Dragonbone Tavern

My first, and only, encounter of Dragonbone Tavern was not as smooth as I had hoped. Ten days after leaving my house, and my legs were exhausted from treading through the thick snow. The only companion I had was my backpack, with little food left and some money. I was almost ready to head home but I noticed some smoke rising behind a mountain. With new hope, I continued walking, and found myself looking at a brick red building nestled within a massive dragon skeleton. Opening the door, the smell of fresh food and warmth flooded my senses. I was overjoyed at the sight of full plates, yet when I looked at the guests faces, they looked dead inside. No emotion, whatsoever. It was odd, something definitely felt wrong, but I couldn't place it. I stayed for a meal, but as soon as I smiled at the food I was brought, a man with a large knife approached me. I screamed, and jumped from my chair. The man lunged, and I ducked out of the way and slammed my fist into his stomach, sending him reeling. I ran as fast as I could out of the tavern, and never looked back.
— Jerna interviewing a fellow traveller
It is important to keep calm in Dragonbone Tavern. No matter what. He can sense fear. He can sense anger, happiness. He knows, and he will hunt you. No matter what you see, no matter what you do, you must stay calm. I made that mistake once, and I've not returned.   But on the bright side, the food is nice. Not too sure what they use to make their food, but it's too good for me to question.
Parent Location
Floors: 4
Rooms: 7
Staff: 7

Layout

Floors

Ground Floor

The ground floor is the only place the guests may inhabit. The ground floor is the largest, with an impressive seating area, stocked full of tables, chairs, all carved from bone wood, a rare and valuable material.
As well as the seating area, a neatly kept garden exists. Covered in a protective layer of glass, the garden is continually looked after by the garden keeper, who has a keen eye for nature.

First Floor

The first of the floors barred from guests, the first floor contains the kitchen, where all the food is prepared. Large corridors of ovens heat the food as the trio of chefs arrange all the meals for the guests. Each shipment of food materials is delivered directly to the first floor, through a large open wall. This is to disguise what kind of food guests are eating.

Second Floor

Within the second floor are all the bedrooms of the staff. The staff are not allowed to leave the premises, and all of their belongings, which are very few and far between, are crammed in the small bedrooms. The owner of the tavern, Merrin Aladox, has the largest bedroom, the same size as all of the other staff's bedrooms put together. Merrin's bedroom is mostly made of bone wood, with shelves lining the walls of rare items and materials that he has collected over the years.

Basement

No regular visitor knows about the basement. Well, except for me, because I have access, just like other suppliers and traders. The basement is incredibly large, as it follows the spine of the dragon skeleton buried underground. The ribcage of the skeleton provides structural support, with small lanterns hanging from each rib. Guarding the secrets of the basement is a large potbelly dragon, fitted with bronze armour to keep it from being injured.

Food & Drink

Food

I-Crunch

On the surface, nothing is out of the ordinary with these, yet I could tell straight away these were made from some unusual food. I was correct in thinking this, as it turns out they were made from dyed and fried fish eyeballs. Not the most pleasant, but they tasted rather nice so I always order these.

Meat On A Stick

It's exactly what you think, meat on a stick. But what meat do you think? I can guarantee it isn't what you're thinking. When I first tried the food, it tasted incredible. I took that back when I found out this was made from terani meat. I couldn't react however, so I calmly removed it from my mouth and ordered something different.

Drink

Molar Soup

The staple drink in the tavern, molar soup is a light drink in a carved out dragon tooth. I'm not sure of the species of dragon the teeth belongs to, but I am sure the soup itself is made from the dragon. Why it is called a soup I'll never know, as it has a very thin consistency.

Hidden Black Market

What's hidden in the basement you ask? Not good things, that's for sure. If you are given access to the basement, follow the lanterns, and somehow make it past the guard potbelly, you'll find a large room, decorated with unusual objects and skeletons. Dragonbone Tavern's real purpose is to trade off rare items for money, these items coming from dragons. Merrin is a collector of dragon organs, scales, bones, feathers, anything the corpses have to offer that sell for good money on the black market. I myself have made a fair few purchases in this basement, and I can safely say it is an uncomfortable place to be in. On the bright side, I have a lovely dragon jewel necklace.   According to some sketchy sources, the biggest purchase in the black market was about six months ago. A large, menacing man with an unrevealed name bought 6 live zapdragons, incredibly powerful and hard to capture. It took Merrin 2 weeks to capture 6 of the beasts, and the purchase was made immediately after. Apparently, this man is trying to form an army of dragons, but so far I have not found any more information on this.

