The Spirit's Pub
"You head down this back alley, and check that last door on the left. If it opens for you, you are in, one of the gang. If not, well you are not ready for the place yet. If you can't see that door on the left, you will never be one of us. " Silverwind, aka Alex O'Tor
The Door is always in a "tucked away" place, such as down an alley or around an alcove. It is not well marked. Most people just pass right by it. When you are right upon it and if you can see the door, it has a faded complex Ouroboros painted on it.
Though the door, you head down a short, narrow and dark hallway. The hallway ends in five well worn stairs at the very end. Centuries of feet and other things have worn down quite a divot in the stairs.
You come out into what looks like an authentic Dublin Pub, because it is. The look is classic; dark wood, half timbering, white plaster, crowded booths and tables, and the stale smells of Guinness, smoke, people, and things left behind. The pub itself is nearly 350 years old. It was restored (fixed as many patrons say) about 90 years ago to look more like its original self (using most of the original products that had been covered over, rather than the mishmash of things it had become.
The crowd is a mix that nobody seems to mind. You have Old Dubliners sitting next to women in Saris, a few upscale professionals sitting at tables with bikers/ uk punks, and few new age types sprinkled in. It seem incongruous if you are just looking. And you are only just looking if you are a guest.
With the Sight, you note the "multifaceted" aspect of the crowd. It is a place where Shidhe and lesser fey who move in the Mortal Realm can refresh themselves. They wear mortal forms and gear in most places. A few magickers find their way here as well, most with a touch "Of the Blood". A few "just people" who have Fey in their bloodlines find their way here as well. The crowd is an eccletic mix, but it seems to work. There isn't magic on the pub itself that causes this happen (though there might be some on the doors), it just does.
The Pub, is is not "home", as they Fey would say. It is physically in Dublin under a big old office building. However, it has many ties to the old way, so paths were made to it. Because it is a real place, real money changes hands here.
The odd nature of the place is an open secret for the crowd. It is kept "on the side" because an occasional random person can find The Pub, and it is a neighborhood bar for its section of Dublin.
The Current Barkeep most nights is the Owner's Son, a late twenty something called Patrick. He keeps it light in the bar, and laments the lack of cable here, so he can't watch The Football. "At least it has electric lights and indoor plumbing," he laments. But the take every night is fairly good.
Patrick is fairly aware of the Bar's true nature. He is a well trained shamman of the Alquonican Indian (from Canada). Uncle (Ben) Two Trees used to come here every night for years. He brought Patrick over to teach him Shamans ways.
The Beer/ Ale/ Stout/ Guinness here is top knotch. The food is standard pub fair, heated on a broad hotplate.
There are three or so people who mind the bar. Two are humans and one is a young Shidhe changeling who finds it fun to work the place. One or two of them help Patrick on most nights.
Molly is the waitress. It seems like she is always here. That is actually the truth. Molly is a ghost. She found her way here soon after her death sixty some odd years ago. After moping around some, she began to help Patrick's Grandfather one busy night. She has helped out ever since then. She seems to be a normal human being most of the time. It is only a rare occasion when touched by Iron or something occult happens that her nature shows up.
There are only two that need to be noted.
The Old Guy "Cassidy": He has been comming here for quite a long time. Some say since the begining. He comes in, sits at the end of the bar, and nurses his one beer. He gets one beer free every night he comes in, that is the deal. (It is written in every known bill of purchase/sale of the Pub.) He occassionally gets an extra beer or two along the way from generous patrons or a "round for the house". He never really talks to anyone and just ignores everyone, though he does keep an ear out to what everyone is talking about.
Peter O'Malley: He is a heavy set man. His hair is running thin on the top and made up for by the mutton chops on his face. He is getting a bit round in his old age. He is "the man who knows people", a Third Man. If you need something or someone, if he does not know the exact person to send you to, he knows the one that does. While many of his dealings are shady, he never gets his hands dirty. You pay him a bit and he makes introductions, gives you a phone number, or tells you to be at an address at a certain time. He is quite a mundane man: pragmatic and realistic. (He was IRA in the troubled days). He has no talent or blood, just a talisman he wears to find the place. When he set up shop here, he expanded his connections to include the occult and fey. This is a perfect place for a man such as he, as the police never seem to come here. If you have an invite from him, an appointment, you seem to be able to find The Pub. At least, for your appointment and often until the conclusion of your business with him.
