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Elminster Speaks - Part 24
By Ed GreenwoodAn Inn For Adventurers
Perhaps the most intriguing inn in Voonlar is one avoided by many respectable travelers' because of its shady, even dangerous reputation. It's where those fools who go adventuring stay -- and all too often fight each other, blowing half the place to the skies!
The Whistling Wizard
This secluded inn stands on the east side of the Northride against the edge of the forest. It's the first Voonlarren building seen by travelers approaching Voonlar from Shadowdale, and it marks the true southern edge of town, whatever claims various townfolk might make with a map in hand.
A room at the Wizard ranges from 1 gp to 2 gp 5 sp a night, depending on the size and luxuriousness of the furnishings. A room consists of at minimum a bedchamber opening into its own closet and jakes, with a bed, a couch or cot, a chair, a wall mirror, and a table -- all of which are old, mismatched pieces of furniture salvaged from elsewhere. Rooms on the south side are all 2 gp, and those with balconies are an extra 2 sp per night. These rates include all meals (and as many servings as desired) with unlimited beer. Wine and zzar are extra, by the tallglass (5 cp to 5 sp) or the bottle (3 to 10 gp). Stabling is an extra 5 sp per beast per night.
Cleanliness isn't a priority at the Wizard, a problem addressed by keeping the lighting sparse. Each guest is issued with a faerie fire baton (a baton with a continual version of faerie fire worked upon it, similar to an everburning torch, but shedding only as much light as a candle in one of an assortment of hues such as pale green or purple) for walking about in relative safety. If guests fail to surrender their batons when they depart, they're charged an extra 90 gp per missing baton, and no beast can be claimed from the inn stables without trading in a baton or displaying a bill settled note bearing the innkeeper's signet ring impression in the right color of wax.
The dimness, rather strange clientele, and local reputation keep the timid and the respectable away from the Wizard. Yet for all that, the infamous traveler Volothamp Geddarm considered it, "A fun house of wayrest that like a snatch-thief turning out his cloak can boast pockets of hidden luxury." Successful Sembian merchants like Urkamond Thond of Saerloon (a LN male human Ari4 of keen wits and great wealth made in the textile trade) judged it, "Far better than I'd been led to believe. If all one demands is fair food and a place to sleep unmolested, it serves quite adequately." Thalto Bresmer of Teflamm (LN male human Exp9), who travels the Dragonreach tirelessly selling fine furniture, hinges, handles, and locks of superior make and appearance, and large pieces of low-value gemstone for use in furniture inlays and wall adornment, called it "The most comfortable bad inn it has ever been my pleasure to stay in -- quiet if shabby comfort, privacy if one desires it, and much entertainment if one does not."
The Wizard is a place of old, creaking floors, dark wood paneling, and many-layered firequench spells that keep all flames from igniting anywhere except the cookhouse across the stableyard from the inn proper. These spells have led to certain amorous guests (or those meeting for shady dealings of a more businesslike nature) using spheres of fireflies as nightlights when the steady spellglow of a baton is deemed too bright.
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