The Slinky Seine Building / Landmark in The True Dark Ages | World Anvil

The Slinky Seine

The Slinky Seine is a tavern found near the docks in Parisius, that jut out onto the Seine River. Not the friendliest of places but worth a look for any adventurer. It is known for its dirt cheap (and usually rough) drink & food. A few prostitutes and plenty of sailors & fishermen using the Seine for work are regulars. They routinely use fresh fish which is somewhat beneficial for trade (and usually the best to eat), yet no nobleman will ever set foot inside unless well-armed and with backup. Even then they only will enter for business if at all possible. Also known in the local language as the Moulante Seine it is also known for a heavy Thieves of Frankia hangout.

Purpose / Function

The purpose of the tavern is initially to serve food & drink to sailors & fishermen that come into port. This though isn't the only purpose.   Since the Thieves Guild has been involved from the start it acts as a front for them. The following is common business carried out by the guild in the premises:
  • Smuggling. Goes both ways, with hot items leaving by boat, and others coming in through the tavern.
  • People Smuggling. Same thing but with people. Sometimes used as an escape route out, or even others trying to get into Parisius.
  • Pay offs. Whether getting the local militia drunk or hooked up with prostitutes, or just coin, the guild can be found doing it here.
  • Job offers. Any thief in with the guild can approach a higher up here, and see about getting a job of some type, usually with a kick back to the guild.
  • Job turn in. Thieves or their associates can sort out final payment or conditions seen to here after a job gets done.
  • Fences. A few fences are scattered about, usually specialising in some type of hot property needing shifted, and quickly.
  • ID work. If a thief or associate needs some form of fake identification, there's always someone available to help.
  • Training. There is always someone that can provide or get another to provide training in languages, stealth tactics, lockpicking, pickpocketing or similar.
  • Appraisals. If the thief / associate needs something appraised it's easily done too.
  • Dirty work. There are a few heavies around that can break a few bones, if the price is right, and they don't get bothered by local laws. This also includes the real dirty work of someone suffering an 'unfortunate accident', aka an assassination (passed to the Assassins Guild, by their representative, a shady Black Elf).


A hidden trapdoor behind the bar, covered with a rug, leads to a tunnel leading to the Thieves Guild of Frankia. This runs through the old Roman sewers below it. The thieves know the sewers like the back of their hand, and can quickly disappear down here.   Many of the beams have been replaced over the years to help keep the tavern from falling down., as well as the windows. A few have broken over the years, either through age, or troublemakers being thrown through them by the bouncers (they're Half-Orcs after all, so the aim ain't THAT good).   The toilets at the side can be replaced with ease, and have now been built to be dismantled easily. This acts like a secondary escape route for the thieves. Over time the whole structure has been slightly strengthened due to mild water damage from the river Sienne during the rare flood in it's vicinity.


The building is primarily wooden in structure with two main floors, and private rooms up stairs, and the main rooms & kitchen downstairs. The outer walls are made with wood covered in a wattle & daub mixture to help keep the cost down, and help protect against the elements. Windows are placed every few paces to help with lighting. It is showing it's age now, and likely to be upgraded when the Thieves Guild can be bothered. Below the main bar is a hidden chamber leading to the Thieves Guild, along the old sewers. It has a distinct Frankish look of old making it look similar to most Germanic buildings of previous time periods, and a tiled roof made from old Roman slates.


The tavern has a number of patrons & owners tied to organised crime, so any bother that breaks out or other unsavoury incidents are dealt with quickly by them. It is rumoured that the local Assassins Guild works out of it, so many would be attackers may find it not worth their while causing any bother in or near it.   The fact that the local militia also likes to keep a presence nearby, mainly to keep an eye on the overall comings & goings, means any external bother can be took care of pretty quickly.


