D&D Next: Lords of Waterdeep?
The founder of Chamaelic philosophy
Mencius Chamaeleon was Nimbral wizard of the historical school. He was born into a family of negligible importance, but catapulted into public view when he began to question the authorship of the Nether Eidola. In what would be later known as the Chamaelic school of thought, Chamaeleon adduced that the Eidola was not of Netherese origin and that Zichan, the sage thought to be responsible for collating the material, was actually its author. Chamaeleon never proposed Zichan as being deliberately misleading in his authorship, leaving it open to interpretation whether or not later scribes copying the work were in fact responsible. Nevertheless, Chamaelic thought was closely associated with the denigration of Zichan, who was posthumously very popular in Nimbral society. This and the cultural importance of the Nether Eidola to Nimbral identity made Chamaeleon very unpopular.
Tipped off by a relative with ties to the chamber, Chamaeleon fled Nimbral ahead of trumped up charges of Corruption of Knowledge and Philosophy, and Magical Negligence. He took asylum in Halruaa. Scholars with whom he had been in correspondence gave him sanctuary; this gave him the ability to further his studies in Halruua. His theories were not as unpopular in the skyship nation as they had been in his homeland, but pressure from Nimbral eventually forced Chamaeleon to flee to Calimshan. His hardships had left him nearly destitute and he lived most of his remaining years in Calimport in desperate poverty. While he remained in communication with his friends, allies, and students in Halruaa, they were unaware of his insolvent situation.
During his years in Halruua, he had gathered a few students who were persuaded by his scholarship. They founded the Chamaelic school in his absence which attained minor prominence in Halarahh. Near the end of his life, Chamaeleon was allowed back into Halruaa and gave surprisingly strong direction to the school that bore his name, but he was never allowed back into Nimbral and while he lived, the high council of the latter nation refused the Chamaelics access to the Nether Eidola. In Halarahh, there is a small mausoleum with Chamaeleon’s remains that Chamaelics often visit.
Mencius Chamaeleon may have been only a footnote in history if his discoveries had not inspired Boethus of the West’s Limnian Findings. While Boethus came to different conclusions than Chamaeleon, the Limnian Findings lent credence to Chamaelic thought. The Nimbral High Council was eventually persuaded to open up the Nether Eidola to further study: Nimbral mages no longer needed to be attached to the council to examine the documents and certain Halruaan and Calishite scholars were also allowed to inspect them.
Chamaelicism is still more popular in Halruaa than Nimbral, and Mencius Chamaeleon is considered an adopted son by Halruaan academia. Chamaelics in Nimbral have pushed for a formal pardon and government apology, but so far the council has been silent on the issue.