Monday, 20 October 2014

ACD downtime is coming

I'm taking Another Caffeinated Day down for a few days—there's no SLA here in the caffeinated bunker—that may extend a week or two.

Not like you expect to see a lot of stuff, daily, or weekly, or hell, monthly. :) It's not that I don't think about this blog, and I think about it a lot, but the servers are overdue for some maintenance and updates. Long overdue.

Additionally, I have new capacity on the server side to take advantage of as well as prep for some new features in anticipation of a podcast, forum, and more.

Don't fret. Much. ACD will be online until the last possible moment.

Posted by caffeinated at 11:25 PM in kaffehaus

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Z is for Zhufbar's Gates

Zhufbar Gates1 is a prominent tavern on the Konigsplatz. Noted for its stone worked façade and massive oak doors and iron work (said to be a scale version of the gates to Zhufbar itself), this tavern is respite for many dwarves in Altdorf. 

If a traveling dwarf is not drinking at the Yellow Bellied Gobbo or staying in the Dwarven Quarter proper, he or she will likely be found here. Inside the doors, the first floor stone and timber framing dominates the view.

The burning hearths, evident only by the belching chimneys outside, warm the room through out the cold months and the stone (and cold hearths) cool in the heat of summer.

Like the YBG, Zhufbar's Gates caters to a palate that likes big, bold meats for breakfast and supper and bigger, and bolder, ales and meads. The rooms are well appointed and the traveller, dwarf or human, can find games, very private snugs (amidst the stone walls), and the services of a madam (along with baths).

Expensive yes, but the dwarves that find themselves at Zhufbar's Gates are either already wealthy or on the way to Zhufbar to try their luck and get wealthy.

  1. [1] PDF

Posted by caffeinated at 8:30 AM in d10

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Y is for the Yellow Bellied Gobbo

The Yellow Belled Gobbo1 is every drinking dwarf's—sorry, every dwarf's—favorite tavern on the Konigsplatz. Owned by a mysterious individual some say is a man, others say a dwarf (and other still say is an immortal), but all say simply goes by the nickname the Goblinmaster2, the YBG is always crowded.

Forget finding lodging as it is always booked—though a respectable common room and a number of single and private suites are said to be available. The food is cooked by the well known Halfling chef, Taybell Hornblower, and the beer brewed on site by Norluna Durgrinsdotr, master brewer rumored from Zhufbar's famed Clan Durgrin.

The name of course is nothing less than what most of the clientele of YBG think of all greenskins, Gobbos not withstanding..

Do not pass on an opportunity to sample the ales, beers, meads on any Dwarven Holy Day (at least those known on the Imperial Calendar). The Goblinmaster's cellar is said to be storing decades-old brews for special occasions. The casks of each year's feature beer is aging for one, three, five, 10 and 20 years. The cellar is guarded by runes and axe.

Some say the Goblinmaster must be an elf that has not forgotten the alliance's between Elf and Dwarf before the War of the Beard. And many will cite the rumored age of beers in the cellar to prove the argument.

  1. [1] PDF

  2. [2] A tribute to Kev "The Goblinmaster" Adams. Whose sculptures will be immortal to all fans of Warhammer.

Posted by caffeinated at 12:00 AM in d10

Monday, 28 April 2014

X is for X'Bbarfol's Table

No one remembers how the owner pronounced the name of the tavern. Kiss Barbara Full? Zee Barf All? It matters not, the tavern is no more. It was barely open for an hour and all that remains on the Street of a Hundred Taverns is the wreckage of ash, charcoal and glass.

X'Bbarfol's Table ran afoul of the Sigmarite scholar and martyr Siggurd Jacob. Siggurd was a professor at the University of Altdorf and former archivist of the Cult of Sigmar. Sigmarites, already weary of the written word in many forms, expelled Siggurd after a spat about the ascension of the new Grand Theologist shortly before the Storm of Chaos. A forgotten name in the history books, Siggurd sought to redeem his name and his faith in a blaze, figuratively and literally, when the X'Bbarfol's Table opened its doors.

