D&D: The Five Worst People in the Forgotten Realms
Who are the worst people in the Forgotten Realms? In a world full of meddling wizards, and scheming assassins, who makes the best of the worst? Find out!
The Forgotten Realms are full of gleaming cities and untold splendor. They’re also full to the brim of some of the most odious people you’ll ever have the misfortune to cross paths with. Today we’re here to look at the five worst people in the Forgotten Realms, be they villains foul or just meddling people you’d as sooner see the back of than down a drink with.
Look, Volo might mean well, but he has been around for how many editions now? And how many of them contain at least one adventure where Volo offers the party a “generous gift” that turns out to be not quite what he was expecting? He’s the sort of person who’ll play innocent once the angry Zhentarim have come by to find out why you are squatting in their castle, only to explain that all sales are final. The Mage is a menace.
There are a lot of Drow out there. But one thing that everyone can agree on is that Menzoberranzan is one of the worst places in the Forgotten Realms, so it takes an extra special kind of awfulness to not only want to be in charge of it, but be willing to murder your own family members, allies, and rivals to become the one in charge of it. Quenthel here is big on keeping the Lolth in Lolthmas, and makes sure any chance the Drow has to pull away from the Spider Queen’s influence is quashed and oppressed.
Speaking of angry Zhentarim, Fzoul Chembryl not only has a name that’s very tricky to pronounce, he also headed up the “Mercantile Organization” known as the Zhentarim for a while, ousting the dread wizard Manshoon, whose clone contingencies have given him quite the problem, and all around reveling in the fact that he’s one of Bane’s biggest devotees. Nobody named Bane has ever done anything good. And in the Forgotten Realms, Bane is the god of fear, hatred, and tyranny, so you better believe the man who was Bane’s number one priest, is one mean character. But he’s apparently a lot of fzun at parties.
Elminster sticks his nose everywhere it doesn’t belong, and everywhere it does. That’s not necessarily why he’s on the list – there are of course all the theories that decry Elminster as a self-insert character (though Ed Greenwood already is a self-insert character in the Forgotten Realms, no really), but really it’s just the fact that he’s so darn smug. Every time he shows up (with the rare exception of when the writer is good), Elminster steals agency away from players and offers the same sort of “I-know-more-than-you” air about him that makes him just the worst.
Of course as bad as he is, he’s no Szass Tam, who got the memo that all Forgotten Realms villains need a ‘Z’ as the second letter in their name. Szass Tam was a necromancer who became a lich who became the murder-and-power-hungry ruler of the Red Wizards of Thay. Now he uses his vast power and functional immortality to hold sway over a government in a world that has long ago left him behind, making him out of touch with all the cool happenings, but he’s still your boss, so you have to put up with him trying to catch on. Szass Tam, if he were alive today, would only just now have heard of dabbing and think it’s cool and that would be how he would start every Red Wizard meeting.
And he’s an undead abomination who would kill you as soon as look at you, so you have to put up with that every Monday morning. Forever.