Helen's Hostel Building / Landmark in Erisdaire | World Anvil

Helen's Hostel

Well, we're leaving a little late but if we push the horses we can make the Hostel before sundown. Otherwise it might be better to wait to leave at dawn... I don't want to pass over into Helenic in the dark. Too many dangers.
— Fouran, Caravan Master
  The Empire is quite extensive, but once across the Sanguine River there are few places for travelers to rely on for safety. Cities and towns outside the Empire's borders aren't necessarily kept to the same standards of law, and all the charm of camping in the wilderness under the stars has to be weighed against the dangers of nocturnal predators seeking a meal. Or worse. There are always those who try to build somewhere to serve as a stopover for merchant caravans, and fall victim to bandits or monsters before they can count the years survived on more than one hand. And then there is Helen's Hostel.

The Hostel is a well-known location just a half-day's ride from the Imperial border, and has been standing for many centuries. It is large enough to accommodate multiple caravans needing a stop for the night, with ample facilities to secure their animals and belongings. The current proprietor is Vincent Rubel, a human with a flair for dramatic presentations and devout follower of the Carefree Wanderer. His staff are attentive, polite, and treat any guest with respect. There is almost always something warm to eat available, from simple gruel to roasted meat and fresh bread. Other services are available, as required by guests to enjoy a comfortable night.

The fee for staying at the Hostel is surprisingly simple, for the array of services they offer and the simplicity of the rules. The fee is a single gold coin per person, or a selection of useful goods - if the coin cannot be spared. The goods are chosen by Vincent in accordance with what the Hostel currently needs, or might need in the near future. With a steady flow of traffic along the road, this arrangement means the Hostel usually has everything it might need.

Temple of Kalande

A small temple is situated behind the hostel, separated and inhabited by priests from the Order of Roads. These priests are responsible for keeping an eye on the Hostel's operations, and ensuring all visitors are treated well and fairly. Furthermore, they are allowed to offer the aid of divine blessings on visitors in need; these blessings most often take the form of relief from serious fatigue, or wounds which would negatively impact their travel.


According to the tales told about the Hostel, it once was a small establishment like any other along the Solare Great Road. A widow named Helen inherited a homestead from her late husband and did her best to keep it running. Four years after she assumed ownership, she had built some extra buildings nearer to the road to accommodate visitors. Word spread of her generosity as a host, and skill at keeping the homestead alive almost on her own. She was always courteous in the face of rudeness, to the point other visitors were prone to standing up for her should it become necessary.

During a harsh winter, a group of desperate people arrived seeking food and shelter. Helen saw them fed with what meager provisions she had remaining from the larders, warmed by a fire fed by wood from old furniture which needed replacing, and gave the travelers a spot by her own hearth to sleep at so they could weather the storm's chill. The travelers grew restless as the night wore on, and the dawn seemed not to bring relief from the storms. Quiet conversations about their ill fortune turned to wondering if their host had anything hidden away for herself. Despondence turned to paranoia, which turned to scheming. When Helen returned with a thin soup made from roots and herbs as lunch, the visitors sprang upon her and murdered her.

Of course, the violation guest rights is a grave sin to the Twelve Gods. With the murder of the host on top of this transgression, it was almost guaranteed more than 'bad luck' would come to the former visitors. Kalande, the Fortunate Son, was the deity who stepped forward to exact divine punishment on the murderers. Once they left the homestead, the individuals found themselves separated and lost in a sudden storm. Despite the severity of the cold, none of them died of exposure... at first. Instead they were unable to find the road, or indeed any road, becoming lost in seemingly endless snowy plains. No method of tracking their progress worked, leaving them wandering aimlessly and alone... and so it was they became doomed to eternal punishment under the judgment of Kalande.

Once the spring thaw arrived, the homestead was adopted by priests and rebuilt to serve as a home for those traveling. Under the watchful eye of the Fortunate Son, no more misfortune would befall those who visited and respected their hosts. The original foundations for Helen's house were built over with a small and simple temple dedicated to Kalande, where it is said the God responds more often to entreaties made by those who serve.
Hospitality, Hotel


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3 Jul, 2021 00:19

I love quotes just before an informative text! You should toy around with the sidebar a bit, it will help break up the text, let the eyes wander, and make it a more engaging read. You could also right a fable/tale that pertains to the history of the Hostel and attach it to this article!

"Fantasy is escapist, and that is its glory. If a soldier is imprisoned by the enemy, don't we consider it his duty to escape?" —J.R.R. Tolkien
3 Jul, 2021 14:55

I've not really messed around with sidebars, and there is a history involved... but it'll involve some more time to "bake". And even so... maybe it'll be a prompt later.

3 Jul, 2021 17:02

Oooh, good point. Best hold off on the history just in case! Sidebars are not as intimidating as they may seem and they add a lot to the article!

"Fantasy is escapist, and that is its glory. If a soldier is imprisoned by the enemy, don't we consider it his duty to escape?" —J.R.R. Tolkien