Heroes of Hillsfar
The Heralds of Faerûn, or simply the Heralds, are a quasi-independent group of historians and heraldists that took on the responsibility of recording, preserving, and policing the coats of arms, flags, standards, shields, badges, mottoes, symbols, and sigils of the nobility of Faerûn. Over the years, they also became the foremost authority on courtly courtesy, inheritance, precedence, genealogy, correct armature, and general history. Their impartiality and neutrality earned them the respect of nearly every nation, kingdom, city-state, mercenary company, clan, and tribe in civilized Faerûn.
From its auspicious beginning, the Heralds of Faerûn were the catalogers and keepers of heraldic devices, lore, and etiquette. As an adjunct to this, they collected and collated vast numbers of names, titles, genealogies, and historical claims, keeping detailed records for the preservation of history and arbitration of disputes. Based on their reputation of integrity, all Heralds served as emissaries at whatever level was requested: as a member of diplomatic missions between kingdoms, liaisons between nobles within a realm, and information brokers between bards and sages.
At the very bottom of the organization were the "vigilants"—volunteers or hired eyes and ears that reported any event that could be of interest to a Herald, such as births, deaths, changes in marital status, affronts to etiquette, new blazons on houses or shops, or the discovery of a new artistic talent. Vigilants could be minstrels, servants, shopkeepers, social butterflies, snoops, gossips, or even streetwise children.
Heralds excel at acquiring and using information, but only pass it up to their superiors, seldom acting independently or alone. They are known, however, to nudge adventurers along a path that suit the Heralds’ goals.
A Herald’s badge of office was an ornamental curved horn that was enchanted to produce a particular distinctive note that was easily recognized across most of Faerûn. It was heard at the start and finish of hunts, tournaments, jousts, and other formal contests where a Herald served. Each Herald also had a unique tabard that they wore over their regular clothing for ceremonies and events.
Locations where Heralds are not welcome included Hillsfar both under the dictatorship of Maalthiir, the original First Lord, and now his successor First Lord Torin Nomerthal. In Hillsfar the local Herald is treated as a rival to the First Lord. The Herald of Hillsfar, whose title is the Shimmaree Herald, has not been seen for many years, and fears are held for the Herald’s safety, perhaps because she disputed with authority as much as she could without getting arrested. The Moonsilver Herald of Elventree, the famous elven bard Elanil Elassidil, has taken on the duties for the area. However because Elanil Elassidil is an elf, she is not welcome in Hillsfar.
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