A warm smell of delicious food wafted out across the tables and into the hall. Freshly made soda bread. Cooked meats perfectly seasoned. Roasted potatoes with honey drizzled over. A top it, the eager scent of ale and mead and wine.
Against one side of bustling hall a long angular bar with a wrinkled old man perched behind who appeared to be giving and receiving gold, silver and copper coins at a speed only ainnkeeper can. The bar had many tall wooden stalls around it upon which sat many people if you could call them that. The bar itself was covered in flagons and pitchers and barrels waiting to be collected. Across, a narrow set of oak stairs leading up to many numbered doors with small iron locks, the keys to which slept either on the other side of the door or the other side of the bar. The stairs, like everywhere else, were packed.
Long oak tables stand horizontal to the bar with many mismatched chairs dotted around them; tall oak stool (not unlike their counterparts at the bar), great arm chairs with old plump colored cushions, little oak chairs and in the corners of the hall, benches adored with little crimson cushions. And yet, it was almost impossible to find a spot in which one could perch.
Hammer Hearth Hall was crammed with people, if that was the right word for them; small willowy nymphs and nymphads* with tatty waves of dark hair falling to their waists; elves with dark skin in blue scholarly robes and red locks like fire in the dimly light inn; Keleps* with hair bright white and trailing to the floor; dwarves, short and stubby dressed in armor with battleaxes in their knap sacks; sprites, keeping their distance carefully from the nymphs and nymphads; an old pair of goblins talking in an unknown language in the corner by the bar; and men, tall and strong with long sweeping cloaks to defend them from the bitter wind outside.
The hall was awash with noise – from the excited jibber-jabber of a gaggle of nymphs in the corner adjacent to the warm hearth to the steely faces group of dwarven warriors seated solemnly at a long table, grey tankards in hand. In the corner opposite the door blocking out the harsh evening storm, three people; an elf and two sprites delightedly engaged in playing a flute, drum and lute, the sounds of which emanated all around. A cheerful tune to which a few dwarves appeared to clap to and sing along in places as four young bar hands in white aprons jostled through the crowds to serve the costumers. The fire itself was emanating a very warming glow and heat as the burning embers danced and allied like butterflies in the smoky air. The fire place was large and formed of hard stone mounted over the centuries. Above, a small green and white ivy wreath hung and slept in the warmth.
Above all this, a chandelier, bright with a million ivory waxy candles which, in wrought iron scones, shone like stars suspended in an otherwise inky black night, partially obscured by the clouds of goat horns around them.
*Nymphads are the male version of nymphs, a mixed gender group are called nymphaea
* Keleps are a short magical race which lives for 1000s of years, they have no concept of gender and appreciate their name to be used as opposed to a pronoun