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Vangerdahast Aeiulvana[15] (pronounced: /ˈvɑːnɛrdɑːhɑːstVAN-jer-dah-hast[11]) was the Royal Magician of Cormyr and chairman emperius of the College of War Wizards in the mid-to-late 14th century DR.[9] He was called "Vangey" for short by some.[6][7]


Vangerdahast usually wore reddish-brown robes.[16] He was of average height and slightly overweight,[17] with dark brown eyes that became red when he was angry. His hair and beard were white with a few remaining reddish-brown streaks, although he had also been described as bald-headed. He had a slightly protruding belly.[18] He normally looked about fifty years old, though it was well known that was not his true age.[19])


Vangerdahast was descended from Baerauble Etharr.[20]

He was an old friend of fellow War Wizard Benelaius.[3] The Cormyte transmuter wizard named Argonethestor[21] and the noble scion Ardhuval Raiserek the fire mage were Vangerdahast's students.[22]

He was served by a magical raven-like creature named Myrcrest, who carried messages on his behalf.[2][note 1]


Vangerdahast possessed the staff of the High Wizard of Cormyr and the blade Symylazarr, both of which he was able to summon into his hand at will.[23][24] He also carried a small silver whistle in his belt pouch, which made a loud shrill noise for gaining attention.[25] There were several glowstones in Vangerdahast's belt, which he could use as sources of light.[26] There was also a hollow metal sphere that, upon spoken command, could transform into a key to unlock a secret vault in the depths of the royal palace. It was one of only five, the others possessed by the king, queen, and princesses.[27]


So I bought the wizard's diary, though the price was higher than for his spellbook. Of course, I hope to read his secrets in its pages once I defeat the spell-locks. It's why most folk read.
— Vangerdahast, An Archmage's Life at Court[28]

Vangerdahast was a shrewd yet paranoid man: he simply had to know everything that was going on in the realm, all the time—and influence it, often using the War Wizards as a servant force in that regard. He influenced them too, removing the hierarchy that may have promoted internal competition and instead assigned them all to various task forces, all of which reported directly to him. His legacy lived on, even though he had retired, with many of the War Wizards remaining capable spies.[29]

It was common knowledge in Cormyr that Vangerdahast had a longstanding grudge against Elminster, though the origin of the feud was unknown.[30]

Vangerdahast's favorite chair was in his private library in Castle Obarskyr in Suzail. It was upholstered in the flesh of a sahuagin.[31] He sometimes attended The Laughing Lass, a tavern, and festhall in Suzail, although he was careful to disguise himself.[32]


Early Life[]

Vangerdahast was born in 1224 DR.[12] In his youth, he was a spell-slinging adventurer who gained significant fame in that vocation. One of the things that gained him attention of Cormyr was creation of master adventurer's robes. These enchanted robes proved to be popular among wizards and sorcerer, protecting their owners from opponents who preferred brute strength over wit and the Art.[10]

Vangerdahast was hired by king Rhigaerd II to tutor Azoun IV in heraldry and ethics.[19]

Royal Magician[]

Lad, if I let Cormyr see how upset I am most of the time, they'd lock me up as a madman. If I showed all Cormyr why I'm upset, they'd flee the realm so hard and fast, screaming their terror to the skies, that most of them would probably drown in the Dragonmere before they noticed they'd run right off the ends of our piers!
— Vangerdahast Aeiulvana[33]

In 1336 DR, when Azoun IV took the throne, Vangerdahast was appointed the Royal Magician of Cormyr and Master of the Council of Mages.[1]

Following the murder of king's envoy Grodoveth outside Ghars on Eleint 18, 1367 DR, Vangerdahast ordered (with a message via Myrcrest) retired War Wizard Benelaius to investigate, and furthermore that Captain Flim of the Purple Dragons garrison should immediately execute the killer. Benelaius speculated Vangerdahast had done this, independent of the king but within his authority, to avoid controversy because of Grodoveth's familial relation to Azoun.[2]

In the Year of the Unstrung Harp, 1371 DR, he was responsible for the awakening of Nalavarauthatoryl and the returning of the goblins of Grodd.[34]


By 1372 DR, Vangerdahast had decided to retire from public life and appointed the battle-sorceress, Caladnei, as his successor for the position of Royal Magician.[35]

