Sunday, 10 March 2013

inns & taverns: the wool and wolf

The Wool and Wolf is a south-facing tavern famed for wine and tell-tale scratches.  Lovers know few superior locales for rendezvous.  A short ride from town on a worn track reveals the Wool and Wolf and it's stables.  Sometimes music drifts through the air.  A white lamb and black wolf nose to tail with each other adorn the red sign.  "Wool and Wolf" is etched beneath. 

The tavern is rectangular, two-storey with flat brick roof, spacious porch and vine-laden iron trellises.  Roses are grown at the corners.  At the back is a single-storey stone stable that can hold five horses in comfort.  A neat orchard of apple and cherry offers shelter.  Individual trees are decorated with strips of cloth. 

Inside reveals a former hunting lodge with beams and paneling carved with hunts and courtly love.  Trophies of wolf, bear and boar are prominent features.  Folding screens of linen over wicker conceal lovers' seats from view in dim corners and alcoves.  Three eight-seat trestles dominate the common area.  The tavern can seat another two dozen in alcoves, corners and nooks suitable for close couples.

The Wool and Wolf sells brown lambic ale, crisp cider and sweet cyser at four copper.  A silver buys strong mead or excellent kriek.  A bottle of good red wine is 2sp, an excellent red is also sold for 10gp.  Cold winter nights see mulled wine and lambswool (spiced mulled cider) served and the orchard wassailed.  A variety of food is offered.  Boar sausage, pigeon pies, honey bread and goat's cheese are available for a handful of silver.  All are expertly cooked and spiced.

The landlord Hericio is a stocky fortysomething.    His elf-locked tawny hair, silver tongue and burly frame were swooned over ten years ago.  Age and revelry took a toll.  Now eloquent and well-heeled mentor to lotharios, his youth is fondly recalled in a brewing retirement.  His bodyservant (and business partner) Plannear facilitates.  Older, fatter, bumbling yet penny-wise, Plannear keeps wealth rolling in by deals and discreet help.  Olwin and Thena, a garrulous brother and sister cook.  Four maids serve ale and clean rooms, finding suitable matches or opportunities within two years.           

The Wool and Wolf has five intimate suites for 2gp a night with warm goosedown comforters.  The common room is 5sp.  For 20gp a night, lovers of luxury can enjoy a sumptuous honeymoon suite with a banquet.  All guests get warm blankets of wolf fur.  Hericio will offer the blankets to common room guests but stays close-lipped on their origin.

A quiet trade is done for those suffering from lycanthropy.  A tour of the 'famous cellar' for two silver is offered.  Beneath the cellar is a secret door hidden in a cobwebbed hogshead with a dubiously clean front.  Opening the front of the massive barrel reveals a ladder.  Descending it reveals two rows of five cells.  Each iron-bound cell door is barred and deadbolted in the floor, all on the outside.  In each cell are silvered manacles and cot.  'Guests' are locked up, given a skin of drugged wine and locked in for the night.

Hericio and Plannear have experience in dealing with lycanthropes, their families lost to packs of werewolves.  They not only advise romantics but also werewolf hunters.  This has led to ties with certain families and churches sworn to cure or destroy lycanthropy.  This has helped the Wool and Wolf maintain respectability when scandal raises it's ugly head.


  1. You should do sort of a Medieval Zagatt's Guide, and collect all you tavern pieces.

  2. Hmmm. A Volo's Guide with more OSR in it. That would be diverting.

    There are three compilations so far. A big one might be fun.

    Just need an artist and a cartographer who don't mind working for beer money...

  3. Your tavern write ups are solid. Hoping you get another compilation together sometime.


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