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Inns & Taverns of Mystara: Threshold, Grand Duchy of Karameikos AC 1000by Michael Diehm
Here is the first part of a description of Mystara's many colourful inns and taverns by the irrepressible Haxum Wright, a well-travelled swashbuckler late of Selenica.
"Greetings fellow adventurers! I am writing to you of the many inns and taverns that my companions and I have patronised. Writing of these good times seems the only way I can relieve my current melancholy, trudging through some forsaken wilderness to the ends of Mystara. How I long for the buzz of the tavern, the gleam in the eyes of those young wenches and the intriguing gossip of the innkeeper..........
Let's start where it all began for me, the small Karameikan town of Threshold!"
Gold Dragon Inn
"Following some rather embarrassing indiscretions at the party of a Selenican socialite, I was forced to leave my city of birth for new lands and new opportunities. I managed to hire on as a guard with a caravan belonging to Kelvin's most famous merchant, Ahiktos. Well the life of a caravan guard was not my cup of tea and I hastily said my goodbyes and headed for a renowned adventurers' town, Threshold. Upon arrival, the locals pointed me to an inn in the dead centre of town, the Gold Dragon Inn.
The inn was bustling with commoners and adventurer-types. The commoners were doing quite well for themselves, offering tales of local treasures in exchange for pots of amber fluid. Whilst most of the tales were obviously pure fiction, the story of the innkeeper, Anthemio Paphcaris, piqued my interest. He talked the lost treasure of the wizard Gygar in the ruins of Castle Mistamere to the north to a group of wide-eyed adventurers. After a quick introduction, I managed to convince the adventurers to let me accompany them to the ruins in search of adventure and some much needed cash."
Location: Centre of town, on west side of Old Town Wall
Innkeeper: Anthemio Paphcaris Busiest inn in Threshold
Patrons: Commoners and adventurers
Room Price/night: 18sp
Stables Price/night: 3sp
Claim to Fame: Best place to hire adventurers and hear rumours of local treasures
Source: 1983 Basic DM's Book
Hook & Hatchet Inn
"After gaining much booty from the ruins of Castle Mistamere, we returned to town all cashed up. Unfortunately, the town guards were a little too inquisitive for the liking of my halfling companion, Shastri. The heated exchange attracted the attention of the head of the guard, Sergeant Arthol. When Shastri made a derogatory mispronunciation of the good sergeant's name, some fast talking was in order. To placate the guards, I offered to shout them drinks all night. Sergeant Arthol agreed, nominating his favourite watering hole, the Hook & Hatchet as the venue.
That evening we made our way to the Hook & Hatchet Inn on the east side of the old town wall, near the centre of town. Sergeant Arthol and his men were already there, their jugs and throats eagerly awaiting what I had promised them. After the third round of jugs, I excused myself from the guards' company and ventured over to the other side of room where the commoners quietly ate their meals. I spotted an attractive elven lady sitting alone in the corner (thank you Valerias!). After a few hit and miss one-liners, I discovered her name was Cardia and she ran a flying carpet service from town! We polished off a bottle of innkeeper Callinian Perakarius' finest wine. After a few hours of enthralling conversation, Cardia retired to her room, but promised me a discount on her flying carpet service.
I glanced over to the bar to see Shastri, pipe in one hand, jug in the other, laughing heartily with Sergeant Arthol. All in all, an enjoyable and successful night."
Location: East side of Old Town Wall in centre of town
Innkeeper: Callinian Perakarius
Patrons: Sgt Arthol and town guards, Cardia, less-boisterous commoners
Quality: Above Average, food is popular among patrons
Room Price/night: 15sp
Stabling Price/night: 2sp
Source: B10 Night's Dark Terror
Crossed Swords Tavern
"Locals had warned me of the dangers of Fogor Isle, the seedy part of town. I decided to check out this Fogor Isle, for with danger often comes opportunity! After hours of wandering I spied a tavern on the northeast shore. The sign read `The Crossed Swords Tavern'. Unfortunately, it was all boarded up and in poor condition. I left Fogor Isle wondering what happened to the Crossed Swords Tavern."
Source: B10 Night's Dark Terror
Black Jug Tavern
"I was wandering down a crowded street in the western part of town one night when I stumbled across yet another tavern, the Black Jug. The place was dark and filled with smoke. Reasonably attractive wenches served a dark brew in (you guessed it) black jugs. There was a commotion coming from one of the tables, a rather fat man seemed to have won a fair share of coin in a dice game. Gold-digging wenches were fawning all over him, I had to take action. Call it bravado or stupidity, I wagered all my coin to upstage this sweaty, balding excuse for a man. Alas, Valerias did not favour me on this occasion and all my coin went to the fat man."
Tavern keeper: Sergei Ivanevich
Patrons: Poorer Commoners, Dmitri Sergeiov (aka the fat man, a devil swine with a ring of telekinesis)
Quality: Below Average
Claim to fame: Gambling, dark brew
Source: B10 Night's Dark Terror
Juggling Ogre Inn
"After clearing a castle to the west of town for local merchant Clifton Caldwell, my companions and I decided to celebrate with Clifton at his favourite watering hole, the Juggling Ogre. The inn is located on market street and not surprisingly it is patronised by many merchants. Shastri had a bit of trouble meeting the dress code, but we all got in eventually. My clerical companion, Arzon Amadeus, was impressed by a large statue of his immortal Asterius in the entrance way. Of course I was comfortable hobnobbing with the merchants, however I noticed my companions struggling to fit in. As the night progressed, more alcohol was consumed and a splendid bard got the whole crowd singing. The merchants proved a useful source of information, yet I was glad to part their company, for it was clear their love of money had diminished their passion for life."
Location: E side of Merchant St, Old Town
Bar Keeper: Willington Stough
Patrons: Clifton Caldwell, merchants, commoners
Room Price/night: 17sp
Stabling Price/night: 3sp/night
Drinks Price: Ale 1sp
Claim to fame: Attracts the best bards in town
Source: Karameikos: Kingdom of Adventure (Adventure Book)
"The spirit of travel once again called to me. I wanted to head for the city of Specularum, but we decided to head north to a place called Eltan's Spring."