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The Great Tavern
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Joined: 18 Jul 2007
Posts: 34

Post The Great Tavern  Reply with quote
The Great Tavern, the watering hole of the gods, the arcane, and the immortal, perches on the Mountain of Time. The mountain is the highest peak in the range of the Mountains of Ages, the natural barrier of towering stone, snow and cloud that borders the Endless Abyss; where Death himself has rumored to have put down his mat and shingle.
The Tavern stands on a number of beams that keep it stilted off the mountainside and balances all of its one-hundred-thirty-two stories like a scholar's haphazard pile of books; no two quite lining up with each other, but all miraculously keeping a semblance of balance.

The intrepid adventurer reaches the front door by means of a week-long hike up the mountainside; braving poor footing, blinding snowstorms, frostbite, territorial mountain goats and opportunistic carnivorous yetis. However, if one isn't feeling the need for an arduous climb, one can stumble into the Tavern by means of its endless side doors, which can be the door of any tavern, in any realm, at any time.
Needless to say, one can find themselves in the Great Tavern by accident at least once or twice in their lives without ever really trying.

Inside, the Great Tavern is large in a scale that only godly architecture can achieve. The beams of the main hall are made out of Sereian Cloudwoods which live up to their name by being able to actually suck rain straight out of the clouds through their porous leaves. Also, the beams aren't so much made out of the Cloudwoods as the Cloudwoods are simple squared off, lacquered, and planted straight into the floor.
The main hall is lit by twelve hearths, and some sixty-odd iron chandeliers that hang from the ceiling, each of which hold over a hundred candles. These fixtures provide ample light to the entire hall, and in accordance with Tybal the Tavern-keeper's eleventh law for taverns, leaves no dark corners. The bar is in the center of the hall. It's circular in shape and ringed with tables, and as full as it might look, there's always one more stool empty.
Sat Jul 21, 2007 7:42 pm View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail

Joined: 20 Jul 2007
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Tybal stared across the table at Destiny's freshest meat.
The fellow fidgeted in his chair, glanced at Tybal's eyes, then stared fixedly at his boots.
"Name please."
The fellow started like he's just been stung. He looked at Tybal, pushed the brim of his hat up further and swept his sweaty hair toward his temple. His chin wobbled, his mouth hanging slack for a moment before he can give a reply.
"G-g-Gilfax, Patron. G-Gilfax Montreise."
As appearances go, Tybal and Gilfax couldn't look any more different.
Tybal was swarthy of skin, broad-shouldered and had hair like raven's wings that swooped down his temples. His clothes were warm, earthy colors that matched the browns, the grays, and the yellows of the interior of the tavern, and he sat comfortably in his chair like he owned the place, because he did.
Gilfax was pale and narrow like a candlestick, with tufts of hair as spiky and yellow as autumn grass sticking out of his wide-brimmed hat. His hat and cape were the blue, faded color of wolfsbane flowers. He perched at the edge of his chair, hands fussing with every little wrinkle in his cape or trousers.
Tybal's quill swished across the page with a neat penmanship at a dizzying speed that would take centuries to perfect. The ledger book was huge. Encyclopedic. Open, it reached toward the ends of the table like the wingspan of an albatross. Gilfax would have had to put both his arms around it like a grain sack just to move it.
Gilfax tried not to look too closely at the binding. Half-glanced, it looked like leather from the way it crumples at the corners and the almost-invisible hairs still clinging to it.
His stomach felt like his lunch just started to boil.
Even pigskin isn't that pale.
"Age. Realm of birth."
"Twenty! Sascardia!" Gilfax yelped, tearing his eyes off the ledger.
A smile curls on only one side of Tybal's face as he wrote.
Gilfax took off his hat. His blonde hair was slick with sweat where it had been covered. A cowlick popped up, and no matter how hard Gilfax tried to slick it down the rest, it sprang back up like a tuft of grass.
Ink started to bloom on the page where Tybal had been writing.
"Four times cursed, aeh?" The Patron's severe brows furrowed as he scanned the page.
"Ah, minor ones. Shouldn't be a problem. If he manages with all the hexes and spites on him, I think you can manage the burden of a few..."
Tybal ran his tongue over his molars. "... Idiosyncracies."
He chuckled at Gilfax's perplexed stare.
"Don't worry about it. You'll know who I'm talking about soon enough."
Gilfax nodded and turned his hat around in his hands.
"Attended the Auchbridge Academy, barely graduated, and now living amidst the Fool's-fire Society in the Tottleby Towers?"
Tybal scowled at Gilfax as though he'd been tricked, and Gilfax suddenly felt the hot pulse of fear beating in his temples.
The Patron read the page again, blinked, and when his eyes met Gilfax's again the suspicion had evaporated.
"You've got quite the contract, haven't you? I know Destiny doesn't like to take seconds, but he'll have to take when he can get on this one, aeh?"
Tybal chuckled.
Gilfax tried to chuckle too, but the sound that came out was more like the squeak of a mouse underneath a boot.
Tybal turned the book and pushed it towards Gilfax.
"Sign on the bottom line please." Tybal held out the quill to Gilfax.
Gilfax took the quill and carefully, painstakingly signed his name on the line. He shuddered when book's leather goosepimpled.
"Wonderful! Welcome to your destiny Gilfax."
Gilfax smiled bleakly.
Mon Jul 23, 2007 1:51 am View user's profile Send private message Yahoo Messenger
The Elf

