The Missing Minotaur was a tavern in Everlund, Luruar, circa the Year of Wild Magic, 1372 DR. Its proprietor was Elsk Thavarask, a retired adventurer, who named the tavern after the first monster he defeated. Locally, it was also known as the Map House because of Elsk's ongoing map-making project in the main room.
This establishment was located in Everlund on the west side of the city.
The Missing Minotaur was constructed not long before 1372 DR and had a wooden frame with flagstone walls on both the first and second floors. Its tile roof was pierced by two large chimneys, one in front for the main room and one in back for the kitchen, plus a few smaller chimneys that belonged to various rooms on the second floor. The second floor also had a veranda across the full width of the building that overhung the front entrance. Guests could sit there above the street and enjoy the cool night air, lit by lamps formed in the shape of minotaur heads. A sign jutted out from the veranda advertising the place, also with a depiction of the head of a minotaur.[note 1]
The main entrance was through big, reinforced, double wooden doors. They opened up into a foyer with a mirror and a coat-check window. Arched entrances into the main tavern bracketed the mirror, which was mounted on the back of the big fireplace. Round tables and high-backed chairs were scattered about the space with the L-shaped bar in the back-left corner.[note 1] Adorning most of the back wall above the bar was a large map of the North with smaller maps, notes, and sketches tacked around it. Through a door to the right of the map was the kitchen.[note 1]
Stairs leading to the second floor were located just inside the right-hand arch to the main room. The top floor had a central hallway that connected to a few private meeting rooms and gave access to the veranda. One back room above the kitchen was used for storage. It had a poor-man's dumbwaiter in the form of a small trap door between the room and the kitchen where things could be raised or lowered by rope and bucket. A ladder from this room went to the attic.[note 1]
The Missing Minotaur was a rowdy place where weapons were worn openly and the carousing lasted late into the night. Thavarask served strong brews, rotgut, and standard tavern fare to his patrons, who came more for the welcoming atmosphere, knife-throwing games, and freedom to talk about the finer points of crime, than for the food and drink. People escorted (or thrown) out of the more well-heeled establishments in Everlund often found their way to the Minotaur. Thavarask generally kept the peace by anticipating trouble and dosing the food or drink of the more aggressive clients with sleep-inducing poisons. He had a variety of venoms that could sap the vinegar out of most any villain.
Aside from the normal tavern business, Elsk had a hidden bedroom with a secret entrance that he granted to anyone that showed up and spoke the correct password. He fed and sheltered them at no charge for as along as they wished to stay, no questions asked. For this service, he was paid five hundred gold pieces per year by the Harpers.
A meeting with a Harper agent could be set up by asking Elsk or the barmaid, Elanthra, to meet with "Old Thammas". Mentioning "Larlaun" was a call to quickly rendezvous with several Harpers ready for battle.
Elsk was known to sell a dose or two of poison, but only to people he knew and trusted.
The building had no real defenses except for the high-quality heavy crossbow and +1 longsword owned by the proprietor, Elsk Thavarask. He was a retired adventurer that was very good at disarming people with his sword, and a crossbow at close range was usually enough to make anyone think twice about their next action, but he preferred to slip them some knockout juice in their next round of drinks.
As of 1372 DR, the Missing Minotaur was one of the newest establishments in Everlund.
Elsk and Elanthra were nearly always in the tavern. Two semi-regular patrons were Thold Ramaeras and Selth Dorlanneir, both members of the Arcane Brotherhood. Ramaeras often hired young adventurers to explore places of interest to him and report back on what they found. Dorlanneir hired out as a caravan guard, a wilderness guide, or a contract killer, whichever job suited him at the time.
The Harpers and the Arcane Brotherhood were well-represented at the Missing Minotaur, but some local groups also seemed to know a lot about what went on there. These were:
- The Black Buckler: mercenary fighters and rogues with a reputation for loyalty.
- Sarthun's Shield: spirited, semi-retired folks that worked as "extras".
- Tathtard's Rose: a clique of ruthless merchants that exploited situations for profit.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Ed Greenwood (March 2002). “Elminster's Guide to the Realms: The Missing Minotaur”. In Jesse Decker ed. Dragon #293 (Wizards of the Coast), p. 74.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Ed Greenwood (March 2002). “Elminster's Guide to the Realms: The Missing Minotaur”. In Jesse Decker ed. Dragon #293 (Wizards of the Coast), p. 75.