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...
Recent and Colorful History of the Wizard
Whistling Wizard, Continued
early in the winter after Dove's departure, Ansilber Klauthaudra was found
dismembered in the common room. Ansilber was the sleepy-faced, lazy, and
casually cruel fat man who owned the Wizard at the time. He was a former
tailor from Essembra.
was swift and investigations of the death even more so, and the staff
ran the inn unsupervised for less than a tenday before the unlamented
Klauthaudra was replaced by a young, haughty, and even more cruel, thin,
and nasal-voiced snob of a Selgauntan wastrel by the name of Ravvas Thurrpurtyn,
who used money given him by his father (almost certainly with the admonition
never to show his face in Selgaunt again) to buy the inn.
Harper reports insist that Ravvas was slain and impersonated (perhaps
even before his arrival in Voonlar) by a nameless undercover agent of
the Red Wizards of Thay. It seems likely that this agent was in turn killed
and replaced by a Malaugrym who posed both as Ravvas and as the Red Wizard
the tenure of "Ravvas" (whoever he in truth was at any given
time), the Wizard was a haven and contact place for Dragon Cultists, Thayan
agents, and informers-for-hire who reported to Sembian cabals, agents
of Hillsfar, and certain Zhent factions. At times, guest arrivals were
almost comical, as everyone in the common room (dining room) looked up
menacingly to see if the newcomer was here to see them . . . or someone
else in the place.
came to a head when "Gathkatra" (real name almost certainly
something else), an ogre mage polymorphed into a more human semblance,
decided to take up residence as chatelaine of the inn (by slaying the
incumbent in an accident and then offering "herself" as replacement),
doppelgangers joined the cooking staff, and finally an uniquely gifted
illithid archmage (employing a spell-spun "tall human from afar"
disguise, and using the name "Klondras Imdree, late of Westgate")
settled in at the Wizard for a long stay. All of this caused the soothsaying
Wizard Well in the basement, which then as now whispered aloud to many
travelers who dared to consult it in private, much consternation, and
it eventually decided to act.
is in reality a female spectral harpist who in life was a dancer and Zhentil
Keep courtesan by the name of Zarracee Ambroanye. The Well is dedicated
to functioning as a message exchange for passing Harper agents. Zarracee
attacks persons she views as foes of the Harpers who venture into the
Well waters and readily avoids attacks upon the Well by simply passing
out of its walls and moving elsewhere in the inn. When guests really interest
her (usually because they're suspicious characters), she's been known
to spy on them from the closets of their inn bedrooms -- and even to rouse
some guests to deal with others when skullduggery is afoot late at night.
(via a Harper messenger) on no less a personage than Elminster to cleanse
the inn, Zarracee caused a strike force consisting of Sharantyr, Illistyl,
and Jhessail of the Knights of Myth Drannor, assisted by no less than
two dozen Harper agents, to descend on the Wizard. Unfortunately, the
Harper messenger was returning from a mission to report to Storm Silverhand,
and included mention of the Well's consternation when speaking with the
Bard of Shadowdale. Storm mounted her own attack on the Wizard, with the
aid of her sister the Simbul and half a dozen of the Witch-Queen's most
ambitious apprentices on the same afternoon.
the previous Elminster Speaks
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