Inn of the Welcome Wench

(The following material is a heavily edited treatment of that presented in the Temple of Elemental Evil by Gary Gygax and Frank Mentzer as well as Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil by Monte Cook. Where necessary, material from the latter has been retconned to more closely match the former)

Famed throughout Verbobonc and much of the near Flanaess, the Inn of the Welcome Wench has stood as a landmark within the settlement of Hommlet since the early 1160s. Indeed, before the construction of Castle Doomwatch, people generally navigated around the village by way of the inn, the grove, and the Temple of Saint Cuthbert. While the viscounty hosts a number of famous inns such as the Spruce Goose, Jylee’s Inn, and the Red Don in the capital, the Inn of the Two-Foot Traveller in Guildren, and the Lonely Traveller of Rhynehurst, none seem to quite match the mystique of the legendary Inn of the Welcome Wench.

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Ostler Gundigoot and his wife, Glora, settled in Verbobonc back in 561 CY. They had long dreamed of opening their own inn, and the discerning couple had scouted Hommlet as a growing settlement that would in future be an integral nexus of traffic moving from the capital towards the High Road (which eventually forked to arrive in both Dyvers and Greyhawk) and the Forest Road (which led through the Gnarley-Welk borderlands to terminate on the Wild Coast). The personable Gundigoots soon made friends both among their own Cuthbertine co-religionists (who at that time were small but swiftly growing minority) and with other neighbours who cleaved to the Old Faith, and soon their silver and friendship brought about enough good will that their dream was raised up, and the Inn of the Welcome Wench opened for business just a year after their arrival.

Unfortunately, within a handful of years the Temple of Elemental Evil too would arise in the forest nearby. Verbobonc was weak, and the bandits and humanoids of the Gnarley fringe coalesced around a cult dedicated to the powers of Elemental Evil and other demonic entities, and not long before the folk of Hommlet felt the boot of the vile temple on their necks. Throughout the following dark years, the inn became a secret gathering point for those men and women of Hommlet that would meet to plan resistance efforts against the cult. Both of their daughters, Vesta and Content Not Found: emadyne, were born under this dark cloud. Then, in 569 CY, Verbobonc’s neighbours acted in her defence, and the Army of Weal under Prince Thrommel defeated the Host of Elemental Evil at the storied Battle of Emridy Meadows. Hommlet was liberated, and Ostler and Glora’s inn was also free to prosper.

The following years saw Hommlet grow, and the Inn of the Welcome Wench became very much the centre of the community’s social life. As religious tensions in the community grew with the arrival of more Cuthbertines and other followers of the new gods, the inn remained a place where neighbours could talk and mend their differences over a jack of ale.

Then the shadow of evil appeared in the forest once more. A second Temple of Elemental Evil arose, but this time the viscounty was on a stronger footing. Bands of adventurers were chartered to seek out and attack the forces of the Second Temple, and still more flocked to join them in hopes of reputation and booty. Many of the those adventurers stayed at the inn, and not a few of them established friendship with Ostler, Glora, their daughters, and the staff. In due course, with the assistance of the Mounted Borderers and homegrown heroes from Hommlet itself, the Second Temple was thrown down too.

For twelve years Hommlet has prospered unmolested, and the reputation of its famous inn has only grown as the Gundigoots have reinvested their growing wealth to further the quality of the Welcome Wench still more. The construction of a second inn and also a tavern in Hommlet does not worry Ostler and Glora overmuch. Their home has grown large, and there is more than enough to go around. The Laughing Bear caters to poorer sorts, and Terrigan’s is strictly a drinking hole; neither are a threat to the glory that is the Inn of the Welcome Wench.

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Although he is still a great bear of a man, Ostler’s health has started to fail in recent years, so at the insistence of his wife and daughters, Vesta has stepped forward to handle more and more of the management duties of the inn. Emadyne still helps her mother in the kitchen on busy nights, but she is now a goodwife of Hommlet, with children and a husband to care for, so she refuses to serve in the common room.

Table of Fare

The cost of food and drink at the Welcome Wench is higher than usual. It is not just the only inn for many miles and the area is prosperous, the place is also renowned and its food better than average. Choice venison, mutton, poached salmon, trout stuffed with specially prepared mixtures, goose roasted to a golden brown, pork, steaming sausages, steak and kidney pie with mushrooms or truffles, squab stuffed pheasant, and boiled crayfish in drawn butter are just a few of the epicurian delights which are expected and served here. The locally brewed ale and lager is supplemented by brews from other sites, and wine, mead and brandy from all over the Flanaess make their way to the boards of the Welcome Wench.