Joined: 21 Jul 2007
Posts: 9

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Elves were the noble emissaries of the natural world, beings of inhuman beauty, grace, wisdom and patience, their designs on the world they interact with unknowable and their intentions unreadable.

The Elf was rather proud of the fact that he was an embarrassment of ‘his’ race.

If, that is, he was indeed an elf by birth.

One of the main halls numerous side-doors flew open with a resounding BANG! as it careened into the wall, and he stumped in with ill grace, batting at the last few smoldering patching on his worn, tattered brown cloak as he kicked the heavy oaken portal shut behind him, his perpetual scowl challenging those who turned toward his noise entrance. A few familiar figures waved, and to these he nodded, adjusting the crude leather patch that rested over his left eye with that hand while his right rested easily a hilt of the multitude of such that hung on his belt, on the baldrics crossing his chest, in the cloak hanging on his shoulders, along his legs and arms in tight fitting sheaths, down his boots, and pretty much wherever he could place them, each belonging to any one of a plethora of weapons of all sizes, shapes, makes, and styles, a plethora that was ever changing.

His heavy, stumping footsteps were mixed with a loud chorus of sounds; the rattle of steel on wood or leather from the variety of sheaths, loops, scabbards, and other such methods of containing weapons, the soft jingling ring of chainmail and velvety scrapes of plate, the chiming ruckus of the beads and silver charms woven in his braided forelocks, and merry ringing of the silver bells soldered onto the ends of the six inch long steel hairpins that kept his ponytail up, the loud, slightly wheezy breaths taken by one who’d survived having their throat slit, much to the later surprise and consternation of the slitter-of-the-throat when the favor was returned, the creak of travel worn leather; silent, this one was not, and he was far, far from graceful.

Nor was he any beauty. Perhaps he had been, once, but the passage of time in his chosen profession had been harsh. A once long nose had been bent into an off center beak by too many breakage’s, the left corner of his mouth was tugged back into a constant, tooth bearing scowl by a deep scar on his cheek, one of the many that lined his sun browned face, including the deep ridge that started at the scalp, intersected the patched eye, and ended finally at the jawline, and the jagged, equally spaced claw-mark that marred most of his right cheek. One of the once-long ears was little more than a nub, and the other had been cut in half, and riddled with nicks and holes beside the half-dozen or so silver, gold, and stone earrings that still clung to what bits of cartilage and lobe they could.

