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.
Due to the sheer volume of characters in the universe, characters found in The Legend of Drizzt series now have their own page.
Elminster Aumar, Sage of Shadowdale
- The Ace: He's the greatest wizard Toril even known, one of the most powerful beings and a charismatic man who has a vast array of aqcuitances on which he can call upon.
- Anything That Moves: Hes had a lot of sex.
- Author Avatar: Ed Greenwood vehemently denies it, insisting that Mirt is his avatar, but no one believes him. (Who says you can only have one?)
- Captain Ersatz: In appearance, at least, Elminster was a stand-in for Gandalf from The Lord of the Rings until 3rd Edition, when he suddenly looked like Sean Connery.
- Cast From Sanity: Doing magic can drive him insane since the Spellplague.
- 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.
- Kavorka Man: The number of beautiful women with whom he's had carnal relations is truly staggering.
- Mascot: Of the Forgotten Realms setting in general.
- Robe and Wizard Hat: Though he ditched the hat when 3rd Edition rolled around.
- Smoking Is Cool: His pipe is actually a magical artifact.
- Wife Husbandry: Some of the women he's bedded in the past are ones he's raised himself.
- Wizard Beard: Varies depending on the depiction, but most sources give him a Merlin-esque beard reaching down to his chest.
- Wizards Live Longer: The man is over a millennium in age.
Mirt the Moneylender
- Red Baron: His loud mercenary youth gave him titles "the Old Wolf" and "Mirt the Merciless".
- Retired Badass: He used to be the commander of a mercenary company.
- The Caretaker: To the ghost of her sister Syluné, until Syluné's Heroic Sacrifice. Also, after the death of Mystra, Storm is the only person who can soothe Elminster's insanity when he uses magic.
- Mother To Her Men: Storm acts as a sort of "den mother" to the Harpers.
- 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".
- Multilayer Façade: A Malaugrim who pretended to be a Yuan-Ti posing as but yet another aspiring Magelord trying to infiltrate the magical oligarchy of Athalantar.
- 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 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.
- Badass Bookworm: As a mage, he has to frequently research and memorize spells — and he knows how to use them.
- The Charmer: So persuasive is he that Danifae notes that he's the true leader of Quenthel's group. Considering how cunning Quenthel is and the drow's female-dominated society, this is no small feat (though it is helped considerably by Quenthel not being at full power).
- Cruel and Unusual Death: Magically paralyzed in the Demonweb Pits and eaten alive by thousands of spiders.
- Cultured Badass: You'd be wrong if you thought this preening dandy wasn't very dangerous.
- The Dandy: Fashionable, vain to the point of narcissism, and allergic to physical exertion. While on the journey with Quenthel's group, he can't shut up about his inability to properly groom himself.
- Defiant to the End: Sneering at an alhoon at that.
- Distracted by the Sexy: When he first met Danifae, he couldn't stop staring.
- Eaten Alive: By spiders, no less.
- Enemy Mine: Decided to help Quenthel when Danifae started to show signs of group dominance in Resurrection, despite the fact that they still wanted to wring each other's necks.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Sacrificed himself to save Kael in The Crystal Mountain.
- Inhuman Human: He was quasi-resurrected in the body of a human in The Crystal Mountain.
- Lovable Rogue: As loveable as drow get, anyway.
- Make Me Wanna Shout: How he dealt with Belshazu.
- A Man Is Always Eager: Played completely straight.
- 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.
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: The sensitive to Ryld's manly man.
- Sharp-Dressed Man: Sharper than most, due to his vanity and high status.
- Squishy Wizard: Without his magic, he's a massive weakling.
- Sword and Sorcerer: With Pharaun providing the firepower and Ryld the muscle.
- Whatevermancy: "Pedomancy! Sorcery of the feet!"
- Wrecked Weapon: Belshazu disintegrated his favorite attack ring. He didn't take it well.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: On the receiving end.
- Absurdly Sharp Blade: Splitter. It's so sharp, it can cut through enchantments!
- Allergic to Routine: The main reason he agreed to help Pharaun to begin with.
- The Big Guy: By elven standards, he's quite a beefy guy.
- Combat Pragmatist: He knows about fencing styles traditional for Drow, but goes with what gives him more advantage instead of showing off.
- Converting for Love: His lover Halisstra tries to convince him to join her in the afterlife with Elistrae, but he chooses to go to his patron goddess, Lolth.
