The Roadhouse Edit
The Orc and Bottle is an establishment whose roots go back before the current empire, when this land was wild and untamed. Blarnick Tunsdiddle was a Gnome who had the gifts of foresight, business acumen, and a healthy dose of the Luck of the Little Folk, and established the roadhouse as a bastion of safety in a wilderness of great danger.
More than just a simple inn, the Orc and Bottle is a fortified mini-city with all the comforts of home. When he died the establishment was passed to his grandson, a half-gnome/human named Glissip. He does not have all the intellectual gifts of his grandfather, but his glib tongue more than makes up for it, and the Orc and Bottle has thrived under his guidance.
The Blockhouse Edit
All patrons must pass through this fortified courtyard, where armed guards and wary wizards keep a keen eye on all who enter (all entrants are scanned with Detect Magic and Detect Invisibility). The great stables can be accessed through the blockhouse, and one can quarter one's mount for 1gp per day, or 5gp per week. This is double the going rate, but feed, comfort, and medical care are included.
Tack and amenities can be purchased from the Stablemaster at the Empire's standard rates:
- Leather Barding: 75 gp
- Chain Barding: 125 gp
- Splint Barding: 175 gp
- Plate Barding: 250 gp
- Bit & Bridle: 2 gp
- Feed (per day): 5 cp
- Saddle: Exotic: 60 gp
- Saddle: Military: 20 gp
- Saddle: Pack: 5 gp
- Saddle: Riding: 10 gp
- Saddlebags: 4 gp
- Brushes and blanket set: 2 gp
The Tavern Edit
The Orc and Bottle is the official name of the tavern only, but it has come to represent the entire complex, and the tavern itself is usually referred to as The Pit, so-named for the fighting pit that dominates the interior space. The layout is designed to accommodate both drinkers, and gamblers watching the brawls - the bar and seating to the right of the entrance, and the pit and stairs to the left. Between the two is a staircase going up to upper levels. Behind the bartop itself (a slab of oak nearly 60' long) is a wall of grotesque trophies - the nailed-up ears, tongues, hands and other sensitive parts that were taken from troublemakers, thieves, and other unsavoury types. Most folk call it the Cockwall and leave it at that.
The pit is 20' deep with a radius of 20'. A set of stone stairs have been carved into the curve of the pit, descending to its floor. The floor is dirt and the walls are carved stone. 8 wall sconces are set into the wall, where lit torches are placed during the Fishday Night Fights.
The upper floors contain sleeping rooms and meeting rooms (2nd floor) and the current owner's quarters (on the 3rd floor).
There are 4 barkeeps, who generally work in pairs, in 10 hour shifts. The tavern is closed from 2am to 6am, daily.
- Aukshirok Mensch (G,M) - Auk is a kindly old man with a weakness for pretty young things. When he's not on shift, he can be found at the bar. If he is approached by anyone speaking the codeword "burned cheese" he will sell whatever narcotics he currently has on his person. He hates Elves and will not hesitate to insult them.
- Lydia Mulroon (H,F) - Lydia is a former adventurer who has traded her sword for an apron. She is gruff, full of bluster, and does not suffer fools lightly. She has an exceptional singing voice and will bodily throw out any troublemakers.
- Yukul Groob (G,M) - Yukul is the youngest of the barkeeps, and has an infectious laugh and a ready smile. A positive person who always looks on the bright side, he's the light and soul of the tavern. At night, however, he indulges his passion for dissecting small animals while they are still alive.
- Hanshire Brin (H,M) - Hanshire is a former bard and is missing one arm. He still has a great singing voice, and oftentimes he and Lydia will perform duets. He does not drink.
