The Crown Aflame, known by some as the Red Fruit, was a lush theater on Sarlannus Street in the Temple District of Athkatla during the 14th century DR. The building of the theater was a former temple of Azuth, as evidenced by the magnificent pillars at its entrance.
The inner walls of the Crown were plush and draped in red velvet. Jutting out from its reaches were a series of inward-facing, rounded balconies. The seats were steeply arranged around a grand, ovular stage that was fantastic for carrying the voices of performers, especially while singing.
A seat for a matinee showing cost 4 gp while an evening show was 8 gp. Each play or performance would typically last under two hours, after which the audience was expected to file out before the next one began.
Plays drew moderately sized audiences, though they would swell in the case of an actor debuting a new performance or when the city was abuzz about a particularly dramatic display.
The Crown Aflame showed two main types of shows: "grand plays" and "farce frolics". Mugging for laughs and extravagant over-acting were common among the actors of the Crown. Anyone who took themselves too seriously, especially playwrights, were often mocked and derided, even by their fellow cast members.
- Grand plays
- And So They Met the Gargoyle: The classic by Zarghar.
- Gilded Unicorn: Written by the young playwright Raulivan Torthtra of Zazesspur.
- The Shattered Throne Tumbles: A play written by the blind Ilmatari monk Annadas Athlo.
- The Terrible Tale of Talvadar the Merchant: A thoroughly enjoyed farce that was famous within the city around the year 1370 DR.
The Crown had a staff of a dozen or so regular actors, known as the Crown Players. They took in additional performers in the form of traveling troupes who would stay in Athkatla for two tendays or a month, before traveling on. Athkatlan theater aficionados would typically attend at least one performance of a familiar play when there was a run by a new troupe in the city.
- Crown players
- Tarathae Deluskar: A former dancer and courtesan.
- Halvaruth Feirn: The stone-faced actor famed for his subtle expressions.
- Meerdaun Jhavalanko: A particularly acrobatic actor.
- "Lord" Mhaviklo Nathalar: An older but magnificently talented actor who held a number of roles in his semi-retirement.
- Traveling favorites
- Shadazzryl Chalraeva: She was among the most beloved actresses in Athkatla from among the troupes that regularly traveled to the city.
The Talking PaintingEdit
Although the theater's main draw was the plays and shows that were put on the stage, it had another attraction for visitors in between performances. Under the careful watch of Athkatlan guards, patrons could pay a few gold pieces for a tour of the Talking Painting, a massive many-paneled painting on the Crown's walls. It portrayed a life-size scene of many guild masters and burghers of Athkatla that was magically enchanted to have them speak a variety of seemingly random phrases. Their meaning was unknown, though it was speculated that they amounted to an elaborate practical joke or scavenger hunt for some long-lost treasures and artifacts.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Ed Greenwood (2000). Volo's Guide to Baldur's Gate II. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 16. ISBN 0-7869-1626-5.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 Ed Greenwood (2000). Volo's Guide to Baldur's Gate II. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 14. ISBN 0-7869-1626-5.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Ed Greenwood (2000). Volo's Guide to Baldur's Gate II. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 15. ISBN 0-7869-1626-5.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 Ed Greenwood (2000). Volo's Guide to Baldur's Gate II. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 17. ISBN 0-7869-1626-5.