The Haunt Building / Landmark in Helaeron | World Anvil

The Haunt

Taverns are meant to be pleasant and inviting. A place of mirth, merriment, and fine drink. But there is a tavern hidden away deep beneath the streets of the old and eldritch City of Malicourt. A forgotten tomb dominated by dusty coffins holding the lonely bones of forgotten lords. It's lost glory laid out plain and clear in the mournful state of the tombs many ruined features. Ivory effigies that time had worn down to brown grave stones. Empty inlays where once silver and gold had rested. Long ago pillaged and left behind. What could be made of such a place? What service could an expensive hole render? A mystery to many, but to those with grit and guile, it was obvious. Open a tavern for them of ill repute.

Such is how the Haunt came to be. One of the endless secrets kept in the strange streets of Malicourt. A tavern owned by none, yet operated by thieves and smugglers from so many different roads that none can express a word or thought of care for nations, cultures, or old feuds between families. All that matters in the Haunt, is the coin in ones purse. Both for spending, and for safe guarding. Light fingers may carry off a hard earned score for those thieves that haven't learned how to pay attention to their pockets and pouches.

Purpose / Function

The purpose of the tomb to any eye is clear at first glance. It was intended as the crypt of a wealthy family. But to the surprise of none who come from Malicourt, that family died out. And the tomb was forgotten. Even to the city archives. Not even very many rats or insects can be found down there.

Alterations

The bones and coffins were removed when the tomb was found and replaced with kegs of ale, wine, beer, liquor, and bottles of many other splendid vices. The effigies were either discarded or sold if they were intact. Some of the cut outs for coffins were laid with hay and furs for sleeping as well. Not particularly comfortable by any means. But to a thief on the run, it might as well be the Kings own bed.

Architecture

The tomb is grand indeed for how isolated it is in The Malicourt Catacombs. A veritable mansion amid the narrow tunnels ever oppressed by deep darkness. Consisting of a primary chamber and eight smaller chambers with segregated sarcophagi in each. The primary chamber is eighty feet long and sixty feet wide. Standing twenty and half feet high. While the eight individual chambers were only six feet long and six feet wide and only six feet high.

In each corner of the primary chamber, an elaborate pillar runs up from the floor to the narrowly domed ceiling. Each pillar is carved from granite, basalt, feldspar, and quartz. And each were stylized in representation of the four natural elements of earth, air, fire, and water. The walls of both the primary chamber and the eight individual chambers were once painted with bright azure, rich orange, and a decadent red. But the paint now chips and fades as the tomb sits forgotten beneath the streets of Malicourt.

The isolated tomb is the ruins of a flamboyant display of wealth and prestige. The signs of its former glory marked by the vacated slits, slots, and empty end caps that once held embellishments of ivory, fine marble, silver, gold, and jewels of many kinds. Signs of jade can even be seen in the scarce presence of jade dust from when the jade had been extracted by grave robbers long ago. But only those thieves with keen eyes had ever noticed this.

History

The tombs original history is a mystery. Even to the thieves that appropriated it. But the story of how this drunkards hole was found is well known to many a footpad and cutpurse.

In the 4th Aeon, 1489 A.E. A trio of thieves belonging to The Ivory Shades guild, fresh from a heist that put their faces on wanted posters through out The Aldership of Malicourt, hid down in the The Malicourt Catacombs to wait out the manhunt. Delving deeper and deeper into the tunnels despite the thickening darkness that followed them as they went. The degree of the wide spread obscurity of the deeper expanses of the catacombs to the public memory made obvious by the thickets of spider webs and the endless mist of dust through out the tunnels. They had marked their way with copper coins to find their way back. Until at last they found the largest, most extravagant tomb any of them had ever seen.

A three floored tomb with an open center. Three rowes on each floor with a hundred coffins marked with name plaques none of the thieves recognized. Tired from running, the trio rested their loot on top of the sarcophagus at the center of the tomb. A rich heist of jewels, coins, rare artifacts, and kegs of beer for their own delight. Each took one of the jeweled goblets they had stolen, and filled them full with beer. Raising a toast to their success and their futures. Then they looked to the coin sacks resting next to the keg on the sarcophagus, and clearly saw a future for their discovery as though it were a house on fire in the deep dark of night. And so, the Haunt was born. A secret tavern for thieves in Malicourt.

The Haunt first gained its patrons by invitation only. Identifying themselves with iron coins adorned with the icons of dancing skeletons holding tankards overflowing with ale. A beggar at the entrance of the tunnels would verify the coins authenticity and then say to the patron "Drink'll be the death of you." To which the patron is meant to reply "Best I do my drinking in the grave and get it over with then." the beggar would then guide the patron through the dark of the tunnels until at last arriving to the Haunt. Another beggar would wait at the entrance to guide them back.

Since the Haunts illicit opening, many heists have been celebrated there. And likely will continue to be a place where cutpurses and footpads gather for their own revelry.
RUINED STRUCTURE
????
Founding Date
????
Alternative Names
The Drunkards Crypt
Type
Pub / Tavern / Restaurant
Parent Location
Owning Organization

Comments

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Mar 14, 2022 01:44 by Markus Haselbeck

That's a really cool setting for a tavern. Every time, I think about people sleeping in the cut outs meant for coffins, it makes me smile a bit--good one! I also really like the tombs as being a huge system of tunnels underneath the city, it felt a bit like a huge sewer system that fell into disrepair or the catacombs under Paris. I'd love to read a bit more about these tombs; could you elaborate a bit more what they're like, maybe? Or add a page about the tombs? Cheers

Mar 14, 2022 03:48 by Cody Powers

Thank you! I absolutely will. The Haunt is one of the many mysteries beneath Malicourt. And not every mystery is underground, or entirely out of sight. The city and its families are kind of my Lovecraftian playground. haha. Oh I absolutely will. I just tried to get something started well enough to put out there for the challenge. Before this place I had only one note worthy tavern.

TheCavemanMan
Mar 17, 2022 21:37 by rugrat0ne

Very good article!

I've done Diamond or Die. This year I'm trying Diamond or Nap.