You can only find The Door if you have The Sight (Magical/ Mystical Sight), Of the Blood (Fey), or have been Touched (Temporal Dimensional Empathy or gate shifted). You can bring guests in, but unless they are talented, they will never find the place again.
The Door opens up in Dublin, Toronto, San Francisco, Seattle, New York, Damori (a city in North India), and of course your campaign city. (I.E anyplace with a strong Fey Link). You can't use The Tavern to Travel without "much mojo" according to the Barkeep and any mystic type. But you can "Bar express", by handing a package to someone who will be leaving by the right door.
The Bar is not neutral ground. It is an open place. However, most who find their way here are, like it fairly calm. That, plus the silver long sword on the back bar wall and the enchanted shotgun under the counter, keeps the peace.
One of the ties to the old ways is that this was once an underhill. Underhill is a fairy myth term for a fairy place, as fairies live under mounds or hills. If you enter it, you seem to enter another world with its own sky and such.
The one of the other ties was that there is a Crimson Fey Gem hidden in the woodwork under the Bar. It is an artifact of some power (insert what ever powers you might need to impress and/ or scare everyone), hidden there as an emergency measure. "Break Bar in case of Trouble" is a small wooden sign behind the bar.
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? Responses (12)
*wonders if the enchanted shotgun fires silver bullets*
No, not specifically. It probably has a bane round in it.
For those of you that do not know what a bane round is, it is a shotgun load that has a variety of material in it. The standard recipe includes
Silver coated small shot (blessed prefered)
Wood shards, often soaked in Wolf's Bane
All of the above is often soaked in garlic
Depending on your situation and setting, there will be other herbals included.
The inside of the shell is often lined with a scripture paper (a small prayer on a rice paper)
Heh, maybe we need to get the Mythbusters to see how much of this material actually would make it to a target :)
Actually, except for the prayer wrapping, it all does. The any herbals are there to enfuse and coat the other materials via oils (in shell) and smoke (after fire). The wood is a bit charred of course, but it makes it there at a distance of about 40 feet. I don't know beyond that range.
This is not a perfect delivery system, but if you need to get point to target, it will do the job.
It is a bit hard to read in places, some re-reading would help it. Some things could be explained, like what is an underhill, or what that gem does, but those are no big issues.
Very nice place though, if you have the right game. I like the old guy most, remember something similar even from elsewhere; a fine touch of melancholy and mystery.
Underhill is a fairy/ fey trope. In the mythology, fairies live under mounds or hills. If you enter said mount or hill, you seem to enter another world with its own sky and such. It seems larger under the hill than the hill is.
There are few typos (pup fair?) and a few paragraphs could use a general bit of polish. I like the core concept but the thing that really made this one for me were the personas. The old man who gets a free beer every night because it's in the lease, Molly the ghost waitress and Patrick complaining about the lack of cable.
Updated: Updated format and under comments on the Underhill for those mythically challanged.
And the mythically challenged rejoice!
And there was much rejoicing...
I like it. The combination of Modern with the Folk is nice.
That is what Urban Fantasy (see free text link) is all about. It is about the modern setting (and people) touched, by the mystical and fey (fairytale) that is still in the world. Charles de Lint, Terri Windling (Borderlands), Neil Gaiman, Tanya Huff, and a host of others, do a great job of mixing the modern and the fairy.
There are a couple of RPGs which specialize in the genre. Some I won't list because of the knee jerk reactions, but some of the better ones are Dreaming Cities (Tri-stat and D20) and CJ Carella's WitchCraft.
Now I love the such books and gaming in such a setting can be a lot of fun. (Note some of my supers characters on the site are "overlapped" with urban fantasy).