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Elfsong Tavern

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Baldur's Gate box This article or section is about elements from the game Baldur's Gate.
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Video games are considered canon unless they contradict content in some other Forgotten Realms publication.

The Elfsong Tavern was a well-known tavern in the city of Baldur's Gate.[4][2]

GeographyEdit

The tavern was located just inside the gate to Wyrm's Crossing on the eastern side of the lower city.[4][2]

StructureEdit

The two-story building was large and elegantly built, albeit somewhat dilapidated. The ground floor was the taproom featuring the bar and a large number of tables and dark, anonymous booths. One of the more notable decorations was a stuffed baby beholder mounted over the bar. The only lighting was provided by many blue driftglobes, which floated about near the ceiling. The furniture was stout wood marked by any number of nicks and slashes from swords and knives. Individual tables were cordoned off with hanging tapestries that provided visual (but not vocal) privacy. The upper floor was filled with private meeting rooms, which could be rented either by the candle—the time it took a short taper to burn down—or by the evening.[2]

AtmosphereEdit

The name derived from an unusual haunting: a ghostly female elven voice heard periodically throughout the establishment. The singing was quiet, but could be heard quite clearly. It was most often described as both beautiful and mournful. The identity of the singer was unknown, but it was clear that her song was a lament for a lover lost at sea. No other music was permitted inside the Elfsong.[2]

ProvenderEdit

The establishment served virtually every kind of alcohol known. It was also known for its melted cheese sandwiches (spicing optional), pickles, and fist-sized twists of dried herring. All food was heavily salted to make patrons drink more. The tavern was also famed for a thick stew beloved by many sick or cold sailors. This stew consisted of all leavings from the rest of the cooking, soured ale, wine dregs, etc. It was thrown into a huge cauldron that was constantly kept at a simmer. A number of folk in Baldur's Gate were quite fond of the stew, and some very reputable folk would come to the Elfsong for the sole purpose of eating it.[5]

StaffEdit

A half-elven woman known as "Lady" Alyth Elendara purchased the tavern for 50,000 gp from an elderly warrior who placed a single condition on the sale: that he be allowed to sit in the tavern at all hours in order to hear the song as often as he desired.[2] Elendara was also known to operate an unofficial bank, mostly used by those with large amounts of coin and no good reason to possess it. There was much speculation as to where she stored this money and how it was guarded, but only she knew for sure.[5]

At a point, some decades prior to 1484 DR, ownership of the tavern passed from Lady Alyth to her son, Alan Alyth. Alan maintained all the traditions associated with the establishment's ghostly entertainer, and he also continued to offer his mother's informal banking service.[6]

PatronageEdit

The Elfsong catered to persons on the wrong side of the law, but it was more popular with adventurers and independent operators than with the established organizations of the underworld, who tended to frequent the Blushing Mermaid. The city watch had an arrangement with the management and could be expected to maintain a comfortable distance unless a full-scale war erupted inside.

People came to the Elfsong to do business of all sorts, most of it illicit. Fences, smugglers, assassins-for-hire, and many adventurers with hard-earned coin and tall tales to tell would drink at the establishment. Pirates and miscellaneous outlaws from up and down the Sword Coast were often found within as well. Patrons were expected to go armed and were completely responsible for their own safety. Murders were not unheard of, especially upon the dim and winding staircases.[7]

PricesEdit

  • Ale sold for 2 cp per tankard
  • Stout sold for 4 cp per tankard
  • Wine sold for 5 cp per tallglass
  • Rollrum (dark, licorice-laced drink from the Tashalar) sold for 1 sp per flagon
  • Stew sold for 1 sp per mug, and 2 cp extra for a large bowl
  • All servings of other food were 1 sp (one serving made half a meal for most people)

HistoryEdit

The Elfsong Tavern was one of the city's most popular taverns arounbd 1368 DR to 1376 DR and was visited by the Western Heartlands' most famous adventurers. For example, during the Iron Crisis, the hero, Abdel Adrian, drank at this establishment.[citation needed]

In 1374 DR, when the Dark Alliance first began to threaten Baldur's Gate, the Elfsong Tavern was where the fight began. Vahn, Kromlech, and Adrianna were attacked by thieves working for the Dark Alliance and were nurtured to safety in the Elfsong Tavern. From the Elfsong Tavern they eventually came to the Onyx Tower where they learned the secrets of the Elfsong. The ghostly elven woman who sang in the tavern sang for her husband, who had worked for the Company of the Crescent Blade. Her husband had left to defend Baldur's Gate and promised one day to return but never did. She continued to sing because she was still waiting for him to come home. In the Onyx Tower, the three adventurers met a ghost who revealed himself to be the husband of the elf woman. The destruction of the Onyx Tower freed the ghost and brought the elf woman to peace.[citation needed]

In 1437 DR, Baldur's Gate suffered a major undead crisis. Although this brought all the dead back to life, it did not bring the Elfsong Ghost back to life, but instead brought its song back, as the ghost had been brought peace. The song continued to play regularly under the administration of the aged bartender.[citation needed]

AppendixEdit

AppearancesEdit

Novels
Computer games

ReferencesEdit

  1. Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 225. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 Ed Greenwood (1994). Volo's Guide to the Sword Coast. (TSR, Inc), p. 17. ISBN 1-5607-6940-1.
  3. Snowblind Studios (2001). Chris Avellone, Ezra Dreisbach, Ryan Geithman. Baldur's Gate: Dark AllianceInterplay.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Jeff Grubb and Ed Greenwood (1990). Forgotten Realms Adventures. (TSR, Inc), p. 77. ISBN 0-8803-8828-5.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Ed Greenwood (1994). Volo's Guide to the Sword Coast. (TSR, Inc), p. 18. ISBN 1-5607-6940-1.
  6. Ed Greenwood, Matt Sernett, Steve Winter (August 20, 2013). Murder in Baldur's Gate (Sourcebook). (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 56–57. ISBN 0-7869-6463-4.
  7. Ed Greenwood (1994). Volo's Guide to the Sword Coast. (TSR, Inc), pp. 17–18. ISBN 1-5607-6940-1.

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