The Crystal Caster
Illera Monatauth is the proprietor of this popular shop. She traveled to Terrail from Waterdeep, hoping to establish a lucrative trade in the magical city. She is a fairly adept wizardress as well as a merchant, and many of her more powerful wares she crafts herself. The Crystal Caster is one of the most unusual businesses in Terrail. It sells magical glassware, from simple glowing spheres to scrying devices. Its most popular product is image stones, also known as capture crystals. These minor magical items can be made easily and cheaply by any of Ileras's staff, and they have become quite fashionable. They are pieces of gemstone, glass, or crystal enchanted to hold a single image forever. The shop itself is easily identifiable by its large front windows, which show constantly shifting illusions of majestic scenery from various locations. Similar devices are also sold inside, either seeming to contain beautiful vistas or granting illusory benefits to the user. The inside of the store is a treasure-house of sparkling merchandise. Translucent statues in myriad shapes adorn the counters, and various gemstones and items of magical jewelry rest beneath glass cases. All of the staff are minor mages, and they both sell and produce the items sold. Illera is an influential member of the community. She is kind and well-liked for her witty conversation, and socializes with many of the highest-ranking people in Terrail. Though she is not a Master, she does have significant power within the House. This position helps her in her more covert occupation, that of a Moonstar. She was contacted by Laeral herself, and quickly joined the ranks as an informer. The gossip she gathers is pieced together by her quick mind and deciphered into information she can relate to Laeral via sending spells, or just by using Laeral's name. Despite her secret loyalties, she truly loves Terrail, and will fight to protect it.
Mardel is one of the minority of non-mage businessmen in Terrail. He is a guest, not a citizen, though he has lived in the city for almost twenty years, The goods sold here are different than those in the other shops for one reason: they are alive. The Menagerie specializes in the sale of magical creatures, or those that can be used by mages. Animals capable of being bonded as familiars can be found here, both the standard sort and those considered "improved." No truly dangerous creatures are sold by Mardel, but many can serve as guardians, companions, or allies. He does not just sell such exotic beings; sometimes he acts as a middleman for creatures who will sell their services. Mardel himself is an affable man; most of the mages in Terrail purchased their first familiar from him, earning him not only a large clientele, but friends in high places. His store is located in the eastern Market, a rambling structure filled with strange beings. Though Mardel is a respected businessman, he remains merely a guest. This discrimination irritates him, though he is not really discontent with his life. He is constantly attempting to change the laws of Terrail so that non-mages can become citizens, but he understands the reasons those laws are in place. Rumor says that several of the city's defenses involve creatures bought or bargained with by Mardel.
The Missing Quill
In a city where everyone is at least literate, a bookstore can make a fortune. This one did. The owners of The Missing Quill are Therin and Pylda Silverquill, clerics of Oghma and wizards both. Renowned sages, the couple traveled to Terrail to seek the arcane tomes of the city's mages. The wizards of the Tower allowed them significant-but still restricted-access to the Library, but the cleric-mages realized that by living in the city they would have the opportunity to learn much more than as visitors. Due to their primary loyalty to their church, they did not join the Tower mages, rather becoming citizens and joining the less responsibility-minded craftsmen. They opened The Missing Quill more to serve as a home and storehouse for their own impressive library than to make a profit, but they swiftly saw the potential for success. The shop became a home away from home for the scholars of Terrail, a place where they could sit back in a comfortable chair and read a good book. Though Therin and Pylda's collection is not for sale, those who want to can have copies made, or copy what they desire themselves-all for a tidy price, of course. Entry has a small cost, and once that price is paid a customer can peruse the volumes in the open are to their heart's content. The Missing Quill specializes in magical lore, histories, and adventuring journals, but a little bit of everything can be found there. If anyone has any obscure lore, especially of a magical nature, Therin and Pylda will pay handsomely for rare texts. A copy of every new book, scroll, or random page they acquire is sent to their home temple in Silverymoon.
