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Wayward Inn

Wayward Inn

Wayward Inn is a place that plays host to complicated characters, indulges rumors of enigmatic enemies and tantalizing treasure, and keeps a few hidden secrets of its own which might be of interest to anyone choosing to stay the night here.

A makeshift, roadside inn and tavern, Wayward Inn is run by a husband and wife (Cordon and Krista) with the help of their two daughters (Tilly and Bellini). This establishment is a simple affair, utilizing the two-story family home’s basement and expanded cellar to facilitate a tavern and an inn with three rooms. The entire family runs this business and relies on the profits as their primary source of income.

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There is a very limited supply of food and water in the region, making provisions very expensive, hard to come by, and highly sought after. Thusly, the innkeepers have food and drink under lock and key via a locked door adjacent to the inn’s cellar-level dining room. At this time, only rations, water, and homemade alcohol are available and sold at 300% of the standard cost.

For every day a patron stays here, that cost increases by 1d4x10%. After 2d20+20 days all food is exhausted and 1d20+10 days later, the well runs dry, but before this happens, brigands may very well take the place by force and kill everyone alive to secure and utilize the last remnants of food and water. For now, though, this place is quite safe and a good place to eat, drink, visit, and stay for the night.

Drought, Famine, and War
The Chonians & Baevonians

A recent war between the horse-riding plains warriors known as the Chonians and the war-like, heavily armored, mountain-keep-dwelling Baevonians has brought great famine and strife to this region. To add insult to injury, Leacim the trickster god shot an arrow which hit the Shard of the Sun, the massive sun-fragment orbiting Aventyr, tempting its orbit even closer to the planet. This has increased the temperature during an already abnormally warm year which has caused drought throughout these lands. Food and water are of the utmost importance to survive, the latter of which is absolutely necessary and in short supply.

Remnants of the Chonian army and civilians gather, albeit in fragmented groups, around any available water sources sans Lake Chonia due to the exposed nature of that location.

The Baevonians who shattered the Chonian army, have massed mostly to the north in between what was once Chonia and the proud and civilized nation of Pradjna. The rest of their forces wait in mountain strongholds. They prepare a final assault to wipe Chonians off the face of the Aventyr after which they will settle these lands with the common folk who currently overcrowd their mountain keep towns and cities.

Location: The Wayward Inn

  1. Cellar Entry Doors
    After descending the stairs (south), one enters the tavern proper and the check-in desk for the inn. One of the two daughters will escort the party to a table or help them check into one of the available rooms. There is currently a “nomadic horse-trader themed” room available for 3 sp/night, recommended for two, but could sleep up to four or even six if every inch of the floor used. A small note on the check-in desk says “Remember to pay the kobolds on the next full moon. -F” this note was written by Cordon (F = Father) as a reminder to continue to bribe the local kobold tribe’s chieftain once per month, thereby preventing attacks or raids on the family’s home and establishment. On the next full moon (tonight), Cordon wants his daughter, Bellini, to set out a small sack with 30 sp on a large 200-year-old tree stump about 500 feet north of the Wayward Inn. The stairs on the northeast wall lead to a locked door which opens into the family's kitchen in the house proper.
  2. Tavern Proper
    The tavern proper normally serves a good goat stew but has been reduced to serving rations, water, and homemade alcohol. Anyone skilled at entertaining is encouraged to perform for 10% of any drink sales which take place during the performance (20-30% if very persuasive). Two bookshelves hold mostly fiction and some history on the region. When opened, one of the books drops an old treasure map out and onto the floor. This map was originally drawn by the owner’s grandfather and could be real or a fake (up to GM). There are 2d4+2 patrons in the tavern each evening. There is an 80% chance each patron has a regional rumor to share (see Rumor table) although they must be persuaded to relinquish it via use of bribery, highly impressive local etiquette, or straight up charisma. One of the patrons (at random) is actually a Baevonian spy who could be revealed and possibly slain by Chonians during the character's stay here (there is no "law" in these lands, currently).
  3. Inn Rooms
    For those who procured a room for the night, these doors lead to three different rooms, each uniquely themed and designed by Krista. The first was designed to look like a forest with thin trees attached to the walls and foliage placed here and there for ambiance. The second is desert-like and full of sand warmed by stones heated first in the tavern fireplace. The walls are painted in blues and yellows. The third and final room is a horse-trader theme with strange rugs and curtains, a stuffed fake horse which might make some guests uncomfortable, and a bed decorated in thin veils of fine cloth. If an adventurer is extremely perceptive, they might notice a small figurine hanging in the veils of cloth above their head. Upon further inspection (and sharing with the locals) it is revealed that these are the types of trinkets the Beldam of Stygian Glade (a witch) uses to curse any who may enter her forest. What does this mean for the unlucky recipient? Only time will tell.

