Tavern of Stories
The streets of Stronghold clamour with voices as people wander the districts, shopping, eating, spending time with loved ones. Not far from the merchant district the noise continues, often punctuated with the sound of a horn or the delicate notes of a harp. Glass on wood echoes from within as doors open and close, the merchant stalls giving way to wood and stone buildings, places in the business of rest and pleasure. Inns scatter throughout the districts, but the best stories come from the tavern districts, where music and story reign supreme. An unassuming wood building is no different from the others that line the street, except for the sounds that come from within. From the door with the words Tabled Tale carved into its worn surface comes a cacophony of delicate music and lyrical voices, never-ending stories no matter the time of day. While the clamor of the other taverns die down as patrons stumble home, this tavern stays lively into the wee hours of the morning, its patrons joining in with the Bards on stage or entranced by the Storytellers and their lines of heroics. In a city of Humans, the Clay Giants that frequent the establishment may seem odd, but the Tabled Tale serves a special purpose, one far beyond the sharing of the simple pleasures of stories. Within these walls, history is made and shared, traditions ingrained in the people of the Cradle of Clay shared with the world, their alliance with the reclusive Vampire and his Academy on full display. Nothing about the Tabled Tale is simple, but all can be found if one takes the journey within.Oh listen you adventurers,
We have many tellings of tale.
Of kings and queens, sword and shield, and ships setting sail.
The drinks a'coming, the food a'warming
Bards and tellers, voices a'humming
All at the Tabled Tale.
Story Telling of Olden Rarities of Yesteryear
STORY Emblem by Crest via Emblem Creator, created by RiverFang
Story Telling of Olden Rarities of Yesteryear is the historical society of the Clay Giants and other lesser Giantkin. This organization specializes in the preservation of oral traditions and histories through a variety of methods, including audio recordings.
Another Storied IdeaWith the founding of Story Telling of Olden Rarities of Yesteryear during the Eldritch War, storytelling became an even greater part of Clay Giant Culture. Stories that once lived solely within the memories of Shamans and other elders of the Clay Giants found a new existance in the oral history archive that the organization began to build with the help of the Starlit Tower. Soon after, Storybrook gained popularity throughout the Cradle of Clay and its influence began to spread to the south. Another idea arose, one that would allow the Clay Giants to share their stories outside of their people and homeland. With interest in the stories spreading throughout the Human Empire, it was hard to ignore the place and effect that STORY could have outside of the Cradle of Clay. No other race attempted to archive the oral histories of their people like the Clay Giants had. With the support of the Starlit Tower, the historic society that had once been formed to protect the voices of the lesser Giantkin could help others who wished to preserve oral histories and traditions.
Heart of StrongholdSince the archives of STORY were kept in the Starlit Tower, it seemed the best place to open a storytelling establishment would be in Stronghold, the center of the Human Empire. A tavern was not the original idea, many wished to open some form of library, but the taverns of Stronghold were full of Bards sharing the heroics and stories of people from all over Isekai. A city as large as Stronghold meant location was key, but as much as many argued that the heart of the city was Castle Nightbreeze, the soul of the city thrived in the small wooden buildings that made up the tavern district. With some work, Tabled Tale was built and opened, at first a home of misfits, but would soon become a place for all that wished for a good story.
Ties to the Starlit TowerBards and Storytellers alike flocked to the Tabled Tale, stories and music aplenty to share. This success, along with the reputation of Pelane Storyweaver Elanamune, helped spearhead the creation of the Recorder, a technology the Starlit Tower and its Academy created in order to better preserve the stories told. Research continued at the Tabled Tale, expanding the technology and eventually making the recordings crystal clear and works of art themselves. Such a close relationship with the Starlit Tower often led to students and enjoyers of Pink Magic spending their hours in the tavern, studying, making notes, and participating in the merriment. Beyond a tavern and a place for stories, it became a teaching ground and a place of research for a magic that thrived on the notes of a song.