After a few moments of sullen surveillance, his gaze came to rest on Tybal, and the newcomer sitting before him, and both curiosity and caution entered the blue eye resting on the both. After a few moments of furious mental debate, The Elf shrugged to himself and started moving determinedly toward them in a nonchalant limp. Dutifully, his shadow mirrored his path from where it was cast on the floor, though it’s glowing-red eyed gaze swept around and about the interior of the tavern over and over, looking for a threat or prey, growling menacingly at any unwary or inebriated individual too large for it to easily drag down that ventured too closely.

"Wassthis, then?" he boomed as he gimped up behind Gilfax, going to tip-toes to look over the mousy mans shoulder. "Fresh meat for the grinder, Tybal? Hope he lasts longer than the last one, wasshisface. You know, the one who got et by that demonic giraffe." He commented, rapidly losing interest in the contents of the enormous book in favor of glancing about for the nearest tap.
Mon Jul 23, 2007 5:19 am View user's profile Send private message Yahoo Messenger

Joined: 20 Jul 2007
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"Mm," Tybal grunted soberly, without raising his eyes from the ledger, where he scribbled his last, trailing notes in the margins like winding centipedes of thought.

Gilfax jerkily looked over his shoulder at The Elf, and sensing Tybal wouldn't be making the introductions, stuck his hand over back of the chair.

"Ah, hello, er..." Gilfax's memory snatched wildly for a name, "Sir. I'm Gilfax Montreise."

The Elf broke off his search for a tap to stare at Gilfax for several long moments, before slowly dropping his gaze to the proffered hand. Yet more staring ensued as he considered the soft, pink pads of the mans palms, the moist flesh and flexible digits, before returning his gaze to Tybal.

"You serious? A finger twiddler? The last guy was built like a brick shit-house and he didn't even last three days and you're bringing a finger twiddler in?!"

Tybal massaged his brows and signed his name at the bottom of the page with a flourish that broke the nub of the quill.

"I know you favor the... What was that light-hearted term you coined? "Meatshield assistants"?"

"But you need to keep this one's important bits attatched. He's a loan," Tybal intoned sternly, inclining his head towards the thin, silver chain that looped around Gilfax's wrist.
The chain was made of links so fine it ran and pooled like stream of liquid. It trickled down the back of the chair and bound itself twice around a thin book at his hip bound in velvet the color of night, and its surface twinkled with miniature constellations.

Gilfax's cheeks bloomed red, and he felt the impersonal inspection sweep over him, the kind a butcher gives a haunch of mutton.

"Eh?" The Elf said, perking slightly and peering at the chain and book until it's signifigance registered.
"Oooooohhh." he commented, blinking, his ever present scowl turning from agitated to thoughtful.
"Huh. Haven't seen that in awhile. Who knows, then, maybe he'll last a bit longer than the last after all. Drink?" He inquired hopefully of the patron of tavernkeepers while making helpful little head-gestures toward the nearest bar.

Tybal flipped forward a few pages in the book, then looked up at The Elf. For the first time since the adventurer's entrance, the Patron seemed to truly notice his presence.

"Oh! Of course. Gilfax, fetch yourself an ale, and bring back a Bogsucker Triple Fierce for The Elf."

Tybal's gaze flicked back down to the ledger.

"And a shot of Dragonhugger Extra-Searing."

Tybal kept reading, and the fine crease between his brows grew darker.

"And a bottle of fourteen-ninety-eight Dramellar Chasm pinot noir." Tybal concluded, swallowing guiltily.

Looking puzzled, dazed, and increasingly-less enamored with what had obviously been imagined as a glamorous and breezy career, Gilfax stumbled off in the direction of the bar.

"Please, have a seat", asked Tybal, with the exact tone and gesture of his ink-stained fingers that had warned The Elf of Bad Assignment Coming many times before.

The Elf was silent for a long, wary moment, staring at Tybal with his visible eye in an expression that was summed up pretty well by the next word out of his mouth.

"Shit." he muttered, snagging the nearest bar stool with one heavily singed boot, and dragging it under him before plopping down.

Immeadetly, the stool changed to match it's sitter, creaking loudly as the solid legs became nicked, battered, singed, and cracked from years of abuse, the padded leather of the seat drying up and tearing with a hollow sound, stuffing oozing out the sides like blood. It seemed comfortable enough for The Elf, though.

