The World Of Khoras - Civilization - Cities - Zesrun
Many years ago, there was a famous tavern and inn named Sargosa, after the owner and proprietor. It was a popular and expensive place that catered to those of civility and was frequented by nobles. Housed in an ancient stone three story building, It was known throughout the city and beyond for exceptional food. The name of Sargosa was famous in Corvenia. In particular, Sargosa's siganture dish was his own unique twist on the traditional Corvenian dish of kijara. Nobles, travellers and even chefs would come from far and wide to sample the famous Sargosa's Kijara. It was a culinary experience not to be missed and the recipe for this dish was a jealously guarded secret and a hotly debated topic in Zesrun.
When Sargosa's health declined, he decided to retire. Having lost his wife long ago and having no siblings, the business would would pass to his children. However, Sargosas two children, a son and daughter, had never gotten along well. Indeed, they publicly declared that they could never work together. Regular patrons of the restaurant were afraid that when Sargosa retired that the business would fail in the hands of the two squabbling siblings and be lost. Therefore, Sargosa did the only thing he could do... he divided his legacy between the two. To his daughter, he left the great building itself. To his son, he left the name of Sargosa's along with the recipe for Sargosa's Kijara. He also divided his wealth between the two. Some say that his daughter got more than her fair share. In any case, Sargosa retired and the city of Zesrun looked forward to soon having TWO establishments that could claim the heritage of Sargosa's.
When the heritage was first split, Andina and Harrick argued and fought, both in person and by messenger. They both worked hard to establish their taverns as THE place to eat in the city of Zesrun and both taverns were soon operational. Soon after the Little Kettle was open for business, Andina sent over a troupe to Harrick’s new tavern. The troupe included acrobat performers, jesters, magicians and so on who put on quite a show as the travelled across town. When the troupe finally arrived at Harrick’s, they had a crowd of spectators. The performers set out a spread of all the new dishes and drinks being offered by the Little Kettle. A herald spoke at length for the benefit of the crowd while dishes were dramatically unveiled for the employees and patrons of Harrick's tavern. It was a spectacular and lavish affair.
The next day, Harrick sent a messenger to the Little Kettle bearing a small package. Andina, with her employees and guests gathered around her, opened the box up and found inside... a single cup of Sargosa’s Kijara. Andina flew into a sputtering rage and has not spoken to her brother since.
As can be imagined, a spectacular rivalry has blossomed between the Little Kettle and the new Sargosa's. The hatred between Andina and Harrick has only grown stronger over the years and they refuse even to speak of one another. These two taverns are constantly trying to outdo one another and steal customers from the other. No ploy is too deceitful. It is likely that Harrick, the brother, plots to one day retake the original building. Likewise, Andina, the sister, no doubt desires to obtain a copy of the recipe for Sargosa's Kijara. All manner of intrigue and espionage likely occurs between these two innocent looking taverns. Both Andina and Harrick have hired thieves, thugs, warriors, alchemists and wizards in various plots to obtain what they desire. Both have spies among the clientele of their rival. Neither one has hired an assassin yet, but that may only be a matter of time.
The new Sargosa's is much smaller than the Little Kettle. It is a broad and low building of timber and stone. Inside the main entrance, a set of stairs leads down into an enormous central dining room that actually sits 10 feet below street level. A broad walkway runs around the entire room and tables are set along this walkway at balconies set at regular intervals. In all, everyone has an excellent view of everyone else and it contributes to a vibrant social atmosphere.
While not as elegant or decorative as the Little Kettle, this tavern has a great deal of character. This tavern is always filled with singing and laughter and music. The barmaids will often dance on the tables for an extra coin. The three cooks argue endlessly, much to the entertainment of the customers. The ale is always flowing. Many of the timber beams have various words and images carved into the wood, mostly done by customers. The roof leaks constantly, but Harrick has made a rule that anyone who gets wet from the leaking roof eats for free that night.
The new Sargossa's has twelve rooms for rent on the upper levels. Prices are quite reasonable.
Hanging on the wall, above the bar, is the mounted head of a firedrake, killed by Sargosa himself in his younger days.
