Coure ti'van! Coure ti'van! I am the Fitiri Inn of Tindrel! My name is from Catak and means "oasis away from home".
~the Fitiri Inn
all artwork by Shanda Nelson unless otherwise stated
My construction began in 3982 AGI and finished in 3986. I am a proud 1,134 years old!
My PastI was not always an inn. I began my existence as an elegant, magick-imbued part of a Jonna Empire prince's summer palace in the city of Tindrel, Merren. I shone with golden light from the roof tiles and glowed a hallowed white from soft exterior paint and sculpture. My interior was as opulent. I had white banisters, walls with gold paint and multiple mirrors to refelct light, velvet wainscotting, marble floor tiles with carpets from all corners of the empire. I was pristine, awe-inspiring, housing the best artworks the prince purchased in my three-story walls. He entertained important guests within my rooms, and they exclaimed over my elegance and the beauty of my art. He expanded me over the years, to where I was the size of four homes in one! I was often cleaned, but few outside the prince visited. He ceased after several years, and while his family would periodically show me off, it was not the same. Seasons passed. During one particularly hot summer, the paintings, the sculpture, the flowers and vases, the plump chairs and refined tables and mirrors, changed. Children ran my halls--they hit and stamped and made messes and screamed loud enough my nails trembled. My golden light dimmed, and the awe in which others viewed me accompanied it. Things went downhill from there. People left. No one remained to clean my vaunted interiors, and dust bathed every corner. I cried for someone to return, to reimagine me, to sweep and wash and tenderly touch my furnishings, but no one heard me. Was I no longer beautiful enough? Elegant enough? I languished as my walls sagged, the glass windows grew heavy at the bottom, the roof tiles cracked and let nasty water leak into room after room, warping the once-shiny wooden floors.
Something ChangedNew people came! They did not clean as I expected, but season upon season, they filled my halls with laughter again. I did not mind the foot stamping of crying children or the nonchalant lives of residents. While saddened to see the roof tiles removed, ones that did not leak took their place. They did not shimmer with gold, but sat, lumpy, a dull black, but since they kept nasty water out, I decided not to complain. They sectioned me into smaller divisions, and even more people moved in. A happier time, but the new ones did not care that my walls sagged and the glass windows broke because the tops became too thin. They did not mind the cracks, just stuffed a shirt or a blanket into the hole. There are such things as shutters, and while most of mine had fallen, they could have replaced them! They simply seemed grateful I protected them from the elements and did nothing to improve upon that.
Then She CameShe. Who was she? I do not know, I do not care. She drove the people away, and the sad children said goodbye to me and trudged out the door, holding their little toys, carrying little packs. The halls became silent, the rooms moreso. No one fixed the cracks in the walls, no one swept the floors. The wind shattered windows, the wind ripped tiles away from me, the wind let nasty water back in. AND SHE DID NOTHING. She was as nasty as the water. I would dream, of my golden tiles and shined banisters. I would dream, of children's voices and the secrets told to my walls. I would dream, of light instead of the dribble shadows that encased my interior. I sagged, cracked, and I did not care. The wind froze my insides and wobbled my walls, and I thought I would fall soon. Why not let the peeling paint and rotting wood flow away with the water? Why not let the roof cave in, and hide the memories of seasons long past?
He CameThe nasty woman no longer visited and sniffed at my leaking roof and disintegrating floors. Instead this aki n'di ori, , came and toured my ruin with many others, tapping at his hefty chin, humphing at this or that. He could go away like the woman, for all I cared. Then builders arrived. Builders! I had not seen builders in such a long time! They strengthened the deteriorating foundation spells. Then they dismantled me. They replaced my sagging floors and cracked walls with sturdy boards stained a nice dark brown. Half-timbers, grey stone and oatmeal stucco decorated my exterior. My once-gold and white banisters became plain, only functional, wooden stairways. The bottom held the tavern proper, which spanned the entire floor except for the kitchen. That had two stoves and two ovens and many counters, all behind a long bar resplendent with glass containers that reflected the soft yellow emanating from the lamps. The second level had many rooms fit for merchants, and two very nice ones dressed in white and elegant with dainty furniture and thick rugs. They also had attached bathing rooms with faucets. I had not had working faucets since my inception! And the third story! Ignore the cheaper rooms because over the eastern section of the roof, they constructed a larger space with sculpted wainscotting, silver wall dividers, and a painting on the ceiling! It had funny little dragons circling a blue, cloudy sky. It was not like the paintings the prince displayed, but it was good enough. One interior wall held a large map Lekedi was inordinately proud of, showing the Five Dragon lairs. He brought in soft chairs and couches and delicate tables, as was appropriate for a merchant prince, and he always had flowers in tall vases, even during snows! I remember such decor, from my early years. They were nice. When he declared me done, whatever that means (I am not a baked good), he broke a bottle on my front door and declared the Fitiri Inn open for business. The contents splattered all over the place, and he did not clean it. No one did, for two whole days! If they want my walls not to sag and the floor not to collect dust, they need to clean better. Maybe they were just busy. Many, many people crowded in. They ate and drank and laughed and sang. And I was the one who made them happy! Many loved the happiness I provided. The lower floor was always full, especially when I hosted the celebrations for successful caravan seasons. I dare say, nearly all the people who lived in the city came to those! I was so popular, the special traditional cooks from the aki n'di ori homelands fought to cook in my kitchens. Musicians from near and far had competitions to play in my tavern. Merchants outbid one another to stay in my rooms. I hosted happy, happy weddings! and, sadly, funerals. People loved to eat and drink in my tavern, and I loved to have them.