Meals are served on pottery, pewter, or copper services, according to the order. Various leather jacks, pottery mugs, wooden tankards, pewter steins, glass flagons, crystal goblets, or silver chalices are used for potables.

Full Meals (available from late afternoon through to the dinner hours)

  • Beef Stew, 4 sp
  • Boiled Crayfish, 4 sp
  • Poached Salmon, 5 sp
  • Spiced Sausages, 5 sp
  • Stuffed Pork Chops, 5 sp
  • Stuffed Trout, 5 sp
  • Steak and Kidney Pie, 5 sp
  • Marinated Muffon Chops, 6 sp
  • Roast Goose, 7 sp
  • Venison Steak, 7 sp
  • Squab-stuffed Pheasant, 8 sp
    (All full meals are served with honey and bread, potatoes, string beans, yams, rum-boiled artichokes, cabbage, carrots, or spinach)

Light Meals (available from breakfast until the wee hours)

  • Peppered Bread, 8 cp
  • Oatmeal, 1 sp
  • Boiled Eggs, 2 sp
  • Fruit and Cheese, 2 sp
    (all light meals served with butter, honey, and hard biscuits)

Supper, 3 course (available dinner hours until late)

  • Consists of hard biscuits, peppered bread with fruit and cheese served with butter and honey, followed by a choice of beef stew or boiled crayfish, 7 sp

Dinner, 7 course (available strictly during dinner hours)

  • Consists of supper, plus boiled eggs, and smaller portions of spiced sausages and stuffed pork chops, followed by steak and kidney pi, 2 gp

Common Drink (per pint)

  • Sevensong Small Beer, 5 cp
  • Sevensong Ale, 1 sp
  • Gerstenbrenner’s Gnarley Stout, 3 sp
  • Bron’s Special Ale, 1 ep
  • Three Copper’s Spiced Ale, 15 sp
  • Sevensong Mead, 1 sp
  • Honey Haven Mead, 3 sp
  • Thaenae’s Ivory-Blossom Mead, 3 ep
    (The Sevensong small beer and ale as well as Gerstenbrenner’s Gnarley stout are much loved by the folk of Hommlet and stored in tuns by the bar, while everything else is stored in much smaller firkin barrels and kept under the bar or in the cellar)

Wines (per goblet)

  • Table, local 1 ep
  • Keoish golden, 15 sp

Wines (per bottle)

  • Keoish golden, 4 gp
  • Sundish lilac, 15 ep
  • Urnst white, 3 gp
  • Celene ruby, 6 gp
  • Furyondian emerald pale, 12 gp
  • Velunan fireamber, 3 pp
  • Celene bellflower, 11 pp

Brandies (per gill)

  • Local, 1 ep
  • Keoish, 1 gp
  • Urnst (special aged) 3 gp

Liqueur (1/2 gill)

  • Ulek Elixir, 5 gp
    (The common wine and Keoish golden are stored in rundlet barrels under the bar and refreshed from larger barrels in the cellar as they run out, while most other bottles of lesser value are also kept behind the bar. The most expensive are always kept in the cellar and fetched if needed)

Rooms

The upper rooms are very clean, and all except the common dormitory are heated. Each has a fine bed, many covers, wash stand, chamber pot, towels, pegs for garments, several chairs and stools, a chest, and often a dresser or closet. The larger rooms also have arm chairs, tables, footstools, bed warmers, curtained beds, and good rugs on the floor and wall hangings as well.

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Ground Floor

Consisting of the common room, the kitchen, bar, and several private dining rooms, one for wealthy guests and another for those who desire some privacy.

1. Common Room

This large place is bright and cheerful. It contains several rough-hewn tables and chairs, boards, and benches. Natural tree trunk pillars support the ceiling overhead, all dark with smoke and age. Several barmaids and potboys circulate, bringing viands and drink, taking away the empty plates and flagons, stoking the fire if the day is chill, and so forth. During the quieter months, this includes Vesta and Marla, as well as Heff and Zilmert, but throughout the busy season several extra bar wenches are added to the roster. At present, a travelling half-elf known as Maridosen and a local girl, Alma, also work at the inn, although the sour disposition of the former (in whom Throm detected a faint trace of evil) has left her already on thin ice with Vesta.

