The sign of a bronze death mask glows with purplish-white foxfire at night-time. This bizarre sign contrasts with the drab exterior of an alley inn tucked between closed scriptoria. The word 'Dwimmerglister' is etched in gilded leaf into the building's stone lintel. Back-alley alchemists, tinkers and trinket sellers lurk outside. Only the emboldened drunk or gullible meet their eye. Outside, the Dwimmerglister seems a badly-placed, fading inn with eerie sign.
Inside, it is well-appointed. The main bar has a muted ambience. Dark-stained oak furnishing support a solid slab of verdant marble for the bar. Atop the bar, three crystal ewers brimming with coppers. A small plaque bids guests to toss a copper piece into one then guess the number of coppers there. To date, nobody has guessed right. Divining magic on the ewers is misdirected to the caster's own coin purse. A door to the left reveals a snug lounge. The far wall is panelled in octagonal slates of dwarven canon. Ceiling-high pillars of copper-plated dwarf skulls stained with verdigris flank the wrought-iron hearth. From the lounge, a staircase rises to four iron-bound locked doors. These are the staff private rooms.
A door right leads to dismal stairs with two doors at the bottom. To the right an earth closet walls festooned with graffiti. There is a 14% chance something insulting about the viewer is visible at eye-level. Left is the cellar, lit by cold-flame candles. Drunkards taking a wrong turn claim their vintage is bottled for resale yet no proof exists.
The house speciality is Nine Rat Cider. This fearsome, cloudy brew seizes you by the throat, imbalances the humours and leaves you ruined. Regulars lament the previous night while drinking the next. A passable small brown beer is available and favored by visitors unnerved by the infamous cider. Those preferring wine face Glister's Sweat. This pungent golden wine has tart tones of nitre and molasses, provoking trips to the privy. It's an acquired taste yet few last that long. Bar snacks include wedges of hard blue cheese, pickled walnuts and small terracotta pots of fish garum.
The Dwimmerglister is between landlords. Soros Ilthravit, an authorative, wrinkled dwarf of few words and impeccable honour keeps bar. Staff are a mix of dwarves, halflings and humans. All are capable, close-mouthed and well-paid. The bar runs like clockwork. The prior landlord left under sinister circumstances. The regulars mutter about debts, something Soros quells by shouting "The matter is SETTLED!" at the speaker. Those seeking to continue this dialogue are barred.
The lounge may be hired for 20 gold a night but no bedrooms are available. Soros is firmly against women of negotiable virtue and recently closed off the four guest rooms. He claims renovation work is being done. Renovation usually doesn't take that long for dwarves or halflings so something is amiss. Rumours he is building a treasure vault persist. None of the staff will be drawn.
The Dwimmerglister's fortunes took a beating yet many still visit, eager for obscure or valuable lore. The scriptoria nearby handle manuscripts of all kinds. Scriveners are thirsty by nature and alcohol or coin loosens tongues like few other things. Some secrets however are well-protected. Whispers of well-heeled assassins using the lounge to interview prospective clients persist despite angry denunciations. Elves find the inn offputting but certain gnomes prefer the ambience for quiet drinking and plotting.
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