- Exotic Weapon Supremacy: By drow standards. Most drow use light weaponry with an emphasis on dexterity, crafted from Underdark mithril. Ryld's blade is dwarven-crafted and friggin' huge!
- In Harm's Way: Wanted more excitement in his life and got plenty.
- I Will Only Slow You Down: Attempted to use this in the Cold Fields when he and Halisstra were dying of hypothermia. She didn't let it happen.
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: The manly man to Pharaun's sensitive guy.
- Master Swordsman: One of the best in the Underdark. He'd probably be the master of the martial academy if not for his low status.
- The Stoic: Especially compared to Pharaun
- Smart People Play Chess: One of the sure signs that he's far more than just dumb muscle is that he's a master of sava, the drow equivalent of chess.
- Sword and Sorcerer: The muscle to Pharaun's heavy artillery.
- Weapon Across the Shoulder: Standard for Ryld when Splitter's out, but not being put to use.
- Wrecked Weapon: Splitter got destroyed in his fight against Jeggred. It was a prelude to something a lot worse.
- Alpha Bitch: First as Mistress of the clerical school Arach-Tinilith, then later as Matron Mother of House Baenre.
- Back from the Dead: She was killed by Drizzt during Siege of Darkness, but was brought back to life by Lolth some time later.
- Blue Blood: The third daughter of Menzoberranzan's largest and most powerful House.
- Break the Haughty: When Faeryl turned on her and got her captured, she was stripped and tortured. Her normal personality faded quickly. It seems to have returned at the end of the series, however.
- Dark Action Girl: She's a very powerful priestess and one of the most ruthless fighters in Menzoberranzan. Even when she's temporarily de-powered, she's more than capable.
- Deadpan Snarker: To the extent that its practically her language.
- Ice Queen: Even among the drow priestesses she's a cold fish, with her default expression being a scowl.
- Klingon Promotion: As of the current edition, she slew her sister Triel in battle and is now the current Matron Mother of House Baenre.
- Lady of War: Without a doubt the er... "hero" of the War of the Spider Queen.
- Mistress and Servant Boy: With Jeggred, primarily, but tries to treat every male she comes across as this.
- More Deadly Than the Male: As it is with most drow, by virtue of the female-only priesthood of Lolth.
- Our Elves Are Different: One of many beneficiaries of the setting's drow admiration.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Her eyes glow red in the Underdark, a function of her infra-vision, which all drow have.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: She's very proactive during the War of the Spider Queen, as well as ruling over the priestess academy and successfully overthrowing her sister for rulership of the house.
- Whip It Good: Made of snakes, no less. Hers is unique,, with each snake being possessed by a demon, giving them sentience.
- Blood Knight: He lives to fight and kill. Literally, since he's a draegloth: it was the reason he was conceived in the first place.
- Blood Lust: To a disturbingly literal extent.
- Body Horror: His combined drow and demon characteristics lead to some...abominable features.
- The Brute: Bodyguard and assassin to Triel and later to Quenthel.
- Combat Sadomasochist: Loves inflicting pain and, while very difficult to do, he doesn't mind receiving it much.
- Dumb Muscle: He's not exactly stupid, but he's savage and only barely sentient.
- Finger-Lickin' Evil: The only thing he loves more than the taste of blood is the taste of blood on his own claws.
- Human Sacrifice: He was sacrificed to Lolth by a very disgruntled Quenthel.
- I'm a Humanitarian: Also likes the taste of Drow.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: If you don't have darkvision, those red eyes are probably the last thing you'll ever see.
- Slasher Smile: It's more of a bestial snarl, but it serves the same basic purpose.
- Torture Technician: He's surprisingly clever at it, too.
- Kukris Are Kool: He dual-wields them. Even cooler given that they are enchanted to produce lighting.
- Ranger: The closest equivalent to one to be found in the Underdark. Hune is a peerless scout who knows the Underdark inside and out.
- Scarily Competent Tracker: How good is he? He's the most capable tracker in a group that includes a priestess and a wizard skilled in divination.
- Stealth Hi/Bye: His skill at silent movement and teleportation means he can pull this one off effortlessly. It's even more irritating to the drow.
- The Stoic: Partially because it's just his personality, but mostly out of necessity, due to his job and the environment he's doing it in.
- Tiny Guy, Huge Girl: To practically every female he encounters.
- The Dog Bites Back: Got a measure of revenge against Quenthel before she got killed herself.
- Humiliation Conga: Just as she was getting her Revenge on Quenthel, the rest of the party showed up and turned the tables completely upside-down. It didn't end well for her.
