The Tavern in Town

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Revision, Aug 11, 2012.

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  1. Over the next few months, you will probably learn a great deal about world building. As you learn, your worlds will progress in complexity and detail. However, it is important to remember to start small and build up. Pick one scene, one place, or one character and flesh it out, then build from there. This point is like the hub of a wheel. The rest of the world is built outward from it. Some points will be very illustrated. These can be seen as where the wheel rim and the spokes connect or the hub and the spokes. All that connects these points, be they spokes or rim, are parts of your world, often not so fully described as the major connection points.

    Today, we are going to start with a simple hub: a tavern in the seedy part of town.

    Using as much detail (or as little) as you prefer, describe the tavern. You may simply wish to describe it physically: how it looks, smells, tastes, feels, and sounds. You may wish to describe how it bends space around it or how it functions when it comes to magic. You may also want to describe the tone of the place, patrons, and events that seem to recur, such as sheriff's visits or bar fights.

    This bar might have only humans, it may have aliens or other species, and it can be on any sort of planet you want. Just make it convincing! Have fun and happy building!
  2. Bar name: the Dog and Gull

    Outward appearance: splintering wood, damp from the salty sea air. There are three steps leading up to the door - the bane of many a drunken and unsteady footfall. A wooden sign, faded and peeling, protrudes above the door. It depicts a skinny hound snapping at a dive-bombing seagull. One window faces the street, but half of it is boarded over, and the other has a curtain that used to be red.

    Interior: the plank floorboards are, if stained and usually littered, at least not as rough and splintered as the building's siding. The whole room smells like beer, except for the two chairs by the fire, which smell like smoke and burned whiskey. The bar curves in a semicircle against the wall adjacent to the door, with the fireplace on the east wall. Behind the bar, a door leads to the kitchen. On the floor, the chairs and stools are all shapes and sizes, and on the walls are hung strictly canvas pictures, mostly crude depictions of sirens and Merfolk. Anything more solid had a history of being used to bludgeon and was now kept behind the bar
  3. Bar Name: The Night Owl

    Let's begin our tour of The Night Owl on the outside. All the walls of this place are rectangular and made of a very dark and hard wood that is very resilient to weather,most people say the building is protected by spells so the wood never rots or breaks. The roof however? It is a large dome made of the same wood though it is dotted with small windows here and there that let in rays of starlight at night. By the pale wood front doors of the place that seem to have eye shaped windows on them are two metal statues of human sized great horned owls. They have some odd machine or maybe magic in them that makes the stone statues raise their wings to cover their eyes when the sun rises and lower them back to the sides when it sets. Right now they are at the sides since it is night and the bar is open.

    Time to head inside. As we walk inside the smell of smoke,alcohol,and the slight smell of blood washes over us. This is one of the few places in town that serve the 'unnatural ones' which is what most humans call the supernatural species. Here and there around the bar are large men and petite women,most of them are supernaturals. They have evolved to the human view of beauty to help them survive though they are still shunned by most humans. We can see a few men who are at least six and a half feet tall spread around but the thing that really sticks out about them is the large shell colored horns that start at their temples and curve back over their heads. These are the demons. Though there is one guy who's horns are black and completely straight,if you're wondering why it's because he's talking to a pretty lady he wants to take from this place. Yeah,think that over. Other than the demons if you look closely at some of the laughing and smiling men a few of them have fangs though they aren't pale. They are indeed vampires but the myth that sunlight burns them is exactly that,a myth. Then there are the werewolves,the way to tell if someone is one is look at their hands,a werewolf has short black claws instead of fingernails. And see that guy with the purple eyes who just walked by? He's a shapeshifter! Now I could spend all night telling you about the different races but we really should continue the tour. Over there is the large pine wood bar where a demon serves the drinks. Most species have a specified drink that they like but they can drink any drink they want. The demons have demon brew which is like vodka but for demons so it's a lot stronger. The vampires have blood fused with alcohol,and the werewolves just drink normal human drinks though they drink demon brew sometimes too. There are small metal statues of owls on the bar that walk around and and sometimes fly through the bar where the drunk men make a game of trying to catch them. There are humans here though,but very few,they usually sit at the bar where the bartender can make sure no one attacks them. Now look up at the dome. There are wooden statues of dozens of owls hanging from ropes up there out of reach of anyone or anything. Watch out! A bar fight is breaking out! Looks like a panther shifter and a werewolf! The shifters and the werewolves are really strong so I suggest we back off before a stray claw gets us!

