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At times our adventurers feel the need. The need... for mead.
So they head to a stock Fantasy Tavern. This will be of wooden construction and is generally poorly lit. It may also include:
- A variety of species
- A serving wench in a low-cut, shoulder-revealing top
- Mercenaries for hire
- Places to sleep.
- Rumors and other hints at possibilities for adventure
- A dark corner where mysterious cloaked strangers sit
- A chance for a Bar Brawl.
See also Medieval European Fantasy.
Anime and Manga
- Slayers: Lina and co sometimes take a break in these. Considering her reputation and her temper though, sometimes this is to the detriment of the other customers, the tavern, the city the tavern is located at...
- Claymore: Occasionally a member of the titular groups shows up in the Fantasy Tavern. When they do, it's a total atmosphere-killer.
- Shrek 2 features one, where Puss In Boots is hired.
- T meets Leonardo in one of these in Quest of the Delta Knights, complete with buxom serving wenches, sleeping quarters and drunken, superstitious peasants.
- Tangled features the Snuggly Duckling. Flynn takes Rapunzel here in an effort to scare her into cutting her day trip out of the tower short, but then she saves him from the thuggish clientele and kicks off a Crowd Song.
- Both the 1982 and 2011 Conan the Barbarian films feature scenes of the titular hero celebrating a successful adventure at a tavern with free-flowing alcohol and half-naked wenches.
- Older Than Print: The mead hall Heorot from the epic Anglo-Saxon poem Beowulf serves as the hero's base of operations during his quest to slay Grendel and, later, Grendel's mother.
- The Prancing Pony at Bree in The Lord of the Rings, one of many in that verse, but this one is probably the Trope Codifier.
- In Robert E. Howard's The Tower of the Elephant where Conan the Barbarian hears of the title tower.
- The Mended Drum in Discworld is a parodic exaggeration; it's been rebuilt several times, and the brawlers rehearse their moves to look the best for tourists.
- The Inn at the Crossroads in A Song of Ice and Fire is the setting for a few important scenes in the first book.
- A rather large fraction of the main characters of the Sword of Truth run into these at some point, and their responses run the gamut from avoiding attention to intimidation and in some cases just outright killing people.
Live Action TV
- In Robin Hood, So they can steal some keys from the Crownkeeper, who has made a fake crown from Prince John, Robin and Kate, the latter doing a Dirty Harriet, distract him in one of these.
- The Alestorm song Wenches and Mead is about exactly this.
- Miracle of Sound did a song called ""Nord Mead" about how awesome the Nords think their mead is.
You can keep your filthy skooma!
It makes our bellies bleed!
'Cause when we raise our flagon
To another dead dragon
There is just one drink we need!
- Extremely common in Dungeons and Dragons. There is even a splatbook about it!
- Baldur's Gate has a fair number.
- Every major city in The Elder Scrolls has at least one of these, plus there's several in the middle of nowhere on the road.
- Very common in the Final Fantasy series, but Final Fantasy Tactics Advance deserves special mention for making these the only place to pick up quests. (Going by the English translation, it also calls them "pubs" and avoids specifying what anyone's drinking, but that's another trope entirely.)
- Also common in Dragon Quest games
- Several Zelda games include them, though the only one to play a significant role is Telma's bar in The Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess, where La Résistance meets.
- World of Warcraft has many of these, usually one per faction per zone (except for zones designated as starting zones), though some zones have a single one run by a neutral faction for use by players of both faction and each capital city features at least one. The exact nature of the building varies depending on the which race is running it with human inns fitting the trope description the most, except for being fairly well lit and Forsaken inns resembling a run down, rotting version of the Human inns (until they got their own unique style of architecture in the second expansion). They're used as safe points to log off and you get XP bonuses for your character staying in them while logged off.
- Kingdom of Loathing has the Typical Tavern, where there is never not a brawl going on. Your second real quest involves clearing the rats out of the cellar.
- Heroes of Might and Magic has these available as an upgrade to your towns. Uses include hiring heroes, improving morale when the town is under attack and receiving cryptic clues about your enemies.
- In Heroes of Might and Magic III, it's a prerequisite to the "Town Hall" upgrade (whence "City Hall" and "Capitol"). That's right, before you can get the most basic civic infrastructure up and running, the inhabitants need somewhere to go for a drink!
- In Medieval Total War, an Inn allows you to hire mercenary armies, a Tavern allows you to hire assassins.
- The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim has mead, bar brawls, bar wenches, wood taverns, sellswords (an in-game slang term for mercenaries), fetch quest givers, the works.
- The Hanged Man tavern in Dragon Age 2 is where you go when you need to have a conversation with Isabela or Varric.
- Exiern has had two of these so far.
- The first is the spoof of the You All Meet in An Inn trope, where Denver joins the party and Tiffany discovers she can no longer hold her liquor.
- The second one found the unfortunate owner having to cash in his literal Impossible Hero Insurance when Tiff and Faden finally had their big confrontation.