The Belching Dragon Inn and Tavern
Highmoon, Deepingdale

Hendel Thistletop & Tregga Dobardin, Co-Designers
Hendel Thistletop, Proprietor

Design contributions from:

Jestar the WizardMycroft
Listening WomanCourt Jester
LadydiThe Swordsman
Xerxes AragonThundermug

Room Descriptions
  1. The Tavern

    The Dragon's central room is roughly 60'x40' (seating for 65 customers, maximum capacity of 100 people), with four central supporting pillars in addition to large visible roof beams (covered with clinging decorative grape vines). The four support pillars are all skillfully carved to resemble adventurers facing inward towards the stage/gaming table, as follows:

    1. Two male dwarven fighters, one standing atop the other, his long beard hanging down into the face of his companion below.
    2. A tall female elven warrior, with full armor and weapons, all carefully recreated in detail.
    3. A pair of halfling thieves, female standing atop the male's shoulders, with his face carved as if he is about to sneeze and upset their precarious balance.
    4. A tall male human mage, wearing the traditional robes of that class, leaning on a very detailed staff with a miniature dragon curled around its top.

    Pillar (c) is hollow, leading from Hendel's office on the second floor to the storage area below in the cellar. A carefully hidden panel in the bottom half allows access from the tavern level as well. All four supports have a "permanent illusion" cast upon them that causes them at random moments to appear as if they are winking at patrons. They also possess a "magic eye" dewomer that relays what they "see" to mirrors in Hendel's offices, both behind the bar and on the second floor.

    The central gaming table, constructed of heavy polished oak, is 12' in diameter, and provides sufficient room for 10-12 players. Controlled from behind the bar, the center sinks downward 8" (leaving a 6" high rim around the outer edge) for dice and similar games, or remains flat and level for card games or stage use. A set of 4' wide steps rises from the floor to table level when it is being used as a stage (also controlled from behind the bar). Hendel is in possession of a circlet that, when worn by a bard, musician, or storyteller, creates illusory visions (in one-quarter scale) of the scenes in the wearer's imagination or memory, over the surface of the gaming table. If The Dragon does not have a current resident bard, he will lend it to visiting troubadour (for half of their profits from the evening), but the circlet requires at least six hours of use before it can be effectively utilized by someone that has never used it before. The circlet is useless outside The Dragon, and if an attempt is made to remove it from the premises, it teleports back into Hendel's office, along with whatever it was contained in (pouch, pack, etc).

    Hanging unsupported in midair just below the ceiling over the gaming table is The Dragon's dimensional portal. A 8" diameter (1" thick) ring of some unknown silver-gold metal, with complex inscribed runes on it's bottom surface that at all times glow faintly red, and that brighten when the portal is in use, encircling a swirl of colors in the ring's center. When activated, an image of the being desiring to pass through appears in the air over the gaming table, seemingly floating between the table surface and the portal. Actual passage through the portal in either direction requires that Hendel or Tregga (only) make the appropriate verbal and somatic responses (an extended hand grasping and turning as if at a doorknob and pulling towards the side of the body, while saying softly "emoclew"). The image then disappears, and the actual person falls through the portal at high speed, slowing to a gentle stop on the surface of the table. For those using the portal to leave, this is reversed (a slow but quickly accelerating rise from the table into the portal). The verbal/somatic components for the reversal of the portal are a open palm pushing away from the body as if closing a door, with the spoken word "eybdoog" (again, only effective if performed by Hendel or Tregga). Hendel and Tregga, along with those they designate by giving the chosen individuals "keys" (small gemstones that are attuned to the portal) may pass through freely in either direction at will, without requiring the portal to be manually opened. The portal also has a permanent continous light spell cast on it, that illuminates the entire table below.

    The interior of the tavern is well-lit during the day by the large windows along the front and sides, and at night by six 1" globes of magic light, three spaced evenly along each side of the room. Their brightness can be controlled by vocal commands of "brighter" or "dimmer" from either Hendel or Tregga.

    The bar is made of the same heavy oak as the gaming table, with elaborate scrollwork on the front edges and a smoothly polished top. Both of the trapdoors in the floor leading to the cellar swing up towards the back of the bar - above the left one there is a moving block and tackle bolted to the ceiling for lifting casks and crates from below. The casks on the shelf behind the bar have facings carved in the shapes of magic beasts - two unicorns (one black, one white), two leering horned gargoyles, and two dragons with prominent spikes atop their heads. The heads serve as taps, their horns moving and beverages pouring through the mouths. In a secret compartment under the bar, Hendel keeps "Goodnight" - a small (14") cudgel made of black wood with a leather-wrapped handle. Any person struck by it on any exposed area of skin must successfully save against Rod/Staff/Wand at -4 or collapse immediately into unconsciousness for 1-3 hours. On the wall behind the bar are also two large (8'x4') woodcuttings, the right depicting the six original members of Fortune and Glory, the left The Dragon's reptilian namesake (a comic dragon reclining upon its back, a pile of empty armor pieces beside it like lobster shells, picking at its fangs with a lance while it emits a prodigious fiery belch). Hendel's eyes and those of the dragon in the cuttings possess the same "magic eye" spell as the support pillars.

