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Pharaun Mizzrym

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Pharaun Mizzrym
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Pharaun Mizzrym as shown on the cover of the novel Dissolution by Richard Lee Byers
Series Forgotten Realms
First appearance Dissolution
Created by Richard Lee Byers
Game information
Gender Male
Race Drow Mage

Pharaun Mizzrym was a talented wizard and and Master of Sorcere from House Mizzrym in Menzoberranzan[1] who appeared in the Forgotten Realms book series by Richard Lee Byers.


He was charismatic, well dressed, eloquent, and never left standing on one foot. He employed a variety of tools to get the job done -- magic and subterfuge were the two most often seen, but he did not hesitate to make a deal with a whore. break a promise to an ally, or endanger the lives of his apprentices to gain power.[2]

Pharaun was very appearance oriented. He considered himself at the height of current fashion. During his travels at the time of the Silence of Lolth, he moped about the lack of proper hair-dressing and bathing facilities. His general appearance was graceful and elegant.[3]


Pharaun's condescending manner was obvious in all of his interactions, including those with people of higher social standing than himself. He had a lack of respect for authority and for priestesses in general.[4] He delighted in verbally jabbing and giving back-handed compliments to any he considers inferior -- which was to say everyone. This attitude included the glabrezu Belshazu, Jeggred Baenre's demonic father, whom Pharaun attempted to seal forever in magically frozen ice. His taunting to the party of Quenthel Baenre, Jeggred Baenre, and Danifae Yauntyrr enraged the priestesses almost to the point of murder. Only his magical skills, and promise of extreme retribution to the draegloth, prevented his immediate death or grave injury.

He was very persuasive. When traveling with Quenthel and her group, Danifae noted that he seemed to be the most important member of the group and operated as its covert leader (not that Quenthel would have agreed). Pharaun had a penchant for casting spells with dramatic gestures whenever possible. Pharaun had his eyes on becoming the Archmage of Menzoberranzan, replacing Gromph Baenre. He believed his involvement in investigating the Silence of Lolth would help him raise his status and increase his likelihood of becoming the Archmage.


Early life

Pharaun was born to House Mizzrym in Menzoberranzan, a noble house known for producing mages and illusionists of high quality and skill. Never much for physical confrontation, he preferred to have lackeys and subordinates fight for him.

As a youth in Menzoberranzan, he was embroiled in numerous family plots and schemes. Finding his intellect was well-stimulated by these games or dominance, he used his fledgling powers to aid one of his sisters, Sabal Mizzrym|Sabal against her stronger twin, Greyanna Mizzrym, which earned her enmity towards him. The twin he backed was finally disabled by Greyanna, who had given her a cursed amulet. Greyanna then focused her energies on Pharaun. Pharaun slew her during his last visit to the House manor in 1372 DR.

Pharaun alluded several times to an experience he had in the Demonweb Pits prior to 1372 DR. Apparently, he was sacrificed to Lolth and exiled to the Demonweb Pits, but Lolth returned him to the living. Sometimes he almost believed it to have been a dream rather than reality.


Pharaun was able to gain post at Sorcere after his sister Greyanna Mizzrym attempted (and failed) to kill him because he had allied with her twin sister, Sabal Mizzrym.

At the Tier Breche Academy (whether as student or master is unclear), Pharaun met the warrior Ryld Argith and the two became close friends, at least a close as drow could be. During Pharaun's and Ryld's third year at the academy (whether as students of teachers is unclear), they hunted down a Cloaker Lord and 67 other chasm rays in its party.

War of the Spider Queen


In 1372 DR, an experiment led by Pharaun at Sorcere led to the death of a number of apprentices. As punishment, Gromph Baenre, Archmage of Menzoberranzan, assigned him to track down a number of missing drow males. Ryld, bored with his position at Melee-Magthere, agreed to assist him. The two skulked around the poorer districts of Menzoberranzan until they found a group of "undercreatures" (mainly goblinoids) who were meeting together under the call of a man called the Prophet, who was an agent of of a group of drow renegades led by the illithilich Syrzan. Syrzan was planning on using his newly gathered troops to attack Menzoberranzan with the purpose of reducing the number of priestesses, then leaving the city upon for Syrzan to take control. Pharaun and Ryld unraveled the plot, but not before the undercreatures started revolting. Pharaun betrayed Ryld by leaving him to fend off pursuers and presumably die while in the hideout of the renegade drow. Meanwhile, Pharaun took control of the forces of Sorcere protecting the city, and he was the one to slay Syrzan. Although Ryld survived the encounter, it set a deep rift between the two.


Pharaun was assigned to join Quenthel Baenre, Jeggred Baenre, Faeryl Zauvirr, Valas Hune, and Ryld to Ched Nasad in order to determine the city's status and whether it was afflicted by the Silence of Lolth. During this time, Pharaun encountered and became a lover of Aliisza the Alu-Fiend, the consort of Kaanyr Vhok. This affair was beneficial to both parties with the sharing of confidential information. Considering himself a great lover of women, he also made attempts to seduce Danifae Yauntyrr, to no effect. He also saved Danifae from certain death by transforming into a harpy to grab her when House Melarn's manor plunged into a chasm during the destruction of Ched Nasad; It was thought that Lolth herself precipitated this move, as Danifae was eventually chosen as the Yor'thae of Lolth.


