Aunt Gudda's House for Boarders
Famous among all establishments in Crowshaven is Aunt Gudda's House for Boarders. Gudda's has been standing nearly as long as Crowshaven itself, and has long since abandoned any pretense of being a managed affair. Aunt Gudda long dead, the large house – encompassing an entire block – is a place where visitors can come to find a space to sleep, hide, or meet while they are in Crowshaven. While it costs nothing to meet or stay at Gudda's, it is a rowdy and a dangerous place, and lodgers must ever be on guard.
Purpose / Function
Aunt Gudda's house serves as nothing other than a shelter. There's an oven and stove, but they have long fallen into disuse. The building itself is used various for clandestine meetings, illicit business exchanges, hiding from pursuit, and, occasionally, as an inexpensive place to rest and escape the weather.
Aunt Gudda's has no consistent architecture. It is an amalgamation of mostly manor houses built in various periods with varying styles. The connections between the formerly independent homes are even less a style than jury rigged collections of planks and any other material on hand that could be used as free building material. Much of the building is in very poor repair. Floors collapse, walls get holes, and hallways crumble. Sometimes parts of the building become unusable. Inevitably, however, someone low on funds finds the need for a private location and repairs the section just enough to keep it from falling on their heads for a time.
Aunt Gudda's House for Boarders was originally a stately three-story manor in a good neighborhood -- as far as Crowshaven can be said to have a good neighborhood. But that was nearly 300 years ago. Gudda made the first expansion while in her 70s. As Crowshaven turned its status as a trade town of import over to Anders Foll and developed its reputation as a smuggler's paradise, the market for a legitimate boarding house declined. Gudda added a hidden expansion beneath the cellar. Letting a few trusted shipmasters know of its existence, she charged a small fee for its use. Over time, even the need for hiding contraband in Crowshaven faded - nearly everything in Crowshaven is contraband, and the authorities rarely bother with the town. Gudda passed and an enterprising individual bought it and the house next door. They were joined inexpertly by another room and became Gudda's Inn. The new owner was a poor businessman, however, and the decline of Crowshaven, combined with the special decline in the neighborhood (not in least part due to the clientele the inn brought) impoverished the owner. He died face down in the neighboring alley, presumably with a knife in his back, though by the time the body was discovered the knife had been claimed. There were no heirs, at least, none that spoke for it, but regulars continued to come. Some sleeping, some just to meet other unsavory types, either to offer or find work. As the years passed, more expansions were made by anonymous individuals, connecting other houses until the entire block became one large, ramshackle structure. Owned by no one, unregulated and unpoliced, and regaining its original name, Aunt Gudda's no longer offers any services, but as a convenient landmark, it is still well-used.