Important NPCs

Cordon – A human (Chonian) male age 40, short salt & pepper hair with stubble and smile wrinkles around his eyes and mouth. Cordon is the co-owner of the tavern with his wife, Krista. He is a giving man but as of late understands the importance of clamping down to survive the post-war famine and drought and stay alive whilst keeping the business running and his family alive and well.

Krista – A human (Chonian) female age 43, long, braided white fair, a kind smile, and a giving heart. Krista, is having a tough time with the way things have been since the war and is originally from a Baevonian family, she wants peace between the two peoples of these lands but doesn’t see that happening anytime soon. She tends to keep to herself and likes to read a lot of books. If someone persuades her, she can help an adventurer discern which rumors are fact or farce.

Tilly – A happy-go-lucky human (Chonian) female age 15, black hair and brown eyes, always happy and smiling, Tilly is the one everyone wants as their server because of her generous portions and pours. Always the first to rise and last to go to bed, Tilly loves to entertain and talk with customers.

Bellini – A troubled human (Chonian) female age 19, light-brown hair and almost black eyes, frowning and fidgeting, Bellini prefers to be on her own. She likes to spend a lot of time outside, observing the ebb and flow of the natural world. As of late, she’s noticed changes to the natural environment which trouble her much more than the war between the Chonians and the Baevonians.

Kalore – A local mercenary and blade-wielding human (born Baevoninan, now Chonian) male age 26, who tends to find himself in this tavern with different groups each month, sometimes even those who oppose each other. Kalore keeps himself out of politics/sides and focuses on earning vast amounts of coin with which to bail his brother (rogue-type) out of a Baevonian prison hidden deep in the mountains. He currently has been hired and travels with Che'tai'ai.

Che’tai’ai – A tribal human female age 20, brown hair and brown eyes, very frantic and talkative. She is desperately seeking help after her village was attacked. Upon fleeing she witnessed smoke, what she believes was possibly her village being burned to the ground. Her mother still lives in the village and she’s seeking people to help but has only 16 sp, a ruby (25 gp value), and a feather (one cantrip, one use) to spare. Note: This tribal village is known as Khe’Yu’Oui and is located about 1d4+1 days travel west of the Wayward Inn (depending upon conditions and encounters). Those who speak Vikmordere have a 60% chance of conversing with or understanding what Che’tai’ai says as the dialects are quite similar.

Ut’Chuk – human (Chonian) male age 29, a trader, trickster, scoundrel, and a thief, Ut’Chuk is looking to con his way through any situation and is quite good at it. He will manipulate anyone he encounters in an attempt to steal. He will, however, not put himself in any situation where he could possibly be killed. If this occurs, Ut’Chuk will attempt to convince any friends he has made to help persuade the attackers to cease their assault either via verbal glib or muscle.

M’Chelan – human (Chonian) male, age 34, a druid and master of the elements, M’Chelan recently burned down a village to appease his benefactors. He believes humanoidkind to be a vile, disgusting virus which is currently destroying the natural world and needs to be thinned out or obliterated all-together. He is on his way to a secret location where he plans to hatch the next stage of his plans. He does not wish to discuss any of this with anyone and is not interested in conversation, he is here simply to observe as one would an ant-hill.

Q’Yeddan – human (Chonian) female, age 15, a loner originally hailing from a Chonian settlement wiped completely off the map by Baevonian forces. She now clings to only her memories and doesn’t let anyone into her small world. Q’Yeddan now simply seeks to survive and eventually return to the small remnants of her home and rebuild but for now, she keeps to herself and the shadows.

Tamryn – human (Klavekian) male, age 25, a traveler from the distant Klavek Kingdom, Tamryn is on a mission of reconnaissance for his government to estimate the strength of the Baevonians after a major recent victory over the Chonians. After observing Baevonian troop movements for the past three weeks, Tamryn has sought refuge here. After this, he plans on gathering some information on two remaining Chonian groups, now taking refuge at the edge of the western mountain range.

