Kain Darkwind's Savage Tide
The Rusty Hook
“Ah, the Rusty Hook. Stay away from the maids…er… yeah, the maids… or else your hook won’t be the only thing that’s rusty.” —Quirious Crey, Elven Visitor
The Rusty Hook is a freestanding warehouse converted into a tavern and inn by well-known ex-pirate named Karl Wine. Situated near the Noble District, many well-to-do Sasserinians would gladly tear down this eyesore.
The Rusty Hook was once a warehouse, and it shows. Karl Wine, a one-handed ex-pirate, won the crumbling building in a game of cards from some fool years ago. Wine took one look at the place and realized he had no idea what to do with it. Since the only things he knew were drinking, fighting, and wenching, and since the place wasn’t a boat, he decided to set up a tavern instead, naming the dive after his much-neglected prosthesis.
Running a tavern out of a warehouse wasn’t altogether clever; the place was far too big, being one huge room. Wine spent a couple of months thinking and drinking, slowly working out how he could make it work. One morning, after a particularly lewd evening of debauchery, he woke up on his back. He shoved the prostitute off his belly and realized the ceiling was easily forty feet overhead. He had an idea. He’d split the place horizontally with a new, lower ceiling for the main room, with plenty of space above for the bunkrooms. Construction began, and a year later, the Rusty Hook opened for business.
Although Wine had a good idea, he was never one to consider his plans—the main floor is still quite large. A shoddy wall runs across the middle, separating the common room from the kitchens in the back. Surprisingly, the food isn’t bad. The seafood is always fresh, if not a bit overcooked. Wine actually has a flair for cooking, but any attempts to bring the quality above its meager standard would be wasted on his rough-and-tumble clientele.
A ladder leads up to the second floor, which is cordoned off into a dozen or so rooms with leaning walls held up by hastily erected supports. Wine claims one of the rooms as his own, and it has a door that leads to another room occupied by his barmaids—all of whom were women of ill repute before getting honest work at the Hook. He rents the other dozen rooms by the month, week, day, or even hour. These are deplorable places, equipped with a foul cot and little else. Wine keeps one large room upstairs for the unconscious drunks, the bouncers depositing them to sleep off their benders—once their purses have been lightened to cover the cost of floor space. Most of the people who patronize the Rusty Hook are sailors, people used to living on the substandard gruel commonly prepared by the underpaid cooks that live on the ships.