The Cracked Cask

Set up the bank of a wide bend in the northern arm of Segovar River, The Cracked Cask is a welcome sight to those traveling between the port town of Windsrest and inland Alondaeri. The warm light spilling from her porthole windows, the bellowed shanties of her inebriated patrons mixing with the tantalising smells of roast cooking on the evening air, the lure of a soft bed after a hard road; all combine to make a beloved stopping point planned into many a journey.   The Cracked Cask is known for four things. Her range of fine ales and home cooking; it's the best and only place for a soft bed on the journey; that the Kardsson brothers know all this and charge a tidy price to match; and the frankly excessive nautical theme of her decor. Despite her steeper prices, the Cracked Cask has a loyal cadre of repeat customers, considering her their local tavern despite being a waystation.   A common prank amongst the regular patrons is to deny all knowledge of the Kardsson brothers being twins, and to see how long they can string along a weary traveler in believing theres only one dwarf tavernmaster. Ever a study in contrasts, as much as Anundrir finds this hilarious, Rinraund hates it and is not above physically ejecting someone who's annoying him (after their bar tab has been settled of course).  

Menu

Drinks

  • The Brown Charlatan Pumpkin Ale - 6 CP (Mug) / 4 SP (Gallon)
  • The Angry Lycan beer - 5 CP (mug) / 3 SP (Gallon)
  • Pitcher of the house red wine, Beţivfruct Rumen - 5 SP
  • Pitcher of the house white wine, Beţivfruct Zăpadă - 5 SP
  • Pitcher of sweet wine, Ambervinyard - 3 SP
  • Bottle of wine, The Caretaker's Choice - 8 GP
  • Bottle of sparkling wine, Dilluant Băşică - 12 GP
  • Bottle of whisky, Scoți Anfurios - 20 GP
  • Teas and Coffee - 5 SP (Cup) / 1GP (Pot)

Food

  • Ship's gruel - 2 CP
  • Goldenfields artisinal wheat loaf - 3 CP
  • Cheese platter - 5 SP
  • Charcuterie - 1 GP
  • Seasonal stew - 5 CP
  • Mixed vegetables (boiled) - 3 CP (Boiled) / 5 CP (Roasted)
  • Smoked Rabbit - 5 SP
  • Steak with trimmings - 2 GP
  • Boiled fish - 2 GP (8GP surcharge if eaten indoors)
  • Cake of the day - 2 SP
  • Ship's Biscuits - 3 CP
  • Seasonal fruit salad - 1 SP

Lodgings

The Cracked Cask offers a range of lodgings, "to suit any purse" claims Rinraund. The bulk of these are smaller private rooms, but there are is also a larger community room, premium suites, and seasonally contingent exterior arrangements.

The Stowage

7 CP per night. Sleeps 30.

This is The Cracked Cask's community space, formerly a larger cargo hold towards the prow of the barge, now cleaned out and with hammocks strung between her joists. Unsecured Footlockers are provided free of charge under each hammock, but a key and padlock can be rented for 5 GP (refundable on return at check out).

The Berths

11 CP per night. 6 single rooms.

Previously crew quarters, the small rooms are clean and simply appointed. Featuring a door that locks from the inside, a single bed with a straw mattress, wall mounted fold-down writing table, foot locker, and a porthole window. In each room hangs a painting by Anundrir, typically of a landscape, though some are still life or portraits, all are of varying artistic merit.

The Officers Quarters

3 GP per night. 3 double rooms.

The Constant Gift never had a forecastle, so the Kardssons had one added on and split into premium lodgings; larger than the berths, and better equiped. The double bed has a feather mattress, there's a wardrobe, full writing desk, storage chest, and the same porthole windows (despite being theoritcally above the waterline had the forecastle actually existed). A thick rug featuring a nautical motif is in each room; and Anundrir's finer works adorn the walls, all of them feature heavily dramatised depictions of the pirates of the Gold Coast.

The Captains Quarters

5 GP per night. 1 state room.

An elaborate suite, with three luxuiously appointed rooms, the decor of which has been heavily themed to 'pirate queen'. The bedroom features a large four poster bed with sumptuous velvet drapes; full length gilded mirror, it's frame a riot of golden fish and pearls; and a wide fireplace with a vast panoramic painting hung above it, depicting Alondis under seige from a pirate fleet. The bedroom ajoins a private dining room; it's table is a ships wheel set atop an ale cask, with a pane of stained glass depicting a krakan fighting a pirate ship fitted on it. Finally there is a private bathroom, and a wide bathtub in the shape of a scallop shell, a wrought iron brazier for warmth, and a commode fashioned to look like the skull of an octopus.

