At a Glance
The morning dew clings to the grass about this humble building. None would expect to find such a structure so close to the road while also so far away from the Farmer's Triangle and yet here it stood wide and resilient. It was a simple two-storied gable-roofed home built in the last decade or so, painted a brilliant yellow to assure that not a single soul would dare miss it. Nearby stood a small stable to keep a handful of horses during the evenings. One subtle examination can give a viewer the idea that this building was more suited for a home within the walls of the Ptolus, but it was certainly a sight for weary-eyed travelers that long sought a place to rest in the evening time. Behind the building, the ground steadily declines into a hill and, further beyond, a lovely waterfall is visibly throwing water down and into a rather small river. On the pane of glass set within the door read "Leaping Falls Inn" in very articulate cursive. The inn was almost so far that the guard of the Farm Ward could not reach it to offer proper protection. This begs the question: how has this place remained safe for so long?
The floorboards of this inn are so clean that they almost glisten in the flickering lantern light, and the walls are painted with a relaxing and less saturated yellow than the exterior. A kindly woman with tawny skin and slightly pointed ears offers a bright smile and leans on the counter to greet newcomers. She isn't wearing a dress or a skirt, but rather padded armor. At her hip is a scabbard holding a presumably large sabre. Ahead sits a small dining room with three tables and about twelve chairs. A fireplace and mantle sits at the far end where meals are seemingly cooked.
The wall is decorated with hunting trophies and non-professional paintings. A few of the guests sit about the table feasting on mutton that was cooked right in front of them. The second story is home to ten rooms, three of which are used by the staff and Karina. The guest rooms, while not huge, are certainly a significant upgrade to sleeping on a bedroll or hay.
"Oh yes, Karina is a lovely woman indeed! Incredibly fierce and motherly. She's the reason the Leaping Falls exists in the first place, I'd wager,"
- An anonymous patron of the Leaping Falls
Karina Clark often claims that she isn't the owner of the inn and that she is merely watching over the place in the owner's rather unexpected absence. For two years now she has assured that the workers are paid and that the place remains in tip-top shape. As such, she has earned the nickname "lord regent" from the staff.
"Ms. Clark has abandoned her job as a mercenary specifically to help maintain the place in Mr. Dunrow's absence. Oh, he didn't treat us well anyway, but we still wonder where he wandered off to"
- Harriet Barr, Head Maid of Leaping Falls
Karina's choice to watch over the place did not come without consequence, however, as she found that the location was rather dangerous: they were not far away from gnoll excursions and they certainly were not invulnerable from attacks by highwaymen and thieves. Defending the inn, however, was a means of excitement for the woman, as it was the daily menial labor that nearly drives her mad. It isn't unusual to see this armor-clad woman assisting with laundry, sweeping, dusting, painting, or even polishing the floorboards. The staff treats Karina as family, however, and banters with her about particularly strange guests or the days of their youth.
"If you have time to lean, you have time to clean. Never thought I'd quote my mum like that"
- Karina Clark, "Regent" of Leaping Falls
The namesake of the Leaping Falls clearly comes from the spitting waterfall not half a mile from the building where most of the laundry and fresh water comes from. Guests can also enjoy the view from the hooded back porch whilst they eat their meals or enjoy their pipe in the evening time.
Secrets & Rumors
Many rumors surround the Leaping falls, as it is an anomaly of an establishment. It is said that Karina arrived here just after a group of gnolls attempted to ransack the place and kill everyone inside. Single-handedly, this charming woman slew each and every one of them. In all the fighting, the staff claim that Mr. Dunrow, the previous owner, fled. The remaining staff explained that this was their livelihood and, by proxy, their home. As such, they expressed their gratitude towards Karina and asked if there was anything they could offer as a reward. Karina simply asked for a bed for the evening.
When it came time for Karina to leave, instead of departing for the Ptolus, she considered her options: return to a life of the road and hope that, some day, an opportunity like this would arise again or stay. She, of course, chose the latter.
It is said that Mr. Dunrow used ill-gotten gains to build this place far, far away from the city and that it was a way to escape trouble with the law. Many of the staff claim that he was wanted for a slew of different reasons but, worst of all, that he sold his very soul to devils. This, by most people's standards, is incredibly hyperbolic.
Some of the workers weave stories about the waterfall and how a portal opens to another realm during full moons, but they all just titter and gossip in that regard.