The return…

Hail and Well Met! Forum The Mystic Tavern The return…

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  • #350
    Thales
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      • Patron Since: 2005

      The road in. Art by Dan Mumford

      Years it had been since Thales had seen the tavern. No… decades since last he had found himself treading this ancient path. He recalled then, that it had been a critical artery to the tavern and the mountainous, wild lands beyond. A tenuous lifeline to civilization laid through unforgiving, rugged wilderness. Then the forest had always menaced the road, clawing at the fringes of the packed dirt highway, poised to overtake it should the chance arise.

      No, most certainly centuries had elapsed. Then the road had been maintained by some unseen means well-maintained and was always wanting for maintenance. Now only faint wagon-ruts marked it from a game trail. The path was thick with knee-high grass and low shrubs, criss-crossed with deadfall. Whatever crafty artifice had kept that road open had long fled.

      For nearly forty leagues he had seen naught of man and but little of animal. Once he had fed himself handsomely on what he snared and shot from the road. Now he ate sparingly of the dried beef and fruit in his pack and hoped for better hunting ahead. He had once marked off this journey to the tavern by the stone and wood wayposts along the way. Now, only a few cairns remained at irregular intervals on the road. Yet Thales knew that he had reached the tavern.

      First came the sound of falling water, it spoke of the falls and the great roiling cataracts to the Northeast. Then the road began to widen and the wilds receded. Grasses and low growth retreated and yielded again to packed dirt. Pines and oaks parted to reveal the tavern…

      • This topic was modified 4 months, 2 weeks ago by Thales.
      • This topic was modified 4 months, 2 weeks ago by Thales.
      • This topic was modified 4 months, 2 weeks ago by Thales.

      Ere he fared forth into the great world to write his name across the stars and make an ancient throne his seat...

      #356
      Thales
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        • Patron Since: 2005

        Front Door

        Thales entered a clearing formed in the forest, the path that he had taken now became a cobbled road that forked left, right and straight ahead. The traveler doffed the cowl of his cloak to admire the stone and timber tavern looming before him. A morning sun wreathed the tavern in light- ‘Unchanged’ Thales thought, for The Mystic Tavern had been spared the ravages of time.

        The dark stone was smoothed by wear but no vines or lichen clung to the mortar or marred the walls of the tavern or its stable. The beams, shutters and massive entry were made of wood dark with age but unblemished by rot. Doors and windows were shut fast from long ago. Whatever dweomer that had failed to maintain the road held fast to the famed tavern and its grounds. The traveler began down a center path wide enough to comfortably accommodate a carriage. ‘The Mystic Tavern’ read the large, wooden sign jutting from the portico above the front entrance.

        “Hullo?” As he approached he called out, his melodious voice echoed in the clearing but went unanswered. “Hullo?” Again unanswered. Thales took the stone steps leading up to the covered entrance in a single, excited spring. He pressed the fingertips of right hand to the tight seam between the two heavy wooden doors before him and delved. The doors were sealed and barred against force. Only with the correct key could the tavern be opened again…

        Ere he fared forth into the great world to write his name across the stars and make an ancient throne his seat...

        #358
        Thales
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          • Patron Since: 2005

          Taproom

          A busy month had passed since Thales had unsealed the entrance to the tavern and awoken the wards within. Much like the exterior of the tavern, the empty interior had been spared all but the most superficial touch of neglect. Thales’ first task had been reviving the pair of great stone hearths which book ended the massive taproom. With this light and cheer he had then set to work. The tavern proper had taken precedence followed by the stable, the former occupying the bulk of his time. The cavernous taproom was now replete with trestle tables, benches, bar stools and necessary fixtures once more. Dozens of hulking casks sat against part of the wall behind the bar. The remainder of the wall was lined with shelves full of bottles of various size, shape, color and label. The tavern once again offered a fabled quality of spirits rivaled only by the viands which could be had from its well appointed kitchen. The larders held the bounty of the forest that surrounded the tavern, supplemented more each day by the foodstuffs carted in from lands both near and far.

          The staircase which sat opposite the bar and catty-corner from the entrance had remained warded against use. Those stairs led to a dimly lit balcony which hinted of the dozen rooms on the second floor. Next he would undertake the restoration of the lodgings. Now, he steeled himself for his most challenging task- summoning the Innkeeper. The incantation required dexterous thaumaturgy of the highest order and it afforded little room for error. The magic which had been harnessed to stir the tavern from torpidity had taxed Thales mightily. With a deep breath he closed his eyes and began to draw the needed energies. Sunlight dimmed as though a veil had been drawn across every window and the twin hearths sputtered and threatened to die. The air took on a heaviness and the timbers around Thales began to groan. Outside a strong wind scoured the clearing and rattled the tavern windows in their casements…

          Ere he fared forth into the great world to write his name across the stars and make an ancient throne his seat...

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