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...
Battle at the Bar
Whistling Wizard, Continued
peace in the Whistling Wizard was bound to be shattered by two separate
Harper attacks -- but by sheer happenstance (unless, of course, one believes
in gods having a savage collective sense of humor), the attacks coincided
with a stopover at the Wizard of the Tarntar, a highly secretive Sembian
consortium of wizards and wealthy merchants. This little-known trading
alliance is a collection of dabblers in slaving activities, particularly
affairs involving the kidnappings of prominent Sembian youths. Smuggling
and warehouse thefts are also among their skills (but a better accounting
of the Tarntar is a matter for another time).
it to say that on the afternoon in question, the mages of the Tarntar
staying at the Wizard (not counting apprentices, bodyguards, and familiars)
numbered three: "Five Flames" Alro Randulkyn of Saerloon, Master-of-Moons
Hastammer Orlim of Ordulin, and Skulto Mreth of Yhaunn. Five Flames (NE
male human Evo9) was a cruel, fun-loving, and impulsive roisterer of a
mage, who often and enthusiastically enjoyed good wine, good clothes,
and bad ladies, and was a rather careless in his spellcastings. Hastammer
Orlim (LE human male Wiz15) was an elderly and severe man who cultivated
an awe-inspiring reputation as a mage of power enough to talk to the deities
-- and have some of them take his advice. Skulto Mreth (LE male human
Ill13) was a close-mouthed, nondescript master of disguises and privacy,
who had many covert investments in the Moonsea cities, more enemies than
most folks can count, and a collection of enchanted whips matched only
by the numbers of slaves he'd used them on. Cold and calm, he was careful
and always prepared for calamity.
various adherents of no account and smallware peddlers, the Tarntar merchants
staying over at the Wizard included Ghaurann Rhee of Ordulin (CE male
human Rog4/Wiz3, a handsome and silver-tongued seller of skin salves,
cosmetics, and face and figure temporary-adornment spells), and Tharath
Shemmer of Selgaunt (a dealer in furs and fine leather apparel).
these formidable characters were shocked when Elminster of Shadowdale
strolled into the common room, openly and alone, and called for a tankard
of beer, leaving his pipe to float by itself in midair, smoking gently.
They sat frozen, doing nothing, as Elminster teased Alro about his recent
conquests, asked the Master-of-Moons how the deities were doing, and warned
Skulto that some of his underlings were fiddling accounts for themselves,
and he'd best check his slaving books right swiftly.
dared attack the Old Mage of Shadowdale -- and at length he smiled sweetly,
seated himself in Orlim's lap, and changed his shape, becoming the Simbul
(who this false Elminster truly was).
two of the Tarntar mages didn't recognize the Witch-Queen of Aglarond
and launched furious spell attacks on her. She laughed merrily -- the
signal for Storm and the apprentices to charge into the room, whilst the
Simbul devoted herself to making sure the spells now flying around the
common room didn't destroy, transform, or set afire the inn.
ran to get their bodyguards, and their haste caused the Knights of Myth
Drannor, whose strike force was nearing the inn, to hasten to the attack.
the previous Elminster Speaks
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