The Fish Bone Tavern
The rowdy sailor tavern is owned and operated by Benwar Feldintersnuff. The tavern is built directly on the fish docks of Hohm. It is a bit swarthy, there may be some cobwebs in a couple of corners and some graffiti etched into a few tables and stools, but it is mostly clean, well loved and unforgettable.
To say the interior decor is eclectic would be a gross misinterpretation of gaudy gnomish delights. The Feldintersnuff family are anything but drab, even if a few are sailors and fish mongers. The tavern exterior is often changing color and advertisements. The city of Hohm and local business ordinance has restricted Benwar to only being allowed to change the exterior color of his tavern once per month. The counsel has also supplied the gnome with a list of accepted colors that can be applied. The ordinance also had to include a restriction to spots, stripes, and other patterns. The interior, however is open to Benwars whims.
The interior is colorful and almost always changing. visitors should not expect the same decor with each visit. Even if those visits are only separated by breakfast and lunch. Many of the interior color designs are illusionary in nature. A few booths will adapt decor to the mood or spoken desire of the party sitting. The sailors and residents of the fish docks have come to embrace the festive brightspot on the pier known as “Fish Bone”.
Benwar will frequently employ various mechanical toys, sculptures and inventions to entertain his guests. His most prized mechanical delight is a clockwork hula dancing elf maid that stands four feet tall in a well lit corner. Behind her are painted various palm trees and a sunset view to a tropical beach. For a piece of copper, music plays and she swings her dancing hips for a short time. For a silver she does the same dance but encounters a ‘wardrobe malfunction’ of her coconut top. The sailors have come to consider it good fortune for their trip to put a silver to the elf maid and bless their own coconuts. This blessing is more told in the form of a joke or impolite comment to the maid. Captains have been known to hold their ships to port for extra hours simply to allow all hands to ‘put the silver to the elf’. When departing, sailors will often call out, “It’s time to put the silver to the elf!”. Meaning that they are ready to depart and are hopeful for a safe prosperous journey.
Benwar is a well traveled gnome, mostly a seafaring sort in his time. He doesn’t seem particularly ‘tough’ or weathered, but carries respect among the sailors that frequent the port of Hohm. He is a middle aged illusionist of some skill and regularly sought by captains who need to expedite their journeys. Benwar has managed to create and keep secret his own particular line of sailing spells. One of which is ‘Benwars Full Sail’ spell. It tames an air elemental to serve the ship in numerous ways. This elemental is unique to Benwar and they even maintain a friendship of sorts. Sailors tell tales of the winds of storms bending around a ship that bears Benwar, but then filling the sails full in a time of dead seas. Benwar had originally summoned the elemental with a ring he found in a southern port during a rum trade. The ship was lost to a storm at sea and Benwar survived 14 months on an uncharted isle with only his aerial friend as companionship. Eventually he was discovered by fishermen who came to investigate polka dotted and zebra striped palm trees. After their struggle, Benwar has only to recall a simple spell to summon his elemental friend when needed.
On top of all the benefits of his aerial companion, Benwar is a very personable fellow. He enjoys talking and telling stories. His tales are usually expanded and illustrated with illusions, sounds and lights. If in a crowd of mixed linguistics he will often use his spells to tell tales in multiple languages at once. He tends to keep ship morale very high. The captain may be required to relent to a few demands of gaudy sail colors and other various illusionary and eccentric decorative choices made at sea by a bored gnome.
Within the tavern, customers can expect various forms of music to fill the air with no particular source. Small entertaining illusions will often dance across the tables while people wait for service or drink and tell tales. Benwar starts each day by activating various spells of his own design throughout the tavern. The Fish Bone has had various sour faced attempts to shut the business down. Some of the more conservative wizard ordinances and groups are not keen on the flagrant disregard of regulation and open use of magic. Occasional far flung religions consider the Fish Bone blasphemous or possessed. The last time some of the social elite came to the pier to close down the Fish Bone the sailors in attendance were quick to act. The party was immediately moved to the more ‘refined’ section where the nobles resided. The party ran all night and through the streets. The ordinance was rescinded and the Fish Bone re-opened the following day.
There is more at work than trickery in the Fish Bone. At one time a high wizard came to put an end to Benwar’s shenanigans. He opened a powerful ‘dispel magic’ on the tavern. Much to his surprise, a group of workmen arrived with the hour to start painting with bright colors, sailors from the docks brought instruments, the local residents of the fishing docks came with lights and candles. The local community breathed the same life back into this local favorite. Overcome with joy and tears Benwar swore to always call the docks his home.
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