The Deck Ticket

3 CP per night. Sleeps 50.

In the summer months the Kardssons string a 'sail' horizontally over the top deck, creating a canopy under which their guests can sleep. Bedrolls can be rented for 5 SP (refundable on return of clean bedroll, adequately returned to it's bag). These lodgings are not available until late in the evening, after dinner service has ended, and the patrons have vacated the top deck. While this is theoretically only offered during the better weather; the Kardssons are pragmatic, and will take the coin of anyone foolish enough to want to spend the night on deck, even in the middle of winter (although, as the deck is officially closed to lodgings outside of summer, no covering sail will be strung).

The Land Lubber

5 SP per night. Mounts only.

The Cracked Cask's stables are warm, sheltered, and provide an abundance of fine oats and hay. Unlike most other stabling on the road, they also include an armed guard, and the use of a farrier. It has often been joked that a horse stabled here can command a better stay than it's rider, although there is definitely a price to match this. The stables are pointedly devoid of all nautical decor, being outside of the main body of the tavern; Anundrir maintains this is due to the fact that they are 'ashore', Rinraund insists it's because the wager was only for the tavern itself.

Architecture

Starting life as a cargo barge, The Cracked Cask has come a long way from her nautical origins. While there is a distinctly ship shape air to her construction, with curved beams, porthole windows, and an aftcastle turned kitchen; there have been significant changes. Chief amongst these is the fact that she sits firmly on the ground, rather than bobbing in the Segovar River.   A variety of outbuildings have sprung up around the inn as well; a stone foundationed stables; a wooden storage barn; a pier of her own to allow passing boats to put in for supplies and entertainment; and a distinctly aftermarket mast and crow's nest. The ramshackle nature of her construction gives the inn a lopsided charm. The organic flow of her original gnomish wood work, melding with the fine dwarven stonework of the newer elements of her structure.   There is a marked difference, however, between the tavern, and her outbuildings. The design of the tavern came down to a bet between the brothers, which of the two could toss a cask the farthest. Anundrir won this bet, and being ever the more dramatic of the two, had always had a romanticised notion of a life on the sea, and so has steered hard into the theme when it comes to design and decor in the tavern. His brother Rinraund being about as down to earth as a dwarf can be, has tolerated this flight of fancy in the tavern, but insisted that the outbuildings be his domain. As such these are far more of a traditional dwarven fair, with interlaced runic carving, and a solid minimalist design that speaks to a frugal balance of durability and material use.

History

The cracked cask started life as a barge called Constant Gift; making the trade route along the Segovar River from Pineford and Goldenfields up to Windsrest. Carrying timber and resin from the former, and pumpkin ale from the latter, returning with passengers and cargo for the towns.   It's routine for Alondaeri vessels to have a druid amongst their crew, not just for their position of authority in society, but their connection with nature being especially advantageous when it comes to managing the winds and waters of trade. The Constant Gift was no different, being a slow barge on a river trade route, she would often see apprentice druids taking a handful of seasons on her before moving on to continue their training.   It was a lazy summers evening when The Constant Gift stopped being a barge and became a large, expensive, pile of lumber and cargo. She was making the Goldenfields to Windsrest run, a journey done countless times in the past, and her crew were relaxing into the night shift. Out of the darkness, a fallen tree floated into view ahead of the barge, perpendicular to her.   The barge's druid, a young gnome named Isopine, panicked and called forth a great wave to fling the obstacle aside. Mistiming her casting though, she succeded in ensuring the barge missed the tree, however she achieved this by dropping the barge hard onto the northern bank of the river. Her hull splintered and cargo shattered, her days as a barge were done.   The wreck became a fond landmark on the trade route, affording shelter from the elements and a easy way of measuring your progress on the road and river. It lay there for seasons, before the Kardsson twins happened upon it. Seeing an opportunity, they set about shoring up the wreck; turning it from a convenient if drafty shelter, to a secure and welcoming hostel. The brothers had a real turn of luck when renovating the former barge, breaking through a long jammed hatch, they found a hold full of casks of pumpkin ale. They immediately claimed salvage over this horde of alcohol, giving them a seed stock to turn their rough and ready hostel into a fully stocked inn. Breaking open one of the barrels giving the inn in celebration, they named it after their windfall, the Cracked Cask.
Founding Date
10-2-1131
Alternative Names
The Constant Gift
Type
Inn
Parent Location
Additional Rulers/Owners
Services
  • Lodgings
  • Food & Drinks
  • Stabling
  • Trail Provisions
  • Toll Tunnel (under construction)
  • Moorings

Comments

Please Login in order to comment!
Mar 31, 2022 22:38 by Michael Chandra

Fun fact: My brother and I (fraternal twins) would usually go 'never met this man before' when asked if we were twins. Identical twins have it harder to execute that prank. XD   Nice windfall with fixing the wrecked barge into a tavern and scoring the booze!


Too low they build who build beneath the stars - Edward Young