The Xanathar (pronounced: /ˈzɑːnɑːθɑːr/ ZAN-ah-thar), originally named Kirkesai and previously known as the Eye, was one of the most infamous beholders of the Realms and the crime lord of the Xanathar Thieves' Guild in Skullport.
The Eye, as he was originally known, was an ancient, wrinkled, and paranoid beholder of the Graypeaks Hive.
The Eye arrived in Skullport in 1205 DR, already a slaver in search of a greater market. In time, his business and his organization grew. At one point, he re-organized his organization into a semi-autonomous model and retreated into the background, spreading rumors about his demise or retirement. Soon, most people forgot about the beholder slaver and in 1304 DR the Agents of the Eye were simply a large slaving ring in Skullport with no association with beholders.
Meanwhile, the Eye investigated the Xanathar Thieves' Guild, a powerful thieves guild, and in time discovered that they were also led by a beholder, a beholder of a different hive. Thus the Eye decided to take control, by killing and taking the position of Xanathar. The Eye discovered all Xanathar's secrets and at the same time manipulated another Skullport beholder, Uthh, into wanting to kill Xanathar. Eventually, Uthh fought Xanathar in his lair; Xanathar slew Uthh but was too weak to resist the surprise attack of the Eye. The Eye killed Xanathar and inherited all his holdings.
The Eye pretended to be his predecessor but, in order to avoid problems, said that "the Xanathar" was just a title. Afterward, the Eye gathered together the Agents of the Eye and the Xanathar's Guild.
The Eye then controlled an extensive slaving operation in Skullport, rivaled only by the Iron Ring and the recently resurgent Shadow Thieves. It also muscled in on Skullport's smuggling operations, at the expense of its beholder rival, Misker the Pirate Tyrant.
The Eye extended its control over all the beholders of Undermountain, forcing those who refused to bow to its rule to flee into the Underdark or to the surface. Its sole remaining rival, Misker, was forced to flee into the depths and hid in the abandoned Trobriand's Graveyard.
In 1379 DR one of his minions, Shynlar Draal, was captured by the Unyielding Sword mercenaries hired by the slaver Lanador alongside some other elves; the Xanathar supported an adventuring party hired by the City Watch to investigate the matter and defeated the slaver.
It was rumored that the Eye was in fact the second beholder to assume the name of Xanathar. In truth the original Xanathar was killed in 1358 by an adventuring band under orders of the Lords of Waterdeep and secretly aided by another beholder that assumed the identity of the Xanathar.
In time more and more beholders assumed the Xanathar's mantle, some for a brief time. Until 1479 DR ruled a beholder previously called Izulktur. That year Izulktur grew bored and decided to retire. The new master was Zushaxx, a young and ambitious beholder of the same beholder cluster of Izulktur. With the support of the drow servant Kal'dir Zushaxx quickly established himself as the new Xanathar.
In 1491 DR the Xanathar working with the mind flayer Suthool and the agent of Asmodeus Belvarra Bowmantle supported the plots of the Masked Lord Braethan Cazondur in order to distract the Watch and the Open Lord from his operation in Skullport and to gain power in order to expel the Zhentarim from Waterdeep.
The elder orb never ventured out from its dual lairs, preferring to work exclusively through intermediaries. It was attended at all times by swarms of lurking stranglers and eyeball beholderkin.
The Eye's primary base was in the southern half of the third level of Undermountain near Skullport in a fortified complex, but it also maintained an extensive lair in the sewers of Waterdeep, linked to its other lair by a keyed portal.
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