    A magically animated broomstick, with straw bristles at one end and a mop on the other, normally stands in the northwest corner under the stairs. About once an hour (or upon command from Hendel or Tregga) it circulates through the tavern, deftly avoiding all other objects or people, and cleans up any spills or debris on the floor. Rarely, it mistakes small items on the floor for trash and will attempt to remove them (with Hendel or Tregga's assistance, they are easily recovered, as the sweepings are deposited in a small box under the stair). The item was acquired from an eccentric (Hendel would use the term senile) wizard, and occasionally engages in what can only be described as jokes, poking its handle up skirts and otherwise misbehaving in other small harmless ways, though it does not otherwise show any signs of sentience.

    A gleamingly polished, 3' high metal figure, with oddly fashioned manlike features stands beside the door. Tambiro is a special iron golem (see "Personnel" for a complete description), who in addition to serving as The Dragon's bouncer, functions as its translator as well. A permanent area effect version of the "Tongues" spell has been cast upon his metal body, allowing any speaker within the tavern to understand any other. Tambiro is sentient, and will enter into conversations if addressed directly, but does not otherwise interact with The Dragon's patrons.

    The rails of the banisters on the two stairways leading up to the second floor are covered with the same clinging ornamental grapevines as the ceiling beams, and carved as almost all the wood surfaces in the building are. The top and bottom steps of each stairway are scales, which register the weight of anyone using the stairs and through a series of gears and weights underneath, adjusts the height of the steps proportionally (it reacts to weights from 25# to #500, and adjusts from 2" to 12" in height). Both brick fireplaces under the stairways were built with internal channels to evenly heat the room and conduct warmth into the upper levels of the building. When the temperature in the room rises above 85 degrees, or falls below 70, the three-quarter scale head and neck of an illusory dragon (blue or red, respectively) rises from the middle of the central gaming table and breathes a stream of frost or flame in a circle around the room. The dragon is faintly translucent, betraying its illusory nature, but can still be startling to those unfamiliar with The Dragon. The actual temperature change is achieved through more mundane means, a series of vents and channels, the dragon is only for show.

  2. Hendel's Office

    This 8'x18' room behind the bar is where Hendel takes care of business matters having to do with The Dragon. The oaken desk and chair set in the northwest corner, although large, are scaled to comfortably fit Hendel's small form, but the two chairs opposite the desk are constructed for heavier human bodies. A large (4'x4') mirror in a complex frame is on the south wall, and displays on command (from Hendel) anything seen through the "magic eye" spells in the tavern. Opposite that in the north wall is a panel that opens into the dumbwaiter (connecting through to the kitchen), and behind his desk on the west wall is a large (6'x4') clearly drawn map of the Forgotten Realms, with colored pins stuck into various areas. The remaining wall space is taken up with shelves holding books chosen more to impress visitors by their heft and learned-sounding titles than for their actual utility (although there is a sizable collection of books on the making of various intoxicants).

    A carefully hidden trapdoor in the southwest corner of the floor leads downward into the cellar, where it connects with the secret tunnel in the east wall. There is also a secret (needle trapped) compartment in Hendel's desk, where he keeps a hand crossbow of drow manufacture, with a bundle of ten bolts, all coated with a potent sleep-inducing poison.

  3. Storeroom

    A collection of boxes, barrels, and crates are stacked in an apparently random fashion around this 14'x8' room. Various non-foodstuff supplies for The Dragon are kept here, including flagons and other containers, bedding, chairs, a table, and various (non-valuable) items left by previous patrons. Hidden behind the table in the northeast corner is a secret door, opening into the Private Room in the rear of the tavern.

  4. Kitchen
  5. The kitchen is a large (28'x20'), very well-lit and airy chamber, with windows lining the outside walls. A large brick firepit takes up the center of the west wall, complete with an automated spit (clockwork). The rest of the west and north walls are taken up by wide, low stone counters (the tops of which are covered with a hard wood) - the 12'x6' table in the center of the room is similarly fashioned. A double sink (with drains to the outside) providing hot and cold water (mechanical pumps, with the firepit doing double duty as a heater). The iron oven on the south wall, its base covered with arcane runes, is actually a unique "magic jar" containing a fire elemental. Next to it is the counterweighted dumbwaiter, that carries food up and down from the second floor buffet table.

