Today the theme is Tower.
Round the back of Palace Rock, up against the rock and the inner city wall, is an establishment which everyone knows as The Tower.
It doesn’t have any name outside, just a door and a couple of windows, along with a host of magically luminous signs advertising beer glasses, wine bottles, smoking pipes, Ophio braziers, playing cards, women, men and all sorts of other attractions.
It also has a couple of extremely heavily built bouncers outside the door (rumour has it they have ogre blood), although who they bounce can appear quite random – rough characters, dock workers, shady dealers in sharp suits, characters in dragon leather and cloaked and hooded characters get waved straight through, while reputable and smartly dressed individuals get turned away unless they have someone to vouch for them.
Once past the bouncers, you go into a large noisy bar, full of rowdy revellers. The bar itself runs the full length of the rear wall and above it is a sign “we stock every drink”. The selection of bottles behind suggests this is no idle boast, although the clientele always seem to be doing their best to drain the stocks.
A couple of doors either side of the bar also have their discreet minders; these are in sharp suits which almost (but not quite) conceal their muscular bulk. It is harder to get past these minders – you absolutely need to have an invitation and be on their (memorised) list.
If you do get past these doors, you will be met by an escort and taken to your prearranged location. Here you may enjoy an ophio trance, get an intimate “massage”, join a sex party, bet on dog or cock fighting, meet up with someone who can find a piece of information, source that special item for you (whether the current owner wishes or not), hire temporary muscle (no questions asked), and enjoy, arrange (or offer) many other “specials”.
The building extends up through about fourteen floors with the Palace Rock providing the backbone, and few people know its true extent. It is rumoured to connect to tunnels into the rock leading to who-knows-where – an underground city filled with kobolds or ghouls or other netherworld creatures, or maybe right out of the city and into the countryside beyond, or maybe a portal to other planes. Or maybe just (more prosaically) the sewer network.
One thing is for sure – it is sufficiently well protected by sufficiently powerful people that it is immune to the attentions of the Akorros Guard (although certain members of the guards have been known to receive tip-offs of the locations of wanted individuals who have somehow annoyed the establishment).
Come back tomorrow for Day 20, and we’ll do some Investigation.