Monday, December 7, 2009

DMD: The Dragons Rest [Pocket Guide to Verbobonc]

Date sent: Sat, 25 Apr 1998 15:56:25 -0400
Send reply to: The GREYtalk Discussion List
From: Noel Graham
Subject: [GREYTALK] DMD: The Dragons Rest [Pocket Guide to Verbobonc]
Originally to: greyhawk@MPGN.COM

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Subject: Greyhawk's Inns, Taverns, and Shops

As always, this looks a might better dressed up in the bells and whistles of WordPerfect 7.0. I've also had to insert the footnotes [ ] near the text in order for them to translate. “Cariel” is, of course, Cariel Mansharn of the GH MTU, the man responsible for developing the Pocket Guides (as you know from my longbill post); “Sparius Ersitan” is one of Cariel's trusted itinerant merchants whose travels make him quite knowledgeable concerning Verbobonc.
Incidentally, the Yeoman Knight, Sir Bastromel, is NOT a member of a Yeomanry order of knighthood (as I didn't intend they have any), but rather an indication of his espoused origins.


The Dragons Rest

This well-known innhouse stands a brisk walk up from the Bailey Gate. Some of you know it as the Inn of the Sleeping Dragon or Green Meadows Inn, but be assured it's still a place of familiar faces, the lettering now reunited with the signboard.
It's easy to find so locals, who well make up half the taproom business, often meet with travelers here or each other[1]. The draconic tokens which are the inn's heritage draw as many gawkers as earnest guests. On some nights it's difficult to be heard the length of your table and almost impossible to leave it, although overly roisterous patrons are encourages to go elsewhere.

[1]Sparius Ersitan: Nearly any Gent'lman of the Watch this side of the Lords District can direct ye there if ye've trouble finding it.

What to Expect
The Rest is built from creeper-sieged quarry stone and timber with distinctive decklo woodwork: portals, wingswept shutters, scaled shinglry, and the like. Rounded lamps with frosted glaziery are mounted abreast the signboard and entry, whose hinge and band work are vaguely claw-shaped works of aged brass. A fieldstone wall along the inn's rears encloses the Damaris family's semi-private garden.
Inside, lighting is supplied by three candle wheels suspended from the pleasantly high rafters. A large stone hearth a perfect backdrop for tale tellings and minstrels stands opposite the counter (not a bar!). Perched high above the mantle, twinned dragon ribs almost from over an empty hanger that once cradled the mighty battleaxe[2] charged with their capture, long gone.
Alas, the bone-handled tableware and flagons are far between too, so don't come expecting to toss back ales from a hollowed dragon tooth. No doubt a few pieces proved the tales of less valourous men or fueled the magicks of arch-sorcerers. The remainder are now served up so infrequently that curious attentions make them less likely to regrow legs and wander off unseen.

[2][For more information on Toblin's axe, see Appendix II of this guide]

The host, Senan Demaris, is a tall and amicable enough presence in the taproom, unless he's called upon to be otherwise. Patrons have pointed out a collection of tapping mallets he keeps close to hand and remark at his aim, should trouble brew anywhere in the crowd. Take heed those who'd remark too loudly or too often on the similarity to a certain less reputable locale of the Free City[3].

[3]Cariel: While presenting herein, it seems the subject of Senan's familiar surname is rarely delved. Though, given his skill at negotiation and the jawset scowl he received, Sparus could offer only a hasty “M'haps ye should ask of Ricard.” In its stead, he was able to share a curious observation.
Patrons of suspicious airs tend to receive a piece of dragon ware with their drink or meal. Whether those who attempt to strike up conversations do so at Senan's behest, Sparys couldn't say, but the reactions are often telling.

His charming wife, Jessra, oversees the kitchens and the results are more than palatable. Scales branded into fare lists have been affixed to walls about the taproom. A copy has been rendered herein to show its eccentricities. Meals are generously portioned and can be taken there or carried up nearby stairs to lodgings above, as can complimentary pitchers of brandymint water.
Sauces available range from a spicing of crushed peppercorn and herb left to roast in the catch pan and ladled over afore serving to a broth of crushed Keoish firefingers. The latter is best reserved for the strong of constitution.
Together, the proprietors direct a staff of three kitchenfolk, six innhands (who also service the taproom), and two ostlers. This includes their youthful son, Arik, and fostered daughter, Tresea.

