The Forgotten Realms campaign setting and shared fiction universe for Dungeons & Dragons has birthed a legion of popular characters, from Elminster and Drizzt to Arilyn Moonblade and Cadderly. Get the scoop on a whole mess of 'em here.This is by no means a complete list. As one of the most detailed shared universes (if not the most) in literary history, there are always more characters in the Realms left to explore.
Doomed Hometown: Once a dragonrider burned a village to kill one of younger sons of late king, but accidentally left alive a single shepherd boy. Who later turned out to be the son of the killed prince.
Cycle of Revenge: He burned down Heldon, which gave one Elminster Aumar the cause for killing him and other Magelords. Which wasn't the end of it — Clan Malaug would be much better off if they considered his death a personal affair, rather than the cause for a blood feud quickly adding all Chosen of Mystra to the list of their enemies, already quite formidable. Thus, while on his own Undarl was but a secondary villain in one book, he was at the root of some very large-scale affairs happening over a great span of time, such as Harpstar War and events described in Shadow of the Avatar.
Dragon Rider: He even used this as a gimmick to join the Magelord and was nicknamed "the Dragonrider".
Suicidal Overconfidence: Like most of his kin. When Magelords were brought down, he was nearly killed and got a golden opportunity to pretend he's dead and go take over another place. Instead, he pops up and gives Elminster one more reason to kill him.
The Dark Elf Series
Alignment: Chaotic Good
The Aloner: Spends nearly a decade in the Underdark with Guenhwyvar as his only companion. It almost drives him mad. He eventually surrenders himself to the svirfnebli, mortal enemies of the drow, out of desperation and loneliness.
Amplifier Artifact: His anklets (really wrist bands, but he wears them on his legs) give him a massive boost to his running speed.
Fantastic Racism: He was a victim of this during his earliest decades on the surface due to the notoriety of his race. In fact, a major part of the early series deals with his struggle against this trope.
Not that he's immune to it himself. When fighting against King Obould and his orcs, he thought it absurd that the orcs didn't "know their place", though he does catch himself on it and reevaluate his position.
Flash Step: The "Ghost Step" technique. Half Super Speed, half optical illusion. With perfect timing, Drizzt can step to the side in the split second his opponent's weapon passes through his own line of sight, blocking him from view and causing him to seemingly disappear. Done correctly, by the time the opponent figures out what happened, half of his more important organs will be out of place.
Full-Name Basis: Most people call Drizzt by his full name when addressing him.
This is lampshaded in Starless Night when Drizzt gets annoyed that Matron Baenre addresses him by his full name at the end of almost every sentence.
Hand Signals: The Drow hand cant is not used so much in later novels because he's not usually around any other drow to use it with, but he attempts to teach it to his companions with limited success.
Heroic BSOD: After the events at Shallows during the Hunter's Blades trilogy, and a more recent one near the end of The Ghost King.
Hero with Bad Publicity: On account of his race. In later novels, however, his reputation is what allows him to be accepted in most places.
In-Series Nickname: Due to most people's inability to speak Drow Undercommon properly, most people (usually vermin) who have only heard of Drizzt call him "Drizzit" upon first meeting.
Like Father, Like Son: Zaknafein absolutely hated everything to do with Menzoberranzan and the ideals instilled into drow from birth by Lolth's clergy. To say Drizzt adopted his mindset is an understatement.
Master Swordsman: He was supposed to replace Zaknafein as House Do'Urden's weaponsmaster before he fled from Menzoberranzan. In later books, many drow warriors and even the weaponsmasters of rival households, to their ultimate doom, have sought the chance to fight "Zaknafein's equal".
No One Gets Left Behind: Drizzt attempts to outrun a drow raiding party sent to recapture him, avoid Artemis Entreri, who is pursuing him in the tunnels, and tries to find a way back up to his friends while physically dragging the injured Regis along with him in The Legacy.
No Pronunciation Guide: Officially, his first name is pronounced "Drist", but a lot of people also say "Driz-et" or other pronunciations.
Author R.A. Salvatore seems to pronounce it as "Dritz" in interviews.
The Demon Stone video game has it pronounced "Drid-st".
Unstoppable Rage: When Drizzt gives himself up to his Hunter personality, there's almost no stopping him.
During the almost century-long Time Skip in Gauntlgrym, while he and Bruenor are seeking out the titular Dwarven kingdom, Drizzt constantly goes out of his way for an excuse to kill something. When coming across other travelers in need, he would jump at the chance to clear out a goblin lair or three or hire himself out as a bodyguard escort, ostensibly for needed money but in honesty hoping for a few random encounters.
Wide-Eyed Idealist: He's this in the earlier books of the series, with Homeland being one of the most obvious examples. However, as of the current storyline he has lost most of this.
Who Wants to Live Forever?: Explored in depth. Drizzt was definitely worried about the idea of outliving his friends for his first few decades on the surface until he struck up a friendship with Innovindil, a surface elf. She advised him to live a series of shorter, segmented lifetimes, taking each as they come, rather than dwelling on the looming centuries. Her advice came into play after the events of Gauntlgrym, when Bruenor, the last of his original friends, died in battle. Drizzt mourned his loss, then picked himself up and began traveling with Dahlia Sin'felle.
Death Seeker: He originally came to the grove where he lived because he was looking for a place to die after the incident where he lost his sight, wherein several of his friends died. The grove was next to a large establishment of hostile orcs.
Butt Monkey: Thanks mostly in part to Drizzt, he never fails to make an ass out of himself.
Determinator: Whatever else can be said about the guy, he doesn't quit easily; he chased after Drizzt all across Faerun for years trying to get revenge on him for humiliating him and killing one of his dogs.
Disproportionate Retribution: Allied with orcs in an assault on a ranger's grove. Murdered at least two people. Tortured monks. Threatened to rape a seven year old. Why? All because Drizzt killed one of his dogs in self defense.
Harmless Villain: Inverted. Roddy initially comes off as somewhat of a joke villain and isn't really much of a threat. But then he murders two characters and threatens to rape the then-seven-year-old Catti-brie.
Manipulative Bastard: Has shades of this; when an adventuring party was dispatched to track down Drizzt, thinking he was responsible for the murder of a family, Roddy joined them and egged them on in trying to hunt him down. Later he managed to con an orc chieftain into launching an attack on a forest Drizzt was staying in, using Drizzt's presence there and the threat of usurpation as a means of goading him, and further down the line did his best to try and turn the already suspicious Bruenor Battlehammer against Drizzt despite his having done nothing to warrant it save for being a drow.
Never My Fault: Suffers from this big time; everything that has gone wrong in his life since Drizzt showed up has ultimately been of his own doing, including wasting much of his life trying to hunt down and kill Drizzt. But as far as he's concerned it is Drizzt who is ultimately responsible for his sorry excuse for a life rather than his own pigheadedness and bad judgement.
Artemis Entreri/Barrabus The Gray
Race: Calishite human
Alignment: Lawful Evil
Arch-Nemesis: To Drizzt. Artemis despised Drizzt because, despite their equal abilities in combat, Drizzt devoted his life to, well, his life, gaining friends and actually having a life worth living, whereas Entreri became a soulless killing machine, and he sees in Drizzt the hollow emptiness of his own existence. Drizzt, for his part, hates Entreri both because he's an evil bastard, and because he sees in Entreri what he could have become if things had been different. Entreri later grows out of it. He comes to respect Drizzt for the choices he took in life and the friends he made, rather than despise him for them, and as Entreri becomes a better person, Drizzt hates him less and less.
Close To Home: When attempting to enter Castle Perilous, Athrogate called a stuck gate a "son of a bar whore". Artemis didn't take it well.
