View Full Version : [TAVERN] St. Fhaolan's Rest

2006-02-14, 01:00 PM
This is my first attempt at one of these contests, so I've decided to go non-exotic. The base concept is a simple, uncluttered setting for low-level adventurers interacting with local color, probably on the outskirts of a large city. The DCs are set at levels appropriate for 1st-3rd level adventurers.

Oh, and a note. The history of St. Fhaolan is from actual Scottish and Irish mythology. As such, if you remove the references to dwarves (and the odd half-height area in the common room), and re-jigger the names a bit, the Rest would work in a purely historical setting.

I'll post this in several sections, as that appears to be the style preferred in the other entries.

Edit: Alright, still to be done. Maps are always appreciated, but I don't know if I'll have time to make it look the way I want it to. Have I missed anything else?

Comments are appreciated, as always. :)

2006-02-14, 01:01 PM
Boxed Text (Outside):

The inn seems pleasant, and reasonably clean, from the outside. Ivy climbs the walls, although it has been kept trimmed and cut back from the windows so that it affords no easier climbing than the original stone and timbers would. The painted sign reads “St. Fhaolan’s Rest,” with an image of a cassocked priest sitting comfortably, hefting a tankard. The sign has been recently repainted, but not with the skill of the original artist. Smoke rises from one large chimney, and from a smaller one on the opposite end of the building. The door is good oak, painted green as is the custom for inns with a public tavern. There is a gravel path around back, where the stables would be.

Boxed Text (Inside):
Although small, compared to other taverns in this city, the room is not cramped, thanks to the high ceiling. Except for the odd section near the back that appears to have a raised porch, with shorter furniture above and below the platform. There is a staircase rising up, next to the platform, that must reach to the second floor.

The room is lit with candles where the light from the hearth does not reach. Obviously, this is an inn’s common room as there is no bar here, just long benches and tables for use of the patrons. The floor is covered with rushes to tame the inevitable spillage, and the furniture is well-worn.

2006-02-14, 01:06 PM
DM’s Summary

Fhaolan, or Faelain, or Faylan, however you care to spell it, has a place in history. He may or may not be a saint, depending on who you ask. He may or may not have been the ward of another saint, and son of a king. Did a giant wolf pull his cart to market, or was he suckled by a she-wolf? Some even say that the word ‘feral’ was originally ‘faol’, and from that they believe Fhaolan was a wild savage, a berserker warrior. The stories are so old as to become muddled and confused, and most are lost even to bards. [DC 25 Bardic Knowledge to know the stories without asking the York the Tapper]

There is a little of that confusion at St. Fhaolan’s Rest. Nominally it is an inn, but with few rooms for let it is better known for its common room. There is a very large, and very old, iron axe across the hearth that would look appropriate in the grasp of a barbarian, and a strange tapestry on the facing wall with a depiction of what might be a wolf in a cart’s traces. York, the innkeeper, is more than glad to explain each and every item, and how it may or may not be attributed to St. Fhaolan. The inn itself is apparently built on the very hill that the infant Fhaolan was suckled by the she-wolf while in the care of St. Kevin. If you inquire, you may even be able to pry a relic from the reluctant innkeeper’s care, with a good donation humbly accepted. Odd how saints seem to have far more bones in their fingers than less holy people. [The relics are fake, and will be replaced once the ‘victim’ is long gone.]

York the Tapper mulls his own ciders from the local fruits such as apples and pears, but he provides a fair selection of ales and other brews. Avoid the dwarven chewing ale, however. It’s not the potency to be wary of, as there are stronger, but the consistency that allows it to stand without a tankard and be stored in canvas sacks instead of barrels. Only dwarves seem to find it palatable, and even they wonder sometimes. [Dwarven Chewing Ale is 5 cp per ‘chunk’.]

2006-02-14, 01:08 PM
The Buildings

St. Fhaolan’s Rest is in fact three distinct buildings, built at different times but all with the same architectural style. Exposed dark timbers with rough fieldstones and mortar filling between them, and a well-thatched roof. [The exterior walls are DC 20 to climb] No glass in the windows, as such would be beyond expensive in this area, but good poplar shutters keep out the wind when required. The interior walls are wattle-and-daub, again with exposed timbers.

The stable is behind the inn, and the storehouse is on the other side of the ally that leads back to the stable. The innkeeper finds this awkward, and would rather the stable and the storehouse be reversed in position, but this is the way it has been since before he took over the Rest, so there it stays.

