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Anya Faradayby Jenni A. M. Merrifield
Here's one of the NPCs I did develop for my sea-side village. She's actually pretty generic and could easily be placed in many places throughout Mystara. She could even be placed in a land-bound location, or in a village on the shores of a lake with only minor tweaking.
Anya Faraday (Normal female Human)
Skills: Cooking (WIS), Profession: Hospitality (INT)
Anya is a spry but elderly Widow who runs a small establishment known as the "Luncheon House". The "Luncheon House" has a tiny restaurant on the main floor, and has four *very* comfortable rooms (each with a double bed) for 'rent' on the second floor. There is also a 'parlour' between the restaurant area and the stairs to the second floor, where Anya's guests may relax during the day or before retiring for bed. Anya's living quarters are at the back of the main floor.
Anya is a very kind hostess, who treats the people staying with her as if they were simply house guests rather than temporary boarders. She is very open minded and equally polite to anyone staying with her, regardless of race or profession. Guests she has come to know well, because they have stayed with her a few times in the past, or who have been staying with her over a long period of time, will occasionally be invited into her library for polite evening conversation and a 'nightcap'. The library is a room just off of the 'parlour' which is technically part of her living quarters on the main floor. It is comfortably furnished, and does have one bookshelf with a smattering of interesting and unusual books on it. The food and the rooms at the "Luncheon House" are just slightly more expensive than at a normal Inn, but the general ambience and comfort more than makes up for it. It is often frequented by merchants or nobles who have decided to take a holiday 'away from it all', or by other visitors to the village who feel like 'pampering' themselves a little and who would probably not normally stay at a top end inn. The "Luncheon House" is located a short distance away from the village core on a nice parcel of land with a low white picket fence around three sides of it. The fourth side is open to a small, sandy beach which is just perfect for swimming or sunbathing. There is a small bathhouse on the property which may be used by 'house guests', but it is up to them to draw and heat their own water from the nearby well. The one real 'oddity' about Anya is her love of cats -- she never had any children before her husband (a navigator) died in a sea storm, and she has refocused her motherly attentions on the roughly 20 cats (give or take a few, depending on the season) that live with her. Many of the cats will always be found lounging around outside the "Luncheon House" (unless it is raining) and in Anya's living quarters. Anya ruthlessly turns them out of the Restaurant area and the 'guest rooms' if they happen to wander in, scolding them as if they were naughty children. Guests who are invited into the 'library' will often have to put up with at least one or two cats deciding that their lap is the most comfortable place in the room.
Anya's 'house guests' (those staying in the rooms) are treated to a home made breakfast, gratis. The "Luncheon House Restaurant" is only open to the public for lunch, with one "sitting" at 12:30pm.
Lunch is a grand affair in this establishment, always consisting of a set menu of home-made items : Soup (vegetable or fish based) or Salad (when fresh vegetables are in season), Fresh bread or rolls, Cheeses and/or Spreads, a main course (usually some kind of fish, but occasionally other meats), and some kind of scrumptious dessert. A few drinks are included with the meal. There meal is a fixed price, no matter how much or how little the guest eats, but when the whole meal is eaten, the price is quite reasonable, considering that Anya does most if the cooking, does it well, and with flair. She does have two girls from the village who come in to help her to prepare and serve food for her 'luncheon guests'.
The "Luncheon House" has two tables for four and two tables for two in the restaurant, which can be moved around to accommodate larger parties. Individuals planning on eating lunch at the "Luncheon House" must inform Anya when they wish to dine and pay in advance. Anya prefers to know at least a day in advance, but must be done no later that 8am on the same day.
Lunch requests can also be done up to a week in advance, and this is highly recommended for groups larger than six. (Anya always informs new 'house guests' of this rule when they first start staying with her). Sometimes Anya will join her 'guests', sharing a table with some, or just wandering the room, chatting. Anya always uses fine table linens and utensils and she expects her guests to behave as gentlemen and ladies while they are eating there.
Note that Anya does not run the "Luncheon House" for the money, but rather for the companionship she gains from having a variety of people 'visit' with her. She charges money because she is smart enough to know that there are those who would take advantage of her if she didn't. Frequently, she can go for weeks with no 'house guests' or 'lunch guests'. When this is the case, she will often wander into the village, especially on Market day, to visit and chat with her neighbours. Everyone in the village knows and likes Anya, and would do almost anything to help her in time of need.
Anya owns no magic and no weapons of any kind. She is simply a kind, old lady who loves cats and seeks human companionship where she can find it. She doesn't have a lot of money, but always seems to have enough to get by.
Other than her table linens and silver eating utensils, she has little of any significant value.
Anya's establishment is a great place for PC's to find out about as a 'change of pace' from the standard old Inn and Tavern. If they take the time and get to know Anya, they may discover that she has a well of useful information stored in her keen mind.