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Lemuria's Library

The village of Frey is nestled in the outer plains of the Oakenvale, butting up against the edge of a cliff. This tavern, Lemuria’s Library, is found quite literally on the edge of Frey. It’s a short walk into the village, and the residents prefer to keep adventurers and drifters a short walk’s distance away.
 

Abyss Without, Abyss Within


  Lemuria's Library is carved into the edge of a sea-cliff, overlooking an abyss of sea and clouds beneath it. The tavern extends downward along the cliff, with access1 found at the top on the plain of Frey. Though once serving as a library boasting untold levels, the ruins were converted into a tavern when Frey was discovered and re-inhabited. Each level has an external balcony that stretches out over the cloudy abyss and an internal balcony surrounding a gaping hole piercing the countless levels below.
 

Floor 1.


 
The smell of stale ale and musty books mixed with the torchlight flickering on the walls pulls you in. There's an empty booth on your left with two large pillows on opposite sides of a table, inviting you to stay.

  There is a bustling bar on the first floor, and patrons can drink while they enjoy their view of the sea. Where once librarians quieted patrons, now the barkeep shouts loudly across the room as raucous laughter fills the space.
  Tapestries line the walls and shelves stuffed with books and maps have been arranged to accommodate more tables and booths. There's an astonishingly decent variety of books, given how exposed and unprotected they've been2. Smaller tables are tucked into nooks around the main room offering seclusion and a place for private conversation. Logs are constantly fed into the great fireplace, driving off winter chills and eating away summer humidity. This fireplace sits not far away from there where Lemuria, the barkeep, stands vigilant behind her place of awe and power: the bar.
  The bar. The old librarian's desk from ages past. The head librarian’s place of duty has been repurposed as a place to gather around to pass along rumors, and the books that had previously adorned the shelves behind it now hold bottles.
  In the center of the room, guarded by railing3, is a hole where you can see down to the fourth floor. The hole continues, but it has been boarded up. What lies beyond the fourth floor has turned from knowledge and memory to rumors and myths.
 

The Job Board

This wall is the most reliable place in Frey to post jobs or find work. At the discretion of the barkeep, any posts that stay on the wall for any length of time are systematically removed (burned or thrown off the balcony) or moved higher on the board. The posts that find themselves at the top of the board are difficult, deadly, and often both. Upon completion, and in addition to the reward, a completed job grants the adventurer some measure of respect and drink4.
 

Floor 2.


  The second floor holds old shelves containing books. Much more than the first floor, as many of the original bookshelves were moved to the lower levels when the tavern opened. It's mostly arranged with chairs and tables for patrons who want to sit in relative peace while they down their drinks and look for secret knowledge.
  Towards the mountain, a small corridor leads to some private rooms. These are rented to patrons5 and house the three members on staff.
 

Floors 3 and 4.


  The third and fourth stories are not actively used. These floors are largely overgrown with vines and covered in moss.
  Upon moving into the library ruins, Lemuria boarded up access to the floors below the fourth level for unknown reasons. She has not expanded the tavern to these levels, but she’s toying with the idea of turning the third level into a hospitality suite of rooms, and the fourth level into some sort of arena.
  Lemuria does not restrict access to these floors, and occasionally a traveler low on funds or too cheap to purchase a room for the night will bed down here.
  On the fourth floor the boarded-up hole is much easier to inspect. It has a locked panel with a note nailed to it reading, “Please see the staff and fill out a waiver (LL-404.5) if you’d like access.” This is more for keeping track of missing patrons and avoiding legal difficulties should they do what adventurers do best: disappear.
 
 

The Staff

Lemuria: The Barkeep

Lemuria is the owner and proprietor of Lemuria's Library and a friend to all with coin or talent. She was raised in the port of Xanos, which explains her shrewd dealings. She is rumored to be an ex-adventurer but she rarely talks about it. As she lost friends and acquaintances, she realized it was easier and less tragic to make a better (and safer) profit by selling rumors and alcohol (in that order).
  When she arrived in Frey, she found the library ruins untouched. After disappearing into the ruins for around a month, the residents of Frey figured she was another victim to greed and foolhardiness. It was then she relit the fireplace on the first floor and opened the doors for business. It’s still unknown what transpired in the month she was there, and is the subject of moderate armchair speculation.
 
It should be noted that in this region of the land it’s believed that knowledge is not inherently dangerous, but it is most certainly unsafe. It is said that over a hundred years ago an adventurer found his way into one of the vaults below, only to have his mind taken by one of the books he found there. -Between the Chungwhat and the Ranwhere, A Partial History of Frey

  While she makes a steady (and profitable) income running the tavern, the real money is to be made handling adventurers. She can't help but take advantage of their naïveté, boosting prices and sharing stories about the dangers of wherever they're headed. She's got connections all over the world and she's always willing to help for a fee.
 

