NPC Councilor Submission by: Kimberly Moser
Shandaria has waist length blue-black hair and gray eyes. She is 72 years old but has the ageless quality of her mother's race and appears to be in her late twenties. She is tall and slender (5' 9" and 111 pounds).
Shandaria was born in 1298 DR (The Year of the Pointed Bone) to Lashambra and Christopher Mistmere. Lashambra is a skilled weaver from Velprintalar, where she still dwells. Christopher was in service to Ilione, Queen of Aglarond. He died in the plague of 1309 DR which also claimed Queen Ilione's life.
When Shandaria was 15, she was tested for magical ability and was taken in as one of "the Simbul's Children". She learned quickly and advanced in her studies. She left the ranks of "the Simbul's Children" at age 19 and returned home to her mother. She wanted to travel and felt stifled in serving Aglarond.
Lashambra was highly disappointed in her daughter's actions and reprimanded her for her rash decision. Shandaria and her mother parted soon after a heated argument. Shandaria left Aglarond and her pain behind. She disguised herself as a young boy and signed on as cabin boy to Captain Frangish of the Aglarondian caravel Deermont. During this time she concealed her sex from the men aboard the ship. Through a combination of concealing herself in baggy clothing and the fact that as cabin boy she slept in the Captainís cabin, her deception was never discovered. Of course the fact that she was a half-elf assisted her in this diguise as any femininity could be passed off as part of her elven heritage.
She served Captain Frangish for five years and learned much about sailing and the seaways from him. In 1322 DR, the Deermont was attacked and boarded by pirates from the Maiden. Shandaria and most of the crew were captured and taken to the Pirate Isles. Shandaria was sold to a tavern keeper from Immurk's Hold.
Shandaria served as a scullery maid for six years. She tried to run away a number of times but was always quickly recaptured and beaten. She finally accepted her imprisonment and learned as much as she could about the pirates and their way of life. Over time, Orshg, the tavern keeper, trained her as a thief. She then pocketed coins and small valuables for him, always keeping a few coins for herself. After five years, she had enough money in her hidden stash to purchase her freedom. She remained at the tavern and worked for pay until she made enough for passage to the mainland. She and Orshg had a working agreement by which Shandaria kept a third of what she lifted from the customers.
Shandaria purchased passage to Saerloon in Elesias of 1328 DR. She remained in Saerloon for about two years refining her skills as thief and wizard. During this time, she signed on with the Black Cat Trading Coster. She served as a purchasing agent for the Coster and made many contacts from Waterdeep to Calimport, from Baldur's Gate to Chao Yang.
In 1330 DR, the Coster wanted to open an office in the city of Arylon. Shandaria was selected to run this outpost. She had contacts in all the major surrounding cities and knew the trade ways. At this time, Arylon was a backwater. The high-ups in the Coster imagined great things for the small city. The city's population was around 7000 and Amn had despaired of expanding this outpost due to the growth of surrounding outposts and the inaccessibility of the city. The Black Cat Coster smelled hidden profits and considered Shandaria the most expendable member of the staff. Jarad Histrel, the owner of the Coster, saw Arylon as a perfect stopover. His barges would be less likely searched and taxes were nonexistent, for those who knew how to avoid them. And, if troubles arose, the governor-general and his council of lackeys could be easily bribed.
It took Jarad the better part of a year to place an office in Arylon. Despite its abundant resources, Arylon was physically isolated. The city was also rife with lawlessness, at least in the areas where the Silver Crescents dared not tread. In Mirtul of 1331 DR, Shandaria was placed as administrator of the Arylon Office of the Black Cat Trading Coster. In the first two years, Shandaria fought tooth and nail with every other cutthroat who was out to make a copper and was hard-pressed to hold her own. She would have folded if it hadn't been for her time in the Pirate Isles where she learned to be hard-edged and dangerous. She knew the benefit of being in the right place at the right time, even if she had to create the place and time herself.
So it was, in 1333 DR, Shandaria Mistmere began a double life. Outwardly she was the quiet, coster agent while secretly beginning a campaign to take over the criminal activity around the docks. She began her campaign slowly by hiring younger children of poor families as runners and bearers. They became known as "Skulks". At first these kids were loyal for the few coins they earned. Later, they were loyal out of respect and admiration of the quiet lady that led them.
Slowly she transformed the Skulks into a devious and talented thievesí guild. The guild and its influence grew as the kids grew. Over time, the guild acquired new members and new duties. The guild dealt in information and blackmail. Soon, the Black Cat Trading Coster had its fingers in almost every type of mercantile activity in the city. Shandaria was no longer expendable.
Eleven years after her initial foray into the wild city of Arylon, Shandaria received a message from Saerloon. Jarad explained they had lost contact with their agents in Amn. He asked Shandaria if she would accompany their next shipment and try to discover what happened. Shandaria agreed and joined the Black Cat's next caravan.
