Shadowdark House was a magic shop in Daerlun, Sembia, circa the Year of Wild Magic, 1372 DR. Its proprietress, Lady Thelbaerone Shadowdark, was often consulted on magical matters.[1]


This establishment was located on the north side of Saurovin Street, three doors down from the Westmarket.[1]


Shadowdark House was a "tallhouse" of three narrow stories that touched its neighbors on either side. The first floor was built of fitted stones and the upper floors were a lattice of wooden beams with the gaps between them paneled over and plastered with white stucco. The arched door was heavy wood with metal fixtures. Unlike most businesses, here was no sign out front or awning over the first-floor front window.[1][2]


Thelbaerone Darkmantle with her legless table, darkmantle, and claw-imprinted flagstone.


Every floor of this house was given over to holding miscellaneous pieces of magical merchandise, most of which were unique, odd, or both. The ground floor contained, among other things, a table with no legs that floated at hip height;[2] a wicker basket that contained a darkmantle[3] for sale; and a flagstone with a claw imprint set into the floor—shapeshifters that trod on the stone were forced into their natural form for about a half-minute.[4]


Second floor with portable portal mirror and potions.

On the second floor were various chests, weapons, pieces of furniture, and potion bottles. Here also was a standing mirror that was a portal to a small number of other locations. Unfortunately, the destination changed at random times and Thelbaerone did not know all the possible destinations.[2]


Third floor with stove, crystal ball and rod of flame extinguishing.

The third floor was not off-limits to customers and contained many items, but it was also where Lady Shadowdark cooked, slept (in a chair), and scryed in her crystal ball.[4]


Upper cellar with provisions and alchemical supplies.

The cellar had a low ceiling and was lined with stone. She kept barrels, boxes, and sheaves of alchemical components here, as well as some food provisions. Usually concealed by a large barrel was a loose flagstone that covered a dirt tunnel to a second cellar where she kept items that might have raised questions from the local authorities. Things like body parts and magical creature corpses were stored here and magically preserved against decay. There was also a set of chains to hold a prisoner, if necessary.[2][4]


Lower cellar with body parts and a prisoner.


Shadowdark House had the feel of a curio shop with a dash of danger. It was dimly lit by her floating candelabra (an animated object that appeared to be constructed from a scaly claw) and many clouds of twinkling stars (a variation of continual flame that she called everstars).[2]


The only items that Thelbaerone constantly kept in stock were cure light wounds potions and her brand of light stones (hand-sized stone rods enchanted with continual flame covered in a two-part stone sheath that slid apart); everything else was a bit unpredictable. Most items were strange with an odd set of powers because the common, useful items tended to sell quickly. For example, a set of enchanted daggers did not stay in her inventory long, whereas furniture that spoke whenever you moved it had to wait for a particular type of buyer. Prices ranged from 600 gp to 200,000 gp with the average being around 5,000 gp.[1] She had access to a wide variety of spellbooks and could create a scroll of most any spell up to her level of mastery. These she sold at market value.[5][6]

Selling curious magic items was not actually her main business. Most of her customers came in looking for advice on spellcasting or to have an item analyzed for magical abilities. She charged 2,000 to 5,000 gp per attempt to determine the properties of an item. Prices varied based on her judgement of the danger involved and whether she liked or trusted the customer.[1]

Thelbaerone was a particularly skillful tutor because she had the ability to impart a mental picture into the mind of anyone she touched. She could convey still images or brief moving pictures for a few seconds, and she used this ability to teach visualization of a spell or the correct gestures of a somatic component, for example. She also could proofread spell scrolls and incantations, pointing out errors or omissions, and give advice about magical research. For these consultations, she charged 25 to 50 gp. Prices were double or higher if the subject was a spell above her level of expertise, if she felt she had something to contribute.[5]



Detail of candelabra and rod of flame extinguishing.

Shadowdark House was riddled with defensive magic spells cast in "waiting". Window- and door-frames were the most common spots where trigger words were etched, ready to release the spell they held back when spoken aloud. The proprietress also had personal defensive spells in waiting, including teleports to far-away places and spells that would alter some combination of her apparent age, race, or gender.[1] Her floating candelabra could fight for her and contained a hidden reservoir of carrion crawler[7] brain juice that it could spray on opponents to paralyze them.[2]


Shadowdark House was Thelbaerone's residence for at least twenty years before she opened it up as a magic shop. By the Year of Wild Magic, 1372 DR, Shadowdark House had been her business for over forty years.[5]

Rumors & LegendsEdit

There were reports of customers being haunted for hours or days by voices, either coming out of thin air as if someone were standing next to them, or inside their head where only they could hear it, all because they stood in the wrong spot in Shadowdark House and uttered words written on the building or furnishings. Others reported seeing a portal to some unknown location open up for the same reason.[1]



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