The Elfsong Tavern is a well-known tavern in the city of Baldur’s Gate. The tavern is located just inside the gate to Wyrm’s Crossing on the eastern side of the lower city. The two story building is large and elegantly built, albeit somewhat dilapidated. The ground floor is the taproom featuring the bar and a large number of tables and dark, anonymous booths. The only lighting is provided by many blue driftglobes which float about near the ceiling. The furniture is stout wood marked by any number of nicks and slashes from swords and knives. Individual tables are cordoned off with hanging tapestries which provide visual (but not vocal) privacy. The upper floor is filled with private meeting rooms which can be rented either by the candle— the time it took a short taper to burn down— or by the evening.
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.
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 drinking it.
A half-elven 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.
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 whom 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.