In The Shadow of the Spire:Azrak Information

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This contains information for use by Azrak Hwj Zaajk during the campaign.


Confirmed facts Azrak knows about Ptolus.

City Watch[edit]

The Commissar (Igor Urnst) is the de facto "ruler" of Ptolus, as he controls the city under the auspices of the Emperor in Tarsis. He has authority over the Commissar's Men (not all men), a group of 300 elite soldiers stationed in the Dalenguard Fortress in Oldtown, and the City Watch. The Commissar also has the Twelve Commanders, comprising some of the most powerful and martially focused individuals in the city, to serve as his advisors and lieutenants in times of emergency. In addition, the Commissar grants unofficial support to the Sisters of Silence, a group of nonspeaking female monks patrol the streets and apprehend criminals.

The primary goal of the City Watch is to keep the peace. The Watch has absolute authority in the city, and the right to arrest and detain anyone for any reason. The Commissar empowers them to use force—even deadly force—on anyone who resists. The City Watch spends much of its time breaking up fights, although often they arrive after the fight is over. They attempt to apprehend criminals, trying to catch them in the act whenever possible. Otherwise, the Watch serves as more of a deterrent than anything else. Investigating crimes rarely makes it to the City Watch’s list of duties; once a crime is over and the perpetrator gone, the guards generally file a report and forget about it. Only when a criminal begins repeating his offense does the Watch take investigative action to prevent future crime.

Order of the Dawn[edit]

The Order of the Dawn is the martial arm of the Lothianite Church, protecting the faithful from all manner of darkness and danger. The core members of the knighthood are paladins, although such support personnel as clerics, fighters, and even wizards play other roles. The leader of the order in Ptolus, Sir Kabel Dathimol (male human paladin) is also one of the Commissar's Twelve Commanders. The order often works with the Commissar's forces, including attaching support personnel to the City Watch to fill an otherwise underserved role.


You've seen the following "Wanted" poster. Apparently, Shilukar has broken into a number of manor homes in the Nobles’ Quarterand stolen valuables of all types. Many of these homes are owned by members of House Abanar. It is not clear how House Abanar got the dark elf's name (such as through divination spells) without also getting his location.



Called the "pleasant poison" or "black sea-powder," shivvel is a newer narcotic that comes from a black seaweed that grows near the shoreline of certain islands in the Whitewind Sea.


Unconfirmed rumors Azrak has heard about Ptolus.

Blue-Furred Gnolls[edit]

An old man in the Guildsman District claims he recently saw a blue-skinned/furred gnoll around the southeastern side of the district one night. Most people think he was drunk.


Rumor has it that the secret of creating shivvel was passed on to humans by a demon. The Balacazars (noble family) are believed to control virtually all of the shivvel traffic in Ptolus. Most people consider it to be the most commonly used illegal drug.


D&D Beyond

Character Background[edit]

In Ptolus, the City Watch itself is more of a deterrent than a force that investigates crimes. If they get there too late to apprehend a criminal in the act, they tend to file a report and forget about it, unless it becomes a repeating pattern by the same criminals. However, the Commissar (the de facto ruler of Ptolus) has a group called the Twelve Commanders, powerful members of other groups who advise him and come to the city's aid if there are any issues. One of the Twelve Commanders is the local leader of the Order of the Dawn, the martial arm of the Lothianite Church. The core members of the order are all paladins, but there is a large support staff comprised of clerics, fighters and even wizards.

My idea is that you are one of the support staff for the Order of the Dawn, and Sir Kabel Dathimol (the paladin who leads the order locally and is one of the Twelve Commanders) has attached you to the city watch to help actually investigate crimes. Your focus, as you note above, is the non-human population of Ptolus, and you have a lot of freedom to come and go as you please because the City Watch doesn't really know what to do with you, so you're left to do your thing mostly without interference (as long as you don't cause too much trouble). You have to make reports back to Sir Dathimol periodically on your efforts, but you are the guinea pig in an experiment that may or may not be successful.

The City Watch at this point mostly just gives you information about non-human crimes in the city as they get reports, to do with as you will. But it's mostly up to you. link