Scarterran Inns and Lodging

Scarterrans of all social classes sometimes travel for work or pilgrimages (which is the closest thing Scarterrans have to a modern vacation.)   Towns typically have an inn. Cities typically have several inns. You might find inns in villages if the village in question is near a pilgrimage site or major trade route. Quality inns are fairly uncommon, normally only popping up in larger cities that house a sizeable amount of wealthy people.   In a lot of cases, there are no inns, but there is a custom of hospitality. Travelers can ask a person to give them food and lodging for a night, typically with a promise of coin and/or news and gossip from afar. Almost anyone can choose to accept a traveler but most villages and small towns have individuals who go out of their way to host interesting strangers and they also have individuals who distrust strangers and would never host someone. It's usually not hard to figure who has what views and a traveler can usually ask a local who does or doesn't take in boarders in their area.   This basic transaction changes very little whether the traveler is staying in an inn or in a person's home.   Peasants and princes alike are often hungry for news. Remember, there are no phones, Internet, televisions or radios so taking to travelers is the main way to learn from places abroad. A traveler that is especially entertaining or from an exotic location might not have to pay coins at all to stay somewhere. A traveler that is tightlipped or otherwise unwilling and unable to share news might have to pay extra or be turned away outright.


Hospitality customs have changed relatively little over the centuries. Hosts are expected to make every reasonable effort to make their accommodations nice for their visitors. Visitors are expected to share news and polite conversation. Visitors who make extended stays are expected to help with the host's chores after three days. Visitors and hosts mostly stick to hobnobbing with those of their own or similar social status.   All of these traditions existed in some form or another through the the First, Second, and the Third Ages and these standards of hospitality extend into nearly every race or culture in Scarterra with only minor variations.   Even nomadic barbarians have similar customs for being good hosts and being good guests. One difference is that guests usually help with chores after one day rather than three.   In every culture, hosts harming their guests or guests harming their guests is considered a gross betrayal and a serious taboo by mortals and the Nine alike.


Staying at a hospital is free, but has it's own risks and is often viewed as a low status option, even by peasants. The physical accomodations may actually be better than some cheaper inns, but most hospitals are crammed with the riffraff of society.     Staying at a very cheap inn is very similar to crashing in someone's barn. Either way you are probably sleeping on a pile of straw at the floor and use a drop hole outside to relieve yourself. This typically costs a copper piece a night if your host charges you at all.     Staying a cheap inn is very similar to staying with a typical peasant family. You probably sleep on a mat on the floor or cram into a large bed huddled with near strangers. This typically costs a silver piece or two per night, unless your news and gossip is especially sought after.     Staying at a common inn is very similar to staying in the home of a modestly successful tradesmen. If the traveler is in the same trade as the host, it is professional courtesy to host the traveler for free, provided the traveler is willing to share news and engage in friendly shop talk.   Small temples that don't routinely have guests are likely to provide similar accommodations to people who give them donations or are spiritually aligned with them.   Visitors in such a location might have to share a bed with someone but the sheets are changed more regularly and the room is bigger and cleaner. Typically this costs four to five silver pieces a night.     Staying a high quality inn is very similar to staying in the home of a well-to-do merchant or highly skilled burgher. Travelers can get similar accommodations from a temple or monastery if they can talk their way into VIP treatment either from their social status, religious affiliation, or a large donation. The visitor probably has a private room and a private bed. There might be amenities such as a servant (or younger family member of the host acting as a servant temporarily) cleaning up after the guest and perhaps preparing a bath.   Typically this costs around two gold pieces a night, unless the travelers have really juicy gossip or share the same profession as their host.   Food is separate. It is very common in Scarterra for hosts to charge their guests for lodging but provide the food for free provided the guests make good company. Travelers (and day laborers) can also buy food without buying logic.     Five silver pieces a day will let someone enjoy fine meals typically consisting of spiced meat, white bread, quality fruits and vegetables, with quality wine or ale. This is the hospitality norm for the top quality inns or the homes of wealthy burghers.   Three silver pieces a day will let someone enjoy hearty commoner food such as fish or rabbit plus a few modest herbs, seasonal vegetables and either simple ale or clean water. This is the hospitality norm for most commoners or common inns.   One silver pieces a day will get you water and hard biscuits with some thin stew or gruel. Meat is out of the question, but if you are lucky you can get an egg or two. This is the hospitality norm for cheap inns or commoners experiencing hard times.     Travelers can seek shelter in the local lord's castle or manor house (or one of the attached servants buildings of the lord's castle or manor house). Food and accommodations would either equal the quality level of high quality inns or moderate inns.   Sometimes the local lord (or more likely the lord's steward) will politely "suggest" that the visitor contribute a few coins, but this is uncommon unless the local lord is especially miserly or cash strapped.   Local potentates extend shelter to travelers of high social status or people who have done them favors (or people they want to butter up to ask to do favors).     Just like with commoners, nobles probably expect their guests to regale them with tales of their travels.  If anything, nobles are even more hungry for news than commoners are.

What about inns that are also taverns or alehouses?

by Me using Nightcafe
  Real world medieval Europe did not have many places that resemble The Prancing Pony of Lord of the Rings. Scarterra does have a fair share of these types of places, but they are hardly omnipresent.   Nami is the patron goddess of travelers and the patron goddess of breweries and wineries.   Rovers generally cannot rely on regular donations to pay their operating expenses, so it is common for Nami temples to have a mundane side business to make ends meet.   This frequently means that that the Rovers own taverns, breweries, wineries, and/or inns. Nami's Rovers favor versatility so it's not uncommon to find a business that has a small distillery in the basement, a public tavern on the first floor and a couple high quality inn accommodations on the second and third floors.   Some of these Rover-run facilities are so popular that secular businessmen and women have chosen to emulate this business model and create combinations of inns and taverns. Most of these places have only a small number of rooms and make the dragon's share of their income from selling food and drinks to patrons who don't spend the night there.   The most famous inn of this type is the Drunken Bat Inn and Brewery.
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Cover image: simply inn by Me using Nightcafe


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