shade gained access to his memories, among them Shamur's true identity,[9] and expertly mimicked his speech and mannerisms.[10] A short time later, the possessed "Lindrian", who was in fact Shamur's nephew, summoned the noblewoman to Argent Hall. Using Lindrian's memories, Bileworm convinced her that Thalamon had killed the younger Shamur Karn some 24 years prior, with a poison acquired from an apothecary named Audra Sweetdreams.[11]

After mourning her father's death, when Bileworm ceased possession of his deceased body, snuck out of Stormweathers, and confronted Audra within her shop on Lampblack Alley. After a brief fight and interrogation, the poison-maker verified "Lindrian's" story and Shamur took her leave.[12] She returned home and searched through Thalamon's possessions within their bed chamber and found a small flask of poison that matched the bottles she had seen at the apothecary's shop.[13]

Having enough evidence, Shamur bid farewell to her children on Hammer 25,[14] led her husband out of the city to the woods by some feeble ruse and attempted to kill Thalamon in a duel.[15] The noble couple fought for some time, studying each others' moves as they attempted to learn their opponent's motivation. While Shamur tried to wring a confession from Thalamon, he was oblivious about what she was speaking. Shamur opened up about the information she had received and Thalamon argued in his defense, countering her anger and passion with logic rationality. While Lord Uskevren won the duel of wits, Shamur bested her husband in martial combat but showed mercy rather than deliver a fatal blow.[16]

Just as the couple came to a truce, they were halted by Marance Talendar, who wore a distinct half-moon mask, his familiar Bileworm and a group of mercenaries. Talendar revealed that he had manipulated Shamur's distrust of her husband and was set to reveal his identity to the noble Uskevren when Shamur took action and created a distraction that allowed her and Thalamon to slip past the wizard's crossbowmen. The couple battled a number of Talendar's conjured creatures, including lizardmen, osquips and tlincallis before taking refuge within the ruins of an old keep, that had been raised by Rauthauvyr centuries before. From a distance away, Talendar summoned an enormous earth elemental that leveled the ruins, and from Talendar's perspective, succeeded in crushing the noble lord and lady. However, Thalamon discovered a hidden passageway beneath the keep's chapel, and hurried Shamur and himself inside before the ruins came crumbling down atop them.[17][18]

Safe from their assailants for a brief time, Shamur and Thalamon took a reprieve in the tunnels beneath the demolished castle. Shamur came clean to Thalamon about her true identity, the deeds she had done and lies she had told to ensure the security of House Karn. Thalamon expressed his feelings of betrayal, bewilderment and anger while Shamur shared sincere pangs of guilt. While they couldn't confidently discern the identity of the masked wizard, they agreed to put aside their feelings and hunt down whomever took such lengths to bring upon the doom of their family.[19]

They regrouped in the Overwater portion of Selgaunt, sold their belongings for a few meager weapons and some equipment, disguised themselves as mercenaries and began investigating one of the rather distinct-looking ruffians they had encountered in the fight earlier that evening. After the assailant was tipped off about a couples' sudden interest as to his whereabouts he fled the docks and the disguised husband and wife took chase across tied-off boats and barges that comprised that part of the city. Shamur caught the cutthroat first, and was left to duel him alone, atop the deck of a small sloop that was drifting away from the mass of other vessels. She bested the bravo, uncovered his identity a member of the Quippers, a gang that operated from within the Scab and set off with Thalamon to regroup and rest before the next step of their journey.[20]

AppendixEdit

AppearancesEdit

Novels

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 Philip Athans, Richard Lee Byers, Clayton Emery, Ed Greenwood, Dave Gross, Paul S. Kemp, and Veronica Whitney-Robinson (July 2000). “Rogues Gallery: The Heroes of Stormweather”. In Dave Gross ed. Dragon #273 (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 66–73.
  2. Richard Lee Byers (June 2001). The Shattered Mask. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 35. ISBN 978-0-7869-4266-4.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Jeff Grubb and Ed Greenwood (1990). Forgotten Realms Adventures. (TSR, Inc), p. 104. ISBN 0-8803-8828-5.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Thomas M. Reid, Sean K. Reynolds (Nov. 2005). Champions of Valor. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 60. ISBN 0-7869-3697-5.
  5. Richard Lee Byers (June 2001). The Shattered Mask. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 46. ISBN 978-0-7869-4266-4.
  6. Richard Lee Byers (June 2001). The Shattered Mask. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 149. ISBN 978-0-7869-4266-4.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Richard Lee Byers (June 2001). The Shattered Mask. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 150. ISBN 978-0-7869-4266-4.
  8. Richard Lee Byers (June 2001). The Shattered Mask. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 151. ISBN 978-0-7869-4266-4.
  9. Richard Lee Byers (June 2001). The Shattered Mask. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 36. ISBN 978-0-7869-4266-4.
  10. Richard Lee Byers (June 2001). The Shattered Mask. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 27–31. ISBN 978-0-7869-4266-4.
  11. Richard Lee Byers (June 2001). The Shattered Mask. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 35–42. ISBN 978-0-7869-4266-4.
  12. Richard Lee Byers (June 2001). The Shattered Mask. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 43–54. ISBN 978-0-7869-4266-4.
  13. Richard Lee Byers (June 2001). The Shattered Mask. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 59–64. ISBN 978-0-7869-4266-4.
  14. Richard Lee Byers (June 2001). The Shattered Mask. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 1–9. ISBN 978-0-7869-4266-4.
  15. Richard Lee Byers (June 2001). The Shattered Mask. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 12–17. ISBN 978-0-7869-4266-4.
  16. Richard Lee Byers (June 2001). The Shattered Mask. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 81–94. ISBN 978-0-7869-4266-4.
  17. Richard Lee Byers (June 2001). The Shattered Mask. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 94–113. ISBN 978-0-7869-4266-4.
  18. Richard Lee Byers (June 2001). The Shattered Mask. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 145–149. ISBN 978-0-7869-4266-4.
  19. Richard Lee Byers (June 2001). The Shattered Mask. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 148–153. ISBN 978-0-7869-4266-4.
  20. Richard Lee Byers (June 2001). The Shattered Mask. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 155–170. ISBN 978-0-7869-4266-4.
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