It is common knowledge that many wizardly spells require a material component. While some components are quite easily found, others are of an expensive or exotic nature. Terrail, as a city of mages, has an enormous demand for such items. Baergen Delvis, a skilled wizard of Silverymoon, meets this demand. He deals in an extremely broad scope of goods; valuable gems of every sort, metals, chemicals, feathers, claws-in short, almost anything that could be imagined. The unifying factor of his merchandise is that sometime, somewhere, a wizard wrote a spell that requires it. His shop is one of the oldest in the city, having originally been Baergen's house. He supplied the wizards who first built Terrail with the components they needed, and remained there, seeing that even mage-heavy Silverymoon couldn't offer as many clients as this city. The store has prospered, becoming the main supplier for the Tower itself, as well as providing for the hundreds of other wizards there. The shelves of Baergen's Components practically overflow with constantly changing merchandise, as new spells are developed that require new components. Baergen's employees are well-learned mages, versed in many spells, but of only middling power. Baergen has agents all over Faerun who gather, cultivate, mine, or make spell components.
The Cleaving Pen
Where The Missing Quill supplies lore and obscure knowledge, The Cleaving Pen provides the raw materials of scholarship: paper, pens, and ink. This may seem like a bland or boring occupation, but think again. Run and owned by Feldan Liens, a guest of the city, this store caters to the needs of almost everyone in the city. Mages need spellbooks, after all, and the proper materials to write in them. Scrolls, scroll cases, along with the particular inks used to write on them, fill the shelves of this large business. The Cleaving Pen resembles a huge storehouse, filled with vast sheafs of parchment, hide, and any other feasible writing tools. A vast variety of pens are displayed, made of the feathers of birds commonplace and exotic, mundane and magical. You can find the waterproof sea-elven spellbooks, quite a novelty in the city, as well as scroll cases of gemstone or dragonbone. The Cleaving Pen also serves as a postal service of sorts, utilizing minor teleportation spells and magical items to send letters to far-distant locales. Messages appear and vanish hourly, and are handled with the utmost discretion. The secrecy of any message is assured, making Feldan's reliability a Terrailan byword. Prices are reasonable, but not cheap; the store holds a near monopoly in Terrail, supplying too many people what they need to be easily replaced.
Feldan maintains a gentle rivalry with the Sliverquills. Both own similar businesses, and they contend with each other over the attention of the public. From an objective viewpoint, Feldan has the more stable trade, since there will always be a demand for writing materials, but The Missing Quill is, for the moment, the hotspot for young scholars. Feldan is a quiet-spoken halfling, tall for his race, who gives passing reverence to Denier. He has almost no magical aptitude, which is the reason for his guest status. He, like Mardel, dislikes this separation, but he has hired several highly skilled tutors to help him achieve some small mastery of the Art. In time, it is likely that he will reach his goal, and stand proudly with the other mages.
The Silver Spoon
The Silver Spoon is one of the most successful inns in Terrail. Its somewhat mocking name is nevertheless accurate, as it often caters to visiting nobles or wealthy merchants, with prices appropriately lofty. The building is quite large, boasting five sprawling floors, purportedly held up by enchantments. The owner, Wyren Jelg, had the inn constructed to his specifications, which provide the splendor expected of such clientele. Servants are well-trained in etiquette and often have surprising but useful skills. They are known well for their discretion, under threat of cursing. Magic is displayed subtly but impressively, as seen in the small, spell-lit reading rooms, filled with books in glimmering ink. Food is delivered either to particular rooms or in the luxurious common room by ensorcelled silver plates, and each room can be sealed with a key of locking.
While Wyren Jelg presents the public with a suave, sophisticated and amiable front, the truth is that he runs the Terrailan thieves' guild. The elaborate and dignified exterior and upper floors hide the nefarious activities going on beneath the building. Here the Weavethieves gather, hiding their loot in the divination-shielded caches. They sell their stolen goods, usually of a magical nature, on the black market. Dangerous items can be found there, although obviously none of an evil nature. The guild often trades devices for those that will aid them in their dark work, such as rings of invisibility and cloaks and boots of elvenkind.
The Seven Stars
While the Silver Spoon is the inn of the rich and the nobility, the common man stays or eats at The Seven Stars. Unlike its more expensive and sophisticated counterpart, this inn has a homey, laid-back atmosphere. After a hard day's work, the average craftsmen, guard, mage or cleric just wants to sit back, have a nice meal, and relax. The Seven Stars provides the perfect environment for this. A large common room dominates the first floor, filled with circular tables and scattered individual chairs, ideal for dining both alone or by oneself. Food is distributed by the smiling Deepwater triplets, but customers have learned not to hassle these helpless-looking halflings. Each one has been trained by their uncle in self-defense, and more than one overconfident male has found himself hurled out the front door by a girl not reaching his shoulder.
