Friday, April 16, 2010

You Meet in A Tavern...

Ah...but which one?

Here are a couple of answers to that question from the streets of Terminus, city on the River Fflish, in the south of Arn.

The Green Griffin Inn
The Griffin is a sometimes rough, always busy inn and tavern favored by adventurers new to town. There is a 50% chance of a fight of some sort erupting on any given evening. The lower level holds a common room with several tables, a bar, and a kitchen in the back. The upper floor holds a small number of rooms. The laconic barkeep is named Azgull, but called Az. He's a black-haired and moustached man of middle-years, often with a severe expression and wary eyes. He's also a former adventure (Fighter 4). He'll answer reasonable questions about what he's seen or heard (in as few words as possible), but when he's done, he's done, and no amount of charm will cajole more. Coin occasionally will.

There are usually 1-2 serving wenches working at all but the latest hours. They sometimes make extra money from prostitution, or by selling-out hiding lawbreakers to the City Watch. There's a 30% change that one of the barmaids on duty at any given time is Not What She Seems.

The proprietor of the Griffin is Gelsh Zem, called "Gelsh the Whiner" (behind his back). Gelsh is a smallish, balding man, with eyes that dart like spooked birds, and a bobbing Adam's apple. His anxiety is no doubt increased by the fact that the previous owner (his uncle) was slain by a drunken Kael barbarian a few months ago. Gelsh speaks in an overly officious manner, and is obsequious to the those he from whom he has something to gain, and rude to those he views as beneath him.

The Lion's Den Alehouse
Located near public baths catering to soldiers, and former soldiers, the Lion's Den tends to attract a warrior clientele, though its not exclusive. There are rarely any fights in the Lion's Den. It's the best protected tavern in the city--though this does not mean on duty watchmen are welcome.  The structure is a long hall, popularly believed to have been the mead-hall of a Kael chieftain when Terminus was only a village, called Meln. Long tables with benches run down the center of the room, with small, round tables in the more private periphery. All of the wall decorations have a martial theme. 

The proprietress of the Den is called Deela. She is handsome, well-muscled woman with mannishly short, blonde hair. She's friendly, but no nonsense, as those that cross her discover. Though she only ever speaks of her past obliquely, she is an Arnian peasant girl turned camp-follower of a mercenary company, then mercenary, and finally, mercenary captain. She respects skill and arms, but also artistic talent--a former lover, for whom she still carries a torch, was an actress and musician. The Den is run with military precision by a former sergeant (Fighter 5) of her company, Bernal Obrek, a ruddy-complected, bear of a man, with a bald head and thick moustache. Bernal is a fine cook--and deadly with an iron-banded cudgel or, should the need arise, a warhammer. If Bernal takes to a visitor, he will point them in the direction of the patrons who are likely to be the highest paying employers.

At any given time, the Lion's Den will be patronized by mercenaries looking for work, or captains looking to hire fighting-men. Protecting caravans from Kael banditry, or pacifying rebels or bandits (the two typically being one in the same) in the Dharwood. There is a 30% chance that there will be a Llysan filibuster or their agents present to recruit the gullible or desperate for conquest and glory.  They promise pay, and ultimately, land in the conquered territory to any man who will follow.

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