"If your pulling the fourteen eighty nine noir out..." he started, swivvelling on the rusting bearing of the stool idly for a few moments.

"Just how is your brother trying to kill me today, Tybal?"

The Patron licked his lips and looked about the room without any real direction, except for any direction that wasn't directly at The Elf.

"Well, it's not the most life-threatening quest you've ever been on, but..."

Tybal ran his finger along the corner of the ledger's page.

"Do you remember, a while back, there were a few skirmishes involving..." He cleared his throat as if the name were getting stuck going up.

"The drow Nathaufien?"

There was a long, deadly moment of silence from The Elf, accompinied by a vacant look in his eye and the usual twitches, twinges, tics and jerks that indicated that he was off in one of his memories or another, and that touching him or making any sudden movements around him would be terminally stupid.

A bit of his stool caught on fire from magical overload as tides of aura swept out from him, and his shadow snarled in wordless warning, crawling to hide underneath the stool.

With a blink, The Elf snapped back into the present, and hissed.

"Yessssssss, I remember the black-skinned bastard. Please, please, please tell me that I'm not going to be working with him again, Tybal. He is insufferable, arrogant, and his attempts at mind-games aren't funny, and trying to get the lazy git to do anything is damn near impossible."

Tybal stood up, still coughing and grunting against some percieved or imagined obstruction in his throat.

"Ahurn. Ahum. Well, that, that sounds like quite a measure of hostility, so... Aharrumh! It's good you two will have plenty of time and opportunity to work out those differences, Hackk!"

Tybal pounded on his breastbone and pulled something off his belt. He dropped it onto the table, and it landed with a metallic bang and rattle that seemed too large for so small a bag.

"Well, hunff, you kids have fun. Make sure that stuff gets in that place before the time," Tybal instructed cryptically.

"Map's in the bag. You're picking up the drow chum and a few others in the area. They'll be obvious."

The Patron was already walking away, pointing at his throat, then at the bar.

"Need some water! Don't forget to keep the greenie intact!" he shouted over the rumble of the crowd, and was about to disappear into a throng of cloaked men when Gilfax pushed out, cradling an assortment of drinks in his arms.

"Oh, Gilfax. Tell your mother the apple-and-rhubarb crumble was magnificient, as always. I always look forward to her pastries." Tybal said, before slipping into the crowd and out of sight.

The Elf's gaze swivveled from the bag to Tybal and back, and then back to settle on the rapidly retreating Tybal once again as his brain fizzled over the information he had been given.

"SON OF A BITCH!" He shouted, thumping the table and standing to...what? Tackle Tybal and slam his face against the taverns floor until he saw sense? In the god's very own domain? Highly unlikely, and, besides, he had already dissappeared, leaving the newbie, wasshisface, to face the wrath of the indignant Elf. Cold bastard.
Thumping back into his stool, The Elf swivveled back and forth thoughtfully, staring carefully at The Bag, waiting for Gilfax to catch up with his drinks.

Last edited by Gilfax on Thu Jul 26, 2007 1:01 am; edited 1 time in total
Wed Jul 25, 2007 11:23 pm View user's profile Send private message Yahoo Messenger
The Elf

Joined: 21 Jul 2007
Posts: 9

Post An elf, a wizard, and a bear walk into a bar.... Reply with quote
The Elf glowered at Gilfax as he got closer, and, as soon as the poor wizard was in range, snatched the drinks meant for him from Gil, leaving him with his ale. Muttering ominously and in a wide and colorful variety of languages under his breath, The Elf dumped the Dragonhuggers from it’s insulated beaker into the glass and ceramic pot that held the gently bubbling Bogsucker, waited until the volatile mixture caught and started emitting blue and green flames with a high pitched whistle, snuffed it by placing his palm over the opening in the pot, and then quickly downed a shot of the contents, setting a plate over the opening to prevent it from oxidizing too much and washing it with a good portion of the Dramellar.