Combat Pragmatist: Played straight for the most part, he'll pull every dirty trick in the book during a fight. Of course, its kind of subverted in that he lacks pragmatism on a grander scale; he prefers to fight, period, meaning he'll avoid less hazardous ways of dealing with his enemies.
At one point, while fighting Drizzt, he held a mouthful of sewer water in his mouth for several pages until the perfect time to spit it in Drizzt's face.
Athrogate: Well now, I'd say that's better, but it'd be a lie. Any elf's but a girl making ready to cry.
Entreri: And if you keep rhyming, you're going to die. [Athrogate laughs] No. There is no joke in my words. And the rhyme was coincidental.
Dark and Troubled Past: It is revealed in the short story The Third Level and later in Road of the Patriarch that Entreri was physically and sexually abused as a child and was sold to a pedophile merchant who later intended to sell him into slavery.
Deadpan Snarker: In spades in the Sellswords trilogy and in the short stories that are set during that timeline. He also displays these tendencies in the Neverwinter books, particularly in the second after he meets up with Drizzt and Dahlia.
Death Glare: Most people on the receiving end on this usually don't end up living too much longer afterwards.
Death Seeker: Implied for some time, but confirmed in the Neverwinter trilogy.
Dual Wielding: Noteably, Artemis actually does it right, using a sword in his main hand and a dagger in his left.
See also Evil Weapon. Doesn't have a personality aside from vague impulses, but will burn its owner alive from the inside out the minute he drops his guard. Recently, it has been revealed that the weapon has enslaved him and is keeping him alive to torture him.
Enemy Mine: Teams up with Drizzt in an early appearance, and a few subsequent ones as well.
Even Evil Has Standards: He has a special kind of hate for parents who sell out or abandon their kids in an effort to save themselves.
Evil Counterpart: To Drizzt. Drizzt even states himself on more than one occasion that if things had gone differently in Menzoberranzan he had no doubt that they would have turned out the same.
Dhawvel also refers to him as Artemis once in Servant of the Shard, but not to him directly.
Friendless Background: He considers relationships as a vulnerability and mocks Drizzt's loyalty to his friends on several occasions. Later, however, he comes to reverse this opinion and begin to hate the empty life he's been leading.
Full-Name Basis: People sometimes address him as this, even if they're talking directly to him. Jarlaxle is the most frequent offender.
In Name Only: Game-stat example. In every appearance, he is universally described as an assassin. But when the Time of Troubles rolled around, R.A. Salvatore got a phone call saying that the writing team planned to have all assassins die as part of a massive ritual. Not wanting to lose a beloved character, Salvatore replied, "He's not really an assassin; just a fighter with a few levels of thief who specializes in killing people."
Lack of Empathy: An odd case, in that he's a remorseless killer who will not hesitate to torture anyone who may have information he needs, but if someone is not a target or involved with a job, he's perfectly capable of showing empathy, if in a cynical manner.
The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: With Drizzt to an extent. He is perfectly willing to let Drizzt become a sacrifice to Lolth, but only if he is allowed the chance to defeat him in a fair battle first.
The Stoic: Is known for his cold, emotionless personality until he started partnering with Jarlaxle, and, thanks to Idalia's Flute, he became...
That Man Is Dead: Literally said word for word at the end of Road of the Patriarch.
A variant by the time of the Neverwinter trilogy: Artemis/Barrabus doesn't care how people address him, and Drizzt spends the latter third of the book calling him Entreri. Herzgo Alegni, however, has a decided opinion on the matter.
Alegni: He's still mine, you understand, and so his name remains Barrabus.
Death Seeker: He does like fighting, but the reason he can charge so fearlessly headlong into battle against impossible odds is that he doesn't fear death, but rather he almost welcomes it, thanks to the death of his family. This is only doubled after he releases the primordial of fire caged in Gauntlgrym Fortress.
Epic Flail: Athrogate dual wields morning stars. When activated, one causes anything metallic it hits to rust, the other causes an explosion on impact.note He does notcarry a big stick. Despite some artwork, Athrogate's weapons are described on numerous occasions as having chains separating the long handles from the heads, and what's written is canon. Also, though his weapons are called Morning Stars, which is what spiked maces are often called, "Mrning Star" actually only refers to the head of the weapon, spikes required. Whether there is a chain or not is irrelevant.
Genius Bruiser: He is much smarter than he looks. He's not as well-read, clever, or eloquent as Jarlaxle, nor as cunning as Entreri, but he's not dumb and he knows his way around a battlefield.
He Cleans Up Nicely: Originally introduced wearing the ale-and-sweat stained furs and leathers that come to dwarves standard issue. By Gauntlgrym, almost a century later, Jarlaxle has him wearing a downright stylish purple-and-black outfit, convinced him to bathe at least twice a year, and has even managed to groom his beard. By Jarlaxle's own reckoning, he's worked miracles.
Hidden Depths: On the surface, he's nothing more than an obnoxious Boisterous BruiserBlood Knight. However, he reveals to Jarlaxle that he's actually outlived even the most generous of dwarven life-expectancies, and that once, centuries ago, he had a family in Citadel Felbarr. When the citadel was invaded by orcs, however, the dwarves were forced to flee and Athrogate's wife and children were slaughtered. His youngest died in his arms. Their deaths essentially destroyed him, and though he's recovered somewhat, he could never bring himself to return to Felbarr, even to aid an army of dwarves in retaking it, because there was too much pain for him there. He is also far more insightful than his appearance would imply, and capable of surprising empathy.
Honor Before Reason/Let's Fight Like Gentlemen: While his reasons for fighting are rarely benevolent and are often selfish, when the fight actually gets started, he's as honourable as they come, if more than a bit brutal. He had two golden opportunities to kill Drizzt during their fight, and he passed up both of them because it would have been un-sportsmanlike.
I Call It "Vera": He's given his Morning Stars the names Cracker and Whacker (or Rotter and Slaughter, this is Athrogate). While he doesn't talk to them, he is quite attached to them and he considers them true and reliable friends. When they're stolen in Gauntlgrym, he feels truly alone.
Lightning Bruiser: While not a particularly fast runner, Athrogate is incredibly agile, able to keep pace with Drizzt in hand to hand combat, and casually doing backflips while curb-stomping mooks, for no other reason than to show off. He's also tough enough to shrug off fireballs and falls from considerable heights, and his weapons of choice are a pair of flails that either rust whatever they hit or blow up on impact.
The Lost Lenore: He's never gotten over the deaths of his wife Gerthalie or their children, and to a lesser extent, all the members of Clan Felbarr that died with them. He couldn't even bring himself to return home because everywhere he looked, he saw his dead kin.
No One Should Survive That: Got completely curbstomped by a pit fiend and fell from a bridge, but (barely) lived to tell the tale.
Not-So-Harmless Villain: At first he comes across as a loud, obnoxious dwarf who wouldn't be anything without both his powerful friends and his powerfully enchanted weapons. Except, the thing is, he's actually skilled enough to put both Artemis Entreri and Drizzt Do'Urden on the back foot (not at the same time) and he has decades of combat experience under his belt.
Really 700 Years Old: He is this to a race that ages slower than humans (though they still age faster than elves). The most generous life-expectancy for a dwarf is about 350 years, and the few dwarves who reach that age look every year of it. Thibbledorf Pwent's knees had pretty much given out by the time he reached that age, and Bruenor was a shadow of his former self when he hit 340. Athrogate, on the other hand, was alive and still in his prime when he was around 370 years old, in 1372, and ninety years later, in 1462, when he's about 460 years old, he's shown no signs of stopping. Athrogate claims that he pissed off a wizard, who cursed him with a long life, the cruelest punishment possible for the dwarf.
