16
Oct
09

inns and taverns: the barrel

The Barrel has the distinction of being built by dwarves yet it’s location in a human slum makes it less than popular with visitors.  The dwarves did not mind the location and made the best of the local sandstone.  The result is a smooth-walled vault whose walls appear made from terracotta yet which are strong and warm enough to defy the worst winter.  Those who drink here are mostly labourers and slum-dwellers, the occasional dwarf comes to visit.

It’s underground location is found by a short flight of steps to a pulley-powered elevator.  This doubles as security (few drunks have patience and few fops manage the work) and entry.  The pulley is simple enough operation and about a minute’s exertion to raise and lower.  The common room has a number of carved stone seats and benches at the walls with three alcoves (the space for the fourth is the bar) and standing room for thirty at a push – The Barrel alternates between bustling and almost dead.

The Barrel makes it’s own beer (a sweet russet brew) and bakes it’s own fruit bread and meat pastries to consume here or elsewhere.  Prices are cheap and the quality is average so the clientele keep it a secret.  This is a source of alarm for the landlord who would rather more people and less loyalty.  Accommodation is not available yet those unable to work the pulley are allowed to sleep it off but the stone benches and tables aren’t comfortable so most people try to avoid getting that drunk alone.

Water is dispersed by carefully-grooved tiles and air vents covered by stone bas-reliefs of dwarven heroes with holes in their eyes and mouths to remove smoke and stale air yet a fine mist forms at the vault ceiling.  Occasionally in the depths of winter the mist condenses so drops of rain fall on the heads of patrons much to the amusement of the regulars.  The mist is a distinctive feature that some claim is magic but any dwarf worth their salt knows this is just a consequence of it’s construction.

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