The Scythe at a Glance
by Creighton Broadhurst
November 07, 2019
Standing on a dingy side street (location L3 on the City of Languard map), a stylised sign of an oversized scythe cutting through an ankle spurting a ridiculous amount of blood marks this semi-reputable establishment. Run by its one-legged owner Arvo Outila this inn has operated under its current name since he purchased it 15 years ago after a horrendous accident on his farm. It doesn’t offer food or accommodation. This is a place to drink (copiously) and listen to music.
The tavern has a narrow frontage but extends back a surprisingly long way. Steps lead down into the common room, which is dingy and often smoke-filled. A bar runs along one wall and steps downward lead to another large room. The lower common room is popular with those who wish privacy—illicit lovers, thieves planning their next job and perhaps adventurers plotting their next quest.
The Scythe is renowned for its live performances. The upper common room has a small stage which hosts performances—some of dubious quality—most evenings. Mid-week sees the “famed” halfling bard Dricolen Nimblefinger (N male middle- aged halfling bard 2) take to the stage. Bafflingly, Dricolen has a devoted following amongst the locals; when he performs, the Scythe is packed.
- Drink: Ale (flagon) 8 cp, spiced wine (flagon) 3 sp, wine (flagon) 2 sp, wine (bottle) 10 gp.
- Food: The Scythe does not offer any food.
A Normal Day
The Scythe opens late and closes late. The tavern is a no-frills drinking den and does not offer food or accommodation. This makes Arva’s job much easier than it could be.
- Arva Outila (N old male human expert 2) is the Scythe’s one-legged, long-haired owner; he works most nights, hopping dextrously about the place. Arva is friendly, but a little morose and when deep in his cups bemoans the accident that cost him his leg.
- Delthur Elduum (N male dwarf fighter 3) serves as the tavern’s only (occasionally needed) bouncer. He is an immensely fat dwarf. Typically, he is at the bar nursing a cup of spiced wine. Delthur is surprisingly perceptive and intelligent for a dwarf and sees all that goes on, even thought he often seems drunk.
- Aili Tiera (NG female half-elf fighter 1) works most nights. Aili is a night owl and much prefers the feel of the city after dark. A firm favourite with the regulars, Aili has a sharp wit and enjoys the taproom’s banter. Aili is tall, and wears her black hair in a long plait. She dives into any brawls, to help Delthur.
- Anafa Goodwater (NG female halfling rogue 2) has retired from adventuring. The only survivor of a disastrous expedition to Gloamhold, she blames herself for her companions’ deaths. She is cheerful and light-fingered, but only pilfers a few coins from those too drunk to notice.
- Aatu Kekko (N middle-aged male human expert 1) works as a scribe and likes the Scythe’s atmosphere. Slightly better off than many of the regulars, he is popular because he is generous with his drinks. Aatu is a portly chap given to waffling on about things he has recently read as a consequence of his work; thus he is surprisingly well informed on a wide range of subjects.
- Esko Valtari (CN male human commoner 1) slaves away (as he puts it) at a succession of low-paid, menial jobs. Esko is always broke and looking to make easy money. Thin, with a pasty complexion, Esko looks a little unwell.
- Other Regulars: Many regulars drink at the Scythe. They include Berig Many-Belly (male dwarf), Calum (male human), Danil Farwander (female halfling), Elarik Swiftwind (male elf), Hard Armbreaker (male half-orc), Garrow (male human), Parg (young female half-orc) and Skaar (male half-orc).
The Scythe stretches over two floors and a cellar, but only the ground floor is open to the public.
The Ground Floor
The Scythe’s ground floor comprises two taprooms—the Top Bar and the Bottom Bar—as well as a small storeroom accessed from the Top Bar. A narrow passageway provides access to Arva’s living quarters on the first floor and the tavern’s cellars.
Here dwells Arva. His lodgings comprise a living room and bedchamber along with a small, rarely used, kitchen.
Arva uses the cellar for storage and as a small office. An old dusty sign depicting an eagle’s head leans in one corner. The Scythe’s cellar is larger than Arva know.
The Secret Cellar: Before Arva purchased the tavern it was a hotbed of nefarious activity. A secret cellar served as a meeting room for a nascent band of thieves who sought to challenge the Shadow Masks. Unsurprisingly, the thieves failed and most were slain or run out of town. When the previous owner, Arijoutsi Koira, sold the Scythe, formerly known as the Eagle, to Arva he did so in haste for he sought to flee Languard as quickly as possible.
For five years the secret cellar lay undisturbed and forgotten until a small cult of Braalites discovered the tunnel leading to it. They now use the secret cellar for meetings and suchlike, although they have not yet used the place for sacrifices—it would be impossible to mask the screams. Prominent cultists include:
- Kaleva Laso (NE male human cleric [Braal] 3) leads the small cult and is the deepest into Braal’s teachings. Kaleva is a butcher and has owned the small shop backing onto the Scythe for about one year. The secret tunnel in the Scythe’s cellar leads to his much smaller cellar. Kaleva is a skilled butcher who plans to dispose of any sacrifices in his sausages and blood puddings. Kaleva is a borderline alcoholic and occasionally (late at night) sneaks into the Scythe’s cellar to steal the occasional bottle of wine or spirits.
- Akviliina Raita (NE female human cleric [Braal] 2/rogue 1) serves as the cult’s eyes and ears in the Scythe. She drinks in the tavern several times a week to ensure no staff or customers suspects what is going on beneath their feet. Darkly attractive, she is popular with many of the regulars who have no idea at the sinister feelings lurking in her heart; she’s already pondering who she’ll kidnap and sacrifice first.
- Lucia Viljari (CE young female human rogue 1) lives on the streets in the Shambles and always keeps an eye out for likely sacrificial victims. Her cruelty and brutality in one so young is breathtaking. She idolises Kaleva and sees as the butcher a father figure.
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