The Dragons Platter[4]

For the Feast

Roast Game (basted with spiced wine broth):
Hare 6 cp
Hen 4 cp
Fine Fowl (when available) 9 cp
(your meat and garden choices) 1 sp
Venison (slow simmered in garlic red stock) 2 sp
Roast chops (done to taste):
Mutton (with our crème sauce) 2 sp
Dragon (aged and seasoned) 6 sp
Lairs, Great and Small
Meat and Garden 4 cp 8 cp
Liver and Kidney 3 cp 5 cp
gravyed mild or with piper sauce
Garden and Grains
Three of: hand loaf, greens, tubers, cheese, and sauces for the feast order two-fold as a feast!) 5 cp
Yarpick Loaf 6 cp
Shielf Loaf 8 cp

By Your Command

Soup (garden broth) 2 cp
Soup (meat and garden) 4 cp
Whitebroth Stew
(spiced fish and garden) 3 cp
Grilled Fish and Other Freshwater Fare (from the Velverdyva)
3-10 cp
Kettle Roast (meat, leaks, greenstalks, and red tubers) 7 cp
Eggs, Pan-Freyed (or as you like)
Hen 2 cp
Fine Fowl 5 cp
For the Trail (most items packed cold in decklo leaves) 2 cp

For Merryment
By the Flagon or Globeglass, Also By the Bottle or Hang Keg

Ale (common) 3 cp 12 cp
Stout 7 cp 3 sp
Toblin's Taste 4 cp --
Mead 6 cp 25 cp
Wine & Hard Cyder 1 sp 4 sp
Silaurey 8 cp 3 sp
Gauglathiir 3 gp 21 gp
Brandy (by the quaff):
Galda-fruit 3 sp 2 gp
Keoish 8 sp 8 gp
Ulek Elixir 5 gp 27 gp
Raritys & Exotics 1 gp and up
Sweet Cyder 2 cp 1 sp

[4]Fine fowl is, as ye must know, goose, duck, grouse, quail, or other game bird. The smaller one come spitted in pairs, but can be had of half the cost fer one. Lances are small pikes impaled as ye like, caught in wyrm's breath, to tell, and eaten asizzle. An' while good turn on the inn's fame, to truth a dragon chop means more a maw-size cut of steer – us'aly. Dragon-kin are known to the nearby wilderlands, after all.
Small lairs are pies sized to fit in a full grasp, with the great'ns bein' full-grown pies. Shield Loaf is freyed and battled in frothe wedges of loaf grilled 'til crisp and moist within. Try it at dawnfeast with crème butter and olven sweet sauce.
Toblin's Taste is a bitten but tasty ale p'culiar fer its ruddish cast, guarded recipe, and the practice of serving it fresh from the cold cellar. Mind ye, locals call it Redhand and mark outlanders by that. Of wines there's that olven wintagreen, Greyhawk's cinnamoned Silaurey, and of times Furyondian apple wine, Voll Shamarit, and more. Ask when ye get there.
A quaff is what we'd call a gill. A globeglass is likened to a goblet without the stem. Exotics is, m'haps, Samberra or that baklunish brewed kaffet.

Charges have increased only slightly with the past few moons. A cozy room with twinned beds, wash basin, low table, and stout lock[5] is 7 sp from one suncrest to the next. Each of two “master rooms” adds a small hearth, comfortable chairs, locking trunk, and bathing chamber use – a real luxury for the road weary (and 15 cp for others). These cost 12 sp/day, though both charges vary according to business, if stays at length are arranged, and the like.

[5]Sparus: Afore ye scoff, the Rest may look of just a piled stone, but test yer eye. Thick walls are bane to thieves and spell-throwers, and to here it, the cover-all moss counts to proof ag'inst visits from the ethers. Aye, the Rest offers up safety enough fer its coin.

Fear not a night of tossing due to noise from below. The floors have been cleverly rendered proof against such nuisance. Extra coverlets or bed warming (3 cp) are also available for colder nights.
Bunk space in a common room is 1 sheridan/night and includes a flagon of ale or soup and a handloaf of (day old) bread on the dawnsbreak. Lastly, stall fees are 1 sheridan/day per steed. A green coiled wyrm sigil has long been used to mark linens, furnishings, and oddments against pilferage. For the most recent seasons of visitors, however, this seems only to have increased their value as keepsakes. To curb losses, the sigil-branded platters and hand size paste-wood scales[6] are being offered for purchase at 3 sheridans and 5 (copper) commons, respectively.