Yu’iu – human (Chonian) female, age 22, a bowyer/fletcher formally of the Chonian Army who has since decided to pledge her life to help others. She believes enough bloodshed has been had and now is the time to heal and form alliances, even with outsiders. Everyone is good, at heart.

Penalsiop – half-elf (1/16th elf) male, age 112, an outsider who keeps his true racial identity hidden, Penalsiop, who goes by Pen, was traveling through these lands when the war caused him to become trapped here. He seeks a group who can travel the dangerous wilderness, surviving monster attacks, or somehow, perhaps magically, bypass the Baevonian army, so that he may seek solace in the peaceful industrious yet idyllic nation of Pradjna.

Yop – halfling female, age 43 is a transplant from Picollo who came here when she was just 13 years old. The Chonian-Baevonian war has displaced her entire family, she has no idea who might still be alive.

Other NPCs: M'Chek, Yeh'Pptol, Ranlen, Quen, Cheenall.

Rumors (1d12)

  1. The Baevonian Army attacked the Chonians (these people) and are blocking all entry/exit on the road to the northeast. (TRUE)
  2. Have you heard!? The Baevonians are on the march and headed here now! They plan on making each and every one of us a slave to work in their mountainside mines for the rest of our lives. I’m getting out of here! (FALSE... for now).
  3. A witch lives in the woods to the east and curses all who enter although I’ve heard there’s a great treasure to be found in some caves there. (MOSTLY TRUE = The witch tries to drive people away by making them think they’ve been cursed by placing strange items and carved words in trees and throughout the forest which seem specific but could apply to anyone.)
  4. The bones of the dead have been springing to life in graveyards all over Chonia since our ultimate defeat to the Baevonians. (FALSE)
  5. Mountain passes are overrun with orc tribes but there is a cave rumored to hold a powerful sword blessed by the gods themselves. (TRUE)
  6. The owner of this tavern is making a deal with the kobold tribes to trade his daughters for regular deliveries of fresh meat from the plains. Every full moon he leaves an offering on a stump to the south as a way of sweetening the deal and soon, he will deliver his daughters to the evil kobolds. Someone has to stop him! (FALSE... but see area 1 notes).
  7. Lake Chonia to the west has been drying up in recent years, revealing ruins previously hidden underwater. (TRUE)
  8. Hills to the north have kobold tribes living in them, they have captured some children and are performing black magic ceremonies on them. (PARTIALLY TRUE = Kobold tribes have captured humans, including children to consume but do not practice much magic.)
  9. Long ago, a massive battle took place in the woods to the east, in the southernmost part of the forest leaving corpses stacked five men high. The battle was fought over a hoard of treasure including gems, platinum, magical treasures, and a powerful artifact! (FALSE = Many battles have been fought in these woods over the years but it is between those tricked by this decade-long rumor and those who made it up: a bandit group comprised primarily of unique monsters.)
  10. The ruins being revealed at Lake Chonia have strange artifacts hidden in them. I met a man who found a weird stone with a glowing red sigil upon it. He didn’t seem quite right and kept convincing me to do things I normally would never do! (TRUE).
  11. The woods to the east are full of trolls! Avoid them at all costs, when traveling, I usually give them a wide berth. (FALSE... no trolls live in this area; it is far too hot and dry)
  12. The innkeepers built their home on the site of an ancient sacrificial altar to a dark god. (FALSE)

Markum's Journal

Entry #1: Wayward Inn

After three weeks in the wilderness, even this run-down inn is a godsend. If it weren’t for the hermit’s assurances last week, we’d have taken the short cut and missed it. The couple running the place seem kind enough. His tight cropped hair and her long, intricate braids mark them on opposite sides of the Baevonian-Chonian war, but they seem committed to each other and their daughters, though they are as opposite as could be, too.

The youngest daughter was able to recall our quarry coming through here not ten days ago. She says he asked even more questions than we do. Is he looking for something?

All I could think of over the last ten-day was getting something to drink, but the draught they distill from one of the local plants is nothing short of lethal. Stok was swallowing it like water, of course. The food, too. We managed to eat off the land for the last full moon, but even here, food is scarce and they’re serving something only slightly more appetizing than the rations we ran out of long ago.

The land is taking back its bounty, perhaps including the kindness of fellowship. While the owners are earnest enough, the clientele has the same edge we saw in the wild. We should be able to get some respite from the wilderness here, but this is not a place I’d bring my family, even if they were still alive.