Baldrow:

While he tolerates the tales of passers through, they tire him. All nomads are the same, exaggerating their exploits and making themselves kings of their little worlds. Always right, always brilliant, always impeccably competent.
  His ultimate love is paperwork: beautiful and crisp lines organized in truthful couplets, precise and unwavering. Exact facts. Concise queries. The slightly acidic scent of warmed paper with freshly applied ink fills his lungs with controlled and calculated wonder.
 
Paperwork is my mistress, she materializes in the form of endless sheets of paper and envelopes I cannot live without. I am chained to her by her siren call, and I must follow her every whim and need. The crinkling sound of thin paper between my fingers is the only music I hear, and the scratching of ink into paper the sound that I crave.
  • Memo’s from the Desk and Mind of Baldrow, comp. 137.1

  •   It is through this love that he finds himself employed here. In fact, part of his compensation package is being allowed to proof patron forms before submission. Additionally, he is allowed to keep all outdated forms. His hobbies include drafting new forms. His crowning possession is a self-compiled tome of "LL-310: Through the Ages." This includes a comprehensive collection of all versions of the form, including the limited print run where Lemuria forgot to put an asterisk next to the quest-requester. He currently maintains the heroic and underappreciated work of compiling all submitted forms and organizing them into the follow-on multivolume work entitled, "Approved & Denied: A History, vol. 937." He lodges in a room on the second floor where his compilations fill several shelves.
      It should be noted he is not good at waiting tables.
     

    Florencia

    No one really knows where she came from. One day she appeared and asked Lemuria for a place to work in exchange for food and shelter. Lemuria hasn't pushed the question in the past five years of her employment.
      Florencia is a model employee and excels at reading people. She frequently writes orders down, though she rarely writes anything out of necessity. Rather, this practice is to make herself less notable and threatening to patrons. She often knows what patron’s want before they've decided and has a way of teasing out information. She gives this information to Lemuria, who in turn sells it to other patrons outright or through the veil of pseudonyms and The Job Board.
     

    The Cook

    VACANT. Inquire with Lemuria if you think you’d make a good addition to the team. It’s uncertain what happened to the late Cornelius Olvar. Lemuria is working to fill this position, but profit has not noticeably changed, so it hasn’t been a priority. The menu currently contains alcoholic beverages, bread, and items of moderate ease to prepare.
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
      1. Access can technically be found through any of the balconies, but it is against the house rules and considered rude and off-putting.
      2. This railing was not in the original blueprints, but after patrons routinely made habits of disappearing below it was installed. Now it is rare for anything more than a favorite pen to fall victim to the depths below. Covering the hole on the fourth level is also believed to have helped in this matter.
      3. Unprotected from the elements that blow in from the balcony and roguelike adventurers who’d steal anything not nailed down. Although it must be admitted, many rogues have stolen (to varying degrees of success) things that were nailed down.
      4. The cost of the drink is included in the job poster’s posting fee. The respect, however, is not.
      5. If you’re interest in renting one of these rooms, please see the barkeep or staff on the first floor for a request form.
    The Legend Board   This board is reserved for the greatest quests of all, the ones that have been posted for far too long by the cruel and harsh owners of this establishment. If you are brave enough to take on any of these quests, you will be rewarded handsomely… and be granted a free drink at the bar, obviously.   Additions to the legend board are chosen at the discretion of the owner.   1. The Eye of the Dragon - Defeat a dragon and bring back its eye as proof. If you can manage to do so alive, or with both arms and legs intact, you will receive 5000 gold (coins) and a free drink.   [Adventurers Wanted]   The small village of Alen, on the edge of the Elderwood, has been experiencing problems with a vampire. Villagers have been going missing from the town square at night. The townspeople are too scared to go out after dark and are desperate for help.   If you can deal with the vampire and bring back proof by next week, the mayor will pay you 100 gold and a free drink at the tavern.   [Adventurers Wanted]   A mage lost in the Elderwood has put out a call for help. He is looking for someone to retrieve his magic spellbook, which he lost while chasing a fairy. He promises 200 gold if you can find it and return it to him within the week. *To post a quest, please request form "Quest Request LL-310" from the staff. Submission of reward is required at time of submission of the LL-310. Please allow 24-48 hours for processing.

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    Comments

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    26 Mar, 2022 09:18

    What a lovely article and a interesting take on a tavern!, Love the sidebar that you have and even included some rumors!, Overall this article is good and I do also hope you check out my article for the tavern challenge when you get a chance!   But overall a good article!

    26 Mar, 2022 11:43

    I love adventurers turned tavern owners, and this place sounds like a neat place to drop by. I like the staff and the mystery, makes me want to visit. Or look for a job as chef, with lots of reading as perk.


    Too low they build who build beneath the stars - Edward Young