The Wands are a populous, rollicking family. Once given only to magical pursuits, some intermarriage with the Thanns put the Wands on the path to landlordery and moneylending; the latter in particular has been quite successful for them, as they have a reputation for using magic to collect debts owed them. They own a variety of properties in Waterdeep's Trades and South Wards, as well as quite a bit of it among the Undercliff properties.
- 400s DR: The children of Eldrus, a Magister of Mystra, take the Wands name in his honor.
- 1238 DR: Syndra Wands dies
Members of the Family
- Lady Nhaeran Wands: Matriarch (Renown 10) • 52 years. Trained by the previous Blackstaff, Nhaeran is a wizard of some degree of power. She is unmarried, and perfectly content to stay that way, far too busy with her various arcane undertakings and the running of the House to deal with things like a spouse or children. She is a dabbler in Waterdhavian society at best, although widely considered a very fetching paramour for those with the wit to make it past her natural dislike of most people (particularly the very stupid). She does love the theater, however, and is quite the patron of those arts. She has been courted rather aggressively by Terras Thongolir in the past.
- Ethnesk Wands: Heir, matriarch's younger brother (Renown 7) • 49 years. Though a wizard of hardly any note whatsoever, Ethnesk deals with the household business almost singlehandedly. He is a severe man, with a notable temper; it's said the only person who never feels his sharp tongue is his older sister.
- Mhaeneth Wands: Ethnesk's consort (Renown 7) • 47 years. A close friend of Nhaeran and fellow apprentice from Blackstaff Tower, Mhaeneth would probably be guildmaster of the Watchful Order if it weren't for her last name. Still, she supports the Watchful Order unflinchingly, both with her personal arcane skill and from the House's coffers. Mhaeneth is the head of the Wands' arcane business, particularly overseeing the mentorship of paying non-family by the House's mentors. Her standards for education were honed by her time with the Blackstaff, and she insists on the highest standards of mentorship.
- Gildath Wands: Ethnesk's firstborn son (Renown 4) • 25 years. Ethnesk and Mhaeneth's oldest son, Gildath is not a wizard himself. He is, however, a very skilled knife fighter and an avid adventurer, a roguish arcane trickster that has picked up a couple of arcane tricks here and there. He belongs to a small adventuring company called the "Deepinghall Companions" who focus their endeavors on Undermountain and other subterranean sites. Gildath is currently trying to recruit a "good, reliable wizard" from his family's arcanists.
- Erdrar Wands: Ethnesk's secondborn son (Renown 3) • 22 years. Lady Nhaeran's personal apprentice, Erdrar is quite skilled in wizardry, with a focus on abjurative magics. While his mother suspects the matriarch may be grooming him to one day take over House Wands, Erdrar isn't interested in politics; neither is he interested in the adventuring his brother seems to constantly try to haul him away on. Erdrar is an avid folklorist and researcher, with a current obsession: the so-called Seven Sisters. He has learned that some people consider Laeral Silverhand to be one of these figures, and he's trying to figure out a good way to get an audience with her to verify this.
- Torlyn Wands: Matriarch's younger brother (Renown 5) • 43 years. A handsome man with long mahogany hair and a full beard to match, Lord Torlyn is a book collector, particularly those tomes about dragons. He is a friend to Renaer Neverember, and quite the hand in society. Unlike many of his kin, he is not a wizard.
Torlyn's firstborn son (Renown 4) • 22 years
A prominent wizard with the Watchful Order, Rangur Wands is a proud inheritor of his family's arcane legacy. He tends to distrust "the rabble" with the powers of arcane magic, finding them selfish, boorish, and insufficiently civic-minded to be trusted with the heights of the Art.
Branches Outside Waterdeep
About half the total Wands family actually dwells outside of Waterdeep, scattered mostly throughout the North and along the Sword Coast. They tend to maintain fine estates with a reputation for wizardry, many of them taking in local apprentices and training them for fees or service. The Wands have eight such estates, located in Neverwinter, Yartar, Secomber, Mirabar, Amphail, Baldur's Gate, Scornubel, and Berdusk. Between them, they house just over forty of the House's membership, with occasional visits from all of them to Waterdeep.