The So-Called Coward: An odd example. Most people would not view him as such, given his Boisterous- and battle-loving nature, but to the dwarves of his old clan, he's a coward because he couldn't bear taking part in the retaking of their citadel and returning to the place where his family died. The warrior has faced down a dracolich, but to his people, he'll always be Athrogate the Coward.
Stepford Smiler: Athrogate died with his family when orcs invaded Citadel Felbarr, and what's left is a broken shell of a dwarf. He hides it well behind the mask of an irreverent, violent brawler, and even though he'll insult his old clan for calling him a coward, he believes it as much as they do because he didn't have the guts to face the ghosts of his family.
Jarlaxle says it best: "Something had created Athrogate as he was; something had broken the dwarf to that base level, where he had no emotional defense other than a wall of ridicule and self-ridicule, fastened by the occasional rap of a mighty morningstar and hidden by the more-than-occasional drink."
Stronger Than He Looks: Despite being a burly dwarf, he is still this thanks to wearing a Girdle of Storm Giant Strength.note With the exception of Titans, which are really just a superior subspecies of titans, Storm Giants are the strongest type of giant.
That Man Is Dead: As far as he's concerned, Athrogate died with his family 350 years before Promise of the Witch King.
Unskilled, but Strong: While his skills are nothing to really scoff at, Dahlia noted that Athrogate makes up for his lack of precision with brute strength.
Warrior Poet: Literally. Generally agreed to not be very good, though.
Who Wants to Live Forever?: While not immortal, he was cursed by a wizard to have an unnaturally long life span, even for a dwarf. He is not the least bit happy about this.
Race: Shield Dwarf
Alignment: Neutral Good
Allergic to Routine: He'll find any way to try to head out adventuring instead of sitting around taking care of the boring royal matters of his station.
Eat the Dog: In the third book of The Dark Elf Trilogy, he spends much of the book with a strong urge to eat Roddy McGristle's dog. By the novel's end, he does end up cutting off one of its legs, which he then cooks and eats, as retribution against McGristle. He is promptly very, very sick afterwards and vows never to eat dog again.
These Hands Have Killed: Has this reaction after the first time she killed another human. Notably, she'd killed quite a few orcs and goblins before, and indeed had just slaughtered a group of grey dwarves a few moments before with a bow.
Women in Refrigerators: In her last appearance, she is struck down at the beginning of the book by a wild magic surge during the Spellplague. She spends the remainder of the story alternating between a coma and magic-based hallucinations before finally expiring.
Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male: Tortured her vampire lover for information, then told him to make love to her, and that if he didn't, or didn't do it well, she would kill him. While this isn't portrayed as a positive act, it isn't treated as horribly as depictions of her own rape; it serves more to demonstrate that she's a powerful character, and no sympathy is given to the vampire over it.
Meaningful Rename: Changed her surname from Syn'dalay to Sin'felle after escaping from the Netherese to symbolize her defilement.
Nice Hat: Wears one to cover her shaved head and hide her Thayan allegiances.
Nominal Hero: Not entirely incapable of compassion, but extremely aggressive and self-centered to the point of narcissism. This is demonstrated most poignantly when she mortally wounds Drizzt for refusing to kill her.
Tsundere: She starts acting this way towards Artemis, of all people, being belligerent with him one moment and relaxed and (emotionally) intimate the next. She even gets noticably jealous when he has a quickie with another woman, and again when a drow woman brings up them having slept together a century ago, despite Artemis having no specific memory of her. All of this while Dahlia is technically in a relationship with Drizzt.
Freak Out: When Drizzt visits the Moonwood in Starless Night she gets one good look at him and then attacks him.
Freudian Excuse: Drizzt covering her in her mother's blood in order to hide her from his fellow drow didn't do her sanity any good. That, and her sole reason for going after Drizzt is because she think he's the guilty party of her people's massacre, rather than the one who saved her.
Ungrateful Bitch: Drizzt saves her as a child, refuses to harm her in a later book even though she attacks him with no provocation. She thanks him by blaming him for her mother's death and then spends Sea of Swords will the sole purpose of finding him so she can kill him. In her defence, she's not all there.
Always Someone Better: Jarlaxle's always someone better is his older brother, Gromph, whose power structure is superior even to Jarlaxle's, and whose personal skill in the arcane arts blows Jarlaxle's right out of the water. Gauntlgrym shows that Jarlaxle'll go to Gromph for help and advice(reminiscent of Sherlock and Mycroft) and that Gromph has no trouble in seeing through Jarlaxle's bullshit.
Bishounen: Has been complemented on his handsomeness by a dragon. She also said looks even more handsome with hair. Not to mention the narration itself, which mentions several times how ridiculously attractive he is.
Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Despite his quirks, he has been extremely successful as a houseless drow male for centuries and as the leader of Bregan D'aerthe.
The Casanova: Has loved and left more than his fair share in the past. Including dragons, much to Entreri's horror.
Karma Houdini: Manipulated various parties into starting a war in Luskan so that he could take control of the city and use it as a free port to trade Underdark goods with the surface world. Thousands died in the ensuing conflict, including noncombatants that died due to lack of food and shelter during the harsh winter that followed. Not only does Jarlaxle succeed in becoming the Man Behind the Man in Luskan, but he convinces Drizzt of his relative innocence and suffers no consequences for it.
Not to mention that it directly resulted in the death of Drizzt's good friend Deudermont, which happened when Athrogate engaged Drizzt in combat and prevented him from rescuing the poor guy. And yet when Jarlaxle teams up with Drizzt again in the following book, there (astonishingly) don't appear to be any hard feelings.
Knife Nut: He has a bracer that produces an unlimited amount of throwing knives. He puts them to good use.
Red Eyes, Take Warning: Zig-Zagged. While Jarlaxle is certainly morally ambiguous and is usually working with the bad guys, he is never considered an outright villain himself. This is actually averted in The Ghost King and Gauntlgrym, when his role is actually as one of the good guys.
Refuge in Audacity: Jarlaxle's flamboyancy tends to either enrage or shock people too much for them to actually try to do anything to him. It was lampshaded after Jarlaxle's "Who I Am" monologue to Queen Christine in Road of the Patriarch.
The acceptance in a public tavern that Drizzt labored for decades to earn? Jarlaxle got it in five minutes when he walked in, took a seat at another man's table, got him kicked out for drawing steel, and bought everyone a round.
Refusal of the Call: He was chosen by Lolth to be one of her agents and flat-out refused. Then again, Lolth's most favored servants are bringers of chaos, and he certainly is that, almost singlehandedly making things more interesting in Menzoberranzan than they've been in centuries.
10-Minute Retirement: Played with. Stepped away from Bregan D'aerthe after the events of Servant of the Shard, but was shown to be back in control as of The Pirate King. Treated in later installments to be more of a sabbatical, putting his mercenaries in Kimmuriel's command so that there'd be an opposing voice of reason and business to counteract Jarlaxle's often-whimsical orders.
Commander Contrarian: His arrangement with Jarlaxle after taking over Bregan D'aerthe while Jarlaxle is Walking the Earth. Jarlaxle is still in nominal command of the group, and occasionally calls in the troops for his latest projects, but Kimmuriel has the power to refuse or modify Jarlaxle's orders if he feels that what Jarlaxle wants isn't in the group's best interests. Despite the possibility of conflict (especially between drow), so far the arrangement has worked out swimmingly for both.
Conflicting Loyalty: In Servant of The Shard between Jarlaxle and Rai-guy. He didn't want to betray Jarlaxle, out of loyalty to him for saving his life after the fall of House Oblodra, but he eventually sided with Rai-guy because he believed that Jarlaxle's behaviour would destroy Bregan D'aerthe.
Creature of Habit: He would rather serve as lieutenant and focus on improving his abilities than serve as leader of Bregan D'aerthe.
