The first Magefair was organised by Talana Brakuularn in Shoonach in 247 DR. It was attended by around sixty people: nearly thirty relatively minor mages and roughly twenty alchemists and apothecaries looking to hawk their wares to them. Spread within this crowd were agents of Shoon IV, looking to root out foreign spies, who went completely unnoticed by Talana. The second Magefair was arranged in 249 DR, a month after Talana became the Magister, following an advertising campaign designed to attract much more powerful practitioners of the Art. Talana was even murdered at a Magefair in 256 DR, having by then firmly established the tradition.
The town of Sendrin in the Vast had always been a mecca for wizards. Here, they could talk shop, share spells, and practice their magic far from inhabited areas. Some also took the opportunity to play up, party all night, mess around with magic for lewdness and vandalism, and generally get away with what they couldn't at home. However, when Azuth defeated Savras and supplanted him as god of magic, Azuth's followers sacked and destroyed the temple of Savras in Sendrin. The wizards stopped coming, and those who'd serviced them — scribes, component sellers, tailors, healers and escorts — gradually left, but the community they'd made went mobile, eventually becoming the primary annual Magefair, travelling all over Faerûn, centuries later.
Small-scale Magefairs were held regularly in or near specific towns or cities. The location of the annual Magefair was kept a tightly held secret until very shortly before the date that it was to be held. The location was apparently determined by a council of powerful wizards (thought to be presided over by the Magister) and once the location was revealed - usually, but not always, a remote place far from any trade routes - mages did not share that information afterward.
At the annual Magefair, once a hopeful attendee arrived at the site, they would be challenged to prove themselves by casting any arcane spell in their repertoire - should they fail to do this, they would be turned away by the challenger, a sentinel who was always armed with powerful magic items. There were also certain rules to prevent total chaos breaking out, also enforced by those same sentinels. Each magician was entitled to bring one guest who did not need to have magical abilities.
The Magefair was also a time for partying and feasting.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Ed Greenwood (November 2003). Elminster at the Magefair (The Best of the Realms). (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 0-7869-3024-1.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Ed Greenwood (January 2000). Secrets of the Magister. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 33. ISBN 978-0786914302.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Ed Greenwood (November 1998). The City of Ravens Bluff. (TSR, Inc), p. 155. ISBN 0-7869-1195-6.
- ↑ Ed Greenwood, Eric L. Boyd (1996). Volo's Guide to All Things Magical. (TSR, Inc), p. 5. ISBN 0-7869-0446-1.
- ↑ Sean K. Reynolds, Duane Maxwell, Angel McCoy (August 2001). Magic of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 60. ISBN 0-7869-1964-7.