The "Inn Ye' Go" Inn, is a large three-story structure, built of brick and cedar logs. The taproom is huge, dominated by a rubble granite fireplace. The second floor, which has the majority of the rooms, features an outdoor deck, which raps around two walls of the rectangular building. The third floor has fewer but pricier rooms. The paint on the outside of the inn used to be a sky blue, but on a whim, Unquis the innkeeper had it painted in a mahogany color recently. A low one-story wing extends from the inn, which serves as the stable. Unquis employs young girls and boys, in their early teens, (former street urchins), to serve as the staff. For muscle, Unquis employs four pikemen, who have for various reasons been expelled from, or have quit the Town Guard.
Unquis himself, lives in an apartment below the inn, connected to the larder, root and wine cellars, and his "treasure room", a small chamber filled with thousands of old maps, sea charts, and journals from his travels. Quite the sailor and cartographer in his past life, Unquis is obsessed with maps. He is a life-long bachelor. His wife is his inn, and his 'kids' are his staff.
Unquis Helstraw, or "Uncle" as his patrons have called him for as long as anyone can remember runs the most popular inn in the town of Sparn. There is nothing particularly unusual about the town itself, and its only claim to fame, other than the inn, lies in the fact that it is situated at the crossroads of several major trade routes. More people have heard of the "Inn Ye' Go" than they have heard of Sparn itself. Good food, good drink, and good times are always on the menu here.
Unquis has run the establishment for twenty-five years, and is now nearly sixty years of age. He is a portly, salt-n-pepper haired, ruddy cheeked fellow, who has one strange physical characteristic. Unquis sports one-half of an incredibly bushy moustache. The other half was scorched off long ago, during Unquis' youth, when he was a wild and wooly explorer, sailing the southern oceans. Unquis will NEVER tell anyone how this happened. Since that time, no matter how many different ointments or balms Unquis has applied to the area, hair did not grow back left of his upper lip. He even tried a hedge wizard's magic once, but when the drunken magician nearly burned down the inn while brewing some potions, Unquis "gave up on magic". He is now no longer embarrassed by his looks, and wears his half-moustache proudly, having heard every jape and anecdote on the subject there is to hear. Think you have an original one? Unquis will buy you two mugs of his best ale and a partridge-on-a-stick if you regale him with a quip. If he thinks its funny he laughs. If he thinks your stupid, he tells you so. Keep in mind that Unquis not only knows all the face-sitting moustache jokes, but he's directly responsible for a few, including the one about the baker's wife, the bag of flour, and the spatula.
An advanced derivation of these one-liner challenges is another tradition that has developed in the inn. Twice a year, at Midsummer's eve, and during the Winter Solstice a contest is held in the taproom of the "Inn Ye' Go". The contest involves telling a tale of how "Uncle" lost half of his now famous whisker(s). Any one is free to enter the competition, and over the years, bards, poets, lyricists, rhymers, and storytellers of no small renown have traveled from great distances to spin their yarns and tell their tales. There is only one simple rule...you have twenty minutes. It could be a song, poem, fable, or a plain story. Anything goes. Over the years, the contest has evolved to the point where rarely if ever, do the stories have anything to do with Unquis himself anymore! Sometimes a contestant will tell a tale completely unrelated to Unquis, and in the end say "Oh yeah, and THAT'S how 'Uncle' lost his whisker!" More often than not, and unsurprisingly, these stories feature a bawdy component.
During these contests the taproom and balconies are filled to capacity with people, often with over a hundred folks brimming inside, and more on the outside trying to get in. The prize for the enviable winner, is a free one week stay in one of the inn's finer third story rooms (food and limited drink included), a pig-leather pouch with sixty silver, and a silver-plated wooden plaque, which is hung from the rafters, with the winner's name carved into the wood.
