The Heron

A Mysteriously Disappearing / Reappearing Inn

Oh, wow. Hi, lovely place you have here ... Never been here before. It’s kinda cozy … Could do with a fountain though. Love fountains. Anyone interested in buying a Quarterstaff by any chance? What about you, kid? A young, fresh-faced Adventurer such as yourself could surely use a Quarterstaff, eh?
— Shady Merchant Patron, upon discovering The Heron for the first time

From the outside, the Inn is quite small and unassuming: A rather squat, two storey timber building with a single salvaged stone wall that seems left over from a prior construction. The double wooden doors at the frount, however, are ornately carved and appear out of place with the simple construction of the rest of the establishment; there are no windows on the ground floor, though several with diamond patterned stained glass in soft hues dot the second storey. Meanwhile a gently swinging timber sign hangs above the doors, emblazoned with a Heron that appears inlaid into the sign. Made from Sunstone, it has been enchanted to emit a soft and welcoming glow to those below.  

Heron Patrons

Roll the Dice
1Jamund. Male Ferenian Human. medium build with long braided silver hair, deep green eyes, a long beard, and tanned weathered skin; he wears well worn clothing and carries a long knife at his hip. A worn leather adventuring backpat sits at his feet.
2Romarta. Female Stout Halfling. Stort, with auburn hair, rosey cheeks, bright skin, and honey colored eyes. She wears studded leather armor with a military pack and light crossbow; a longbow leans against the table next to her.
3Amaseal. Male Solar Elf. Tall, willowy, with a tangled mess of white hair and small amber eyes. He wears chainmail with a plate breast emblazoned with a holy symbol, and an ornate sword on his hip. A small grey Terrier lays at his feet.
4Warden Knere. Deep Dwarven Female. Stockily built with braided brown-black hair and beard, and violet eyes, with a pattern of unusual marks across the visible portions of her neck. She wears sturdy but plain clothing, and seemingly has no weapons.
Stepping inside the Inn one enters a wide, single roomed hall dotted here and there with sturdy timber beams that hold up the second floor of the building. It is softly lit with Sunstone light which radiates from various sconces located around the exterior of the room- each in a different design, as if pulled from the trash, thrifted, or otherwise obtained randomly over the years. Despite the softness of the light on the eyes, however, it is by no means a dark interior. Rather, the light is clear and the atmosphere has a certain coziness to it- one accented by the light glittering off a tiled mosaic floor made from several types of stone inlaid in a simple repeating geometric pattern; like the outside of the Inn, it's design is rather plain and unassuming- adding only a slight bit of interest and contrast to an otherwise simply decorated room.

The Innkeeper

Named Daegal, the Innkeep is a Winged Elf male. His age is unascertainable at a glance and he won't answer questions about it if asked- though he looks to be in his mid 40's in Human years (albeit a very youthful 40's; he is an Elf, after all).   Due to the nature of working in an Inn and Tavern, Patrons rarely get a glimpse of his wings- which are always a subject of curiosity given the rarity of Winged Elves; he keeps them tucked neatly away unless he needs them to make a frightening point to a brawler, or some other Patron making a fuss. These points are accented by the fact that he has long black hair kept pulled back into a high pony tail, lending a severity to his already sharp Elven features- and piercing blue eyes which seem to bore in as he looks at you, as if he's seeing directly into one's soul.   Despite all of this, however, his mannerisms and voice are soft and welcoming, and he has quite a jovial personality.
Several battered shields- themselves likewise of various styles, makes, and ages- hang on the walls, alternating with the sconces. On either end of the hall- both left, and right, from the entrance- are two large stone fireplaces lit with welcoming fires. Above the left one hangs a well painted portrait of a crying and destitute Gnomish man. Above the other hangs another portrait of the same man, this time with his head thrown back in racous laughter; the wooden tables and chairs which make up the sitting space between them are well made, but weathered from decades of use, as if the Inn has been around for a very long time.   Located at the back of the room and stretching across a truly dimly lit space, with a Sunstone chandelier hanging above it, is the Tavern Bar. Old, and worn, and carved from what looks like an old piece of a ship's hull, it's tended by a willowy framed Winged Elf male who busies himself with the usual work of cleaning; accomodations themselves consist of several rooms on the upper floor, accessed through creaky stairwell whose steps are covered in well worn velvet carpeting that looks to have been red once upon a time- located to the left side of the bar. The rooms for rent are tiny but clean, with a single window above a twin sized cot. A chest for temporary storage sits next to each, and freshly laundered feather bedding has been placed neatly folded on the cots ready for patrons to make their beds when they're ready to slumber.  

