108 – Heroes’ Hall

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The next gaming aid is an easy to implement Nordic hall. Think of it as a long pub building with no rooms for rent. It’s just a giant bar. The place is generic enough that you can drop it instantly into any setting. Because of the size of the place, this is suitable for a medium to large city. It could also be featured in a town if this was the only place, it’d serve as a pub, gathering place and maybe even serve as an improvised church. This release includes general descriptions for the Heroes’ Hall and its basement level, and it also includes some NPCs ready to take part of your adventures. Each NPC includes personal motivations and some quest ideas for each. The descriptions and NPCs assume this hall is located in a medium-large city.

General Information

The longhall is all built from wood. Taking from Nordic inspiration and architecture, large wooden beams are arranged in a triangular shape all along the long hall. The beams intersect at the higher point marking the middle of the building. This gives the hall an extended pyramidal look. From the interior, the central part of the hall is almost 25 ft. tall. The lateral sides are shorter, following the slant of the roof, 10 ft.

The first room after the main doors is a cloak room. After the second set of double doors is the main hall area. There are plenty of tables everywhere. Barrels of ale and wine are arranged on the tables and by the walls for storage. In the back there are two big cauldrons constantly in use to prepare food and stews for the patrons of the hall. The food is prepared in the main hall, but it is not stored there. A back door leads to a small 10 by 10 privy.

There are two accesses to the underground level of the hall. One of them is inside the hall and the other on its eastern outside wall. Only the owner and employees are allowed underground. There is a larder where meat, grain and vegetables are stored. A root cellar where all kind of root products and fungi are stored. And finally, the mead storage where scores of barrels are kept away from light and noise.

The Heroes’ Hall is the most important gathering place in the city. Anyone worth being someone keeps a presence in this place. There’s place for drinking and for eating. Important meetings happen here, this is the go to place to hear the fresh rumors around the city, since everyone comes hear to gossip just about anything.

As soon as you enter the Heroes’ Hall everything is drowned by the sound of people screaming, laughing, and bartering for stuff or services. The place is open most of the time and there’s seldom few people here. The Heroes’ Hall is a place for all kinds of people, it is not expensive though some things for sale are. Poor laborers come here after a long day of work to drink a horn of ale just as wealthy merchants come here and drink expensive wines. The best and most expensive wine served here is the Lizard Blood Wine, a secret recipe of Tabbard, the owner.

Tabbard is working here most of the time. His wife Danila is usually overseeing the cooking. There are a score of serving wenches and lads working for Tabbard, all of them are very grateful for the fair work and fair wages.

Dramatis Personae

Tabbard

Gray, long hair neatly coiffured to reveal a furrowed, tense face. Hollow brown eyes, set low within their sockets, watch wearily over the hall they’ve looked after for so long. Soft skin handsomely compliments his cheekbones and leaves an amusing memory of his luck.

Tabbard is the owner of the hall, he is 55 years old and in good shape. He is however tired of his life of table waiting and managing the lads working for him. He was trained as a soldier and fought in a war over 30 years ago. Since then he grew numb of war and its atrocities, so he built the Heroes’ Hall, thinking that a life of peace would be more welcoming. He became bored over the years, and now he’s to old and frail to go back and have adventures. That’s why he finds highly entertaining to find odd jobs for would-be adventurers and in a way, work as their patron or manager. He is a very well connected person in the city and can arrange almost any kind of meeting to happen.

Personality Quirks

  • Always needs to be the center of attention.
  • Treats everyone with respect, no matter their class or station.
  • Constantly tugging on a necklace, twisting it, etc.
  • Doesn’t need more than 3-4 hours of sleep to function well.

Quest ideas

  • There’s a rumor about a capsized ship several miles north, could hold some valuables.
  • Tabbard needs a competitor scared out of business.
  • Tabbard wishes to gift his wife a silk dress but there’s a shortage of it.
  • The recently elected council wishes to demolish the Heroes’ Hall to build a church.

Danila

Blonde, well groomed hair almost fully covers a long, frowning face. Squinting golden eyes, set a-symmetrically within their sockets, watch devotedly over the cooks and the stew, eyeing the patrons from time to time. A tattoo of a small cross is displayed on the side of the left eye leaves a heartbreaking memory of defended homes, she bears the features of the mountain folk. 

Danila married Tabbard over 15 years ago when he was already the owner of the Heroes’ Hall, but they met a long time before that during a war waged between the northern kingdom and the mountain tribes. The war was terrible and it scarred the land. Danila was a fighter in her youth, just as Tabbard was. They met when Tabbard’s platoon was taken captive by Danila’s tribe. Month’s later a truce and then a peace treaty was signed by both parties and Tabbard was free to go home. Years later Danila started trading wines when she met Tabbard again at the Heroes’ Hall. They married months later. Danila is a strong woman and she loves being surrounded by city dwellers, it gives her a personal satisfaction to know that she is capable of killing almost any other man around her with the knife she always hides under her dress. Not that she’d do such a thing, but she could.

Personality Quirks

  • Readily gets in the way of danger if it’s required to protect anyone, including strangers.
  • Never curses or uses a deity’s name in vain. Disapproves of those who do.
  • Rude, but purely unintentionally.
  • Hates the sound of chewing.

Quest ideas

  • Only she knows that the Lizard Blood Wine is just plain wine rebottled.
  • A letter from her tribe explains her brother was kidnapped.
  • Danila suspects there’s a member of her tribe in disguise spying on her for marrying a foreigner.
  • Danila wants to have council member killed, she hides her reasons.

 

Sir Balon Greywood

A sharp-witted man with a pragmatic outlook on life. He’s got a round face, receding hairline round cheeks. Gray, wide-set eyes with thin eyebrows. He’s often close to the stew cauldrons, always clad in shinny armor. A long sword and a knife always visible.

Sir Balon loves to visit the Heroes’ Hall several times a week. The food is alright but he is mainly here to drink the Lizard Blood Wine, for its delicate and complex flavor. Sir Balon grew up in a rich family, his father owns acres of orchards and they produce many brands of ales and wines, some of them are on sale at the Heroes’ Hall. Sir Balon is a soldier by choice and a very deadly man. His reputation precedes him, most folks know he is an able fighter. During the most recent military conflict he served as a commander.

Personality quirks

  • Avoids specific songs due to connection with traumatic events. Pays the bards to play different ones.
  • Frequently makes double-entendres just to see people’s reactions.
  • Deadpan humor to the point even friends aren’t certain what’s serious and what’s meant in humor.

Quest ideas

  • The council has requested Sir Balon to accompany a platoon on a dangerous mission, he is now recruiting adventurers.
  • Sir Balon has another reason to visit the Hall, he’s in love with a young serving wench called Lara. Their love would be forbidden due to the difference in station.
  • A drunk man told Sir Balon that the Lizard Blood Wine tastes like plain wine and he won’t have it. He must prove this is a special vintage.

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Published by Derek Von Zarovich
I am a D&D and GURPS player and DM since 2000. I enjoy reading fantasy and sci-fi books. Recently I started writing and creating my own content. I love to share what I write.

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