The Sultlue (pronounced: /ˈsʊltluː/ SULT-loo) clan were members of the nobility of Waterdeep in the mid-to-late 14th century DR. Their primary legitimate interests were in horse breeding, mercenary work, and trading. Unlike the other noble houses in the City of Splendors, the Sultlues never gave up trading in slaves, managing to keep this and other depraved practices behind a facade of normalcy for centuries. Many of the clan had yuan-ti blood in their veins but did not have any unusual physical features that revealed their heritage.
The ostensible patriarch of the family, from at least the Year of the Prince, 1357 DR, to at least the Year of Wild Magic, 1372 DR, was Lord Asbrior Sultlue (nicknamed "The Serpent"). His most recent consort was Lady Pera, and his heir was his eldest son, Asbrior II (nicknamed "The Asp"). However, an ancient master yuan-ti pureblood, Sylsinssath Sultlue, resided in the family crypt in the City of the Dead. Sylsinssath was well over a century old in 1372 DR, but he was asleep for great lengths of time. As of this date, the family had seventeen living noble members, not all of whom could be considered completely sane.
There were two factions inside the family—one that maintained a willful ignorance of the shady deeds and depravities of the other. Lord Asbrior, his consort Pera, their daughter Taszeana, and two of their five sons all turned a blind eye toward the scurrilous activities of the rest of the clan, spearheaded by Asbrior's uncles, Darrambur and Pelmaer, and his aunt Jaszmaeril. The entire family considered themselves above the law and were known to hold grudges and be prone to irrational hatred.
The Sultlues did not merely traffic in slaves, they also experimented on them with poisons, drugs, and scents to develop more potent wares to sell in their trading business. The mistreatment of captured humanoids did not stop there. Slaves that might be recognized were often transformed into beasts of burden and sold for use or for food. For the right price, the Sultlues would polymorph someone into an exact replica of a hated rival or an object of desire for a client to abuse as they wished. Likewise, a duplicate body could be used as convincing evidence to frame someone for various crimes. They even turned slaves into living bombs, placing bags of nails inside their bodies and magically detonating them from a distance. At the top of the long list of perversions, the Sultlues practiced cannibalism, and took particular delight in serving this vile fare to unsuspecting honored guests.
Base of Operations
The Sultlues made their home in a large walled compound of two-story buildings located in the North Ward, fronting on Vondil Street and spanning from Shield Street to Copper Street. To the east, across Copper Street, was the Cragsmere villa, and to the southwest, across Shield Street was the Manthar family compound.
Sylsinssath Sultlue and a number of tainted ones resided in the Sultlue family crypt, located in the City of the Dead. The Sultlue vault was the first major structure south of the Andamaar's Street entrance.
Sometime during the 14th century DR, the Sultlues were expecting the shipment from Lushpool of a matched pair of bejeweled daggers of venom via a merchant from Calimshan. Servants of Artor Morlin, the vampire lord of Waterdeep, waylaid the merchant just before the delivery was to be completed and pilfered the fine teak coffer bearing the arms of House Sultlue that held the twin daggers plus a grimoire bound in serpent skin that documented various unwholesome yuan-ti religious rituals. The last known location of these items was in the Lair of the Blood Baron, deep beneath the streets of the city.
The Sultlue family were regular customers of Phalantar Orivan, proprietor of Phalantar's Philtres & Components. He provided them with osssra oil, but after the Lords of Waterdeep banned the sale of osssra in the city sometime around 1372 DR, Phalantar tripled the price. House Sultlue was willing to pay up to double the price, but only for future shipments, not stock that had already been ordered. While the merchant and customer haggled over the cost, Phalantar hid his osssra stock in a storeroom in the Dungeon of the Crypt.
Armar Terresk of the City Watch was instrumental in the arrest and conviction of one of Asbrior's sons and a scion of House Thunderstaff sometime around the Year of the Staff, 1366 DR. Both young men were sentenced to be abandoned in Undermountain and subsequently died, earning Terresk the enmity of the Sultlue clan.
The Sultlue family were of Tashlutan descent and venerated Sseth, one of the major gods of the yuan-ti. They were ennobled in Lushpool in the Year of Many Serpents, 605 DR and at some point the family gained a foothold in Waterdeep, achieving nobility in the Year of the Sharpened Teeth, 1138 DR. Sylsinssath was from House Eselemas in Lushpool, but had to flee for his life from a rival cousin sometime in the 13th century DR. He made his way to Waterdeep and built another fortune in the City of Splendors. He found kinship in House Sultlue and was venerated by them even as he succumbed to the torpor of old age.
- Asbrior Sultlue: Patriarch in the mid–14th century.
- Pera Sultlue: Consort (third wife) to Asbrior.
- Asbrior Sultlue II: Eldest son of Asbrior.
- Taszeana Sultlue: Young daugher of Asbrior and Pera.
- Darrambur Sultlue: Uncle to Asbrior I.
- Pelmaer Sultlue: Uncle to Asbrior I.
- Jaszmaeril Sultlue: Aunt to Asbrior I.
- Sylsinssath Sultlue: An ancient master yuan-ti pureblood.
- Bromas Sultlue: Family member in the late 15th century.
- Ed Greenwood (1987). Waterdeep and the North. (TSR, Inc), p. 48. ISBN 0-88038-490-5.
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