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The Gilded Camphor

The Gilded Camphor is a bar most well known for housing the stories of all heroes of Totania. If there is a hero one wishes to learn about, they need only sit at a table in the Gilded Camphor and find themselves immersed in their tale.  

The Bar

The Gilded Camphor is located in the Elven capital city of Camor, at the heart of the Elven Forest. To reach it, one would go past the slums of Camor and into its Noble Ward. There, a bar sits on the corner, surrounded by mansions and luxurious stores. A bar known as the Gilded Camphor.   The name of the bar comes from the golden city of Camor where it resides, granting it the gilded title. Many say Camphor sounds like Camor, and while this is true, the name exists for a different reason. The Camphor tree is a tree that lives to be very old, but is often said to do nothing. It interferes little in the area surrounding it, and thus the founder and owner of the bar felt it fit him perfectly, as an observer of history.  
It was a young Elf that founded it, a boy named Imvis. Imvis came from a family of poor Elves, but wished for a way to achieve wealth. More than that, he wished for a sort of fame. A fame he found in the tales of heroes.   Heroes, to Imvis, were able to fly above their station. Heroes started from nothing and became household names. Heroes like his first inspiration, the first Elven Queen, Meiriris Nerifir.   Meiriris's actions are considered heroic, despite some evils she did to get them. For more, check the exceprt from the Gilded Camphor's book History of Heroes.   It is through this book that Imvis regales tales of his heroes, ones he believes exemplify the term hero.   To many Elves, this is Meiriris. However, to others, this term is used best when describing the first King of Humanity: Gellark Lionrage.   It is from Gellark that Imvis learned how much selflessness is needed to create something that lasts. Gellark had made sure the Kingdom of Man was not dependent on him, thus meaning that by the time of his death, it was able to last. Conversely, Imvis never put anything about himself in his bar, knowing that when he died and the bar passed on to someone else, it would only survive if it did not rely on him and him alone.  

Telling Tales

It is then founded not just on the principles of these two founding monarchs, but so too is the Gilded Camphor founded on those that helped to strengthen this Kingdom: The Divine Heroes.   The Divine Heroes were a group that consisted of multiple heroes, and while all survived the incident that made them famous, not all were immortalized in history. Even fewer lived more than a decade to tell the tale. For this reason, only three survived long enough to keep the story going, while some were lost to history entirely.   Imvis did not care if he was lost to history, but he did not want these heroes to suffer that fate. He looked up to them, and he wished to show the world their majesty and that the lessons one could take from their adventures are not just for heroics or violence, but for everyday life as well.   The bar gathers people of all sorts, giving the promise that they will learn not only about the already great heroes of Totania, but so too will they learn about the greatest hero of all: themselves.  

Hospitality

The Gilded Camphor is known for hospitality. They greet all customers the same, as they say history has no preference.
 
Meiriris Nerifir by Jarhed
Meiriris Nerifir
was once a slave to the Gods, as were the other Elves and Orcs. Meiriris led a revolution, freeing both from the Gods and destroying their temples, atop which she built a city of gold for her people, driving out the Orcs in the process.
— History of the Heroes
Gellark Lionrage by Jarhed
Gellark Lionrage was one of the first Humans. He drove the Goblins from their lands, founded the Human capital of Nerodil after a brutal battle with his adopted father Varth Dreamless, and then vanished. It is on his shoulders and from his deeds that Humanity claims a right to live.
— History of Heroes
Unlike most places in Camor, they let in not just High Elves, but also other sorts of Elves and other races entirely. They welcome them with open arms and, even, a hug. Of course, they ask first, and if a customer says no, they are often given a larger drink, as it is assumed they are going through some kind of suffering.  

Music

This hospitality is learned from the Monion leader Hugg, a Goblin who would always give big hugs and greet people with open arms. With Hugg's teachings, the staff of the Gilded Camphor always has the music playing to make people feel welcome.  
Gilded Camphor Staff by Jarhed
One can always hear Eiltora singing, Yorrian playing the trumpet with heraldic blasts of heroic music, and Vesleth playing the basic backing to Eiltora's vocals. Vesleth has a condition that allows her to walk, but she requires a cane, so often she stays in a wheelchair when playing music so she can use both hands.   These three are not the only staff, of course. There is also Imvis, the owner, alongside Myrue, a Dark Elven back-up dancer. Myrue is not musically inclined, but she is a fantastic dancer. She also fulfills the prerequisite of being a staff member, something the musicians do as well: she is well versed in the tales of heroes.  

