Friday, February 17, 2017

The Long Dark

July's Challenge was a pub, for which I created The Long Dark.

The Long Dark

The Long Dark is quite literally a cavernous place... it is built into an entrance into the Underdark. Its owner is LeKirk, an old adventuring hand, who accidentally awakened an ancient godling about a hundred years ago. As a "gift", the godling promised him that he could only be killed by sunlight... failing to mention that sunlight would be painful, then fatal to him.

LeKirk and his band travelled to an Underdark gate they knew of, and established a small town outside. Initially, the town was meant to protect against the Underdark, with LeKirk the undying champion leading the forces inside the caverns. But, as time went on, and as the band themselves aged and died, LeKirk built up a network of contacts in the Underdark, and established The Long Dark as a trading post and neutral station. Duergar and svirfneblin traders come to do business, and even mind-thralls of the Illithid will trade on relatively even terms.

Security at the Long Dark is provided by an eclectic mix of creatures, plus LeKirk himself. Outside the cave, in the surface town, most of that falls to human and semi-human guardsmen, led by Sir Karas, the descendant of more than one of LeKirk's adventuring band; inside the cave, it's largely a mix of orc, half-orc, and hobgoblins. LeKirk likes to employ assassins (the 1st edition class) as bouncers; they may not be as tough as the traditional fighters, but they're tough enough and have a great skill at ending problems quickly. LeKirk himself was a fighter, decades ago, but has retrained as a thief as his network of contacts grew and the necessity of dealing with shady businessmen required he learn their language. Lacking any magical talent himself, LeKirk pays local mages and churches for magical wards to reduce the amount of mischief that folks can get up to in the Long Dark, but it's well known that the magical protections are spotty in places.

The Long Dark specializes to the surface world in Underdark goods, and to the Underdark in surface goods. At the far end of a supply chain for both, there's seldom the best or cheapest of either available, but it's also regarded as a place to hire mercenaries to go places one cannot, so elven factions may hire svirfneblin mercenaries to acquire artifacts held by the drow, or duergar merchants might hire human caravaneers to purchase from their dwarven kin. Much of the local harvest is sold "down the hole".

Priest services are ever-changing at the Long Dark. LeKirk himself funds a temple to [local god of commerce and trade], including shrines inside to various racial deities of commerce. There is also a small shrine to the godling that "gifted" LeKirk with his longevity; LeKirk himself does not require nor even encourage others to worship at it, but finds himself maintaining it whenever it needs repairs, almost against his will.