The Seven Stars is owned and managed by the Deepwater family, who represent the largest group of halflings in Terrail. The Deepwaters are minor mages all, none excelling in Art, but are renowned for using both magic and skill in cooking. It is suspected that many of Anthalus's cooking spells were "borrowed" from this inn, possibly in exchange for the many small enchantments that abound in the inn. The heads of the Deepwater clan are Ralia and Frent, the parents of the triplets. Though the couple officially has equal authority, everyone knows that it is Ralia who really runs things. Frent is subtly manipulated by his wife, but it is he who is the true gem of the inn. Halflings are well-known for being cooks, but Frent is prodigious even among them. Without Frent, the inn would lose much of its clientele, who are drawn by the savory odors that waft from the kitchen.
The Deepwaters, like any large family, have their share of oddballs. First among these is Lun Deepwater, a member of the Golden Blades. This is not the reason for his oddity; Lun is a monk of the Hin Fist. He is the only militant member of the family, and is viewed as eccentric both by the halflings and his peers among the soldiers. Lun has taught something of the monk's arts to his three nieces, and is fiercely protective of them. To the outside world, Lun is an intense, tightly-wound adept, deadly and dedicated to his work. To Allena, Marje, and Felyn, he's Uncle Loony.
Another family business, Sturdy Mettle is run by Carden Dulnanin, a middle-age Dalesman. He is a smith by trade, as his father was before him, and is known for working with almost any material, whether it be wood, steel, or Mithril. Unlike the majority of Terrailan citizens, Carden is not a wizard; he's a sorcerer. The Dulnanin veins run thick with sorcery, but not deeply. All of Carden's children (three sons and a daughter) have inherited the gift, possessing minor but definite powers. This advantage allows the family to be citizens without needing them to actually study the Art. The exception to this is Carden's youngest son, Uleus. Uleus was born lacking the innate mastery of magic his relatives have. As might be expected, he has developed something of an inferiority complex about this, and compensated by studying wizardry. While not hugely gifted in Art, he has proven determined to become a full mage. Currently, he is an apprentice in the Tower, learning his requisite spells. He looks forward to creating his first magical item, and plans to craft something relating to forging or smithing.
Carden, while not having any formidable magic, is still a valued member of the Terrailan community. His skills are widely varied, from whittling wood to working with metals. Most spellcasters of to Carden for an item suitable for enchanting, as his products are always top-notch. Mithril, adamantine, darkwood, and cold iron are just a few of the rare materials he works with, and can be designed by a buyer for commission. While he favors armor and weapons, he will craft just about anything for a price. His fees are not stiff, but do reflect the quality of craftsmanship, so come with a full purse or not at all. It is suspected that beneath the city are many unusual golems, crafted by Carden from various substances. They supposedly roam the tunnels, searching for intruders, guarding the Vault, and standing watch over the wizardly prisoners (more about that later)
To get on Carden's good side, offer him something new to make. Rare or exotic designs can earn a significant discount, or even remove it entirely. The condition is that Carden must keep a copy of the specifications. A good example of this is the drow hand-crossbow, which Carden has been looking for for years. Also, the somewhat dangerous and mysterious smokepowder weapons are sought by him. He doesn't understand their workings well, but is eager to learn.
This little shop is home to two elderly humans, Perta and Berune Gheden. The couple are quiet, gentle folk, but nevertheless have their secrets. Both are Harpers, retired from active duty, but still do their part for the cause. They keep several items of healing, including potions and a wand or two, to be used for fellow Harpers in need. They are the primary Harper contacts for the city, but actually do little. Their official mission is to monitor the magical developments constantly going on there, making sure that dangerous innovations are noted. The Harpers as a group are highly curious about the mage-city, knowing that such a powerful citizenship needs to be observed closely, but they have seen, and approve of, the character of the Terrailans so far.
To the public, Perta and Berune are simple florists. They run a tiny business, hidden between their larger neighbors, but it is noticeable from quite a distance. The reason for this is the heavenly scents that radiate from their merchandise. The Harpers, as well as being minor wizards, are druids of Chauntea. The back of their store is filled with beautiful flowers, grown and tended by them. The druids display wonderful arrangements in the front window of the shop, and Chauntea's Bounty does some swift trading. As well as providing the flowers themselves, Perta and Berune make perfume. The scents are all of a natural variety, and sell well. All in all, the druids make a decent living, especially with their last product: magic. Having access to both druidic and wizardly spells, they can construct unusual objects, but have focused most of their attention on writing new spells, or converting their divine magic to arcane spells. They have had some success, but progress is slow. The high-ranking mages of the Tower who know about their abilities remain interested in their findings, and a few of their spells are interred in the Library.
