The Crosswinds Tavern is a multi-storied inn situated on the edge of a forest, a little over three miles south of the city of Dreven. Nothing special about it, except for the fact that it mends itself and that it houses a Nexus Gate; called the Northern Portal by natives and patrons, it leads to various other portals throughout Lyran Tal.
The current weather
in Dreven is just like...
Next to the steps that lead onto the tavern's porch, there's a corkboard for messages. Once through the front door, there's a large (and usually crowded) common room. Dwarven ironwork flanks the door, for hanging up cloaks and coats. There are trestle tables to the right for large groups, as well as small tables scattered about the common room. For more privacy, there are also a few comfortably cushioned booths, located near the southern door. Several settees surround the firepit, making a cozy circle for chill winter evenings. Tapestries adorn the walls, alternating with bottle glass windows that provide a (somewhat distorted) view to the outside. A gilded mirror hangs directly behind the bar, above racks of liquor bottles. A slot in the back wall of the bar allows a limited view of the kitchen, which is accessed through a swinging door behind the bar. Plain barstools of various heights line the customer side of the bar. Access to the cellar, ice room, and other storage comes via a second set of stairs tucked beneath the first and accessible from the kitchen area. There are also rumors of a secret entrance to tunnels carved out by the Hive...
Next to the portal are the stairs that lead up to the guest rooms, which encircle an open space that looks down into the middle of the Common Room (this is defined by the dotted line on the map, if you take a peek at it!). There are no private (quiet) hallways. Anything that takes place in the 'hall' is visible (and audible) from the Common Room, depending on how busy it is. So be careful what you say and do! Guest rooms range in price depending on size, time of year, and demand; generally two silver buys a room for the night, while four will buy a room and a hot bath.
The most striking feature of the common room, however, is the Northern Portal (Nexus Gate) itself; a large (10' x 10') columned doorway that shimmers and sparks when in use. (The light and magic display varies depending on the user and their departure/destination point.) The portal is also used to get to other locations in Lyran Tal quickly. If a creature or an object can't fit through the doorway, it can't use the Portal. While the Portal can theoretically take one to anywhere in Lyran Tal, some areas are warded against its power, and some regions are simply too dangerous to just 'gate' into them.
Another distinctive and remarkable aspect of the tavern, and one that is intimately connected with the Portal, is the building's magical ability to heal itself from damage. Within the Portal's intricately carved runes lies a spell to protect the tavern from any kind of permanent damage. And, to help keep patrons from doing damage to each other, there is the Crosswinds' Seleventi bouncer, Ser'asivo who perches up in the rafters or on the second-floor railing where she can keep a good eye on everyone. In keeping with the Dreven Pact, no violence is allowed within the tavern, and no arrests can be made either in the tavern or within 100 yards of the building. However, if violence does occur, the Pact is nullified and authorities are free to arrest those breaking the law.
Just south of the Tavern are the old stables and a lake which is watched over by a full body statue of the former Emperor, Cornelius Dreven. The lights of the city are visible to the north. In 1277 Kaspar Siengen purchased four acres of land to the immediate northwest of the Crosswinds Tavern and built a smithy. In partnership with the proprietor of the Crosswinds, Smith Siengen constructed a livery with an additional stable as well. Horses and carriages may be hired to travel the distance to Dreven City.
[Click to view larger image]
[Click to view larger image]