The Old Skull Inn
The Old Skull inn was built almost 90 years ago by Buldo Silvermane, father of the present proprietor, Jhaele Silvermane Before that, another building stood on this site, noted in local diaries and histories as the Twisted Tower Inn. Little other than its name and the fact it existed for 100 years is noted. The nature of its demolition is unrecorded and unmourned, as the impression remains that it was less than sterling quality.
The Old Skull is far removed from that earlier inn, such that its reputation is known throughout the Dalelands, and - Jhaele would venture - around the Moonsea and into Cormyr and Sembia as well. It is a common stop of adventurers, merchants, and travelers along the main road and is known for the honesty of its staff, the quality of its mead and drink, and its relative safety in the heart of Shadowdale.
Jhaele Silvermane (NG human female Ftr5), daughter of Buldo, maintains the inn. A powerful, no-nonsense woman, Jhaele is a fine judge of human nature and more than capable enough to distinguish between those in need and those who are playing on her sympathy. She has seen just about everything in her taproom, from powerful bards reducing the assemblage to tears, to extradimensional monsters reducing the furniture to splinters. Jhaele usually wears a leather apron over a white blouse and a leather skirt when working (in this she is AC 7, including a Dexterity bonus). She has also specialized with the thrown dagger, such that she gains a +1 to her attack roll and a +2 to damage when using a thrown dagger or knife (and in her work, one is always close at hand). She uses this ability most frequently in business, though, not self-defense - to bury a blade with the tab attached into the door ahead of fleeing deadbeats. This action usually needs to be done only once (to the applause of the tap room) to carry its message across. Jhaele had a large family, but all her sons and daughters have moved elsewhere to seek their fortunes. The exception is her eldest, Durgo, who runs the family farm north of the Old Skull.
Staff of the Old Skull Inn
Jhaele's staff is extremely competent and have been with her for years. They include:
- Bardag Shultu: Bardag Shultu is Jhaele's hostler and stablemaster. He is usually in or about the Old Skull's stables (described in the "Village of Shadowdale" chapter). Bardag always has a number of horses of average quality available for sale. These animals include both regular drop-offs from merchant caravans and those left by adventurers who failed to pay their bills.
- Dora Leen and Sasha Baddja: Dora Leen and Sasha Baddja are chambermaids for the Old Skull, and tend to the rooms and cleaning up. They are quiet, efficient, and know to keep their mouths shut about what they see in the rooms. Only when activity appears to threaten the inn or the community (such as summoning extraplanar creatures after supper) do they inform Jhaele.
- Durman Hilesta: Durman Hilesta is Jhaele's carpenter and bouncer. Durman operates a small woodworking operation in competition with Hammerhand Bucko, but the bulk of his work is to repair damage to the taproom and upper rooms caused by adventuring companies that got out of hand. Durman is a normal human (8 hit points), but wears under his leather smock a girdle of stone giant strength. This girdle, a gift of a grateful adventuring company two years earlier, makes both of Durman's jobs easier. With it Durman has an effective Strength rating of 20. It grants him +3 to his attack tolls and +8 to his damage rolls. He may heft up to 535 lbs., and throw rocks of up to 198 lbs. up to 16 yards, for 2-12 points of damage. When wearing the belt, Durman can bend bars/lift gates with a 50% chance of success.
- Turko Breem: Turko Breem is both the cook and waiter of the Old Skull. A native of the Vilhon Reach, he believes his cooking is an art form well worth waiting for. Only Jhaele's strong will (and strong arm) guarantees that orders arrive on the same day they are placed. The good news is that once they arrive, the meals are delicious. Turko is more than a little vain about his abilities, and no amount of praise may convince him he is better than he already thinks he is. Mother Tara has a number of times sought to lure Turko away, but to no avail.