Elminster's Guide to the Realms

Moonwyvern Inn

by Ed Greenwood, illustrated by David Day, (Dragon #288)

Inns are vital in the Sword Coast North. Civilization is meager and wide-scattered, the weather is harsh, and the predators are harsher. Here, a known refuge often means the difference between life and death. Yet inns are themselves immobile targets, and tend not to last long. Many stretches of road sport the scattered, fire-scarred stones of a vanished hostelry. Often, these ruins become the home of some fearsome beast using the crumbling, overgrown cellar as a lair.

One roadhouse that has thus far defied the odds is the Moonwyvern Inn. It's a ramshackle roadhouse on the road between Silverymoon and Everlund, within an easy day's ride of the Moonbridge. It stands in the forest without benefit of neighboring farms or settlements and has offered shelter to travelers for some sixty years.

Who built and first ran the Moonwyvern is forgotten, but the present staff remembers that the place was named for a long-since-slain local wyvern often seen silhouetted against the moon.

The Moonwyvern is an dimly-lit place of rambling floors, stout pillars, and thick crossbeams. Those who expect fawning servants or cleanliness should go elsewhere. The worn-down but cozy atmosphere in the Moonwyvern is the pride of the Moonwyvern's staff and regular patrons.

Many folk in Silverymoon and Everlund have heard the Moonwyvern described as a place of plots and secret meetings. But seasoned travelers know that it's not the roaring place it once was. Some gossips credit the decline in scandalous activity to the current owner, and rumors that she is a harper abound.

The layout of the Moonwyvern changes often, as rotten parts collapse and demand replacement.

Clarshee Taraghe is "the ugly old woman who owns and runs the place." She's not a Harper although she sympathizes with many of their aims. She does follow a policy of keeping everyone's secrets, aiding those she likes, nursing the sick for days or even months, extending credit to the needy, and providing help to the desperate. Many patrons - even ruthless, brutal folk - love her like the mothers they once had and rush to her aid and defense if need be.

Not that Clarshee often needs such help. She stumps around her inn grumbling out constant mutterings of complaint spiced with colorful oaths like, "By the blasted blue danglepipe of Longjaws the dragon!" or "Cesspits of Waterdeep!" Despite her aging appearance, Clarshee is fearless and quite competent with axe, sledgehammer, pie-knife, or tar-brush. She runs the inn with the aid of Horokh and Beelbraeth, two monstrous athachs. (The athachs are lawful neutral, intensely loyal to Clarshee, speak Common, love to cook exotic foods, and sport long, shaggy fur and three horns.)

Clarshee also has at least one shield guardian in a closet that she can call on if guests get out of hand - and some means of calling on a friendly wizard to fight for her or protect the Moonwyvern.

The Moonwyvern itself is protected by flickering, sometimes-failing wards that protect it against fire (the structure is protected as if by an endure elements (fire) spell) and prying (clairaudience/clairvoyance, scry, and similar magic cannot penetrate the building).

Unscrupulous folk of all sorts use the Moonwyvern for meetings, hirings, and business not tolerated in Silverymoon or other settlements of the Silver Marches. As a result, the inn hides six decades worth of maps, messages, and items.

Its kitchens produce good, hearty fare - notably lovely fiddlehead soup and fried mushrooms (in season), roast venison, and fernwort bread.

The Moonwyvern sports at least one hidden room where guests can hide, a crawl-tunnel to the stables, and three tunnels to the nearby forest. The inn has two deep, clear wells in its cellars and a chest in which Clarshee keeps 14 crawling claws (see Monsters of Faerûn) that she can unleash to fight for her if need be. She often uses them to hunt down vermin in the inn. These claws hate pickling-juice, and Clarshee can 'herd' them by splashing it, when it comes time to return them to their chest.

Clarshee Taraghe

Female human Sor8; CR8; Medium-size humanoid; HD 8d4+16; hp 36; Init +2 (Dex); Spd 30 ft.; AC 13 (+2 Dex, +1 ring of protection); Atk +6 melee (1d4+2/19-20, +2 dagger), or +8 ranged (1d4+2/19-20, +2 dagger), or +7 ranged (1d8/19-20, light crossbow); SA Spells; AL CN; SV Fort +5, Ref +4, Will +7; Str 10, Dex 14, Con 16, Int 12, Wis 12, Cha 16. Height: 5'3".

Skills and Feats: Concentration +15, Hide +9, Knowledge (local) +7, Spellcraft +10; Combat Casting, Run, Skill Focus (Concentration), Skill Focus (Spellcraft).

Possessions: light crossbow with 20 bolts, +2 dagger, 3 potions of cure light wounds and 2 potions of cure critical wounds, +1 ring of protection.

Spells Known (6/7/7/6/3):

0 - daze, detect magic, detect poison, light, mage hand, mending, prestidigitation, read magic

1st - color spray, mage armor, magic missile, spider climb, unseen servant

2nd - arcane lock, darkvision, detect thoughts

3rd - dispel magic, hold person

4th - wall of ice

Hidden Messages

Each room in the inn is a potential repository for some forgotten note or message. There is a 30% chance that a room contains some hidden message. Finding a message requires a Search check (DC 30). To determine the content of written messages found in the inn, choose or roll 1d8 on this table (when a duplicate result turns up, substitute a variant of Message 1 or a DM's special):

Found Items

Strange items abound in the Moonwyvern. Players have a 20% chance to find a hidden item every time they succeed at a DC 25 Search check. Possible hidden items include:

Hiding Places

Interesting items are hidden throughout the inn. Possible hiding places include:

Elminster's Guide to the Realms