Passing on Legends

The main goal at the Gilded Camphor is for its patrons to leave with more knowledge of heroes, to be immersed in their culture. Due to this, one can find bookshelves lining many of the walls, full of books that tell the tales of heroes, alongside posters of various legendary figures from across Totanian history.   Most of the books on the shelves are Imvis's own, with one that all patrons are given being his Gilded Camphor sponsored book: History of the Heroes. This features the stories of all heroes who have graced Totania, and new editions are released every two years, as Imvis says:
"There will always be more heroes."
— Imvis
  It has been stated by all staff members that if a patron has left without learning something, then the staff has failed to do their job. Most staff willingly takes cuts to their salaries if this happens until they feel they have rectified the issue.  

Drinks

The Gilded Camphor is of course, at its heart, a bar. Therefore, it has many drinks based off of heroes. Below are listed some of its menu of drinks:
Myrue by Jarhed
  • Killed Praxx
  • Biggzer Beer
  • Lusisce's Poison
  • The Kash Monet
  • Grand Prixx
  • Tanosh's Thorasite Surprise
  • The Tsar Bomba
  • Nimphonker's Mix
  • Tilrak's Shot
  • Til-rak Bottom
  • Lightning in a Bottle
  • Velthen Slusheth
  • Sainter's Eggnog
  • Unbreakable Skin
  • Brenvorth Tall Glass
  • Felonius's Tears
  • Wiscys's Brew
  • Corporal Ale 'nforge
  • Stinky Drinky
  • Lionrage on the Rocks
  • Varth's Dream Glass
  • Funki Glass of Everything
These are only some of the drinks served at the Gilded Camphor by one of the staff members. When it comes to checking IDs, the Gilded Camphor is much more lax than some other Elven establishments, as they have a wide variety of customers and thus a wide variety of ages that are considered adult. An adult Elf and an adult Kenku are wildly different ages, after all.  
Captain Rapport by Jarhed

Security

The Gilded Camphor is a controversial location to some Elven nobles, whose word is law in Camor even outside of their district. Due to the bar being within their district, they have even more to say about it.   There have been many petitions to demolish the bar, to tear down the building entirely or at least to turn it into a building that is "more beneficial to society." They try to claim that the problem with the Gilded Camphor is that it is a bar.   There is, however, a man with a large enough influence to combat this: A Captain of the Elven Guard named Rapport. Imvis's father. Rapport argues that if this were the case, they would try to shut down other bars. Instead, they aim for the Gilded Camphor because of its representation of other races, especially Dwarves and Dragonborn, in a positive light.   Rapport also serves as a bouncer most of the time, keeping out undesirables and throwing out problem patrons. The Gilded Camphor is a rather quiet place most of the time, so this is normally not needed. Most patrons are normally busy reading the History of the Heroes or listening to Eiltora's singing, and therefore don't cause too much trouble. This is a place for heroes, after all.   It is thanks to Rapport that Imvis gained an admiration for the Elven Guard. While he knew he could not put his father as one of the flagship heroes of the tavern, his father was still rather low-ranking for a Captain, he could do the closest he could. Due to this, Rapport's boss Narkard, a storied Elven hero, is a flagship hero of the Gilded Camphor instead.  

The Search for Heroes

There are many heroes of the Gilded Camphor, but Imvis still says it is never enough. He left in 545 to go to the Magic College, where he joined the Class of 549. Here, he was able to meet many potential and aspiring heroes.
Vodron Susk by Jarhed
  There were some Imvis looks up to more than others. Vodron Susk was someone he didn't consider to be a hero for quite some time, but after three years, Imvis has changed his stance on him. Sinner, Oraakil Mardaar, Caddos Damolnath, Hadon, Tothra Staz, and Jargar Eltan are other heroes from Imvis's class.   Imvis also looks to the other classes, where he finds heroes like Ogonn Ha, Lorakaen Darelor, Kathleen Ramone, Murphy Law, and Finethir Shinebright. Members of the Weave Initiative. However, the greatest hero in that group is their leader, Shatt Gunn.
Imvis by Jarhed