After the group escaped Ched Nasad, Pharaun used his magic to transport the group to the Labyrinth to consult with Tzirik Jaelre, a Vhaeraunite priest. However, when they arrived there, they found that House Jaelre had apparently left for the surface. They took a portal from House Jaelre's holdings in the Labyrinth to the surface forest of Cormanthor. Pharaun used a dramatic spell to determine where House Jaelre was located; in the trance given him by the spell he prediced that "each of you save one will commit betrayal before your quest is done.". Upon the group's arrival at House Jaelre in Minauthkeep, Tzirik offered his assistance only if they aided him in retrieving a magical tome from a beholder lair. They did so and Tzirik revealed that Lolth was still alive but that she was locked away in the Demonweb Pits. The group and Tzirik traveled via astral projection to the Abyss. Once there, Tzirik betrayed them and gated in Vhaeraun, who tried to destroy Lolth. Valas attacked Tzirik in an attempt to return the group to the Material Plane, but was unsuccessful. In the end, Pharaun was able to have Jeggred, who had stayed behind, kill Tzirik's mortal body to return them to Cormanthor.


Once again on the surface, Pharaun was ordered to Quenthel to summon the demon Belshazu (Jeggred's father) to obtain more information on returning to the Demonweb Pits. After obtaining information about a ship of chaos located somewhere near Lake Thoroot, Pharaun left Belshazu encased in never-melting ice; in the mean time, Halisstra and Ryld defected to a group of Eilistraeeans. The rest of the group traveled to Lake Thoroot where Valas, given a spell of water-breathing by Pharaun, scouted out the water on the search for Zanhoriloch, an aboleth city where they hoped to locate additional information about the ship of chaos. Valas was captured by the aboleths, who turn him into a mutated sea-dwelling drow. He managed to escape back to his companions, and Pharaun returned him to drow form via polymorph spell. Pharaun and Danifae then went to Zanhoriloch to parlay with Oothoon, the matriarch of the aboleths. Pharaun openly offered to give her Quenthel as payment for knowledge of the whereabouts of the ship. Danifae warned Quenthel, who turned the betrayal around by working with Oothoon to fake her death and allow Pharaun to be eaten. However, a contingency spell cast on Pharaun allowed him to escape. The group set off together again, this time for the Lake of Shadows where the ship of chaos was located. They found the ship stuck in a permanent whirlpool, but Pharaun was able to bind Raashub, the uridezu captain.


While waiting for the ship to rebuild itself, everyone's nerves were on end (Pharaun's in particular because he was unable to wash). Quenthel sent Valas and Danifae to Eryndlyn to gather supplies for the coming journey while Pharaun continued to put the ship in working order. While they were gone, Raashub summoned hordes of rats and other uridezu in an attempt to escape. Pharaun was able to aid the group in defeating them, and he soon learned how to pilot the ship himself with the secret aid of Aliisza, who had been sent to spy on them on behalf of Kaanyr Vhok. He managed to pilot the ship through the planes to the Abyss, where the group discovered the Demonweb Pits had been moved by Lolth to a new planar space. When they arrived in the Abyss, Belshazu, who had bitten off his leg to escape his confinement, attacked them; Pharaun was able to defeat him and take his ring of flying, although the demon destroyed his magical rapier.


Pharaun accompanied the party to the very edge of the Demonweb Pits. He survived the Pass of the Soulreaver and defeated the ultroloth Inthracis, but was left immobile except for his ring of flying. He flew to the priestesses for aid, his constant taunting and irritation was repaid in full when Quenthel took his ring and left him helpless and without magical defenses, sprawled on the sand of the Abyss. A wave of spiders swarmed over and consumed him almost completely. Aliisza later found only a small remnant of him — a single finger bearing his ring from Sorcere — which she took with her as a keepsake.

The Empyrean Odyssey

Aliisza became pregnant with Pharaun's child, Kael, who was born in the House of the Triad and raised as a paladin of Torm. When Aliisza was trapped with Kael, the astral deva Tauran, and the soulless body of Zasian Menz (who had become a Living Vessel), she retrieved Pharaun's desiccated finger from a compartment in her sword and used it to summon Pharaun's soul to enter Zasian's body. Pharaun used his magic to help the group escape. When they were captured by the Court of Tyr, he arranged for them to polymorph his new body to his own appearance; however, the vessel was imperfect and he did not have much time in that body. He sacrificed himself by throwing himself in front of Kael to protect his son from magical backlash.


