Once Darkot's Resident Wizard
Liftar didn’t look like a wizard. He was muscular and bulky, broad-shouldered and big-bellied. He could win drinking contests against anyone and looked like it. His expression was always hardened and intense.
A spellcaster of significant power, Liftar Hillsworth died in the Underdark when trying to gain intelligence on Neo Menzoborranzen’s Darkotian strategy. He actually intended to surrender to the Dark Elves, so that they would interrogate him and he might use his magics to investigate them even as they were doing so. This plan was executed, but not by Liftar. Thiazzi Kor reasoned that Liftar knew too much about Darkot, that while he might learn about the Drow, they would also learn too much about Liftar’s surface city in the process.
Thiazzi was right. Liftar was the most visible leader in Darkot, having been elected the country’s President, a position subordinate only to Luri Dimuri, the Dwarves’ reluctant King and willing Prime Minister. When visitors dared come to Darkot, it was Liftar who first met with them. It was Liftar who arranged Darkot’s relationships with various Svirfneblin nations, including Emerald City. It was Liftar who maintained Darkot’s magical protections. It was Liftar who managed Darkot’s extensive mining network and who traveled between the mountain towns few even know exist. Liftar knew everything there was to know about Darkot.
To be sure, he was also a great leader, his intense preference for isolation from humans, elves and other such races notwithstanding. The dwarves of Darkot loved him almost as much as they loved Luri and almost as much as they would later adore Thiazzi, at least partially because his entire focus, his only concern was the betterment of Darkot. It was Liftar who cast the final parliamentary vote in favor of evacuating Darkot’s capital city once the PCs had confirmed the Drow were coming.
It was also Liftar’s idea to enter the Underdark on his intelligence gathering mission. Ultimately, Thiazzi volunteered to subject himself to the dark Elves’ torture, but there is little doubt that Liftar would have done so if it had been necessary. When Thiazzi learned all he needed to know, he escaped Neo Menzoborranzen, found Liftar and the rest of their friends and then began marching back to Darkot. Sadly, the group found battle on their way home.
Thiazzi barely survived after using his psionic gifts to stabilize. Liftar and everyone else they were traveling with died. By the time Thiazzi finally made it to Darkot, it was too late. The dark Elves had already captured the capital city and the Darkotian Reclamation War had already begun.
Eventually, under Alvin Nathander, he was promoted to Army Chief whereupon he was tasked with finding the Helm of Sesyphus. Why did Nathander want the artifact? That is unclear, but it’s a reasonable guess he though it would aid him in his destorying Elmsville. How did Nathander know the Helm existed? That is also unclear, but again it’s reasonable to guess that his Chief Advisor and eventual successor, Brenden Hunter told him about it.
Regardless, Lefty Cloak was tasked with finding it. In the beginning, the behemoth didn’t realize just how important the Helm was, so in his search for it, he made his first of many mistakes—he hired Slattern Sespot to find it instead of allocating more known and better qualified resources to the search. The problems with hiring Slattern were immense. First, Lefty had only just met him. Secondly, Slattern was unpredictable. Thirdly, Slattern, the consummate mercenary from Faerun’s mainland, had no loyalty to Ern, much less Lefty. So Lefty shouldn’t have been surprised by Slattern took Ern’s well stuffed bag of coin, traveled to Elmsville and never reported back. Lefty couldn’t have been certain that Slattern was indeed immersed in a lengthy and dangerous hunt for the Helm, a hunt that would change Slattern more than any of the other Unlikely Darkotians. All Lefty could have known is that Slattern, this mercenary he had foolishly trusted, had taken his coin and clearly had no interest in serving Lefty the way he was supposed to.
And then royal pressure to find the Helm intensified. Eventually Left had to know that he would be executed if he did not locate the powerful artifact. Such was the way Nathander ruled. And so he began a deliberate, focused hunt for both the Helm and for Slattern. The hunt produced immediate results, as twice agents of Lefty’s located Slattern. In both cases, Slattern and his friends, Copper always amongst them, battled Lefty’s henchmen. And both times Slattern won. But there was no escaping the obvious: Slattern was being hunted for his betrayal of Ern’s Army Chief, a chief that was individually stronger and more powerful than Slattern.
So it was that Lefty became Slattern’s nemesis.
They talked once, in broad daylight, in an open place where battle wasn’t easily begun. It was a terse conversation loaded with threats. Given Lefty’s reputation, Slattern had ample reason to be very, very worried.
And then the ugly human, Slattern Sespot, married Laura Von Kissel, albeit under an assumed name.