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(This is something I wrote as a proposal for a new site-based article series on the WotC website. They opted not to go forward with the idea, so I'm posting it here as there's no reason not to let people use it.)
This is a burned-out church converted to a small inn by six women whose husbands were killed in the Last War. Finding strength and community in their grief, these women have partially reconstructed a building damaged in the war and are supporting themselves renting out two rooms and a barn as a resting-point on a large road. They provide meals and watch over children, and accept coin or work (particularly repair work that can help shape up their inn, though spellcasters can use magic for that purpose or to enhance the garden).
They dislike anyone who's overtly a soldier or wearing metal armor, and charge slightly higher prices for such people wanting to stay at their inn. They are suspicious of warforged and require them to stay outside (for free) or "rest" in the barn. The six women are still grieving, and their children are growing up fatherless (none of the women are ready for a new husband yet). Overall their attitude is pessimistic, they know the horrors of war and don't think the world is going to get much better now that the war has "stopped."
The widows see a lot of people pass on the road and hear a reasonable amount of news. If asked (and paid) they can keep an eye out for a particular person or group of people on the road, though their willingness to do this is affected by who's asking and who they're looking for (the are hesitant to provide information to soldiers, and won't go out of their way to spy on dangerous-looking people).
One of the widows used to work in a church of the Sovereign Host (she has levels in the Expert NPC class and her personal patron is Boldrei, god of community and hearth); she will use her knowledge to treat injuries or sickness at an additional cost, and will provide (at no cost) the standard blessings of the faith to any who ask. Her husband was killed far from home and she didn't have the opportunity to bury him; this is a chink in the armor of her faith and she has become disillusioned with the peace it used to provide her. One guest of the inn, an older man associated with the Blood of Vol, has sensed this and is trying to get her to actively spy for him or even turn to his faith.
Unknown to the widows over even the follower of Vol, buried under the inn is a Khyber dragonshard, hidden there secretly by a corrupt member of the old church who didn't know its powers. This nightshard contains a bound evil Large fire elemental, and when the proper lunar conjunction occurs (two particular new moons at the same time, timescale is up to the DM but normally once about every 35 months) the elemental is freed for 24 hours to slay anyone it can reach and char anything in range (it is responsible for the destruction of the old church). When the elemental is imprisoned within the shard, the gem aids fire magic cast by the person holding it (with a chance to empower fire spells) though when used to do so there is a slight chance the elemental is released for 1d4 minutes. The shard is actually a piece of a larger magic item called the Fire Ghost the Cult of the Dragon Below is trying to assemble, and if it turns up the Cult will try to steal it. Similarly, House Lyrandar is using a similar (but less flawed) item to power one of their skyships and might also try to get their hands on it to get a head start on the costs of building another skyship. Finally, the Church of the Silver Flame has been warned about this item, believing that it could somehow be used to weaken the manifestation of the Silver Flame in Eberron, and thus would want to destroy it (though without telling anyone why, lest their fears be tested).