Tales of the Crimson Boar
History of the Crimson Boar Inn
The Crimson Boar Inn’s history goes back at least a century, maybe two or three, depending on which tales you choose to believe. All that is really known is that the Inn got its start, not as a trading post or a way point on a caravan trail, but as an incidental find by a hunter who felled the largest boar in the woods nearby the Inn’s present day location. Legend had it that the boar got its deep crimson color from rooting in the blood of unfortunate hunters who had perhaps overestimated their ability in their profession.
A hunter from a faraway land named Britomus Drom heard about this boar. He had adventured far and wide testing his mettle against wild beasts and monsters in both the known and unknown parts of the world, and the tales of the boar intrigued him greatly. So Britomus came to the small village that was occasionally ravaged by the crimson boar, and using the clues and information he could suss out from talking to the villagers, found his quarry at last in a cave underneath a large hill.
After a battle that lasted for the better part of a day, Britomus slew the boar, but not without sustaining significant injury, including the loss of his left leg. Deeper within the boar’s cave, the hunter found a series of hot pools heated by pockets of natural gas, and he dragged himself into one to bathe and dress his wounds. To his amazement, Britomus watched grievous gashes from the boar’s tusks heal within minutes of him getting into the water—not even scar tissue remained. Suddenly, he understood: the wily beast had grown unnaturally large by drinking the water, continually healing itself of any wounds inflicted by an entire generation of hunters that had failed to kill it. The water could not regrow his leg, however, and so he fashioned a cane from a large branch and made his way out of the woods.
Keeping this secret to himself, Britomus delivered the boar’s head to his liege lord. The lord, grateful to be rid of the beast that had so tormented his subjects, asked Britomus what boon he would ask for killing the boar. The hunter then requested to claim a deed on the land around the boar’s lair, and to keep the grand beast’s head as his trophy. The lord acquiesced to the hunter’s request, and that is where the tales of the Crimson Boar truly begin.
Britomus began to think ahead to his future as a retired adventurer. He was getting older, and his best hunting days were behind him. He also thought it a pity to hoard the magic of the caves all to himself. So Britomus laid out a bold and ambitious plan: he gathered together his most trusted friends and former adventurer companions to build an inn in front of the cave. He would send word far and wide about the Crimson Boar Inn and its magnificent magical pools that were sure to promote the health of all who visited. Soon, the inn was packed with people, and Britomus went from being an adventurer to simply a very busy and successful proprietor. In time, a village formed around the inn, and later, a town.
However, Britomus and his company had not explored all of the caves before they opened the Inn. Occasionally, a patron would turn up missing, or a person that didn’t come in through the front door would show up at the bar. This kept up for some time, until one day, Britomus had more people in the inn than he did on his reservation list—and the guests all insisted that they were staying at the Crimson Boar. The details of each person’s visit, however, differed in minute detail. Perplexed and frightened, Britomus consulted a trusted wizardly ally about this problem, and the wizard said that the caves likely held portals to other worlds—and there were probably many other Crimson Boar Inns in all of the known multiverse.
Britomus Drom still runs the Crimson Boar Inn to this day. No one remembers quite how long it’s been since he went into business, and no one is sure of just how old he is. Whenever anyone thinks about the matter too much, a malaise overcomes them—one which can only be cured by a pint of cold ale from the Crimson Boar Inn’s golden taps and dark oak kegs.