By 1373 DR, Vangerdahast had retreated into a hidden Sanctum so that he could devise a new ultimate defense for the kingdom, for he wanted the kingdom to be truly safe long after he had passed away. The only practical solution was to ensure that the protection would not be a purely magical defense (which might draw mages eager to learn the Mage Royal's secrets), which he intended to do by the binding of willing dragons, who would slumber in stasis until they were needed, at which point they could be summoned using key words/phrases and certain gestures using certain objects that only the reigning monarchs and Elminster would know.[36]

When a song dragon named Ammaratha Cyndusk found out about the dragon-binding spell being made, she considered it too risky to allow anyone to develop the spell on the off chance that it was stolen and used to enslave the whole of the dragon race. She confronted Vangerdahast, who swiftly defeated her, but spared her life since he felt he had done too much killing in his life already. When a rogue War Wizard blasted Vangerdahast with a powerful spell, it momentarily shook Vangerdahast, allowing the dragon to break free. Ammaratha proceeded to ask why the wizard had not slain her, and when he explained, her heart softened. But, weighing the risk to dragonkind, she chose to flee and gather fully a dozen other dragons to kill the wizard.[36]

At the same time, word had leaked of his experimentation, and a Master Red Wizard of Thay named Harnrim Starangh gathered a small army of other Red Wizards and launched an attack on the kingdom in hopes of distracting the War Wizards and Purple Dragons while he stole the spells of binding. Hearing about Vangerdahast's plan, a group of revolutionaries launched an assault on Castle Cormyr and the Royal family in the hopes of slaying them, further adding to the confusion.[36]

When the dragon host arrived and saw the Red Wizards, they realized that those Wizards might be able to figure out the spells and proceeded to eat, burn, and crush the Red Wizards who, after losing most of their force, proceeded to run screaming from the battlefield that was Cormyr.[36]

The dragons then went to Vangerdahast's Sanctum and confronted him. Vangerdahast informed them that he had realized the risk involved in the binding spell, and had chained the spells to himself so that, when he died, the spells and all his notes would be instantly destroyed. Seeing this, Ammaratha told the other dragons to go off and divide her hoard amongst themselves and that she would take care of the problem. She revealed that she had talked to Vangerdahast's old mentor Elminster and had a solution: that Vangerdahast become a dragon himself to help defend the realm. Ammaratha then said that she would be his Consort and that they would wait in stasis together. Through Elminster's magic (with the aid of Mystra), Vangerdahast was turned into a dragon (of an unknown type) and the two dragons were bound to the kingdom, waiting in stasis to be called back to defend the Kingdom of Cormyr.[36]


As of 1479 DR, Vangerdahast's spirit lived in the royal palace in a wraith-like form.[37]

In 1487 DR, Vangerdahast was returned to human form by Mystra.[38]


As leader of the War Wizards, Vangerdahast kept tabs on retired members to ensure they did not misuse their magic, often making surprise visits to remind them of this. While some of these retirees, like Benelaius, he had nothing to worry about or were old friends, he didn't wish to appear to be playing favorites.[3]


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  1. Though not specified, Myrcrest may be a familiar to Vangerdahast.


