The Hole in the Wall Building / Landmark in Kelbonnar | World Anvil

The Hole in the Wall

A often frequented and busy rest stop The Hole in the Wall is able to benefit from being at the heart of several major trade routes through the Upper Underdark, which have given this eccentric and rather unpleasant establishment a much more prosperous life than many feel it deserves.

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There are two ways into the Hole in the Wall. The first is travelling from the south, where one can access the walled courtyard via the main gate in the perimeter wall.   The second is via a much less trafficked route that emerges from a series of small tunnels that wind between the Upper Underdark and the Middle Underdark, which passes past the cesspit constructed for the establishment, where everything from effluent to kitchen waste is dumped, and into the back of the courtyard. This route is protected by an unidentified, but highly territorial creature, that normally devours the sewage that spews into its lair, but which is found of snatching anyone who passes through its domain without taking undue care.     Patrons of the Hole in the Wall in the know will often put up with the smell wafting up with the cesspit, to observe the comings and goings on this route via several discrete windows, making bets on whether or not the travellers will pass by the creature unharmed.

Architecture

Externally, the Hole in the Wall is a large, square building that has been constructed into the rock face of the southern wall of a cavern that acts as a crossroads for a number of the Upper Underdark's larger tunnels.       Around the building and projecting to the north to form a large courtyard, is a stone curtain wall that does little other than screen off people within the courtyard from the rest of the Underdark and it creatures beyond. The courtyard is accessed by a pair of large double metal gates, which are wide enough to allow a wagon, cart or Bearer Beetles to pass through single file. Purpose built, stone fire-pits have installed across the courtyard, with coal available for purchase from the tavern's main building.      No one knows about the layout or architecture of the Hole in the Wall beyond its exterior, as no one is allowed inside the building, which doesn't even have a discernible door to speak of. Instead, patrons are required to go to a square window, in the wall of the building to place their orders and collect them. This window, which gives the establishment its name, is carefully screened so that the most that anyone can see of the person serving them within, are a pair of gloved hands.   

Provided Services 

  The Hole in the Wall provides a range of drinks, to be consumed on site and bottled up to be taken on the road, along with fresh hot meals along with perishable foodstuffs and rations for the road.     Whilst there is no specific security detail that is provided for the place, the ubiquitous presence of a lot of customers who are passing along the many trade routes, and the thin, but sturdy curtain wall make it one of the safer spaces along the routes in the east of the Upper Underdark to rest at.      However, the lack of security or any sense of law and order other than what the patrons bring themselves, means that the Hole in the Wall is renowned for being dirty, rough and downright dangerous for people who are obviously porting valuables without a sufficient escort.    It is also, notably one of the few places to have an array of privies, though horribly dirty and stinking, that patrons can avail themselves of, for a modest fee of course. 

Location

  What has allowed the Hole in the Wall to exist as a profitable business is the fact that it is located on the well trafficked route across the eastern side of the Upper Underdark between the Duergar cities of Ember Crag, The Brass Keep and Bolga Crag, as well as the route linking the city of Tenore at the edge of the The Midnight Marshes into this network.    This means that the establishment never lacks for customers looking to rest their weary feet and purchase a drink, even if anything consumable that comes from the secretive interior of the tavern looks as if it could kill if it had the inclination.
Type
Pub / Tavern / Restaurant
Parent Location

The Mystery Publican

  What makes the Hole in the Wall such a curious place, is that no one has ever seen the face of the publican who owns and runs the establishment. The most that the majority of people see are a pair of gloved hands, appearing through a hatch in the wall where patrons collect their drinks or whatever else they have ordered.     Some claim to have seen more than this, and say that the publican is a tall thin humanoid, with multiple arms, swaddled in voluminous black clothing, who wears a strange mask shaped like the beak of a bird over their head. However, all those who claim to have seen the whole of the publican have proved to have been drunk when the sighting occurred, so few treat this theory with any credence.    Most simply think that the publican is an eccentric fellow, probably an Elf of some kind, or some other type of long lived creature given that the Hole in the Wall has existed for as long as anyone can remember, who happens to be very paranoid about their own safety and security.


Cover image: by Chris Pyrah

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