The stable has enough room for eight horses, or four unusual beasts such as griffons or whatnot that require more room. There is a cabinet for tack, and a hayloft for more storage. It is rare that people wish to stay there, but if desired the innkeeper will charge less for that than a normal room.

The storehouse is off-limits to all but the innkeeper and the stable boy. A small, single-story building with a cellar, it houses the barrels of cider being brewed as well as other goods. Due to poor planning, the inn itself does not have a cellar as such, so this small building was constructed to make up the lack.

The inn has two stories, and no cellar as mentioned before. The first story has but three rooms, the common room, a private dining room, and a kitchen. The kitchen was originally two rooms, a smaller kitchen and a storeroom, but when the storehouse was built the storeroom was less important than a larger kitchen. [DC 10 Local History or Gather Information] When the king’s taxmen come, the dining room is given over them and the inn’s records so they may spread out and peruse them more easily. [DC 8 Gather Information] Although the ceilings in this first floor are high, almost ten feet, there is a section of the common room with a loft at the five-foot mark, to accommodate those who are more comfortable in enclosed areas such as dwarves and gnomes.

The second story has several small rooms, three private rooms for let, a room for two elderly ladies and their ‘granddaughter’, a closet that is nominally for the stable boy, and the innkeeper’s own room. The stable boy’s closet is almost always unoccupied as he prefers to sleep in the stables. However, when there are people in the loft, he will spend the night here [DC 5 Gather Information]. The innkeeper’s room also contains the strongbox (DC 20 Open Locks), which has all the records for the taxmen, as well as whatever profit he gains from the business. [DC 10 Gather Information]

Each of the private rooms (including the private dining room) has a small hearth, just enough to drive the chill off. The kitchen and common room have the most expansive and more functional hearths, of course.

The fact that the three buildings were built separately is obvious to someone with building experience [DC 10, Knowledge: Architecture], as the color of the stone and beams differ somewhat with age and exposure as well as slight differences in the kind of wood. The inn itself is the oldest structure, and the storehouse the newest.

2006-02-14, 01:10 PM

York the Tapper [Human 3rd-level Commoner, high stats Charisma, Strength, and Wisdom.]
York is the current innkeeper, a short barrel of a human and given how the Rest seems to have dwarfish influences there is a rumor that he is half-dwarf himself [DC 10 Gather Information]. This rumor irritates him as he finds it insulting that someone cannot be short without being thought of as non-human. He is talkative, and something of a rogue in mannerisms although not in class levels.

York has been widowed for several years, and the local populace has decided amongst themselves that he needs be in want of a wife. He would be more than happy to marry again, but would like to find his own way than have it shoved upon him.

Ceric, the stable boy [Half-Orc 1st-level Commoner, high stats Strength, Constitution, and Charisma.]
Ceric is the able boy and general dogs-body and is not as may be first assumed related to the innkeeper, but is an apprentice and has been started in the stables. He is also on the small side for a half-orc, but still strong enough to do the heavy lifting of barrels and gear. Unusual for a half-orc commoner, he is developing a congenial personality that will serve him well as an innkeeper. He has no interest in adventuring, preferring the stability and security of the inn, but would serve well as a torchbearer if the Rest was no longer an option.

Hedda, Gytha, and Kyna [Venerable Human 4th-level Rogue, high stats Charisma, Wisdom, and Dexterity; Venerable Human 5th-level Bard, high stats Charisma, Intelligence, and Wisdom; Underage Human 0th-level Rogue, high stats Constitution, Charisma and Dexterity. Note that the ages of all three of these individuals have modified their stats.]
There are three permanent tenants to the Rest, two elderly ladies of uncertain morals, and a very young little girl who is introduced as “Our granddaughter… or grandniece… or somehow related to us, as if it matters.”