Deadpan Snarker: And he doesn't hesistate to use it on anyone, including Jarlaxle.
Dragon Ascendant: Kimmuriel is more or less forced into this after Jarlaxle leaves him in charge of Bregan D'aerthe to go travelling on The Surface.
Arch-Enemy: After Artemis, Obould is top ringer for Drizzt's arch rival. Obould's war is responsible for the death's of several of Drizzt's friends, the crippling of his love interest, and shaking the very foundations of his reality. Drizzt, on the other hand, is was the single biggest thorn in Obould's side during the war, causing no end of problems for the orc king by killing hundreds of his soldiers and spreading fear through the rest. Obould is one of the few people to force Drizzt to flee from combat, and despite two vicious battles, neither was able to achieve a decisive victory over the other.
A Man Is Always Eager: Averted; while he is a sexually active character, he made a habbit of surrounding himself with the most beautiful female orcs in his kingdom, letting them grind against him during feasts and warcouncils, and showing absolutely no interests in them as a way of showing off to his men how much more disciplined and controlled he was compared to them.
Anti-Villain: His methods are brutal, but his goal is noble; create a stable orc state and put an end to his people's self-destructive ways.
Obould:Look around you, drow. This is my home now. My kingdom! When you fly on your pet, you see the greatness of Obould. You see the Kingdom of Dark Arrows. Remember that name for the last minutes of your life. You die in Dark Arrows, Drizzt Do'Urden, and will be eaten by birds on a mountain side in the home of King Obould.
Canon Immigrant: Reversed, depending on whether you consider the novels or gamebooks more canon; Obould was originally featured in a sourcebook for the RPG before making it into the novels.
The Chosen One: Blessed and Chosen by Gruumsh to lead the orc people into a new age.
Combat Pragmatist: Subtle, as generally speaking he's just plain good enough that he doesn't need to resort to dirty tricks, but he does have one ploy that he uses to deadly effect; when attacking, he wills his Flaming Sword to blink on and off if quick succession to mess with his opponent's vision and present an opening.
Cool Horse: Averted; he tried breaking a captured pegasus, but when the horse refused to yield to hem even after he made it clear he could kill the thing with a swift punch, he relented, having a respect for the creature's wild nature.
Karma Houdini: A lot of innocent people die in the war he starts. A lot of innocent people die by his hand. In the end, he forces a stalemate, establishes a lasting kingdom, and rules for decades before dying in his sleep of old age.
Master Swordsman: He's as good with his greatsword as Drizzt is with his scimitars or Artemis is with his saber.
My Species Doth Protest Too Much: Though not in the same way as Drizzt. Obould is every bit as evil as you would expect an orc to be, it's just that he's also bright, extremely motivated, capable of diplomacy, and far more civilised than any member of his species has a right to be.
Offing the Offspring: Obould originally had eight sons. Seven of them plotted against him, three did so openly. By the time he comes into the books, Obould only has one living son, the implication being he killed the others. He would have killed that one too (for incompetence rather than treason), but someone else beat him to it.
Orc Bites Drow: He bite's a drow priestess' throat out and spits it back into her face as she bleeds to death; he did this both as insult and to prevent her from casting a spell.
Pet the Dog: He treats his prisoners fairly well. He threatened death to any of his men who harmed a captured pegasus or a dwarven prisoner, and even had his shamans heal Regis before returning him to the Companions. This is more about the pragmatic villainy than actual sympathy, but still.
Shadow Archetype: To Drizzt. They're both exceptional members of Always Chaotic Evil races who see the obvious flaws in their respective cultures, rejecting said culture in favor of their own moral codes. Where as Drizzt used his martial skill to escape and evade his people, living apart from them, Obould used his cunning and political savvy(backed by martial skill) to force a fundamental change in the way his people lived. It's interesting to note that the parallels between them are never drawn explicitly in the text, and Drizzt never compares himself to Obould. He does, however, compare Obould to Artemis twice, the first time noting that the orc king apparently felt he needed to prove something by insisting on fighting Drizzt one on one, and the second time as a note towards his prowess in combat.
Uberorc : Obould rejected the traditions and morals of orcish society, rising above them and forcing a fundamental change in his people and their way of life, and by extension, the way of life for their neighbors.
Underestimating Badassery: The very idea that an orc could be as badass as Obould is is utterly incomprehensible to the Companions of the Hall. This both serves him well and bites him in the ass; in battle he has the edge(not that he really needs it) because they think he'll far less formidable than he is. On the other hand, when he seeks to try and force negotiations, that same underestimation leads them to think that fighting him is the better option.
Villainous Valor: Sees fit to fight Drizzt in one on one combat not once, but twice. Somewhat subverted in that he's not outmatched; the first time he forces Drizzt to run away, and the second time it's Drizzt who has to pull out all the dirty tricks to stand up to him.
You No Take Candle: Has shades of this speech pattern in his early appearances, giving the rogue drow band the impression that he was an easily manipulated pushover. Eventually, after being made into Grummsh's Chosen, he becomes much more articulate.
Race: Lightfoot halfling
Alignment: Chaotic Neutral
Big Eater: The other Companions usually have to pull him away from his food when they're in the middle of an adventure.
A Good Way to Die: His final act was placing Bruenor on the crankshaft that would let the king reseal the primordial that powers Gauntlgrym.
Back from the Dead : Charon's Claw shows him rising from his grave as a vampire, rather unhappy about the whole situation.
The Last Dance: Helping Bruenor fight the pit fiend in Gauntlgrym proved to be his.
The Pig Pen: Covered in dirt and grim. Hair's greasy as all hell. Was actually forced to take a bath in The Orc King, for the first time in years, and likely tried to kill the person who forced it on him.
Defeat Means Friendship: When Wulfgar was young, Bruenor defeated him in battle, then took him on as a slave. He eventually grew into the adopted son and apprentice roles over the period of five years.
Drop the Hammer: His signature weapon is Aegis-fang, a massive warhammer that returns when he throws it.
Drowning My Sorrows: Fell deep into the bottle to try and deal with his post-traumatic stress from being trapped in the Abyss.
Executive Meddling: Wulfgar was supposed to stay dead, but a combination of fan request and editor input brought him back in Passage to Dawn.
Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: To a mild degree. While in Luskan, he was recruited by Morik the Rogue to be the muscle for his extortion racket for the promise of good money, a few laughs, and the chance to beat up unscrupulous smugglers and the like. Looked at through the bottom of a whiskey bottle, it didn't seem like that bad an idea.
He's Back: Finally managed to break out of his alcoholism in The Spine of the World.
Was Put on a Bus in The Orc King after the events of The Two Swords, and made a brief appearance in The Pirate King before disappearing from the main narrative completely. He gets a send off in a short story in an anthology book later on, though.
Shell-Shocked Veteran: Played with, since he didn't fight in a war, so much as survive being tortured by a demon for seven years.
The First Cut Is the Deepest: Before he was killed at Mithril Hall, he and Catti-Brie were set to be married. But after being recovered from the Abyss and all the torture he was made to endure, they couldn't quite make it work anymore.
The Starscream: When Jarlaxle is swayed by the Crystal Shard's personality, he convinces Kimmuriel to join him in a coup, deliberately sabotaging Bregan D'aerthe's surface operations before moving against Jarlaxle himself. Note that he only did so out of fear that Jarlaxle's greed had gotten the best of him and put the group at risk, but being a drow, it's not as though he needed much of an excuse.
We Used to Be Friends: It is mentioned that Zaknafein and Jarlaxle were once good friends, but Zak was betrayed by Jarlaxle at some point in the past.
Would Hit a Girl: Zaknafein takes particular glee in killing Drow priestesses. Justified as he sees them as holding up the evil ideals of Drow society.