    Okay here is a empty booth,sit. Sorry about that,fights break out every night here. The supernatural species have ramped up hormones so they fight a lot,also they drink more than humans. Look,there is another example of the high hormones. *points to two shapeshifters starting to get busy in a corner booth* Oh,yeah the supernatural species aren't shy either,did I forget to mention that? Well anyway I gotta go! I suggest once the fight is gone sit back at the bar until you settle in and be ready if anyone tries to pick a fight! *runs out of the bar*
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  4. Tavern Name: Harrowing Pints

    Appearance: Black snake wood panels and posts, with swinging doors, no glass, no screens, the windows have pillows on the sills for sitting within or without and the place lit only by candles in the evenings. Ivy, dark emerald ivy encompassing everything the eyes can't see wrapping chaotically around the building.

    Inside: dimly lit, a bit cramped, but full of fresh air, clay pipes set across each table or in the corner of walls waiting for the next costumer to come and break off their tips and use them. the floor wood expanded and swollen from the moisture of the dirt beneath and a neatly arrangement of glass bottles all colors and sizes. ale and liqours lightly glistened and silhouetted by the dim candle-lit room. Tables some round and few square, none perfect in shape only perfect by nature, leaving the tavern in a rather organic state. nearly always empty you'll never see anyone here but there is a little peter bell that hand delicately atop the edge of the bar and a plaque beneath it, with tarnish words that read; Ring for Service.
  5. "The...Vulhaven--" he whispered. The building had come into view. It was a staggering mess of wooden architecture; much like the buildings around it, it could be accessed from the first and second floor of the streets. All the surrounding buildings were a mess of ramps and ladders, twisted alleys and narrow roads, creating a maze of streets with no names no rules. Finding this building in the sprawling shanty city of the Settlements had taken them two days. And after all of that, after that labyrinth of a city, this is what they find. 'What are the chances? Damn...,' he thought, eyes lingering on the name of the tavern in front of them.

    "You alright, Des?,"

    "Umm...yeah, I'm good," Des'nel said snapping out of his reverie and glanced at his friend. He was young, always with a cheerful smile. His hair was a shocking red and his eyes were green, like all of his people. Des'nel had the typical Uhratian green eyes, as well, but not the hair. His was the dark, raven hair that some Uhratians occasionally have, instead of the predominant red. Coming finally to the Settlements, Des'nel had not expected his people to be the way they were. Many of them actually still seemed...happy. His cheerful new friend, Tal'evan, was a prime example of that.

    "Sorry it took me so long to find this place. It's been years since I've been home, so things have changed a bit," Tal said, with that apologetic smile of his. Before Des could tell him not to worry about it, the young, nineteen year old Uhratian ran up the ramp to the second floor entrance of the Vulhaven, standing right beneath the tavern's sign, one of the few street lamps in the Settlements right next to him, casting him in an orange glow.

    "Well, come on, then. You're looking for someone, right?," he said with a wave, before opening the door and disappearing inside. Des simply stood there, shaking his head. Tal was always in such a hurry. He chose to go in through the first floor street entrance. It was shaded, dark, it's access to natural light eclipsed by the ramp to the second floor entrance right over their heads. A few hide lanterns, dyed red, cast a low light along the understreet of the Settlements. The person he was looking for was the very kind of guy that would favour a street like that. The darker, the better. Also, he wasn't looking forward to being seen by a specific someone, either.

    Walking up to the front door [an amazing thing in itself, considering most homes in the Settlements simply had curtains or hung rugs as doors], a few people stumbled out right in front of him. He had to jump back so as to not be ran over, as they practically fell out into the streets. They laughed, singing something in the old Uhratian tongue, before falling into hums and laughter as they walked arm in arm towards a distant streetlight. They entered its light, and once more Des was caught by how different things were here than he had imagined. They were smiling, in that moment beneath the streetlight. And then they passed back into the shadows and out of sight.

