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...
Farewell to Voonlar
mage Perendra dwelt on the western edge of Voonlar, in what she was pleased
to call her Stronghold, a fortified manor with extensive subterranean
cellars and passages beneath that was surrounded by the forest. The invisible
(of course) portal stands some way to its southwest, down a tiny
footpath. The trail leads first to Perendra's root cellar, now sadly bereft
of the tart apples I used to enjoy stealing and devouring (though the
lass took the fun out of it by observing my habit and pointedly delivering
baskets of the things to me each fall). Beyond that it comes up on her
outhouse (disused for years, as she developed the same dislike all aging
bones do for freezing one's backside in the dark of a winter night blizzard),
and thence to her refuse oven (where bones were burned), and lastly her
woodpile, with its clearing and chopping block. (Yes, the lady cut her
own firewood. She was an honest mage -- and stay thy laughter, there are
such things -- and not an idle noble.)
this clearing, three paths wander off into the trees like reaching fingers.
A little way down the centermost, out of sight of the clearing and just
past a large, flat-topped boulder seemingly made by the gods for sitting
on (or drying wet clothes in spring or fall when the leaves are scarce),
there's a place where one passes between two old, rotting, and very large
few feet of the path between the stumps is of course the unseen portal.
Only if one utters the word "Felderenslor" (not likely to happen
by accident, ye must admit) will its magic take thee -- in a single step
-- to somewhere far indeed from Voonlar.
Ah, that will have to wait until I next speak with ye, so it will. Suffice
it to say that I've no idea why Perendra desired to swiftly reach this
other place and return from it, and that if one says "Orntharm Felderenslor,"
the portal delivers a user instead to a small safehold: an extradimensional,
dimly lit chamber walled, floored, and roofed in imprenetrable mists.
It contains a cot, a wardrobe full of Perendra's clothing (including cloaks,
boots, and some garments affording her disguises surprising for a woman
-- or a mage of either gender, for that matter), and several healing potions.
There were once some magic rings and wands therein, too, but they disappeared
shortly after her death, suggesting that someone besides the lady and
myself knew how to work the portal thus.
affords a user space enough to stride back and forth -- space which allows
perhaps a dozen folk to stand crammed together or three or four room to
sleep upon the floor. (The cot can of course be shared, and someone else
who's thin and has a short nose could sleep beneath it if one has rather
too many friends.) Fresh air is never a problem in this safehold. 'Tis
possible to tarry there for days, studying or sleeping, but if any spell
is worked therein, its caster is immediately and forcibly ejected from
the safehold back to the rock.
to the rock can be accomplished more calmly by saying "Lathtroo."
So far as I know, none of the portal-controlling words has any
meaning -- or dignity, for that matter.
instead says "Alnegust," one arrives safely at the portal's
second destination. (Direct travel from it to Perendra's path, or to the
safehold, are by the same words that work from the Voonlar end.)
adds the word "Haloom" either before or after "Alnegust"
or "Felderenslor," arrival at a portal terminus is achieved
at the heart of an instantly appearing fog cloud, equal in all
respects to the spell of the same name. If not dispersed by wind, it lasts
for 30 minutes and is stationary.
standing at one portal end utters the word for that same portal
terminus, nothing happens, and if they say "Haloom," again,
nothing occurs -- but if they say "Haloom" and the word
for their own end of the portal, they won't be taken anywhere, but the
fog cloud appears all around them.
why the portal was set up in this manner -- well, that's just one
more little mystery. I love a mystery, don't you?
the previous Elminster Speaks
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