- 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.
- The Chosen One: Was chosen by Elistraee to destroy Lolth, but didn't go through with it.
- Conflicting Loyalty: Between her love for Ryld and her worship of Elistraee, then between her worship of Elistraee or Lolth.
- Et Tu, Brute?: Played straight enough to wonder if she really remembered she was a drow, when all is said and done.
- Fate Worse than Death: Was forced to become Lolth's handservant for losing her faith.
- HeelFace Revolving Door: You could hear the hinges squeak in Resurrection.
- Turn Coat: To Lolth and then to Elistraee.
- The Chosen One: She was handpicked by Lolth to be the final piece of her rebirth.
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Being such a master manipulator is probably the reason that she became Lolth's chosen vessel.
- Depraved Bisexual: Used her ability to seduce pretty much anyone constantly and to deadly effect more than a few times in the series.
- Dark Chick: A master manipulator vamp that quickly rose up the ranks.
- The Starscream: Quickly became Quenthel's right-hand, and just as quickly started plotting against her.
- 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.
- The Archmage: Rivals Elminster for the title.
- Badass Bookworm: He is without a doubt the most powerful magic user in Menzoberranzan. The only thing that keeps him in check is that he is vastly outnumbered by the priestess of Lolth, and that he's terrified of the goddess herself.
- Big, Screwed-Up Family: Pretty standard for the drow, though.
- Blue Blood: The eldest son of Yvonnel Baenre, making him one of the closest things to Drow royalty possible. Downplayed, given that he's male, so even he can only rise so far in Drow society.
- The Chains of Commanding: His position of Archmage and Master of the wizarding school Sorcere are really just a way for the ruling priestess to keep him shackled. He's very aware of this and none too happy about it.
- Crazy-Prepared: Just in case he ever got caught by a mind flayer, he prepared a time stop potion and an amnesia potion. He then programmed his own memory to forget what was in the bottles he put them in and made it so that he'd try to warn himself not to drink them just to throw the mind flayer off about what was about to happen.
- Crystal Ball: He's a divination specialist, and one of the best in the business at using this particular item.
- Deadpan Snarker: One gets the impression that his ascerbic tongue is how he manages to keep his wits in a Lady Land like Menzoberranzan.
- Eye Scream: Had his eyes eaten out by his familiar as part of a transplant.
- Familiar: Kyorli, a talented but otherwise normal rat. It's one of the few things Gromph openly shows affection to.
- Make Me Wanna Shout: What he teaches at Sorcere. Also doubles as a Signature Move.
- Man of Wealth and Taste: He shares the standard drow love of conspicuous consumption.
- No One Should Survive That: Escaped the monumental explosion of a House, but only just barely.
- Older Than They Look: Over 700, but looks young thanks to an Amulet of Eternal Youth. With the death of his mother and older sister, he may well be the oldest living drow.
- Pragmatic Villainy: During the Silence of Lolth, he is by far the most powerful being in the Underdark, but refrains from moving against the priestesses because he correctly guesses that Lolth has put measures in place to protect them during her absence.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: He used to have amber eyes (like his brother Dantrag and his daughter Liriel), but was blinded and got an eye transplant.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: Although in his case its more a function of him being male, which forces him to do more to justify his existence.
- Sharp-Dressed Man: One of the best dressed in the Underdark, which is really saying something.
- Sibling Rivalry: He and Quenthel fight over Triel's ear on the throne. So much so that he tried to kill her several times.
- Tall, Dark, and Snarky: Quite tall, very dark, and extremely surly.
- Wizards Live Longer: In his case, he lives even longer than expected of an ordinary elven wizard, thanks to a unicorn amulet he possesses.
- Berserk Button: Do not threaten Kael.
- Blood from the Mouth: Happened frequently the more times she used her magic after the Spellplague until she died.
- Cast From Hit Points: Her magic was turned into this immediately following Mystra's death.
- Conflicting Loyalty: Between Tauran, Kael, and Kaanyr during the Empyrean Odyssey trilogy.
- Died in Your Arms Tonight: Died in Kael's arms, telling him how proud she was of him.
- 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.
- Talking the Monster to Death: Delivered a "Reason You Suck" Speech to Kaanyr just as he was about to kill her, enabling her enough time to get off one last spell that, eventually, killed them both.
- Klingon Promotion: He killed his mother to take over the Scoured Legion.
- 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.
- Villainous BSoD: Had one just as he was about to kill Aliisza, thanks to her "Reason You Suck" Speech, which gave her enough time to take him out first.
