Juniper's Damned Alehouse

In the middle of the Lonely Marches, on one of the larger patches of dry land, stands an abandoned ruin. Looking at the surroundings, this building used to be a central point in these swamps. Many of little deserted roads and neglected bridges lead to this building of old.  

Welcome to Juniper's Damned Alehouse! Home to the Dead, Dearly Departed, and Doom-Adjacent

No matter which life you have led, what atrocities you have committed, or what good you've brought to the world, here in Juniper's Damned Alehouse everyone gets treated equally. Our large stable can house any animal you ride, ranging from mice to mighty dragons. Our stable boys will take good care of them, as long as they don't get burned to a crisp or trampled to death. Fear not, they will return within a day if your animal decided it doesn't like them.
 

Building

Upon approaching the forgotten building surrounded by morass, it is clear that it resembles what would have been a tavern with a large stable. The ruin itself is large, likely capable of housing many travellers. It is hard to determine the height of the building, but it seems at least two stories high. The influence of old magic still lingers in the area, indicating that multiple spells had been cast either upon the building or around it. On the ground, near what certainly would have been the door, lays a wooden slab still and untouched for many years. It reads an old and faded away Gnomish script.   The stable alongside the tavern has an enormous footprint on the ground. The plants and moss of the marches have consumed the still standing small cobblestone walls. Two wooden support beams float in the air suggesting that the height of the roof was adjustable back in its hayday. The charred ends of the beams hint at a huge fire that could have led to the demise of the tavern.  
In the bustling center of the Enormous Endless Expanse stands Juniper's Damned Alehouse. On the outside, it looks like a crooked two story building made out of cobblestone. The windows come in all shapes, sizes and positions with no real consistency to them. The roof is made off deep red mahabri wood which is on fire. The bright flames engulfing the wood, without damaging it, function as a beacon for wandering travellers. Above the doorway is a slab of wood onto which the name of the tavern is engraved.  

Inside the Tavern

Inside, however, a whole different picture comes to life. An area, at least twice the surface than visible on the outside, is littered with tables and chairs, filling it to the brim with customers. It greets weary travellers with a pleasant atmosphere to wind down and relax.  
Beware of seducing chairs!
  In the center stands a large circular bar which top spirals up from the height of the smallest gnome to that of the tallest oaf. The enchanted sloped surface ensures that no drink or food slides off. On one end of the tavern is a small stage where entertainers frequently amuse the crowd with tricks and song.   Going up the stairs at the other end, reveals an endless set of stories to accommodate all travellers with a room and a bed. Each story resembles a part of the world to ensure that everyone can feel at home. It has also resulted in adventurers staying for longer than intended as these stories provide a safe way to explore new places.  

Stables

Next to the tavern stands a large stable. Many stable boys run the place, taking care of all the riding animals that travellers bring along with them. They have magically altered the place so it scales to the beasts that they house. The stable has seen many animals in its life and has managed to adjust itself to the everlasting changes along with its stable boys.   Accidents happen frequently. One of the boys has been burned to a crisp multiple times by dragons, another one got trampled by a Tartoise. It is not unheard of that they "die" and return to their home. However, they will always travel back to the tavern to continue their duties once more.
 

