Vanifer is one of the four main antagonists of the Elemental Evil arc of Neverwinter Online. She is a tiefling who is the Prophet of Fire and leader of the Cult of the Eternal Flame, crazed worshipers of Imix.
She is extremely manipulative and intelligent, gathering allies as she needs them and discarding them as soon as they lose their usefulness. Though she puts on the airs of a rich noble, she despises those born into wealth. She wields a magical dagger known as Tinderstrike, one of the four elemental tools made by Vizeran DeVir.
Her backstory is revealed in the 2015 adventure book Princes of the Apocalypse.
Vanifer was born in the poorest quarter of Calimport, surviving only with her cunning wits. She learned to dance for coin, slowly working her way up to the bedchambers of the city's nobles and learning fire magic to distinguish herself from others. She eventually became a pasha's concubine, but hated him despite his lavish affections. She robbed him of a small fortune and left, setting his palace ablaze as she fled.
She fled first to Zazesspur, but when the pasha's agents found her she continued to Baldur's Gate. She opened a school for dancers, and when her talent with fire attracted other sorts of students she turned them into a cult of fire worshipers. She led the cult for several years before she began to receive visions that compelled her to seek out a lost temple beneath the Sumber Hills. There she found a magical dagger known as Tinderstrike imbued with the power of the primordial Imix, Prince of Evil Fire. She quickly went from worshiping fire in general to worshiping Imix in particular, establishing a new chapter of her Cult of the Eternal Flame in the area.
The followers of the Eternal Flame cult were fascinated by the destructive power of fire in all its manifestations. They aspired to use the power of fire to eradicated the "corruption" of both civilization and nature using volcanic eruptions, forest fires, heat waves, and droughts, in order to herald a new world of ash and cinders ruled by fire alone. In the fire cultists' doctrine, the world and all its peoples were wicked and malformed, and the only hope was to purify everything, reducing all to smoking cinders.
All their work culminated in 1491 DR at in the Fane of the Eye, under the ruined dwarven city of Tyar-Besil. Working simultaneously with the other three elemental cults, the fire cultists tried to summon Imix to Toril using members of a missing diplomatic delegation from Mirabar and other captives as sacrifices. However, Vanifer needed a fortress.
Elemental Evil arc
Meanwhile, within the newly-discovered dwarven city of Gauntlgrym, the dwarves had found the task of rebuilding the city to be too great an undertaking to accomplish within their lifetimes, and ultimately agreed to hire a company of artisans skilled in dwarven craftsmanship to aid them. No sooner had they rebuilt the Great Forge, however, than the artisans revealed themselves as the Cult of the Eternal Flame and drove out the dwarves. Working with both the Harpers and the Lords Alliance, the dwarves put out the call for adventurers to reclaim their ancient home.
The problem soon comes to known in Neverwinter. When Archdruid Morningdawn of the Emerald Enclave arrived in Neverwinter with word of a new threat rising in the Sword Coast, Lord Neverember took it seriously. With his permission, she erected the Tree of Elemental Balance to guard the city of Neverwinter. She explained that the currents of elemental forces had changed in such a way to cause dangerous concentrations of the elements, and that the tree would allow her to stabilize the flow. However, someone or something was interfering.
At the Pirates' Skyhold, Zhentarim agents there had noticed some suspicious individuals disguised as monks. Their suspicions were proven accurate, as Minsc and the heroes discovered them to be cultists of elemental air and fire seeking to create more elemental seeds. Though the cultists swore to destroy Neverwinter with a devastation orb, they were eliminated and their seeds of fire and air brought back to Archdruid Morningdawn.
Fraunstrated for their failure, the four prophets gathered their army and attacked Neverwinter in an attempt to destroy the Tree of Elemental Balance. Vanifer's army arrived after the water and earth cultists, which included fire cultists, fire elementals and fiery monsters. the prophets had a discussion. Gar Shatterkeel argued bitterly with Vanifer, but in the end, they accepted Aerisi Kalinoth's suggestions, and the four retreated back to their respective fortresses to bulid elemental nodes. Meanwhile, Archdruid Morningdawn tasked the heroes with eradicating the cults' presence along the Sword Coast.
The adventurers delved deep into Gauntlgrym. They discovered that the cultists had created a fire node, and intended to awaken the primordial Maegera to use her power to create a devastation orb to set the entire Sword Coast ablaze, an outcome much more horrid than the eruption of Mount Hotenow that destroyed the old Neverwinter. When the cultists captured Delzoun-blooded dwarves to shut down the water pumps keeping Maegera asleep, the heroes knew they had to act fast. Though they defeated the cultists' leader, the tiefling prophet Vanifer, she swore that she would return. With the dwarves rescued and the cultists routed, however, the immediate threat had passed.
The Maze Engine arc
Vanifer appeared at the very end of this arc as a cameo.
With Baphomet slain and Vizeran DeVir defeated, Bruenor invited everyone back to Gauntlgrym for a feast in their honor. He declared that they would forever be known as Heroes of Gauntlgrym, and even named the Heroes of Sleeping Dragon Bridge as honorary members of the Companions of the Hall. Meanwhile, in the depths of Gauntlgrym, Vanifer was visited by a projection of Vizeran DeVir, who named himself Harbinger of the Elemental Eye... and Vanifer's true master.
- She is considered to be the darkest elemental prophet of the four.
- It is suggested that Vanifer greatly despises Gar Shatterkeel, even with the cooporation between fire and water culitists. It is mainly because these two kinds of cultists are in fact rivals, but they became partners merely due to their common goods which is destruction.
- She is the third elemental prophet to be challanged in the game. She is also the only prophet to survive.