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The Grog and Blossom

Noun. 'Grog-blossom' (plural grog-blossoms) (archaic) The network of burst blood vessels on the face and particularly the nose of a heavy drinker.

Neither here nor there...

In the hamlet of Midway, there is a grimy little tavern called The Grog and Blossom squatting over the point where the three counties of Cobtree's Cap meet. The proprietors of the establishment have capitalized on this weedy claim to fame by cutting out a hole in the floor and painting a large red spot in the dirt with three crooked borders snaking out from beneath it as 'proof' of the little dive's position. It is owned and run by a strange pair, a hagspawn called Jarith and a pixie called Toss. As Toss tells it, the two met when they tied for second place at an unseelie drinking contest, and they've been inseparable ever since, opening the tavern in honor of their victory (and to always make sure they'd have someplace familiar to sleep their boozing off). Jarith has since 'confirmed' this tall tale by wrinkling his big, red, bumpy nose and winking his one real eye at the patron who asked.

The tavern itself is never lacking in entertainment and strange sights, as it's considered by some to be the most popular watering hole in all of the three counties for sylvan peoples. Eladrin, pixies, satyrs, dryads, changelings, bantlings, catchies, even the odd hagspawn, all are greeted as neighbors and welcomed in for a drink, a chance to toss wooden horseshoes and to bellow folk songs deep into the wee hours of the morning.

As lively as the tavern can get, it's actually very easy to miss it entirely. Midway is situated right in the center of a long and foggy road connecting the towns of Shady Grove and Burnbridge. This fog is unnatural in origin, conjured up by Jarith and Toss to conceal the hamlet, as most of The Grog and Blossom's patrons would rather avoid finding themselves on the pointy end of cold iron swords. If you take with you a hagstone, abandon all cold forged weapons before making the walk, or happen to have fey blood or the clear favor of the good folk about you, the fog will part, and you will be welcomed as a friend. Anyone looking for a fight will find none, unless kicking dirt is entertainment enough.

What's on Tap?

d10 Beverage and Flavor Profile
1 Brandiberry Cordial - A succulent liqueur made from Brandiberry brandy, which is in turn made from Brandiberry brandy berries, which are grown exclusively by the halfling clan of Brandiberry. One drink, and you'll never be able to say Brandiberry five times fast.
2 Cherry Wine - Also known as 'Mercy's Bane', this is a tart dessert wine made with sour cherries. A good substitute for those of the vampiric persuasion.
3 Ciders - Ciders made from various regional apples, such as the Ghost apple, Smittens, Tournies, Fallowfields, Bonnycoles (also known as Bonnyfruit and The King's Apples) and the house favorite, the Woodwose's Heart apple. Roll again on the 'Ciders' table below.
4 Elfwine - A cask of nondesript elfwine with the sigil of a moth burned into its side.
5 Farewell Whiskey - A burning shot of orcish whiskey to warm you for a night's (unsteady) walk home.
6 Grog and Blossom - Whatever Jarith decides to make you. You should be more careful asking for the 'house special' in the future, traveler.
7 Honeysuckle Sour - Toss' favorite drink, this flowery little concoction has a fairy liquor base, lemon juice for the 'sour', and honeysuckle nectar to sweeten it up. It's no more than a taste for anyone not pixie-sized, but it's a damn good drop for anyone curious enough to order it.
8 Hot Buttered Mead - Exactly as warm and delicious as it sounds.
9 Peyer's Patch Brandy - A rare find indeed, this bottle sits behind the bar, saved for special occasions. Roll again, unless you can give a good enough reason to uncork it.
10 Poppymilk Punch - A surprisingly strong little drink favored by the sprites and pixies that frequent the tavern, it is usually served in acorn cups with a dash of grated nutmeg on top. You can ask for a larger glass, but it'll take a while for Toss to grate enough nutmeg.
 

Ciders

d6 Cider and Flavor Profile
1 Bonnycole Cider - A cider fit for a fairy king, its bright and fruity flavor will straighten your back and heighten your sense of self-importance better than any pep talk ever could.
2 Greylady - This cider is made from whole ghost apples, as only using the flesh wouldn't give you much flavor. Ideal if you want to get drunk quick without worrying about how the drink tastes, but too many bottles will stir up intense feelings of existential dread and a sense that you're being watched.
3 Prince's Gift - Made from Fallowfield apples, this tangy, earthy cider is a favorite among the Gentry, despite its less than savory origins.
4 Summersweet - This smacking sweet cider is made from the smitten variety, leaving the drinker with a warm belly and the taste of a summer love's kiss still stinging their lips.
5 Tourney Mellow - A favorite among strapping young knights and the fey tricksters who torment them, this hearty cider's alcohol content is surprisingly low for how strong it tastes. This makes for entertaining jousting tournaments, with bravado causing far more injuries than booze.
6 Woodheart Wine - Also known as Bleeding Heart, its blood-thick, syrupy body fizzes in your mouth and draws tears from your eyes. It's the best cider you've ever tasted, but drinking it feels like a great sin. You can't bear to wonder why.

A Couple of Swells

Jarith and Toss are quite the odd couple, but there were never two truer friends than they. Living up to his claim as the spawn of a dusk hag, Jarith is pretty hard to look at if you aren't at least a little snockered. With greyish purple skin and a big fleshy nose turned red by years of drinking, he stands nearly seven feet tall, with crooked horns boring out of his large, misshapen head, causing him to bow and duck to move anywhere in the warmly-lit hovel. In comparison, Toss is knee-high to a frog and twice as green and jumpy, flittering about the tavern and greeting all who enter. She lights on Jarith's shoulder when not fetching orders, payment and tips for the two to split (she always leaves Jarith a little extra). They're never seen apart, often holding private conversations and sharing little jokes from the comfort of Jarith's fireside chair.
Business is Blooming: Thanks to a lucky bid in a game of Quick, Jarith and Toss won't have to worry about resupplying for a while thanks to two newly won 'bottomless barrels'. Woodheart Wine and Hot Buttered Mead, expensive and tedious brews in their own right, now flow freely in the happy hovel, bringing in plenty of new patrons, coin, and favors for the two taverniers.
Bundleburn Approaches:
The annual harvest festival of Bundleburn is nipping at Midway's heels. More humans are expected to pass through soon, with breakaway pranksters from Shady Grove coming to test their Clambering masks on unwitting patrons of The Grog and Blossom. Jarith is made more and more nervous with each passing day, with Toss running out of ways to calm his nerves and steel his resolve. You can't drink to keep your neighbors safe, after all.

Mother Dearest...

In the hand-dug basement of The Grog and Blossom, there sits a cauldron. Within the cauldron, a grey miasma stews away without a fire to rouse it. No spoon or ladle stirs the stew, but in the dark, it stirs.
The only door to the basement sits under Jarith's chair. No one goes down there.

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