Muddled Times
Issue:Issue 25, December 2003
Section:Game Information

The Admiral Bombow Inn.

In olden times, before the Land became what it is today, this was a central hub for travellers. They would probably have arrived at the stable, one of the few places to conveniently tie up your horse without the thief (who often starts the reset around here) pilfering it. The stable of course had its very own blacksmith, very convenient if you need your horse re-shoeing, or perhaps your weapons sharpened or repaired after the toils of travelling here.

Of course since then the road itself has become badly paved, and the Inn is more than a little ramshackle. Even the well seems to have been capped off, although closer inspection will reveal this is not necessarily completely true.

One of the joys of the Inn is that it is so easy to find, after all it is on a main thoroughfare. If in doubt, or new to the area, simply travel out until you reach the ford, take a short trip to the west, and there you are, in front of the entrance.

As you enter the Inn, initial impressions are that parts of it are a tad claustrophobic. I doubt you could fit more than one person in the Entrance hall, for example. Which could be an awful nuisance, if you were inside trying to get out. And that snug, very cosy, but cramped.

There is now an East/West divide for the clientele. West is the Public bar, for the less discerning, or perhaps just rowdier, customer. East, and you head on to the more salubrious Lounge bar. Or if you wish to take rooms here, or just explore, the steps to the next two stories, and the attic, are to the south of you.

The Public bar has always been something of a disappointment, there's not a lot to see and unless you are after a few pointers on bar games probably not a lot to do. It does however prove a handy junction between several other rooms. In particular, the Bar kitchen, which unsurprisingly often contains food stuffs. From garlic to wafers, if it is here, it is spare, because the kitchen is now just a derelict mess, a shell of its former hearty self. Of course sometimes the food is in the store, so don't forget to have a good look around.

Making our way back out to the Public bar, let's head east to the hub of the Inn, behind the bar. This is where quite literally east meets west, the public bar to one side, the lounge bar to the other, and to the north, a set of steps leading downwards. The supplies are gone but from here you have a commanding view of all that is best in the Inn. Which, luckily, does not include the toilets, situated southeast and southwest of the two main bars. Apart from an occasional bit of discarded cloth or the odd lost coin, not much here except dirty glasses.

But down those cellar steps, what a trove of treasure. A beer store, a spirit store, and a rack of the finest wines. Or at least sometimes a rack, sometimes it's moved, and sometimes it is just plain smashed to bits. What a shame, for in the heyday of the Inn, a full wine rack must surely have held some marvellous, and probably valuable, vintages. I guess the bottles are spread throughout the Land by now though. Still there must be a reason to move or break the rack, probably worth investigating sometime.

Back up the steps and east to the Lounge bar, with its exit east back outside (a primitive beer garden perhaps?) its hearth which has been cold many a long year, and not even a bar clock, although this is not always the case.

Right then, ground floor and cellar covered, let's go back to the Entrance hall, and upwards and inwards. Rooms 10 to 15 of the Inn, being those on the first floor, give an idea of just how popular the Inn was and how important a staging post. No mere backwater stopover, there is a Bridal suite, as well as the other regular rooms. Given the number and quality of guests that have used all these rooms, it is not surprising that trinkets and treasures are often discovered here. Although some of these seem rarely to be checked out before being cashed in, particularly the legendary music box.

Up again, to the Laundry and an entrance to room 16, which links to room 15. Often you can find remnants of the previous occupiers here, a length of silk and a pin for making repairs to clothing for example. Careful with that pin though, it is long, sharp, and has the look more of something a voodoo witchdoctor would use than a seamstress.

Inwards, ever inwards, to the second floor. Here we have the less stately area of the Inn. Rooms 21 to 22, all south of the passage, being less popular as they are next to the Party room, which must in olden times have held quite a crowd. Let us hope they kept on the right side of the balcony during the revelries, and didn't slip over the edge.

And opposite the Party room, the private quarters of the owners. East to the Eating room. Another food related room, often with scraps to be found. This Inn is a great place for hungry travellers to start their journeys, is it not? And off this, the kitchen, and various bedrooms, handy places to grab some rest. Often containing some trinkets, particularly the small bedroom.

Back to the stairs, and in again to the attic. Should you need something to carry your treasures in, there are some cardboard boxes here. Old treasures such as a grandfather clock, or even a cricket bat, can sometimes be found here. And best of all, it is the site of the magic circle. Make an appropriate deposit, enter the circle, and get yourself a magical source of light.

And after all that, you can make your way out again at your leisure. Assuming the hall isn't crowded.

Next issue: Il Castellare

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