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Taverns, in addition to marketplaces, are a primary place to trade for information, help, and services. They are populated by a rotating cast of characters and reset periodically. Some quests originate and terminate within taverns. Taverns are not linked, so each town's tavern is a separate entity with the same characters rotating through them. Taverns are the only places to recruit new & unmet NPC companions, sell prisoners, and buy books. They are also the only places where mercenaries may be directly recruited. Many taverns have bedrooms in the back or upstairs. While most of the activity is in the main room of a tavern, it is sometimes worth checking the other rooms to see if more NPCs are present. The Nord taverns in Sargoth, Tihr, and Wercheg all have a second floor while Suno does not have a second floor at all.People you might meet in a tavern include:
- Tavern keepers: Tavern keepers welcome those who keep the peace. Life as a tavern keeper is one possible outcome of a player's retirement.
- Players can offer to buy everyone's drinks for the night, at the cost of 1000 denars. This raises the player's reputation with the town by one, but this offer can only be made to one town per day.
- Tavern keepers are also the masters of gossip in their factions, and will let the player know if specific lords need to rescue family members, if lords need bandit camps cleared out, if other lords need unspecified (and generally unsavory) work done, and if Guild Masters have set bounties on any bandits.
- Players Deliver Wine for Guild Masters directly to tavern keepers of destination towns
- Tavern keepers have stored reputation, affected only by bar fights. The purpose of this reputation is unknown.
- Mercenaries: Groups of 3-7 (With Fire & Sword: 2-9) men looking to fight loyally for pay, represented by a head mercenary in the tavern. The player can choose to hire some or all of them for a hefty fee. They all come from the mercenary tier tree. Once hired, mercenaries disappear from that tavern until a new band moves in.
- Travellers: Travellers roam the land of Calradia, brokering information and gossip about the entire realm. They offer the player advice about life in Calradia. They also offer information on where to find claimants and lost NPC heroes for a 30 denar fee.
- Ransom Brokers: Ransom brokers buy prisoners (in Warband they pay different prices based on the level of the prisoner) from the player. They also provide information about the whereabouts of imprisoned party heroes and the possibility to ransom them. Ramun the Slave Trader is a special ransom broker who has traded in galley slaves ever since Zendar burned down, and is glad to teach players the manhunter trade.
- Wandering poets: Going by various names (Wandering Ashik, Wandering Bard, Wandering Troubadour, Wandering Skald), poets are the masters of Calradian romance. (Warband only)
- Poets provide all of a kingdom's gossip on courtships. They provide details on the personality of eligible ladies, as well as news on courtship developments in a kingdom. Both personalities and news are recorded in the player's character log along with the relevant date. Married ladies leave the poet's list of newsworthy maidens.
- From this courtship news, male players may issue duel to lords rivaling for their ladies' affections.
- Poets also teach new players the intricacies of wooing and eventually marrying in Calradia.
- Poets teach players poems, based on their specific poem set, that are used during courtship. These poems cost 300 denars and time will pass as they are taught. There are only a total of five poems.
- Belligerent Drunks: Men who drank too much and are looking to fight. Players with high renown can coax drunks into submission and to leave the tavern. Otherwise, the player has a bar fight on their hands (no projectile weapons by order of management). Killing or incapacitating the drunk will yield the player the drunk's nordic sword and 200 denars, along with either a slight positive or negative reputation gain with the tavern keeper (-1 for calling drunk 'animal' or killing him without a chance to draw his weapon, +1 for killing/knocking him unconscious after he draws his sword, or apologizing). A bar fight will also send all tavern occupants scrambling for cover.
- Book Merchants: Educated men peddling books for those who wish to better themselves. Books are expensive but often well worth the benefit.
- Quest Merchants: A merchant of the town, this local merchant will guide the player through his or her first steps in the dangerous world. After meeting the merchant in his home, he continues to support and offer tutorial quests to the player from the town's tavern.
- Heroes: The backbone of a player party, all heroes are initially met and recruited at a tavern. Heroes lost from a party, either from a loss in battle or over a disagreement with the player, after trying and failing to make it in Calradia will eventually wind up in taverns. The player may only attempt to recruit a hero a number of times in one day.
- Farmers: A farmer from a nearby village who asks the player for help "evicting" a band of marauding bandits. The farmer gives no direct rewards, rather a choice of rewards will be offered by the saved village. The quest he gives is called "Save village from marauding bandits".
- Hired Assassin: Very rare. Assassins are hired by enemy lords (with less than -20 relation) that have a sadistic (harsh) personality. They become active without notice once the player comes close to them. At most, they appear once every 7 days.