The Griffon's Nest
This article provides more detail on the Griffon’s Nest inn detailed in City of Peril by Ed Stark. Use this article to provide greater flavour and depth for PCs adventuring in the free city of Greyhawk. PCs could elect to stay at the Griffon’s Nest or meet contacts there. Alternatively, the inn is a great place to catch up on the current rumours circulating among adventurers and like-minded individuals.
This small, two-storey inn stands in its own walled compound on The Strip in the River Quarter, opposite McGloogan’s Warehouse (location R6)*. A gaudy picture of two griffons roosting in what appears to be a gigantic bird’s nest decorates the street-facing compound wall.
The Griffon’s Nest is a boisterous (but generally safe) place; the proximity of the Nightwatchmen’s Guildstation (location R5) ensures that any trouble here is relatively low key (and that such trouble generally comes to an abrupt halt shortly after starting). Occasionally, a pickpocket or filcher ventures here in search of drunken adventurers with too much coin, but violent crime (except for the odd brawl) is rare. The Griffon’s Nest is popular with adventurers as well as travellers, thrill-seekers, and mercenaries. Many members of the city watch and the Guild of Nightwatchmen drink here as they receive special, discounted prices.
The inn competes with several other hostelries in the area – particularly the Green Dragon (location R2) and the Low Seas Tavern (location R3) – for trade. Such competition is, however, generally good-natured as the Strip is always teeming with people only too willing to be parted from their coin.
The Griffon’s Nest tends to open around midday and close several hours after midnight (given the nature of its clientele, these times are approximate). Residents, of course, can expect breakfast and can come and go as they please.
A large common room dominates the ground floor, with a stage area on which bards and other entertainers perform nightly. Although the inn has no private dining rooms for hire, it can provide stabling for a patron’s mount – even a druid’s animal companion is welcome here as long as it behaves itself.
The majority of the accommodation is located on the second floor. Most of the rooms are singles, but a few feature bunk beds. (Adventurers sort on coin may always sleep on a friend’s floor, of course). The second floor boasts four bedchambers, with the remaining three on the ground floor. Bedchambers are generally clean and well maintained. Although they offer some privacy from the common room, it can be hard to get much sleep before closing time. The rooms of the ground floor particularly suffer from this problem. The second floor bedchambers are quieter but noise still wells up over the balcony (which overlooks the common room, below). All are lockable for extra privacy but a determined thief could gain access (Open Locks DC 25).
Personalities of the Griffon’s Nest
Curain Nyie (N male half-elf bard 8) a slender, likeable fellow of obvious Flan descent oversees the Griffon’s Nest on behalf of its absentee owner, a mysterious lady who purchased the inn several years ago with a fistful of precious stones. Rendal Kerath (N male human sorcerer 2), a bitter man, runs the kitchen. Not a particularly skilled cook he can manage, however, simple fare such as soups, pies, and stews.
Several down-on-their-luck Grey College students also work here tending bar or waiting on tables. At least three are present during any given evening. Such individuals have normally won a scholarship to the college but must still cover their daily living expenses. A few, however, work here for the fun of it. Either they get a thrill mixing with adventurers or they plan to become one after their studies are complete.
Tall for a half-elf, this man wears his long black hair in a single ponytail that hangs down below his shoulder blades. Clad in fine tight fitting studded leather armour he cuts quite a dashing figure. His right cheek and neck bears the silvery tracing of some very convoluted and old scarring.
Curain (N male half-elf bard 8) is well connected in the River Quarter. If a PC improves his attitude to helpful, he happily asks questions on their behalf. Although this takes twice the time of a normal Gather Information check (Curain is a very busy man) he is far more likely to uncover useful information than most characters (Curain’s total modified Gather Information modifier is +15). While he does not charge for this service, he does expect the PC to buy several drinks and to tip his staff heavily.