Shandaria arrived in Athkatla and headed to the Coster offices. When she found the headquarters, she discovered why no one had heard from this office . . . it had burned to the ground. Shandaria sought answers openly and through bribery. The office had been destroyed as an example by the new rule of the Council of Six. Shandaria was outraged. She sent word back to Jarad. He asked her if she would reestablish his office. Shandaria again agreed but asked for the rights of ownership to the Arylon office. Jarad agreed to her terms, so long as she was successful.
The Black Cat Trading Coster reopened its Athkatlan office in Ches of 1345DR. Shandaria placed two of her agents as overseers until Jarad could assign his own team. Following the negotiations which allowed the Black Cat to operate, Shandaria headed to Eshpurta but was denied entrance because of the threat of plague. She decided to travel until the Amnian plague diminished as she did not wish to carry it back to Arylon.
One evening, while she was camping in the Snakewood, her camp was intruded upon by a young elf. He was wounded and almost collapsed on her fire. Shandaria spent the next three days treating the wounds and fevers which racked the elf's frail frame. On the morning of the fourth day, the elf, confused by the fever that wracked his body, was convinced he was captured by the Incantatrix he was pursuing and tried and draw steel upon her. Shandaria laughed at him and asked his name. He gave his name, Kielaylan Arvanan. They spent the remainder of the day talking. Kielaylan told her he must continue his quest to free his sister. Shandaria told him that he would get no further than the forest's edge before he collapsed again. She was bored and wanted some excitement and this elf, with his quiet resolve, presented the chance. She told Kielaylan that she would help him recover his sister.
Kielaylan and Shandaria became adventuring partners. They traveled to the Troll Mountains and searched out the Incantatrix's lair. When they found the lair, Shandaria battled the Incantatrix while Kielaylan freed his sister. Shandaria exhausted her spells and moved in with steel. The Incantatrix fared no better and fled when faced with a continuation of battle on the physical rather than magical front.
After battle, Shandaria plundered the Incantatrix's treasure. She recovered two chests filled with various gems and metals. She claimed these for herself and the two elves. The remaining treasures she and Kielaylan scattered amongst the rocks. They couldn't take it with them, so at least the woman couldn't return and easily claim it. The Incantatrix has plagued Shandaria ever since that day and the two women have a continual war between them.
The two elves agreed to accompany Shandaria on her travels and back to Arylon. Over the next few months the threat of plague declined and merchants began traversing the lands of Amn again. Shandaria and her two companions returned to Eshpurta. Shandaria began setting trade pacts between the Coster in Arylon and the city of Eshpurta. One young man, Dakin Drim, was overjoyed to integrate his business with an established Coster. Drim and Shandaria spent the remainder of the year trading and planning. Drim was an excellent businessman and Shandaria desperately wanted him on her team.
Shandaria returned to Arylon in 1346 DR. Kielaylan and his sister, Philomel, had become an extended family to her and they were going to make a new start in Arylon. When she returned, the first thing she did was search out an area to open a gem shop. She found a wonderful little building on a cul-de-sac in the Field Ward. She opened The Cat's Eye, a gem and jewelry shop, one year later.
In the meantime, she began expanding her mercantile interests in the North. Shandaria was a very wealthy woman by this time. Arylon had also begun to prosper. In 1345 DR, a group of adventurers discovered a set of ruins beneath Arylon. One of the prizes brought forth was a Staff of Wizardry. Arylon and her population began growing. So too, did the amount of river traffic and overland adventurers.
In 1352 DR, Shandaria returned to Arylon and purchased two more properties. She was preparing for her retirement. One was a small group of buildings in their own enclosure. The second was a failing farm on the south bank of the River Chionthar.
She renovated the compound and buildings and turned them into the Greenleaf Tavern and Inn. She brought the farm out of bankruptcy and provided funds for its recovery allowing the owners to stay. The farm provides many of the perishable items for the Inn.
Shandaria and her agents fought corrupted officials at every turn. She and the Skulks worked openly and behind the scenes to increase peace and prosperity for Arylon. Shandaria worked alongside dockmen when river traffic increased during the Dragonspear Campaign. During the Time of Troubles, she provided as much aid as she could to the panicked and desperate populace.
Shandaria met the acquaintance of another young elf, Kethryllia Hawksong. Shandaria discovered a like soul in Kethry. They battled the evils of the society as a team. Shandaria gave the surplus from her farm to the orphanage and set up an apprenticeship program at her farm and jewelry shop.
Shandaria was elected to the Council in 1364 DR. She eventually became the Council Scribe. She spends most of her off-time talking with families and lower class businessmen. She can be found throughout the city but spends most of her time in the Dock and Field Wards.
Shandaria is also on good terms with the druids of the Woods of Sharp Teeth. She fought for their cause when Samael was presented to the Council. She still promotes these ideals, despite Samael's retirement. She is a relatively quiet individual who listens and compiles information for the Council. When problems arise, she is willing to meet them face on. Sometimes she attempts to take on too much alone.