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...
Tour of the Wizard
Whistling Wizard, Continued
Wizard inn shows passersby on the Northride a lantern post (from which
hangs a whimsical signboard, consisting of a carved wooden whistling wizard's
head), a few paces of muddy foreyard, and then a long, covered porch with
a hitching rail. The porch and hitching rail are overlooked by the owner's
rooms, with their narrow balcony whose rail holds a rather rickety row
of herb boxes.
there the Wizard, an unlovely rectangle, stretches back -- and back, sprawling
as long as some castles. It has two floors and a full cellar, and the
windows and balconies along its southern wall (the most expensive rooms)
offer views of the deep woods, which start a scant few paces from their
several granaries and stable buildings, and the cookhouse all straggle
along the northern flank of the Wizard amid scrub underbrush. In the underbrush
the owner's pet pigs -- small, lazy, and stupid sows who all share the
(usually shouted angrily) name of "Little Latha" -- root around
constantly and noisily, though some Lathas have been known to vanish at
the same time as certain guests ready their wagons and depart.
has an air of quiet seediness, dust, and old secrets. It serves vile,
homebrewed, small beer (the Wizard's Quaff), some passable Moonsea ales,
and has a fair to poor (depending on the time of year) wine cellar dominated
by dry white vintages from around the Inner Sea and zzar (as a nod to
travelers from the west). Big wine shipments from buyers in Sembia arrive
at the Wizard in late Uktar if the summer season has been good, and dregs
that establishments in Hillsfar want to be rid of arrive in early spring
if the summer season was not overly profitable. Drinks are served to guests
in their rooms, in the common room that fills the ground floor front of
the inn, and in the upper parlor.
parlor is a balconied, top-floor room on the forest side of the inn, at
its easternmost end. It is famous as a meeting place for less than savory
business. Until recently, slaves were openly examined and purchased there.
room is the usual dark, smoky, low-beamed labyrinth of stout but mismatched
round tables, chairs, and a serving bar. The room features no benches
since the owner hates them, having fallen over backward off one too many.
by the front door, the bar is off to the left, with the jakes to the right,
and an archway straight ahead leading to the ground floor rooms, and the
bottom of a stair ascending over the bar to the upper floor where it runs
along its own, more northerly passage to a stair that descends again to
meet the ground floor passage at the back door. The ground floor rooms
are located along a straight passage that turns sharply left near the
end of the inn to head for an exit door northward behind which are the
stables and cookhouse. The hallway also provides access to an eastward-looking
suite of rooms that have their own private exit and are much used by adventuring
bands desiring their comings and goings -- especially in the wee hours
-- to be relatively private.
floor rooms are long and narrow and are hung with half-curtains to make
them seem even longer. They tend to be quieter, so they're the most expensive
at the Wizard. (Floor-creakings made in them are heard in rooms below
them, but not vice-versa.)
the previous Elminster Speaks
column or go to the Forgotten
Realms main news page
for more articles and news about the Forgotten Realms game