Waterdeep -- Watchful Order speakers are issuing a warning. Spell scrolls have recently been sold in the city that have unforeseen 'backlash' effects. They stress such dangers aren't a result of sloppy spell-scrivening or creation but must be deliberately crafted as an attack on users of the particular scrolls. Unfortunately, some backlash traps can't be detected by wizards below the skill of an archmage. Most backlashes involve the summoning of monsters -- or, more rarely, the wizard who crafted the scroll -- to attack the person reading the scroll.
Some years ago, scrolls were sold in Waterdeep that summoned beholders into the presence of anyone casting the spells written on them. Thrice in the last score of days, backlash scrolls have unleashed harmful spell effects on users -- once a feeblemind, once a nightmare, and the third instance involved an unknown magic that caused the wizard to suffer painful, bleeding sores whenever casting spells for seven days (commencing with the spell the scroll had borne).
Popular rumor associates these scrolls with various Red Wizards of Thay, but Thayan trade agents in the city have issued a furious denial of any connection to curses and magical trickery. When asked directly about the backlash scrolls, a known Thayan mage snapped, "Can any thinking person truly believe we of Thay would be involved in such things? If so, I ask them this -- why would we want to harm our livelihoods and reputations? Why? Find who started the rumors blaming us, and I'll wager you'll also have found the miscreant responsible for these treacheries. When you do so, bring him to us. We have some treacheries of our own we desire to share with him, her, or it."
About the Author
Ed Greenwood is the man who unleashed the Forgotten Realms on an unsuspecting world. He works in libraries, writes fantasy, sf, horror, mystery, and even romance stories (sometimes all in the same novel), but he is still happiest churning out Realmslore, Realmslore, and more Realmslore. There are still a few rooms in his house with space left to pile up papers in . . .
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