Smoke rises from the chimney of this stout stone building. A sign bearing a stylised painting of a blazing fire stands by the inn’s front door.
At the Flaming Hearth, the folk are welcoming, and the atmosphere is always cosy. Local folklore has it that the fire in the inn’s small common room has burnt for decades and that if it goes out, doom will befall the inn. Other (surprisingly true) rumours—that the inn is haunted—circulate amongst the townsfolk.
Food, drink and accommodation can all be had at the Flaming Hearth.
- Food & Drink: Meal (smoked fish and seaweed, fish pie, fish stew; 3 sp), mug of ale (4 cp), pitcher of good wine (2 sp).
- Accommodation: Guests can sleep in the common room (1 sp) or take a private room (5 sp or 1 gp) of varying quality. Rooms are large and comfortably furnished. All rooms have locks on their doors and sturdy shutters on the windows.
- Lifestyle: Characters staying at the Flaming Hearth can enjoy a poor (2 sp/day), modest (1 gp/day) or comfortable (2 gp/day) lifestyle.
Certain folk are often encountered at the Flaming Hearth.
- Olavi Hellikki (NG middle-aged male human commoner) loves owning the Flaming Hearth. It gives him a reason and purpose to live after the death of his beloved wife, Eleonora, five years ago. She loved the place, and he feels close to her when he is at work.
- Reko Meurakas (N young male human commoner) sleeps in the common room at night and is tasked with keeping the inn’s fire smouldering. He swears he’s seen a ghostly figure in the room with him, but no one really believes him.
- Eleonora Hellikki (NG middle-aged female human ghost) haunts the inn—bound as she is to the place by her husband’s love and her love for him. She rarely reveals herself except through subtle doings—closing a door, catching something fragile as it falls and so on. Sometimes, she manifests late at night and just sits by the fire—a translucent figure amid the gloom.
What’s Going On?
While the characters are at the Flaming Hearth, one or more things from the list below may occur.
- Quiet: The common room is quiet—the inn has few guests at the moment. A couple of regulars drink quietly at the bar.
- Busy: The Flaming Hearth is busy, and all its private rooms are taken. There is still room in the taproom, though.
- The Fire Gutters: The inn’s famed fire burns low. Several regulars take it upon themselves to feed it a few logs. Shortly thereafter, the fire blazes again!
- Stacking Wood: A server carries a sack of wood into the common room before piling the logs by the fire.
- Visiting Merchant: A visiting merchant is trying to sell Olavi (see “Notable Folk”) a half-dozen barrels of imported ale but doesn’t want to open a cask so the ostler can actually taste it.
- Gossiping Locals: The locals are gossiping about minor events of local interest; none of the stories shared is of particular interest to a brave and heroic adventurer,
Opportunities & Complications
Lucky adventurers find opportunities almost anywhere. Unlucky adventurers find complications almost anywhere.
- Empty: The inn has no other guests, and all its rooms are available for hire.
- Gossiping Locals: One of the characters overhears two locals talking about the inn’s ghost. If the character asks for more information, the two—sensing a source of free drinks—spin many (increasingly outlandish) yarns.
- Rumourmongering Locals: A group of locals are chatting about things of interest to adventurers. Roll on “General Whispers & Rumours” to determine what story they hear.
- Drunk Adventurers: Two drunk adventurers (roll on “Other Adventurers” to determine their identities) sit at a table laughing and drinking heavily. They are celebrating a successful foray into the wilderlands and have gold to spend; they happily buy the characters a round.
- Did That Move?: A perceptive character notices a log starting to slip from the common room’s fire. Something seems to stop it from falling, and then it slowly slides back into the fire! No one else notices the strange event.
- Fire!: Shouts of “Fire! Fire!” from the cook cause a general stampede of staff and regulars to the kitchen. Strangely, by the time they get there, the fire has gone out—seemingly of its own accord. A perceptive character examining the scene may sense an unseen presence.
This location is part of my design for Citadel on the Wilderlands. Citadel on the Wilderlands is my love letter to B2 Keep on the Borderlands and B5 Horror on the Hill. I'm writing 500 words every weekday for a year.