Having consumed enough of a wide variety of alcohol’s, xanthine alkaloids, and acid to either get half an army of humans dead drunk, three trolls just plain dead, or a dragon rather tipsy, he turned his eye onto Gilfax once again.

"Who’re you again?" He asked with a sigh, uncovering the pot again to take another sip.

Gilfax lowered himself into the seat next to The Elf and took a quick slurp of his ale to wet his tongue and fortify his intestines.

"Gilfax, er, Elf, sir," Gilfax stumbled lamely.

"The Elf, boy, The Elf," The Elf said absently, taking a mighty pull off the bottle while keeping his eye on Gilfax. He was studying the newbie, who wouldn’t make much of a great ‘Meatshield Assistant’ anyway (Not enough meat to hide behind). Eventually, he set the now-near empty bottle down, and, with a sigh, dug into the small bag, pulling out a rather large map and a rolled and sealed scroll. Dropping the former onto the table, he picked up the scroll, and examined the white seal in it. An eagle, clutching a sword in its right talon, a maidens glove in the left, and with a regal crow perched atop it’s brow, a sun hovering over it’s right shoulder, a moon on it’s left. It was a splendid seal, of undeniable quality, and The Elf broke it without hesitation. Unrolling the scroll, his eye started scanning it rapidly.

"What’s the worst you’ve ever been hurt?" He asked out of the blue, his lips moving as he scanned the obtuse lines of writing sprawling across the interior of the scroll.

Gilfax's lips drew taut and colorless into a flat line of apprehension. His brain scrambled to think of some grave injury, some terrible battle-wound he'd sustained that might impress The Elf. But as hard as he cudgeled his mind, the less willing it seemed to be to produce an injury.
Gilfax's head rolled back, and he stared up at the rafters, rubbing his chin..

"Um... I fell out of the hayloft once, back home-- Wait, there was a sheep that broke my fall that time--"

"Pay attention." The Elf said flatly, cutting Gil off.

And then his fist jabbed out like a viper, something long, white, and needle sharp clutched in it, and then there was a sharp ‘thunk’ing sound as his fist banged into the meat of Gilfax’s thigh, tip scraping his bone, pausing a moment to wiggle it around some before jerking the shiv,, carved from an albino basilisk’s fang, roughly out of his victims leg and making it disappear back into whichever sheath he pulled it out of. While assassins would, aha, kill to have a weapon carved out of a basilisk’s fang, they were less enthusiastic about weapons made of the much rarer albino creature, as wounds they inflected, even fatal ones, while incredibly, agonizingly painful, would heal almost immediately with little more than a scar and an intense memory of the pain.

Trust The Elf to find use of such a useless tool.

Gilfax gaped at the hole in his thigh, at The Elf, and at the place on his person where he thought the shiv had been retracted.

Then he started to howl.

"AAAAUUGH!" he cried, tearing the puncture in his trousers wider to inspect the gauge.

"What was THAT for? Why did you DO that?!"

His leg stung fiercely, as if some invisible fire were licking through it, and a small measure of blood welled up in the hole.

"Are you completely out of your mind? You stabbed me!"

Gilfax stared, flabbergasted, at his leg. The last pops of fire were kicking in his muscles, and the dribble of blood coming from the wound was already scabbing.

"Ever meet a psionisist?" The Elf asked calmly, unrolling a bit more of the scroll to continue reading,

"Creepy bastards. Can’t tell how much they know from watching you, and how much they know from pokin’ around in your head…most the time. I figured out a trick, though. Listen up, greenie, this might just save your life someday. If you feel a funny tickling sensation in your head, I want to remember."

He reached down, and, without looking, clamped a vice-like hand over the wound, pressing it cruelly with his more-or-less intact thumb.

"Remember this pain. Revel in it. Drag it out of your subconsciousness and park it just behind your skull, right between your temples. It’ll suck for you, but it sucks even more for them. Now hurry up and finish your drink, we gotta get goin’."

Gilfax gasped, his eyes watering with the blazing pain that shot through his leg when The Elf crushed the wound.