In recent years, the Tabled Tale has become a hot spot of tourism in Stronghold, bringing a great deal of people to the tavern district. While Bards and Storytellers perform in a variety of taverns, none are dedicated to the art of story much like the Tabled Tale, allowing for an experience that can be found no where else in the world, except for maybe within a village of the Cradle of Clay. Adventurers, performers, and others flock to the tavern to partake in the stories and variety of food and drink that represents the cultures that keep their stories in the archives of STORY.
Famous EntertainersThe Tabled Tale has had its share of famous entertainers perform, but few have garnered the continent-wide notoriety that some of the entertainers have. Most commonly, the entertainers that come to the tavern are well-known in their individual areas and chose to come to the tavern to have their stories recorded for posterity.
Bearded BardsThe Bearded Bards are by far the most famous group to ever perform at the Tabled Tale. Once only known to the miners of the Dwarven Kingdom, this group of Dwarven Bards have gained popularity singing the cadences and songs that helped shorten the long days of mining without the sun. Their songs kept the miners in rhythm and moving forward when the days stretched for what seemed like ever. The topics of their songs slowly became popular outside of the Dwarven Kingdom, stretching to the far coasts and endearing peoples to them that didn't necessarily understand the hardships of mining. Eventually, their travels led them to the Tabled Tale to have their songs recorded and added to the archive, what was meant to be a one-time thing. The Bearded Bards now stop and perform at the tavern at least once a month, or as frequently as their travel allows. During these events, the tavern is stocked heavily with Dwarven Mead and other favorite foods and drinks from the Great Furnaces to heighten the experience for all.
Bearded Bards Emblem by Crest via Emblem Creator, created by RiverFang
Famous PatronsSince the earliest days of the Tabled Tale, it wasn't uncommon to see the visage of someone well-known in Stronghold tucked beneath a cloak, taking in the stories of the tavern. Some of these sightings were confirmed and these patrons are often repeat offenders, but some, like the Empress herself, are whispered around as rumors.
Alexander Cross by Portrait via Portrait Workshop, created by RiverFang
Alexander CrossAlexander Cross has a interesting reputation in Stronghold, often being refered to as little more than the pet Vampire of the so-called Witch Queen. He was the fiirst to approach STORY with better ways to protect their histories as he lead the Society for the Preservation of Historic Vóreios and aided with many projects of ASHES. He has been known to slip into the tavern wearing dark cloaks in the wee hours of the morning, long after many patrons have gone home, and listens to the stories told by the regulars, those that spend far more time in the tavern than anywhere else. His figure is unassuming and his identity often unknown, but he has stopped to fix an issue with the Recorder or asked the staff for recordings to take to the archives. Those that know that Cross frequents the Tabled Tale rarely speak of it, keeping his presence amongst the patrons a secret so that he many enjoy the peace. He leaves quietly and tips well, leaving no need for pomp and circumstance when a man of his affluence enters.
Pelane Storyweaver ElanamuneBy far one of the most famous Bards or Storytellers to ever enter the Tabled Tale, Pelane Storyweaver Elanamune visited the tavern a few times during her travels. While constantly asked to share her rendition of the White Tatanka, she often chose to sit towards the back and listen to others and their stories. It was common for the entertainers to be called to her table after their performance with a soft word and a cup of tea to warm their vocal cords as she shared the tips of the trade that years of traveling and storytelling had taught her. Sometimes these people would sit with her for hours, listening at rapt attention to the critiques and praise that Pelane often doled out to all that would offer her a moment of company. Word always spread quickly when Pelane was in town as her advice was considered the best there was for anyone that wished to become well-versed in the art of storytelling, whether simply verbal or with song. Her time in Stronghold was usually short, but she would sit until the late hours of the night and into the early morning that she was to leave speaking to those that wished to learn from her.
