Beautiful, powerful, mysterious, and deadly, the silver-haired Seven Sisters are legendary throughout the Forgotten Realms.
One rules the city of bards, Siverymoon. Another is Elminster's beloved and the infamous Witch-Queen of Aglarond. The third is the Lady Mage of Waterdeep, peer and consort of Khelben "Blackstaff" Arunsun, and the fourth is a Harper and one of the famous Knights of Myth Drannor. The fifth is a leader of the Harpers and a legendary bard in her own right, and the sixth is a dead - perhaps undead - witch. And the seventh? She's the one who wild tales are whispered about all across Faerun around many a fireside late at night.
But who are they, really? Their very names conjure up romance, allure, and power: Storm Silverhand, the Simbul, High Lady Alustriel. Sages say they are among the Chosen of Mystra, archmages who wield magic few can dare to stand against. Yet these seven do not seek to rule the world, and they often stay quiet and hidden for generations.
That hints at another thing. These seven seem immortal, never aging as the long years pass. Just who are these Seven Sisters, and what are their secrets?
Read this tome, and learn what the Zhentarim, the Red Wizards of Thay, and the Cult of the Dragon could not, despite performing many fell deeds in the attempt. Learn the stories of these great ladies, and their aims and strivings - and browse among over a hundred new and spectacular spells!
Dungeon Masters and players alike will find this volume an essential sourcebook of Realmslore, and a handy guide to archsorceresses peerless in power.
FOR6: The Seven Sisters (1995), by Ed Greenwood, is the sixth book in the prestige series of Forgotten Realms supplements. It was published in May 1995.
Expanding the FORs. Like its predecessors, The Seven Sisters is a prestige format trade paperback book, with a gloss-on-matte cover. It continues the trend of the previous few FOR books, each of which focused on organizations with the Realms. While it doesn't actually have a FOR code on the cover, The Seven Sisters is widely accepted as "FOR6."
Origins. Going into the 90s, Greenwood felt like the "power groups" of the Realms remained neglected in the official publications. Thus he pushed to get organizations like the Chosen, the Cult of the Dragon, the Harpers, and the Zhentarim covered in official releases, most of them in the FOR series.
The Chosen - a group that includes meddlers like Elminster and the Seven Sisters - were particularly near and dear to Greenwood's heart. That's because his Realms isn't about geography or history: it's about people. That includes PCs and NPCs alike. Thus, when Greenwood proposed a book about the Seven Sisters, it let him focus both on the power group of the Chosen and on a small group of NPCs.
Because the Seven Sisters are movers and shakers in the Realms, their influence goes far beyond those people they meet, and that was another reason that Greenwood thought The Seven Sisters would be a good book. In the real world, even if you don't meet a CEO, you can often see the results of his work in the world. Similarly, many players in the Realms might see the influence of the Seven Sisters on the world, even if they don't meet them directly.
The Seven Sisters was also a nice follow-up to Greenwood's FOR4: The Code of the Harpers (1993). Since almost all of the Sisters are associated with the Harpers, there's considerable cross-fertilization between the books.
Crunch Too! Greenwood knew that by the mid-90s, players expected plenty of crunch too; he supplied that by providing over 40 pages of new spells and 10 pages of new magic items, all related to the Seven Sisters.
Expanding the Realms. Back in 1987, TSR decided to adopt the Forgotten Realms as a new setting largely because Greenwood's many articles for Dragon magazine mentioned details of the world in such a way as to (correctly) suggest a very deep and detailed setting. Thus, it's no surprise that all of the Seven Sisters were first mentioned in Dragon - mostly before the Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting (1987) was ever published.
The existence of Laeral was implied in The Dragon #39 (July 1980), thanks to the existance of "Laeral's Storm Armor" which was "named for the wizardess who devised it." Alustriel was first mentioned in Dragon #62 (June 1982), where she's called "the High Lady of Silverymoon." Dove was noted as a potential target of assassination in Dragon #74 (June 1983). The Simbul is described as a "shapeshifting Mage-Queen" of Aglarond in Dragon #92 (December 1984). Finally, Sylune is mentioned as a "now deceased" witch in Dragon #110 (June 1986), while Storm Silverhand is noted in that same article as being an "apprentice and lover" of Elminster.
Though they'd previously been described as powerful wanderers of the Realms, the relationship between five of the sisters - Alustriel, Dove, Storm, Sylune, and the Simbul - was revealed only in the Forgotten Realms Campaign Set. The fact that there were seven sisters was first noted in FOR4: The Code of the Harpers, and by that time, readers knew about six of them. The missing sister was the drow Qilue, who was first mentioned as a high priestess of a temple of Eilistraee in Dragon #176 (December 1991), coauthored by Ed Greenwood and Steven E. Schend, although her connection to the Seven Sisters wasn't noted at the time.
The Seven Sisters finally completed the tale of the Seven Sisters by putting Qilue into her correct context as the seventh and youngest of the siblings. However, it did far more than that by giving considerable details on all of the sisters, helping to differentiate them and describe who they were as actual people. With each Sister getting about seven pages of text each, The Seven Sisters helped them to become some of the best described characters ever for the Realms.
Future History. Greenwood returned to the Sisters a few years later in a collection of connected short stories: Silverfall: Stories of the Seven Sisters (1999).
About the Creators. By 1995, Greenwood was mostly writing "Volo's Guides" and novels. His one other roleplaying supplement for the year was Pages from the Mages (1995), which revisited some of his oldest work from Dragon magazine.
About the Product Historian
The history of this product was researched and written by Shannon Appelcline, the author of Designers & Dragons - a history of the roleplaying industry told one company at a time. Please feel free to mail corrections, comments, and additions to firstname.lastname@example.org.