Wouldn't Hurt a Child: Played straight and subverted. He is horrified with the drow practice of murdering every member of an opposing family during a house war, including small children. At the same time he has no choice in the matter because refusing would mean his death. This later becomes a Berserk Button for him when he thinks that Drizzt murdered an elven child during the surface raid.
Alignment: Chaotic Evil
Back Stab: Pulled this on Nalfein near the beginning of Homeland, which allowed Drizzt to not be sacrificed on the day of his birth. By drow law, every third male child is sacrificed to Lolth. With Nalfein's death, Drizzt was no longer the third son and was spared.
Unfriendly Fire: The above backstab is pulled during a war with another house.
Pragmatic Villainy: At the end of Exile, he flat-out refuses to participate in any more plans to chase down Drizzt because he knows people who do it tend to die. He even manages to curb Jarlaxle's enthusiasm for the idea. Sadly for him, his sister isn't so pragmatic.
Sibling Rivalry: One-sided with Drizzt. Drizzt seems to be more or less oblivious to it throughout Homeland.
Also with Nalfein to the point where he assassinated him in the aftermath of a war.
Love Triangle: Drizzt and Innovindil seem to express some amount of feelings for each other, while Drizzt also has strong feelings for Catti-brie. However, Innovindil seems happy to encourage Drizzt to find love with Catti-brie.
Evil Weapon: Came into possession of Charon's Claw when Bregan D'aerthe sold Artemis out to the Netherese.
The Fighting Narcissist: A ruthless warrior who's constantly ensuring that his cloak sets off his hair, his vest bares the right amount of chest, and who was distinctly unhappy that Shadovar magic dulled his previously-scarlet skin.
Obviously Evil: Prominent horns? Mismatched eyes? Unnatural thinness highlighting a permanently-dislocated left shoulder whose withered arm hangs behind him? Not exactly standard hero material.
Older Than They Look: A minor example, in that while Effron is in his twenties, he's described as looking like "a young teenager."
Psychopathic Manchild: A powerful twenty-something warlock who likes annoying the Netherese, Barrabus in particular; 'clapping' with his useless arm when something amuses him; and asking brightly to borrow Charon's Claw, once he sees Alegni torture Barrabus with it, so he can 'play.' It may be just a facade.
Heel-Face Turn: Came to Drizzt's rescue (and informally joined the team for good) when she threw Glorfathel into the primordial pit, and came close to killing both Effron and another of her former allies.
War of the Spider Queen Series
Alignment: Neutral Evil
The Alcoholic: This almost got him killed sometime before the start of the series when his sister Greyanna attempted to kill him by luring him into a trap. He didn't realize what was up until it was almost too late.
No Honor Among Thieves: Completely left Ryld for dead in Dissolution, but felt a mote of guilt about it, albeit briefly. It came back to bite him.
Not in This for Your Revolution: While he was forced into looking for Lolth by Gromph and the Matrons of Menzoberranzan, Pharaun was mostly in the hunt for the glory, since if he came back successful, it would put him in a better position to become Archmage, should Gromph ever die.
And I Must Scream: As a "reward" for betraying Lolth (and doing such a bad job of it), she was transformed into Lolth's emissary, sent to deal with her enemies as her avenger while unable to control her own actions and being perfectly aware of her consciousness while doing so.
Always Someone Better: Gromph is the Someone Better to his brother, Jarlaxle. When he shows up in the Drizzt books, it's shown that Jarlaxle comes to him for advice and magical assistance with matters that exceed his own expertise, and that Gromph is perfectly secure in laughing in Jarlaxle's face.
Memory Gambit: Zasian cast a spell on her in order to prevent the inhabitants of Celestia from catching on to her role in his plan to invade the realm. Unfortunately, this also prevented her from realizing what was going on.
Revenge Before Reason: After being freed from his geas in The Crystal Mountain, he could have just walked away and left the entire ordeal behind him after leaving the party. Instead, he decided he'd help the demon lords of the Abyss wage war on Celestia because the angels pissed him off.
The Scream: Was quite pissed to learn that traveling from the City of Brass over to Celestia had taken 12 years instead of the mere moments it felt like.
Team Killer: Abandoned the party in The Crystal Mountain and came back with a host of demons to kill them for getting in his way.
Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: He really did not like being forced to work with an angel in the Empyrean Odyssey trilogy.
The Gloves Come Off: When he cut ties with Dyrr, the lichdrow attempted to kill him in retaliation. Nimor put on his Game Face and fought back for a bit and set the guy—who was just as powerful as Gromph—back on his heels.
Plot-Relevant Age-Up: Wasn't even born when the series started. He was born while Aliisza was in stasis placed on her by the Triad and was raised by Tauran. The next time we (and Aliisza) see him, he's already fully grown.
Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right: Followed in Tauran's footsteps at the end of the The Crystal Mountain and went to stop Kaanyr from reaching the Lifespring instead of marching off to war against the Abyss.
Red Eyes, Take Warning: Subverted. While he is a half-drow, he's actually a good guy. Doesn't mean he's not dangerous to his enemies, though.
Flat Earth Agnostic: For a long time he questioned whether or not the gods actually existed, even though he was a priest and recieved magic from one; somewhat justified in that Deneir actually encourages his followers to question dogma and think for themselves.
Rich Idiot with No Day Job: What image he's cultivating. The Dandy singing dubious couplets and less than successfully dabbling in magic — just one more good-for-nothing noble. He's the lad who pranks people using a singing sword with Bawdy Song. He "forgot" to make publically known the part where he personally researched the spell allowing to edit the musical repertoire of pre-existing magical items. For example.
Spoony Bard. Of course. Despite being identified as Aristocrat/Wizard/Spellsinger in 3E, he considers himself a bard. Also, is sufficiently spoony, or at least tries to be seen as such.
Anti-Hero / Anti-Villain: Mostly. He tried to be a full-on hero, then full-on villain, but failed at both.
Broken Bird: The haughty, though back then innocent, variant. From the prince, Captain of the King's guard, betrothed to a princess and heir to an almost sacred artifact to self-exile and soon enough grave robber.
Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Pikel thinks and acts in a very odd manner. There's a fairly strong implication that he has, in Dungeons & Dragons terms, High Wisdom and Low Intelligence. In other words, he's legitimately mentally retarded.
Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Most people who spend five minutes around Pikel assume he's either insane or stupid. Once they see him fight, his badassery can't be denied.
Genius Ditz: Often comes up with clever plans, and has saved the day more than once with a Big Damned Heroes moment. But still, he's a bit of a ditz.
Furthermore, he managed to become a druid at a time when, by the background rules of the setting, only humans, elves and half-elves could do that.
Handicapped Badass: Missing an arm by the time of The Lone Drow. If you believe that his weirdness is due to being mentally handicapped, he still counts as this even before then.
Nature Hero: Can talk to animals, grow trees, control roots... This is very notable because, at the time Pikel was introduced, a Dwarven Druid was impossible by the game rules.
Scars Are Forever: Lost his arm while helping to defend Mithral Hall against Obould Many-Arrows, Gerti Orelsdottr, and their respective forces. Thirteen years later, he still hasn't got it back.
Anti-Mutiny: An odd case in that she was tricked by her mother Aurushnee / Lloth into helping with the coup, then turned back, atoned and began to convert the dark elves (now turned into drow) back to the old path as she saw it. And succeed with a lot of them.
Actual Pacifist: She's also the goddess of peace. And gives a sanctuary to those who think they fed up with violence, such as a certain Gold Elf vampire, and collected the whole colony of disillusioned Malenti.
This doesn't mean she's not decisive or strategically savvy. At least two novels did show her at active and well-timed work on expansion and conversion — Eldath is non-violent, and smoothly subversive, so her acquisitions go quietly.