    Des walked inside, closing the door behind him. Already he could hear the sound of a few flutes and clapping, accompanied by indistinct voices. It was coming through the ceiling. He stood in a wide hallway of wood, with a dozen rooms on either side. The doorways were arched, but open. The walls were plastered over thickly and painted white, with wood borders, carved into ornate patterns, all reaching arches. Des walked towards the end of the hall, glancing at each room as he passed. In most of them groups of people sat, talking or drinking or laughing around low tables in the center of the room, while some people slept on bedrolls and cushions all around the walls. Some people spoke over food, or drinks, or were in heated arguments. In one room he passed, two people were in a full on fistfight while a dozen others watched and cheered, or shouted advice. And yet in another, no one spoke at all. He'd paused outside this room, because it was the only one with a curtain, several drooping layers of heavy ornate cloth blocking the entrance. Someone had walked out just as he stood there. He wasn't a Uhratian, his auburn coloured hair and grey eyes making him for a Southron Caldaen. He had the look of a man who had been on the road for quite some time, dust and dirt on his high laced boots, suspenders over his bare chest, a coat tossed over one shoulder with a travelsack. He simply smirked and nodded as he caught Des's eye. Then he walked away and towards the exit. But at that moment, Des had held open the curtain and peeked inside. In this room, they simply slept, with a single dim lantern hanging from the low ceiling. The people here weren't all Uhratian. Some were Southron Caldaens, some Heartland. Some were Baltaen, and others were Uhratian. But they all slept with travelpacks and property close by them. They, like Des, were just travelers. Passing through.

    At the end of the hall, Des reached the open entrance to the last room of the first floor. Here, two dozen people rushed around a busy kitchen. People fetched barrels of ale, bottles of wine, and other supplies from the large supply room at the opposite end of the kitchen. Others stood at one of the many wooden islands, chopping up vegetables and meats and other things. There was an eclectic mix of smells in the kitchen. He could make out the unmistakable sweet tinge of saha'lahm, a spicy sweet Uhratian meal of rice and sauce mix with chicken, wrapped in a special kind of leaf. There was the sweet, doughy smell of baked goods so common here in the capitol, that no food establishment, even a Uhratian one in the Settlements, can get away with not serving it. Des's eyes were drawn to a particular table, where platters of Caldaen pastries and baked deserts were layed out in beautiful arrangements. In the back, there were flashes of fire on large grills where noodles, chicken, horse, vegetables and particular fruit sauces were tossed together and then diced or thrown whole into great big bowls the size of a small washbasin. Dozens of Baltaen eating utensils were arranged around the bowl and it was carried out on someone's head. But of all these cooks, travelers, and patrons...none of them looked like who he was searching for. That left the second floor. The main tavern room. Up there, he had no way of staying out of sight from the person he was trying to avoid. The owner of this establishment.

    'Damn you, Delv,' he thought, before ascending the wooden stairs towards the second floor. The sound of singing and music had reached a deafening quality by now. Every person in town who had a flute or pipe or ocarina seemed to have decided to bring their instruments. Familiar Uhratian tunes played while people sang along in the hometongue. It wasn't like the Caldaen music. It was more chaotic, more alive. The Caldaens, like their magic, was all math. So careful, so constrained. Beautiful, no doubt. But rarely fun. Here, even the Caldaen travelers found themselves dancing to the music. Though, of course, any Caldaen traveler who found this place was one who was used to being around Uhratians. You could see it in their clothing. Maybe it was a scarf, rather than a tie. Maybe it was extra accent of colour. The Caldaens like their clothes much like their music; well crafted. The ones here often had the look of travelers, or even Caldaen's who had lived in the Settlements for most of their lives. It had been twenty-five years since the war. The refugees had been here long enough to produce both Uhratians who knew nothing of their homeland, and Caldaens who had grown up in the former refugee camp now known as the Settlements, a sprawling shanty-city right across the river from the capitol. The influences of both could be seen everywhere. From picture frames on the wall of this Uhratian hostel/tavern, to Uhratian tattoos on Caldaen patrons. Des was watching one such Caldaen, a boy of no older than twenty, dressed in black cotton pants with a red sash. Around his arm was a qa'sesh.

