The ancient elf was blind and heavily wrinkled. He had long white hair on the back and sides of his head, and wore a thick dark blue robe.
The magical dais
Alain, being curious of the arcane, made his way to Temple Darkmoon to study the rumored magic from the bulette creatures' passing through there. He constructed a dais solely to siphon the magic and store it as a reservoir. To his horror, the dais not only collected magic, but also the intelligence of the creatures. The now-intelligent dais bound Alain's body, and fed off of his magical powers. It wracked his body and mind with unbearable pain.
The sweet end
After years of torment, Alain eventually became completely blind. The magical dais laughed at his pleas to release him, and would not let him die. In 1358 DR, the Heroes of Waterdeep found the ancient elf, and he sensed their presence. He asked to physically touch one of the heroes, so that he could release the inherent magic from his body, and finally leave this world. He urged on the heroes, whom he referred to as his children, to release him from the curse of his own doing.
One of the heroes may have volunteered to touch the ancient one. If so, power coursed through their body, causing terrible agony. The elf shimmered and then slowly began to fade away, his magic being released into the volunteer, who became more powerful.
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