Pelane Storyweaver Elanamune
Pelane Storyweaver Elanamune by Portrait via Portrait Workshop, created by RiverFang
Stories & ComfortWhile many things in the tavern are named to represent the Clay Giants, staff welcome all peoples and attempt to represent cultures through a large selection of stories and food and drink. No larger selection exists within Stronghold causing the Tabled Tale to not only be a place of story but a place where people can find comfort in the familiar, a drink or food from their homeland, a fable told by a loved relative to them as a child.
Tabled TaleTabled Tale is a well-known tavern for Bards, Storytellers, and others that have creative ways of sharing history and myth. Here, all are welcome that wish to share their stories, especially if they wish to have their stories added to the archive at the Starlit Tower.
Pub / Tavern / Restaurant
Building the Tabled TaleCreating the Tabled Tale was not nearly as simple as purchasing a building in Stronghold and flinging open the doors. Those that brought forth the idea of a storytelling tavern to STORY had a grand idea in mind, a large tavern that felt homely and represented many of the best things of the Clay Giants and their culture. This meant having a building that could easily welcome anyone of any stature, plentiful food and drink, and a roaring fire that warmed the entire building. Not simply able to buy a building, a group of Clay Giants and supportive Humans from Stronghold built the tavern from the ground up, creating a place with magical accoustics and charm that would amplify the properties of storytelling and make it a near magical experience.
The Mechanical StorytellerEven with the popularity of the Tabled Tale, sometimes there is no one to perform, but the tavern rarely goes silent. In the rare instances that the stage lacks a performer, the same technology that often records becomes the performer, sharing stories of old from the archives of STORY. The patrons often request favorites, Pelane's telling of the White Tatanka an all-time favorite.
Recorders are an innovative technology developed by the Starlit Academy to record audio on discs created by compacting Arcane Dust. While originally only in use by Story Telling of Olden Rarities of Yesteryear, the technology is now utilized by a great number of races for a variety of reasons.
This is by no means a complete menu. Seasonal specialties and items from a variety of cultures are added throughout the year and during times of spectacular performances. Ask your bartender for a complete menu of food, drinks, and stories to share on the Recorder!
2sCradle-Fed Beef with a side of light Elven Wine
Hills of Vollan
3sCradle-Fed Beef topped with a favorite of Humans, mashed potatoes
3sA salad of choice mixed greens served to the patron's preference (A favorite of the Centaurs)
1sA special blend of Geyser Whiskey made specifically for the Tabled Tale
2sA light Elven Wine
5sPatron's choice of Geyser Whiskey, Dwarven Mead, or another liquor served with a touch of cinnamon and set ablaze
Thanks to Stormbril for the great CSS scroll! Check out his other CSS magic here! Enjoy the lore in this article? Discuss it in the Lore Discussion board!
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Storytime! My Saga-loving Ogres approve. It's a nice reason to set up the place! The menu and map are nice, looks like usually there's plenty of space around. What did you use to create the map? Maps don't come with credits and I didn't spot it in the footnotes.
Too low they build who build beneath the stars - Edward Young
Thanks for the comment! I used DungeonFog to make the map.
Co-creator of the TTRPG System Storybook
The aesthetic of the page is just glorious! I appreciate it very much as well as the small little portraits! I need to remember the name of that program for future articles.
Love this, there's so much wonderful detail here! Love the bit about the mechanical storyteller, it's a nice touch.
Wow. I liked the slightly different orientation of this tavern. A lore tavern, so to speak. However, I found the clay giants even more fascinating. If you look at it that way, they really built up a lot of their own culture and a lot of self-confidence over time after being "kicked out" by the bigger giants. I think that's really good. I found it a pity that no access was possible to the owner and the owner organization of all things. Since there was rather little to be found about both of them in the article, I would have liked to take a closer look at both of them. But well, above it says that is being rebuilt. Otherwise, a few words about the current staff would have been nice, but instead there was an appearance of the Bearded Bards. Besides that, I like that you really took the trouble to highlight important things in bold. I do that sometimes, but it really takes time and indeed sometimes thought to keep the most important, but only the most important, in view. But in general the structure was well done. Top ^^.