There is enough seating for fifty-five people to sit, although that is a bit of a tight squeeze on the bench tables. Twice that number can crowd into the common room, and often do on a busy summer night, particularly if there is a festival on or a particularly good bard is staying at the inn. There is a large fireplace in the common room, just to the left of the bar, but on cool evening braziers are brought up from the cellar and warm the far corners of the inn. A stairwell to the rooms upstairs is in the far corner of the room from the bar.

During the daytime, the Welcome Wench is quieter. As few as half a dozen customers might be found, with perhaps three times that number during the busy season. Such customers will be travelers (merchants, tinkers, peddlers, etc.), and half are local folk. In the evening, twice that number will be around.

2. Private Room
This chamber is for visiting noblemen, rich merchants, and the like. It is also used by those wishing to have a private mea. The room contains a long table with twelve chairs, three comfortable armchairs and a grand fireplace. It is nicely furnished, with tapestries and paintings on the walls. Renting this room costs 3 gp per occasion, plus the obvious expectation that the guests will spend good coin on find food and drink.

3. Private Room
This place is generally kept aside by Ostler Gundigoot as a cloak room, and for those of his patrons who wish privacy to dine, confer, game, or whatever. The door leading into the chamber is in a dark and inconspicuous corner of the common room. The room holds a long table with three long benches to a side, a desk and chair, a series of cloak hooks, a couch, and a grand fireplace. It is much favoured by the several bands of adventurers that once helped the town and sometimes pass through Hommlet to visit with old friends and check up on the ruins of the Temple of Elemental Evil and the Moathouse. Additionally, when the inn is especially busy the room can be opened up for extra seating. Renting this room costs 1 gp per occasion, although Gundigoot has been known to waive this fee for friends or the militia leadership, who have been known to use the room when discussing discrete matters.

4. Bar
This is the proprietor’s usual station. He sees to the filling of jacks of ale, tankards of beer, and flagons of wine. oiled eggs, cheeses, and hard biscuits or crackers are often atop the trestle. Serving girls carry the food from here to the common room. There are great barrels of ale and beer, tuns of wine, and a cask of brandy with spigots ready at the host’s hand.

5. Kitchen
The huge fireplace usually has various pots and kettles within, a roast turning, and several fowl kept warm in its side places. There is also a stone box filled with ice for storing the catch of the day. Goodwife Gundigoot is in charge here, keeping cook and scullions hopping. At the west end are the steps heading down to the cellar and up to the private apartment of the owner.

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Upstairs

In times past, a number of these rooms were of a more spartan quality, but the increasing affluence of Hommlet has led to a refurbishment to accommodate more wealthier merchants and more well-heeled ladies and gentlemen.

6. Private Room

Consisting of a large hearth, a large double-bed, a dresser, a closet, a desk and chair, a table, and a heavy chest, this room is one of the warmest, most well-lit and most desirable in the inn. It costs 3 gp per night.

7. Private Suite
The noble or wealthy rent this suite for 6 gp per night, breakfast included. The outer room has a beautifully carved hearth, table and chairs, and a small closet. Additionally, it has a pair of comfortable arm chairs and a lamp lit with an everburning flame.

The inner room has a huge feather bed, chairs, a chest, a closet, a nightstand, and a small dresser with a mirror. On colder nights it can be warmed by a brazier.

8. Private Room
A spacious but simple room with a large double bed, a chest, two small table and chairs and a hearth. It is available for 1gp per night.

9. Private Room
A spacious, finely decorated room with a large double bed, a dresser, a chest, a desk and chair, a small dining table with three more chairs and a hearth. On colder nights it can be warmed further by a brazier. It is available for 2 gp per night.

10. Private Room
A small, comfortable room with a double bed, a small closet, a chest, and desk with a chair. On colder nights it can be warmed by a brazier. It is available for 4 ep (or 8 sp) per night.

11. Private Room
A spacious, finely decorated room with a large double bed, a dresser, a small closet, a chest, a desk and chair, a small dining table with three more chairs, and a hearth. It is available for 2 gp per night.

12. Private Room
A small, comfortable room with a double bed, a chest, a dresser, and a hearth. On colder nights it can be warmed by a brazier. It is available for 4 ep (or 8 sp) per night.

