Almost time for my patrons to arrive but I do have some time to relate the nature and history of my own slice of the world – The Beagle and the Courtesan – my pub. The pub was purchased by one of my ancestors in about the the 12th century. We have records that go back to my great, great, great grandfather which is about the time of the revolution. According to our records the pub was the place where the rebels against the Wizard’s Council hatched their plans and was involved in some of the intelligence operations as several of the wizard’s guard back then used its services. My services tend to cause tongues to wag and that was why the rebels liked the pub so much as it was easy to spy here and get information.
At that time the pub had a different name – The Lusty Sorceress. It was a parody on a member of the Wizard’s Council back in the day who was on the council as its first female member. Not much is known about her other than it is kind of a legend that she was fond of using her magic to seducing men because she had a bottomless lust. Whatever the truth, at the time of the revolution the pub became the central headquarters for the rebels and once the fighting began it also became the first target of the wizards. The end result was the pub main floor was burned and ever bit of furniture destroyed along with the sign hanging out front. Due to my great, great, great grandfather being a secret alchemist he was able to put out the fire but the damage was done. The revolution was quick and decisive and when all was said and done, the council was disbanded and the senate created with representatives from not only the wizards but all the other trades.
At that time there was a lot of talk about change and so great, great, great granddad wanted to distance the pub from its connection to the Wizard’s Council. He was thinking of a new name and as he rebuilt the pub, it was a subject that frustrated him. Two events gave him the name.
When the last piece of furniture was replaced, he had only to replace the sign. He was puzzling about it when Pint walked in. Pint still lives here and he is a pocket beagle. That is a small beagle less than 13 inches at the shoulder. He is tri-colored and is absolutely infused with magic. He is ultimately a magic hound and that is why he is for all practical purposes immortal. My ancestor did not recognize this at first, so when he went to grab him and throw him out, his hands went through the little beagle. He realized at that point having a magic beagle might helpful. So great, great, great granddad built Pint a sleeping box behind the bar and put down a couple bowls. One for food and as he discovered one for drink as Pint likes beer. Pint has been living and sleeping here ever since. At that point, great, great, great granddad figured something relating to the beagle would be a good name for the pub. I imaging him thinking “The Lucky Beagle, The Sleeping Beagle“, etc. but another event injected a complication and an addition to the name.
The New Republic sent representatives to the pub and announced that they were going to reward someone that truly helped the revolution. My ancestor thought they might be talking about him, but then they called down one of the courtesans that worked in the floors above the pub. In short it was because of her spying that the rebels knew all the troops movements of the enemy. Basically, she knew how to get men to talk in between the services she provided them and it had been absolutely pivotal to the revolution’s success. They gave her a medal which still hangs on a nail behind the pub. Great, great, great granddad knew he had to marry her and he did. It also caused him to come up with the name “The Beagle and the Courtesan” after the two things that came into his life after the revolution. The pub sign thus is a naked woman reclining on a blue reclining couch with a beagle on the floor beside her sleeping. The lettering for the name is arched over the top. It is rumored that this was actually my great, great, great grandma herself and Pint that served as the models for the sign. you can definitely see the resemblance for Pint but no other paintings of my great, great , great grandma were ever made.
Now, I suppose I should talk about the pub itself. My business is alchemy infused alcohol. Yes, women called courtesans still live in the six apartments on the second and third floor. Yes, they are what you think they are – high priced prostitutes. No, I am not their pimp as pimps and madams are not necessary as prostitution is completely legal on Shadowshift Island. The republic does regulate it for health reasons so each so each girl (or guy for that matter) has to get a full health screening every month and have a licence issued. The girls that live here pay me rent and that is it. That said I have to concede that they all probably make a crap ton of money beyond rent as often they only work for five to ten years and then literally retire in luxury. Usually to Eastside where the build a modest mansion and live out their days but sometimes they marry one of the patrons and go live with him. There is a whole neighborhood in Eastside who are retired prostitutes from the city and other places on the island. I also have to concede that this is a big draw for people who also drink my brews, most notably Beagle Brew.
Beagle Brew was created by my Great granddad and remains one of the most famous drinks on the Island. People who are tourists consider The Beagle and The Courtesan a one stop shopping for two of its most famous things – Beagle Brew and legal prostitution in the form of high priced courtesans. It is hard to say sometimes what the patrons are here for the most: sloshing down Beagle Brew or the thrills of sex upstairs. One thing is for sure, most often come for one and stay for the second, so its a mutually beneficial arrangement. Beagle Brew though is one of the best ales in the world and I say that without modesty becasue it is given an alchemical kick to the flavor that you can’t beat anywhere in the world. I know because I have traveled a little of the world testing it out for myself in my younger days. The other thing is – you can only buy Beagle Brew at The Beagle and Courtesan.
Well, my patrons are starting to arrive, so I have to tend bar so I will get back to this as a part two when I can.