Seven Kingdoms: Seowyn's Crossing
Sword and Spell
The Sword and Spell is an Inn and Tavern in the Garden District of Estwald. It is a sprawling complex built on a bridge over one of the city’s many canals. Having been founded by three former Adventurers, it has a wide-spread reputation as a watering hole and stopover for adventurous types. Their sign prominently features a huge two-handed sword, as well as a permanent illusion spell which constantly shifts, showing all manner of spell effects. The spell has shown clouds of colored smoke, blue lightning, red fireballs, swarms of golden stars, summoned magical beasts, and much more.
Two of the founders are Brandoby Quietstreams (better known as Brandy) and Drog, the only living members of the Gold Dragon Company, and Illias the Blue, an adventuring Wizard who freelanced with several companies but never officially joined one. When the Gold Dragon Company disbanded after their successful raid of the Fortress of Grandor, Brandy, Drog, and Illias took their share of the loot and bought the property and commissioned the Sword and Spell to be built.
While Illias is more of a silent partner, collecting his share once every few weeks, Brandy and Drog are actively involved in the day to day running of the place: Brandy is the main bartender and Drog is the head bouncer. In addition, Brandy’s cousin, Mickelmas Quietstreams, runs an adjoining cookhouse on the bridge and provides food. Their staff includes three young ladies (Carlena Addlewine, Ireyna Nikolo, and Peony Winterleaf) and a young man (Rinton Whitehall) who wait tables and run back and forth to the cookhouse. They also have an alternate bouncer (Caldo Nikolo) who works when Drog is taking a break.
The tavern is famous for several things. It’s house brews are a sour ale called the Beholder’s Kiss, a whiskey called the Orcish Head Butt, and a mead called Golden Treasure. The signature dishes made in the cookhouse include “Stuffed Basilisk Tail” (in reality a chicken breast stuffed with sausage, cornbread, and herb concoction liberally spiced in Halfling style), “Cleric’s Blessing” (a stew made with ox-tails braised in wine), and “Roper Bread” (a garlic and cheese pull-apart bread). With a day’s notice, the tavern’s famous “Remorhaz Cake” is available. This is a hot, rich buttery cake sealed inside a shell of raspberry ice, made possible by a bit of ice magic that Brandy knows.
The walls are decorated with maps, weapons, and trophies. Originally, these were just items from Brandy and Drog’s collection, other adventurers have donated more. Ironically, Illias has never bothered to add anything from his own personal career.
Connoisseurs of swampweed know the tavern for the fine varieties of leaf that Brandy keeps in stock. The merry fellow has both a dozen or more types of leaf at any given time, as well as more than a score of elaborately carved pipes. He will gladly lend some plain wooden pipes to those who pay for some leaf.
If you’ve ever heard of a tale of adventure that began in a tavern, the tavern in question may just be the Sword and Spell. Solo Adventurers often come here, hoping to find established companies with a charter or else to find other Adventurers on their own to join forces with. Those seeking Adventurers for a task can find them here. A large task board is hung on one wall, and various cards and documents can be found pinned to it, offering rewards for dangerous services – caravan jobs, treasure hunts, and calls to causes worthy, unworthy, and lost.
In addition to legitimate Adventurers and those who wish to hire them, the Sword and Spell is popular with many others. Adventurer wanna-bes abound, wearing outfits they consider more apt for those of a freebooting nature. Fans of Adventurers often congregate here as well, hoping to catch a glimpse of veteran heroes or up and coming legends. Lawkeepers will sometimes come in to keep an eye on things and make sure they don’t get out of hand. Those eager for news from afar often find a seat here, listening intently to tales of strange lands and dire happenings.
While various fads have come and gone, three traditions hold sway at all times.
1. If a bard comes by, they are offered free room and board for three days, as long as they perform each day on the tavern stage. If they’re bad, however, a lever behind the bar lets Brandy open a trap door on the stage and plunge the unfortunate into the canal below.
2. Anyone can challenge Brandy or Drog for a free drink. As the challenged, they get to decide the contest. Brandy always chooses a knife-tossing competition, and Drog always chooses arm-wrestling. The pair rarely have to give away free drinks, but they tend to be good sports when it becomes necessary.
3. Any adventurer who comes in adds a coin to a large barrel kept in a corner. They have to show what kind of coin they’re putting in, which tends to draw anything from jeers to cheers, depending on what kind of coin they’re putting in. Once a year, a few weeks before New Year’s Eve, the barrel is opened, and Brandy and Drog use the money to buy provisions to make a feast. Everyone who has put in over the year is welcome to attend, and it features free food, free drink, free leaf, and a lot of good-natured, bawdy activity.