11 The Dented Helm

The one thing the Docks aren’t short of is watering holes. To a casual drinker, one might pass by the Dented Helm without thinking twice, but for those with a taste for good brew, there’s no finer pub in the whole city. It’s not for the ambience—there’s none of that mind you—but rather for the beer.

The Dented Helm doesn’t have a fantastic tale or strange legend about it. Instead, it just opened for business one day. Garek, a fighter and master brewer, came to Freeport for no reason he’ll speak of, walked around a bit in the Docks, and picked an old warehouse to set up shop. Some even say he closed his eyes, spun in a circle, and chose the building he saw when he opened his eyes again. In any event, he strolled up to the building, kicked open the door, and started setting the place aright for his new pub. Naturally, the owner was not impressed and threatened to call the Guard. With a grunt, Garek tossed him a fat nugget of gold and told him to sod off.

Since the building is a warehouse, the Dented Helm isn’t much to look at. The only way a person could tell it’s a tavern and brewery is by the yeasty smell coming from inside and by the dented helm nailed to the front door. The interior is just as bland as the exterior, featuring a few tables, a bar, and rows of hardwood casks.

Prominent Characters
Garek: Garek is the most distinctive person here because he always wears an old battered helmet with a dent over his right temple. Even for a dwarf, he’s short and stocky and has a huge barrel chest and stubby legs. He wears his long, gray beard in braids that hang past his prodigious belly. He’s a friendly sort, always with a tale to tell, and he loves fabricating some new fantastic story about how he got the dent in his helm.

Brewing ale, beer, and lager is everything to Garek, and he talks about little else. In fact, he calls each cask his “girl,” and when he makes his rounds, he sometimes leans over to give them a whisper or kiss to ensure the fermentation process goes properly. Garek has never had much use for laws or regulations, and he does pretty much what he wants. When he opened up for business, he threw a party that lasted three days straight and made drunkards of everyone within six blocks.

Harcourt Horkel: It’s a wonder Harcourt Horkel hasn’t wound up floating in the harbor. A swindler and two-bit crook, he drifts from tavern to tavern, cheating on cards, selling bottles of colored water to orcs, and generally ripping off anyone who even shows the slightest sign of believing his tripe. Of late, Harcourt has spent a fair bit of coin—none of which was honestly earned—renovating his carnival ship. A couple times a year, he sets sail, hitting distant ports and swindling the locals and then slipping off before anyone’s the wiser. Harcourt tried this once in Freeport, but the Watch cracked down on him before too many people lost their savings.

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