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Velsharoon the Archmage of Necromancy, also known as the Vaunted, is a fictional deity of the Forgotten Realms Dungeons & Dragons campaign setting. Velsharoon is the undead demigod of necromancy, necromancers, evil liches, lichdom and undeath. He is seen as a successor to Myrkul, and is worshipped by many liches and evil mages—who themselves command legions of zombies, skeletons and wights—as well as members of the Cult of the Dragon. Velsharoon teaches that nirvana is achieved through gaining the power, longevity and knowledge of the state between life and death.
Velsharoon is a Neutral Evil Demipower. His symbol is a crowned laughing lich skull on a solid black hexagon, his divine realm is Death's Embrace in the Bleak Eternity of Gehenna, on the layer of Mungoth, and his Third Edition D&D domains are Death, Evil, Magic, and Undeath.
Velsharoon's wields a staff known as the "Skull Staff of the Necromancer", which is an Imaskari artifact. In Faerûn, amongst his places of worship, Velsharoon has two temples that have been built in his honour by his followers, one named the Crypt of the Arisen Army, which is ruled by Baron Vjurn Blacktower, and The Order of One Thousand Nightmares, which is controlled by a secret cabal of necromancers devoted to him. He also has a fair number of followers in Halruaa to the south.
The priests of the Vaunted are referred to as Necrophants.
Before his lichdom, Velsharoon was a renegade wizard of the Red Wizards of Thay, whose rival was Szass Tam, the heinous Zulkir of Necromancy. After leaving Thay, the arch-necromancer appeared in Halruaa, where he and a Halruaan elder fought over the country turning their battlefield into a desolate ruin. Ultimately, he entered the Plains of Purple Dust where he set up a tower and began exploring ruins of ancient Imaskar. He discovered a set of texts penned by the Storm Lord Talos, which allowed him to achieve immortality and divinity; however, the astute Velsharoon was swift to realize that the Storm Lord would exploit his newfound divinity for his own purposes, ultimately destroying Velsharoon.
Velsharoon was one of the most powerful archmages in Faerun, having developed many powerful magics which allowed him to replicate the abilities of other undead, and allowed him to command greater undead; such as liches and vampires.
Lichdom and A Change Of Alliance
After discovering that Talos intended to use him, Velsharoon pledged his allegiance instead to Azuth. Talos was furious at this betrayal, and attempted to act in vengeance. However, he was stopped by Mystra.
Despite nominally serving Azuth, and, indirectly, Mystra, along with Savras, scheming Velsharoon has renewed his old alliance with Talos, and has also started flirting with Shar and her Shadow Weave. He despises the new god Cyric and all his followers, loathes Kelemvor and Jergal for their opposition of undeath, and is in constant feuds with other demigods.
Velsharoon has currently struck alliances with other deities of undeath, and it is rumored that he is currently seeking the Crown of Horns.