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Elminster Speaks - Part 32
By Ed GreenwoodPerendra's Little Secret
Know ye that I began this series of little missives to demonstrate that every small backwater of Faerûn has its history, its little mysteries, and its folk and features of interest. Look not for adventure -- for it lies at thy elbow, behind or beneath yon tree, or through the nearest door. Seek it too aggressively, mind ye, and ye risk being deemed a dangerous troublemaker, a mantle most adventurers become all too familiar with as their careers unfold.
Voonlar, the settlement thus far under our exhaustive examination, was merely my example, lying as it does next door to Shadowdale along the trade road. Ye could choose any place and uncover as much of interest, or more. In fact, if ye had patience enough to bear with me as I descended into years of gossip and family feuds and the like, we could spend another year or three learning more of Voonlar and its adventuring possibilities.
For instance, the various temples folk have founded in Voonlar have all been plundered more than once, and many have suffered internal strife and long-lasting schism -- and in all of these affrays valuables have gone missing. Many such have of course been spirited away, to be traded, lost, hidden, melted down, or exchanged elsewhere in Faerûn. Some, however, undoubtedly lie shallowly buried beneath the roots of this or that tree in the woods to the west or south of Voonlar, or even in a particular spot in the town dump or hard by a handy fencepost in the surrounding fields. Smaller caches of valuables undoubtedly inhabit hollows and hidden cavities in cottage walls or lie beneath specific stall floors in stables.
Nay, we've by no means exhausted the secrets of Voonlar.
One more such I'll share now -- for it shall lead us away from Voonlar on into other places, and more adventures.
It concerns the mage Perendra, with whom (before her unfortunate demise) I was wont to share occasional afternoons. We spent them smoking pipes and draining handy tankards as we talked over those dread secrets wizards discuss in private (such as how prices are rising everywhere and things growing darker and grimmer over all Faerûn, how the weather disappoints but is nothing compared to its legendary misbehaviors in our youth, the rarity of good rulers everywhere compared to those same long-ago glory days, and other matters that are, like those I've mentioned, only of interest to mages). I miss the lass, I do . . . but then, at my age, I could fill several good-sized kingdoms with departed friends whom I miss dearly.
Ah, but I was telling ye of Perendra's little secret. Actually she had several choice secrets, both large and small, but the one germane to our present discourse is a portal she created (or modified after discovering it, I know not which). It still exists today and may be freely used by anyone who avoids brigands and lurking Zhents. I don't believe either end of it lies under close observation or guard. Which means, of course, that it's practically a trumpet call to adventure . . .
My, is that the time? I must away and shatter a tower with spells right now, but I'll return, fear ye not (or fear ye, as the case may be), to unfold more of this matter!
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