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The Stag-Horned Flagon was a tavern located in the village of Amphail circa the Year of the Tankard, 1370 DR.[1] It was still in operation by the late 1480s DR under new management.[2]

LocationEdit

Amphail was located on the Long Road north and east of Waterdeep. It took about three days on horseback to travel from the metropolis to the village.[3] The tavern was on the town square (known locally as the Malanderways) just a few strides from a statue of a rearing stallion called the Great Shalarn. It was separated by an alley from Golaund Sester's inn and the local carpenter shop to the south. To the east, across a side street that intersected with the Long Road, was Ammakyl Flowers and Foods. The village well was in the Malanderways between the Stag-Horned Flagon and Ammakyl's.[4]

StructureEdit

The cellar was lined with flagstone and this stonework extended upward to form the lower half of the main floor. The upper half was constructed with timber and the gently sloped roof was covered with sod and sprouted grass and wildflowers in the summer months. On the back side of the building was a private dining area that saw use on many summer evenings, and a large stable for patrons to secure their mounts.[5]

InteriorEdit

The tavern's namesake was a large drinking cup made from an unknown warrior's helmet with a set of antlers attached as handles that hung prominently over the bar.[1][6] The thick walls were decorated with old, useless weapons and farming implements such as scythes and animal yokes. The sturdy construction was evident in the huge wooden beams and massive posts that held up the roof. All the beams were pockmarked with scars from throwing knives. Furnishings were simple but sturdy tables and chairs.[5]

AtmosphereEdit

A safe place to get blind drunk in.
— Mirt the Moneylender

The Stag'n'Flag was normally a quiet, dimly lit, and cozy establishment, frequented by the locals, passers-by, and a surprising number of nobles from Waterdeep. The usual talk about horses was only interrupted by the tapping of a new keg (announced with the blowing of a hunting horn), or when one of the pretty serving girls was coerced into demonstrating her prowess with a throwing knife. The drinks were served in flagons made of pewter with handles styled like antlers. Krivvin Shamblestar recognized everyone that he'd ever met and likely knew what their favorite drink was before they asked. Closing time was also declared by a blow of the horn.[1][5]

ServicesEdit

Drinks available at the Stag-Horned Flagon included ale at 1 cp a flagon, and various wines, sherries, and zzar (served in a tallglass) could be had for 7 cp to 4 gp depending on quality, demand, and rarity. There were two specialty drinks brewed locally: a purple mushroom wine that was spicy (and an acquired taste), and a dark, heavy beer made from barley known as slaker. Slaker was 3 cp for a flagon. The only food served at this watering hole was biscuits made from wheat and dark molasses. A platter of about 16 biscuits cost 2 cp and came adorned with sprigs of parsley and a pot of garlic butter. It was not uncommon to see a local patron bring in slices of fish or ham, order biscuits and a drink, and make a meal out of it.[5]

DefensesEdit

The tavern walls were protected against fire, both magical[7] and mundane,[1] but the protection did not extend to the attached stables or the dining nook.[7]

ActivitiesEdit

Dragon274-Ron Spencer-Stag Lass

A Stag Lass on her ride.

Once a year, on the 1st of Summertide, Amphail and the Stag-Horned Flagon celebrated the Rite of the Stag Lass in commemoration of the death of a local priestess of Mielikki at the hands of an ignorant and overzealous hunting party. A human maiden chosen for the honor by worshipers of the Forest Queen rode a horse through town wearing a stag-horned headdress and deep green tunic and breeches. She dismounted outside the village and ran back through the streets to the tavern while the locals chased her and doused her with water, sour milk, or spoiled wine. Upon entering the Stag'n'Flag and reaching the bar, she had to drain the tavern's namesake drinking cup of extremely bitter beer. At the bottom of the vessel was a piece of fine jewelry that she got to keep. She then bathed in a vat atop a sturdy table while patrons drank to her health. Once she stepped into the bath, beer was free until dawn. In case of inclement weather, the Rite was postponed until the next clear day.[7][8]

HistoryEdit

The Stag-Horned Flagon has been a linchpin in Amphail since before the Year of the Spawning, 1070 DR, according to local lore that posited the event commemorated by the Rite of the Stag Lass took place around that time. The honored priestess of Mielikki was a villager by the name of Asaudrae Daerantree who had the ability to transform into a stag. She often wandered among the trees in stag form, learning about and caring for the forest, but was surprised by a Waterdhavian hunting party and relentlessly pursued back to the village where, in human form and bleeding from multiple wounds, she entered the tavern begging for help and died on the bar.[8]

In 1370 DR, the tavernmaster was Krivvin Shamblestar.[1][5] Around 1490 DR, the owner was retired carnival performer Arleosa Starhenge.[2]

Rumors & LegendsEdit

The legend of Asaudrae Daerantree, as told by some of the locals and many more worshipers of Mielikki, is that she was the goddess herself in disguise, and that the Lady of the Forest holds the tavern and the village dear to her heart. Many druids, rangers, and other believers came to Amphail and the Stag, to bow and kiss the bar where Asaudrae died. They were never scorned or ridiculed, because the legend stated that any true believer may then ask the goddess one question a year, and receive a clear answer. Elminster himself vouched that this legend was true.[1][7][8]

AppendixEdit

AppearancesEdit

ReferencesEdit

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