1. The Sparrow's Nest
A popular inn in Linhir, which lies on the borders of Dor-en-Ernil, Lamedon and Lebennin, The Sparrow's Nest is located nearby the fords of the River Gilrain. Its location a short distance above the mouth of the river means that Linhir is a port city, as well as a crossroads for these three southern fiefs. Therefore the inn is frequently crowded with merchants, seafarers and assorted other wayfarers.
Built in the days of exploration and early settlement by the Men of Númenor, The Sparrow's Nest is constructed of stone, quarried in the foothills of the White Mountains and floated downstream on barges to Linhir. Originally one story in height, a second story was added in the years after the founding of Gondor by the exiled Númenóreans. A new wing was constructed during the Watchful Peace, and the stables were enlarged.
The inn's second story houses a number of semi-private sleeping chambers, as well as a common room where those of lesser means can bed down for the night.
The original structure houses the public room, where guests and local patrons enjoy a selection of fine wines, including the much prized Dorwinion wines, and occasionally an exotic vintage imported from far away southern lands. The locally brewed beer that is served there is as fine as any that may be found in Gondor, but it is the innkeeper's ale that draws the highest praise. Mead and cider are also available for those who desire such drink.
Food is also served in the public room, but for those who have the coin the new wing boasts a handful of private rooms where guests may dine and be entertained, each according to his wishes. The innkeeper is always on the lookout for attractive maids, and any with the ability to sing or play an instrument can be guaranteed steady employment.
A woman of statuesque proportions, a soldier's widow whose acid tongue belies her generous nature, is in charge of the kitchen, and with the help of her two daughters she produces a variety of meats, pies, and hearty stews to feed the inn's clientele. Fresh fruits are available in season, and whenever a ship ventures into a southern port, the captain knows he will have a sure buyer for the exotic fruits and spices that may be obtained in the markets there.
The innkeeper has run The Sparrow's Nest since he acquired it from its former owner, some twenty-five years ago in a game of chance; indeed, he is known to be an inveterate gambler, willing to wager on almost anything. Thus it should surprise no one that he is himself no longer the owner of the inn, having lost it in a series of wagers that began with a bet for the services of a fair-haired singer, and ended with a game of chess, played for the deed to the inn. The current owner prefers to remain anonymous, for a number of reasons, and has therefore retained the services of the innkeeper, who is kept in line by the soldier's widow. That lady knows the owner and his family well, and her loyalty to him is unquestioned.
Author's note: it was only recently that I learned about this inn in the course of transcribing the story of a certain Rohirric couple. He has related a few more details about the inn, and most especially about the events that led to its change in ownership, but has sworn me to secrecy – for the time being anyway. ;)
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.