Curain is an egotist; he likes to be the centre of attention (occasionally taking to the stage himself) and enjoys showing off his vast esoteric knowledge of the Domain. If he overhears good customers lamenting their lack of knowledge on such matters, he immediately (and loudly) offers his assistance (Knowledge [local] +13, bardic knowledge +10). Secretly, he is terrified of losing the Griffon’s Nest – and the respect of his customers and, thus, provides excellent service. He does not tolerate troublemakers at his inn and, thus, has cultivated many friends in the watch and the Guild of Nightwatchmen.
A native of Celene, Curain began his wanderings over six decades ago. He got his scars during this time when a darkmantle (of a previously unknown subspecies) surprised and almost killed him. Eventually, he arrived at the free city and was amazed by its hustle, bustle, and vibrancy. He has not left since.
This short man has a single bushy eyebrow that gives him a menacing appearance. Perpetually unshaven and bleary-eyed he is clad in food stained clothes. His dark brown hair is extremely unkempt and his breath stinks.
Perpetually scowling, Rendal Kerath (N male human sorcerer 2), is a bitter and disgraced scribe who, several years ago, accidentally immolated several stacks of books at the Great Library after an all night drinking session. Dismissed in disgrace, Rednal took the position of cook and now seems resigned to his lot. Misfortune seems to dog Rendal and, consequently, he is an arch-pessimist; he believes that life is intrinsically unfair and that some higher power has cursed him. Rendal is fiercely proud of his (unimaginative) cooking. Customers criticising it, or lambasting him over its blandness, had better watch what they eat.
Features of the Griffon’s Nest
Although few people stay at the Griffon’s Nest, many pass through its doors each night. Characters spending the evening drinking at the inn receive a +2 circumstance bonus to Gather Information checks made during that time.
The Griffon’s Nest is reputed to be haunted, although the truth of this matter is the source of much conjecture among its patrons. Although Curain smiles at such talk and derides it as the drunken ramblings of some of his most regular customers, a DC 20 Sense Motive check reveals that this subject makes him uncomfortable.
Occasionally, adventurers drinking in the Griffon’s Nest try to sell off their minor magical booty. For every evening the PCs spend in the Griffon’s Nest during a core adventure, roll once on the table below:
1-5: No items are for sale.
If an item is for sale, the seller approaches the PCs and politely enquires if they are interested in buying it.
Living Greyhawk FAQ: How to Handle Buying and Selling
If a PC wishes to purchase one of the items above, list the item and its price in the Items Bought box of the adventure’s AR, noting that the PC purchased the item at the Griffon’s Nest. The PC must pay for the item immediately and only one of each item is available each night. Purchasing the item does not give the new owner the ability to craft the item. Additionally, the item’s price cannot be reduced through haggling.
Rumours and Goings-On
The Free City of Greyhawk has announced the exchange of the eastern Cairn Hills to its good friend, the Palatine Duchy of Urnst. The Cairn Hills Treaty of 584 CY that turned the lands over to Greyhawk is now null and void. After holding the hills and mines in safekeeping for the Duchy, the time has come for the Free City to move the troops tied up in the defence of the Cairn Hills south to engage Greyhawk's vital interests on the Wild Coast and Woolly Bay.
Next year is the free city’s 100th anniversary of independence and freedom from the Great Kingdom. Plans to commemorate the occasion are thought to be well advanced, although there is concern among the Lord Mayor’s advisors that any number of evil cults or individuals may twist the celebrations to their own advantage.
The buffer zone (the narrow strip of land separating the Domain from the lawless lands of the Pomarj) has been particularly quiet of late, with almost no raiding taking place for the last few months. What this period of remarkable peace heralds is unknown, but the Directing Oligarchy is known to be extremely nervous about this unexpected development.
*Location notes (for example, R6) refer to places located on The Adventure Begins map. Additionally, Living Greyhawk Journal issue 2 included a large poster map of the city by Denis Tetreault that shows all the locations mentioned.
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