“The ‘New’ Pub” – The Grey Wayfarer Pub – Episode 2

Happy Thor’s Day!

I pulled my duster in around me to brace against the colder climate. The city I was now working in was definitely north of the 45th parallel. It was never going to get much above 60 degrees Ferinheight, and that actually suited me fine. Since joining the Shields I was always packing something. In this case, it was my Gladius sword under my left arm, a combat knife in on my belt in the small of my back. Both these weapons were magical in the sense they could actually do damage to creatures with magical protection.

A gust of chill wind hit me as I turned the corner of the street and headed toward my ‘new’ pub. This city was small but well laid out in a nice grid. The streets were named after trees if they headed north and south and were simply numbered if they ran east and west with the 1st Street being in the extreme south and the last street 13th Street being in the far north. 7th Street was also the main street. These true streets too. The city had never evolved into the modern nonsense of trying to hybrid streets and roads like most North American towns.

The only true road (four lanes and limited access) was 1st Street which had limited access to the town on South with exits in the far east and west. The rest of the place was two-lane narrow roads with proper sidewalks everywhere. The town had a good feel from a design point of view and it was possible to work, live and shop in most places within a block of each other. You didn’t need a car to live here. This was good because my work and living space were one and the same. One of the local markets was a short walk away and there were all kinds of shops where the pub was for anything else. If nobody had it, that is what the internet is for.

The pub itself was on the corner of 9th and Oak Streets. Oak Street was slightly West and 9th Street north of the center of the town. Not in the central hub but close to it. Being a corner pub, it had a storefront on one side, and on the other was a solid wall. There were windows, but all of them were high up and only about one foot tall. They let light in but no one could see in or out. Pub patrons tend to value their privacy. The storefront was a single but large door. It had two larger windows but they had curtains on them so you couldn’t see in. There was a place for a sign above the door to hang over the sidewalk but it was empty s the last owners had taken the sign with them. The place had been empty for a couple years now.

The Silver Shields purchased the pub but the deed had my name on it. It was part of a property swap where they got the old pub and I got this ‘new’ one. This had no other conditions as they considered it payment for services rendered and that they still owed me for my various losses. No matter what the new pub was mine to dispose of as I saw fit.

The pub outside brick was your typical red and the long side with the high windows must have once upon a time had the original name but was so faded only the brick red was there. Above the pub was another floor that actually had a few windows. My new apartment. It also had a basement which was currently empty but would soon be my new lab. Next to my storefront, was the storefront of a florist. No problem with me getting flowers.

I pulled my key from my pocket, opened the front door, and stepped in carefully to look carefully around. You never know when you have done the things I have done and made the enemies I have made.

As you entered, you had the bar on the left which had stools in front of it. On the right were booths. At the far end of the bar from the front door was the exit point for the servers to serve the booths beyond it a small kitchenette to prepare bar food. Beyond that behind the kitchenette hidden by a wall was the spiral staircase that went from the basement to the roof levels. Beyond the booths on the right were two restrooms labeled ‘gentlemen’ and ‘ladies’ respectfully. In between the bathrooms and the staircase was a small door to the back alley. Locked most of the time.

While most of the permanent features of the pub were present, it was stripped bare of anything else. NO glasses, bottles of alcohol, etc. The cushions on the stools and booths were old and worn with lots of patches and holes. The place had a thick layer of dust and smelled like it. The one feature that seemed brand new was the wood paneling. Real oak wood paneling and flooring, polished to a shine. It was the feature that not only made the environment pleasant but was also what made this place have magical energy. A sort of minor magical nexus or fortress if you will. I don’t know where the wood came from, but it had magic to it – literally.

The apartment above was floored with the same wood. So when I say the pub was a sort of magical fortress I mean that literally. Any magical being would recognize it and either respect it or try to get around it. Or simply give it a wide berth.

That said, as I looked around at that moment, there was a lot of work to do to make this place come alive again. Thankfully, the Shields had given me a sizable budget.

I remain.

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher.  The Grey Wayfarer.


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