2 The Block And Tackle

It takes a lot of muscle power to ensure all the cargo that passes through the district makes it where it needs to go, and it takes a lot of rotgut ale to fuel that muscle. One of the most popular purveyors of low-grade firewater is the Block and Tackle. This fetid watering hole and eatery is a favorite haunt of the longshoremen that work the docks and warehouses of Freeport.

G’narl Longtooth, a thug turned longshoreman turned entrepreneur, and his partner Gizella founded the Block and Tackle ten years ago. G’narl supplied the muscle, Gizella the brains, and between the two of them, they purchases a ramshackle building near the waterfront of the Warehouse District and opened a tavern. The Block and Tackle quickly became a hangout for G’narl’s former colleagues, the longshoremen.

A few years ago, the inn became a popular hangout for slumming aristocrats, led by Mendor Maeorgan. Rumors circulated about their real motives, and eventually G'narl turned up dead. In any case, Maeorgan and the Joy Boys scared off the locals, and business declined until the Joy Boys disbanded after seven of their number were lost fighting the Great Green Fire. Since then, things have picked up again, and the Block and Tackle is once again among the most popular hangouts amongst the warehouses.

Literacy rates being low among longshoremen, the Block and Tackle advertises itself with… a block and tackle, hung over the doors of a two-story wooden building that once saw service as a warehouse. The wide doors are flanked by long windows with wooden shutters rather than glass. Locals can often be found drinking and sitting around on benches or stools in front of the tavern. A sharp-eyed observer might realize that some of these patrons do very little drinking, and spend much more of their time watching passers-by and having whispered conversations with their fellows.

Inside, the tavern is grimy, close, and poorly lit, smelling of cheap booze and bad food. And that’s pretty much the way the patrons like it. Drink prices are discounted for Longshoreman’s Union members, and most nights the place is crowded with them. It’s a rowdy joint, and woe to anyone who says the wrong thing in front of this crowd. Fights are common and expected, and everyone takes them with good cheer as long as the only weapons involved are fists and feet.

The top half of the Block and Tackle contains Gizella’s quarters, Autumn Divers’ office, and a number of private rooms for assignations, deals, and storage of stolen goods. Windows provide convenient access to nearby rooftops or the alleyway behind the tavern.

Prominent NPCs
Gizella: The owner of the Block and Tackle. She is a dour, bitter old woman, who remembers every detail of the losses she has suffered over the last few years. Despite that, she manages to keep her spirits up enough to keep things running, and has become something of a local institution.

Autumn Diver: The eighteen-year-old barmaid and kitchen-hand at the Block and Tackle. Autumn makes up for the dourness of her mistress, and her bad habit of becoming infatuated with every tall, handsome stranger who comes in for a pint has become part of local legend.

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