Hedda and Gytha are rumored to be sorceresses tasked with training the little girl, Kyna, who is in fact dragonspawn. [DC 10 Gather Information] This is not true. The two ladies were once notorious rogues who have long since retired. [DC 20 Local History to make the connection between the stories and these two elderly women] Kyna is a simply an orphan that the ladies have adopted as they need someone to help them as they grow older and less and less mobile. It is the girl that is concocting these dragonspawn rumors, as she can then use that reputation to her own advantage . [DC 15 Sense Motive]

Lotty [Human 3rd-level Expert, high stats Intelligence, Wisdom, Charisma]
Lotty is responsible for the laundry of the Rest, as well as the fresh bread. She does not live at the inn, but with her husband in a nearby dwelling. She is constantly sending a stream of daughters, cousins, sisters, and other unmarried females to the Rest, delivering and picking up messages, linen, food, and whatever other errands she can think of, all in aid of landing the innkeeper. She spends a great deal of time at the Rest herself, in an effort to judge the effect of each ‘prospect’. She is a shameless gossip, and is the main sources of rumors and stories about the Rest and its inhabitants.

Marc and Nial, of the City Watch [Human 1st-level Warrior, high stats Constitution, Strength, Intelligence; Human 2nd-level Warrior, high stats Strength, Constitution, Dexterity]
These two are members of the city watch who are assigned to patrol this area. As can be expected, they spend most of their time patrolling the common room of the Rest and other inns and taverns in the area. Despite being somewhat lazy, they are serious about their jobs of protecting the citizens of the city, and are especially protective of the Rest. They do not know about the trapdoor in the cellar of the inn [See Secrets below], but they do know about the second strongbox and keep a good watchful eye out for thieves. They are a secondary source of rumors and stories about the Rest and its inhabitants.

2006-02-14, 01:10 PM

Although local thieves have proved that a second strongbox exists, the innkeeper or the watchmen always catch them before opening it, and York moves it to a new hiding place each time. [DC 12 Gather Information] Currently it may be either in the stable under floor of the tack cabinet, or in the storehouse in a hollow stump hidden amongst a pile of firewood. [DC 20 Gather Information] [If found, and opened (DC 20 Open Locks), the strongbox contains a single gold piece of very, very old mintage (worth 25 gp to a collector), and set of scrolls that can be authenticated to have been written by the original St. Fhaolan (worth 1,000 gp as is, although there are hints hidden deep in the documents for new high-level divine spells that may be worth more if it is decoded.).]

The inn actually does have a cellar [DC 20 Local History or Knowledge: Architecture]. Originally, the storeroom next to the kitchen had a staircase leading down. That staircase was removed when the kitchen expanded into the storeroom. What is down there, and why it was sealed off, is kept secret by order of the palace. The old cellar still contains some fake relics, including some spare iron axes, some dried-out foodstuffs, and whatnot. There is a stone trapdoor, reinforced with iron and bronze down there, however. The trapdoor is obviously dwarven make [DC 5 Knowledge: Architecture], by the same dwarves that supply the Rest with the chewing ale. The door is heavily bolted [DC 25 Open Lock], and enchanted with two wards. The first ward is a simple Alarm [DC 26 Search, DC 12 Reflex save, DC 26 Disable Devices]. The alarm is set to sound an audible bell in York's private room, as well as the stable. The second ward is a Web [DC 27 Search, DC 13 Reflex, DC 27 Disable Devices], to slow down anything that might come through the hatch. It if can be opened, it leads into a series of caverns, mostly flooded if not completely underwater, that travel quite some distance. With exploration, and some inspired digging, it may be possible to reach the cellars of a lord’s manor house, or a large churches’ crypt. Originally, this was a secret escape route from the palace but an earthquake destroyed the tunnel to the palace, flooded several side-passages, and opened up new passages into previously unexplored caverns. [DC 20 Local History] Some adventurers were hired by the palace, went down the hatch to see if the escape tunnel was salvageable, and never returned. [DC 22 Local History] The hatch was reinforced and sealed magically. [The web spell was used rather than a damage-dealing spell as the palace wanted to allow for the possibility of the escape passage becoming valid again and the King at the time didn't want to get crisped by a lightning bolt or fireball if the existence of the wards had slipped his mind.] A stipend is still paid to the Rest, in the form of a noble patronage, to keep the entrance secret and sealed. [DC 8 Gather Information to find out about the patronage, DC 25 Local History to find out the real reason for the patronage.] This was all in the time of the Rest’s previous owner, before the York was apprenticed to the craft, and so York is aware of the cellar, that it’s sealed off by order of the palace, but not it’s complete significance.

2006-03-09, 01:47 PM
I love alternate-history settings and this one is beautiful. Something about the detail of the sign being re-painted just grabs me.

While you have the namesake item(s) and plot hooks already embedded in the text, maybe take them out in a separate post and label them plainly? I would _hate_ to see this entry disqualified due to a technicality.