Taverns (also known as pubs and public houses) are public drinking houses, which also provide food.
These are establishments where patrons gather to socialize and to partake of alcoholic beverages, and in some cases prepared foods, while bards provide a good musical entertainment. These activities often take place in the evening and can be an integral part of the social life in a town or city - sometimes even the center of it. Such establishments have been a presence in the lands of Lord British since the earliest days of Sosaria, and have long served as avenues for storytelling, gossip and good company. Of course things can also go rowdy when too much alcohol has been consumed and arguments are cleared with fists instead of words.
Note that many taverns also offer rooms for the night, combining them with inns.
Age of Darkness
The earliest taverns during the Age of Darkness, featuring from Ultima I through Ultima III were commonly called pubs, and catered only to those in search of strong drink. These older establishments often proved a font of information for those with loose purse-strings, and numerous barkeeps would let slip important and interesting pieces of information if tipped handsomely enough. Such clues could prove invaluable in the wild world of early Sosaria, as danger then was omnipresent and knowledge a particularly precious tool for survival.
Age of Enlightenment
After the establishment of Britannia some time before Ultima IV in the Age of Enlightenment, some pubs and alehouse came to also serve food to their guests, becoming bustling urban hotspots where many citizens took their meals. Such centers of daily life were often rife with travelers, adventurers, and minstrels wishing to catch up on or contribute to local gossip. While barkeepers during the early age of enlightenment would still provide a canny tipper with relevant information, the taverns of the civilized age came to serve numerous functions outside of rumor-mongering, and were often central to the social life of the city they served.
Coming with Ultima V, taverns became the only provider for food and some offered inn services, although these services were removed by the time of Ultima VI.
Age of Armageddon
With the Age of Armageddon in Ultima VII, many taverns and inns had merged together, offering both services under one roof, with only few pure taverns - such as the Blue Boar Tavern - remaining. Taverns still were the center of public life and enjoyed much life, especially in the evening hours.
However, the destruction caused by the Great Cataclysm destroyed tavern culture almost completely and by Ultima IX, only few taverns remained and no longer held the place in society they once had.
Taverns were also known on the Serpent Isle, where each town had one, while on Pagan, the city of Tenebrae featured one as well, although the latter offered no rooms.
|| The people of our land are not without a certain fondness for strong spirits and lively companionship. Most settlements are graced with public houses where a tankard of strong ale from the region of Trinsic or a flagon of the best Jhelom mead may be had for but a few coins. Many of the people found in these taverns are quite friendly, and the ones serving the drinks are often fountains of wisdom and gossip.|
|| Pubs have always been centers for gossip and street wisdom. The universe of Ultima II is no exception. And as usual, the barkeep is the wisest of all.|
|| Relax from a hard campaign and enjoy a cold draught. Bartenders hear strange rumors some times. A few pieces of gold may loosen a tongue. Remember though, gossip is rarely totally truthful.|
|| The subjects of Lord British truly prize their pubs, and it shows in the gracious hospitality to be found in all public houses. Most offer an excellent array of drinks and food for the wayfarer. It is also commonly known that the bartenders are incurable gossips - if asked the right question and offered the right price - rare news may be obtained. Public drunkenness is prohibited throughout the lands of Britannia, so temper thy indulgence with wisdom.|
|| Pubs are oft found in markets and inns. Good ale and stout is complemented by a well-cooked leg of mutton, a fresh pheasant, or a juicy side of beef. A good customer may find the chef offering a taste of the day's special and of the local gossip as well.
Some of the best eating houses and pubs have music provided by minstrels. Do not hesitate to speak to the musicians and let them know how much their work is appreciated. Some musicians may have something interesting to tell, or may become friends or supporters. Pub owners are a friendly lot. They chat with their clientele and they listen well. A good tipper may learn something very interested in a pub.
|| In pubs, the traveller may partake of a refreshing glass of ale or a fine meal of pheasant and mutton. The service will often be accompanied by the melodies of a cheerful minstrel, and pub owners are known for their willingness to take part in a friendly chat.|
|| In a Pub one may relax and enjoy a refreshing drink or a fine meal. In many pubs one will hear the local bard sing rousing songs of legend and lore. When conversing with the other patrons of a pub, be prepared to hear anecdotes, war stories, local history - perhaps even useful information!|
|| I rarely visit taverns, for the trivia spouted by their patrons is never useful in comparison to the knowledge gleaned from study, and food and drink are not
reasons to vacate one’s dwelling when there is perfectly fine bread and butter at home. Of course, were one interested in song, tales of fantasy and local gossip, then I suppose the tavern could be considered quite enthralling.