The Slinky Seine was built as a way to gain revenue from the fishermen and sailors who originally worked the Seine. They were always in need of somewhere to hang out, drink, eat and party after a day's, week's, or month's work on a boat or ship. This made it easy for them to find this. Also, it helped accommodate the Thieves of Frankia who financed the building of it. They seen an opportunity to have a building that allowed them access to swift travel in & out of the city, as well as a few other related business ventures. With getting prostitutes to sneak in, they have the means to further distract the patrons. Any of the actual 'work' of the prostitutes are carried out at a warehouse nearby, where the back parts are modified to cover this activity. The Thieves of Frankia regularly use the same space for gathering dirt on nobility using the prostitutes, and the storage of illegal goods in the same part of the building. They pay themselves for the use of this space, and any payment goes to the owners of the warehouse, a consortium of Gnomes & Halflings known as the Fishy Fingers. The majority of this warehouse is used for storing fish to sell on, and a few export goods going up the Seine by boat.   Since it was built it allows for any type of illicit business venture, as long as the Thieves get their cut, or involved directly. The authorities have tried over the years to shut it down, but it never can be. Sometimes those who complained disappeared or shut up after a while. At the same time, it has remained a bulwark of commerce on the banks of the Seine.
Alcohol.   There is a selection of beers on offer in the Slinky Seine. These usually come from the city of Parisius itself. Many of them are ales that are brewed locally or just outside the city itself. Many range from weak to quite strong, and arrive either bottled and/or kegged. It is regular to have 4 to 5 different types, though it depends on local supply. One or two lager types are sometimes available from the mountainous regions of central Europe when they can be got, though not as popular with the majority of the locals. From the British Isles there is sometimes special 'reserve' kegs of bitter, stout or porter for those looking something a little different.   Also from the same source is the odd bottle of whiskey from Hibernia, and whisky / scotch from Alba, and ciders / scrumpy from southern Britain. Mead is also a rare luxury they sometimes get their hands on, with a favourite being Nordic mead, just so those who try it can boast about drinking it.   Wine is popular, after it was introduced to the region by the Romans. Although still young enough in the region, it is quite popular especially since many of the vintners & vineyards are run by local Halflings in the region. A rough form of port & brandy is now being distilled and supplied to the Slinkey Sienne, taking the place of rum on many of the boats too.
Food.   There is some food served. There is little soup served as it doesn't soak up the alcohol. Roast chicken & port are commonly served, along with steamed or fried vegetables. Bread is served as well regularly. Sausages, bacon, and eggs also feature quite a bit. Usually herbs are also used, especially garlic, dill, fennel, wild garlic, sage, thyme, and parsley. The food is cheap, usually greasy, rough, and filling.   Fish is very common, and used in everything if possible. From pies to fried & flavoured with herbs, the fish is both the healthiest, and the cheapest too. Crafty as they are, the Gnomes & Halflings who frequent & run the Slinky Seine has a habit of syphoning off the best catch for here & themselves.
Founding Date
647 AD
Alternative Names
Moulante Sienne
Pub / Tavern / Restaurant
Parent Location
Owning Organization
Characters in Location
Related Plots
Regular Staff.   Gimbol Hairfeet is the current pub landlord / manager. He fills in at the bar as necessary, manages the books (both legal records, and the Thieves Guild cut). He is a Halfling and regularly makes sure everything is running smoothly, and can be found in the office when not helping out on the floor. His cousin was meant to be a member of the local Thieves guild yet no-one knows who exactly is.   Gruff, Ruff, and Tuff. The triplets are Half-Orcs who act as bouncers, bodyguards for Gimbol or high ranking thieves, or enforcers. At least one prowls around the floors making sure no-one is unnecessarily bothered or targeted by any other patron. They will hold up any militia members when there is a raid by authorities.   Floki the Tramp. Floki is a high ranking Gnome thief, fence, and face of the Thieves of Frankia in the Slinky Seine. He regularly has a few Gnome & Halfling thieves around him as back up. Generally very fair as can be for a thief. He regularly gives out jobs, and handles any handed in.   Thelma Louis. Thelma is a well-known bar maid, who runs the prostitution ring that operates in the Slinky Seine. She is a human and has close ties to both Gimbol & Floki. When not mopping, or serving clients, she sets up prostitutes, and would handle all dealing there, making sure everyone is 'safe' and payment is correct. Any of her girls comes back bruised or unable to work, woe betide her fury, as well as the triplets!! The latter defers to her if this happens, and lets her get the final punch or kick in (or even both).   Lauran the Cloaked. Lauran is a lone regular who can be found sitting in one of the corners. Unbeknownst to most, she is a Black Elf, keeping her own company and usually hooded & gloved at all times. Even less known is the fact she is a member of the Assassins Guild, and with a quick nod from one of the others, she will either carry out a 'disappearance' at their behest if it is warranted. She also acts as a go-between for the different groups here, whether the Fishy Fingers, or the Thieves guild, and the Assassins Guild.


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Mar 6, 2022 02:14

In the opening paragraph I think you meant "worth a look" instead of "work a look." And I am a bit surprised that if there is some brothel business conducted there that there are not more rooms for people to spend the night, or at least get privacy. Amazing job on the map, and the details about the thieves guild operations are well done.

Feel free to stop by some of my WorldEmber articles if you want. My favorites are The Book of the Unquiet Dead, Outpost of the Moons, and The Emerald Hills. Feedback is always appreciated.
Mar 16, 2022 23:48

Hi, I am viewing your article from one of my computer screens that has 1920x1080 resolution. This is not a high resolution (these days) and your top banner image is super pixelated. I don't think that was your intention. If you want to keep that image, I suggest going into photoshop (or similar) and applying a gaussian blur to it to smooth out the pixelation. Hope that helps!
Mar 17, 2022 01:02 by Darren McHaffie

Have tried it there. Don't know if it has took. Doing this through a HDTV so might not transfer well. That and it's an old medieval picture doesn't help, haha. Thanks either way. Must keep that in mind for future, and never know, might need to try it again.

Mar 17, 2022 08:10 by Mikael Jokela

A shady tavern, I like it! The map seems really detailed and beautiful and seems complex, which is really fitting when you consider its inhabitants!

Mar 17, 2022 12:51 by Darren McHaffie

Always handy having a shady location. Fun to use later.

Mar 17, 2022 16:03

This is a great read! I quickly got lost in the sea of information when I attempted to read more into your world, amazing depth! I won't make any complaints at all. I don't want to be made to disappear!

Mar 17, 2022 17:16 by Darren McHaffie

Have found the more info there, the easier it is to 'torture' my poor PCs when we get the free time to play, lol. Handy for them too, something to check up on is probably in there somewhere.

Mar 25, 2022 12:48 by Michael Chandra

Got to love a good Front. Plenty of illicit business to be run, after all. The map is neat, what was used to make it?

Too low they build who build beneath the stars - Edward Young
Mar 25, 2022 13:33 by Darren McHaffie

Used a VTT map generator to get the map. Found using free trials etc handy, for all I use them for (not much tbh).

Mar 27, 2022 22:25

Good article Colonel. I like the hidden thieves guild beneath (Known about, but nothing can be done about it by the officials). Some staff members listed, and food and drink mentioned, which is good. All in all a good article and a well deserved Like/Fave from me.   Aemon

Mar 27, 2022 22:44 by Darren McHaffie

Why, thanks. Needed some way to mark this as different. Having the whole thing was relatively easy when I worked out how I wanted it. And politically ambitious nobles / high ranking individuals getting more than just crabs to eat can be quite the scandal if in the wrong hands of course....