8 The Broken Mug

The Broken Mug Inn is an eyesore—a festering wound sagging at the end of a rickety pier at the outer edge of Scurvytown. Taking its name from the most common sort of weapon found in the place—a broken mug—it has a nasty reputation as a dive and watering hole for the poor and destitute. Few people brave the approach to the run-down inn, and fewer stay there for long, preferring the finer establishments further inside the Docks.

Dakarta Gringsson, a dwarf expatriate from Eroth, came to Freeport with a few coppers in her pocket, an axe over her shoulder, and a sour attitude. She tried her hand as a mercenary but found she no longer had the stomach for it. Searching for a way out of the business, she spent most of her evenings swilling thin ale at the Broken Mug inn. The owner, a lecherous fellow with a taste for dwarf maidens, offered to make Dakarta his partner in exchange for warming his sheets. Sensing an opportunity, Dakarta agreed, and on the first night of their “romance,” she strangled the man and dumped his body in the harbor through a trap door in the main room. The Broken Mug has been hers ever since.

The Broken Mug Inn looks like it was vomited out of Scurvytown into the sea only to catch on the end of a rotting pier to which no captain in his right mind would tie his ship. It leans treacherously over the edge of the water, and in certain places, swirling dark waters can be seen through holes in the floor. The interior is particularly noisome. Three-legged tables, unstable stools, and an old bar across the back are all the seating available, and most nights, patrons just stand around, leaning against the walls while they mutter and grumble about their misfortunes.

There are rooms to let on the second floor of the Broken Mug. These rooms are cheap and simple, but most have a wonderful view of the harbor. However, once the workday begins in the predawn hours, the noise can be awful. Food is served here as well. It’s actually good, and it’s not unusual to see the upper crust occasionally dining here, during the day of course.

Dakarta is tough enough to bounce unruly patrons herself. If anyone really annoys Gringsson, whether by hurting her or any of her staff, she has a rather unique punishment for them: dunking. The offender is bound hand and foot with the help of all those present and then placed upon a hinged platform to the south side of the main room. A rope secures the offender to a large ring set in the floor, and when the stays are kicked out, the trapdoor drops open, and the offender plunges into the murky depths. Most folks are hauled out spluttering within seconds.

Prominent Characters
Dakarta Gringsson: Although the Broken Mug is nothing to look at, Dakarta is proud of her business and cherishes the friendships she’s gained from the locals who frequent her place. She’s pleasant for a dwarf and doesn’t judge the people who sit at her bar. She’s not a good listener, though, and tends to leave people in mid-conversation to see to something else.

Dakarta stands four feet tall and weighs one hundred fifty pounds. She has flat, brown hair, and her cheeks are covered in a fine down of brown hair, forming a light beard. She has bright blue eyes and a pleasant smile, though she’s missing most of her teeth. She wears a mail apron when tending the bar having taken a knife in the gut from an enraged drunk a few years back.

Captain Morgan Baumann: Morgan Baumann is one of the many pirates that breathe a sigh of relief now Freeport has returned to a more comfortable mix of corruption and villainy. Sure, there’s a veneer of respectability, but more and more, the pirate city of old has begun to reassert itself, which is just fine for Captain Baumann.

The reason is simple: Morgan has a history of bucking tradition. She never abided by the rules, and did her best to circumvent them whenever possible. She was the only daughter of the captain of the Headsman’s Axe, a mean ship with a meaner crew. Her father detested what he saw as a weak girl, useful only for breeding, so he dismissed her out of hand. Refusing to be passed over, she infiltrated the crew of her father’s ship, ingratiated herself with them. When she returned to Freeport, she murdered her father and claimed the ship, renaming it Kraken’s Claw.

For the next few years, she was a constant and annoying problem for a city trying to improve its image. Morgan had no use for the laws and rules of the city, following the pirate’s code of old. Any ship that sailed around Skull Island was fair game, and she gained a ruthless reputation for killing everyone on board the ships she attacked.

Captain Baumann doesn’t live in the city; she has far too many enemies, but they are frequent visitors. When not at sea, Morgan, her elven first mate and lover Shanta Froese, and her crew can be found swilling ale in this dive.

Gregor Grundi: A solidly built, clean-shaven dwarf perpetually kitted out with worn and dented armor and shield. Grundi is a guide with considerable experience traveling and adventuring in the dangerous lands beyond the Ice Wall. He is always available for those who wish to journey there, and has also served on missions into the forests and mountains of Amador and the Mark. He says little, and almost never starts a conversation. Despite that, people still hear enough of his reputation to hire him (though rumor holds that few ever return..).

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