The Barley Inn
The Barley Inn is a eatery and dwelling that is precariously placed on a mountain path and marks the traveller's first steps back into civilisation from their perilous journey. The entrance is accessed on a wooden platform overhanging the edge of the cliff, which snakes around the building into the town proper. It is a semi-detached building, overlooking the town square on one side and the guest's near-death experience on the other. The place is is joined with is a tailor. As you would expect, its main specialties include drinks made with barley. These include malt drinks, beer, malt wine, barley water and malt whiskey. Though it does serve other drinks, its barley is the most famous. This barley grows on the more stable parts of the inn's cliffside surroundings. They are confident their crops won't be stolen since hardly anyone except the employees dare to approach the fields for fear of falling. They also use the barley to make in-house bread, stews and soups. Adventurous types make this a prime destination in their bar crawls, often daring each other to reach the Barley Inn first. Though there is a guard rail installed on their property (after public backlash against its odd position), people keep finding dangerous ways to parkour their way onto the premises. Some even crawl through the windows or down the chimneys. Anyone who accesses the inn this way and not through the door is turfed out unceremoniously and banned. Anyone who's ever been in the Barley Inn knows the inside is just as dangerous. Architecturally, it isn't the most sturdy place to begin with, and lies on the literal border between the town proper and neutral territory. For tax reasons, it argues it isn't part of the town at all, but likes to claim they should also have a say in latest town policies, particularly concerning tourism. The owner has a lax attitude for bar fights and will all too happily ignore when patrons throw each other out the window, making their stay just as temporary as the name suggests. It is a prime spot for adventurers and thus, according to locals, the prime pickings for lunatics. Who first named the establishment is unclear, since many owners have come and gone, mainly out the windows. The latest owner was a former adventurer, now tasked with the unenviable task of maintaining it to honour the legacy of the innkeeper before him. It's thought that his position in favour of barfights comes from his previous experiences in the Beastwilds, where such behaviour is to expected, if not couth. The inn recently gained an expansion under this new management so they could raise and slaughter their own cattle and other farm animals. They are fed with the barley grains and waste they can't use for other offerings. If you ask the owner for their recommendation, he will always say that the produce is subpar and the products even more so. However, on actually tasting it, the Barley Inn earns its place as a town classic - albeit barely. To rub salt in the wound, the owner's large and intimidating presence has earned him the name "Bearly", since he has the girth and attitude of a slightly annoyed bear. If you call him that to his face, you are going to be the latest patron thrown out the window. Most of the victims of this spontaneous eviction tend to suffer little injury, at least with the new ownership. There is a straw-bed platform hidden under the cliff edge, only seen from the higher floors of the Barley Inn. Observant ejected customers notice that though it has the same texture of straw, it is in fact barely straw. This softened landing only goes on for about double the length of the platform, not the entire cliff face, but was installed after the current owner himself got ejected out the window. This hidden landing area has a tunnel that goes through the bedrock of the cliff and is actually the best way to access most of the commercial district of the town. Though you can also get back to the Barley Inn easily from this landing spot, it's much more enticing to go through these winding, subterranean passages and see the town from a new perspective. These tunnels are an avenue for criminal activity not usually welcome in the town proper, however, and include the only entrances to more suspect services. The brothels, for example, only have doors on this underground level. According to witness testimony, these tunnels also "stink really bad". Like most buildings in the town, it is rather tall and has a lot of stairs. It has five regular stories - including ground level - and two underground levels. The highest of these is the entranceway connected to the landing platform and the one underneath it is where all the liquor and food is stored. "Bearly" - as he is known - lives on the ground level in a room that is somehow enchanted with a spell and has four locks. Many drunken wizard has tried to open these arcane and mechanical seals to little success. The secrets of the Barley Inn thus remain hidden to naïve tourist eyes. It is the only room with such security. Though patrons have a mechanical, iron bolt and key to lock their own doors, there is little else to stop someone through throwing out of into the inn. There have been complaints and a failed lawsuit to get the owners to stop obnoxiously using barley in everything they possibly can - including the bedding - but their defence has always been that it's called the Barley Inn and if they're allergic to it, why enter? Their legal response also extends to injuries sustained by drunken patrons thrown out the windows, doors or assaulted in the bar brawls. The Barley Inn is now widely recognised as an occupational hazard for drunkards and travellers of all kinds.
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