X'Bbarfol's Table opened with a lot of fanfare. Its shingle was hidden until opening day and the owner, now forgotten as well, hired trumpeters and jugglers to reveal the shingle and open the door for free drink. Fortunately (though some jokingly say "unfortunately") Siggurd was there, walking to the University. 

On seeing the tavern's name he proclaimed that it was the true name of a Lesser daemon of Khorne and soon had the Templars of Sigmar on the doorstep. Fanatically citing from the Book of Sigmar and channelling a passion seen in few high priests of the order, a mob soon formed. Siggurd carried the first torch into the tavern. Siggurd, and the owner, were never seen again. The fire brigades were soon formed from the very mob that started the fire and the street was spared any further damage.

Posted by caffeinated at 11:26 PM in d10

Saturday, 26 April 2014

W is for the Weary Hearth

The Weary Hearth1 is barely on what one would call an alley and only can be associated with the Street of a Hundred Taverns because one can see its front door, if the sun is just high enough and at the just the right angle in the proper season from the famous street.

In the Docklands, the Weary Hearth is nickname given to the long forgotten proper name of the tavern. The sodden and soft wood shingle, like the door, barely hangs from the rusted iron scrap clinging to rotten wood. The customers of the Weary Hearth bear a lot in common with the name: they are often weary of life, job, love, and sobriety.

But seeing the tavern's miserable customers and its chamberpot streaked façade belies the quality of wine, spirits and mead served. Where one will expect to find the worse rotgut, one instead finds a collection of Imperial wines from all over the Empire and a fruit laden white wine and vodka drink that the owner Nello Dilberto, an old Tilean wine trader, makes himself. Dilberto smuggles a lot of his spirits and wines past tariff collectors and bailiffs. He is often left with wines that, all of average quality, can't be sold to in market to the more refined palate of Altdorf or the more cautious innkeeper, and by cautious one should understand as not to be caught by the tax collector.

Nello employs three women in the bar that double as whores. The women have regulars and often turn an uninterested eye to anyone walking off the street. Pray that you don't catch their interest however. While one may likely find company for the night for the cost of a meal and a few drinks, if her 'regular' were to find you, it's provocation enough for a fight. And the bar bears the evidence of quite a few quarrels over the girls.

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Posted by caffeinated at 10:43 PM in d10

Friday, 25 April 2014

V is for Voyager's Retreat

Arrival in Altdorf by the Reik will typically find one's river transport in the Altdorf Pool and either anchored amidst hundreds of other craft—large and small—or docked at one of the seemingly thousands of piers and quays that project into the pool.

The Voyager's Retreat1 lies in that "gray area" off the Street of a Hundred Taverns proper, but near the up market beginnings of the Three Toll Bridge and yet still in the seedy Docklands. The tavern caters a budget traveller because of its location.

Any guest that overnights at the Voyager's Retreat will be immediately pleased by the huge breakfast portions provided by the tavern keep's wife. The breakfast usually keeps guests for extended periods and more than makes up for the small and common restroom used by guests and bar traffic alike.

In the back some nice stables are kept for three mounts. The stables have reputation of being somewhat overrated by appearance alone. Only the most basic livery services are offered. Horses have been stolen from the stables in the past, if only because the owner doesn't provide a regular watch, or a reliable one.

  1. [1] PDF

Posted by caffeinated at 11:23 PM in d10

Thursday, 24 April 2014

U is for the Ur Tankard

The Ur Tankard1 is a tavern for scholars from the University of Altdorf and some of the Magical Colleges (Bright and Celestial wizards mostly) and not a few young Dwarves (most of whom would be the students grandfathers if they were human).

North of the Konigsplatz at Scholar's Walk the UrTankard's owner focuses on keeping these mostly rich burgher's children from being rolled by the thieves on a walk back to campus, he offers few services that could get these kids in trouble. A small dormitory is available, mostly for students to sleep off an evening of drinking. 