The Tapestry of Heroes

The Gilded Camphor is known for tales of heroes, but there are none it loves more than the nine famed heroes who don its artistic centerpiece, the tapestry of heroes (pictured above).   The Tapestry of Heroes features the heroes that the owner, Imvis, looks up to the most. From left to right they are:     These nine heroes form the basis of stories one can find at the Gilded Camphor. Here, one can hear their tales, and from there, branch out to heroes who relate to those nine grand heroes. Here, one immerses themselves in the tales of these heroes.
Founding Date
529
Type
Bar
Owner
The Divine Heroes by DragonboiNalrik, genuinetrickster, Yumedatchi, RovaRed, AnthraxSurprise, and Jarhed
The Divine Heroes were a group of Priests and holy men and women who fought against a great evil that challenged the Gods. Those pictured are not all, but they are (from left to right) Velthen Saseth of Bahamut, Entropy of Janus, Amara of Sehanine, Tankean Nimphonker of Tiamat, Dhurnas Blackmane of Moradin, and Ishii Daisuke of Erra. There are said to be two or three others who were among their ranks.
— History of the Heroes
Hugg by Jarhed
Hugg was a rival to Sliq Monion who was assassinated and drafted into Sliq's team of Monions as a drawing, alongside the likes of Biggz, Kirbo, Meff Kraxx, Kash Monet, Goof, Klapp, Prixx, and Lucky. Hugg led them to defeat Sliq, where he then took over as Patriarch. Hugg was known best for his immense kindness and hospitality, as well as his warm hugs.
— History of the Heroes
Narkard by Jarhed
Narkard is the Captain Commander of the Elven Guard, considered to be one of if not the most skilled fighters in history. He protected Camor from any problems its had, such as the beasts of the forest surrounding the city, the trees themselves, the Dwarves and Dragonborn, and all kinds of other threats. He is also considered a reliable leader, as he has the highest ranking position in the Elven military. His tales of heroism are numerous, as he still lives to this day.
— History of the Heroes
Shatt Gunn by genuinetrickster
Shatt Gunn is a Half-Orc who leads two influential groups, one being the Weave Initiative, a group of his classmates who study the source of magic and utilize its secrets for the good of Totania. The other group is the Army of the Revolution, who fights for freedom against the corrupt World Court. Shatt gained a reputation after breaking the birdcage over the Dragonborn capital at the end of the Chief Crisis.
— History of the Heroes

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And still, to Imvis, none of them compare to the greatest hero of all. The one Imvis believes is why the Gilded Camphor exists in the first place. Imvis's best friend and muse, his ideal hero:  

Nalrik Tilrak

Nalrik Tilrak by Jarhed

Nalrik Tilrak is the Chief of the militaristic village of Dragonborn known as Bortan. He is a close friend of Imvis, who has been documenting Nalrik's life and his heroic journey. Nalrik is best known as a hero for creating peace in Dragonborn territory after the Chief Crisis, being the second person ever to fully unite Dragonborn territory with his organization The Southern Elone Treaty Organization. Before that, he was a leading force that took down the Cragspear Bandits, and since then he has been an active force in stopping the World Court, who has been trying to take over the world.   Nalrik comes from a line of heroes known as the Tilraks, with his biological parents Ildid and Fepar Tilrak having founded the Army of the Revolution, and his adopted parents Draelmal and Ikkul Ravofarn being the creators of the Bortan Orphanage for young Dragonborn without parents.   Nalrik now runs the orphanage and supports his friend and adopted brother Shatt Gunn, who now leads the Army of the Revolution.


Cover image: Tapestry of Heroes by Yumedatchi

Comments

Author's Notes

Hope you enjoyed the article! I hope you learned something not just about this little ol bar, but about the heroes of this world! After all, that's the purpose of the bar, and so too, the article!


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18 Mar, 2022 01:23

I love the amount of images you used and the quotes and the details about the staff. This article is fantastic and even has details about the drinks served. Overall a lovely article!

18 Mar, 2022 14:08

This is great! first, I love the font. I quickly felt like I was engulfed into your world while reading this, all the images made it so easy to picture.   Also, the use of The Tsar Bomba as both a spell and a drink, is very clever.   Well done!

18 Mar, 2022 23:47

"Most staff willingly takes cuts to their salaries if this happens until they feel they have rectified the issue." Sus. Peer pressure bad, Imvis!   Nice origin and design intent, though if the place is depending on a single guard captain to help protect it from nobility, they may need to work on a more solid base there if Imvis wants it to last beyond their own lives. Maybe winning the people's hearts will help, but nobility may need to be converted too. I really do like the whole 'make sure these stories are told'.   The one downside is that you list so many important individuals, that it almost feels as if the article is more about the heroes than the tavern. I'd like a few more details on the tavern itself to compensate.