Saturday, 23 October 2010

inns & taverns: the twopenny crow

The Twopenny Crow is a riverside inn and ferry to a forlorn island graveyard.  A sprawling cruciform bungalow with attached stable and rose garden, it's sign is a two-headed crow with spread wings.  The bungalow and stable is made of whitewashed cement with dark-stained beams and decorated shutters and doors.  The stable is quiet and a pair of black cart horses rest in two of the stalls.  A stand of yew trees shelters the inn from wind decorated with bright scraps of red and yellow fabric while a rowan and a blackthorn form an arch for travellers to shelter under.

Inside the inn is coloured autumn.  The walls are yellowed by pipeweed smoke or painted crimson, indigo  orange.  The beams are carved with ornate flower and leaf patterns.  Painted tiles of crows, scarecrows and various flowers hang between tallow lamps.  The furniture is lower set than usual, concession to numerous halfling patrons.  There are two main rooms, a large communal bar with tables and chairs arranged in orderly rows with a clear space for people to stand and talk and a smaller lounge with tables and chairs closer to the walls.  Those wanting food are encouraged to go to the lounge.

There is a variety of drinks available - a dark reddish beer with floral hints and bittersweet aftertaste unique to the house and at least three other beers as well as cyser, cornwine, a ferocious sloe gin, a bittersweet rowan spirit and in winter, mulled spiced cyser and a floral mead. For food there are a variety of pastries with seasonal fillings from spiced meats with parsnip and onion to a sticky apple and blackberry mixture.  Fresh bread and hard cheese is available with a generous dollop of dark, sticky and spicy elderberry and onion pickle.  This is particularly loved by the halflings who always try to learn the recipe from the landlord, Ebur.

Ebur is the rock the Crow rests on. An excellent cellarman, skilled carpenter and undertaker, his ordered mind and strong baritone quells most outbursts. He leaves the bar work to his younger sister, Iola - herself a herbalist of repute.  Both Ebur and Iola lost their spouses to the war and visit the island on quiet days to grieve.  Sometimes, Ebur will be called on to act as an undertaker.  Not much escapes the attention of these two who somehow instinctively side with the wrongfully accused and who find themselves helping put wrongs right, often with the help of itinerant adventurers.  This has led to the Crow being avoided by local sherrifs until things are getting out of hand.

The ferry to the island graveyard is operated by a pair of brothers.  One is blind (though his hearing is formidable), the other is mute.  Both are staunchly loyal to Ebur whose quick thinking saved them both from being eaten alive by ghouls.  Though the island is now cleared of undead, the brothers maintain a steadfast vigil and both carry swords and horns that are sounded in the event of unnatural activity on the island or from the river.  If the horns sound, all of the locals will come running - past incidents have involved attacks from ghouls and other undead raised by fugitive necromancers or evil cults.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Greatest Hits