Previews08/02/2007


Previews for August and Beyond



THE GREEN DRAGON INN

The Green Dragon Inn is located in Greyhawk's River Quarter, along a wide street crowded with rivermen, cutthroats, and thieves. At night the two-story stone building comes alive with activity, the sound of boisterous laughs and the sight of flickering windows attracting custom from all quarters of the city. Most of the shabby clientele are locals, Dockway bully-boys or bargefolk looking for cheap drinks and good atmosphere. The Dragon provides the latter in quantity, for its proprietor does little to quell light violence and overtly encourages enthusiastic drinking and carousing. Weapons and armor are allowed (and a wise precaution). It's a dangerous place but a friendly one, as long as no one harms the staff.

The Green Dragon's inviting taproom swells to capacity of nearly sixty patrons on weekend evenings and remains busy into the small hours of the morning. Against the back wall, to the right of the expansive and well-stocked bar, is a raised platform supporting a private dining area with a fireplace and a long mahogany table capable of seating eight. When he is not mingling with his patrons, Damaris holds court from the dais, surrounding himself with a coterie of intriguing folk. Since he considers the PCs his saviors, he frequently invites them to join him at the "Lord's Table."

For more than thirty years, adventurers have favored the Green Dragon Inn as a font of information about strange happenings in the city, unexplored tombs in the Cairn Hills, and even rumors about "lost levels" of Castle Greyhawk. The more adventurers who frequent the tavern, the deeper the information network grows, and the gregarious Ricard Damaris -- seldom far from the taproom -- is there to hear it all. Ricard closely follows events these days out of curiosity, but in an earlier time, information was the sole purpose of the inn. Robilar was a regular in the tavern until his betrayal of the Circle of Eight in 582 CY, but even then he didn't want anyone to know he was the owner. No overt signs of Robilar's involvement in the establishment remain, but a clever PC can figure it out easily enough.

The kitchen's specialty is "Quij's Plate," a heaping bowl of undercooked sausages and soggy potatoes large enough to please an ogre. A successful DC 18 Knowledge (history) or bardic knowledge check confirms that Quij was the name of an orc henchman of Lord Robilar. He has not been seen in years. If asked about it, Ricard smiles wistfully and recalls that the orc was a regular patron years ago but disappeared after Lord Robilar was run out of town back in 570 CY. He never admits Robilar's financial stake in the Inn, instead claiming that he owns the place himself and always has (a story that checks out according to the city's office of records).

The inn's second floor boasts several rooms for rent, each accommodating up to two characters. Only three rooms are available when the PCs first visit the inn, so members of larger groups might have to suffer the indignity of sleeping on the floor. Ricard and his staff live on the premises in a series of apartments off a hall from the guest quarters.

All prices for food, drink, and lodging conform to the standards set forth in the Player's Handbook.

THE GREEN DRAGON'S STAFF

Ricard supports a staff of eight, four of whom are on duty at any one time. The following notes will help you personalize the staff and add color to one of the adventure's critical locations.

Ricard Damaris ("owner," proprietor): At the age of twenty-five, Ricard Damaris fought in one of the most pivotal battles in modern history on the fields of Emridy Meadows against the denizens of the Temple of Elemental Evil. He came away from the battle missing the fourth finger on his left hand and with an odd triangular scar on the left side of his chin. He also left with a firm understanding that the world was a fascinating place filled with hidden wonder, and set off for an adventurer's life. Years later, in the Village of Hommlet, Ricard fell into service with Lord Robilar and became one of the accomplished fighter's most trusted associates. Thirty-six years ago, when Robilar asked him to give up the adventuring life and run the Green Dragon Inn, Damaris jumped at the chance, eager for an easy retirement and fully cognizant of his luck in surviving even this long.

The tall, gruffly handsome man looks about a decade younger than his sixty-one years. He wears his thick black hair down to his shoulders, and he dresses fashionably but not ostentatiously. Ricard reveres Olidammara, the Laughing Rogue, and encourages the boisterous character of his inn, believing it to be the secret to its continuing financial success. Fistfights, broken-bottle battles, and even dagger duels don't bother him unduly, though he might step in with a heavy club if a brawl gets out of hand. His regulars know when to stop.