Like the rest of House Mizzrym, Pharaun was a noted specialist in the use of illusion magic, and frequently used evocation spells in combat. He was skilled in other forms of magic as well; he was even able to cast a spell with his feet. He could transform himself into a harpy, which could fly. He was able to cast spells to deny mind-readers access to his brain. However, he was unable to conjure a floating disc because he had never taken the time to learn the spell. Some of Pharaun's favorite and most oft-used combative spells were variants of Bigby's hands (such as Bigby's Clenched Fist and Bigby's Crushing Hand).

Pharaun displayed a high level of ability to control demons. His lore in the methodology and binding of demonic entities was utilized heavily in the quest to investigate the Silence of Lolth. Pharaun was able to ride the foulwings that guarded House Mizzrym.


Pharaun's equipment included a bag of holding. He wore a ring of identification, which may have been lost in his battle with Syrzan in 1372 DR. Just before that battle, he obtained a pair of boots of striding from Blundyth's wizard's supply shop in the Bazaar (which Pharaun destroyed).

Pharaun's signet ring (which was thick and silver with spidery emblems engraved on it from Sorcere lent power to his spells and enabled him to detect magic. (This ring later came into the possession of Aliisza, who gave it to Kael upon her death.) He also possessed a magical dancing rapier that he stored in a ring; it was destroyed by the demon Belshazu in the Demonweb Pits shortly before Pharaun's death. In that same battle, Pharaun retrieved a took a ring of flying from Belshazu.

Pharaun carried several wands, including a black iron wand of lightning, a wand of magic missiles, a wand of firebolt, and a wand of detect magic.


Ryld Argith

Ryld was often contrasted with Ryld Argith; the two had shared a steadfast friendship that was badly shaken when Pharaun abandoned him to renegade drow in Menzoberranzan. The relationship between Pharaun and Ryld remained strained after Pharaun's betrayal, although Ryld still risked himself for Pharaun's sake. For his part, Pharaun enjoyed Ryld's banter and admitted to himself that if Ryld were gone, he would miss him "perhaps for days." However, Pharaun was a true drow, and Ryld's death didn't bother him overmuch.


Pellanistra was a prostitute at the Jewel Box tavern in the Braeryn in Menzoberranzan who had made an agreement to give Pharaun intelligence for 20 years. She detested him.


Aliisza the Alu-Fiend was serving her consort, Kaanyr Vhok, when she met Pharaun in 1372 DR, but that didn't stop her from coupling with Pharaun and claiming him as her own when she felt threatened by his interest in Danifae Yauntyrr. She was particularly charmed by his wit.[5][6] As she said, "Pleasure before business. Always."[7] Pharaun, in turn, liked her wit and her physical appearance, including how she played with her vampire-like teeth, which he found strangely alluring.[8]

Aliisza aided Pharaun in controlling the ship of chaos. She did not escort him all the way to the Abyss, but she did visit him briefly in the Demonweb Pits to say goodbye, having chosen to return to Kaanyr Vhok.[9][10] After Pharaun's death, she retrieved a single finger of him from the Demonweb Pits to keep as a memento.[11][12]


Pharaun had little time with his son, Kael, but he expressed he would have liked to known him better. He claimed Kael reminded him of[13] Ryld. In the end, Pharaun sacrificed himself for his son.[14]



War of the Spider Queen:

  1. Dissolution
  2. Insurrection
  3. Condemnation
  4. Extinction
  5. Annihilation
  6. Resurrection

The Empyrean Odyssey:


  1. Richard Lee Byers (August 2003). Dissolution (Mass Market Paperback), p. 13. Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-2944-8.
  2. Richard Lee Byers (August 2003). Dissolution (Mass Market Paperback), p. 162. Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-2944-8.
  3. Richard Lee Byers (August 2003). Dissolution (Mass Market Paperback), p. 12. Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-2944-8.
  4. Richard Baker (May 2003). Condemnation (Paperback), p. 5. Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0786932023.
  5. Thomas M. Reid (December 2003). Insurrection (Hardcover), p. 137. Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-3033-0.
  6. Thomas M. Reid (December 2003). Insurrection (Hardcover), p. 323. Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-3033-0.
  7. Lisa Smedman (February 2005). Extinction (Mass Market Paperback), p. 370-371. Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-3596-0.
  8. Philip Athans (August 2005). Annihilation (Mass Market Paperback). Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-3752-1.
  9. Philip Athans (August 2005). Annihilation (Mass Market Paperback). Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-3752-1.
  10. Paul S. Kemp (February 2006). Resurrection (Mass Market Paperback), p. 125. Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-3981-8.
  11. Paul S. Kemp (February 2006). Resurrection (Mass Market Paperback), p. ??. Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-3981-8.
  12. Thomas M. Reid (March 2011). The Empyrean Odyssey (Paperback), p. 646. Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-5768-9.
  13. Thomas M. Reid (March 2011). The Empyrean Odyssey (Paperback), p. 677. Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-5768-9.
  14. Thomas M. Reid (March 2011). The Empyrean Odyssey (Paperback), p. 746-747. Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-5768-9.

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