The Tall Tales Tavern (Valgora Supplement)
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TwoTone Trollbane's Tall Tales Taverns & Travelers' Lodge Inc, doing business as The Tall Tales Tavern, and its' franchise second location, The Tall Tales Tavern Two, is one of Valgora's most famous places. Common travelers stop in just to say they've been, while adventurers flock for the information and money floating around inside. Celebutantes make their presence known to keep up their social position.
Gnomish Talaran Sir TwoTone Trollbane founded what would become the Tall Tales Tavern over 450 years ago. The small business, then known as Trollbane Tavern, became a success when the Talaran Senate zoned the market district in such a way that all other taverns at the time had to move. Due to economic reasons, this meant permanent closer at the time. As the only remaining tavern, the business expanded dramatically seemingly overnight. Even though other good taverns exist now in Talara, none can even scratch the surface of it's success.
Re branded a century ago as the Tall Tales Tavern & Travelers Lodge, the business was remodeled and added onto. The addition of the lodge allowed patrons the ability to conduct their business in a more private setting. Just a few decades ago, a second tavern was opened (The Tall Tales Tavern Two) in Vrentroit and was modeled after the original tavern's updated layout.
Sir TwoTone Trollbane the Seventeenth is the current head of Trollbane Travel, LLC. He rarely actually visits the taverns, but is always aware of their daily bottom line.
Adventurers can find individuals in need of assistance (and willing to pay) at all hours with a quick visit. More keen patrons are able to find out just about anything they need to know from other customers. If a traveler has no such need, the tavern does still provide a good cheap drink and meal and the convenience of it's lodging overnight.
The four-story tavern, it's connected lodge, and customer stables, take up about 3 talaran city blocks. The tavern proper sits on Market Square South, with the stable complex a block to the south and the lodge on the connected north block. Customers enter the tavern via a corner entrance and find themselves in a foyer area. The area to the entrance's immediate right is the main dining center, with round tables placed about. More civilized card games take place in the back of this area.
To the entrance's immediate left is the world renowned bar. The area runs the entire length of the building, and the Grand Bar sits along the right wall of the area. The more barbaric or risky card games take place in the corner under the stairs. Even at it's slowest hours, the stools of the bar are always filled. The kitchen sits behind the bar (cornered behind this area and the interior wall of the dining area).
At the end of this area is the grand Solitude Stage, named after famed bard Dewey Solitude. The stage houses live performances nightly, and performers are forewarned that the crowd will not hide it's feelings if they don't like the evening's entertainment. A small area exists behind the stage for loading and show preparation.
Stairs along the left wall lead up to the top floors. The second and third floors have an open area allowing customers to look down and view happening within the bar area. The second floor has a guarded and locked storeroom where the massive liquor stash of the tavern is kept. Other small rooms include a cleaning closet and holding cell for the more rowdy customers.
The third floor has a small bar itself for customer convenience. A pulley-system elevator also allows quick access to the kitchen and storeroom below. The large open area of the bar away from the viewing deck has a octagonal cage and is encircled by chairs. Customers who wish to settle differences and keep the favor of the tavern (by not breaking anything or damaging property) are encouraged to use the facility.
The fourth floor is off limits to customers. The main office is situated on the corner (directly above where the main customer entrance is on the first floor) and provides an excellent view of the surrounding market area, as most other buildings are no taller than two stories. The full-time customers of the tavern live on site and have their apartments on this floor, as well as a common area and small recreational facilities. The floor houses one of the few automatic showering facilities available to those of middle or low class.
The Tall Tales Traveler's Lodge can be entered via it's own front doors or the foyer of the Tavern (as well as an entrance between the two on the third floor). Customer's will see the receptionist's desk and a nicely laid out common's area. A fire pit keeps the area cozy warm, and the buzz of conversation from the bar can always be heard. The first and second floors of the lodge each have forty single-bed rooms. These rooms come with a bed, night table, reading desk, and a small closet. The floors have sporadically placed washing facilities for quests.
The third floor has ten double rooms, which include two of everything found in the single rooms, and five condos for upper-class quests (usually diplomats from the states and member countries of Ghikva and Malsvir). The fourth floor is one large apartment, and rumors abound of the wonders within. Currently, the floor is on lease to Prince Thraun of Malsvir, though his lease expires very soon and he has decided to not renew it.
The block immediately south of the Tavern and Lodge is occupied by The Sleepy Steed. The business sprung up to provide stable areas for customers of the tavern, and although not affiliated with the business, exists entirely because of it. Two-Tone Trollbane has attempted numerous times to purchase the place from Kennet & Ko. to no avail. The complex uses pulley-operated elevators to allow for a three-story stable complex. Everything from a single horse or caravan, to an entire coach crew, can be stashed away for a fee while it's owners are inside. The close proximity to the market also assists non-tavern goers who wish to have a safe place for their belongings.
Scryer Securities, LLC operates a force in the stables to protect belongings, though their services must be purchased in addition to the parking fee. This insurance is expensive for the common man, but invaluable to adventurers.
The Tall Tales Tavern of Talara
Bartender Galmak is a seasoned professional in his field. In his tenure in the tavern, there isn't much he hasn't witnessed. The prompt half orc stands for no violence in his bar - unless he ends up on the top of the pile. Galmak works the counter during all busy hours, but has his assistants Rogar and Dimmul handle the off hours.
