Elminster Aumar: Sage of Shadowdale

Chosen of Mystra

Elminster Aumar was well regarded as one of the most powerful wizards in all of Faerun as well as being a competent fighter and thief. For his great magical abilities, he was picked as one of the chosen of Mystra (goddess of magic), an honour that served to enhance his natural, magical abilities. He also had regular associations with the harper groups. Working in conjunction with Mystra and the harpers meant that Elminster was often operating to bring about greater good and balance in the world. Elminster had 3 foster children (Laeral Silverhand, Storm Silverhand and Dove Falconhand) and one blood child (Narnra Shalace), though she was unknown to him for many years.


Naturally, Elminster had the appearance of an old, plain looking man with intelligent, alert eyes, however, due to his magical prowess, he was easily able to take on any appearance he chose. He kept a long grey beard, had a wise voice and was rarely without his smoking pipe. He also had a long, pointed nose.


Elminster was capable of more subtle approaches to situations, being an excellent impressionist which complimented his ability to disguise himself. He was easily able to present himself equally as a trickster or a fatherly figure or most other personas. Naturally, though, he was well-humoured, charming and clever, but as the situation arose, could be equally fearsome, serious and arrogant.

Chosen of Mystra

Elminster was a chosen of Mystra. As the goddess of magic, Mystra chose individuals of excellent magical abilities to become her chosen agents. These agents were tasked with operating on the side of good and maintaining balance in the world. Other chosen of Mystra include Dove Falconhand and Alassra Shentrantra Silverhand, also known as The Simbul and Elminster’s lover. Simbul was the Queen of Aglarond and one of the seven sisters. Elminster and the other chosen of Mystra often maintained a telepathic link by which they conversed and shared information.


Elminster was a component fighter and thief but his main prowess came from his abilties with magic which were enhanced by his status as a chosen of Mystra. Being a Chosen of Mystra afforded him additional skills and abilities including the ability to live for an unusually long time for a human, the use of silver fire, having no need for sleep and immunities to disease and poison. As a skilled wizard, he had created some spells of his own including; Elminster’s Multiple Mouths, Elminster’s Evasion and Elminster’s Effulgent Epuration. He also had many magical items like a ring of protection, a ring of regeneration, bracers of armour and a thundering longsword.


Elminster was born to Elthryn and his wife Amrythale. Elthryn was a prince of the kingdom of Athalantar and lord of the village of Heldon. When Elminster was 12, however, a magelord of Athalantar called Undarl (who was a malaugrym) slew everyone in Heldon apart from Elminster. He was left an orphan and became a brigand and a thief in order to survive, taking with him his father’s broken sword, the Lion Sword.

Elminster however, had no desire to kill and soon took to burglary instead in the capital of Athalantar, Hastari. At this time, Elminster took upon himself the name of Eladar the Dark. During this time, he formed a strong friendship with Farl with whom he formed a gang known as the Velvet Hands who stood in opposition to the gang of the magelords known as the Moonclaws. It was during this time that Elminster was offered the opportunity to become a mage’s apprentice but Elminster at this time hated all mages for what had been done to his parents and he refused.

As a young adult, Elminster was visited by Mystra who convinced him to learn the ways of magic, recognising his incredible capacity for the art. At one point, she even turned him into a woman (known as Elmara) to enhance his ability to experience life more fully, to pass unnoticed and to develop his magical abilities further. At last, when Elminster had learnt enough about magic, he was given the ability to transform back into a man and take his revenge against the magelords of Athalantar. Elminster was victorious and took his rightful place as king of Athalantar though soon abdicated the throne handing it to Helm Stoneblade, a knight and trusted friend.

Elminster travelled to Cormanthor where he became an apprentice to a cruel and powerful wizard to further his learning. It was here in Cormanthor that the Harpers were organised, a group that sought to maintain balance in Faerun by striking out at evil. Elminster was one of the founding members with Dathlue Mistwinter its founder. Elminster was one of very few human members of the Harpers.

Elminster embarked on many adventures including:

  • Being trapped in a tomb for a century
  • Battling Halueve Starym, an elven mage who was attempting to control devils
  • Some believe he help found the city of Waterdeep (or at least its system of lords)
  • Mentored the newly-appointed chosen of Mystra, Sammaster
  • Protected Waterdeep and the Arunsun Tower from an attack from the malaugrym
  • Became an enemy of Thay when he defeat the Zulkir of Necromancy, Szass Tam
  • Battled Simbul for killing mages before discovering that she was also a chosen of Mystra
  • Established the Tangers Three to help him fight the Shadowmasters
  • Protected Shandril Shessair from the Zhentarim and the Cult of the Dragon
  • Battled an avatar of Bane while protecting Shadowdale from a Zhentarim incursion. He was believed to have been killed during this battle but had actually been transported to another plane
  • Protected Shadowdale from the princes of shade, but a portal to the nine hells was accidentally created. The only way to close it was from within the nine hells. Elminster did this and was subjected to torture by Nergal who wanted to discover the secret of Mystra’s silver fire. Halastar Blackcloak was sent to rescue him by Mystra but he was defeated, after which, she sent the Simbul to rescue him who was able to help Elminster defeat Nergal.
  • When Mystra died, Elminster was unable to cast spells without being cast closer to the brink of insanity
  • Stopped Shar and Larloch from becoming the new deity of magic and restored Mystra


Elminster is famed throughout Faerun and has appeared in many novels and other media including:


The Elminster Series

  • The Making of a Mage
  • Elminster in Myth Drannor
  • The Temptation of Elminster
  • Elminster in Hell
  • Elminster’s Daughter

The Avatar Series

  • Shadowdale
  • Tantras
  • Waterdeep

Sage of Shadowdale

  • Elminster must die
  • Bury Elminster Deep
  • Elminster Enraged

Other Books

  • The Herald
  • Azure Bonds
  • Song of the Saurials
  • Pool of Radiance: Ruins of Myth Drannor
  • Return of the Archwizards
  • The Summoning

Video Games

  • Pools of Darkness
  • Pool of Radiance: Ruins of Myth Drannor
  • Baldur’s Gate
  • Baldur’s Gate II: Shadow of Amn
  • Baldur’s Gate II: Throne of Bhaal
  • Neverwinter

Published by DM Ben

Ben is an experienced dungeon master and player who's been immersed in the D&D universe since he was a teenager over 20 years ago. When he's not writing for Dungeon Mister, Ben loves creating fiendish puzzles and devious dungeons for his players. He's an especially big fan of the Ravenloft and Dragonlance settings.