D&D Next: Lords of Waterdeep?
There's a new mad mage in Waterdeep
The Prince of Nimbral has light colored hair that seems to refract light almost as much as it reflects it. Like other Nimbral wizards, his skin is tinged deep blue instead of pink or brown and his eyes are quicksilver without pupils. Vapor constantly escapes his mouth as if the temperature were freezing and fog gathers around his hands and the things that he handles for any length of time.
“Kurufinwë” is armed with the Wand of Anaximander and his spellbook is the marvelous Themistoclea’s Imperfect Sphere. No one outside of Nimbral, with the possible exception of Halruaa, has heard of these devices.
He dresses in only the finest bespoke clothing and will spend considerable amounts of money to ensure that he is always able to dress in that manner.
Kurunfinwë carries a substantial traveling library, which includes a 3rd edition copy of the Mechanical Proofs of Archytas, believed to be the only work that contains all extant chapters from the original and which contains substantial material that is missing from the editions in circulation in mainland Faerûn. The Nimbral prince is never without his copies of Espruar Tel’Quessir, The misnamed Nether Eidola, Points of Interest, The Third Realm Atlas, Roads of Civilization, The Canon of Pyrrho (Nimbral version), and Xenophanes Miscellany. He also carries various unbound, abridged papers and maps of varying degrees of completeness. These depict regions, lands, and indigenous life in places explored by Nimbral adventurers and scholars; most of this information completely unknown to mainland Faerûn. These last, loose-leafed unnamed treatises typically grant DC 15 in ability checks regarding cartography, geography, and nature in the lost regions they depict.
He had expected someone to laugh, perhaps just smirk, and then ask “So what is your real name stranger?” but no one had heard of Kurufinwe. Barbarians. Apparently they only told stories of donkeys and whores.
“Kurufinwë” is the the young, strong, tall, good-looking son of powerful Nimbral nobility. His uncle is one of the Lords of NImbral and the young mage has reaped the power and prestige this bestows his whole life. He was given the best education by only the finest and most erudite of scholars and although he went through the arduous mental training that all mages must endure, he did not neglect cultivation in sports, hawking, riding, diplomacy, woodscraft, statecraft, or dancing.
From an early age, the Nimbral prince had an opportunity for travel. He discovered that he much preferred exploration and fieldwork over tedious, repetitive research done while hunched over ancient tomes. Nimbral is a closed nation, with few trade partners, so most of “Kurufinwë’s” time away from the island was spent in Halruaa. He learned to fly skyships and became a cultural and diplomatic attaché to the Nimbral embassy in the other land of magic.
He rarely speaks of the darker aspects of his travels, but the prince has lost many companions, peasants, allies, and friends to the unrelenting darkness of the Chult peninsula. It’s raiders and dark predators seep out from their obfuscating branches when only the stars and moon light the sky and they seek the meat aboard passing vessels. "Kurufinwë’ has two vicious looking parallel scars on his left thigh.
With the news of the ancient empire’s return, the spectre of the poorly understood Doom of Netheril hung over the heads of the Council of Elders and Lords. Ancient Netheril had already made contact with modern civilizations and they could no longer afford to to remain isolationist and hidden. Their urbane, cosmopolitan young prince was already the most accomplished socialite among the ruling classes, and a diplomatic mission to northern Faerûn seemed like a serendipitous opportunity to make use of his best skills while at the same time giving him some depth and needed maturity. Or so his uncle thought. It was a bitter fight in the council halls in order not to send someone older and more experienced, but in the end, nepotism won out.
Various professional mercenary diplomats from Calimshan accompanied “Kurufinwë” to Waterdeep. They are highly skilled and paid well to make sure that Nimbral interests are represented in the City of Splendors and to help build relations for a Nimbral ambassador. The Calishites don’t particularly enjoy making up for “Kurufinwë’s” occasional diplomatic gaffe, but they generally find his enthusiasm for exploring endearing.
“Kurufinwë” is an awe inspiring genius by most of Faerûn’s standards. His piercing intellect and creativity in approaching problems can solve precarious dilemmas before most people realize there is a problem. However, in the upper echelons of a society ruled and dominated by archmages, his genius is considered merely average. Kurufinwë’s uncle knows that his nephew isn’t stupid, but the Nimbral Lord has trouble not treating the prince like an imbecile. His uncle and his father are both terribly disappointed in him.