Sage of Shadowdale has something to say about pretty much everything.
Despite having outlets in Dragon Magazine, Dungeon
Adventures, and Polyhedron Newszine, the Old Mage still
has more to say about Faerûn. Not wanting to anger an archmage, we decided
it would be best to give him a regular column from which to discuss the
well, young one . . .
at the Shield
Sign of the Shield, Continued
so many people, the Shield can envelop guests in luxury so thoughtful
and attentive that some guests grumble that they're always being watched.
Guests whose slippers fall from their feet as they recline in chairs with
their feet up on plush stools have those slippers deftly replaced. Those
desiring a bath are always scrubbed, toweled, and have their hair washed,
combed, and styled by skillful chambermaids. And guests who enjoy backrubs
or being assisted in dressing receive cheerful and skillful attention
to these needs, though attempts at greater intimacy are be met by brisk
directions to try elsewhere in Voonlar.
are furnished lushly, kept toasty warm in winter and as shaded and cool
as possible in summer, and equipped with writing parchment, ink, and quills,
plentiful seating, cushions galore, and even plants and flowers. All rooms
or suites have at least a large high-backed armchair with footstool, a
canopied bed large enough for three tall adults to sleep side by side
in, a wardrobe, a writing desk and upright chair, and a bedside table,
and a stepstool for the use of short guests ascending or descending from
bed. Many rooms have far more, including those on the ground floor, which
have baths set into the floor and plentiful closets (to muffle the noise
of the kitchens and guests arriving and departing in the lobby).
this costs 3 gp/night per person for a small private room and an evening
meal (with all drinks, stabling, and all other food costing extra). All
meals are served in guests' rooms, although they can request meals be
brought to them in one of the three meeting rooms opening off the lobby.
the three meeting rooms is as soundproof as possible and equipped both
as a bedchamber, on one side of a privacy curtain, and as a meeting room
for merchants, with eight chairs drawn up around a grand table, on the
other. It must be rented by the hour. The other two rooms are free for
the use of all guests desiring to meet with other guests or with passersby
can offer guests a broad cellar of wines, ales, and sherries (fortified
wines), though the accent is on quantity and breadth of selection rather
than specific vintages. These are priced at 5 cp per tankard (tall and
splendid silver affairs) for ales, and 7 sp per tallglass of wine or sherry
(fluted, ornate glass affairs that really deserve the appellation "tall").
is prepared in the kitchens throughout the day rather than at specific
times, so the accent is on soups, sauces, and fare that can be cooked
and then kept warm without suffering overly much. Almost all guests agree
that the Shield's table fare is fine or even superb, and it is kept so
by using herbs from the roof and mushrooms from the inn's own cellars
coupled with a menu that shifts with the seasons to always use provender
at its best. As one guest famously remarked darkly, "At 1 gp a meal,
it'd better be the best!"
survey of Shield fare yielded the following menu: juicy oven-roasted quail
drowned beneath an onslaught of lemon-and-garlic sauce or horseradish-scented
lamb. Both are served on a hash of duck, quail eggs, buttery diced leeks,
and potato, and accompanied by silky buttercream cakes and either a venison
barley soup or apple-and-bacon soup.
the previous Elminster Speaks
column or go to the Forgotten
Realms main news page
for more articles and news about the Forgotten Realms game setting.