The Inn Of The Lone Rose by Snook The Mighty
Once again Snook the Mighty, master of the dead boards is alone. He looks out across the Sea of Dead Topics, looking for a sign of life, a hint of movement, but there is none.
He turns his gaze to the Plains of Posts, but again his stony stare finds only empty threads and ghosts of once active members. A lone tumbleweed rolls by as if mocking him with its activity.
He wonders if this is his destiny, to stay here in Limbo waiting to be saved by some kind soul who has a place in their heart(and topic) for him.
Perhaps he has been wrong in thinking that the living enjoy his attempts at levity and helpfulness. Perhaps his innate curiousity has driven them away?
"Yes," he muses to himself "my place is here among the dead." His is a solitary existence, full of inner turmoil and longing.
It was not always this way though. He can send his mind back, back, back into the mists of Time and remember when there were others like himself. Conversing, questioning, jokeing with each other, but those times are long gone.
He sees an old, once grand Inn in the distance. He glides forward on his silent steed Ironicus and goes to the Inn.
Looking up at the placard(shingle) he sees a picture of a single bright, red rose on a black field of stars and deduces through his superior intellect that this must be the Inn if the Lone Rose and he finds comfort in the name and thinks it fitting that his journies should bring him here.
Takeing Ironicus to stable he finds it empty but in surpriseingly good condition, as if waiting just to be used, why there is even fresh hay and feed for a multitude of animals.
Pondering this to himself, as is his fashion, he puts Ironicus in the first empty bay and rubs him down. Whinning in appreceation Ironicus nuzzles Snook's hand hopeing for a cube of suger. Seeing this Snook laughs softly and provides his trusted mount and companion with ample food and water before going to explore this strange inn that feels so much like home.
Walking in to the common room the first thing he noticeses is the condition of the surroundings. Everything is clean and fresh, as if newly polished, the tables and chairs are wooden and have a deep rosey finish. The bar is big enough to accomadate many adventurers comfortably and there is a stage for musicans or entertainers to perform on.
Looking to the side he notices a large hearth, well swept and clean, already stocked with ample wood and tinder.
There are several cushioned chairs arranged around the hearth that look quit comfortable. Looking to the other side Snook sees a counter and some stairs to the side that obviously lead to the sleeping quarters.
Going to examine the counter he sees a bell and registry lying open, looking at the opened book he is startled to see his own name; Snook the Mighty, Unemployed Guardian of all Creation.
He wonders if this is a trap by the Galactic Council or if it's meant as a further punishment, but he disregards both in the feeling of peace and contentment generated by this place.
Going to the kitchen he finds it well stocked with fresh food, and in vast quantities. He decides to go upstairs and see if there are others here and after exploring all the rooms(52 in all) he finds no one else.
This does not sadden him though, the way the Plains and the Sea do, for he knows soon there will be others here. Perhaps to greet him and offer him welcome and companionship, perhaps to ignore him and carry on their own lives without his interference. Feeling a growing sense of building anticepation he lights the fire in the hearth and prepares a large gourmet feast.
Not settled with this he goes to the bar and sees many fine vintages and brews from all the Multiverse, several thought lost for all time.
Looking close he spotts one from his homeland, its a rare bottle of Rsabius from Snookonia, vintage 1976. Thanking his creator he takes a glass and prepares to settle into one of the chairs before the hearth when he hears a ghostly voice echo behind him.
Whirling around preparing to blast this creature with unmatched eldritch energies he sees a portly innkeeper. He stands 5'8" and around 350 pounds most of it fat, he has soft brown eyes, and nearly black, curly brown hair. A thick, dark stubble covers his jovial face.
"Welcome to the Inn of the Lone Rose, I'm the manager Dragonus. I've been waiting for you Snook." Putting his awesome powers back to sleep Snook approaches Dragonus.
"How is it that you know me Dragonus? Where did you come from and what do you do here?" Dragonus smiles warmly and replies:"Well, I wear many hats my friend. I'm the barkeep, innkeeper, and bouncer.
As to what I am...that's a more complicated question. Some would say that I am a creation of fantasy, others that I am a reflection of truth. As for me? I say that I'm merely a man who provides a service.
I run this rest stop if you will, this bastion of comfort and home amid the emptyness of possible creation. A friend for those that want it, a shoulder to cry on for those that need it, and someone to listen for those who want to talk.
Now as for how I knew of your coming, you are the promised one who will bring life back to this plane. I see by the look on yoour face that yoy doubt me."
Dragonus smiles and gives a chuckle that shakes his large frame. "Look over there my friend," Dragones points across the common room to an area that wasn't there before full of well appointed books and scrolls of all types and thickness.
"Have a look for yourself if you dont believe me." Looking where the innkeeper points Snook is surprised at what he finds. Where did that come from? That wasn't there before."
"Don't be alarmed Snook," Dragonus says in a reassuring fatherly voice. "you didn't see it before because there was no need for you to. You see this places is governed by ones need, go on in and take a closer look my friend, please."
Somehow trusting the innkeeper Snook does as he is bidden. He enters the open library and is joyfully shocked to see many works thought lost forever, all as if just printed. He lovingly runs his hands across several well known titles he thought he would never see again.
"Look up Snook, across the way." Looking as directed by the innkeep, Snook receives his biggest shock of all: A large tapestry of himself sitting before the fire. His drink beside him and a book in his lap.
He looks closer and sees that he looks happy and content. Behind the Snook in the picture are many adventurers sitting at the bar, taking rooms and generally having a good time.
"How is this possible?" he asks. Dragonus gives a low chuckle, "When I spoke of need I reffered to the need of the soul, of a desire for things thought lost. Here the immpossible is possible, here many wonderous things can happen.
But there are rules Snook, you can bring into being anything you desire here as long as you concentrate on it. Books, rooms, food and drink, even music.
This places somehow reads the intent of the person and creates the desired object, but no mere figment. These are the real thing as long as focus is maintained. The only exception is food and drink that seem permenent.
But I digress let me get back to the rules. Anything created disapears if it passes beyond the boundaries of the inn. Animals and people cannot be created nor can weopons. This is referred to as the Rule of Three.
It's as I told you before, Need rules this place and you were needed to bring others here. Now they will come, a few at first, then others, always others.
Perhaps it will be slow going or crowded at times, but now that they know the way, we will always be waiting for them.
For this you are always welcome here Snook, as are those that will follow. Take your place now my friend they will be here soon."
Snook seemed satisfied by this. "But who will take care of them all...you?"
"If not me Snook than others, there is always plenty here. The food never runs out, there are always more rooms and drinks, and if I can't serve them they will serve themselves."
Feeling comforted at this, Snook takes his places and settles in, wondering at the adventures about to unfold before him and taking great solace in his role in it.