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The Imperial Palace was in fact a tiny castle that doubled as an inn in the village of Fendarl's Gate in the Western Heartlands in the mid-to-late 14th century DR.[1]


It rested atop a rocky knob beside the northern bank of the River Chionthar, in a bight where it veered sharply east.[1]


Inside, the castle was cold, damp, and drafty, with a great hall akin to a cavern and including kitchens, privies, and wine cellar. It was poorly lit at night and lacking in privacy, making it mediocre at best as an inn.[1]


Its grandiose name was given it by its eccentric occupant, his Imperial Altitude, Eldebuck Thorm Fendarl, the High Knight-Emperor of the Vale. This supremely pompous and petty ruler was served by a grand army of only fourteen knights, who guarded the castle, and his cooks and other serving staff.[1]


Since Eldebuck forbade the building of an actual inn or tavern in the village, the castle was also effectively an inn. However, Eldebuck charged handsomely for the privilege of sharing a roof with the High Knight-Emperor: 10 gp per person and 4 gp per animal in the stables per night.[1]

The High Knight-Emperor enjoyed near-day-long feasting, and the "personal guests" who paid or were invited by Eldebuck, his knights, and select villagers were treated to dishes whether they wanted them or not. At mealtimes villagers would claim to be "too busy in the fields" and knights engaged in training or falcon hunting, lest food be delivered to them on Eldebuck's orders whilst they stood guard. A typical day's menu ran as follows:[1]

  • Morningfeast: 2‑inch-thick (5.1‑centimeter) slices of roast boar garnished with fruit (usually quince) and ringed with scrambled eggs mixed with leek or shoot onions, with twin tankards of cold ale and spiced mulled cider as an alleged aid to digestion.[1]
  • Midmorningfest: Hot thick soup or stew (often poultry and creamed mushroom, or in winter beef or venison with carrots) with any cold leftovers of the previous night's eveningfeast (nicknamed "the gnawbones" locally), with clear wine of the diner's choice.[1]
  • Highsunfeast: Spiced melted cheese on buns and cold cucumber soup in a bowl as big as a helmet (Eldebuck's current fad circa 1366 DR).[1]
  • Eveningfest: The main meal of the day, every day, with entire animals such as stag roasted, stuffed with the flesh of small game (e.g., pheasant, quail, or woodchuck) with spices and chopped onions.[1]
  • Late evening snack: A stew of birds or rodents caught by Eldebuck's falcons, with onions and parsnips and heavily peppered.[1]

Volo remarked that the cheese buns and evening roasts were rather good and that the Imperial Palace had the finest wine cellar he'd seen bar those in Waterdeep.[1]


One eveningfeast, a visiting mage pranked Eldebuck by having a roast, stuffed stag head on a platter animate via an audible glamer and complain to his Imperial Altitude about its death, butchery, and poor treatment in the kitchen. Afterward, this dish was not served again.[1]