The Thirsty Dwarf is typical of most taverns in the Travellers Lodging area of town. The tavern, like most of the buildings in Travellers Lodging, is a small 3 storey building. The Thirsty Dwarf, like its owner, is showing signs of wear and age. The floors are worn and faded, and the stairs creak with every step. The chairs are mismatched, and the curtains are frayed. But, one thing that the Thirsty Dwarf has is character.
The Thirsty Dwarf is own by Gunthar Ulrich (AC 10, F2, HP 15, AL LG, S15, I11, W12, D10, C14, CH13, Sv F2), a former Sell Sword, who realised early in his career that life was short enough as it was, and that his life need not end prematurely by the edge of a blade. When Gunthar gained this insight he used what wealth he obtained from his short career as a Sell Sword to purchase the Thirsty Dwarf. That was over 22 years ago, and Gunthar has never once regretted his decision in changing his career path.
Gunthar is a man in his mid-forties, but looks ten years older. Gunthar is a stocky man of above average height, who has put on a few inches around his waste (a few inches is bit of an understatement) since retiring from his career as a Sell Sword. Gunthar's hairline is receding, and what little hair he has remaining is starting to grey.
Gunthar has a deep voice, which he uses to greet customers upon enter his establishment. He is a talkative man, who enjoys having conversations with his customers. Gunthar does have a tendency to repeat himself, and all to often talks about the same thing over and over again. Despite these traits, Gunthar is a genuine person, and is always willing to go the extra mile to help a friend.
Gunthar typically works behind the bar, where he serves drinks and interacts with his customers. Gunthar brews his own ale, which is something that he is proud of (his customers are too polite to point out that his skills at brewing need a lot of work).
Working alongside Gunthar is Shamy "Honey" Ulrich (AC 10, Lv 0, HP 6, AL LG, Sv F0), Gunthar's beloved wife of over 20 years. Honey, a nickname coined by her loving husband, is a plump woman in her forties who has a head full of messy auburn hair, a round face and a warm smile. While not as loud or talkative as her husband, Honey is equally as genuine and nice.
Honey has remarkable talents as a cook. Where Honey's talents lies with cooking is that she able to cook with very little meat (meats are an expensive commodity in Autumn's Reach), while bringing out the full flavours of the meat in her dishes. This allows the Ulrichs to stretch their budget that much further, while providing large and hearty portions to their customers.
Gunthar and Honey have always wanted to have children, but due to the will of the gods, they have never been able to. However, their lives have been blessed with Maurknot, their dog, who has made their family complete.
Maurknot is a medium sized dog with pointed fox-like ears, and a coat of coarse golden brown and white fur. Maurknot often hangs around the common area of the tavern, greeting customers with a friendly bark and begging for scraps of food (Maurknot will sit by the customers' feet, and give them his sad dog look).
The long time customers of the Thirsty Dwarf have noticed some odd things about Maurknot. Some customer have observed seeing Maurknot one moment, then the next moment he is gone. Others claims that to Maurknot has been in two places at one time (many believe that there is another dog in town that looks exactly like Maurknot). But, the strangest thing about Maurknot that the long time customers have observed, is that Maurknot never seems to age. He has been a part of the Thirsty Dwarf as long as any of the long time customers could remember, but no one knows exactly when Maurknot first appeared at the tavern.
Even to Gunthar and Honey, Maurknot's first appearance is a mystery. When asked about this, Gunthar and Honey will give a puzzled expression on this face, and will try to recall when Maurknot first appeared. Gunthar and Honey know that they have had Maurknot for many years, but they do not know when or how Maurknot made his first appearance.
Maurknot is no ordinary dog; rather, he is a Blink Dog (AC 5, Mv 12, HP 22, HD 4, AL LG, see Monster Manuel for more detail). No one in Autumn's Reach has figured this out; most assume Maurknot is an exceptionally intelligent dog with an unique ability of appearing at the right place at the right time. While Maurknot is not an aggressive dog, he is fiercely loyal to his owners and will protect them if the need arises.
Gunthar and Honey employee two additional staff members who help them in the operations of their business. Each of these staff members has an unique back story, and a reason for working at the Thirsty Dwarf.
Gromnya Breghore (AC 10, Lv 0, HP 7, AL NG, Sv F0) is the newest addition to the Thirsty Dwarf, having been hired a year ago. Gromnya is a Half-Orc teenager, who spent her childhood growing up in an orphanage. She knows very little about her parents, except that her father was a Sell Sword named Haulm Breghore, and her mother was an exiled orc named Goarja.
Gromnya grew up with the belief that both her parents were dead, but a month ago, a Caravan Guard passing through Autumn's Reach said he encountered a Sell Sword named Haulm Breghore in a town some 200 miles away. Whether or not the Sell Sword is Gromnya's father is uncertain. A part of Gromnya wants to travel to this faraway town to see if there is any truth to the Caravan Guard's tale. However, Gromnya lacks the means of making this journey.