- Resources Limit: If necessary, House Wands could probably generate about 12,000 gp in liquid coin and valuables within a month.
Shando Street, North Ward
The impressive Wands villa is a testament to the family's magical legacy. Consisting of four buildings, one of which is a massive edifice that includes two soaring towers, the compound includes not just domiciles for the Wands family, but also the academy of wizardry they maintain. The compound is named for Eldrus, the nominal founder of House Wands. The wall around the compound is a distinctive stone, gleaming like obsidian, but blue-black in color, with its upper edges carved with a variety of sigils. Small magical sparks float upward from the upper level of the wall, and local thieves certainly know better than to try to get over the twelve-foot edifice.
- Sanctum Towers: Though the main body of the structure is three stories in height, it has two towers that rise another two stories above it. This is the main sanctum of House Wands, with plentiful suites and a massive family library. By noble standards, the place is considered an unwelcoming fortress, for it has no large-scale entertaining space within it (such functions instead falling to Avorra's House). According to rumor, the place is riddled with pocket dimension rooms, portals, household magical items, and ambient magical effects that obey only Wands blood.
- Avorra's House: Named for Eldrus's non-magician wife who died by magical mishap, Avorra's House is a no-magic-allowed space within the compound. Its ground floors include a pass-through gate that leads from Shando Street to the compound grounds, as well as ample public entertaining space (a dining room, salon, and ballroom, most notably). The upper stories are set aside for those members of the family who are not themselves magicians, and do not wish to live in close proximity to it. (This isn't out of any phobic responses, generally; the reverse is usually the case, with those who wanted so badly to master magic but who simply haven't the talent for it fleeing the daily reminders of Sanctum Towers).
- The Sequester: This three-story stone building is magically reinforced and set with strategic zones of silence and anti-magic, and for good reason: it is where the House's spellcasting chambers and laboratories are located. Its lower two floors are full of these practical chambers and workshops where Wands magicians might test new magics or push the bounds of the Art; its upper floor is a series of private chambers intended for meditation and retreat from other people, often so necessary to magicians. The roof of the sequester is a rooftop garden, filled with plants of magical uses. It is not uncommon to find Wands mages here enjoying the air or bonding with familiars.
- The Wands Academy: With its own entrance on Magecourt, this Academy is one of the few such left in the city that isn't run by the Watchful Order. Three stories in height, the academy's ground floor features a large gathering chamber generally used for meals and addressing the whole of the student body, plus the academy's library, divided into deeper and deeper vaults of lore. Each student has an attuned badge that gives them access to the vaults they are permitted, as well as allowing them open the glass-fronted cases within those vaults. The second story is exclusively classroom space, as is half of the third floor, the rest of which is spellcasting chambers and student labs.
Known Faction Perks
Scions and agents of House Wands in good standing might receive the following benefits:
- Living Quarters: Renown 1+. Those in good standing with the House are given quarters within the House's Waterdhavian villa appropriate to their role in the House.
- Living Expenses/Salaries: Renown 1+. Those in good standing with the House also receive a stipend of 1gp plus 5sp per day per point of Rank. This is not actual cash, but simply familial credit towards payment of Lifestyle costs. This stacks with the same kind of familial credit received from the Waterdhavian Noble Background (see Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide).
- Business Opportunities: Renown 3+. Lynchpins to the House's operations receive access to a variety of business opportunities within the House's money-making endeavors. This is handled as "Running a Business" in downtime months. This does not incur a business expense, but if too many of the character rolls results that end in a loss of money, he can and will find his Rank in the House reduced.
- Heir or Consort (Title): Renown 3+. The holder of one of the legal titles Heir of House and Consort of House, as recorded with the city of Waterdeep, is entitled to an additional 2gp per day in familial credit, per the "Living Expenses/Salaries" entry above. The heir is also accorded certain privileges within the legal system of Waterdeep, including the ability to speak on behalf of his House in some legal proceedings and the like.
- The Family Trade: Renown 5+. By this point, the character has been so inundated with magical secrets and lore that they inevitably pick up a few tricks here and there themselves, gaining the Magical Training feat for wizard spells.
- Wealth of the House: Renown 10. The patriarch of the House is in total control of the House's finances and various holdings, established by the laws of Waterdeep.