Many musicians play at the tavern, but Lekedi has a Dokion minstrel named Chiriki who attracts people from all over Tindrel. They say it's because Dokion doesn't follow Rastem musical traditions, so he's unique.
Photo Pixabay via Pexels
Khanzhioh Specials Menu
The Merren civil war was a terrible time for me. Not only did it create many sad people who mourned their loved ones at my tavern, there was even talk, that my owner should leave! He said no, and formed the Rakan Guard instead. The guards are nice. Many women visit the tavern, to watch them, but they never talk to them. I wonder why
Photo by Bakr Magrabi at Pexels
Intrigue!Happiness dwindled. Darker days came. The traditional cooks made less food, the servers gave it to fewer people. More funerals, fewer weddings. I remembered, how I fell into disrepair, and tried to return happiness to the people. If they were happy, I would not fall to ruin. But what to do? For you see, when I speak I creak, and that makes people nervous. I cannot move things, and when I tremble and try, that makes people even more nervous, and they talk about shoring up the foundation and replacing the walls. Sneaky builders came. They created a hidey-hole, set behind the frozen food room. Many people, hunched over, quaking in fear, visited. They sat in sturdy but dull chairs and ate from sturdy but dull tables, and waited until the musician Chiriki came and took them away. More would take their place. I felt bad for them. Their terror permeated the walls, and they cried often. Their cries were my cries, when rain and wind froze my insides and my walls threatened to fall. The aki n'di ori said they needed help to sneak out of Tindrel. My owner gave them help, but did it really help? And what was this? The nice rooms on top of the roof had new people, too! Another aki n'di ori who visited the first floor very often, Arkedi, took up residence. He spread maps across the tables and issued orders to young people in makeshift black uniforms with wide sleeves and wide legs. They said, the people would protect the aki n'di ori! They called themselves the Rakan Guard and declared myself their headquarters! Of course they did. I am obviously a popular central place for city residents and traveling merchants alike. The tales I heard from them! They helped old women beat away bullies. They stalked thieves and guarded against darker criminals. They hunted for the missing, who had grown in numbers. Some said, what do you expect during war? Others thought a more sinister purpose lay behind the disappearances. No one knew, though they argued about it. The guard became very popular, like everything else associated with me. Young and old people applied to join, very determined, some eager for action, most intent on making their world safer, as it had been before.
New PeopleMy owner called them Illenans. They were led by a young aki n'di ori my owner slapped on the back and beamed at and regaled, and a tall man with blond hair and a serious air. They spoke of dark things, of kidnappings and bloodmages and death. I did not want to hear of it, but they said it in my walls, so I listened. They made me melancholy. So many once-happy people who celebrated in my walls were now dead because of someone called the despot. I wished him ruin. He did not bring happiness, but pain. I could not provide the happiness, with his pain slamming against it. Yet again, because of my importance, I became a center of action, this time for intelligence gathering. Stealthy people came in and out, hidden by others intent on food and drink. Many secrets passed by lips within my walls, and I heard all of them. I heard about the raids on bloodmage mansions, about the tortures they discovered, how these terrible people sucked the energy out of innocents and filled containers with it, hoping to use the energy to fuel their death wieldings. These tales made me afraid, but I was not human. I had no blood to siphon. Yet I did not want my owner or my adoring customers or those who worked within me or the Rakan guard or the Illenans to fall victim to those who killed. So I helped. One night, when my shutters shuddered and my roof tiles sang with the wind, a dark, cloaked person climbed up the exterior, three-story staircase to the roof and tried to enter the elegant rooms there. I first thought he was another stealthy person, but stealthy people always had keys and this one used wieldings to get inside. I knew he should not be there, so I groaned and creaked and shook and made a terrible racket. A Rakan guard came to look at the roof, thinking it might collapse in the storm, and he captured the dark person! They never did thank me for that. Instead they replaced my roofing tiles. Even so, I made certain to keep alert on darker nights, just in case another enemy visited.
Being the center of so much intrigue is hard work! I did not think, when I displayed paintings for the prince, that I would become a place of stealth and secret dealings. It means that many people are meeting in my walls, day or night. They discuss so many hush-hush things! That is far more interesting than watching people sleep.
Original Photo Elijah O'Donnell at Pexels