Saturday, 15 January 2011

inns & taverns: the guzzling goblin

While the goblin ghetto it was named for burned down long ago, the Guzzling Goblin endures.  It's oddly-stained patchwork coat of paint suggests ill repair.  Verdigris stains it's bronze sign of a goblin draining an oversized tankard.  Yet at the corner of a busy alley between two market roads, the Goblin bustles for a city tavern and is popular with the local workers.  Those who visit find much to like even if the place would benefit from refurbishment.

This three-storey tenement jostles with tanners, butchers and chandlers, a fragrant neighbourhood whose odour provokes thirst.  Inside, the Goblin is equally ramshackle in it's appearance with mismatched furniture and walls decorated in a mixture of pine green hessian and painted slates showing sacred icons from two dozen petty gods of drink and licentiousness.  The floor is dark-stained and scattered with sawdust.  The taproom is a long rectangular room built around a bar of dark-stained grey oak.  Light is provided from shuttered windows and green-stained candles that provide lambent yellow illumination.
It is for it's food and drink that the Guzzling Goblin is loved.  Four kinds of ale are served:
  • Ambertress: A bronze-coloured ale, quaffable with malty tones.  Inexpensive and drunk by the hearty of constitution, it's hangover scales to what you forgot you had.
  • Fairgold: Straw-coloured, potent ale with floral tones brewed locally and favoured by the scholar and tanner.  A little pricey but you get what you pay for.
  • Goblin Porter: A flat, mouse-coloured ale with hoppy taste, tart copper undertones and a kick like a gingered mule.  Brewed locally and drunk by labourers, career drunks and goblins. 
  • Ravensale: A black, sticky stout rich enough to sustain the starving for a day.  Served in half-pints - a full pint reveals a gourmand, drinking it with food reveals a glutton.
Those who don't drink ale will find rough white wine and a harsh-tasting genever sold out of the distinctive blue bottles lining the bar.  The food served here takes advantage of nearby butchers.  Artisans favour black blood sausage served with rye bread and pickled eggs while the extravagant share a platter of beef rib soaked in a sticky dark sauce.  The local delicacy is the Ravensale pot pie, blending ale with chunks of beef and kidney to make a rich, luscious pie.  This reasonably-priced feast is the cause of at least one luxurious stomach among the clientele.

The landlord and master brewer is Ugo the Bald.  Despite a thuggish & slovenly appearance, he is a courteous and talented landlord wise enough to leave the day to day business to his manager and former brother-in-law, Ennard.  Ennard served in the watch for ten years and knows the locals and their problems.  Both work to keep the Goblin disshevelled and out the acquisitive grasp of local guilds.  Staff at the Goblin are carefully chosen for their skill in cooking, brewing and discretion - the ale recipes are jealously kept secrets and the staff live on-site. 

There is no accommodation available, Ennard and Ugo have been burned by that experience and find the tavern makes sufficient money from selling it's ales to other taverns.  Ugo is a widower and lately seeks companionship.  Any prospective companion must win over Ennard and the staff to even hope to see Ugo.  Certain acquisitive guilds play matchmaker sometimes much to Ennard's annoyance. Ugo knows Ennard is right but on certain holy nights looks where he shouldn't.


  1. " drunks and goblins."

    Cool. :)

  2. Another great entry into the Inns & Taverns collection. Keep them coming.


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