The judges are three "Inn Ye' Go" regulars. These men are local to Sparn, and spend most nights "with their Uncle". They all share one common trait, which helps with their judging. They are great listeners! The three are:
Like the other two judges, and "Uncle" himself, this chap goes by his moniker, and few know his real name. His particular appellation derives from the fact that he possesses the most putrid breath one can come across in another human being. No amount of lemon or mint seems to have any effect, though "Uncle" can often be seen forcing Dogbreath to chew on one or the other. Not the greatest conversationalist (and even if he was, no one would sit near enough to listen!), Dogbreath's true talents are drinking and playing "Baduk", a strategy game, popular in Sparn, involving a painted wooden game board and many small white and black flattened, spherical stones. No one can best Dogbreath in "Baduk", though many have tried. His breath probably has something to do with this! Dogbreath has a soft spot for the raunchier tales during the contest, and the dirtier your little ditty is, the better chance of him voting for you.
Named for his occupation, he can often be seen dropping or picking up buttons, as he makes his "rounds" through the inn, offering people his services. Like, Dogbreath, he says little of any interest to anyone, but if you need a shiny new button for your jerkin, this is the best man for the job, a true master of his trade. He will make you buttons of wood, ivory, metal, or any other raw material you bring him. He even has a few magic buttons (!), but such business is conducted in his little shop across town, far from the eyes and ears of the inn's patrons. Buttons tends to vote for melodramatic stories featuring love, heartbreak, and betrayal in heavy doses. As the local saying goes, if Buttons starts crying and blubbering, you're a third of the way to victory. This man epitomizes drivel. Drivel coats him like fresh paint, staining anyone he touches.
Skinny to the point of seeming starvation, the patrons always laugh at the fact that they never see Splinter eating. "If he misses one more meal, he will vanish altogether", or "Where's Splinter?" "He's hiding behind that fishing pole" go the japes. Of the three judges, Splinter takes the contest most seriously. He can be counted on to be objective and often picks the truly best tale of the bunch. Splinter has no job, because of his wealthy in-laws. Splinter's only thorn in his otherwise rosy life is his pushy, quarrelsome, wife. A woman of great height and girth, she can often be seen dragging Splinter out of the inn by his ear, while berating him for something he didn't do, or worse, did do. He would leave her, he always says, but then he'd have no money, and since Splinter has no skills to speak of, he does not consider this an actual option. Besides, he loves her, but likes to pretend he doesn't.
Role Playing Ideas:
- Make "Uncle" laugh with a moustache joke. If the pc can make you, the gm laugh, maybe they succeed!
- The Contest. Challenge the pc's to actually come up with a story and have them tell it (preferably no dice rolling to gauge success). A GREAT way to test a bard character!!
- Surprise Unquis with a magical or non-magical cure for his bald left lip. Of course convincing him to accept a magical solution in the first place, takes some smooth talking and convincing.
- Looking for a rare map of some long lost land, forgotten ruin, or uncharted island? Unquis probably has it! Don't forget to bring coin. He doesn't like parting with his maps!
- Need a magic button? See Buttons. Let your imagination run wild with the buttons, with an emphasis on MINOR charms.
- Think you can beat Dogbreath in Baduk? Challenge him, he'll play you for money
- Looking to meet some merchants, friends or interesting people? "Inn Ye' Go"
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? Responses (24)-25
Another good post. I like the whole story competition - could be great if the PCs arrive then and listen to it, a chance to slot in all sorts of legends, myths etc. about the world, some of which might be significant later in the campaign.
I assume that Baduk, the black and white stones game is Go (if you use your hook of making the PCs play it)? I thought of backgammon first, but there's no way someone can always win that, due to the luck element.
Question: does Unquis have a wife or any children? If so, are they involved in the inn?
This was slow going for me at first but it picked up speed and tempo toward the end. I wasn't expecting the challange to be directed toward Uncle, but that makes a good sense.
The flavor you gave the judges, while short, and to the point it is definately colorful. One question, is splinter skinyn because of his wife? Does she eat the food from his plate? Worry him so much he eats little? The victim of some bad vote he gave to a contestant one year and they cursed him or did something to him so he has no appetite or never gains weight. Just curious.
