10 The Keelhaul

An embarrassing and disreputable tavern, the Keelhaul is a haunt favored by pirates. The tavern sits in a backstreet corner near the Dockside gate, and has always been the first tavern reached from there. Consequently, it has always attracted a rough crowd. This has generally been tolerated as it keeps those customers from getting further into the Old City and disrupting the classier establishments there.

History
The Keelhaul has been around for decades. This is longer than most such cheap taverns endure for, and this longevity has given it a reputation. Many sailors make a point of stopping in here each time their ship returns to the city. Rumor holds that the inn was once the closest tavern to the docks before the establishment of the Docks district, but nobody has been able to confirm that.

The inn changes hands regularly, as various gangs fight for control of this valuable foothold in the Old City. Despite this, the building itself has never been seriously damaged.

Description
The Keelhaul is an unspectacular, three-floored wooden structure set amid the row houses of the Old City. The exterior is left more or less undecorated, except for a time-worn painting of a pirate ship set above the door. Inside, it features a bizarre collection of random items donated by returning sailors, many of them damaged in subsequent fights.

Prominent NPCs
Rentan Yager: A powerfully built, surprisingly charismatic man, Yager is the current proprietor of the inn. He frequently dresses in the uniform of a soldier of Amador, for reasons nobody quite understands (he grew up in Freeport, and has never left Skull Island). He took over the inn in the wake of the last gang war a few years ago, and generally runs a tight ship. He has less tolerance for violence than most previous owners, and consequently maintains a better staffed security force.

Captain Jacob Lydon: Lydon is a tall fat man, with a mouthful of brown rotting teeth, squinty eyes, and patchy hair on his head. His chin is always covered with stubble and he reeks of cheap rum. He tries to keep up his appearance to fit his station and sometimes buys expensive clothes from the Street of Dreams, but no matter how much coin he spends, he almost always comes off looking shabby, as if he just washed up on the shore.

Loud, boisterous, crass, and every bit the pirate he always was, Lydon is a colorful character with simple tastes and grand ambitions. He spends his money on drinking, smoking, and loose women. He made his name as the captain of a pirate ship known as The Gambit. A reckless freebooter, he sailed all the seas of the world, following up any lead for treasure no matter how mysterious or dangerous. Sometimes these ventures paid off; most times, they didn’t. But in every case, he always came home to Freeport with a new bloodcurdling tale of the high seas with which to regale his audience.

Now, he aspires to be named to the Captains' Council, and will take any available opportunity to lobby for that role. He has not yet made enough influential friends, but is popular among the ordinary people of the city.

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