Menus

Welcome to the Heron! … No, not herring, Heron. The bird, not the fish … Yes, it’s a bird … Yes, we serve fish … No, we don’t have a bird-fish. Are… Are you okay? Do you need me to find someone for you?
— A well meaning ex-Barkeep of The Heron ... She didn't last long
 
▼ Food ▼
Item Price
Bread Bowl with herbed Butter 1 CP
Dried Pork Jerky and Pea Mash 1 CP
Quail Egg, Herring, and Leek Hash 2 CP
Bowl of Stewed Lentils and Grains 3 CP
Liver Paste, Smoked Meat, Cheese,
and Bread Platter
5 CP
Roast of Lamb with Honey Glazed
Root Vegetable side
3 SP
▼ Drinks ▼
Item Price
Bugarbara Farms Hard Cider 1 CP
Sal'Hean Sea Grog 1 CP
Sweet-Garland Spiced Perry 2 CP
Kharukan Pale Ale 2 CP
Stirge Black Lager 3 CP
Red Scale Ale 3 SP
 
▼ Accomodations ▼
Item Price
Room (per night) 1 CP
Stabling (with overnight stay) Free
Bathing Amenities (regardless of overnight stay) 3 CP
 
Click any box above to see the menu items in each category.
     

Rumors & Oddities

 
The Red Scale Ale, a drink on the menu, is supposedly so named because a Red Dragon attacked the place once for refusing to serve it a bottle, leading to the Inn's destruction (or so the story goes among the Patrons, at least).
A gang of rather unsavory figures has made the Inn their home, and they always expect the best table while there. One should watch where they sit while visiting, then, or find themselves more than a few teeth- and coin- short.
The Inn seems to be cursed (or blessed, depending on how you see it) as no one's ever died while visiting; some have deliberately tried to injure or murder Patrons, but wounds obtained inside are miraculously never lethal.
 
Patrons could swear that they've visited The Heron before in a different location; some swear it was in Olienn. Others claim it used to be somewhere in Talaina'Vao, in Tolara. Another, the icey peaks of the Caerced Mountains. Most stories of its initial encounter are always the same, and speak of randomly stumbling upon it in the middle of nowhere, just as they were about to give up all hope.   While one might be inclined to brush these off as merely the typical drunken ravings encountered in a Tavern setting, in reality they're all correct; the Inn itself is a pocket dimension whose entrance shows up wherever it pleases- or whenever a traveler's in need ... Bring it up inside, however, and you'll experience one of the few times the Innkeeper isn't particularly jovial.





Comments

Author's Notes

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I absolutely love getting feedback on my setting and its worldbuilding. I love it even more when people poke and prod at it, and ask questions about the things I've built within it. I want both. I actively encourage both. And it makes me incredibly giddy whenever I get either. However, there's a time and a place for critique in particular- mostly when I've actually asked for it (which usually happens in World Anvil's discord server). And when I do ask for critique, there are two major things I politely request that you do not include in your commentary:   ➤ The first is any sort of critique on the way I've chosen to organize or format something; Saleh'Alire is not a narrative world written for reader enjoyment... It's is a living campaign setting for Dungeons and Dragons. To that end, it's written and organized for my players and I, specifically for ease of use during gameplay- and our organization needs are sometimes very different than others'. They are especially diferent, often-times, from how things "should be organized" for reader enjoyment.   ➤ Secondly, is any critique about sentence phrasing and structure, word choice, and so on; unless you've specifically found a typo, or you know for a provable fact I've blatantly misued a word, or something is legitimately unclear explicitly because I've worded it too strangely? Then respectfully: Don't comment on it; as a native English speaker of the SAE dialect, language critique in particular will almost always be unwelcome unless it's absolutely necessary. This is especially true if English is not you first language to begin with. My native dialect is criticized enough as it is for being "wrong", even by fellow native English speakers ... I really don't want to deal with the additional linguistic elitism of "formal english" from Second-Language speakers (no offense intended).   That being said: If you want to ask questions, speculate, or just ramble? Go for it! I love talking about my setting and I'm always happy to answer any questions you have, or entertain any thoughts about it. Praise, of course, is always welcome too (even if it's just a casual "this is great", it still means a lot to authors)- and if you love it, please don't forget to actually show that love by liking it and sharing it around. Because I genuinely do enjoy watching people explore and interact with my setting, and ask questions about it, and I'd definitely love to hear from you... Just be respectful about it, yeah?


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