It had been a long day, the party is halfway between two towns and expected to bed down by the side of the road, when, low and behold they come upon an Inn in the middle of nowhere… The place seems a bit rundown, but a warm fire glows in its windows and the sounds of revelry call sweetly to tired feet with promise of good food and drink.
As the party takes a table in the oddly (due to The Inns remoteness) crowded common room a man approaches and strikes up a conversation asking about recent news and the families of the adventurers. He is kindly and talks at length, pleasant company as the adventurers fill their bellies.
Suddenly, they wake up from a nap that none of them remember, they are sleeping on the grass near the area the Inn stood, they are fully rested (meaning spellcasters can learn spells), their bellies are still full, but the Inn is gone! The ground looks as if there was never anything there, and close to where they sat inside the Inn, as they well as they can find, lays their equipment, unharmed, with nothing missing…
Upon arrival at their destination they learn through questioning of a ghostly Inn that sometimes appears to travelers, giving them peace and safety on the weary journey between the two towns.
(The Long Awaited Fleshing)
It seems that during the Old Empire, the road was frequented by travelers moving between the Old Capital in the Northreach and what was then the Old Capital of Southshore Reach. Then, the Way (as the old north/south road is called) was clear and patrolled by troopers stationed in the towns and villages that randomly touched the 1000 league road, and tavern-inns dotted the leagues in between these towns, providing free lodging for patrols and convenient stops for small groups of travelers.
The distant history of this vanishing inn was long ago lost, alas the memories of men seldom outlive the generations, but it is generally agreed that The Inn was ran by an old man in the last years of the Old Empire, during the reign of the Last Emperor. The Inn was a haunt of patrol troopers and highwaymen, wanderers and traders alike, the peace was kept in honor of the man, who was a retired adventurer and generally believed to be an archmage in some tales. It was a place where the news of the Empire could be gathered and rumors spread, a place that collected rumors about itself, rumors of the couples wealth, of secret rooms and tunnels to distant places.
It was said that the man would never turn away a traveler in need and it was said that room for more could always be found regardless of the nightly crowd, the Inn always seemed to have more room inside than the outer walls could allow, one could count a mere twenty windows on the outside, but walking the halls one could encounter twice as many doors, presumably to separate rooms.
So say the tales, but truth and legend always blur in the old memories of generations and though the reality is unknown, the tales live on. The Inn was supposedly destroyed in the last years of the reign of the Last Emperor when the Old Empire began to break up into the petty kingdoms and city-states that exist today. Legends say that the Inn opened its doors to those left without homes, taking in unknown numbers of refugees, some tales say that the Inn housed an entire village within its walls by the end, and through some magical means no one ever suffered the pangs of hunger or thirst there, and still travelers were never turned away.
No one knows what happened to the Inn or why it disappeared, but tales say that during those dark years as armies marched across the land, a local lord decided to add the Inn to his holdings, this lord believed the rumors of wealth and secret places. In his greed he decided that the secrets of the Inn would be his, and he marched his army up the Way and demanded that the man open its doors to him, to surrender his keys and his secrets. The old man turned him from their door, and ordered him to be gone, and in rage the lord ordered his men to set fire to the Inn.
As the torches approached, it is said that a great windstorm began to blow and the dust of the Way smothered the flames and the soldiers who carried them, and the bellowing wind became the voice of the old man and proclaimed the anger of the Striding God, the Protector of Travelers, and the protection of all within the Inn. When the dust cleared, the Inn was gone, and in its place was grass, it seemed as though no building has ever stood there. Some tales end with the journey of the lord, who died on the Way home, a traveler no longer in the favor of the Striding God, who, it is believed, is the old man who ran the Inn, as well as the Inn patron who always speaks to those who find the Inn, always asking for the latest news and rumors.