If more serious weapons are drawn, dangerous magic is used, or if a member of his staff is attacked, Damaris does not hesitate to draw his own weapon (now a fine steel +2 longsword in lieu of the blade of chaos) and attack the offender until he flees into the street. On a few occasions Damaris has killed an unruly patron outright.

Ricard's wife, Florence, and his twenty-six-year-old daughter have moved to land they recently inherited outside Dyvers. He still adores them and visits a few times a year. Damaris doesn't really care about Robilar's "betrayal," since he has never trusted his master's dealings with wizards. He holds Mordenkainen in particular disdain, claiming that he and the treacherous Rary are more similar than they are different.

Ricard Damaris can be used to introduce the PCs to other characters from the neighborhood, push along a lagging adventure by feeding them an important overheard clue, or foreshadow later events with Lord Robilar in the dungeons below Castle Greyhawk. The PCs should come to know him as a trusted friend and a strong ally.

Gulthen (bartender, evening): A friendly, bald man with muscular forearms, Gulthen (N male human expert 2) serves his customers with an open ear and generous pours for good tippers. Once he has developed a bond with a PC, he sees it as his duty to point out attractive members of the opposite sex and "tough customers" who shouldn't be trifled with.

Dendra (bartender, day): A thin, sarcastic woman with gray hair tied back by a multicolored cord, Dendra (NG female human expert 3) doesn't care for small talk with customers. She is frazzled by the influx of pilgrims and festival-goers that keep the Green Dragon busy even during the afternoon, and she talks openly about leaving for another job that "might turn out."

Tolenn Tolan (cook): This dark-skinned cook speaks with a thick accent from the fallen Duchy of Tenh, several hundred miles to the northeast. He fled to the Free City in the dying days of the Greyhawk Wars and brought a previously missing culinary flair to the Dragon when he joined as night cook two years ago. Fiercely proud, Tolan (N male human expert 4) brooks no complaints about his cooking and frequently emerges from the kitchen to berate disrespectful customers.

Mevissin (cook): Mevissin (N female human commoner 5) has worked for Damaris almost a decade, sticking with him through good times and bad. Her cooking brings no honor to the establishment, but Ricard sees her as an older sister and will not lift a finger against her. She lost a nephew in Castle Greyhawk twenty years ago, and personally warns the PCs against exploring the place if she hears that they intend to do so.

Bethel (barmaid): Competent and dedicated to her simple duties, Bethel (NG female human commoner 1) is the newest of Ricard's staff, and hence is saddled with the earliest, least lucrative shifts and is responsible for cleaning the place in the morning. She wanted to be an adventurer when she was a little girl, and working at the Green Dragon Inn is probably as close as she will ever come.

Birgit (barmaid): Chatty and exuberant to a fault, the pale-skinned, round-faced Birgit (NG female human commoner 2) thinks of herself as a friend of regular patrons, making a point to remember their names and favorite orders.

Lindara (barmaid): Damaris plucked Lindara (N female human expert 3) from the Sea Willow, a brothel two blocks away on the notorious Strip. The intelligent, beautiful woman vastly prefers her new job to the old, not least because she is free to slap customers who offend her. Lindara respects those who respect her, and might find herself attracted to a gallant PC capable of taking her away from the hardscrabble life of the River Quarter.

Evessa Gale (barmaid): A quick tongue and a good eye for trouble have kept the red-haired half-elf Evessa Gale (N female half-elf commoner 4) in business at the Green Dragon Inn since its first day of operation. Ricard considers her among his best of friends, paying her a scandalously high salary for her services (with the approval of Robilar, who adores her playful humor). On orders from Damaris, she strongly encourages her customers to drink to excess, questioning their courage and fortitude if they appear to demur. The quarreling clientele of the Green Dragon seldom agrees on anything, but nearly all of the patrons consider Evessa Gale a friend.

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