    Overhead racks holding various utensils, knives, pots, pans, sacks and jars of spices and seasonings, and several less easily identified objects that Tregga will not explain, but which include what look like tools and (apparently) ingredients are suspended from the ceiling over the table and both counters.

  6. Pantry
  7. Two 4' double doors lead from the kitchen to the 12'x20' pantry. There is no window, light is provided by a magic globe identical to those in the tavern. The room is permanently chilled by spellcraft, but only the 12'x6' locker in the south wall is actually at freezing temperatures. Meat and other perishables are kept there, while foods less susceptible to spoiling are kept in the outer area. Although some drinks (milk, some juices and extracts) are stored in the pantry, all of the alcoholic beverages are kept downstairs in the cellar.

  8. Private Room
  9. This 20'x20', luxuriously appointed chamber is used for private meetings, and occasional members-only gambling. There are large windows on the exterior walls, but they are equipped with heavy folding shutters (a magic globe provides light if the windows are closed). The single door can be locked only from the inside. The U-shaped table in the center of the room is fashioned of the same solid oak as the tavern's central gaming table, and the ten chairs around it are covered with softly tanned wyvern hide. The table is also equipped with an illusory capacity similar to that of the central gaming table, activated through a circlet and subject to the same restrictions.

    An exquisitely crafted 8'x15' tapestry depicting an adventuring party engaged in battle against a huge skeletal dragon covers the west wall, and a pair of colorful standards hang from poles against the north and east walls (one is that of the original Fortune and Glory, the other belongs to Halfling, Inc, the all-halfling adventuring company in which Hendel holds an honorary membership). Secret doors in the southwest and northwest corners lead to the storeroom and outdoors, respectively.


For descriptions of Hendel Thistletop and Tregga Dobardin, see their own individual character files. The following information is on the other NPC employees or permanent residents of The Belching Dragon.

Cara Torwald

(AC10; RO1; hp 3; MV 120' (40'); #AT 1; Dmg by weapon type; Save R1; AL NG; S 12, D 15, C 9, I 13, W 10, Ch 17). 5'4", 115#, age 19, hair black, eyes green, hand left.

Kiri Torwald

(AC10; RO1; hp 5; MV 120' (40'); #AT 1; Dmg by weapon type; Save R1; AL N; S 10, D 14, C 11, I 15, W 9, Ch 16). 5'7", 130#, age 19, hair red, eyes green, hand right.

Cara and Kiri are (non-identical) human twin sisters, employed by Hendel as barmaids. Both of them are very attractive, and have friendly, outgoing personalities, which they put to use providing "additional services" for The Dragon's patrons upstairs (for a small gratuity). Hendel is aware of this, but doesn't have any part in it, nor does he object unless their assigned duties are neglected. The girls alternate four-hour shifts through the day, working together at noon and in the evening when business is heaviest. Neither speaks of her background before coming to The Dragon, Hendel suspects that they were kept in a slaver's train or something similar. Cara keeps a small dagger strapped to the inside of her right thigh (hilt down), Kiri carries a bodice knife, both are coated with a paralyzing poison (save to negate effect, otherwise paralyzed for 1d4 hours plus weapon damage).


(AC3; MO10; hp 80; MV 80'; #AT 3, Dmg 4-40 or by weapon type; Save FI10; AL N; S 20, D 17, C 16, I 17, W 18, Ch 15). 3', 345#, age unknown.

Tambiro's iron golem body holds the reincarnated spirit of an ancient monk from the eastern lands of Kara-Tur. He died peacefully, of old age, but was denied his rest by his students, who reincarnated him at great expense and placed his wu within the golem's body in an attempt to give him virtual immortality. In so doing, they set aside his teachings that the physical world is but a temporary part of life, and his anger at this was great. Irrevocably and permanently bound to the material world he'd forsworn, he wandered the world seeking knowledge, understanding, and perhaps a way to release himself from his imprisonment within the metal body. Even Tambiro no longer remembers the date he died and was reborn, the years, centuries, perhaps even the millennia, have become a blur of undistinguished time. Eventually he came to The Belching Dragon, and in return for dealing with unruly customers, is allowed to stay in the tavern, for he believes that through the portal will someday come the answer he seeks.

Right up to the time of his death, Tambiro was an expert in the unarmed martial art of Kyrin-Do ("Dancing Mongoose"), and the natural strength of his new form augments his fighting abilities, but they are only used to disarm and eject rude guests. Most of the time, he stands quietly, focusing inward in meditation, but if addressed respectfully and spoken to in what he considers an intelligent fashion, he will converse with patrons. On rare occasions, he will initiate conversation himself, with one he believes to possess extraordinary wisdom.

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