The Barmaid roster of girls, more affectionately called the Tall Tails for their long-legs and curves, consist of the humans Rachel MacLeod and Deborah Stanton, the elven Yaleni Vronindale, and the raunchy halfling Lacey Lightfoot. The girls are all soft-faced beauties with a no-nonsense attitude (barring of course Lacey). Some of the common customers come in hopes of one day winning a date with one of them, but no such luck exists.
Chef Chen Regast never cooked a day in his life before being hired in as a busboy in the tavern years ago. Travelers with a noble tongue will taste this fact, though years of tutelage under previous chefs have made his meals comparable for the middle and lower classes.
The Tavern has a habit of expending it's support staff on a regular basis. Janitors, Cooks, Busboys, and Stagehands are usually hired from the local community of young adult hooligans. Most quit out of laziness, though some find some other sad luck (one lad was accidentally used as a weapon in a bar fight on his first night).
A vast array of unique individuals can be found within the tavern's walls at any given moment, but a few repeat quests have become mainstays in the place.
"Lucky" Lightfoot (of unknown relation to the barmaid Lacey Lightfoot) is a high roller in the tavern's card circle. Rumor has it that he once played a game of three-dragon ante with a Deck of Many Things and drew every card possible. The flaunting figure of Madam Mysinol roams the tables offering up seedy business deals with patrons with one of her many escort girls. When his ship (The Handcuffed Gopher) is in the Atlantean Bay, Captain Arthus Flintlock and his crew can be found causing all sorts of trouble and having all sorts of fun doing it.
The most famous customer of the tavern, however, has no name. Well, he does, but none know it. The halfling male has sat in the same seat at the same table, drink the same ales, and ate the same meals for the last twenty four years. He never speaks, and the most conversation he ever had consisted of pointing to the menu in his early days before his wants where commonly known amongst the staff.
The Solitude Stage, named after famed bard Douie Solitude, houses live performances nightly. On slow week nights and occasional open mics, local Talaran bards are welcome to come perform. On other weeknights, the tavern has house band The Tall Tales perform.
The tavern alternates between a handful of selected acts for weekend performances, with one major concert quarterly. The usual weekend acts are Nathaniel "Meloku" Essex, Gringol's Gals, Dreamt Delusions, or The Road Scholars.
Once quarterly, the tavern pays to have a more established popular act perform, and the concert usually coincides with other events or specials. Recently, the stage has housed performances by Raizen Cain, Stoic Chieftains, and the famously raunchy wild boys of Mithril Dragon.
The highlight performance of the year is always during the week of the Talara - Cape Myst sailing race, when legendary Douie Solitude & The Solitude Seven headline the night's performance. The concert draws record crowds and the streets are lined with residents and travelers alike. The band is carried to the tavern on a float in the Aqual Race Parade. Martivir Caex has personally attended the performance on numerous occasions. The band also performs once annually at the Tall Tales Tavern Two, during the weekend before Sykuin when travelers are passing through, and it draws an equally large crowd.
The Tall Tales Tavern Two of Vrentroit
Bartender Reingold was trained by Galmak of the talaran tavern, and as such knows his way around alcohol. Luckily for patrons, however, he did not acquire Galmak's attitude, and is unusually cheery. The middle aged goblin is always happy to hear or relay a traveling story.
The beautiful barmaids consist of an entirely elven female roster (bartender Reingold gets to hire them, and he has his taste). The mainstays and loved include Ryna Youngleaf and her older sister Yhorna, Helinor Roseling, and the downtrodden Elingflour DeNeoum.
Meals are prepared by Cape Myst native Chef William Hovingcamp, who has consistently turned down offers to open up upper-class five star restaurants as he prefers to serve the common man. His food is beloved the world over, and he keeps adventurers busy heading to the distant reaches of the world to get the special ingredients he requires.
As most taverns, the support staff frequently changes. Though local youth Marol Larrington has served as busboy for over three years, a term unheard of in the position.
With it's centralized location on Valgora's main continent, the business sees adventurers, holy nomads, diplomats, and vacationing commoners in mass quantities. A few travelers can be seen occasionally as they always make it a point to stop in while in town. These include legends such as Azule StrongArm, Fregdar Tremtotem, and even Douie Solitude.
Locals frequent the place for numerous reasons, and customers of the tavern can run into these individuals at any time. Card-counting trickster Froman Sprockets is always attempting to make a buck off an unsuspecting patron, while Madam Larrington (of unknown-yet-much-speculated relation to busboy Marol Larrington) attempts to sell her women to lonely drunks. Murat Rygal sits in the back, seemingly a local drunk. The gentleman is actually a representative of the International Thieves Guild, keeping a watch on happenings and assisting guild members.
Allowing locals to perform on slow weeknights allows Trollbane to save a few copper, and that is something he likes to do. On other weeknights, the houseband The Tall Tails (an all female lineup named after both the houseband of the Talaran Tavern and it's barmaids) performs for the crowd. Weekends see an alternating schedule of regional acts, such as The Vrentroit Vruks, Dredge, Three Dragon Ante, and the lovable Sir Fredrick Droik.
Much like it's Talaran counterpart, the highlight performance of the year is when Douie Solitude and The Solitude Seven hit the stage the weekend before the Sykuin festival. Travelers on their way to Sykuin fill Vrentroit and the show highlights the city's weekend celebration.