Halambar Lutes & Harps was a musical instrument shop in Waterdeep in the 14th century DR. It was owned and run by Kriios Halambar, who was also guildmaster of the Council of Musicians, Instrument-Makers, & Choristers since circa 1301 DR.[2][3][4][5] It also sometimes called Halambar's Lute Shop.[1][note 1]


The shop could be found in Castle Ward. It stood on the east side of the Street of the Sword, some way up from Waterdeep Way.[2][3][4]


As its name said, Halambar Lutes & Harps sold stringed instruments of all kinds from around Faerûn, including Amnian lyres and the Mintarn twostring, but mainly lutes and harps. They were pricy, though: regular instruments—typically small and plain and made by Halambar's apprentices or bought secondhand—cost a few hundred gold pieces, while Halambar's own didn't cost less than 1000 gp.[4]

Halambar's lutes produced a distinctive mellow sound. but how they did this was his trade secret. In fact, in the cellars, he secretly soaked the wood in harbor water.[4]

The store also sold enchanted jewel cases and snuff boxes that, when opened, played a single short tune. These cost 600 gp, making them gifts for the wealthy only.[4]

Bards and musically inclined adventurers could also register at Halambar's Lute Shop.[1][note 2]


Halambar Lutes & Harps was established some time before 1357 DR,[2] and was certainly well known through the 1360s DR.[3][4]

Although Kriios Halambar finally died in the early 1370s DR,[6] the store still operated by the end of 1372 DR.[5]


The shop was recognized all along the Sword Coast for the distinctive sound of its lutes, and Volothamp Geddarm noted it was worth visiting even for the non–musically talented. In particular, the Harp that Sings by Itself was a famed magical instrument in its own right.[4]

Rumors & LegendsEdit

Standing upon a velvet-draped plinth, high out of reach, was the legendary Harp that Sings by Itself. It gently played various old songs of the North, but its full magical powers were forgotten. It was not for sale and protected against theft—the covered plinth was actually a stone golem guardian put there by the mage Khelben "Blackstaff" Arunsun.[4]

In the 1360s DR, the bard Danilo Thann often visited Halambar's Lute Shop and worked with Halambar.[1]

A popular local story was that Halambar Lutes & Harps stood where Olamn, the original bardic college of Waterdeep, stood centuries before. (This was false: it was the House of Song, the musicians' guildhall, that stood on the old Olamn site.)[7]



  1. Heroes' Lorebook is the only source to name the store "Halambar's Lute Shop", so this is likely to be in error.
  2. Although Heroes' Lorebook describes Halambar's Lute Shop as "where bards and other musically inclined adventurers register", it is not known what they register for. With Halambar as guildmaster, this is likely to be the musician's guild, the Council of Musicians, Instrument-Makers, & Choristers.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Dale Donovan, Paul Culotta (August 1996). Heroes' Lorebook. (TSR, Inc), pp. 36, 37. ISBN 0-7869-0412-7.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Ed Greenwood (1987). Waterdeep and the North. (TSR, Inc), pp. 3, 23. ISBN 0-88038-490-5.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Ed Greenwood and Steven E. Schend (July 1994). “Who's Who in Waterdeep”. City of Splendors (TSR, Inc), pp. 40–41. ISBN 0-5607-6868-1.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8 4.9 Ed Greenwood (January 1993). Volo's Guide to Waterdeep. (TSR, Inc.), pp. 16–17, 224. ISBN 1-56076-335-3.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Eric L. Boyd (June 2005). City of Splendors: Waterdeep. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 18, 98. ISBN 0-7869-3693-2.
  6. Eric L. Boyd (June 2005). City of Splendors: Waterdeep. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 51. ISBN 0-7869-3693-2.
  7. Ed Greenwood and Steven E. Schend (July 1994). “Campaign Guide”. City of Splendors (TSR, Inc), p. 46. ISBN 0-5607-6868-1.
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