The Siren's Song
Although there are few bards in Terrail, musical magic is not disdained. A strong policy of sorcerous acceptance is in place, so none of the common prejudices exist (wizards don't look down on bards, or lack respect for clerics). The largest gathering of minstrels is in Siren's Song, an extremely popular theater located in the western part of the city, near the House of Crafts. The theater presents many different forms of entertainment; plays, music, acrobatics, magical "effects" (impressive illusions and such). Satires are a specialty of the Siren's Song, but are always gentle, not malicious. The building is in an indoor amphitheatre style, with the customers arrayed around the stage. The theater is run by a very strange assortment of performers, each with his or her own talents. The common factor between them is magic, primarily bardic in nature. The mistress of the theater is Nyra Lelian, who some have come to call the Siren, due to her beautiful appearance and her focus on enchantments. This title is ironic, considering that she truly is not a human woman, but a lillend. Nyra Lelian is the name the lillend Nyearandra chose to give her human form, granted by an amulet of lesser polymorphing. Anthalus met her at the bardic college of Silverymoon. She had been attending classes there, but has hampered by people's reaction to her unusual appearance (not discrimination, exactly, but most people aren't used to human/snake/bird women). Anthalus invited her to Terrail, bribing her with the offer of an amulet, and she came. She originally joined the Tower, becoming friends with Elryna Tarean. While she enjoyed studying magic, "Nyra" preferred using her more ordinary musical abilities. When Anthalus tacitly suggested that singing in common rooms was not really appropriate for a Tower bard, she followed his advice and became a craftswoman. The Siren's Song faltered at first, but then something strange happened. Bards and other performers began to gravitate towards it. Nyra was surprised by the various talents literally showing up on her doorstep, but quickly hired them (unknown to the lillend, she had help; it pays to have friends in high places). Her income soared, and she expanded the building until it reached its present size.
Today, the Siren is one of the most popular places to spend an evening out. Spellcraft is used often, but is of middling power, used more as a prop then a necessity. What brings in the most money are Nyra's rare performances, simple songs, but sung with an incredible voice. On those nights the Siren sells out weeks in advance. Nyra almost never assumes her real shape, preferring to blend in. She has truly found her niche, a perfect place to use all of her abilities. To her surprise, she's become quite the social butterfly, often attending parties with her closest friend, Illera.
Aniya Merschille, proprietor of Merschille Manor, is a bard of the wizard city. Although rather joyful and filled with energy, the woman worked for a small time as one of the Golden Blades. However, it wasn’t long into her career before she began to feel overshadowed by the more powerful mages and retired. Withdrawing to her manor house, the bard of Terrail joined the craftsmen, and began performing in exchange for minor magics to be placed upon her home, finding it more rewarding and useful than gold alone. A rather dedicated worshipper of Liira, Aniya could not be separated from the populace for long and eventually began to rent out both her home and services; her prices were rather fair, though because of competition from others in the city, she was forced to stay on her toes. As the popularity of the manor began to rise, Merschille became more concerned with the safety of both her clients and her own privacy, and the nature of the favors she asked began to change direction a bit. Minor magics were embedded into her private rooms, sealing them from prying eyes when activated; trinkets such as dancing slippers, illusory masks, and minor levitation spells were also added over time, allowing for the further enjoyment of the manor. Any who wished to discuss business in private could do so out on balconies, as the doors wizard-lock upon command.
Perhaps one of the most enthralling things about Merschille’s manor is that it always has one or two new trinkets for display, even before they can be bought openly on the market. Because of the upper class clientele that the fest hall attracts, Aniya was able to strike a deal with local item makers- she keeps one or two of their creations for use by her clients, and in turn showcases them. Frequent visitors who wish to remain anonymous often have illusory masks reserved just for them; Aniya possesses the only key to the cabinet that holds them, and distributes them only to their original wearer. This little closet is in Aniya’s personal chambers.
Although the house is often rented, Merschille Manor has two major festive days where Aniya performs without charge. However, donations to Liira’s clergy are encouraged greatly.
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