Elminster Speaks
(Part #27)

The 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 finer points.

Listen well, young one...

The Wizard's Well, and Dove of the Seven

The Whistling Wizard, Continued
(Fair/Cheap)

The Wizard also enjoys a certain fame among travelers and inhabitants of the wider Moonsea region for its soothsaying Wizard Well. The Well may be consulted by all guests and passersby for free so long as they venture into the basement Well chamber alone and bar the door behind them. Those who arrive in groups will find only darkness and placid silence, whereas those who come alone will see the waters glow with a faint blue-green light after they've stood looking into the well for a minute or so, and a ghostly, feminine voice will whisper, "Yes?"

The Well knows a lot about intrigues, politics, power groups, and adventurers active in the Dragonreach, but shares more good advice than useful secrets, and often asks questions as much as it gives answers. Those who lie to the Well can expect to receive falsehoods in return, though such triflings with the truth will be subtle and rarely obvious until much later. Many travelers use the Well as an old friend to confess things to and discuss things with. The voice in the Well successfully resists all magical attempts to compel or harm it, including priestly attempts to drive it forth or learn its true nature, and seems to have infinite patience for discussing even trivia for hours at a time. The Well refuses to give its name, if it has one, and never seems to lose its temper or play favorites among its visitors. Those who talk overly long while others await by the closed door to the Well chamber will discover that the Well will slowly grow dimmer and fainter, until it ceases to answer altogether. After they depart, the voice in the Well returns with full vigor to speak to its next guest. (More about the voice in the Well later.)

Items dropped into the well can't be seen from above its water, but they can be readily felt and retrieved by anyone venturing into the Well. (The surface of the Well somehow renders them invisible, always showing clear water even if light sources are shone into or submerged in the Well.) The Well's cool waters have no special benefits to either beings or items introduced into them. All that happens to something dropped into the Well is that it gets wet.

Among the Harpers, the Wizard is also infamous as the place where a magically chained Dove of the Seven Sisters worked in disguise for a time as a serving wench. She was rescued from this drudgery by Florin Falconhand, who became her husband soon after. To this day, Florin doesn't know that Dove was staying willingly to spy on neogis and manscorpions who seemed to come out of nowhere to stay at the inn. The monstrous creatures used very poor disguises and often openly tormented or slaughtered human travelers who had the misfortune to decide to stay at the Wizard overnight. Dove still believes that there was at the time a gate, planar rift, or other connection to distant planes or other worlds in the woods very near the inn -- but scores of Harpers have recently searched every rock, fern, old stump, and tree for miles south of the Wizard, left behind many watch spells, and found . . . nothing.

Certain senior Harpers have noted that the neogi and manscorpion visits ceased within days of Dove's departure -- and have advanced the bold theory that they may have been coming to the inn to keep watch over her.

Read 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.

 



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