Geography[edit | edit source]
Structure[edit | edit source]
The two-story building was large and elegantly built, albeit somewhat dilapidated. The ground floor was the taproom featuring the bar and a large number of tables and dark, anonymous booths. One of the more notable decorations was a stuffed baby beholder, which a patron named Ethon had found in the cellar.
The only lighting was provided by the many blue driftglobes that floated about near the ceiling. The furniture was stout wood marked by any number of nicks and slashes from swords and knives. Individual tables were cordoned off with hanging tapestries that provided visual (but not vocal) privacy. The upper floor was filled with private meeting rooms, which could be rented either by the candle—the time it took a short taper to burn down—or by the evening.
Under Alan Alyth's ownership, much of the upper floor was given over to a large dining room with tables for eating and gambling. There were two private dining rooms: the Beholder Room and the Displacer Beast Room, named for the mounted heads contained in each. There were also two small guest rooms; two larger, more luxurious guest rooms; and Alan's private bedchamber.
Atmosphere[edit | edit source]
The name derived from an unusual haunting: a ghostly female elven voice heard periodically throughout the establishment. The singing was quiet, but could be heard quite clearly. It was most often described as both beautiful and mournful. The identity of the singer was unknown, but it was clear that her song was a lament for a lover lost at sea. No other music was permitted inside the Elfsong.
Provender[edit | edit source]
The establishment served virtually every kind of alcohol known. It was also known for its melted cheese sandwiches (spicing optional), pickles, and fist-sized twists of dried herring. All food was heavily salted to make patrons drink more. The tavern was also famed for a thick stew beloved by many sick or cold sailors. This stew consisted of all leavings from the rest of the cooking, soured ale, wine dregs, etc. It was thrown into a huge cauldron that was constantly kept at a simmer. A number of folk in Baldur's Gate were quite fond of the stew, and some very reputable folk would come to the Elfsong for the sole purpose of eating it.[note 1]
Staff[edit | edit source]
A half-elf woman known as "Lady" Alyth Elendara purchased the tavern for 50,000 gp from an elderly warrior who placed a single condition on the sale: that he be allowed to sit in the tavern at all hours in order to hear the song as often as he desired. Elendara was also known to operate an unofficial bank, mostly used by those with large amounts of coin and no good reason to possess it. There was much speculation as to where she stored this money and how it was guarded, but only she knew for sure.
At one point, some decades prior to 1484 DR, ownership of the tavern passed from Lady Alyth to her son, Alan Alyth. Alan maintained all the traditions associated with the establishment's ghostly entertainer, and he also continued to offer his mother's informal banking service.
While Alan tended the bar his staff included order-takers, Falten and Yimiur; three cooks, Chenna Fatrabbit, Azar Valsheem, and Klav Martilmur; and two bouncers, Klank (actually a suit of animated armor) and a half-ogre named Skoona.
Patronage[edit | edit source]
The Elfsong catered to persons on the wrong side of the law, but it was more popular with adventurers and independent operators than with the established organizations of the underworld, who tended to frequent the Blushing Mermaid. The city watch had an arrangement with the management and could be expected to maintain a comfortable distance unless a full-scale war erupted inside.
People came to the Elfsong to do business of all sorts, most of it illicit. Fences, smugglers, assassins-for-hire, and many adventurers with hard-earned coin and tall tales to tell would drink at the establishment. Pirates and miscellaneous outlaws from up and down the Sword Coast were often found within as well. Patrons were expected to go armed and were completely responsible for their own safety. Murders were not unheard of, especially upon the dim and winding staircases.
- Lala Stout: a scar-faced halfling burglar
- Oloric Witmirth: a poor human playwright
- Oshalla: an ousted sahuagin priestess
- Rahima Sajiressa: a human astrologer and acolyte of Savras
- Skrawldar Fane: a human shipwright who was missing his eyebrows
- Tarina: a human female, ex-pirate (known by other names)
- Whaul Nightley: a loud half-orc rat-catcher
- Willow Brownbug: a snooty halfling apothecary and druid
Prices[edit | edit source]
- Ale sold for 2 cp per tankard
- Stout sold for 4 cp per tankard
- Wine sold for 5 cp per tallglass
- Rollrum (dark, licorice-laced drink from the Tashalar) sold for 1 sp per flagon
- Stew sold for 1 sp per mug, and 2 cp extra for a large bowl
- All servings of other food were 1 sp (one serving made half a meal for most people)
History[edit | edit source]
The Elfsong Tavern was one of the city's most popular taverns in the mid-1300s DR.
In the Year of Lightning Storms, 1374 DR, when the Dark Alliance first began to threaten Baldur's Gate, the Elfsong Tavern was where the fight began. Vahn, Kromlech, and Adrianna were attacked by thieves working for the Dark Alliance and recovered in the Elfsong Tavern. From the Elfsong Tavern they eventually went to the Onyx Tower, where they learned the secrets of the Elfsong. The ghostly elven woman who sang in the tavern sang for her husband, who had worked for the Company of the Crescent Blade. Her husband had left to defend Baldur's Gate and promised one day to return but never did. She continued to sing because she was still waiting for him to come home. In the Onyx Tower, the three adventurers met a ghost who revealed himself to be the husband of the elf woman. The destruction of the Onyx Tower freed the ghost and brought the elf woman peace.
In the Year of the Silent Flute, 1437 DR, Baldur's Gate suffered a major undead crisis. Although this brought all the dead back to life, it did not bring the Elfsong Ghost back to life, but instead brought its song back, as the ghost had been brought peace. The song continued to play regularly under the administration of the aged bartender.
Appendix[edit | edit source]
Notes[edit | edit source]
- This appears to be a perpetual stew.
- Canon material provides two distinct dates for the events described in Baldur's Gate: Descent into Avernus: the adventure itself, described in chapters 1 through 5, takes place "fifty years" after 1444 DR (1494 DR), according to events mentioned in pages 7 and 47, while the Baldur's Gate Gazetteer describes the city as of 1492 DR (p. 159). It is possible that the designers made an approximation for "fifty years", even though it is stated in an infernal contract. The lead writer for Baldur's Gate: Descent into Avernus later confirmed that the adventure takes place in 1492 DR, and the sequel to the adventure, Baldur's Gate III, also claims that the current year is 1492 DR in multiple places.
Appearances[edit | edit source]
- Computer games
References[edit | edit source]
- Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 225. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
- Ed Greenwood (1994). Volo's Guide to the Sword Coast. (TSR, Inc), p. 17. ISBN 1-5607-6940-1.
- Snowblind Studios (December 2001). Designed by Chris Avellone. Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance. Black Isle Studios.
- Adam Lee, Christopher Perkins (September 17, 2019). Baldur's Gate: Descent into Avernus. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 16. ISBN 0786966769.
- Jeff Grubb and Ed Greenwood (1990). Forgotten Realms Adventures. (TSR, Inc), p. 77. ISBN 0-8803-8828-5.
- Adam Lee, Christopher Perkins (September 17, 2019). Baldur's Gate: Descent into Avernus. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 16–18. ISBN 0786966769.
- Ed Greenwood (1994). Volo's Guide to the Sword Coast. (TSR, Inc), p. 18. ISBN 1-5607-6940-1.
- Ed Greenwood, Matt Sernett, Steve Winter (August 20, 2013). “Campaign Guide”. In Dawn J. Geluso ed. Murder in Baldur's Gate (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 56–57. ISBN 0-7869-6463-4.
- Ed Greenwood (1994). Volo's Guide to the Sword Coast. (TSR, Inc), pp. 17–18. ISBN 1-5607-6940-1.