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Further Reading[]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Eric Haddock (1994). Cormyr. (TSR, Inc), p. 44. ISBN 1-56076-818-5.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Chet Williamson (July 1998). Murder in Cormyr. (TSR, Inc.), chaps. 26, 27, pp. 167–171. ISBN 0-7869-0486-0.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Chet Williamson (July 1998). Murder in Cormyr. (TSR, Inc.), chap. 4, pp. 20–21. ISBN 0-7869-0486-0.
  4. Ed Greenwood, Jeff Grubb (April 1998). Cormyr: A Novel. (TSR, Inc.), p. 284. ISBN 0-7869-0710-X.
  5. Ed Greenwood (August 2006). Swords of Eveningstar. (Wizards of the Coast), chap. 70, p. 6. ISBN 978-0-7869-4022-6.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Ed Greenwood, Jeff Grubb (April 1998). Cormyr: A Novel. (TSR, Inc.), p. 15. ISBN 0-7869-0710-X.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Ed Greenwood, Jeff Grubb (April 1998). Cormyr: A Novel. (TSR, Inc.), p. 119. ISBN 0-7869-0710-X.
  8. Ed Greenwood (July 1995). Volo's Guide to Cormyr. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 22. ISBN 0-7869-0151-9.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 Eric Haddock (1994). Cormyr. (TSR, Inc), p. 11. ISBN 1-56076-818-5.
  10. 10.0 10.1 BioWare (June 2002). Designed by Brent Knowles, James Ohlen. Neverwinter Nights. Atari.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Ed Greenwood, Jeff Grubb (August 1987). “DM's Sourcebook of the Realms”. In Karen S. Martin ed. Forgotten Realms Campaign Set (TSR, Inc.), pp. 32–33. ISBN 0-88038-472-7.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 Ed Greenwood (2000). “After the Dragon: The Kingdom of Cormyr Today”. In Dave Gross ed. Dragon Annual #5 (Wizards of the Coast) (5)., p. 61.
  13. Ed Greenwood, Jeff Grubb (August 1987). “Cyclopedia of the Realms”. In Karen S. Martin ed. Forgotten Realms Campaign Set (TSR, Inc.), p. 81. ISBN 0-88038-472-7.
  14. Jeff Grubb and Ed Greenwood (1990). Forgotten Realms Adventures. (TSR, Inc), p. 108. ISBN 0-8803-8828-5.
  15. Steven E. Schend (September 2008). Blackstaff Tower. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 233. ISBN 0-7869-4913-9.
  16. Ed Greenwood, Jeff Grubb (April 1998). Cormyr: A Novel. (TSR, Inc.), p. 27. ISBN 0-7869-0710-X.
  17. Ed Greenwood, Jeff Grubb (April 1998). Cormyr: A Novel. (TSR, Inc.), p. 43. ISBN 0-7869-0710-X.
  18. Ed Greenwood, Jeff Grubb (April 1998). Cormyr: A Novel. (TSR, Inc.), p. 109. ISBN 0-7869-0710-X.
  19. 19.0 19.1 James Lowder (January 1991). Crusade. (TSR, Inc), p. 2. ISBN 0-8803-8908-7.
  20. Ed Greenwood, Jeff Grubb (April 1998). Cormyr: A Novel. (TSR, Inc.), p. 82. ISBN 0-7869-0710-X.
  21. Gregory A. Dreher (January 2001). Ineffable Tome. Living City (RPGA), pp. 13–15.
  22. Thomas M. Reid (1993). AD&D Trading Cards 1993 series, #29, "Garion Mendocio". TSR, Inc..
  23. Ed Greenwood, Jeff Grubb (April 1998). Cormyr: A Novel. (TSR, Inc.), p. 73. ISBN 0-7869-0710-X.
  24. Ed Greenwood, Jeff Grubb (April 1998). Cormyr: A Novel. (TSR, Inc.), p. 84. ISBN 0-7869-0710-X.
  25. Ed Greenwood, Jeff Grubb (April 1998). Cormyr: A Novel. (TSR, Inc.), p. 45. ISBN 0-7869-0710-X.
  26. Ed Greenwood, Jeff Grubb (April 1998). Cormyr: A Novel. (TSR, Inc.), p. 86. ISBN 0-7869-0710-X.
  27. Ed Greenwood, Jeff Grubb (April 1998). Cormyr: A Novel. (TSR, Inc.), p. 88. ISBN 0-7869-0710-X.
  28. Ed Greenwood (June 2000). “The New Adventures of Volo: Quotations of the Realms”. In Dave Gross ed. Dragon #272 (Wizards of the Coast), p. 95.
  29. Ed Greenwood, Eric L. Boyd (March 2006). Power of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 16. ISBN 0-7869-3910-9.
  30. James Lowder (January 1991). Crusade. (TSR, Inc), p. 3. ISBN 0-8803-8908-7.
  31. Ed Greenwood, Jeff Grubb (April 1998). Cormyr: A Novel. (TSR, Inc.), p. 47. ISBN 0-7869-0710-X.
  32. Ed Greenwood, Jeff Grubb (April 1998). Cormyr: A Novel. (TSR, Inc.), p. 76. ISBN 0-7869-0710-X.
  33. Ed Greenwood (August 2006). Swords of Eveningstar. (Wizards of the Coast), chap. 7, p. 79. ISBN 978-0-7869-4022-6.
  34. Ed Greenwood, Troy Denning (May 2001). Death of the Dragon. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 0-7869-1863-2.
  35. Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 114. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  36. 36.0 36.1 36.2 36.3 36.4 Ed Greenwood (May 2005). Elminster's Daughter. (Wizards of the Coast), chap. ?, p. ?. ISBN 978-0786937684.
  37. Ed Greenwood (June 2011). Elminster Must Die (Mass Market Paperback). (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 978-0786957996.
  38. Ed Greenwood (June 2014). The Herald. (Wizards of the Coast), chap. 19, pp. 357–358. ISBN 978-0786964604.


High Wizards of Cormyr