3 Krom S Throat

Before the founding of Bloodsalt, Krom’s Throat was the toughest, most dangerous dive in Scurvytown, a festering hole fit only for orc pirates. Not much has changed except for the location; Krom’s Throat has been relocated to Bloodsalt to cater to the new district’s orc population. It’s still a dangerous place for any human or elf to approach, let alone enter—and if you’re a hobgoblin on the south side when the bloodgrog starts to flow, may all your gods help you.

Founded a century ago, Krom’s Throat was one of the most notorious dives in Scurvytown, a wretched hive on the edge of the city. Ownership changed over the years, but the clientele didn’t—orcs and half-orcs fight over booze and food and just for the sheer joy of bloodshed. Krom’s Throat was a Freeport institution, one that tourists never cared to visit, and the Sea Lord’s Guard preferred to leave it and its patrons alone.

But when the orcs of Scurvytown began relocating to Bloodsalt, Krom’s Throat lost both clientele and protection. The rising tide of racism in Scurvytown made it difficult for Cragwipe, the tavern’s owner, to buy supplies or stay in operation, and orcs coming into the district to drink came under attack from vigilante groups like the Blackened Knot. Cragwipe saw the writing on the wall and made an easy decision to relocate a few hundred feet to the southern end of Bloodsalt and get all his customers back. The tavern was dismantled and rebuilt (not very well but no one cared), and now it operates much as it always did—loudly, messily, and bloodily. The only real difference is it occasionally gets raided by the Redblade Militia, and when it does, the denizens rouse from their swill and give as good as they get.

Krom’s Throat is a stern-looking structure on the edge of Bloodsalt, made of cinder blocks messily plastered together (the same blocks it was built from in Scurvytown, more or less). There are no windows (though there are occasional gaps in the walls to let air in) and just one door, a slab of oak half a foot thick. There’s no sign outside and no need for a bouncer or secret knock; anybody who walks in that isn’t an orc won’t last long.

Inside, the tavern is an offense to civilized sensibilities. There are no tables, no barstools—there’s not even a bar. Four cisterns, each the size of a cathedral bell, run along the wall opposite the door; at the bottom of these titanic vats are scores of iron nipples. A handful of coin gets you the right to fight for a spot at those teats all night. It doesn’t matter which tank you end up squeezed underneath, either—the only drink on the menu is bloodgrog, the orc favorite. As for food, Cragwipe usually sets up a trough of pig’s feet, squid arms, and live eels. The same payment gets you a chance to nose into that line, along with lodging for a night. Those orcs that can’t fit into the building when the doors close for the night usually bed down in nearby shanties or hovels; some sleep in the streets, but they risk being picked up by the Redblade Militia for loitering.

Krom’s Throat sees more than its share of violence. It wouldn’t be a night without at least a half-dozen brainings, clan wars, brawls with the Militia, and general bloody mayhem. Around daybreak, when the party ends, the blubbery snores of orc sailors bedded down in the underbrush is enough to chill even the hardiest seaman. And heavens forbid you’re around when Cragwipe hoses down the joint for the next night. Let’s just say if you thought a dirty orc was worth avoiding, you’d probably want to steer clear of a grudgingly clean orc.

Prominent NPCs
Cragwipe: Cragwipe has run Krom’s Throat for about a dozen years, and in that time he’s pretty much seen it all. The middle-aged ex-sailor is tough as nails but much more laidback than most of his brethren; he’d rather have a drink and make some gold than get into a fight. Getting muscled out of Scurvytown was inconvenient, but Cragwipe has simply shrugged and kept going on as before, secure in the knowledge that there’ll always be money to be made getting orcs drunk.

Karl the Kraken: One of Freeport’s most notorious criminals, a professional thug, arsonist, and killer. The tattooed half-orc used to be an enforcer for Milton Drac but went freelance after his death; he escaped his sentence in the Hulks during the Great Green Fire and has been on the lam ever since. Karl spends most of his time in Krom’s Throat, safe in the knowledge that the Sea Lord’s Guard aren’t going to bother hunting him down in Bloodsalt. Unfortunately, there aren’t many in Bloodsalt who need his services, and while Karl’s happy to kill and destroy for sheer enjoyment, money is tight. He needs contacts in Scurvytown and Drac’s End who can hook him up with clients—and possibly help him get in and out of the city to pull off some jobs.

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