3 The Black Gull

The Docks are full of taverns and pubs, but given their rough clientele, most honest folk look a bit further into the city for a drink and a meal. The Docks are no place for the mild, and nowhere is this truer than the Black Gull. Squeezed between two warehouses in the eastern part of the Docks near the border to Scurvytown, The Black Gull is a dangerous place that caters to the nastier sorts that visit the city.

The Black Gull is a fixture in Freeport. It takes its name from a huge raven that flew in the door when the bar first opened and refused to leave. The owner, Dill Mackey, started feeding the bird. One night, a sailor who was three sheets to the wind looked up and said, “That’s the blackest gull I’ve ever seen.”

Within days, Mackey renamed the bar and replaced the sign out front with a painting of his favorite pet. Of course, that was years ago, and the sign now shows some wear, but the bird is still there. When it’s not perched on Mackey’s broad shoulder, the raven rests in a wrought-iron cage up behind the bar, relatively safe from the raucous crowd.

The Black Gull is a narrow building with only two walls of its own. The sides are formed by the brick warehouses that rise to either side. Mackey built the back and the front when he claimed the place. The interior is dirty and the floor covered in suspicious stains. A bar runs along one side with wooden stools in front for patrons, and some benches and tables line the opposite side. A few other tables fill up the empty spaces, placed just far enough apart to squeeze between
them. The décor is decidedly spartan—a mariner’s wheel hangs from the ceiling along with a few nets and other junk.

Fights happen like clockwork in the Black Gull. Mackey tolerates them mostly, but whenever anyone comes over the bar or threatens him or any of his staff (which includes three waitresses and a busboy) he lets loose his bouncer, Buster, on them. The Black Gull has prices that range from reasonable to downright
cheap—about half normal. The quality of the booze is rather low but priced right for the thirsty. Mackey doesn’t serve any food in the place—”Gets in the way of the ale,” he complains—but people are welcome to bring it in from elsewhere. They’d better have enough to share, though. A lack of such manners has sparked more than one fight in the place.

Prominent Characters
Vic Mackey: Mackey is a rough-looking man, who is obviously a former sailor. He was born on a ship, and never left the sea until he became too old to pull his weight. He decided to put what little he had saved to good use, and bought a run-down old bar in Freeport, as he had always enjoyed his rare previous visits to the city.

Mackey is in his mid-fifties. He has gray hair and a drooping moustache. The left side of his face is a mass of scar tissue—an injury he is reluctant to talk about in any real detail. He wears simple clothes infested with lice.

Buster: If Vic Mackey has a true friend in the world, it’s Buster. A hulking half-orc brute, he hovers at the edges of the bar, hefting a thick club with nails driven through the business end. Buster doesn’t believe in warnings—that’s Mackey’s department. Buster is just here to bust heads. If trouble breaks out, Buster is the first in and the last out, leaving behind a heap of broken men.

Buster is tall and muscled. He has an olive complexion, and his flesh is covered in thick wiry black hair, making him look a lot like a green gorilla. He wears a vest and breeches. He doesn’t believe in shoes—his human mother beat him with a boot when he was a child.

M.F.: The Black Gull attracts the very worst the Docks has to offer, and a few dangerous men choose this watering hole over most others, including the Rusty Hook. One tough bastard in particular bears mention. He goes by MF, but no one knows what the initials stand for. MF spends three nights a week here, sitting alone and sipping the cheapest swill available. He carved his initials into his chest a couple of years ago and dares anyone to comment on them. MF
is the only regular patron Buster won’t challenge.

Lariya Syrtis: A tall, graceful half-elven woman in her late twenties with dark, wavy hair and smooth, olive skin well tanned by the sun. She invariably wears expensive yet practical-looking clothing, frequently including calf-high leather boots, a black swordsman's shirt with a gold silk sash and archer's bracers. She is almost never seen without her bow, and usually has a fine guitar with her when visiting the local taverns.

She is the daughter of Arel Syrtis, a famed elf sailor and adventurer, who rescued her mother after the small island she lived on was raided by pirates. She eventually grew up and took her place by her father's side on the Sunrunner, his sleek elf-built ship. She aspires to take his role as captain if, as will surely happen soon enough, his wanderlust takes him to a different, more land-bound career.

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