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Darokin Pubs

by Geoff Gander

Chris wrote:
>I have always liked the merchant idea for Mystara, maybe we can gather
>enough info to start a Fodor's Guide to Mystara. It can include major trade
>routes with a wandering monster list appropriate to the areas, and even new
>merchant prestige classes for 3ed. IMC I introduced 'Cask and Barrel' inns,
>a sort of chain operation that has Inns from Selenica to Akoros, and 2 very
>magical versions in Glantri City and Crownguard (Crownguard being the
>original Cask and Barrel) They also plan on opening more Inns in other major
>cities around the KW. This almanac could also be beneficial to other
>classes like bards and travelling clerics besides the rogues and merchants.

This sounds a lot like something I have IMC. One of my players (who has since returned to Finland - he was working in Canada for a year on a job placement with Nokia) told me about a chain of taverns/pubs that existed in his old campaign - the Hammer and Shield. I quite like the idea of a "McDonalds of Mystara" (no matter where you go, there's always a Hammer and Shield if you look hard enough, and you know you'll always get that same, courteous service and lovely cuisine - yeah, right), so I added it to my campaign as well, though I never play it to the hilt (ie: there isn't one in every city, but there are a few in the more civilised nations). It was tongue in cheek and the players liked it for a change of pace.

Other notable pubs IMC include:

the Whispering Poplars (north end of Darokin City, good quality, potted plants and small magical fountain in the common room, small courtyard with large oaks in the back lot, higher than average prices, but the food is good, and the cook will prepare any exotic meats you bring in - ie: dragon, griffon, etc. - in addition to regular fare).

The Silver Bucket (known colloquially as the Donkey's Ass, don't ask, because one of my players started calling it that and the name stuck), located down on the docks of Darokin City, on the east side, cheap, crappy food (roaches are extra protein in your food), the building will likely burn down or collapse sometime this year, though if the owner was offered insurance she would accelerate the process. This is the other end of the Path to Freedom (see below).

The Wayfarer Inn (technically a decent inn/tavern on the unfashionable West End of Darokin City, but also a safehouse for thieves and one end of the gnome-run "Path to Freedom" - a pedal-powered submarine that crosses the Streel and brings anyone who can afford the price into Darokin City proper, since the bridges are closed at night, and no one can pass the guards - well, alive, anyway).

The Ungrateful Dog (avoid, avoid, avoid), located in the West End of Darokin City, just northwest of the warehouses and docks, this dilapidated brick structure *should* have been razed years ago, but is held together through determination and sheer bloody-mindedness. This is one of the places where you go to hire assassins, thieves, and contact the thieves' guild. "Accommodations" are rows of wobbly bunk beds in the attic (watch your stuff, but a bargain at 1 cp/two nights), food consists of whatever was leftover from the previous night, boiled mercilessly until it's a thick, pasty stew (1 cp per heaping bowl). The owner's main income comes from the fights that happen here regularly, he controls the betting.

The Lucky Strike (West End of Darokin City, due west of the warehouses and docks) looks like it's falling apart from the outside, but inside it's well maintained and clean, because this is where some of the most lucrative gambling in the area goes on. The lower floor consists of regular card tables and a bar, while the upper floor is made up of guest rooms (very nice, 40 gp/night, "personal attendant" optional at 50-250 gp per day, depending on what is wanted, room service with the finest meals, made to guests' specifications - minimum 30 gp per plate), and the special gambling area. The latter is designated for "high rollers" only - typical card games have a minimum 100 gp bet per round of play, but it's encouraged to "tip" the dealers.