If you’ve played any brand of swords and sorcery tabletop, the chances are that, at sometime during your career as an adventurer, you’ve holed up in your favourite tavern and either drank your troubles away or drank new ones into existence. As a DM, I understand the base concept of a home base wrought with strife and opportunity, so therefore I prefer to not just set up four walls, a greasy barman, a handful of tables and stools, and wait for someone to begin the chaos (usually accumulating with one of the previously mentioned objects ending up cracked over someones head). Instead, I like building up a quaint and unique setting for interactions, letting the PCs approach from their own angle.
So, that being said: Let’s go on a pub crawl!
Holy Herb Inn
The Holy Herb Inn is clean, rustic, and holds a healthy collection of calm and mellow customers, slouched in pillowed seats around a blooming hearth, sipping on piping-hot mead in ivory flagons, laughing about the hard day of work gone past. The walls are decorated with plant boxes under the lead-lined windows, each full of flowery herbs, filling the room with a sweet strength, blending well with the tasteful odour of cooked meats. The bar sells freshly brewed tonics by the bottle, bundles of dried plants in colourful ribbons, and pipes of powdered herbs with a single match.
The Old Armoury
Broad, stone cornered pinewood walls build the single floor of this bunker-like structure. It’s squat, secure visage complements the visitors it attracts: strong-armed field hands and retired soldiers alike sit together as kin, sharing drinks and jokes of equal potency. The wall behind the stained, oaken bar is decorated with dozens of weapons and martial armaments; dusted and worn shields of royal colours; swords both great and broad, nicked and scarred; lines of arrows and bolts, of expert and primal craft alike. All of them have a grand and epic tale committed to the memory of the barkeep and barmaids, one they can recall without falter. Customers can offer a trade for a tool they fancy: any weapon they wish, and a tale to prove its worth. If they needn’t replace their equipment, the guests can pay to sleep in the old barracks, safely under the floorboards.
This two-storey building is painted a deep, earthy green from the cobblestone foundation up. Narrow windows of a wiry mesh bleed shafts of morning light through onto the tavern floor. The bar stools and table also share the lush tint, and the bar is painted with a delicate mural, depicting an autumn wind, blowing leaves across the length of the room as they change colour into the full-hold of winter. The second floor of the tavern has an inward-facing walkway, looking over into the common area, offering access into the upstairs rooms. From behind the bar there is a ladder climbing into a hole in the ceiling, a hole that feeds the grand, golden
flag-bearing tower,also painted a rich green. The tower is always manned by an armed scout, offering the small hamlet an early alarm, as the great brass bell chimes when incoming threats are spotted.
The Four Shields tavern
The only thing that identifies this ragged, shanty structure as a tavern is the collection of drunken fools cascading out when the morning sun shines. The walls are cracked and mismatched, wounded with holes and patched with planks and boards at odd angles. What appears to be a catapult arm supports the leaning frame at the rear, a wheeled frame for some breed of war machine offers the best portion of the doorway, and a set of four unique kite-shields offer some colour to the exterior design. Inside, there is nothing that offers surprise if the outside is understood well enough. The tables are damaged and old, the bar is disjointed and awkward, the breeze that
cuts through the building and leaves noone warm and comfortable.
The Blue Crown Theatre and Inn
Amid the metropolis is a grand, rounded structure of marble and silk. Rounded windows glare out on every angle, billowing flags of wine and honey roll with the winds that rock the higher levels. A steady cheer pours from the archway entrances, as does the orchestral roar of trumpets and strings. Past the carpetted entrance is a vast, open chamber of grand, rounded tables, crowded with aristocrats and nobility, filled by jugs of wine and silver plates of fruits and berries, exotic and rare. The outer rim offers dozens of
bars and eateries, all thoroughly cleaned and eagerly stocked for the performance to come. All of the staff speak with great adoration for the gathering collection of well-dressed musicians in the central ring: tonight is the first performance of Golas De Seifer’s epic, Vassimor’s Debt. Four hours of music, four more of drinking, four further of celebration, four again to clean up.
I know i’ve been away for a while, really been secluding my efforts on Tumblr to casual browsing and researching artistic and literary styles. However, I hope to catch up with lost time and bring my a-game in the future; hit the home-runs; get the strikes; dart the bulls-eye; ball the goalposts; ace the hole; etc …
still taking submissions for Sunday(ish)
Respite if you have any ideas you want me to use.