Name of Business: The Shanty Circle
Submitted by: Kimberly Moser
Type of Business: Riverfront Dive
Type of Building: Seemingly a run-down, rickety, wooden building. In reality the building is a well-constructed, single story wooden structure with a stone floor.
Owner: Ardella Imalt (0 level, N, human female)
Description of Building:
The Shanty Circle appears to be a run-down, wooden building threatening to fall over if not for the paint holding it together. This is exactly the way it is meant to appear. Beneath the exterior driftwood and paint, is a sturdy wooden structure well-tended and treated.
The Circ, as it is more commonly referred to, is a small tavern 30 by 30 feet. It fronts the docks and a dark, unpleasant alley runs along the rear. The Circ has a cellar accessible from behind the bar. Ardella keeps all her stock in the cellar.
The center floor of the Circ is kept open. There are 6 curtained alcoves in the tavern, two on the east side and four on the west. A 20 foot bar is in the rear of the tavern, 8 makeshift stools front it for patrons unwilling to mill about. Four of the alcoves contain two chairs, one alcove contains a single chair and small table, the last alcove contains a single large, chair. Lighting in the Circ comes from iron braziers suspended from the roof beams. These braziers are also the only form of heat in the building.
Description of Business:
The Circ is involved in the singular business of providing cheap liquor. It is a rowdy, bustling place and gets moreso as darkness engulfs the city. No needless furniture is in the way of patrons wanting to mingle plus it cuts down on the repair bills when fists fly. The alcoves offer a bit of privacy and relaxation for patrons seeking it. And the stools at the bar are there for those who are here for serious inebriation.
Ardella and her two girls, Gertie and Meg, are in constant motion throughout the high times of business. They wander through the crowds dispensing their refreshments and patting a few bums. Wild dancing is sometimes the activity of the evening and the three women are handed from partner to partner.
The clientele at the Circ is mostly poorer folk, rivermen and handlers. Sometimes a wandering merchant or adventurer will get pulled in by the rough cheer. True fights are rare in the Circ. A rough camaraderie is shared by those who frequent the place. Ardella and her staff know most of the patrons by name. On the occasion when things get a bit steamed, Gabriella wades in with her stout arms and strong back. She is not above bouncing the rare patron into the river across the way.
The Circ opens its doors just before the off-hour for the bargemen and workers. The Circ shuts down when it becomes more profitable to close. At the close of business, those who have not left are ushered out, those who can't leave are carried to the flophouse next door.
Prices at the Circ:
Prices here are cheap and the quality isn't good. Beer, ale and stout are available for 1 cp a tankard. Watered wine is 2 cp a tankard. Whiskey and rotgut are 2 cp a shot. Ardella keeps a few special brews and mediocre wines for special occasions. When a bloke has a turn of fate or a reason to celebrate, Ardella pulls out a special glass and gifts the lucky one with a free brew.
Secrets at the Circ:
The Circ has a secret passage leading down to one of the main meeting rooms used by the Skulks. The last alcove on the west side has a revolving wall which swings around and an identical chair on either side. The mechanism is operated by hand. The passage beyond is a long, descending, limestone shaft. Grooves have been cut into the floor and a rope has been anchored to the wall to aid in traversing the damp and slippery descent. The passage terminates in front of an ancient and ornately carved stone portal. The room beyond the portal is still being excavated and refurbished. It is obviously part of the ruins buried beneath Arylon by millennia of silt. The room's original purpose can only be guessed at by those coming here.
Ardella is aware of the passage and of the Skulks use of it. She serves as a doorwarden for the guild and her staff are all members of the guild. Ardella finds the arrangement to be quite profitable and beneficial.