Gromnya, like most half-orcs, has a broad frame and a protruding jaw line full of large and crooked teeth (her smile is said to send shivers down a man's spine). Gromnya stands nearly 6 feet tall, and weighs 230 lbs (most of her weight is due to her muscles). Like many of her kin, Gromnya is naturally strong, and has the equivalent strength of a STR 17 (and CON 16).
Gromnya is a hard worker and is well liked by Gunthar and Honey. Gromnya performed a variety of duties at the Thirsty Dwarf, which includes serving the meals and drinks, doing the laundry and cleaning the rooms.
Ethnys Thorsas (AC 10, Lv 0, HP 2, AL CN, Sv F0) is the other employee working for the Thirsty Dwarf. Ethnys is a human woman in her late 60s, who lost her husband six years ago. After her husbands passed, she moved in with her son, a local Rat Catcher, and his wife. However, shortly after moving in with her son, a conflict arose with her son's wife which resulted in Ethnys being forced out of her son's home.
When she was forced out of her son's home, she paid a visit to the Thirsty Dwarf, a tavern her and her late husband were regular customers of. Gunthar, hearing Ethnys' story, hired her on at the Thirsty Dwarf and gave her a place to stay.
Ethnys' work ethic is petty much the opposite of Gromnya's. While Gromnya is hard working and always eager to help out, Ethnys is lazy and uses excuses to get out of doing work. Ethnys is very capable of hard work, but goes to great efforts to create the illusion that she is not capable of performing specific tasks.
Gunthar pays Gromnya and Ethnys the same amount, despite the fact that Gromnya does twice the amount of work as Ethnys (and never complains). Gromnya and Ethnys receive 4 silver pieces per day of work, plus tips, which varies from 1 to 8 copper pieces per day. However, both Gromnya and Ethnys live at the Thirsty Dwarf, and are deducted 16 copper coins per day for room and board (which includes their room, use of the bath and laundry and meal and drinks; Gromnya and Ethnys share a room on the third floor). Therefore, their pay after deductions for each day is 2 silver and 4 copper coins (plus tips).
To rent a room for the night costs 2 silver pieces. Each room has two beds, and are typically shared by two people. If there are more than two people renting a room, then Gunthar will charge an extra 5 copper per person per night.
Honey is a fantastic cook, and she serves generous portions of food at the Thirsty Dwarf. While the meals are made out of inexpensive vegetables, grains and cheaper cuts of meat, the meals meet the nutritional requirements for a healthy diet.
Typically, Honey only makes one type of dinner each day. Below is a list of the different dinners that are available at the Thirsty Dwarf (a D8 could be used to randomly generate what meal is being served for dinner).
There are 2 types of dinner options available at the Thirsty Dwarf:
Breakfast is included with the rental of the rooms for the night, and consists of Roasted Barley Tea, Honey Buns, porridge and fresh fruit if in season (dried or candied fruit if fresh fruit is unavailable). Rarely will meat be served as part of the breakfast. If someone is not staying overnight in the inn but is interested in breakfast, the breakfast will cost 3 copper coins. The breakfast is very filling (Honey Buns are very hearty and full of fibre), and should be able to tide one over until dinner (this is why only breakfast and dinner are served at the Thirsty Dwarf).
Every meal is served with Honey's famous buns, affectionately named Honey Buns by the customers of the Thirsty Dwarf. Honey Buns are hearty buns made out of barley, oats and rye. Honey buns are very filling, and many customers have joked that they are a meal itself. Honey Buns have a delightfully sweet taste, which the customers attribute to honey being added to the buns. However, since honey is an expensive commodity, Honey obtains the sugars from apples, pears and various fruits to flavour her buns.
Honey always makes extra buns, and gives her extra buns to her customers when they depart on their travels. Honey Buns could last for up to 3 days before becoming stale, and are edible for up to five days. Thus, Honey Buns could be substituted as rations as long as they are eaten within five days. Six Honey Buns are equivalent to a day's worth of rations.
Honey make her buns every morning, and those sleeping in inn wake up to the delightful aroma of the Honey Buns baking in the ovens. Honey keep her recipe a secret, and when asked for the recipe she smiles and say "the recipe is a family secret".
If a customer is interested in buying Honey Buns, Honey will charge 3 copper coins for a dozen Honey Buns.
There is only one choice of ale available at the Thirsty Dwarf, and it is the House Ale, which brewed by Gunthar. The House Ale is a light ale, with a low alcohol content and a grainy after taste (it typically takes twice as much House Ale to feel the same effects of intoxication as other ales). One will typically find a dozen or so hops in each glass of ale (the hops helps preserve the ale). Gunthar's House Ale is not the best tasting ale in Autumn's Reach, but Honey's extraordinary cooking certainly makes up for this.
The House Ale is available in Pitchers, Pints and Halfling Pints. A Pitcher contains roughly 4 pints of ale and costs 6 copper pieces. A Pint of ale costs 2 copper pieces. A Halfling Pint is half a pint of ale and is served in a smaller mug. It costs 1 copper piece.
Since grapes do not grow in Autumn's Reach, traditional wines (made from grapes) are imported into the town. This makes the price of wine very expensive, and only accessible by the wealthy. However, a number of the townsfolk in Autumn's Reach have made their own wines from locally grown fruits and berries.
