Shandalar was a skilled mechanic and he created several devices to harness the lightning from the coastal storms to power his various contraptions. It was also rumored that the old wizard was immune to all harm from lightning as he could be seen, drenched from the rain, dancing and singing among the bolts of terrible storms.
The mage's source of income came mainly from selling mushrooms to apothecaries and cooks in Baldur's Gate. These mushrooms were grown in a network of caverns beneath his floating home, which were maintained by various monsters and mechanical constructs loyal only to Shandalar. It was rumored by the townsfolk of Ulgoth's Beard that these monsters were themselves living mushrooms, but this was not confirmed. The supplies were then shipped to Baldur's Gate by his three beautiful daughters, and sold at markets. It was speculated that his daughters were also apprentices of Shandalar, and each one a powerful mage in their own right.
He was also known to have a number of agreements with various outlaws and pirates. Shandalar kept certain treasures safe on their behalf, deep within his mushroom caverns. The annual fee for this service was 1,000 gold pieces.
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