Ghibli Hills: The terrain of preference is quiet glades, pools, springs and waterfalls.
The End of the World as We Know It: Supposed to "end and rebirth" Toril after a battle to the death with Cyric, god of various nasty things. His worshipers seem to think this is a GREAT goal, however. Apparently, Cyric's death is worth ending the world as we know it.
Take Up My Sword: After Tyr was manipulated by Cyric into murdering Helm, he retired from the pantheon in disgrace, and Torm took up the mantle as god of justice.
Took a Level in Badass: Twice; was originally a fairly minor demigod who managed to take out Bane during the Time of Troubles; this got him upped to intermediate god. When Tyr decided he was no longer cut out for the job, he passed his power and duties onto Torm, promoting him to greater god.
Split at Birth: Tymora and Beshaba were both literally formed when Tyche the Goddess of Luck, was split in half by Selūne after being corrupted by Moander. The myth goes that Beshaba got all of Tyche's beauty and frivolousness, while Tymora got all of the heart and kindness.
Jerkass Faēade / Jerk with a Heart of Gold: As a mortal, Kelemvor wanted to be a hero and wanted to help people. However, he had a curse that turned him into a panther and forced him to kill someone if he ever did anything for reasons other than personal gain.
Necessary Evil: He maintains a wall of souls to keep the gods in power. This is a motivation for one of the party members in Mask of The Betrayer renouncing her faith in him. However, what most who bring this up fail to mention is that he actually tried taking it down soon after becoming a god, and, well... Let's just say it didn'tworkout.
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: In his first years after becoming God of Death, he took the moral judgment of souls upon himself, whereas previous death gods only judged on whether a soul has been true to his patron god. He constructed places of reward and punishment for the faithless souls in his realm. As a result, good and heroic mortals stopped worshiping their own gods because they could count on Kelemvor's judgment, while more evil types were terrified of dying for fear of being condemned (you know, even more so). This screwed with the Balance Between Good and Evil on Faerun and resulted in a pantheon of seriously disgruntled deities on both sides.
Odd Friendship: Maintained an alliance with Lathander, God of the Sun. Despite the two deities controlling very different portfolios, Lathander shared Kelemvor's desire to destroy the undead.
Everyone Calls Her the Red Knight: The Red Knight keeps her real name secret from everyone except Tempus. If anyone were to know it, that person "would be privy to all the plots and strategems of rulers throughout Faerūn and the deities throughout the planes."
Spear Counterpart: To Chauntea; while she represents the tamed nature of agriculture and farming, Silvanus represents the wild forests.
Tempus, Lord of Battles
Supreme god of war in the Faerūnian Pantheon.
An Axe to Grind: His church's favored weapon is the battle axe; odd, considering one of his titles is the Foehammer and his holy symbol is a sword on a shield. Of course, Being the god of war, it would make sense for him to be a Multi-Melee Master.
Arch-Enemy: Tempus shares the portfolio of War with Garagos, who embodies the destructive aspects of war in contrast to Tempus embodying its glorious, honorable aspects. The two mutually loathe each other, but Garagos is the weaker of the two deities, and Tempus refuses to completely destroy Garagos because it would mean being forced to take control of his portfolio.
Blood Knight: About halfway. Tempus does enjoy fights the most, but the warfare should be about honour and glory — he opposes meaningless carnage and destruction, or endless blood feuds. Conversely, cowardice and other dishonorable behaviour is punished, as are attacks on what belongs to Eldath: his followers are supposed to search for a tough opponent, not push pacifists around.
Boisterous Bruiser: His style — honest, feasting, active, not holding grudges, but eager for the next fight. He even gave the Strategy part of the portfolio to Red Knight and left Destruction to Garagos.
Dating Catwoman: Has romantic ties to Beshaba, evil goddess of bad luck. While Tempus is a neutral god, he's one of the only non-evil gods to have an affair with a blatantly evil one.
Due to the Dead: Those who fought well are praised and remembered. Indeed, followers of Tempus frequently hang all around the worship site collected shields of fallen warriors, whether allies or foes.
Gods Need Prayer Badly: The fact that gods in the Forgotten Realms are empowered by worship means that Tempus, to whom practically every combatant on the planet says a prayer on the eve of battle, is one of the most powerful deities in the entire pantheon.
Affably Evil: Is generally calm and polite. Just don't piss him off.
Ambition Is Evil: The path of Asmodeus is the way to great and unatainable power, so clerics of Asmodeus are often men and women of great influence and charisma and end up in positions of leadership. His own ambition is nothing short of conquering and corrupting every single plane of existence- and he seems more than capable of pulling it off.
Arch-Enemy: He seems to have made a hobby out of this; every single archdevil, while nominally his subordinate, hates his guts and dreams of overthrowing him; the Chaotic Evil demons of the Abyss consider him their long-term enemy (insofar as they think "long-term", anyway), and his is directly opposed to every Good-aligned deity and the entirety of the Celestial realms, working long and hard to corrupt them all.
Asskicking Equals Authority: As with most evil deities, he maintains power mainly by being smart enough and strong enough to stop anyone from taking it from him. He is far more powerful than any of his closest rivals and has more worshippers than every other archdevil combined, and those devils have to share their worshippers with him anyway. And now he is a full-blown god, as strong or stronger than he has ever been.
Big Bad: Possibly the Biggest Bad of the whole setting. Apparently he views the entirety of the forces of Evil, including rivals and enemies, to be nothing but pawns on a cosmic chessboard with himself as the player against the forces of Good, who are barely aware that they are playing. And given what an utterly brilliant chessmaster he is, he may well be right. His recent ascension to godhood has certainly put him up there, at the very least.
Carry a Big Stick: The Ruby Rod of Asmodeus, besides having a very...unfortunate name, is one of the most powerful weapons in the realms, able to perform a wide range of magical spells. His church favors great clubs and maces crafted in the Rod's image.
The Chessmaster: Possibly the best chessmaster of all greater deities; probably the best of all evil deities and definitely the best throughout the Nine Hells. He has spies and assasins on every plane of existence and in every court of power, and his plans are intricately detailed and may take centuries if not millenia to come to fruition, but almost always manage to benefit him in some way once they do.
Deal with the Devil: His modus operandi; and of all the evil deities, he is the one most likely to play this trope literally, with a contract and everything, or at least to hold onto his side of the bargain (From a Certain Point of View, of course).
Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Suggested to have genuinly cared for his (deceased) wife and (still living) daughter. Granted, both were/are evil themselves, but still.
Exact Words: He is the undistupted master of the carefully worded diabolical contract and will always take care to carefully word any agreement so that it ultimately benefits him. However, he will never, ever tell a flat-out lie, and his dogma explicitly forbids his followers from doing so- not out of standards, or course, but because having people know they can at least technically trust you is efficient Pragmatic Villainy.
Evil vs. Evil: The Blood War between Devils and Demons which has raged on for tens of thousands of years at the very least. Until now- Asmodeus has won.
Although, it's really more of a successful Enforced Cold War. Preventing relatively easy access between between the two race of fiends put a damper on it, but didn't really stop it.
Magic Knight: Most gods are like this, really, but descriptions of Asmodeus go out of their way to cite both his skill with magic and as a warrior.
The Man Behind the Man: He has innumerable mortal followers including countless who end up in positions of leadership, almost certainly including many kings and other monarchs as well as members and perhaps even heads of various rival religions, including Good-aligned ones. Every single time a mortal worships an archdevil, their worship actually goes all to Asmodeus, whether this know or wish it or not. And he is said to be the secret master of the Chaotic Evil demon lord Grazzt...and maybe even his father.
