fates_illusion: (04)
Jeremy Quinn's bar, named The Underground, is only questionably contained in the mortal world. The entrance moves, or sometimes is in two places at once. Sometimes it's, impossibly, a basement dive in the middle of downtown Manhattan. Other times it's a basement bar in Brooklyn, Queens, or even farther afield, in Boston, Los Angeles, Chicago, or even London. It always appears as a basement to an otherwise innocuous older building. The stairs and door aren't invisible, but sometimes go unnoticed by those who haven't been affected by the supernatural in some way. To those who can see them, the stairs and door sometimes seem to fade in and out of existence or subtly rearrange themselves, as if they're only a pale copy of a real building.

Jareth is monarch of a kingdom that remains isolated and neutral most of the time. The goblins are mischievous and often cruel, but take little interest in their own politics and current affairs, much less anyone else's. The Underground bar is a small pocket of Jareth's realm, outside the Labyrinth and the Goblin City, and so it operates under the Goblin King's laws and power. All manner of creatures, from the benign to the malevolent, can be found there at some point and it's known neutral territory. At least, it's neutral as long as the creature in question remains in the Goblin King's good graces. Those who have been made unwelcome by the Goblin King cannot enter the bar. Often they don't even see the stairs, or they find the door locked and the bar looking as if it's closed.

There's a definite dream-like quality to the atmosphere in the bar, and it's much stronger on normal humans than on anything supernatural. It's possible to leave and not quite remember the entire evening, or write off any inconsistencies to alcohol or a dream.

The entrance of the bar is a traditional bar setup. The door is in one corner and booths line the walls on either side. A bar takes up the opposite wall, with a guarded doorway just to one side of the bar. The doorway purportedly leads to the kitchen, but doors have been known to appear and disappear within the hallway, and sometimes there are no doors at all, just an archway to the kitchen and another leading to a grassy hill overlooking a labyrinth. The wall farthest from the door changes from time to time. Sometimes it is a stage, and live bands, plays, burlesque acts, and even sometimes the Goblin King himself take the stage. Other times, it leads to other rooms, a library, a fancier ballroom, a tower whose stars rarely ever match the stars in the real world night sky. Occasionally a door from the tower leads to a room full of stairs straight out of an Escher drawing. The stairs ascend and descend through seemingly every angle of the room, with no regard to gravity. The doorways in that room lead to other areas of Jareth's castle. Stepping through any of the doorways is a risky proposition, as reality (and the doorway) are prone to shifting, leaving anyone caught inside with a long journey to get back to their world.

Curiously, time doesn't always flow properly within the bar. Sometimes it moves backwards, stops altogether, moves faster or slower. Patrons have stepped inside for a quick drink only to find themselves leaving two days later or they've danced the night away and left two hours before they arrived. It's never predictable and often works against bar patrons.

The food and drink served in the bar is a mixture of goblin, fairy, and human food with very little warning of which is which. The human food is usually prepared decently and patrons suffer no ill effects. The goblin food and drink lowers inhibitions and heightens aggression, while the fairy food and drink is enchanted. Normal humans under the effects of fairy food often forget the real world for a time. It produces a false feeling of peace and sleepiness. It also tends to compound the time problems, and it's not unusual for a normal human who's had too much fairy food to exit the bar weeks later in a different city from where they started. Or get lost in the Labyrinth, sometimes permanently. Both options seem to amuse the Goblin King.

Those bar employees and patrons under Jareth's immediate control tend to flash in and out of their "real" and assumed appearances. They go from seeming like normal, everyday people to horned, hooved, furred, otherworldly goblins or other creatures, then back again. This is especially true for the bouncers, who seem to like standing in their armor with their spears in hand more than they like their disguise as black-shirted bouncers.

The bar has a London theme to its decor, but it's only haphazard and has a last minute feel to it, as if Jareth only wanted an excuse for the name.

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fates_illusion

October 2015

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