Beacon of Hope

Standing in the middle of the swamp with many roads and bridges leading to it, the tavern clearly served as a meeting ground of some sort. A few families still have documents with quests that either originated from this place or instructed people to go there. These are examples of two quests that involve the tavern.  
My husband, Lucio, went out into the marches in search for my lost pendant but he has been gone for three days now. I'm so worried. Will you go out to find him? Here's a picture of what he looks like. I hope he's near Juniper's Alehouse, that would be the first place you should look. Thank you!
Want to grab a quick buck? It's been a while since our meat supplier has delivered their wares. I suspect he is having some trouble with some of the predators that tend to roam his land. Could you go out and have a look and report back what's going on?
  In the days far earlier, travelling through the marches was considered a dangerous task since many of those roads and bridges were not build yet. However, with the conficts going on in the surrounding areas, it was often safer to cut through the swamp to cross to another part of the world. The tavern, located in the middle, provided a safe haven for those who ventured through in the hopes of reaching the other side. Hence, the people in that time dubbed the building 'The Beacon of Hope' or 'The Connector of Worlds'.  
Everyone has heard of the tales surrounding Juniper's Damned Alehouse. It started as a place to help travellers pass through the marches in the mortal realm and evolved into a tavern well-known for its entertainment and loving hosts in this realm. Its quirky regulars give a new level of charm to the place and are always up for drinks and stories, or just casually chatting works well.   Every now and then, Juniper and Mull come out to entertain the crowd with song and a firebreathing spectacle, or with tales of old. One tale they love to tell is how they met and fell in love. That one alone has melted the hearts of many customers.   When the hosts are too busy, the bard of the house, Peter Dornstrike, will strike up a bar-wide conversation or perform. He loves playing songs about his (mis)adventures or that of others to bring comedy to the table and make people laugh. The latter, he also achieves by getting dragged away by his ears at the hand of Juniper when he tries to hit on people.  
Juniper greets me as I set foot in the tavern.
"Welcome, dear, to my damned alehouse. Have a seat! Can I bring you something?"
"An ale would be nice," I respond.
"Of course, coming right up!"
I stroll through the dining room in search of a nice table when I hear a sultry whisper.
"Heyyy... I noticed you walking by and we haven't met yet, but why don't you have a nice seat? I'm super comfy, y'know. My cushions have real goose down in them."
I look around but there is no person in sight paying any kind of attention to me.
"Oh dear, you look in shock, what's going on?" Juniper appears behind me and I let out a little squeak.
"I... I heard something whisper," I say with eyes as large as golfballs.
"Oh!" Juniper bursts out laughing. "That must've been one of the chairs. They like to seduce people into sitting on them."
 
Table of Contents
This building appears in two realms; the text in this box describes the building as it is in The Realm of Eternal Slumber.
RUINED STRUCTURE
Frino 47 2198
Founding Date
Bratos 18 1342
Type
Inn
Parent Location

(G)Hosts

Some scrolls tell of this tavern amidst a march that served as a beacon for travellers all around the world. The tales tell of a gnome running the place and bringing joy to the faces of her customers. People living in or around the Lonely Marches still firmly believe that she roams the lands, trying to help lost adventurers by pointing them in the right direction for shelter, food, and water. A few of those adventurers have admitted that a small ghost has helped them in time of need.  

Juniper Whistlewisp

Standing behind the bar, barely capable of looking of it, is Juniper Whistlewisp. This little gnome is the owner of the alehouse and the mastermind behind the magic that keeps the place together. With a loving ironfist, she runs the tavern; from pouring drinks to assigning tasks to her personnel in all corners of her business except the kitchen.   However, do not be fooled by her statue or her name. On every Drati night, Juniper entertains the crowd with song. Her powerful voice allow her to belt out notes from her tiny body to everyone's surprise.  
You look like you've had a long day, sweety. How about I pour you a nice drink and bring you a hot plate of food?
— Juniper Whistlewisp
 

Mull Berry

The kitchen is the only place that Juniper let her husband run. As king of the kitchen, Mull Berry ensures that everyone at the inn gets a plateful of delicious food. Using his firebreathing technique passed down from many generations of dragonborn, he keeps the fires of the ovens and the stoves lit.  
"MULL! YOU'VE SET ME ON FIRE!" Derek screams, frantically waving his arms while hoping Mull would stop breathing fire.
 
 

Context Reads

The Realm of Eternal Slumber
Geographic Location | Dec 23, 2021
 
Peter Dornstrike
Character | Apr 17, 2022


Cover image: Hesli Banner by ShadowPhoenix

Comments

Author's Notes

I wanted to give a huge shoutout and thank you to Satrium for helping me out with the CSS magic and to Theiket for coming up with this hilariously fitting idea of chairs trying to seduce customers.   Thanks you guys! <3


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6 Mar, 2022 19:43

Interesting name and concept for a tavern!, So being that everyone is accepted and treated equal, Has there ever been a time when two rivals met each other here and carried out their decades old riverly or maybe they are enemies because one killed the other ?   Good article in general!

