The Empty Scabbard had a low-lying ceiling supported by thick wooden beams, and these beams continued down the walls, and braced into these vertical beams were brass oil lamps that illuminated the pub with a pleasant flickering yellow light. Yet it was very wide and very long, and so had room for well over fifty soldiers to sit and drink and eat comfortably. There was a rich medley of scents, from the fermented ale to aged mead and meaty stew and potatoes to imported Kôvudénean pastries and Kiharian cream-cakes. There was a large floor-to-ceiling fireplace at one end of the pub, with a small makeshift stage for the minstrels to play their instruments and stomp their feet as they sang old songs that had been passed down for generations upon generations.
On Mathion’s left side was a structure that many had come to acknowledge as the greatest feat of carpentry ever accomplished in Hádakaš: what many had affectionately come to nickname the Long Oak Bastard. This was, as its name implied, a two hundred-foot long bar of solid oak that was as long as the entire length of the Empty Scabbard. Behind it was a shelf stacked to tipping with bottles of the finest fermented drinks this side of the Greatwater. Looking through the sea of ruddy faces, Mathion spotted Narios, Kéle’il and Oharion at the far end of the Long Oak Bastard, a mug to each man. He walked up, and Kéle’il, obviously drunk, spun around in his stool.
“What is it now? I’m tired,” complained Kéle’il. “Can’t this wait until morning?