OCTAVES DRAGONFLY PRESENTS
DR 1491, Year of the Scarlet Witch
ON THE WORLD OF TORIL, BETWEEN THE windswept Sea of Swords to the west and the mysterious lands of Kara-Tur to the east, lies the continent of Faerûn.
A place of varied cultures and races, Faerûn is dominated by human lands, be they kingdoms, city-states, or carefully maintained alliances of rural communities. Interspersed among the lands of humans are old dwarven kingdoms and hidden elven enclaves, assimilated populations of gnomes and halflings, and more exotic folk.
The routes between cities and nations often cross into the territory of brigands or marauding humanoids. Every forest, swamp, and mountain range has its own perils, whether lurking bandits, savage ores and goblinoids, or mighty creatures such as giants and dragons.
Ruins dot the landscape and the caverns that wind beneath the surface. In these places, treasures of every living race- and a number of dead ones- wait for adventurers intrepid enough to come and claim them.
Faerun is filled with rich history and wondrous tales of adventure and magic, but the lifeblood of its common people is agriculture and trade. Most rural folk depend on farming to eat, and Faerunians who live in cities ply skilled trades or use brawn to earn their keep, so they can purchase the goods and food provided by others.
Rusty Nail Gazetteer
The Rusty Nail Gazetteer is a fast courier news network sanctioned by The Lord’s Alliance with operating posts in Waterdeep, Neverwinter, Silverymoon, Baldur’s Gate, Daggerford, Mirabar, Longsaddle, Mithrall Hall, Amphail and Yartar. Articles posted here are considered common knowledge.
Rusty Nail Gazetteer – Waterdeep
Rusty Nail Gazetteer – Faerun Adventure Guide
Rusty Nail Gazetteer – The Sword Coast North
Rusty Nail Gazetteer – The Lord’s Alliance
Rusty Nail Gazetteer – Dwarfholds of the North
Rusty Nail Gazetteer – Island Kingdoms
Rusty Nail Gazetteer – Independent Realms
Rusty Nail Gazetteer – The Underdark
Rusty Nail Gazetteer – Toril and Its Lands
Rusty Nail Gazetteer – Time in the Realms
The Kalahalak Inn
Amid the bustle of Waterdeep, within the Castle Ward where barristers, nobles, and emissaries battle with word and contract, stands an inn not quite like any other.
Before there was a Castle Ward or even what could be recognized as an ancestor of the City of Splendors, there was a dungeon, and in that dungeon begins the tale of The Kalahalak Inn.
In ages past, the mighty warlock Octaves Dragonfly built his tower at the foot of Mount Waterdeep and delved deep into tunnels first built by dwarves and drow in search of ever-greater magical power. Octaves and his apprentices expanded the tunnels they found, worming out new lairs under the surface for reasons of their own. In time, their excavations grew into the vast labyrinth known today as Undermountain, the largest dungeon in all of Toril. Octaves Dragonfly eventually disappeared, as have all his apprentices, but the massive complex he built remains to this day.
For untold years, the secrets of Undermountain remained hidden from the surface world.
Everyone who entered its halls failed to return. Its reputation as a death trap grew to the point that criminals in Waterdeep who were sentenced to die were forcibly escorted into the dungeon and left to fend for themselves.
All of that changed with the arrival of two men, a warrior named Durnan and a ne’er-do-well named Mirt. The duo were the first adventurers to return from Undermountain, laden with riches and magic treasures. While Mirt used his wealth to buy a mansion, Durnan had different plans. Durnan retired from adventuring and purchased the land on which sat the deep, broad well that was the only known entrance to the dungeon. Around this well he built a tavern and inn that caters to adventurers and those who seek their services, and he called it The Kalahalak Inn.
Some of the magic Durnan looted on his successful foray into Undermountain granted him a life span that exceeds even that of an elf. And for decades Durnan left delving into Undermountain to younger folk. Yet one day, something drew him back. Days of waiting for his triumphant return from the dungeon turned to months and then years. For nearly a century, citizens of Waterdeep thought him dead. But one night, a voice called up from the well. Few at first believed it could be Durnan, but folk as long-lived as he vouched it so. The Kalahalak Inn had passed into the hands of his ancestors, but Durnan returned with enough riches for them to quietly retire. Durnan took his customary place behind the bar, raised a toast to his own safe return, and then began serving customers as if he’d never left.
Adventurers from across Faerûn, and even from elsewhere in the great span of the multiverse, visit The Kalahalak Inn to exchange knowledge about Undermountain and other dungeons. Most visitors are content to swap stories by the hearth, but sometimes a group driven by greed, ambition, or desperation pays the toll for entry and descends the well. Most don’t survive to make the return trip, but enough come back with riches and tales of adventure to tempt other groups into trying their luck.