18 Mar, 2022 21:38

Thank you! :D   Many rivals have met each other at this particular bar. However, they all know that they are being treated equally, so they treat each other equally in the tavern as well. Outside the tavern is a different story. :P

It's always an adventure at Juniper's Damned Alehouse, where even the chairs are trying to pick you up.
8 Mar, 2022 05:42

Oooh, I really adore this idea. It sounds like an interesting place to visit or stumble upon. I giggled at the bits about the chairs and the poor fellow being set on fire. I think the bit about sections resembling each area of the world to make others feel at home was a nice touch. You did a splendid job at putting a lot of character into this tavern.

18 Mar, 2022 21:39

Thank you! <3

It's always an adventure at Juniper's Damned Alehouse, where even the chairs are trying to pick you up.
8 Mar, 2022 08:27

What if I want to be seduced by a chair, hm???   I really like the contrast between the normal world and the Realm of Eternal Slumber, and the way it's magically adjusting to its visitors.

18 Mar, 2022 21:40

Well, then you let yourself be seduced by a chair, no one is stopping you. ;) It's just that not everyone is used to it. :P

It's always an adventure at Juniper's Damned Alehouse, where even the chairs are trying to pick you up.
9 Mar, 2022 00:54

I'm never sitting on chairs again, haha. That's one way to hide the tavern & stopping the obligatory bar fights :)

18 Mar, 2022 21:40

Hahaha, it certainly has stopped a fair few of the obligatory bar fights! xD

It's always an adventure at Juniper's Damned Alehouse, where even the chairs are trying to pick you up.
9 Mar, 2022 15:51

Cool concept. This could be a blast as a DnD encounter!   ------------------------------------   Feel free to check out my Tavern Challenge article if you want to see what I am up to! The Black Hare Tavern

18 Mar, 2022 21:42

That's for sure! :D

It's always an adventure at Juniper's Damned Alehouse, where even the chairs are trying to pick you up.
10 Mar, 2022 13:42

I have to say. A ghostly abandoned Ale house with seductive chairs in the middle of the swamp is amazing! The vibes are chilling and the worldbuilding is strong! I love this article! Haunting, yet inspired! I hope you do well!

Please check out my article for the Tavern Challenge! The Black Haired Dog!
18 Mar, 2022 21:42

Thank you! ^^

It's always an adventure at Juniper's Damned Alehouse, where even the chairs are trying to pick you up.
12 Mar, 2022 13:47

The chairs are fantastic, and I love that you made me wait till the end of the article to explain the warning. Its also interesting to imagine the stables shifting to the size of different mounts. Do the stable boys ever grow or shrink or change?

18 Mar, 2022 21:45

Thank you! I've fallen in love with the chairs myself as well, it was such a fun concept to flesh out.   The stable boys don't grow, but there are plenty tools around that help them reach the highest places to take care of the mounts. ^^

It's always an adventure at Juniper's Damned Alehouse, where even the chairs are trying to pick you up.
15 Mar, 2022 23:30

This is an amazing concept you have created! and well executed too. I'd be happy to stumble across the treshold for a refreshemnt after wondering the marshes.

18 Mar, 2022 21:45

Thank you! ^^

It's always an adventure at Juniper's Damned Alehouse, where even the chairs are trying to pick you up.
16 Mar, 2022 13:08

I just LOVE how you hooked me in a bit by bit by first describing the tavern and having me going "Wait, where are the actual rooms?!" before reading further and further. A really unique concept and I like this tavern very much! Ps. You also made me chuckle with the (G)hosts!

Que the wardrums! Check out my bloodied river, running from the heart of the jungle:River Arteria!
18 Mar, 2022 21:47

Thank you! ^^

It's always an adventure at Juniper's Damned Alehouse, where even the chairs are trying to pick you up.
18 Mar, 2022 20:01

Cool article! Pretty interesting to have (g)hosts run the place, nice pun on that as well ^^ As the stable changes form depending on the rides and you mentioned dragons I wonder how many people are riding in on a dragon xp

Feel free to check out my River challenge article and my Secrets in the swamp Adventure article if you want to see what I am up to!
18 Mar, 2022 21:47

Thank you! ^^   Well, some people are riding the dragon, others are the dragon :P

It's always an adventure at Juniper's Damned Alehouse, where even the chairs are trying to pick you up.
23 Mar, 2022 15:18

To tell the story of a tavern in two different places and not lose the reader, that's well done! I love how it is the same welcoming place in both realms, only a memory in the mortal one. And this Juniper seems to be an interesting host. Always a pleasure to read your articles! Also I'm giving anxious glances at my chair now.

