The Nightshades were one of the founding families of Beldin. In the 1370's a nd 80's they caused a great deal of trouble in the valley, especially for the Adventurers' Guild, but since the mysterious (or not so mysterious) deaths of most of the older members of the family, they have fallen in importance.
The Nightshades are worshippers of Shar.
Lord Elandan Nightshade
Niel Greycastle (Vashti's husband)
Lord Rider Tanghilt (Razili's husband)
Daemona Tanghilt-Nightshade (was married to Devir)
Malark Lester (Atamara's husband)
Alliances and EnemiesEditThe Nightshades have traditionally allied themselves with the Tanghilts, and had the Mristmyrs under their thumb while the Mristmyrs were in Karenlynn. They have contacts in the Black Stilletos, the Black Stilleto Heels, and most other nefarious organizations of the valley. As the diviners of the kingdom, everyone needs them. Elandan and Vashti, having been granted the family estates after Atamara fled, are working to move the family in a less shady direction. They are currently faithful servants of the king, though in the past the family has been the ringleader of attempted revolutions.
The Greycastles are the sworn enemies of the Nightshades, and Niel's marriage to Vashti has done nothing to change this. They are likewise enemies of the Greenwoods, and now the Mristmyrs, who feel wronged by the previous blackmail arrangement between the two families. The Nightshades are wary of the Adventurers' Guild, and the Knights of Astrid, since they have had less than friendly dealings with them in the past.
Evendur Nightshade was not the best liked of the Eleven Captains, being a rather unsavory fellow, without even the aura of a likeable scoundrel (like Captain Tanghilt). His popularity was not raised by his choice of a wife: Sigrid of the Uthgardt, generally thought to be a witch.
His son, Karel, improved the reputation of the family, being a decent fellow, who didn’t seem to take after his parents. But Karel’s son, Raymond, was the leader of the Nightshade family during the Nightshade-Greycastle war, the causes of which are detailed in the family history of the Greycastles. Raymond lost both sons in this war, and the family went from being closely tied to the Aelfhiems, if not in the direct line of succession, to being in disgrace (both of his sons married princesses of Beldin, and his daughter, Rae, had married the nephew of the king before this tragedy).
Even so, Raymond’s grandson, Calder (the son of Raymond’s eldest daughter, Tangye, and Lord Ferret’s second son, Gavin) managed to bring the family fortunes back up by means of alliances with the Ferrets and the Lesters. Calder had three sons: Helm, Lowell, and Bayar. Helm married Isolde Ferret, Lowell married Jhessail Lester, and Bayar married Devona Lester. Thorne, Lowell’s son, married Wylona, Helm’s daughter, and became head of the family after Helm’s death in 1147.
Things were looking up for the Nightshades, when the Plague of 1150 came to Beldin. Nearly all of the Nigthshades succumbed to it, including Lord Thorne Nightshade, his wife Wylona, her sisters, and their cousin, Evendur Nightshade and his children. The family title and lands passed to Hugh, Wylona’s nephew, who was actually an Aelfhiem (being the son of Hugh Aelfhiem, the younger brother of Aelfric II). But he was also the closest surviving male relative, the Nightshades having been all but wiped out.
In 1220, the Telmath family came to Beldin. They were a wealthy family from Calimshan, and though generally disliked, no one could argue with their riches. They did very well for themselves in Beldin, so well, in fact, that in 1237 Blaze, the second son of Lord Nightshade, married Razili Telmath. Everyone thought it was an excellent match.
Lord Nightshades eldest son, Lowell, was killed in the Orc invasions of 1235, leaving poor Donai Ferret a widow. She disappeared the next year, and it was thought that she had either gone to die of heartbreak, or found a new life for herself outside of Beldin. Maida, Blaze’s sister, had likewise lost her spouse, Atamar Aelfhiem, to the orcs. She had a little son, Elandan, and many thought that the only reason she had not likewise left the country, or died of heartbreak, was because she had to take care of him. Because of his brother’s death, Blaze became the heir to the Nightshade estates.
Razili and Blaze had four children: Blaze, Vashti, Devir, and Lilith. Everyone thought they had a very happy marriage. But tragedy struck yet again in 1244, when Blaze suddenly died of the mysterious disease which frequently afflicted the Nightshade family.
Times were bad in Beldin. Widespread panic had begun to spread in the city, ever since a few bodies had been found floating in the Bay, horribly tortured. Every few tendays, another one would be found. The murderer was striking at every level of society, and people were getting very agitated. It was thought there was a cult of Loviatar forming in the valley, and planning some dread ritual. Everyone was worried they might be next.
