Herald of Waterdeep

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Titled Office of the Heralds of Faerûn
When one of the Heraldic Offices is vacated - whether by death or promotion - the High Heralds look to the apprentices of that office, and choose the best of them to assume the responsibilities of the office. This office comes with a coat of arms, a physical token of that office, and a title. As far as the local authorities and legal offices are concerned, the local Titled Herald is the final authority in all matters involving the heralds. While there are offices above them, they are not authorities to whom other can appeal. This puts the Titled Herald in a position of some power and influence, although those given to temptation and corruption are usually weeded out by then, and even Titled Heralds are subject to the appraisal of their peers and superiors.

Rusella Varandal
Falconfree (Rank 48) • 68 years
Rusella has held the title of Falconfree for over forty years now, and there is arguably no person in Waterdeep with deeper connections to its established power structures or deeper knowledge of its history, from a practical standpoint. Rusella has trained a score or more Heralds in her time, several of whom have gone on to hold Titled Herald positions themselves. Ten years ago, she was offered a role as a Herald Pursuivant, but demurred, saying that if they'd offered it to her before her fifties, she might have done so happily.


Falconfree is invested with one of the Heraldic Titled Offices of the Heralds, becoming the chief herald of Waterdeep and its environs. In addition to the various rights and responsibilities, the registration of heraldry and the largess of the Lords of Waterdeep ensures that the Herald is capable of supporting herself in a Comfortable Lifestyle at no cost to her. She is also given use of the Falconfree Mantle as her symbol of office.

Falconfree Mantle

Wondrous item, very rare (requires attunement)
The Falconfree Mantle is a mantle of brilliant Waterdhavian blue emblazoned with the arms of Falconfree. Only a Herald properly invested with the title of Falconfree by the High Heralds can actually attune the cloak. Its wearer gains a +1 bonus to AC and saving throws while he wears it, as well as advantage on Charisma checks when dealing with others in an official Herald's capacity. The wearer may also grip the edges of the cloak with both hands and raise the feather-edged cloak to either side of them and fly with a speed of 50 feet. If the wearer fails to grip the cloak's edges while in flight, they lose this flying speed.

Previous Holders of Office

  • Arkandor Ortrast: 1305 DR - 1352 DR. The previous Falconfree served the Heralds and the city of Waterdeep with honor and distinction for almost fifty years before his death of a heart attack in the middle of a magistrate's court.
  • Elranmyr Wands: 1353 DR - 1379 DR. A scion of the Wands clan, a well-known ranger who spent much of his apprenticeship outside of Waterdeep. Was killed by an unknown assassin.
  • Ciro Melshimber: 1379 DR - 1390 DR. A former adventurer and cleric of Deneir who held the position until his retirement to Silverymoon.
  • Honxal Sweetruff: 1390 DR - 1422 DR. A halfling from a family of vintners who held the Falconfree mantle through the worst of the Wailing Years.
  • Ulnopyn Thirostar: 1422 DR - 1450 DR. A former magistrate who worked closely with Honxal, and apprenticed with him mostly as a way of improving his understanding of heraldic law.
  • Rusella Varandal: 1450 DR - Present.

Offices of Falconfree

  • Castle Waterdeep: Though the Herald of Waterdeep is entitled to an office on the second floor of Castle Waterdeep, Rusella makes no effort to hide how much she hates the trek up to the "interminable pile of stones on the hill." She only uses the office there as a spot to rest between sessions when she is needed in an official capacity by the magistrates, or for extended meetings in some kind of official capacity (such as with emissaries from other cities or nations).
  • Court of Gems Tallhouse: Rusella's home and main offices as Falconfree are in the tallhouse along Waterdeep Way, just north of Castle Waterdeep in the Court of Gems neighborhood. The three-story tallhouse is an elegant building with several meeting salons on the ground floor, offices and archives on the second, and Rusella's modest living spaces on the third.

Apprentices of Falconfree

The following are Falconfree's current apprentices as heralds.

Verona Torma
Apprentice (Rank 6) • 27 years
Nearing the end of her apprenticeship, Verona is the daughter of sailors and knows the seas as well as anyone in her family. She regards Rusella maternally, and is very protective of the old scholar. She is also quite capable with pistol and sword, and doesn't hesitate to meet threat with violence, and violence with lots of violence.
Paeral Builaeymé
Apprentice (Rank 3) • 25 years
The half-elf scholar Paeral hails from the Greycloak Hills. Though he has studied with other Heralds in the past, he has come to Waterdeep to study with one of the oldest still active and Titled Heralds. He is a chronicler by nature, and has quickly become Rusella's defacto clerk and amanuensis.

Known Informants of Falconfree

The following are known informants of Falconfree and his apprentices.

Psalm Melshimber
Informant (Rank 1) • 21 years
A surprising choice for soon-to-be apprentice not because he is a tiefling, but because he is a noble. Rusella has often had troubled relationships with the Houses, many of whom wished to play fast and loose with lineage and heraldry claims, which she was utterly unwilling to countenance. Rusella seems to delight in Psalm's personality, but if he is here, it is because she sees tremendous potential in the young Melshimber.