Friday, October 16, 2009

The Toothless Rat Taphouse

To enter this fine establishment you must turn off the main street into an unpleasant ally and almost immediately descend 5 stone steps to a nondescript wooden door.  Hanging above the doorway is a small wooden placard with a stylized rat burned onto it.  When you open the door to the taphouse the first thing you'll notice is the smell of pipeweed.  Next you'll see the stuffed rodent of unusual size (R.O.U.S.) that sits in the corner by the door.  It's clearly very old, missing some fur, and of course it's teeth.  When you look around to the taproom proper, you'll see an assortment of round wooden tables, support posts rising from floor to ceiling, and a wide variety of stools and chairs.  Along the back wall three large casks rest behind the unadorned bar.  Two small dirty windows look out onto the street, between them is a dartboard, and a fireplace is centered on the far wall.   The rooms illumination is provided by several oil lamps, the fireplace, and whatever dingy light manages to shine through the windows.  The patrons of the Rat are mostly neighborhood workers who come by at lunch and in the evening for a pint and a game of knuckle bones or darts. It's a fairly quiet bar, rarely visited by those from outside the neighborhood. 

The barkeep is a bald human with dark skin named Red.  He usually wears a white shirt with the sleeves rolled up, dark pants and leather suspenders.  His left forearm is notably scarred, and Red will gladly launch into a telling of his battle with a pack of giant rats who had crawled up through the sewers and attacked him in the back room back when the bar was called simply "Red's".  With each telling the rat pack grows in size, and recently he's added a rat king to the tale! The truth is that there was but a single giant rat, but the damage their fight caused made it seem like there were many more!  Red will be thrilled to have adventurers in his bar, just so long as they treat him as a fellow monster slayer, rather than just as a simple barkeep.  Should he not receive the treatment he feels he deserves he will quickly become very unwelcoming. 

Red serves ale of middling quality for an average price, and he keeps on hand some harder drinks for those who desire them.  He also keeps a hot soup or stew pot (or two) cooking in the fireplace for those who need something filling, of not particularly flavorful.  The pot's contents vary by day, but usually contain a variety of root vegetables, bones from the butcher, occasional scraps of meat, and sometimes a whole rat if Red catches one in his store room. 

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