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The Dryad's Grove

Within the elven city of Hala Serin, there lies a giant kapok tree with a very special denizen. A dryad with a love of cooking who shares her gifts with the surrounding city. Tandra has been in Hala Serin since the end of the old empire and has been serving the people of her city for all that time. Her tavern is called Talim'Phomana, or The Dryad's Grove in Common. From the branches of her tree, she sells food, drinks, medicine and cloth. She focuses on the tavern though, with the apothecary being a remnant from her beginnings and the cloth being a byproduct of her living in a tree that grows cotton like fibers in it's seed pods.
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Above is a map of the tavern, with the large central area being used for the bar and restaurant. To the right are the sleeping quarters, with nests and hammocks strung between the branches. The other side of the restaurant holds a pair of small VIP dining areas. These are mostly used when either Alentheas officials or foreign dignitaries visit. To the north of the main area and slightly higher up is the weaver's area. There the kapok fibers are collected and turned into a cotton like fabric. This fabric is both used throughout the tavern and sold to the other inhabitants of Hala Serin. Lower down and to the left of that is the apothecary. Nestled on some of the lower branches, this alchemical workshop features a garden of commonly useful plants and a large bromeliad that is used as a cauldron. The plant has been enchanted to both empty and fill with water by commanding it in sylvan.   She can not do all this alone however, and has hired plenty of help. While she does have elves on her payroll, the tavern is best known for it's animal staff. Parrots sit at each table, taking orders and flying them to the kitchen. A whole troop of monkeys sit behind the bar, tossing bottles at each other as they mix drinks. Gorillas carry food to the patrons, and dump the wood carved dishes into baskets when they are done. As a dryad, she has the innate ability to speak to animals and she has managed to train her staff to help her and follow orders. In exchange for their aid, she feeds the animals and keeps them safe and healthy.   Of course, what is a tavern without a place to sleep off the night before? The Dryad's Grove has these as well, in the form of hammocks and weaverbirds. Hammocks made from kapok cloth are strung between branches with a staircase nearby to get up to them. However, if you don't want to sleep in a hammock, there are large nests built by a colony of weaverbirds available that are furnished with pillows and thin blankets woven from kapok.


With the influx of empire business, Tandra has made some serious upgrades to her tree. Some of the big additions include a stage for bards to perform and various games within the bar. There's also a satyr who will happily accept any drinking challenge, and if you can beat him you get a custom flagon as a trophy. Any drink poured into that flagon is free.


The entire tavern is nestled in the branches of Tandra's tree. She has weaved the branches to form a strong foundation on which a bamboo floor has been placed. The tables, chairs and most other pieces of furniture have been shaped and carved from thick branches with fabric woven from the kapok as needed. Tablecloths, chair cushions, and sleeping hammocks.


Alentheas has established a strong presence in Hala Serin, making the whole city a well defended stronghold. Even without them though, The Dryad's Grove is very well defended. In addition to the working animals like the parrots and monkeys, she keeps a few more dangerous creatures around as guardians. Folks who threaten the customers may see a jaguar or a raptor walk past, reminding them to be nice. Of course, that's even assuming they can climb up there. Tandra's control over her tree allows her to knock people off the branch walkways or deny them stairs to climb forcing them to scramble up while being assaulted by birds.


Tandra was once a simple healer. From her tree, she gave herbal remedies and kapok cotton bandages to the elves who came to her. She discovered a love of cooking among the elves and began serving food from her tree as well. The elves brought her plants and spices from the jungle and she mixed and cooked them into delicacies. As her passion grew, so did her tavern. Once, she had one of the biggest taverns in the city, serving meals made from the bounty of the jungle. However, as Hala Serin declined so did The Dryad's Grove. Like the city surrounding it, The Dryad's Grove withered away into a shadow of it's former glory. Now though, Alentheas has arisen and come to restore Hala Serin. With the backing of an empire The Dryad's Grove has bloomed bigger than ever. Tandra has hired more elves and beasts to help her cook, including more traditional elven recipes with far off ingredients. Today The Dryad's Grove is the most well known tavern in Hala Serin, and is a shining example of the wonders Alentheas hopes to resurrect.


Alentheas is a new and unknown force in Noburu, so no large kingdoms have allied with them yet. However, individuals have travelled to Hala Serin and those who have are enchanted by this beautiful tavern. Floral scents wafting throughout, fireflies lighting up the night, the delicious food, Tandra has done a good job making an enchanting atmosphere. Many are also impressed by the animals working like people, from the parrots taking orders to the almost dance of the monkeys as they toss each other the bottles for needed drinks. The Empire likes showing off what they've done with the place by entertaining foreign dignitaries at the tavern. Tandra has agreed to this, and has made special branch sections for important guests away from the general ruckus of the normal tavern.   The menu also keeps the place packed. The jungle provides Tandra with a plethora of nuts, fruits and spices which she makes great use of. She also has her chefs cook fish, insects and meat gathered from the jungle by the elves. This includes dinosaur meat along with more traditional beasts. She also has a special section of her menu with a bit more magic. In these special dishes, she adds either goodberries or goodberry juice. Due to the nature of the enchanted fruits, these dishes are very filling but more importantly have curative properties. She may also add in meat from enchanted beasts if it is available. Mana charged beasts can be dangerous and are often hunted down. When cooked though, they keep their enchantment while retaining their flavor. This can lead to a customer consuming a mana charged stego steak, then having their hair turn purple until the meat passes through them. Folks enjoy these minor effects and when they are available these magical meals sell fast.
Alternative Names
Pub / Tavern / Restaurant
Parent Location
Owning Organization
Characters in Location


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Mar 16, 2022 13:48 by Soulwing

I want to eat here! A dryad training animal staff for running the establishment, genius :3

Creator, artist and writer of the science fantasy world Kingsmaker.
Mar 16, 2022 18:37 by Mikael Jokela

I like the theme of the tavern immensely and it actually partly reminds me of my tavern entry (Atleast in the same aesthetic)! I think the article could really use a sidebar, and a few pictures here and there. Something to split up the text a little bit to make it an easier read for those with weaker reading habbits :D

Mar 29, 2022 17:38

Okay this is awesome and I love the idea of a Gorilla waiter, not to mention the parrots taking orders. This certainly sounds like an entertaining experience, for sure.

If you have the time, take a gander at our entry for the Tavern Challenge,The Silver Chariot
Mar 31, 2022 21:02 by Michael Chandra

Good to hear the place is bouncing back from decay, it sounds like a nice place to visit, even if you can't shank an arrogant guest.

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