    It was a Uhratian tradition. A Uhratian funeral rite. When someone dies, you sew a ribbon that is used to wrap their body. On it you sew poems about their life. In the old days, a magi would then burn the body, using magic to keep the ribbon from getting harmed. When the body was gone and only the ribbon remained, the ritual was over. This ribbon, known as a qa'sesh, would then be given to the family and put in their shrine. Family members would pray to the ribbons for guidance. Of course, today there were no longer any Uhratian Magi, so the tradition no longer works the way it once did. Now the ribbon is just a symbol. Often times, the body is burned right away now and the family may sew the ribbon over the course of several weeks, long after the funeral is over. But the meaning still remains. Long ago, though, it was thought that the ribbons contained power. And Uhratian warriors often wore the ribbons around their heads as turbans, or their arms like bandages. The ribbon-wrapped warriors of Uhrat were some of the fiercest. Long ago...

    And yet here, there was a Caldaen with a qa'sesh around his arms, dressed in Uhratian clothes. He had black hair, but his eyes were blue, like many of the Heartland Caldaens. He seemed to feel Des's gaze, because he turned to look right at him. Des was about to say something, when suddenly the familiar, smiling face of Tal ran up to him.

    "Des! Des! I found him! The guy you were looking for, he says he wants to speak to--," Tal began. Des had glanced past Tal to the Caldaen he'd caught eyes with just before being interrupted. He saw the knife he was pulling out from behind his back. And that's when he realized. He'd seen this boy. Three times. He'd thought he was a Uhratian from behind. In the first shop they'd questioned, outside the city gates even before that, and now here, in this tavern. Des pushed Tal to the side, cutting him off. But before he could even reach the boy with the knife he...knelt? He held the knife out with both hands. It wasn't a dagger at all. It was a Uhratian spearhead. Long, curved, and ornate, it was the length of a forearm. Down the center of the narrow, curved weapon was a strip of darker, thicker metal on which flowing, Uhratian script was inscribed. Long ago it had been blue. He knew this. Because he had seen this spearhead before.

    "Where...where did you find this?," he asked, reaching down carefully and taking it from the boy's hands. The Caldaen stood up and now that he was closer, Des realized his mistake. Looking in his eyes, and seeing the sparse shadow of facial hair, he knew the boy to be at least in his mid or late twenties. When he spoke, he spoke perfect Uhratian.

    "Twenty-five years ago a man saved my mother's life with the spear that used to belong to. I've spent some time trying to find a way to return it," he said. Des blinked in confusion. How did he know? A few people near by had started to watch them when Des had pushed Tal to the side, but seeing that no fight was breaking out had luckily returned to their drinks and talk. It was Tal who broke the silence between them, with a playful laugh.

    "Des? Sorry, but you've been drinking. I mean look at him--," Tal turned and gestured to Des as if that said everything. "--he's like maybe thirty years old. I know Des is a bit of a badass, but I doubt even he was saving people's lives with spears when he was five years old. Right, Des? Des? Right?,"

    Des simply stood there. In this moment--in this tavern called Vulhaven--he could see the world changing. The old country, and the new one forming in the streets of this slum. In this room where Caldaens and Uhratians sang the same songs, while outside the world screamed at them and threatened death. In this twisting maze of shady streets and alleys, where children played the same games he'd played as a child and mothers sang the same hymns while pulling clothes across the lines that connected building to building in a tapestry of hanging laundry of a thousand colours. Where outside of this sprawling refugee camp turned city of desolation and pride, people saw shady alleys of crooks and thieves, there were games and songs and laughter. Nothing said that more than this tavern, at the center of it all. A tavern that had taken two days to get to, in this twisting labyrinth of a city with no street names. Where Caldaen decorations were hung on Uhratian architecture, and Baltaen cuisine was cooked downstairs next Uhratian meals and Capitol deserts. In this moment, in this room, where a secret he'd thought he'd hidden was being handed to him for the world to see, in the form of a spear.

    "I won't talk here," he said. Tel's eyes widened and that smile slipped away for one of those rare moments. The mysterious Caldaen in Uhratian clothes simply nodded. As he led them into a back room, he stared at the spearhead he held in his hands. He got the strange feeling someone was watching him for a moment, but glancing back into the main room one last time, he saw nothing that caught his eye. He'd have to make this quick. It was a long story, but he didn't have the time to tell it all. He still had business to do...

    [[And I have no idea how that came out. I was trying to describe the tavern and that came out. I'll post it and figure out how to describe the inn in your guys' format based off what I wrote later on]]
    #5 MachinaWriter, Aug 20, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 20, 2014
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