But this seemed very far away and distant to the Nightshades, who were miles to the north. At least, it seemed so until Maida and Elandan mysteriously disappeared. Lord Nightshade ordered a thorough search for them, and they were found after a few tendays – at the bottom of a large pool in the Mire, since known as the Pool of Blood. It was clear they too had been horribly tortured before their deaths.
The Ferrets linked the murders in Beldin to the Telmath family near the end of 1245. This put suspicion on Razili as the murderer, or at least, an accomplice in the murder, of Maida and Elandan. She, her father, and several other members of her family were sentenced to death. Lord Nightshade insisted that Razili be granted no mercy, despite the fact that she was the mother of his heir. In 1246, they were hung and burned.
While it was not strictly the fault of the Nightshades—and indeed, they had lost more family members than most—that Razili had turned out to be a Loviataran fanatic, they could not escape being connected with the murders. Lady Elandania certainly held them accountable, and has not to this day forgiven the family for the death of her little grandson and namesake. None of the noble families would have anything to do with the Nightshades, or ally themselves with them, for generations afterwards.
It is said that the ghost of Maida Nightshade still wanders the area around the pool where her body was found.
It was not until the 1300’s that the Nightshades were accepted back into Beldin society. Lord Thurstien Nightshade married Shandri Lester in 1306, but their children too were the victims of tragedy. Evendra died young, Donai became the first victim of the vampire plague of 1380, and Wylona was assassinated in 1378 by the Tanghilts.
Thurstiens’ son, Hale, was the father of the late Lord Razil Nightshade, and the priestess Jada Nightshade. Jada left the family estates at a young age to join the Temple of Kelemvor, because she believed the family had been cursed by the gods. Lord Razil was hated by the Adventurers’ Guild for what they saw as his shifty and backstabbing nature, and died suddenly of a mysterious illness in the year 1385. The creatures that appeared soon after in the Mire—called Plague Demons, for want of a better term—were blamed for his death.
His wife, Lady Lilith, was struck down by an assassin bearing the black amulet of the Telmaths in 1387. Of his four children, only two lived to adulthood. The two youngest, Elandan and Vashti, were among the first victims of the Vampire Plague of 1381, along with their great aunt Donai.
His eldest son, Devir, married Dagila Tanghilt in 1377. He took over the family estate, after his father’s death, and has one child – Evendra. His sister, Razili, married Rider Tanghilt the same year, and has two children: Morna and Garrick.
Razili became infamous in 1378, when her family accused the Adventurers’ Guild (the prominent members of that time being Ara Dawnspire, Ming, Igrat-Marie, Lydia, Vaune Nasadra, Ronin Eininfar, Mathis, and Delsoran) of kidnapping her and holding her captive. Razili swore under oath that Vaune had poisoned her, and that Ronin and Delsoran had forced her to retreat to the upstairs of the Fearthegn’s Bar where she had been jumped by Ara and Ming. They had taken her, supposedly, to an abandoned hovel in Riverfern, where she had been much abused. Ronin, Igrat, and Lydia were in fact found guarding this very hovel, but all involved swore likewise at the trial that they had done no such thing. In the end, the case was dropped, and has remained one of the enduring mysteries of Beldin.
In 1383, at the beginning of the Astrid Siege, Allard Nightshade, Lady Lilith’s brother, was revealed as an Aurilite spy. He managed to escape to the North, and has not been seen since. His daughter, Atamara, claimed that she knew nothing of his activities, and no one has been able to prove otherwise. She married Malark Lester the next year.
In 1390, Malark Lester was declared king of Beldin by the Council of the Gods, as a punishment to the people of Beldin for their pride. He reigned for about a year, before strategically withdrawing before the army of the North Kareyn Alliance (to whom the gods were starting to show a little favor). He and Atamara have fled, leaving the Nightshade estates to Elandan and Vashti (who returned a few years before from Calimshan, where they had been sent to school while their parents faked their deaths). Atamara took the Nightshade Crystal Balls with her, greatly decreasing the Nightshades' scrying abilities. Because of Elandan and Vashti's aid during the Knight's Rebellion, tension has eased between the Knights of Astrid and the Nightshades. They are currently allies.
In 1392, the Oracle raised Maida Nightshade from the dead in order to demonstrate his power. Later that year, Vashti married Niel Greycastle.