The World Serpent Inn
The World Serpent Inn is both a place and a nonplace, existing in multiple planes simultaneously and nowhere at all. It is a gathering place for dead races, unborn gods, forgotten heroes, restless ghosts, and the engineers of worlds as yet uncreated. Almost all the inhabitants of the Inn are travelers, either by design or by chance. Many have simply stopped here during journeys to other places, while others came to the Inn accidentally, then realized they could not get home.
The central chamber of the World Serpent Inn resembles nothing so much as an ancient tavern, with plank floors underfoot and venerable wooden beams overhead. This “common room” is a large, rectangular chamber dominated by a pair of flagstone fireplaces,
one at each end. Great tables and heavy oak chairs fill the space in between, and patrons gather around these tables in groups of twos and threes to chat. A balcony with more tables, accessible via a spiral staircase in one corner, forms a partial second floor for the chamber. There are no windows, either on the ground floor or along the balcony. Corridors lead off from both floors of the common room into other parts of the World Serpent Inn
The World Serpent Inn can be described as a Transitive Plane similar to the Astral Plane. While the Astral Plane is generally accessible from any point on other planes, the World Serpent Inn is coterminous with (connected to) a given other plane at only one particular point at a time, and sometimes not at all
The World Serpent Inn consists of a common room built around a central bar and surrounded by a maze of shifting, ever-changing back passages and rooms, which extend into infinity, often looping back to the main room. The plane has its own border Ethereal Plane and it overlaps the Plane of Shadow.
Entering the World Serpent Inn involves knocking on any doorway and invoking the name of any Deity for proteciton: “By the name of X, I enter.”
The inn’s common room resembles an ancient tavern with wooden floors and beams, though precise details vary depending on the visitors and their world of origin. The other rooms and halls vary wildly in materials used to make them. The barkeep is a fall, large but lean white-bearded man called Mitchifer. If examined closely, it becomes clear that Mitchifer’s eyes contain black doors instead of irises. The servers are generally female faerie gnomes called “serpent wenches” and his bus boys are male gnomes called “block boys”. It is difficult to cause harm to other creatures while in the World Serpent Inn, and wounds heal much faster than they do on most other planes. Visitors to the Inn do not age, but do experience hunger and thirst. Ethereal, intangible, and magically invisible creatures are plainly visible while in the World Serpent Inn.
Some sages have suggested that the plane on which the World Serpent Inn is constructed is a fragment of the World Serpent archetype, a divine being of which the gods Merrshaulk, Shekinester, Jazirian, Io, and perhaps even Asmodeus are mere aspects of, and that the rooms and portals of the plane are created by that being’s dreams. There is, however, no hard evidence of this beyond the inn’s name. The inn itself is centuries old, said in many descriptions to have been created by the mercane trader Ilyndele of the Arcane, the illithid High One Sharth, and a third creator whose name varies depending on the tale. Most Oerthly sages agree that the third creator is from the world of Oerth, however.
The World Serpent Inn has the following traits:
- Normal Gravity: Gravity is the same as normal
- Timeless: In the World Serpent Inn, creatures do not age. They do hunger and thirst, however, so food is provided from a kitchen alongside the common room. This kitchen, in turn, connects with vast catacombs and warehouses.
- Infinite Size: Though the World Serpent Inn is limited by walls, floors, and ceilings, it extends forever. Visitors can wander through the back passages and chambers forever, or until they find themselves back in the common room.
- Alterable Morphic Trait: The items and terrain native to the plane can be affected by normal actions (brute force, magic, and the like).
- No Elemental or Alignment Traits: The World Serpent Inn has no tendencies favoring one particular element or alignment over another.