The leader of the Council of Mages and King Azouns primary aide has a long and honorable history of serving Cormyr.
When Vangerdahast was a child growing up in Espar, he attended a festival where a magician performed tricks before an audience. Enraptured by the feats of the magician, Vangerdahast set out to become one himself. Early in his studies, Vangerdahast discovered that the person who performed magic was really only thata performer. Vangerdahast found there was real magic to be learned.
Vangerdahast journeyed to Shadowdale to seek instruction from perhaps the most famous of all mages, Elminster. Elminster did not take him in personally but guided him to where he might learn to become a mage. Elminster told Vangerdahast that once he had reached a certain point in his studies, he should return to Shadowdale for important information that would aid him later in life.
Vangerdahast did as he was told and returned to Elminster, who did as he promised. What secrets Elminster gave to Vangerdahast are known only to those two, for Vangerdahast has never spoken of the time he spent with the famed mage.
King Azouns father, Rhigaerd II, lured Vangerdahast to court with promises of unlimited resources, both financial and political, then appointed the wizard to become Azouns tutor in
history, ethics, and the political and military uses of magic. To this day, its unclear whether Rhigaerd duped Vangerdahast or the wizard took the position for the opportunity to mold the mind of the future monarch.
The prince often rebelled against Vangerdahast’s teachings, especially over matters of ethics. But the wizard quickly became Azouns most trusted adviser and confidant. When Azoun took the throne, early in DR 1336, Vangerdahast gained the official titles Royal Magician of Cormyr and Master of the Council of Mages. He also took command of Cormyrs feared War Wizards.
The War Wizards are a group of magicians that support the Purple Dragons with magical combat. In addition, they are responsible for policing Cormyrs mages, and in this Vangerdahast has been especially prudent. Every mage of 5th level or higher must register with Vangerdahast. Vangerdahast realizes that magic organized into a force like the Council of Mages can be very powerful. Therefore, he monitors the progress and associations of many of Cormyrs resident mages, ever watchful of possible power blocs forming among the magicians.