Zarracee Ambroanye was a spectral harpist that haunted the Whistling Wizard inn and specifically the Wizard Well located in the basement of that establishment. People throughout the Moonsea region thought of her and the water-filled cistern as a single entity, usually referred to as "the Well".
Zarracee maintained a presence in or near the Wizard Well and accepted visitors one at a time. Visitors had to come into the room alone and bar the door behind them, then gaze quietly into the still waters of the Well. Within a minute or two, if she was satisfied that the individual came in peace, she would cause the water to glow faintly and then she would whisper, "Yes?". Zarracee would listen to whatever the person had to say, whether it was news about the grandchildren, court intrigue in Cormyr, confessions of secret desires, rumors of treasure hoards, or a recipe for crumbcake. Any attempts to bind, banish, control, or investigate the Well caused her to flee the room until the threat was over.
For the Harpers, Zarracee was a way for agents to pass messages and receive instructions whenever they traveled through Voonlar. She also kept watch around the inn for suspicious characters and would spy on them from the closet in their room. Occasionally, she would surreptitiously warn or awaken guests when illicit activities were taking place in the wee hours. She was known to attack enemies of the Harpers that entered the waters of the Wizard Well.
Zarracee was loyal to the Harpers but maintained neutrality when talking to visitors. She never gave her name and never appeared visibly, choosing to manifest as a voice coming from the water in the Wizard Well. She asked at least as many questions as she gave answers, and usually just offered good advice rather than pontificating or cloaking secrets in riddles. She kept her voice calm and never lost her temper. She had limitless patience, allowing visitors to talk themselves out, unless there were others waiting a long time outside the door. In that case, the glow would slowly fade and Zarracee would stop responding until the overly-talkative visitor got the hint and exited the room. If she detected or discovered she was being misled by lies, she was likely to guide the person down a path where they would learn an important lesson.
In life, Zarracee was a dancer and lady of the evening in Zhentil Keep. The date and circumstances of her death are unknown, but it was years before the conflict known as the Battle at the Bar that occurred sometime around the Year of the Turret, 1360 DR.[note 1]
Zarracee was inadvertently the cause of the Battle at the Bar. Shortly after Ravvas Thurrpurtyn took over ownership of the Whistling Wizard, it became a meeting place and sanctuary for all sorts of despicable characters. At times, the common room was rogues' gallery of enemies of the Harpers. The Harpers already believed that Ravvas was either an agent of the Red Wizards of Thay or a malaugrym posing as one. Subsequently, when the chatelaine was killed in an accident and replaced by an ogre mage, doppelgangers started working as kitchen staff, and an illithid posing as a human from Westgate took up residence in the inn, Zarracee was on the verge of panic. She finally asked one of the Harper couriers to take a message to Elminster of Shadowdale asking for a purge of the bad elements in the Whistling Wizard. Little did she know how many would answer her call.
During the battle, Zarracee flew through walls and floors, warning the various Harpers and their allies about developments in the close fighting taking place all over the inn and the stableyard. Afterward, she returned to her Well and continued to act as friend, confidant, and soothsayer to visitors.
- ↑ This estimate is based on the date that Dove Falconhand left the Whistling Wizard and married Florin, the death and replacement of the owner of the Whistling Wizard, and the fact that it takes time for a reputation to spread throughout a region.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Ed Greenwood (April 2001–May 2003). Elminster Speaks archive (Zipped PDF). Elminster Speaks. Wizards of the Coast. p. 34. Retrieved on 2016-09-03.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Ed Greenwood (2001-11-14). Part #28: The Recent and Colorful History of the Wizard. Elminster Speaks. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2017-02-19.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 Ed Greenwood (April 2001–May 2003). Elminster Speaks archive (Zipped PDF). Elminster Speaks. Wizards of the Coast. pp. 32–33. Retrieved on 2016-09-03.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 Ed Greenwood (2001-10-31). Part #27: The Wizard's Well, and Dove of the Seven. Elminster Speaks. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2016-09-18.
- ↑ Skip Williams, Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook (July 2003). Monster Manual 3.5. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 116–118. ISBN 0-7869-2893-X.
- ↑ James Wyatt and Rob Heinsoo (February 2001). Monster Compendium: Monsters of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 88, 89. ISBN 0-7869-1832-2.
- ↑ Ed Greenwood (April 2001–May 2003). Elminster Speaks archive (Zipped PDF). Elminster Speaks. Wizards of the Coast. p. 35. Retrieved on 2016-09-03.
- ↑ Ed Greenwood (2001-12-12). Part #30: Endgame at the Wizard. Elminster Speaks. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2017-02-19.