The Philosopher's Stone Tavern

At the Lakeside end of Undercampus Way on Level 9, an aging three-story academic brick building shoehorns its way into the rest of the lower campus neighborhood of student housing, displaying a sphere of lead turning into gold magically rotating above the main doors. Built 120 years ago, some of its bricks need replacement, and the whole structure needs to be repointed to replace dissolving mortar. It hasn't held classes in at least 80 years, but students flock to it for cheap food, decent drink, thoughtful conversation, and an understanding staff. The College still owns The Philosopher's Stone, but the Fire Genasi manager, Ash Tanwen, tends to run things as she sees fit with little oversight. It feels very bohemian, with comfortable seating for anything from private study sessions to large parties, and its decoration consists of well-loved secondhand objects that beg for someone new to research and tell their stories. They have a long-standing open stage night every week and popular folk performances several nights a week.

The main pair of windowed doors open onto the Concourse, containing the main bar island and a multitude of tall tables around the perimeter of the open space. Polished hardwood floors reflect the light and make spills fairly easy to clean. Hallways upstairs allow more seating next to the railings overlooking the ground floor of the Concourse, and a few rope bridges of various designs cross the span between the two balconies. The Concourse expands at the far end of the building, with several booths and larger tables to handle groups easily. A two-story illusory window provides mood lighting and fantastic scenes depending on the bartender's whim.

To the right of the front doors, two short steps descend into the broad Sitting Room which holds dozens of thick-cushioned couches with low tables for eating, gaming, studying, and napping. Several salvaged bookshelves hold a riot of secondhand books available for reading and annotation. They boast about having all 53 volumes of The Adventures of Cochrane Ironcalf available to peruse, deeply and extensively annotated by many hands over the years. The end of the Sitting Room emerges from under a balcony, exposing three stories of windows overlooking the harbor, providing morning and early afternoon sun plus plenty of scenery for the daydreamers. The stained, dark green and leather decor feels almost homey and intimate for a shared space.

To the left of the entrance, a stairway allows access to the upper floors. Three sets of thick wooden doors on the left wall lead from the Concourse to the Lecture Hall, with balcony seating accessible from the second floor. The seats have been defaced and vandalized over the years, and beat-up easy chairs irregularly appear in the audience space. The stage remains clear, but equipment, furniture, and props spill out of the green room to clutter the floor next to the raised stage.

Some smaller classrooms on the second floor above the Sitting Room provide smaller spaces for private parties or meetings. Furniture moves between the rooms often as needs dictate. The third floor has a few tables overlooking the windows in the Sitting Room, but closed and locked doors restrict access to the offices and storage rooms taking up most of this floor. A few offices serve as bedrooms for staff that don't have a better place to sleep or for the occasional patron abandoned in the wee hours, though most customers sleep it off on a couch in the Sitting Room.

The Philosopher's Stone has a large kitchen area behind the Sitting Room, providing food as needed all day and night. The staff has several students of the College on the payroll, and many serve their fellow stressed student customers as therapists as well as wait staff. The regular patrons feel at home here, and anyone caught stealing or abusing the staff will find themselves surrounded by a crowd of regulars ready to physically or magically alter any underlying negative attitudes.

Part of T.W.Wombat's Lore 24 project, detailing the world around Fellport.
For all city posts, see the Fellport Index. For posts about the wider world, see the Beneterra Index.

No comments:

Post a Comment