- 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.
- Lie to the Beholder: His handsome drow appearance is just a disguise. His real form is more akin to the shadow dragons that make up half his heritage.
- Utopia Justifies the Means: He sees the destruction of countless of drow cities as a necessary sacrifice to bring about the downfall of Lolth.
- Grand Theft Me: Aliisza took over his body (thanks to a spell from Zasian) as soon as she met him for the first time, though not entirely by choice.
- Orphan's Ordeal: Had to come to grips with the fact of who his parents were and their differences in morality over the course of the Empyrean Odyssey trilogy.
- 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.
- Break the Cutie: The fall of Helm and Tyr's disgrace nearly forced him into Heroic BSoD territory. This happens again after the death of Mystra, since the group ultimately failed and he thought he had been completely betrayed by Aliisza.
- Carry a Big Stick: Wielded an enchanted mace in combat.
- Fallen Angel: Was stripped of his divinity and immortality as punishment for his crimes against the House of the Triad.
- Guardian Angel: Both in normal and literal sense for Kael.
- Half-Truth: His mastery of this and lying by withholding information would make many a devil proud.
- Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Had a feeling something was amiss with the gods and went rogue when no one would listen to him.
- Ship Sinking: After some Ship Tease, he and Aliisza both die at the end of The Crystal Mountain.
- Ship Tease: Had a scene where he was feeling particularly heart-broken about what was happening with the gods and got head-on-lap action with Aliisza.
- Consummate Liar: Kind of a requirement to be a follower of Cyric.
- Soulless Shell: Became a Living Vessel after his role in helping to kill Mystra.
- Aloof Dark-Haired Girl: Thanks to her half-elven heritage, she's pretty and pale like a moon elf and tall like a human. Other aspects of this trope also apply.
- Deadpan Snarker: Most of the time, usually directed at Danilo.
- Starcrossed Lovers: With Danilo Thann, though it works out for them in the end.
- Non-Idle Rich: What he actually is. Later, he becomes Royals Who Actually Do Something, due to being one of the Lords of Waterdeep, for a time.
- 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: Mostly. He tries to be a full-on hero, then full-on villain, but fails 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.
- Evil Parents Want Good Kids: He knows he's badly messed up and wants his daughter to be a proper elf.
- I Am Not Left-Handed: He doesn't advertise his wizardry expertise and it frequently makes a nasty surprise.
- Knife Nut: He's a skilled fencer and more, but daggers tend to jump into his hand first unless he's against something big.
- Last of His Kind: He was the last in his clan, which is why the moonblade he expected to take for granted didn't kill an unworthy claimant.
- Magic Feather: Once accidentally did a darkly humorous version of this to himself.
- Noble Demon: As a crimelord, he's obviously ruthless and indiscriminate, but still retains some elven ideals.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Danilo Thann, eventually.
- The Archmage: Of the Evil Sorcerer variety, of course.
- Ax-Crazy: His original characterization was this, along with a dose of Laughing Mad. He's mellowed out a bit and doesn't cackle so much, but he still has shades of this.
- Deal with the Devil: During the Enemy Civil War in Thay, Szass Tam made a deal with Bane to assure his victory.
- Evil Overlord: Of Thay. First by virtue of being the most powerful and cunning of its 8 rulers, then by virtue of being the only one of them left alive.
- Godhood Seeker: Attempted a ritual to turn himself into a greater god. Failed and more or less destroyed his country in doing so, turning most everyone into zombies. Plans to try again in another country.
- The Necrocracy: Turned Thay into an enclave of the undead, with Tam as its Sorcerous Overlord.
- Our Liches Are Different: A pretty standard example, also being one of the most powerful necromancers in the setting.
- Dragons Are Divine: A dragon who seeks to be a god and is well on the way to that goal — Tchazzar is worshipped as a living god by his own cult, and can grant spells to his priests.
- Godhood Seeker: He seeks apotheosis into divinity, and has managed to become a dragon ascendant demigod.
- Evil Chancellor: His stepmother/wife, Eke Bayalun.
- Klingon Promotion: He became the emperor of the Tuigan by being the biggest badass on the steppes and killing everyone in his path.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: Very plainly based on Genghis Khan.
- Redeeming Replacement: His son, who became a paladin and kept the Tuigan nation united through wisdom rather than strength of arm.
- Wife Husbandry: Yamun married his stepmother, Eke Bayalun. He became khahan by killing his father, and by Tuigan tradition the new king inherits the former king's harem.