Besides the reputation of being a place for rich children that spend too much time reading to get drunk, the tavern is of constant interest to the Sigmarites. It's said the interest starts with the shingle outside the Ur Tankard. Carved every year by graduating students—sometimes stolen, but always returned—the sign is a mess of symbols and phrases that obscure the tavern's proper name. Some have said the sign glows on certain nights and others say that it gives them the "shivers." But no one has ever seen any aura to warrant its permanent removal. In fact, the owner has filed civil writs to have it "left alone."

As is a reputation of a tavern for scholars, the Ur Tankard has a better reputation for its strong wines and spirits and less for its beer, ale, and mead.

  1. [1] PDF

Posted by caffeinated at 7:38 PM in d10

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

T is for the Traveller's Rooms

The Docklands side of a Street of a Hundred Taverns, as readers will have noted throughout this tour, is home to some desperate, if hard working, people. This is especially true of you leave the main thoroughfare proper.

Lingering on the edges of however are taverns and inns that cater to the poorer traveller. The Traveller's Rooms1 is exactly that, a small tavern with two small rooms and, like so many poorer watering holes, a barroom floor doubling as a common room.

The Traveller's Rooms offers little in the of services save lousy beers, ales and cider with ridiculously jingoistic names like Valten's Stouthearted Stout or Gobbo's Bane Hard Cider and Sigmar's Black Fire Black Ale. The poor traveller will find little else but passable food and a place to lay their head.

Being in the Docklands though may also mean keeping a dagger, sword, axe, or hammer nearby. Desperate people often will steal what pennies are not spent on living, drinking or resting.

  1. [1] PDF

Posted by caffeinated at 12:00 AM in d10

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

S is for the Sovereign's Lodge

There are few places in Altdorf with a more storied past than the Sovereign's Lodge1.

Starting with a classical entrance that is rumored to have been paid for by Magnus the Pious himself and the largest suites host to the entourages of many Elector Counts visiting Altdorf.

As fine a reputation the Sovereign's Lodge holds with dignitaries, its reputation in Altdorf is that of "an expensive hostel for rich brats." A more puritan sort of rumors often like to believe the Sovereign's Lodge will be burned to cleanse the corruption of the Empire. These rumors may indeed be rooted in stories of ghosts, mysterious explosions, daemonic possessions and dead bodies, but the building still stands after four centuries of such rumors and stories.

But corruption exists in many forms. The stables are said to be run by a Tilean crime lord that uses the influence of the clientele to provide a very carnal service to upper class guests and throughout Altdorf. The prices are inflated for a service that is said to be worse than many smaller places to include a "lousy, and small, breakfast" and "watered down spirits in the tavern."

Despite the local reputation and the many disturbing stories, the Sovereign's Lodge continues to reap the benefits, and revenue, of its guests and share in those guest's often carefree spending habits.

  1. [1] PDF

Posted by caffeinated at 7:53 AM in d10

Monday, 21 April 2014

R is for the Rover's Arms

Like Quenelles Steed nearby, the Rover's Arms1 caters to a western traveler with a sympathetic ear for or a quaint disposition for the simpler life of Bretonnia. Unfortunately, the common Imperial understanding of the feudal system of Bretonnia and the shear poverty and oppression of Bretonnia's peasant class is grossly misunderstood. It is often suspected that Bretonnia likes it that way too.

At the Rover's Arms you will like find the talk centered around archery. If the decorations of targets, arrows, and bows didn't give it away, the immediate availability of services from bowers, fletchers and smiths skilled in arrowhead making.

The tavern offers a few single rooms and a clean common room, but expect the owner to bend your ear about all things bow and arrow. Elves are a common sight here and are welcome, especially if displaying anything to suggest elven craftsmanship.

  1. [1] PDF

Posted by caffeinated at 1:23 PM in d10