Spindrift on the Astral Sea
Sigil: The Foundation Stone
The Stone,1 as it is commonly called, is a tavern that appeared in the Clerk’s Ward amidst the new construction of the spelljammer docks. While the tavern caters to a wide range of the city’s population, it’s largest customer base comes from the crews of the ships docked nearby. The construction of the tavern itself is a mystery, with some locals claiming that the building simply appeared one day fully constructed, open for business.
The tavern is built from dull, brown bricks. Its first floor is a wide, open, common room filled with tables. The second floor consists of a balcony overlooking the main bar, more tables, and a few private rooms for relatively quiet discussions.
The Stone’s reputation for rowdiness is well earned. Knife-throwing contests, wrestling matches, and other competitions that become more interesting with buckets of cheap ale keep its customers busy until dawn.
Employees and Regulars of the Stone
As a rough-and-tumble place, the Stone has attracted more than its share of colorful characters.The bartender Ragnar Thunderhead is a happy, boisterous dwarf who has a soft spot for gnomish women. He pours a generous pint, readily drinks alongside his customers, and happily drapes blankets over customers who pass out on the Stone’s floor. Two big, burly humans, Krank and Gaff, serve as Milo’s bouncers. The twin brothers are skilled pugilists who have never lost a fight. Despite their great strength, they are quite friendly to strangers. They love hearing stories of distant lands, and listen to such tales with childlike wonder. Ilara is a stunning eladrin beauty who seems out of place in a dump like the Stone. She is willing to be taught how to throw knives. The tall, mute half-giant named Kubosho currently reigns as the Giant’s Feet champion. He drinks himself into a stupor each night and competes for money to pay for the night’s ale. When deep in his cups, he’ll go on about the blistering sun of his desert home of Tyr. A Gnome bard, Pritprattler the Phonomancer has an unmatched store of epic ballads, some of which take days to sing in their entirety. Unfortunately for her, the sailors that attend the Stone solely call out for bawdy tales, lewd songs, and naughty jokes. Pritt is known to discourage those who get to physical with her while performing, whether it be the occasional patron or overly friendly bartender.
Features of the Foundation Stone
- Bar: The long bar seems to be crafted from a single, massive piece of stone. Most noteworthy is the graffiti that covers it. The owner encourages visitors to carve small maps of their travels into the bar. It is covered with a number of such drawings, ranging from the incomprehensible to the work of expert cartographers. Rumours persist that some of the maps lead to hidden treasure.
- Tables and Chairs: These unremarkable tables and chairs are the preferred weapons of brawling guests.
- Balcony: The balcony overlooking the bar is 10 feet up and, like the rest of the Foundation Stone, is carved from rock.
- Chandelier: A huge iron chandelier with everburning torches casts light into the main chamber.
- The Pit: The most notable feature of the Foundation Stone, the Pit emanates a stench that would gag a troll. It is 10 feet deep and filled with a foot of burbling, horrid-smelling water. Once a month, a mage is hired to scour the pit with fire. The stench clears for a day or so before the Foundation Stone’s patrons re-establish it by dumping trash, discarded food, and other waste into the hole. The Pit plays a central role in games of Giant’s Feet.
- Target Dummies: Part of the first floor is set aside o for target dummies used in games of knife throwing.
- Kegs: A keg is a heavy but potentially useful weapon during a brawl. Only the strongest people can pick up these kegs.
- Kitchen: A small kitchen enables the Stone to serve a few simple meals, such as roasted chicken, freshly made bread, and thick slices of cheese.
- Private Rooms: These rooms are set aside for folk who come to the Stone to do business. Each room features a lock. The owner has a set of keys.
- Stairs: Stairs lead down to a small cellar containing spare kegs of ale. A broad set of stairs leads up to the second floor.
Fun And Games
Drink is not enough for the sailors, merchants, and adventurers who frequent the Foundation Stone. To help pass the time until the next job, the Stone’s patrons engage in various contests and games. The Stone has the tavern standards of gambling, dancing, and other acts of frivolity, but there are some contests unique to this establishment.
Giant’s Feet: The most popular game in the Stone pits two (likely drunk) combatants against each other above the festering Pit. A wooden plank is laid across the Pit, and the two competitors have their hands tied behind their backs. They then face off upon the plank, starting at opposite ends.
The goal of the game is simple. The first one into the Pit loses. Of course, without hands the contest becomes a rather comical exchange of kicks, body checks, and foot stomps. With a few tankards of ale in each competitor, fights more often than not end with both combatants plummeting into the Pit.
If anyone is brave, foolish, or drunk enough to play Giant’s Feet, the game runs:
Each round, a competitor makes an opposed Strength check and an opposed Dexterity check. Regardless of success or failure, if either check result is less than 10, that combatant falls into the Pit and loses. A combatant who succeeds at both checks wins, and the foe plummets into the Pit. If both competitors succeed at the same number of checks, the fight is a draw and the competitors make another round of checks.
Giant’s Feet is a popular game with the Stone’s customers, and tournaments are a popular diversion. Spectators bet on matches, and an adventurer who wins a few games quickly develops a reputation that earns him or her challenges from roughnecks and invitations to tournaments.
Knife Throwing: Surprisingly, no one has ever been seriously injured by a thrown knife in the Stone. Competitors stand 10 feet from the target dummies and let fly.
The knives are normal daggers, and the target dummies have AC 10. Each competitor takes a turn making a ranged basic attack against a target dummy. A miss is worth -5 points, and a natural 20 is worth 10 points. An attack result that hits with a total of 19 or lower is worth 2 points. An attack result of20 or higher is worth 5 points. After 5 throws, the high score wins. In case of a tie, the competitors alternate attacks until the tie is broken.
As with Giant’s Feet, the Stone hosts tournaments and other competitions. The Thrower’s Cup is a small tin mug awarded at the grand tournament each winter. The winner is allowed free ale as long as it is poured into and drunk from the cup.
1. Main body of this entry is taken and modified from an Obsidian Portal page located here: http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaign/csnv/wikis/foundation-stone. The text likely originates from the Wizards of the Coast Hammerfast supplement.