Friday, 4 September 2009

inns and taverns: the rose tower

The Rose Tower is a hostelry used by visiting dignitaries and wealthy merchants as well as those adventurers who enjoy the finer things in life. Tucked in one of the wealthier quarters of the city, the Rose Tower is a four-storey square tower of brick and stone, decorated with ornamental tiles, marble icons of beautiful men and women, hanging banners and numerous trellises home to a number of climbing roses. The doors and shutters over the upper storey windows are made of wood and iron decorated with rose motifs.

Outside the Rose Tower are eight arbours that the roses grow around. These are big enough for a couple to sit in and watch the world go by, enjoying ale or wine from simple clay goblets. Horses are stabled in a city stables as local laws prohibit private steeds to be ridden through the streets; this arrangement is made in return for getting rid of a share of the manure which is used for the roses which are kept thriving through some skillful gardening and judicious application of magic.

Inside, the Rose Tower rivals the opulence of the nobility. The common room is anything but. White and rose marble tiles chequerboard the ground floor tavern and three tables form a stage for minstrels and entertainers. Liveried serving girls move behind the chairs where patrons sit, dine, drink and discuss business. The walls are decorated with rambling rose motifs and tapestries of courtly romance. Prices are expensive but the quality of food and drink is good enough that people do not mind and their stock is comprehensive.

The first and second storeys have private rooms for guests. Decorated with murals of romantic scenes with beds with down-filled mattresses, each room has a heavy iron bath-tub that may be filled for the price of a night's rest - the servants who bring the water (and a small urn of coals to heat it with) will offer oils and scents to wealthy patrons. At least one courtesan has arranged a liaison at the Rose Tower and it's staff haven't yet revealed any secrets - perhaps out of fear or respect of the owners who dwell in the top storey.

They have always paid well and who have always taken pains to smooth over problems with troublesome locals who are rarely heard of again if they cause a commotion in the Tower. The owners pay enough to stay out the attentions of the law and pay dues to the dominant criminal guilds to ensure no trouble disturbs their business, which appears to be primarily keeping wealthy. They are conspicuous about staying out of courtly matters and there are whispers the owners are a retired courtesan and her magician lover which would scandalise court.

Those who pry into the owners will find the manager of the Rose Tower positively uncommunicative; pressing the issue will re-classify the inquisitive as troublesome. Those who fit this criteria will usually go missing at some point due to a combination of drugged drink and discreet gentlemen who know entirely too much about how to subdue troublesome types, poisons and how to deal with extraordinary situations. There are only three of these individuals but their capabilities more than make up for the lack of numbers.


  1. I like it. I would like to see a make up of the main personalities I would encounter in your tower.

  2. Watch this space. :)


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