13 Apr, 2022 06:45

Thank you! ^^ It was quite the challenge indeed not to lose the reader, but I'm glad I managed it. Sorry for instilling the chair fear. :P

It's always an adventure at Juniper's Damned Alehouse, where even the chairs are trying to pick you up.
25 Mar, 2022 22:53

This article made me smile and laugh quite a few times at the end of the story. XD For a moment there, I thought Peter donned a form of a cushion to hit on people without Juniper noticing.   I love the idea of a place that exists in both worlds and is of use in each of them. Mull and Juniper make for a lovely power couple here. And again, I love how Peter has made a remarkable comeback in the other world, being himself and making people laugh.   Are you planning a story with Juniper's Alehouse? :3

Introducing my challenge entry, with my cat as the main character and visitor to the tavern.
13 Apr, 2022 06:47

Thank you! ^^ Hehe Peter may have put that idea into practise, but Juniper is a pretty sharp lady. :P   I'm certainly planning a story with the Alehouse, and Peter. Maybe even for my campaign. x3

It's always an adventure at Juniper's Damned Alehouse, where even the chairs are trying to pick you up.
27 Mar, 2022 17:10

A fascinating place! I love how you look at it from two sides - the ruins in the mortal realm, and the very lively tavern in the realm of eternal slumber. My favorite bits are the spiraling bar and the harsh working conditions for the poor stable boys.


Creator of the Kaleidoscope System, an alien star system shaped by a colorful radiation source.   Visit the Lakeview Bar, my entry to the Tavern challenge!
13 Apr, 2022 06:48

Thank you! ^^ I fell in love with the multiple perspective idea and just had to go for it.   Yeah, the poor stable boys don't have a pretty job, but Juniper takes good care of them and provides them with a proper place so sleep, so there's that.

It's always an adventure at Juniper's Damned Alehouse, where even the chairs are trying to pick you up.
Sage George Sanders
George Sanders
29 Mar, 2022 16:54

Seducing Chairs! haha.   I also like the idea of linking it to the other world!

Lutra lived in the Unilynn until its end, then her son Ardelis brought her to Etonia. She knows the story behind their home, The One River.
13 Apr, 2022 06:49

Thank you! ^^

It's always an adventure at Juniper's Damned Alehouse, where even the chairs are trying to pick you up.
Sage eccbooks
E. Christopher Clark
30 Mar, 2022 00:25

Really nice work throughout. I love the idea of a place existing in two realms. My favorite section was the bit in the sidebar about "(G)Hosts," which really struck an emotional chord with me. I really could see that gnome host as if she were right in front of me.

Check out Bü‘ükopo Oabü, my entry for the Rivers & Waterways Challenge
13 Apr, 2022 06:53

Thank you! ^^ I was thinking of turning Juniper into an NPC, maybe with some commissioned art. I'd love to poke you to get a sense of what you think she'd look like, if you're open to it. ^^

It's always an adventure at Juniper's Damned Alehouse, where even the chairs are trying to pick you up.
Sage eccbooks
E. Christopher Clark
13 Apr, 2022 10:54

Oh, sure. Things are a bit busy at the moment, but definitely poke me over Discord or whatnot and I'd be happy to brainstorm when I get a chance.

Check out Bü‘ükopo Oabü, my entry for the Rivers & Waterways Challenge
3 Apr, 2022 19:39

I didn't have the time to leave a comment during the challenge, but I really love this tavern. I just love the idea of it existing in different places and how you described that.   Also seducing chairs? I love the idea, but man, it would creep me out if a chair tried to seduce me, so good job I guess! :p

Feel free to check out my worlds, characters and original music here: SatriumHub
13 Apr, 2022 06:56

Thank you! ^^ I'm so happy I somehow got this idea and managed to work it out, with your help as well! Again, thank you for that CSS magic!   Hehe, I don't know how I'd respond to the chair either, but I bet it'll lead to some fun encounters. xD

It's always an adventure at Juniper's Damned Alehouse, where even the chairs are trying to pick you up.