DreamworldsOnline Mythandar: Roland's Den
ROLAND'S DEN                                  http://www.dreamworldsonline.com/---

Life in the Northern Marches is rough, rugged, often dangerous, and lacking in most of the comforts and distractions of civilization. The climate is harsh with long and severe Winters. Law is a tenuous concept. With the only authority at Northinghall, folk must guard themselves and their property against predators, orcs, bandits and a host of other perils. Life's tough. Folk work hard and play even harder. In Northinghall, Roland's Den is the single establishment that offers food, drink, entertainment and lodging (mostly drink). In local terms, the Den is the place to go to get drunk, get in a fight, or get laid - not necessarily in that order.

The Den is a great timber lodge, resembling nothing so much as a cross between a warriors' hall and a massive winter barn. Some 200 long paces (yards) long and 100 wide, it stands three stories at the peak of the timber and slat roof, with numerous balconies overlooking the town and smoke holes belching black smoke from the fires within. In the early days of the settlement, the building was the central assembly and storage hall. Now that Northinghall has grown, the Den remains at the center of a great sprawl of timber buildings and twisting muddy streets, overwhelmed in size only by Northinghall Keep.

Happy Hour at the Den

ROLAND LONGARM owns the Den and oversees service from behind the bar. He is a towering bear of a man with a thick Northron accent and the disposition of a tyrant. His voice can often be heard booming over the noise of the crowd. However, one snarling threat from him is generally enough to cow the rowdiest reveler. Roland tolerates the occasional brawl or knife fight, as long as there is little damage to the furnishings. He will personally wade in to break up a row that begins to spread too far. Like most Northerners, he has little like or tolerance of magic, and mages who wield their powers openly inside the Den will be be quickly confronted and thrown out (if possible). His staff comes and goes, but there are always at least a dozen local men and women tending the fire, working the kitchen and handing out drinks at the bar. Roland imposes no restrictions against fraternization with the customers, though the serving "wenches" are generally quite capable (and eager) to defend themselves.

Roland Longarm Inside, The First Floor of the Den is one great open common area, affectionately referred to as The Arena. There are wide, double-doored entrances on each of the four sides, so anyone wanting to find a seat inside from which they can "keep an eye on the entrance" will have a hard time of it. The floor is packed earth and gravel covered with straw to minimize the mud. Thick, timber pillars rise three stories high and rough timber roof beams span the space overhead, supporting the upper floors. The center of the Arena is dominated by a massive stone hearth of piled gray stone, rising like a column to the roof, and decorated with skulls of various beasts and monsters. Three fireplace openings in the hearth, each large enough for a man to stand in, hold stacks of blazing logs that shed enough heat to make it uncomfortable to sit nearby. Scattered throughout are rough wooden tables, chairs and benches of every shape and size. Great lantern wheels hang by chains from the roof beams, though the place is always gloomy and the air murky with smoke. In the southwest quadrant of the Arena is an enclosed bar of stained, scarred oak forming a square that surrounds a great stack of kegs (there are no stools at the bar - grab your drink and get out of the way). Ale, mead, and rough liquors are served and scarred wooden plates are handed out to those wishing to dine off the carcass of an elk, deer or boar which is always roasting in one of the fireplaces. Service is pay at the bar, load your plate and try to find a seat. Kicking another patron out of his is an accepted practice. Good luck.

The Second Floor is reached by two curving wooden stairways (one in the northwest corner and the other in the southwest) which open onto a narrow hand-railed gallery above the first level of roof beams, providing a grand view of the Arena below. Off of this gallery are the rooms available to paying customers at a standard rate of one silver moon for a night and day - high-priced in a any other place in Anglamar. However, in Northinghall, Roland can basically charge whatever he wishes. The rooms are sparse, with creaking wooden floors, rough beds and little insulation from the cold or the noise of the common room below. Their doors can be barred from the inside. Shuttered windows open onto the surrounding streets, without window panes so they are open to the sounds and smells of the town and the weather. For extra coin, Roland will give you a key to one of four larger and more comfortable chambers with adjoining balconies on the east and west sides of the building (if you offer to pay more than the person already lodging there, he'll happily kick them out).

Combat and spell-slinging are allowed within the Den. Those who engage in either should expect others to step in, if they have a reason to do so or simply for the fun of it. Brawls are common and quickly spread, so be ready to run or defend yourself. Most of the locals seem to consider brawling a healthy past time, and many are quick to take offense. Roland will intervene if he decides that things are getting out of hand, but most often he lets his customers sort out their differences on their own. The rules of behavior at Roland's are vague, at best, so stay on your toes.

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