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...
Endgame at the Wizard
Whistling Wizard, Continued
And so the Battle at the Bar began -- and spread swiftly from end to end of the Whistling Wizard, causing Zarracee to race from chamber to chamber shouting warnings to Harpers, and the inn to come within a skin's thickness of vanishing in one of the explosions Voonlarrens are so eager to describe and attribute as every-other-day occurrences at the Wizard. While spells shook and flashed in the common room, reducing windows, doors, and furniture to splintered shards, warriors with drawn swords hacked and shouted up and down the inn stairs and passages, spilling even into the cookhouse -- where the doppelgangers, thinking they'd been discovered, joined the fray, posing as the most fearsome folk they could think of: Zhentarim wizards. The sight of them caused the Knights to attack in earnest, and both the ogre mage and the illithid archmage to plunge into battle, causing the unintentional gutting (and subsequent renovation) of several upper rooms of the Wizard.
In the common room, several magic mouth spells that had been cast on the bar as waiting messages by various Harpers reacted with the preservative and fire-retardant spells also laid on it, and the wild combinations of overlapping battle spells that were washing over it, by erupting in an explosion that killed Ravvas, Arlo Randulkyn, and Tharath Shemmer. The explosion also removed the ceiling above the bar, causing the room above to collapse down into the common room. In the fall, the ogre mage Gathkatra tumbled down to death by impalement on the wreckage, and the illithid mage was caught in midtransformation into another shape, its magical abilities ended forever by extensive brain damage. Wailing, it fled into the forest.
The Master-of-Moons, who'd used a spell to grow several additional arms and used all of them enthusiastically to stab the Simbul, now collapsed into weeping and pleaded with her for mercy. When she reluctantly granted it (with half a dozen enchanted daggers still buried hilt-deep in her breast), he triumphantly cast a spell that made all of the daggers explode, rending the upper half of her body. Storm promptly beheaded him, and the Harpers and the Simbul's apprentices rushed to aid the stricken queen -- as several of the Bron's deputies arrived with weapons at the ready, demanding to know what had happened and accompanied by local citizens who'd come to gawk.
Contingent spells and spell effects snatched the magical aid the Queen of Aglarond needed to her from elsewhere: a sphere of healing fluid that she dove into, and once immersed, was healed in moments. The remaining Tarntar fled during the confusion.
One of the deputies made the mistake of trying to disarm and issue commands to one of the Simbul's apprentices. She used spells to send the man flying back down the road to the Throat, bouncing painfully once or twice. That precipitated a general Harper attack on the remaining Voonlarren authorities, who hastily withdrew from the Wizard -- followed shortly thereafter by the contrite Harper attackers. Before she left, Storm did present the senior surviving inn staffer, a grizzled old tapster by the name of Avlar (who still tends the bar to this day), with gold and gems enough to pay for repairs.
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