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My players are about to embark on Rise of Tiamat but have not yet attended the first council meeting. One of the PC's is a paladin of Lathander, so I expect there will be interaction between them and Sir Isteval.

The adventure says that:

Sir Isteval is a former adventurer and Purple Dragon Knight of Cormyr. Though not an actual member of the Lords’ Alliance, he is present at the Council of Waterdeep as the alliance’s nominal representative for Daggerford. That small settlement can contribute little to the effort to defeat the Cult of the Dragon, however, and in truth, Isteval has been drafted by Cormyr to gain insight into what looks to be a war brewing on its western border.

and

he assures those present that his loyalties—to Daggerford, to Cormyr, to the Lords’ Alliance, and to all good folk—are not at cross-purposes.

I'm having a hard time understanding Isteval's exact position with regard to Daggerford. He is a Purple Dragon Knight of Cormyr, but Daggerford is not in Cormyr. Daggerford is part of the Lord's Alliance, but Isteval is not a member of the Alliance. He is the "nominal representative" for Daggerford - but who named him, and for what purpose?

Cormyr's interest in having someone at the Council meetings is obvious, but the Alliance's interest in having Cormyr involved is less clear. Does Isteval have any ties to Daggerford? Do the local rulers of Daggerford feel resentful or disenfranchised?

It seems like someone in the Alliance is basically saying, "Daggerford isn't really capable of representing themselves on the Council, so we have named this all-around good guy to represent the interests of Daggerford, even though he has no natural connection to the place. And maybe if he feels responsible for this adopted ward he'll bring some of his companion Purple Dragon Knights along to help our cause."

Is that the gist of it?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Are there references elsewhere in the book to him being a Purple Dragon Knight? I'm wondering if some of the confusion here is due to unclear wording. It may be that Sir Isteval is a former adventurer and also currently a Purple Dragon Knight of Cormyr, but it might also be that Sir Isteval was formerly an adventurer and also formerly a Purple Dragon Knight, if that makes sense? \$\endgroup\$
    – Cooper
    Jun 3 at 20:54
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A quick summary from the Forgotten Realms wiki: Sir Isteval used to be both an adventurer and a Purple Dragon Knight of Cormyr, but after being badly injured, he retired to Daggerford, where he was, as paladins are wont to be, an "all-around good guy". When the Second Sundering occurred, he decided he couldn't stay retired, which is why he gets involved at the council.

As for what he's doing at the council with regards to his many, many factions:

  • Daggerford doesn't have an official representative for the council, so Isteval seems to have more or less just appointed himself.
  • This is convenient because Cormyr, his homeland, doesn't want to get involved in the chaos, but wants to know what's happening in case there's going to be war. (From the sources I could find, I'm not sure who from Cormyr asked Isteval to spy, but apparently someone did it.)
  • Isteval, being a paladin and not a rogue, is extremely bad at being a spy.

Sir Isteval crops up a lot in the early adventures for 5e (some of them so early that they're technically D&DNext), which I speculate may be why there's not a lot of explanation of what his deal is; Wizards of the Coast might have been operating under the assumption that people would be aware of him.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I appreciate the answer. Given your comment above, "it may be", "it might be", I would prefer that if this is canon you specifically cite the source(s), and if it is your personal making sense of the situation, it is clearly labeled as such. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kirt
    Jun 3 at 22:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Kirt Sure, I can grab the sources; I literally just looked him up on the Forgotten Realms wiki and collated his page into a more useful format for this question. \$\endgroup\$
    – Cooper
    Jun 3 at 22:42

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