Honey makes her own wine from the fruits that are grown locally (apples and pears). Honey allows her wine to age for a least 6 months before serving it. Those use to drinking traditional wines will notice the unique taste of the House Wine served at the Thirsty Dwarf. The House Wine costs 2 copper coins for a glass (half a pint) and 6 copper for a wine pitcher (2 pints)
The Gunthar does not own a still, and therefore obtains his spirits through bartering (Gunthar barters his home made ale for the spirits). The spirits are of a lower quality, but have a high concentration of alcohol (40% concentration of alcohol). A shot of spirits (quarter of a pint) costs 2 copper pieces.
Laundry serves are provided at the Thirsty at a rate of 2 to 5 copper pieces per article of clothing (a shirt may cost 2 copper pieces to wash, while a heavy jacket may cost up to 5 copper). Gromnya does most of the Laundry, and does an excellent job at it.
It costs 5 copper pieces for the use of the bath, which includes a small bar of soap. Hot baths are popular among travellers passing through Autumn's Reach. The soap, which is also used for the laundry, is made from the excess animal fats from the meat served at the Thirsty Dwarf, and are scented with the pedals of locally grown flowers.
The architecture of the Thirsty Dwarf is typical of most buildings in the Travellers Lodging district. The building is 25 feet wide, 40 feet deep and 3 storeys high, with an underground cellar below the main floor. The Thirsty Dwarf, like most of the other buildings in the Travellers Lodging area of town, was built a shortly after the creation of the Wall, when Autumn Reach experienced a large population growth.
The Thirsty Dwarf, originally called the Rangers Holdings, had 4 owners before Gunthar purchased the tavern some 22 years ago. There are rumour that the second owner, who mysteriously disappeared, was a skilled thief who hid a map containing the location of his hidden treasure somewhere in the tavern. Whether or not these rumours are true, no one knows.
The Thirsty Dwarf is located on the north side of Travellers Road, which is a long road passing through the Markets, the Teamsters District, the Artisans Quarters, and the Travellers Lodging Area. The entrance to the Thirsty Dwarf faces south, while the back door of the tavern enters into an alley.
Sewer System. The ancient temple, which is now the centre of the town, was connected to a vast sewage system that reaches to what now are borders of the town. Whoever designed the temple had an excellent understanding of engineering, and the sewer system is a testament to their knowledge. The Thirsty Dwarf, like most of the building in Autumn's Reach, has toilets connecting to the sewer system.
The first floor of the Thirsty Dwarf contains the dinner area, the bar and kitchen. In any given evening, if one enters the Thirsty Dwarf, they will get greeted by a friendly "bark" by Maurknot, and see Gunthar behind the bar interacting with a group of his regular customers who are gathered around the bar. Every now and then Gunthar will burst into laughter when one of his customer tells him a funny story. A delightful aroma will be coming from the kitchen as Honey is baking one of her famous meals.
The second floor contains the inn rooms, washrooms, and the bath and laundry room. The beds in each of the rooms are simple, but sturdy, beds with mattresses filled with straw. The bed sheets and blankets are showing signs or age and wear; however, they are clean, and have the delightful scent of Honey's homemade soap.
The Third Floor contains more inn rooms, as well as Gunthar and Honey's private suite. Maurknot sleeps at the foot of Gunthar and Honey's bed at night.
The cellar is where Gunthar brews his ale, and where the barrels of ale and wine are stored. The cellar is access through a ladder connecting to the kitchen. There is also a pulley system connected to a wooden platform, which allows barrels of ale and wine to be transported between the kitchen and the cellar. The cellar also contains a secret passageway leading into the sewers (neither Gunthar or Honey knows about this).
The second owner of this building was a skilled thief named Khanzuin, who used the tavern as a front for his criminal operations. Khanzuin hid much of his wealth down in the sewers, and built a secret passageway from the cellar to the sewers to access his hidden treasure. Khanzuin met an untimely end, and the secrets of the hidden treasure were buried with him.
Secret Door. There are two secret doors leading to the passageway to the sewers. Once spotted, the secret doors are easy to open, as they involved pushing two brinks on the secret door simultaneously.
Trap. There is a trap located between the two secret doors. This trap involves a weighted trigger underneath a row of the tiles on the floor (the trapped tiles are 3 feet wide). The weighted trigger activates a poisonous gas that is released from the ceiling above the triggered tiles. The poisonous gas has a radius of 25 feet. All those in the radius must make a Saving Throw vs Paralyzation, Poison and Death Magic with a -2 penalty.
The poisonous gas will enter into the players' eyes, noise and mouth. On a failed save, the players will be blinded, lose their sense of smell and their ability to talk for the next 3 to 12 (D10 +2) hours; plus they will take 3 to 18 (3D6) points of damage from the poison. The trap has enough poisonous gas in it to be released up to 3 more times (the trap could be triggered 4 times in total).
Once the trap is detected, the players could either attempt to disarm the trap, or to step over the trapped tiles to avoid triggering the trap again.