[6]The scales bring coin as trinkets and pass on the Rest's fame in the bargain. In Baranford, whole sets were made to talis decks of paint'n their backsides.

Legends & Lore
There's much to tell here. The Rest was constructed on the whim of the Yeomen mercenary, Toblin “Redhand”, after a successful season of dragon hunting in the Gnarley Wood. As the tale goes, Toblin, once known as “Axehand” for his favored weapon, and a band of compatriots took up the hunt and, though reduced in numbers, emerged victorious a sennight later.
Though doubters have tried to cast Toblin's tales as tall indeed, it's hard to argue with proof. Several items, the scales and hide-bound faldstools for starters, have been authenticated through the years by a variety of scholars. It's also clear he wanted for little for the remainder of his days, lending some to conclude Toblin made a secret cache of the dragon's horde.
Once every few seasons he'd make a foray into those forests, taking a different course each time. Noone ever claimed knowledge of his destination and when questioned, he'd only giver a wide grin and say his children would profit from his ventures.
Fortune seekers far afield still flock to the Rest with each new rumor of a lost map[7]. The stay of a Yeoman knight, one Sir Bastromel, a few seasons back started tongues wagging anew. Was he, as some thought, retained as part of a recovery party or the heirs of Toblin's surviving partner, come for his share[8]? Whatever the case, Senan appears disinterested, but is known to have short shrift with gossip-mongers (or mongrels, as he puts it) and those who'd press him on such points.

[7]Senan: Don't you believe any of this. The Freeholders were set upon by a green alright, but it was by mercy of the gods he survived. The attack left him with lasting red splotches and a chronic cough from the beast's fell breath. He built the inn from coin of selling the hide and such. Look to his name, man, his days as a freesword were over!
There's no map nor treasure, though I'm sure he looked ever for it. His profits come from good business sense, tall tales and rumors together.

[8]Sparus: The last tale's gained the widest hold, since the knight report'ly regaled lis'ners with stories, first of being set upon in the Gnarleys by a green and next a fellow trav'ler. Some say this was done to test Damaris' reaction.
That Sir Bastromel awoke to thieves few nights later and was forced to draw steel fer his life...was judged a hap of bad fortune. Now, these same sources crook finger at past tries to name changes as proof the inn had something to hide—and Damaris hadn't found it yet!

Summer will see the expansion of the Rest. Many have wondered aloud at whether this could be from a new-found source of wealth or if the fell of hammer blows will reveal what was once thought lost.

Appendix I:
Folk of Verbobonc
JESSRA DAMARIS (CG hf P0; DEX 14, WIS 13, CHA 13). Brown-flecked bright blue eyes and a slim build mark her ancestry to Toblin and his half-elven lady companion. Jessra is patient (lending calm to Senan), caring, but not easily fooled. Her quiet reverence of Hanali Celanil seems reflected in the vitality of her gardens and family. One of a collection of dragon bone figurines is of the Power, to which she makes offerings of fresh-made potpourri.

SENAN DAMARIS (NG hm F3; DEX 16, CHA 12). Senan is 6', 200 lbs. Or so, and patronly for his 41 winters; has brown eyes, hair, and thick sidebars, the latter two now streaking with gray. He's a thoughtful and pragmatic man whose obvious concerns are his family and the prosperity of the Rest. Of course, if beset, his temper is quick and hot (and +2 to hit with mallets in the taproom), the result of recurring incidents connected with the inn's fame.

TRESEA is a quick-witted lass of some sixteen winters with short-bobbed sandy hair. From her years prior to the Damaris family she learned to tread softly and conceal her presence. Tresea's since stolen a lesson or two at the blade, from which it's clear there's warrior spirit in her. She's also heard her share of tales while working the taproom and is slowly growing infatuated with the wandering life.

Appendix II:
Pars Arcanum

Magical Items
Toblin's Axe
While this battleaxe predates Toblin, its origins and true name have been lost. The axe bears a +1 enchantment, emits a flickering light (equal to torchlight) which seems to arc like heat lightning throught the head when so willed, and can discharge a 6d6 lightning bolt upon utterance of an unknown command word, twice per month. Its present whereabouts is uncertain, but one story puts it in the possession of a Pomarj orog chieftain.
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