Multiple Choice Past: Different versions name him as either a Fallen Angel or a fallen god, and the details of his fall are given conflicting accounts- in the main, this is just clumsy writing and Retcon-itis at work, and was not intentional. One that can probably be dismissed is the idea that he became ruler of Hell by signing a contract with the gods to take the souls of the damned, only for the gods to find out the carefully-worded contract allowed for Asmodeus to actively corrupt mortals to damn them in the first place; this contradicts the fact that he explicitly was kicked out of the heavens before taking over Hell, and has the still-bleeding scars to prove it.
The Omniscient: Possibly. Apparently he is at least aware of every single plot that is ever hatched against him- which is oneof many reasons why none of them ever succeed. In addition, his godly domain includes the realm of Knowledge. He is probably not literally omniscient, but may be within the realms of Baator and possibly in some wider sense as well, and this would go a long way to explaining why he is so successful.
Satan: While not as straight forward an analogue as in Points Of Light, he's still the closest thing.
While Satan and Lucifer(specifically mentioned as separate entities) are mentioned in previous editions, and Satan himself was even statted at one point, their current status as canon is highly questionable. Moreover, Asmodeus has the classiccharacterization of Satan as made popular in Christian fiction such as Paradise Lost- which is significantly different from the mythological Asmodeus/Asmodai's characterization as a lustfulTrickster Archetype, which for all his cunning, Asmodeus certainly is not.
Torture Technician: Well, he is a devil, after all- torturing mortal sinners for eternity is part of the whole deal. In fact, one (probably false) version of his backstory has him actually creating Hell for this exact purpose, meaning he invented the very concept of punishment (in reality, he seems to have been one of the first being to be punished via being cast out of the Heavens for some unknown crime). Torment is actually listed as one of his domains.
Took a Level in Badass: Went from the most powerfulArchdevil for the first 3 (and a half) editions of D & D to a full-blown Greater God by the time the 4th came about. It is implied that he has basically done nothing but become more and more powerful ever since he took up ownership of Hell all those millenia ago. Yes, even that one time he was overthrown was just part of an elaborate Evil Plan on his part to root out traitors.
We Are Everywhere: His cultists are rarely if ever out in the open, but they infest every sector of society from the highest to the lowest. He even has followers in the Good-aligned religions, working to subvert them from within. He also has agents in the Celestial realms, the demon planes of the Abyss, and within the ranks of his own archdevils, all secretly answering to him.
Wicked Cultured: Amongst other things, his clothes alone are said to cost more than a country spends on food in an entire year.
Auril, The Cold Goddess
An Axe to Grind: Surprisingly enough. Oh, it's also called "Icemaiden's caress".
Big Bad: Top contender for Big Bad of the Realms. Word of God is that, at the very least, he was designed to be this. Other evil gods that have shown up since probably would give him a run for his money; that said, he is never one to be underestimated.
Deity of Human Origin: Is one of the earliest examples in the Forgotten Realms mythos, having been part of an adventuring trio known as the Dead Three, along with Bhaal and Myrkul. The three sought out Jergal, Lord of the End of Everything, the previous god of death, fear, and murder, hoping to kill him and divide his power. Luckily for them, Jergal was bored with his power, and gave it up willingly, making Bane the god of fear, Bhaal the god of murder, and Myrkul the god of the dead. All three were later killed, and thus far only Bane has returned.
Pragmatic Villainy: Bane commands order in his church, and his followers are as likely to solve disputes through reasonable debate as through show of force. This is a relatively new development since his return from the dead- before, the church was marked by infighting and sectarian violence, but eventually Bane came to realise this was only harming his long-term interests.
Rage Against the Heavens: He and the Dead Three made a pact to conquer not just the world, but the Heavens themselves and to slay all the other gods. Though Bane is more than willing to make alliances for his own long-term benefit, he regards every other god as his enemy (including the other members of the Dead Three, though both are now deceased) as he cannot stand to be subservient to another or to share power with anyone, even in theory. Given the chance he would likely kill the lot of them.
Villain Team-Up: For such a vain, paranoid and selfishly power-hungry son of a bitch, its surprising just how many times he has teamed up with other evil deities, and sometimes even non-evil ones.
War God: Both he and Asmodeus are gods of tyranny, but while Asmodeus is all about politics and subtle manipulations, Bane, a former adventurer and warlord, is the god who tries to achive World Domination through strength of arms, and his portfolio explicitly includes war and destruction. He is still principally a schemer, though- he is a war god of The Strategist school of thought, and his modus operandi is not just waging war on his enemies, but manipulating his enemies into waging war on each other (or themselves), creating chaos from which HIS ordercan be imposed.
What Is This Feeling?: In Shadowdale, a loyal follower who'd rescued him earlier dies in one of the Time of Troubles's magical backlashes. Much to his own shock, he finds himself screaming with grief.
Villainesses Want Heroes: Romantically involved with Tempus, the antiheroic War God. One of the very few instances of an evil deity being involved with a non-evil deity.
Cyric, The Prince of Lies
Adaptational Attractiveness: Depending on the Writer really. In some books, he is described as classically handsome and extremely charismatic, such as by the Succubus in The Fractured Sky and throughout most of James Lowder's works, and as hideous and twisted in most other works. Wo TC Canon has him pictured mostly as a normal-looking guy. Cyric has more appearances than perhaps any god/goddess except Mystra, who seems to change appearance after each "death/reincarnation" cycle.
Arch-Enemy: Formerly with Mystra; currently with Kelemvor and Bane.
A God Am I: Even when human, this was all he could think of.
At Least I Admit It: Admits his lies and murders very easily, since he is the god of such things and he is not at all going against his specific "code of honor" if he has one. Even the Overgod agreed with Cyric on the case of murdering other gods. Except, it seems, when he murdered Mystra, Azuth, Helm, and Tyr. That seemed to be even more than Ao could handle (if Ao exists in 4E anyway).
Axe Crazy: Most of the time, though his lucid moments are far scarier than his crazy moments.
Blessed with Suck: During his trial, a mortal worshiper managed to steal a reversed copy of the Cyrinishad away from the middle of Candlekeep and a pair of guardians a hell of a lot more skilled and violent than he was. While under Mystra's (lifelong, as it turns out) enchantment to speak the truth, the full truth, and nothing but the truth, he read the book aloud at Cyric's trial, curing him of the original Cyrinishad's curse and restoring him to sanity. As a reward, Cyric promoted him to be his Seraph of Lies. When the man protested that he couldn't lie, Cyric told him that made him perfect for the job.
Depending on the Writer: His sanity, appearance, and relationships with the other gods. In the Avatar series, he seems to have unrequited love for Mystra and seems to resent brawny, handsome Kelemvor for winning her heart. In Denning's works, he is just a megalomaniac who wants everyone to worship him. In WOTC timeline, he's actually a brilliant Trickster and ends up proving himself not so harmless after all, and NOT too insane to be effective. He causes Shar to lose a massive amount of power, her own Weave AND Mystra's Weave, the deaths of Helm, Tyr and Azuth, and the Spellplague. Sure he gets locked up for a thousand years, but thats a small price to pay for causing all that chaos that Cyric loves so much. Besides, as master of lies and illusion its only a matter of time before he's out of his prison.
Dirty Coward: Runs away when he knows he can't win at all, turns to stealing and lying instead of fighting to get what he wants.
Eldritch Abomination: Binds one of these to him after freeing it from its fetters. Kezef the Chaos Hound still seems loyal to Cyric even while being imprisoned again by Mask.
Evil vs. Evil: Is commanding his church into a holy war against the church of Bane. Was also commanding his church to war against EACH OTHER when he was "insane".
Fate Worse than Death: His punishment for the deaths of Helm and Mystra and the Spellplague? Eternal banishment to a pocket plane, doomed to forever be trapped and hated and feared by all.