He exhaled in a half-shudder, half-sob when he released him, and wrapped his cape protectively around his knees so he could view the injury from the tentlike space.
The blood had hardened to a brittle scab, which flaked off when Gilfax prodded at it; exposing shiny pink scar tissue beneath.

Gilfax stretched and flexed his leg, immediately surprised with how the wound no longer hurt, and neither did the stiff ankle he'd twisted last week.
He gulped down his ale hurriedly and threw his hat over his dissheveled hair, striving to appear ready for whatever The Elf would bring next.

With one last mutter, The Elf rolled up the scroll, scooped up the map, dumped both back into the bag, made the bag disappear into one of his voluminous sleeves, tossed down the rest of the variety of drinks that had been brought to him, tossed enough gold, in the form of several fillings, one, ancient looking coin covered in blood, some breed of monster that had 10 carat gold for teeth’s fang, and a decorative cherub that had been torn off some poor blokes armor, to cover the drinks onto the tabletop, stood up, and started striding for one of the Side Doors, turning his head to scowl at Gilfax as he easily navigated his way through the tavern.

"Lets go then…uh…err…" He started, looking vaguely confused for several moments.

"Gil?" He half asked, squinting at the mans face before nodding affirmation. "Gil. You are now Gil. Lets go then, Gil, and get this bloody quest on with. Follow."

"Gil" trotted along obediently after.
Thu Jul 26, 2007 12:43 am View user's profile Send private message Yahoo Messenger

Joined: 26 Jul 2007
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Location: Ohio

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Stumbling in through an opened door, Listian is bowled aside by a sour-faced elf. She glances at the man and fumbles to catch herself once more to keep from falling.

"Watch it!" He snarled at her, striding briskly past on his way out. To her eyes, he was ruggedly handsome, whereas others would see just plain ugliness, and the vauge, generalized anger he directed at the world contorted his maimed mein in frightening ways. Nonetheless, she blushes for having taken notice of his appearance while moving quickly out of his way.

"I'm terribly sorry sir I triped on my way in I had no Idea this room was occupied......" she stammers, but he was already striding away, pushing and shoving his way through the crowd with nonchalant ease.

She looked around at the massive room before her in utter astonishment never in her life time had she seen such craftsmanship. She marveled at the sight of so many different races and people moving in tight but graceful movements around one another. She stood against the wall and gawked at the sight of another man moving to catch up to the one she had bumped into and she stared as he passed her he seemed so delicate to be hanging out with the likes of the other man and she just couldn't stop staring she weaved her way past the massive ebb and flow of bodies. Finally she reached the round bar and knocked on the hard wood top of it hoping to gain some one's attention.

A grin flashed, bright and impish, from somewhere within the knot of bartenders that bustled inside the wooden ring. The face it belonged to made a belated appearance, as if smile and countenance were too busy to always be found in the same place at the same time.
Tybal smoothed down a page of the massive book which had found its silent, inexplicable way to the countertop.

In the Destiny business, one learns to never, ever speak of timing. To make any mention of someone's timing would be to invite them to try to pull a fast one on Destiny by either showing up reproachfully late or inconveniently early. Destiny, of course, can always see it coming and prepares accordingly, but the would-be tamperers are a hassle nonetheless. So those that have been in service for a while learn to simply smile pleasantly, nod, and keep their mouths shut; because nothing invites trouble like the snarky line: "Ah, you're right on time."

"Lorieana, is it?" Tybal asked as he scanned the page, but he didn't sound terribly curious. He continued before she could reply.

"Hate to shuffle you off in a hurry but I'm a busy man tonight without time to take supper; much less give you the whole speech. It must suffice to say that you—"

Tybal looked up and pointed at her.

"--Need to walk that way—"

He pointed to the door The Elf and Gilfax had just left through.

"--Quickly. When you get to the other tavern, tell the one who looks like a griffin's scratching post to fill you in, and tell him that you'll be tagging along with him."

She balked and gaped; how could he know her name? She was utterly stunned but in her shock she simply followed his instructions and hurried after them.

I am who I am. So what?
Mon Aug 06, 2007 12:51 pm View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website Yahoo Messenger
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