13. Private Room
A spacious, finely decorated room with a large double bed, a dresser, a small closet, a chest, a desk and chair, and a small dining table with three more chairs. On colder nights it can be warmed by a brazier. It is available for 2 gp per night.

14. Private Room
A large room with two double beds, a hearth, two chests, and a desk with chair. Each bed is available for 8 sp per night.

15 Dormitory Sleeping Room
Here most of the less wealthy travelers can spend a warm and a safe night for just 3 sp. The place is warm because of its large fireplace, has a dozen pallets, and in the morning the table in the center is loaded with hot tea and fresh loaves at no extra cost. Even these folks receive warm water and clean towels for morning ablutions; such is the quality of the Inn of the Welcome Wench! There are always 2-12 (or more) sleeping here. There are no chests for securing belongings here, but the Gundigoots can be offered coin to see that something precious is secured along with their own valuables.

16. Spare Room
This place is rented if the inn is exceptionally crowded, but it is normally the quarters for the potboys and scullions, for Ostler Gundigoot is a very kind master. It consists of two large bunk beds, two chests, and a small fireplace.

17. Spare Room
Though this chamber has bunk beds for four, frequently only three wenches currently share the room as Vesta still sleeps in her old room unless doing so would disturb her parents late at night. When the season ends, only Marla tends to sleep in this room. It otherwise consists of two chests and a small fireplace.

18. Vesta’s Room
Ever since her sister Emadyne married and moved out, this room has had only one occupant despite having two single beds. Vesta sleeps here most nights, except when the excitement below keeps her up so late that it would disturb her parents for her to sneak past them. The room otherwise consists of a pair of dressers, a floor-length mirror, a modesty screen, a nightstand, and a closet. On colder nights it is warmed by a brazier.

19. Ostler and Glora’s Room
Dominated by a large double bed, this room otherwise contains a pair of dressers, a closet, and a nightstand. A floor length mirror on wheels conceals a discrete door into a small room that serves as an office and strongroom for the Gundigoots. On colder nights it is warmed by a brazier.

20. Parlour
This is the living and dining area for the Gundigoot family. The furnishings bespeak comfortable affluence, including heavy oak furniture of superb joinery, polished brass pieces (candlesticks and the like), tapestries, a bearskin rug, and a velvet upholstered couch and armchairs. A large hearth dominates the room.

Outside

The grounds of the Inn of the Welcome Wench are kept immaculately clean by the the groom, the stablehand, and the potboys, all of whom do extra duties as gardeners and general handy-men. The neighbouring family of the woodcutter, Tarim, also get paid to do a few odds and ends when availability permits.

The Nigb’s Run is just a stone throw from the back door of the inn, and the potboys and scullions are constantly hauling water for the cooking, bathing, laundering, and refreshment.

21. The Yard
Outside the fence in front of the inn is a signpost depicting a buxom, winsome, and friendly bar maiden and the words (obviously)The ground directly in front of the inn is carefully raked fine gravel, the better to accommodate the traffic of foot, hoof, and wagon wheel. There is ample room within the fence to accommodate five or six reasonably large wagons, which may be parked out in the weather for just 2 sp per day. Behind the inn, the grassy lawn is soft and pleasant, ideal for whiling away the hours in the summer sun.

22. The Stables
Ten horses can be accommodated comfortably in the stalls here, although in a pinch there is just enough room for twice that number to be held overnight. The kindly stableman, Erogan, is skilled enough in the use of rope that in the past he has rigged up squares to house more horses on the floor of the stables, while the strapping groom, Gelroy, is a natural at keeping the animals calm and seeing to their well-being. Both men share a small room in the loft of the stables, above the horse stalls, although on the coldest nights of the year they retreat to sleep by the kitchen hearth. The cost to stable a horse at the Inn of the Welcome Wench is 7 sp per animal per day.

23. Bathhouse and Laundry
Two expansive tubs, one ovular (and partitioned into two) and the other circular, dominate the two largest rooms in this structure. Three other rooms carry a smaller, one person tub, each made of brass, while the last carries a deep square one made of oak for the purposes of doing the laundry. When the sheets must be washed, the large circular tub is turned over to laundry duties as well. Several lines can be unwound and strung up from the bathhouse to the inn itself to accommodate the washing. Laundry at the Inn of the Welcome Wench costs 2 cp per item to be washed.


Art Credits

Inn of the Welcome Wench

Ill Winds Over Verbobonc Haligaunt