Although the news was slow to reach the ears of this intrepid
reporter, it was stunning none the less
the Great Horns Tavern of Magincia would be
gaining a second floor!
Ben Kahns, the tavernkeeper and principle proprietor of the tavern,
was more than happy to indulge my curiousity when I stopped in. Although the construction
had not begun quite yet, I could see scaffolds setup outside, and what looks to be
supplies being brought in. Stacks of wood smelling lightly of pitch, heavy dull ingots of
iron, and most surprisingly of all, several crates of heavy sandstone blocks.
I commissioned a mason in Minoc, a fine lass named Marissa, to
quarry it for me. The ever-smiling bartender explained, at ease leaning on his bar,
as he refilled my glass mug with a generous portion of Ocllo ale.
Most dont know it
he confided to me, a grin
on his handsome features, But this is the first major piece of construction in
Magincia in over a century, since the Temple of Pride was built.
The Temple of Pride? I inquired, trying to keep my head
clear as I sipped the ale slowly. On that subject, I was wondering how the native
Magincians feel about this.
Ben shrugged at this. Well, the tavern profits are up for the
first time in a decade. Our usual crowd used to be mages from the Circle Magicka next
door, and Parliament members. Not exactly high volume customers. He explained.
Now were getting all sorts of new clientele, much from the mainland and other
places, and business is booming! As a result, Lord Hobart, the owner, just couldnt
say no to the idea. he finished, smiling.
The tavern certainly looked good to me, though, and I said as much,
ordering a glass of milk along with a plateful of donuts, a delicacy named The
Zerver Specialty, found only in the Great Horns.
Ah, well, theres so much space up there, not being
utilized. And while this bar is decent enough
Ben ran his hands on the
smoothly lacquered table
I have something so much better in mind. And I think
everyone will really be pleased with it.
Do you plan to offer more to your customers, in terms of
services? I asked, chewing the donut slowly, enjoying the unique flavor.
Ah, well, as you know, I already have hired two mages, Quenton
over there being one of them
He pointed towards the far corner next to the
stove where Quenton stood, reading a book. They provide transport to NuJelm
and back. I also hired a stable hand, so that my patrons with horses can keep them secure.
Ive had some serious traffic problems in the past."
I nodded, dunking my last donut in the remainder of my milk.
But with two floors, do you think you can handle all the business yourself? I
asked, my mind was not so dulled as to miss that!
Ben smiled, nodding slightly. Ah, youre right. I shall
be looking into hiring new help soon. But I have to be selective of course
anyone can work here. He remarked, smiling. I returned the smile, but I had a few
cards left to play on the famous NuJelmite chef.
And what about Lissa, of the Healers of Britannia? How does
she feel about all this? A slight jolt showed Id scored a point on him, and he
blushed slightly. More than a few tavern regulars, even Quenton knew of his relationship
with the healer.
Oh, well, shes very supportive, she even helped me plan the new
decorations. He said finally, his smile returning. I considered inquiring about
their possible engagement, but decided to refrain, Ben looked red enough for one day.
And an architect? I heard you had some
trouble locating one. I inquired, my quill at the ready.
Ah yes, I think Ive managed to find one. I recruited
some tavern regulars to aid me in transporting the stone here, one of them even owns the
Last Hope Tavern. He replied, relaxing as the subject changed. So I may send
some again to haggle on a commission. Once I have one hired, the work shall begin!
I smiled, and rose from my seat, bidding Ben farewell. But before I
could leave, Ben handed me something, a roll of parchment. Here, for your article. I
commissioned a local artist of great skill, Cadre, to draw this.
I unrolled it, to find a beautiful rendition of Ben and Lissa. Ben
then took my hand and kissed it, asking me to return when the renovations were complete
for the grand opening party. It was my turn to blush, and a part of me wished the dusky
and attractive Ben wasnt already taken
From the Town Cryer - The Journal of Ultima Online, Friday, January 22nd 1999