Merrin Aladox

As the owner of the tavern, Merrin is a rich man. His underground black market business has brought masses of money, which he spends on rare items and delicious foods to spoil himself with. While he has an outwardly shallow personality, he is incredibly devious and cunning. With the intriguing ability to sense one's emotions, he is also weak to them. That is why, upon entering the tavern, you must appear emotionless, lest you get killed.   Nobody knows for sure, but it is believed that Merrin possesses abilities of the supernatural kind. It is thought that the man is able to teleport, as he has been seen walking through various doorways that would not be possible without that ability.

Comments

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18 Mar, 2022 10:59

I love the seasoning of mystery here, what an interesting Tavern with an odd rule to follow. Enjoy your meal without enjoyment to stay alive. Very well done :3

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18 Mar, 2022 11:06

Thank you so much! Not something I usually write, super glad you enjoyed it!

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18 Mar, 2022 11:08

Fantastic prose intro! It really drew me into the article to keep on reading ^^   I wonder, though, from whose perspective you're talking in the article. You say in the part about the basement that no one is allowed there, execpt you. However, a bit later, you describe a way for people to enter the basement, suggesting it there more people are allowed there than just you. ^,^" It's a little inconsistency, unless it's intended of course, that you might want to look at again. :)   Otherwise, good job! Keep up the good work! :D

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18 Mar, 2022 11:14

Thank you for pointing that out! I tried to explain it as best as I could, regular visitors cannot get to the basement but suppliers and black market traders can, you just need access. I'm so glad you liked the prose! Thank you for liking and commenting on the article :)

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18 Mar, 2022 11:18

Oh and just to add in case you're still wondering, I'm writing in the perspective of Jerna (a traveller), as all articles are in this world!

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18 Mar, 2022 11:29

Ah, I see! You could put it like this for example:   No regular visitor knows about the basement. Well, except for me, because I have access, just like other suppliers and traders.   Just an idea, but I hope it helps out! :D

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18 Mar, 2022 14:00

My deadpan characters would do great here (and then some of them would think of ways to rob the place or take out the dangerous owner). I like the huge skeleton as foundation!

18 Mar, 2022 16:24

That's so cool! Glad you like the skeleton idea :)

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19 Mar, 2022 20:40

Love the layout of the article and how you went into detail about each floor, I am very curious about the staff of the tavern! as you talked about the owner but now i want to know more about the staff and what is on the menu and what is served drinks wise, Overall a good article!

21 Mar, 2022 07:45

Food is on my list to write, but I'll definitely add staff to it! Thank you for liking and commenting!

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19 Mar, 2022 20:41

What kind of food ARE they eating indeed? I have some awful suspicions... this place is quite dangerous. How do travelers know about 'the rule'? I could even see them having a creepy sign outside. The combination between tavern and black market is interesting - though I wonder why they put up with the effort of running this sketchy tavern as a front. Are any authorities even daring to investigate? Well done, quite an interesting place!

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22 Mar, 2022 17:39

I'll be designing food very soon :P One off travelers do not know about the rule, hence why they are "one off", but the visitors that come regularly are all aware of the rule, and are generally emotionless themselves which helps. They bothered to run a whole tavern as a front because compared to the money they make from the black market, it costs very little. With other staff too, it's really not much pressure on the owner to look after the tavern. Thank you so much for liking and commenting!

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27 Mar, 2022 00:02

Honestly, not a tavern I would like to visit. No emotions show, good tasting but ethically difficult food, a black market.... but a very nice article that you like to read from cover to cover to find out what's behind the intro. A good suspense, also in terms of meals. A nice place to send characters, both PCs and NPCs. Thanks for the article ^^.

28 Mar, 2022 20:12

Glad you enjoyed the article! Nice to know you wouldn't want to visit xD

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Amélie I. S. Debruyne
29 Mar, 2022 13:34

Very intriguing and fun place! Though I'm surprise anyone want to visit, given the danger XD Is the food really that good to attract them all or are they all coming for the black market?

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29 Mar, 2022 20:52

Good job Mochi. The mystery surrounding the place is certainly a nice touch. Merrins ability seems a bit weird. Is it the feeling of the emotion that he pick up on so strongly, or the emotions outward expression?   Only slight grammatical thing i noticed was near the end. "which he spends on rare items AND delicious foods to spoil himself with." I would put in the and unless you add an item after "delicious foods."

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