Grinning Skull Tavern Building / Landmark in Creation | World Anvil

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Grinning Skull Tavern

At a Glance

  To many, the Grinning Skull Tavern might sound like its namesake is derivative of a tribe of gnolls or orcs. In reality, the owner of the place is quite eccentric. The edifice itself is rather uncanny. Sagging and unsymmetrical windows are placed rather sporadically within the walls. So too are the doors; unsquared and warped in appearance. Even the stonework of the walls is constructed of various hues of blue and gray. Contextually speaking, the only element of the building that is rather out of place is the bony maw of some mythical beast that serves as the main entrance. Within its eyes are rows of candles that seem to leave tracks of wax tears as they burn. One massive row of teeth comes to a climax at large, pointed tusks are decorated with intricate carvings that appear glyphic in nature. As the winds toil in the colder seasons, some believe that the skull emits alluring whispers to the passerby with promises of entertainment and excitement. One could easily imagine that such a ghastly thing would scare away children, yet it isn't uncommon to see children attempting to climb and play upon it much to the chagrin of the owner.  

First Impressions

  Through the threshold of the calcified gorge lay raucous revelry and laughter of delight. Motes of light dance drunkenly across the ceiling and walls in an array of ever-changing colors, illuminating the mismatched chairs and tables that fill the large dining area. Servers dressed in garish, multi-colored gallantly bring out smoking-hot plates of food and glasses nearly frozen, hissing and crackling in protest of the lukewarm liquors and spirits dispensed within. Inviting, hearty scents invite you to partake in rich, exotic flavors that one could not easily find elsewhere in the city. Just a taste is enough to tingle the tongue and wrinkle the nose; foreign and exciting, such wonderful combinations pair well with the extraordinary concoctions prepared with spirits from far away lands mixed, stirred, and served by the bartenders.
“I fear not the unknown, friend, for I have merely seen truths that many cannot comprehend. As such, I have parted the veil and know of what lay beyond. Now then, would you like a drink?"
- Lerek, proprietor of the Grinning Skull Tavern.
Nearest the western wall, a stage wide and long enough for the band of five or six is illuminated by lights akin to those that prance about the bar, yet these are glowing a silvery white and are quite still. Throughout the evening, all brands of entertainers come and go from the stage, each seemingly more striking than the last. Singers, poets, actors, magicians, knife jugglers, and fire eaters all draw the curiosity of the crowd.   Nearest the doors to the kitchen is a lofty fellow wearing a colorful suit of red and violet. Between his thin lips hangs a long, wooden smoking pipe that constantly emits a thin wisp of cordial-scented smoke that seems to dance and twist into sprites and fey-things. A long, proud mustache rests upon those lips, oiled and curled to further this eccentricity. Hair, dark and slicked, is tied into a low tail with a subtle bow. His long face matches his lofty height as he quietly surveys the establishment with dull hazel eyes as though he is awaiting someone or, rather, something.  


  Nobody who comes to the Grinning Skull is looking for a mundane dining experience. From the richest nobility to the lowliest plebian, all wish to seek out something new and exciting that they wouldn't otherwise have an opportunity to enjoy. From entertainment to food and beverage, a patron is sure to be surprised and captivated by all the new sights, smells, and tastes alike.

Who's Who


Lerek Foncé

A truly eccentric fellow, Lerek is known for one thing and one thing only: being incongruous with his peers and patrons alike. While some fine the man's outlandish nature off-putting, others find themselves like moths to a flame always wanting to hear more. Claiming to have seen what others refuse to, some have merely returned to simply speak to Lerek who speaks only in riddles and tongues. Some claim that his suits are so soft and smooth that they reflect the prismatic light from the dancing motes as he wanders with a deathly silent stride across his establishment.  

Secrets & Rumors

  Many often speculate on the method of acquisition Lerek uses to acquire such faraway commodities. Some claim that he has close ties with captains that dare to sail to islands and islets far beyond the mainland to discover new and exciting tastes and flavors while others believe that he, by some means, exploits foreigners by purchasing goods from them at an incredibly low price to in turn mark it up to sell at triple or quadruple the cost.  
"Pray, have you seen the man? Why, he must be seven feet tall! And just being in his presence makes me feel... cold. Cold as though he consumes warmth itself."
- Jakob Ionovich, Poet & Philosopher
  Many believe that Mr. Foncé isn't human. Rumors have been spun about such thing for ages now, for he is not only abnormally tall, but many say that his eyes have no light to them- utterly lusterless in light. To quell fearmongering, Lerek often jests that he is, indeed, not human but actually an eldritch entity that has come to observe the fruits of his labor. Some find this funny. Others are disturbed.        
Pub / Tavern / Restaurant
Parent Location

Cover image: Taverns 01 by Graylion on MidJourneyAI


Author's Notes

Book - Quill - Ink Cover DepositPhotos Stock



This article was written by the creative and talented Sols & Duun and edited for world and game use by Graylion. To see more writing and world building by Sols & Duun, visit Vos.

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