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Bard's Rumours

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Elminster Speaks - Part 46

By Ed Greenwood

Doings in Delzimmer, Part 5

Any trade city, with all of its comings and goings of caravans and visiting traders, tends to be always awash with new and racing rumors. Some of the latest in Delzimmer concern the goblins who infest the western end of the Toadsquat Mountains; the ambitious Claunkrar Coster of Rethmar; and a local merchant by the name of Antholo Kraul (whose rumors will have to wait until our next converse).

The Treasure is nothing less than an ever-expanding network of portals linking key sites in Faerûn -- or rather, secluded hollows and lookout heights near important trade route waymoots and wealthy cities. By means of these magical routes the Claunkrar can move small, valuable cargoes (coffers of gems, distinctive stolen property, individual kidnap captives, and the like) swiftly across Faerûn. Once they gain a property in a city or trade town, they establish a cellar or indoor chamber portal therein to allow coster members to arrive and depart unseen -- and there are even whispers that they're growing bold enough to create portals on the roofs and in disused back stairs of palaces.

I've spared a glance or three in the direction of the Claunkrar -- enough to tell me that some truth lies behind these tales, and I'll explore them more with ye anon. I can say thus far that the Claunkrar are hiring guards to watch over some of their portals, starting to keep secrets (and build passwords and the like into portal operations), and that they're quietly hiring adventurers, brigands, and monsters -- shapechangers in particular -- to join their ranks. It's too early to say who's behind these schemes, or if this represents an ambitious new force in the ever-active, always-foolish "road to seizing power over all Faerûn" game -- but my ear shall be to the doorposts on this one.

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