- Roast chicken/beef/mutton/pork, potatoes, bread loaf: 1 gp
- Fish stew, bread loaf: 8 sp
- Roasted vegetables: 2 sp
- Meat pie (changes daily): 6 sp
- Sausages, gravy, potatoes: 8 sp
- Cheese platter, bread loaf: 5 sp
- Sweetbread platter, salad: 5 sp
- Catch of the day (changes daily): 5 sp
- Bacon, eggs, bread loaf: 5 sp
- House soup (changes daily): 3 sp
- Mushroom and leek Pie: 5 sp
- Onion and tomato pie: 5 sp
- Pastie: 4 sp
- Raisin/Sweet loaf: 2 sp
- Honey cakes, 4 (seasonal): 6 sp
- Fruit pie (seasonal): 3 sp
Drinks (prices by the glass) Edit
- Ale: 2 sp
- Lager: 5 sp
- Stout: 1 gp
- Elven Feywine: 5 gp
- Dwarven Bloodwhiskey: 4 gp
- Gnomish Spring Wine: 3 gp
- Mead: 2 gp
- Cider: 5 sp
- Vodka: 8 sp
- Sleeping Room, Single: 3 gp/night
- Sleeping Room, Double: 2 gp/night
- Sleeping Room, Group: 1 gp/night
- Meeting Room, 4 hours: 2 gp/hour
- Secure (safe from arcane prying) Meeting Room: +10 gp/day
- Wheel of Fortune: Pick a number for 1 gp, spin the wheel. 10% chance of winning.
- Craps: As per the dice game.
- Backgammon: As per the board game.
- 3-Dragon Ante: As per the in-game game
- Pitfighting: Observers can gamble on the outcome of matches.
Other Locations at the Tavern Edit
- Paradise Gardens: This is a small brothel run by Eshelda Varrick (G,F) and caters mostly to gnomish peccadillos. For an additional fee, Ms. Varrick herself is available for pleasure.
- Mad Jack's Barbery: Jackle Meinhoff (H,M) is an eccentric who performs all the barbering needs for the patrons and staff. When he drinks, he tends to give people Mohawks.
- Temple All-Faith: A benign Elf, Uuly Jacaab (E,M) runs this temple that caters to all religions. For a small fee minor blessings and healings can be performed.
- Blacksmith & Armory: This busy place keeps the guards in weapons and the many fastenings and fixtures that the outbuildings need. It is run by Terrell Merrick (H,M) and employs 4 apprentices.
- Oxo Box: This small shop carries containers of every conceivable shape, design, enchantment and origin. If Oxo Bullshorn (D,M) does not stock it, he'll craft you one or order one and guarantees delivery within 30 days.
- Cartographer's Guild: This professional guild pays handsomely for accurate maps of the surrounding wilderness areas and also will sell crude maps to the public for a hefty fee.
Adventure Hooks Edit
- A group of grifters have come to the tavern, looking to ply their trade. They are quite brazen.
- A succubus has taken up work at the brothel and is killing customers after they leave. The murders are ritualistic and quite brutal.
- Its time for the annual King of the Bullshit competition. The biggest tall-tale wins the prize - a crown of copper and free drinks for the next month. Its the most popular event in the area and everyone is talking about it.
- The annual muster of the Empire has come through. All men and women between the ages of 14 and 30 can sign up with the field troops for a stint of military service. The commander of the muster is a gigantic misanthrope and delights in abusing the new troops. His name is Perkin McDuff (H,M) and he has a secret fetish.
- Someone has had their magic weapon (make something up) stolen! Guards are searching everyone and the patrons are starting to grumble louder and louder. The weapon wasn't actually stolen, but it is hidden.
- The beer has been poisoned and people are hallucinating the strangest things. Mayhem ensues and continues for days (it takes 72 hours for the drug to wear off).
- A mysterious stranger passes a note to one of the party members. It simply says "You are in danger"
- The tavern is attacked by a raiding party of Gibberling. This continues every night for a week.
- The wagons bringing spirits (in crated bottles) have not arrived. Rumors swirl of a new bandit threat.
- The reigning pitfighting Champion has vanished and clues point to foul play.