The magic button idea is classic I love it. I always look for the odd and mundane things to throw at people.
Good job. I tip my hat to this one.
Nice. I like it a lot.
thanks guys! I appreciate the feedback a lot!
Iain- yessir, Baduk is Go! (in Korean). 'Go', some say, is the most cerebral of the four 'brain games' 1-Go 2-Shogi 3-Chess 4-Bridge
Unquis is a lifelong bachelor. His wife is his inn, and his kids are his staff.
Mourngrymn- you made my day! After my Cloak of Hor..Horr..Hor, oh whatever, I thought you gave up on me. :) ;)
Your Splinter comments are funny! He's based on my friend Ajay, who despite being of ideal health, looks like a skeleton with some skin stretched over him. I guess it's fast metabolism or something, and of course his overbearing wife, hehe. I love the jilted contestant idea too! Like Stephen King's 'Thinner'.
CAN SOMEONE HELP ME! Why does every apostrophe, quotation, or ellipsis appear as a QUESTION MARK??!! I'm not the most technically advanced individual, but I didn't do anything different on this one, than my other posts, and yet all these DARN ???????'s
Quotes are usually leftovers from your word processor when you copy and paste it. The processor you use uses non-standard quotes which aren't recognized by the encoding I use. Microsoft, no? You have to hand replace them, no way around it. If it is 'Word' then turn off smart quotes. Do a search on it, there are a couple different places you have to do it.
Ahhhhh. So simple. Why didn't I think of that! thank you!!!! but wait, no comment, no vote, from the Great One :(
Had no time to read it at the time, but that has now been rectified.
A notch above the often painfully stereotypical Red Dragon Inn
thanks Scrasamax. I don't mean to sound coy, and I guess I could google it, but what is the Red Dragon Inn?
Aside from a web site (which is probably NOT what Scras meant)?
C'mon... It is the stereotypical fantasy tavern, where the Barbarian hits on the voluptous barmaid and then gets into a fistfight. Sailors lie drunken outside if the tavern is at the docks. Over the fireplace the owner, who was an adventurer in his younger days, has mounted the head of the small red dragon he killed in single combat.
i see. Wasn't sure. Don't want to assume. I'm new here.
How do you know about my favorite waterhole AG? :D
I have some fond memories of that place. Haven't any characters end up there since '88 or '89.
Good Job. The cloak of Hor... wasn't that bad really, just a bit... Um. It was a solid post. I like Splinter, I know a lot of people like him. Hanging around with the Comp Sci kids and all.
Everything else has been said already. ;)
Fell in love with this one. I can see a few uses for it in my campaign. Get the players there, have them enter the contest and tell a story so they can try to win the prize. That would make for some great RP. And, if they are smart, perhaps they will think to ask him about his maps. Perhaps they will find that rare old one they will need...
All the NPCs are brilliant. Funny, unique, but real, too. Excellent job.
As always, a good long description and story packed with detail! Cute name, and I really loved all the names and descriptions of the regulars, particularly Dogbreath. Euck. The joke system could be a little hard to work into gamaing rules, but it works great for pure roleplaying purposes, as well as for world-building, to stuff into a small town to really give it flavor. To pick out something I really liked here -
'the one about the baker's wife, the bag of flour, and the spatula.'
I love how you didn't explain the joke itself - it works much better this way, allowing us sick people to cook up our own endings. Again, great stuff!
Found myself laughing a couple times reading it. The buttons could have been a write-up of their own. Nice colorful characters and an arcing explanation of the place that can be threaded into a campaign even if the PCs never actually visit there.
Can be talked about by any number of people as any quip the GM has could be echoed by the NPC saying 'I heard that one at Inn 'Ye Go' to the point where the players have to visit the place just to see what is being talked about so much.
Very good. I liked it a lot. Plenty of places for my players to interact with. It certainly goes into my campaign world.
Solid and complete
This barkeep is fantastic.
I must find a way to use this.
Heh, interesting to see how Muro responded back in the days :) A good sub that certainly holds up well. A great inn for sure!