The Flower in the Sepulcher
Byzantine political machinations, secret annexes and noble strongholds are all well and good, but the only question any veteran adventurer really wants the answer to is “where can I get a drink around here?” So, by popular demand, find below a list of the City of Keels and Piles’ public houses, ranging from the very finest to the lowest wine-sinks. Organized by district.
The Water-Clock: See Flux
The Stray Petal: An ornately carved barge that circumnavigates the central island on which the Blossom of the City sits, this restaurant, cafe and bar is considered one of the finest locations for Treff-style cuisine with some fine dining flair. The desserts are legendary; the Blossom-Water cakes are especially lauded.
King Seax’s Lament: Named after the famous ballad of an emperor of the Horselords who died in exile, this drinking hall is renowned for showcasing Treff’s finest musicians and their patrons.
The Soggy Rune: see North Dockside.
Tallfellows: A bar mostly patronized by highlanders; that is, human expatriates from the Kingdom of the Ram
The Dwarven Mutual Society of Treff Meeting Hall: Technically the headquarters of civic-minded members of Treff’s dwarven community, this hall also serves fine beers and ales to discerning palates of all heights.
The Lady in Grey: See Carmine
The Moon and Owl: A winery and cafe owned and patronized by high elves of Treff, this is a good place to find gossip pertaining to elite Treffmen with pretensions of bohemianism.
Cinnabar: A rather rough-and-tumble sort of place for Carmine district, this floating bar moors wherever it can find space from night to night. Its halfling proprietor is known to host bare-knuckle prizefights.
Jasper and Jester’s Den of D-Adjectives: See Figaro
Pelican’s Nest: According to local legend, the pelican familiar who sits on a perch behind the bar is the real owner of the place; a Treff hedge wizard whose polymorph spell went awry. Pending his cure, however, this upper-crust establishment is run by a gnome woman who is also one of the heads of Treff’s Alchemist Guild.
The Polling Place: An expat bar for Ermine Republic citizens. It has a convivial, boisterous feel and is a good place to listen for news pertaining to politics both local and foreign.
The Half-Shell: Carved out of a truly colossal mussel shell, this bar is accessible to both aquatic and terrestrial clientele. The peculiar acoustics of the shell make this bar a popular, affordable venue for local musicians.
Perella’s Doublecross: Perella deSerpico was a river pirate of great renown much beloved by anti-establishment Treffers, which is most of them. This bar was set up by one of her second mates who survived the ambush on her vessel, Anophelia’s Joke, after she was betrayed. Especially popular among aquatic elves.
Bar For Humans: This rather literally named place was set up on a pier jutting out over the yurian ghetto by a well-meaning if somewhat uncreative crabfolk. Races other than humans are of course welcome. The food is of excellent quality and the decor is hauntingly beautiful, featuring gentle spiral patterns in kelp, wood and shell media. Wist, the barkeep, is a much loved local character whose adventuring days are past him now.
The Full Quiver: See South Fen
The Knight of Nails: Named after the wooden statue covered in carpenters nails that stands a short distance away, this establishment is a well regarded and very popular pillar of South Fen nightlife. Its many small meeting-rooms and proprietor’s respect for privacy mean that many organizations with clandestine objectives meet here.
The Carpenter’s Arms: This is a bar tailored to the working men and women of the district, with cheap beer and filling food. Adventurers might benefit from dropping by from time to time to see if any local mutual benefit societies need help.
The Busy Hive: See The Jakes
Grom’s Place: This originally named watering hole is built in the traditional orcish style, with a tent serving swill mostly secondary to a large, circular pit where blood sports of various types are held. Not exclusively for orcs, monstrous humanoids of all stripes and forms come here.
Passing As: This curiously named bar seems to have no especially distinct clientele, but it is a refuge for those wretched creatures called the “mongrelfolk” who, as the genetic refuse of many races, are welcomed by none. An auxiliary thieves’ guild operates here, but whether it is sanctioned by the Collective Friend or not is unclear.
The Horseman’s Rest: Despite the rather pedestrian name, this is clearly an establishment for the wealthy and noble. The imperial standard flying from its flagpole gives no doubt as to its allegiance and non-human or non-Imperial customers are likely to meet with a chilly reception if they are allowed inside at all.
Abelard’s: This public house is open 24 hours a day and is constantly filled with the hubbub of commerce; its location just off the Treff Grain Exchange makes it an ideal location for merchants to strike deals, celebrate success and drown their sorrows. It has a job board for mercenaries and adventurers.
The Gilded Lily: One would think such a name was a choice selected ironically, but if so the joke is clearly lost on the patrons here. This bar is a parochial mock-up of high Quelldawn cuisine, fashion, decor and manners. Fat merchants’ wives and foppish second sons of second sons bump elbows at a long mahogany bar. If your name isn’t on the list you aren’t getting in, but Gods above and below, why would you want to?
The Busted Trebuchet: Founded by a younger daughter of the exiled Limber family who decided to go into business for herself, this is a much beloved meeting place for the rank-and-file soldiers who fled the Civil War in the Empire, as well as exiled nobles who have more liberal attitudes towards drinking with the men.
The Trail-Sign: “Because if you’re worth your bow, you’ll find it”, this bar’s marquee proclaims. The local watering-hole for the Sawgrass rangers sits on a small wooded island just off the rangers’ stronghold. Contests to bring back some strange item from the swamp (the pinfeather from an albino parrot, the third eye from a beholder, an acorn from a titan tree) are held regularly, with prizes and fame for the victor.
The Blind Bailiff: So named because only such a bailiff would ever permit the sort of revelry and sloppiness usually found among members of the Order who find their way to this run-down tavern built out of an old barracks. Complete with strong, bitter beer and barmaids who will adamantly deny having seen you when the sergeant comes looking (for a generous tip).