Reyes - Head Cook
Reyes is a tall and fat man with long grey hair worn in a ponytail. He serves as the head cook for Sargosa's and rules the kitchen. His pudgy fingers are remarkably dextrous and he is quite good in the kitchen. He has worked closely with Harrick to recreate all of Sargosa's original dishes and old favorites. Most importantly, of course, is Sargosa's secret recipe for kijara. He is determined to help Harrick and the new Sargosa's surpass not only their rival, the Little Kettle, but also the original Sargosa's, with culinary excellence. He is a native corvenian and uses magic extensively in the kitchen. Mostly this involves self heating pans, self cleaning pots and so on. He refuses to use magic to flavor the food. He believes that the best flavors come from the food without such magical enhancement.
Urosto and Quickdraw - Assistant Cooks
Reyes is assisted in the kitchen by two assistant chefs. Urosto is a half dwarf female who makes all the sauces and side dishes. Quickdraw is a young grumman male who makes baked items, breads and pastries. Neither of them have corvenian magic, but since Reyes refuses to use magic to alter the food, this has not posed a problem. However, all three of them are known to get into spectacular arguments which often spill into the dining room. Such arguments are usually over trivial matters like what spices should go into the stew. This, more often than not, proves to be quite entertaining to watch.
Dain - Stable keeper
Dain is a young human corvenian male with a great talent with animals. He uses his corvenian gift to calm horses, polish saddles and make minor repairs to things. Dain has a stutter and is Dain is a great admirer of Lacey and is working to win her hand. Dain also helps Harrick with repairs to the building.
Lacey - Barmaid
A fiesty bar maid with raven black hair. She is a strong woman who does not hesitate to slap away the hands of drunkards and over eager patrons. She has a sharp tongue and a quick wit. She is aware of Dain's interest in her, but she has no interest in him. She is only half corvenian (her father was Vorrikan). Because of this her magic is weak, but she has her father's strength and quick temper. She is learning how to handle a sword and has hopes of one day leaving Corvenia and travelling the wide world.
Elygria - Barmaid
Full of energy, this green-eyed, chestnut-haired, boxum beauty is always the first one to jump up and start dancing on the tables. This occasionally results in a competition with Lacey on the table tops. Elygria has a talent for firing up a crowd and has stopped more than one bar fight with a quick dance or impromptu song. She has even gotten Serenia up to dance once or twice. She is full blooded corvenian and has a talent for illusionary magic. She sometimes summon colored lights to dance with her or cause musical instruments to play on their own.
Serenia - Barmaid
A 21 year old corvenian woman. She has blonde hair, grey eyes and is a little overweight. She is shy and quiet. She helps Lacey serve patrons and tend to guests. She also helps Hirenia with cleaning duties.
Hirenia - Maid
An older woman with greying red hair. Blind in one eye. She is the maid and is responsible for cleaning all of the rooms in the establishment. She is a cantankerous old wench with a foul mouth and a mean streak. She spends most of her muttering to herself while she tends to her duties. The only person she seems to be able to tolerate is Serenia, who helps her clean but lets her be.
A rare mixed breed, Borshak is the product of rape - the offspring of an half orc warrior and a half dwarf woman. So, he has dwarven, human and orcish blood in his veins. The result is a stocky, well muscled 5 foot tall man of indeterminate race and an brutish face. Borshak has no magical ability whatsoever. However, he is fantastically strong and quick with a blade. Borshak is a skilled carpenter and stone cutter. He does all the repairs to the tavern and also helps Harrick throw out ruffians when they get too drunk and too rowdy. Although not always armed, Borshak has, on more than one occasion, ended a barfight with a well thrown plate.
The menu is written on a huge chalkboard that hangs over the bar and the barmaids always know what's cooking. The meals are updated whenever Reyes feels like changing it. There is no set schedule. Typically Reyes will cook two or three primary dishes while Urosto will create a variety of side dishes and sauces to compliment it. Some of the typical items on the board are as follows:
Kijara - This is Sargosa's famous original kijara stew... the recipe that won him legions of faithful customers and started a war between two taverns. Harrick and Reyes are the only two individuals who know the recipe. Reyes makes a cauldron of this every day. It is, by far, the most popular dish. Merchants and travelers have been not to come from other kingdoms to sample this dish!
Venison - A slab of venison meat served in a broth of onions, mushrooms, carrots, herbs and spices. Served with rye bread for dipping.
Crab - Shredded meat of the local fresh water crabs cooked in a simmering broth of white wine and goat's milk butter.
Onion and cabbage soup - flavored with garlic, nuts, berries, leeks and parsley.
Barley oat bread - A thick slab of barley and oat bread served with honey butter.
This page last updated Wednesday, October 31, 2010. Copyright 1990-2011 David M. Roomes.