Once Upon A Time In The Empire
The Boatmens Guild
The Boatman’s Guild is a converted warehouse a short way from the bridge, facing the customs house across the river. The Boatman’s Guild is affiliated with the guild houses in Auerswald, Kemperbad and Altdorf, and work’s with them to protect an promote river trade. Membership is not compulsory, but in exchange for ten silver each month, the guild offers free accommodation for members in the four towns, a fund for widows and orphans, and contacts with local merchants and boatbuilders. Guild Members from Auerswald, Kemperbad, Ubersreik and Altdorf are admitted free, and permitted to bring one guest each. Boatmen from elsewhere are permitted at the cost of six brass coins for a “visiting membership” and also allowed to bring one guest each.
The lower floor of the guildhouse is a cheep and cheery tavern for members, with a dormitory to one side, while the upper floor houses Guild offices. Food and drink are cheaper here than anywhere in town, and thanks to the Guild’s halfling cook (and retired boatman) Robbo Brambledown, the food is plain but of excellent quality. Among other beers the bar serves Borgun’s Old Subterranean from the Cask (see Borgun’s Brewery and Thunderwater Ale from Stromdorf, as well as a variety of Bretonnian brandies, and other spirits picked up by Guildmembers on their travels. A flask of elven starwine, left behind by a rare visitor from Ulthuan, sits behind the bar in pride and place; it costs five silver coins for a single serving, but those who sampled it swear that it is worth every shilling.
The current Guildmaster is Friedrich ‘Fritz’ Langenhorn, a grizzled veteran of about forty five. He spent many years plying the route between Ubersreik and Altdorf until a badly broken leg forced him to retire. He has a bad limp, but gets about with the aid of a cane, which, as a few people have learned to their cost, is heavily weighted at one end and can do as much damage as a mace. He knows everyone who regularly passes through Ubersreik by river, and hears the latest news before almost anyone else in town.
“Remember back before we got rid of the Von Jungfreuds, when things were getting a bit tense with Auerswald? There was talk of them blockading the river to cut off our trade, and do you know what old Fritz did? He got together with the boatbuilders and adapted five barges to carry cannon and iron plates. It never came to that, but he figured out how to do it if it was ever needed.”