Not quite so. He can still grant spells to his worshippers and such, just not communicate with anyone or anything. Cyric is already insane. Imagine when he gets out of his little prison. He is already hated and feared by all, also. That isn't something new to Cyric and that seems to almost be his entire goal.
It's All About Me: Had his followers create a tome that convinced anyone who read it that Cyric was the only true god. Then he read it himself.
Mad God: As Dragon Magazine put it, "When it comes to madness, Cyric leads by example."
Not-So-Harmless Villain: For a while, he was considered something of a harmless villain because he was too crazy to be effective. Then he killed Mystra and set off the Spellplague.
Don't forget how he orchestrated the death of Helm, and subsequently Tyr's fall from grace.
And Shar's loss of BOTH her own Shadow Weave and Mystra's Weave. A massive loss of power for the Lady of Loss. Oh, he also indirectly killed Azuth, which most people forget. Making his total of murdered gods (directly or indirectly) in 4E...well...four. There's also a chance, with Helm's death, that the Rainbow Bridge was damaged. This troper read a fanfic where Helm's death resulted in the total destruction of the Rainbow Bridge, which leads to all the other realms, hindering travel for all the other gods. Which would be a PRETTY BIG DEAL to them, lending more credence to this troper's theory that Mystra's death was NOT the only reason Cyric was imprisoned. He is, after all, god of Murder. Its his JOB to murder. There had to be another reason.
Self-Made Orphan: Murders both his adoptive and biological fathers. In the original story (possibly a lie, possibly just different writers not getting the story straight) he simply ran away from his adoptive parents and then murdered his biological father. In Prince of Lies, its made clear by Oghma, God of Knowledge, that he murdered BOTH sets of parents. Self-Made Orphan indeed.
Start of Darkness: In Shadowdale (the book), its made clear that he absolutely LOVES watching gods kill each other. This is possibly the start of his future God of Murder status. Then he gets rejected by Midnight in favor of Kelemvor and that is what really pushes him over the edge toward evil.
That Liar Lies: Pretty much called by Torm "nothing but lies" when he claims he didn't kill the former goddess of Illusion. (He was technically NOT lying, since it was MASK who killed her, in the guise of Cyric's sword, Godsbane.)
"The Reason You Suck" Speech: Gives one to an entire council of murderous greater gods in the Trial of Cyric...and gets away with it. He also gives Mystra and Kelemvor various speeches throughout the book. Cyric is also on the receiving end of such a speech in the same book, but it isn't near as epic as his chewing out an entire pantheon of angry battle gods, some who absolutely HATE him, such as Kelemvor and Tempus.
Trickster Archetype: Sort of. He makes it very clear that he prefers trickery and lies over such petty things as judging the dead, but he isn't a funny jokester at all. More like an Evil!Trickster.
Villains Never Lie: Despite his title, he doesn't have to, most of the time. Like with Malik, the best lie is the most unbelievable truth.
Vitriolic Best Buds: With Kelemvor (and Midnight/Mystra), as a mortal. He was brains to Kel's brawn. After Kel slept with Midnight...their relationship went out the window. After he crossed the Moral Event Horizon by killing one of Midnight's friends, that relationship also went down the drain. He really has No Social Skills.
Xanatos Speed Chess: Cyric is a master of this. Just read the novels he's in and see how he turns every situation to his advantage, even if it looks like its going to pot. The Trial for example. His plot to have the Cyrinishad read at the Trial gets squashed quite quickly, but Cyric had another way to win the Trial. He had planned for the eventuality of the trial failing, even though he is about as arrogant as it gets and doesn't believe he could possibly fail. Of course, in the end, we realize the trial was ALL CYRIC'S DOING IN THE FIRST PLACE! At the start, he had planned it to expose the other gods to the Cyrinishad, but when that failed, immediately decided ending Mystra and Kelemvor's love would also serve his evil just as well.
Dragon-in-Chief / The Heavy: Was this when part of Lolth's Legion of Doom. While she was the mastermind behind it, Gruumsh was by far the most powerful deity in the group, and the only one who could hold his own against Corellon.
Evil Counterpart: To Tempus. While the two have little in the way of interaction, Gruumsh's realm is described as a dark reflection of Tempus' Warrior's Rest.
Evil Virtues: Determination and valor; Gruumsh doesn't quit.
Eye Scream: On Lolth's advice, Gruumsh ambushed Corellon, who cut out one of his eyes. Gruumsh now despises both deities.
Our Orcs Are Different: Gruumsh himself is the epitome of the older, more savage orcs, though lately has been guiding his people to a more neutral stance, if only because getting them out of caves will make them stronger as a whole.
The Man Behind the Man / Hijacked by Ganon: Was revealed that Talos, a more human-centric deity of storms, natural disasters, rebellion, and destruction, and the leader of a group of evil gods known as the Deities of Fury, was in fact Gruumsh in disguise, getting some non-orc worshipers.
Bondage Is Bad: Loviatar's holy rituals resemble BDSM rites to the extreme - her clergy often making livings as professional dominaxtrixes or the masters of brothels catering to that fetish - but she and her followers are all evil by Character Alignment.
Whip It Good: Whips are the favored weapon of her clergy, and her associated weapon is the scourge (multi-lashed whip).
Luthic, The Blood Moon Witch
One of the most important orc gods besides Gruumsh, Luthic is his consort and the patron goddess of orc females and "caves", which translates to not only caves themselves, but also to home, wisdom, fertility, healing and serviture. In 4th edition, she became an exarch rather than a full-fledged deity, and is associated with cunning, viciousness and havoc.
Twin sister of Selūne, one of the first goddesses to come into existence at the dawn of creation. Despises her sister for introducing life to the universe that they helped make.
Ambition Is Evil: Oddly literal example- hope and ambition are explicitly forbidden in the dogma of Shar, and you are only allowed to question your superiors if you forfeit your life to do it. Trying to improve your lot in life in any way is sinful. Since Shar is a God of Evil, this is both played straight and an inversion.
Arch-Enemy: With Selūne, her twin sister. By extension-
Authority Equals Asskicking: One of the oldest and original Greater Deities and one of the most powerful; her realm, the Shadowfell, is the largest of any in the Astral Sea despite several other deities creating their own planes of existence there, including several that are infinite.
The Evils of Free Will: She traps those who enjoy their freedom in a place called the Tower of Loss, a place with no obvious entrances or exits, in order to savour their despair. In general, she detests freedom- at least, the freedom of everyone who is not her.
The Maker: One of the oldest deities in the mythos and one of the co-creators of the entire universe; her beef with the others, such as her sister, was when they wanted to add that annoying thing called "life" to the once-perfect bleak, dead infinity.
Villain Team-Up: Worked together with Cyric to orchestrate the Spellplague. However, once the Spellplague began, Cyric promptly stabbed her in the back and stole her Shadow Weave.
Vhaeraun, the Masked Lord
Chaotic Evil patron of drow rogues, thieves and assasins, males (and any females who are disillusioned with Lolth). Interested in getting rid of Lolth (his mother), returning the drow to the surface world (whether the surfacers like it or not) and being a badass but ruthless revolutionary leader.
Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: One would think somebody whose goal is to liberate a whole race from a crazy tyrannical goddess would have more redeeming qualities. But no, he`s quite a bastard. Still, he isn't as bad as Lolth.
The Unfettered: Does what needs to be done in order to achieve his goals. Or just to amuse himself, really. Has no problem with breaking a LOT of eggs.
Villain Has a Point: Women make up less than one percent of his clergy but it's still less gender-exclusive than his Chaotic Good sister's. It's not surprising he has more appeal to the disgruntled male drow seeking escape from Lady Land.