Lake of Fear
Embarkation points for the ferry were the South Dock (adjacent to Fearling Pass and thus Ta'Vaalor) and the North Dock (at the southeast end of the Sylvarraend Road and thus adjacent to Ta'Illistim). Each dock bears a sign, written in Elven, indicating the time until the next scheduled departure.
The ferry captain is known to accept bribes (rumored to have been 5000 silvers, or 2500 for Ta'Vaalor citizens) in the form of silvers, gems, or City-States promissory notes to make the rowers row faster. This does not decrease the time that the boat was docked, but does decrease the time the boat spends on the water to about 5 minutes.
On the ferry, a number of refreshments are available for purchase:
|a goblet of pure spring water||30|
|a glass of chilled lemonade||60|
|some sweet white Illistim wine||120|
|some light red Vaalorian wine||150|
|a large salted wheat cracker||100|
An elven captain
You see a fairly typical elven captain. He appears to be in good shape. He has a pair of silver-clasped boots (worn), a pair of dark blue pants (worn), a grey-trimmed cerulean tunic (worn) and a red-feathered blue tri-corner hat (worn).
>ask captain about wine The captain smiles broadly and say, "Nothing like a flagon full of a hearty red wine to take the ache off a long day's bit of rowing. You know," he says, as though pondering a new thought, "if the crew knew there'd be some good wine for them at the end of the day, I bet they'd row faster. Problem is, good wine for this lot would cost, oh, 5000 silvers." >ask captain about wine (by a citizen of Ta'Vaalor) The captain smiles broadly and say, "Nothing like a flagon full of a hearty red wine to take the ache off a long day's bit of rowing. You know," he says, as though pondering a new thought, "if the crew knew there'd be some good wine for them at the end of the day, I bet they'd row faster. Problem is, good wine for this lot would cost, oh, 5000 silvers." Leaning close to you, so as not to be overheard, the captain says, "I'd just as soon that good King Qalinor not hear of this arrangement, though, so for you, I suppose I could inspire the crew for only 2,500 silvers." >ask captain about hurry "Oh, you'd like us to hurry, would you?" inquires the captain, not without a trace of sarcasm. "The lads here will need a bit of incentive to put out the extra effort. They like their wine of an evening, but it's expensive. Perhaps if they had a bit of extra silver...."
The captain points vaguely to the southeast and says, "You see that flag waving up there? I hear that it marks a new Voln monastery. Maybe they can do something about the critters that inhabit that foul swamp." The elven captain shakes his head and says, "Anyone who wanders around the lake is quite a brave soul. You won't catch me wandering around those swamplands." Something breaks the water off to starboard. You just catch a glimpse of muddy green scales. The captain barks out, "Row faster, you scurvy rats!" to the crewmen. "Once I was a soldier in yon fortress," the captain says, gesturing to the south. Watching the lakeshore, it seems as if the boat has slowed to a halt relative to the land. "Get to it you lazy bums," shouts the captain. "We can't stop out here to gawk. You know what can happen as well as I do, you louts! You're not risking MY boat to earn your reputations." "Met any of these Grimswarm yet?" the captain inquires. "Seems like a genuine menace to me," he continues. "You'd think that the legions of the Vaalor could keep them under control, but they seem t'need the help of these self-styled 'Guardians of Sunfist' or whatever." The captain mutters under his breath before continuing, "They've thrown up some rude fort on top of the hill there, alongside the way to Ta'Vaalor. Surely even a bunch of dwarves could do better than that." Squinting across the water at the muddy shore, the captain shakes his head slowly and says, "Look at that will you? I can't believe the Vaalorian forces are letting those things roam unchecked." In a gravelly voice the captain says, "Once I fought the krolvin raiders, nearly lost me eye. Good practice though, in case I ever have to circle the lake on foot." The captain gives a convulsive shudder and falls silent. The elven captain gestures at the dock and says, "Up Sylvarraend Road, you'll find our brothers, the Illistim. A bit bookish, but generally hospitable." "Did ya hear about Aerhseth?" the captain asks. Snickering, he continues, "He showed up for work covered in flour and humming, and he's not the humming type, if you get what I mean." The captain winks at you slyly and falls silent.
Travel guide blurb
The guide says, "Here we are at the Lake of Fear. As you might have guessed by its name, this place has a lot of history. Folks mention weird occurrences, like sounds and lights and massive ghost-like creatures. Me personally, I think peoples' fear of it is just superstition. Then again, I also profess that I don't believe in that spirit stuff. When you travel this route by yourself, you'll want to GO down the GANGPLANK, but we'll take an easier route today."