Down the Gold Road, somewhere west of the Dragonspine Ridge and east of the capital of Rahad there is a dirt path which leads winds its way north, to a small town not unlike the many other small villages which dot the bustling trade path. Not unlike at all, except that the town of Sanctuary doesn’t trade in wool or tobacco. Not in metals pulled from the earth, or salts from the sea, no – Sanctuary trades in adventures.
You see, at the center of that small village is an inn. A rather plain inn, except for the bright band of copper which covers the second floor above the porch overhang. But that glinting band has always been, and will always be, a part of the Nocked Arrow, despite the complaints of merchants and travelers. The bright glint of the copper, catching the sun in Summer or Winter, has served as a beacon for those with a particular skill set and a willingness to sacrifice self. Boys speak of ‘seeing the glint’ in quiet, excited tones, afraid they will be overheard by fearful parents not wanting their children to leave their simple country lives and die chasing a coin and a dream.
But to the Nocked Arrow adventurers come to wait for work, or to gamble or drink away profits gained. Mistress Aludra Caradein manages to keep the floors and tables clean and the hearth warm. Not as surprising when one noticed she uses as many liveried servants as a lord’s manor! The main room is circular, with high, arched ceilings. Thick beams support the ceiling from a half a dozen points around the room, and come to a point at it’s peak. There are a dozen or so scattered chairs, and the sound of a bard playing for coin can usually be heard. Off to the side is a curious counter, an out of place room of different style and design, covered with weapons and armor – some which give off a faint hum or low glow. The room looks as if someone cut a hole in the wall of two buildings and attached them, which is more or less what happened, and it gives that corner of the inn an off-kilter feel. But there is always a line leading to that counter, (sometimes longer than at the bar!) of men selling weapons, spells and armor and purchasing better.
Not all who are in the Nocked Arrow are adventurers, mind. There is the occasional man who enters, wide eyed and worried, clutching a laden purse in his hands, unsure of whom to speak about a problem he or his village faces. Usually Mistress Aludra can help him find someone to lend a hand, and sometimes she can’t. But those timid men are the lifeblood of the Arrow, and of Sanctuary itself. And in a world plagued with monsters and suffering, that lifeblood will surely always flow.