And we’re BACK!
With word spreading of a powerful new steam boat now operating between Antonica and the frozen continent of Velious, us adventurers Dynomite Megajoule and Alefia Gigglepickle had no choice but to dust off our walking sticks and keep this quest going. With new unexplored land comes the promise of new bars, new brews, and surely no shortage of ice to keep our frothy loot chilled through the journey. Persuaded by rumors of a prominent bar scene, the subterranean Coldain city of Thurgadin seemed to us like a proper place to begin (not to mention the very reputation of a dwarf). After a short hike through the Northern Desert of Ro, we caught the next skiff out to the awaiting ship and thus began our first Norrath bar crawl in over five years!
Stepping off the boat through Iceclad, the thought of whiskies, rums, wines, and porters to warm our bellies is the only thing on our mind. We waste no time heading straight to the city, other than of course stopping to deal with some frost giants who wanted US to warm THEIR bellies. We certainly did set their story straight.
At last! We’ve journeyed far and long to lay eyes upon the majestical beauty of this shimmering fortress of velium, once only a distant dream in the depths of Norrath lore. Just stepping foot into these legendary caverns is awe-inspiring to any dwarf or halfling alike, as we pause a moment to give thanks to the glory of all Coldain warriors and heroes since Colin Dain himself. Now where’s the bar!?
Ahh The Broken Glacier. A rather quaint establishment run by the Bottlenip brothers, this tavern and inn is kept warm and cozy by the hearty flame of a large stone furnace. It’s a welcoming sight to any visitor fresh out of the cold, located conveniently just through the front gates of the city. Rent a room for the night upstairs if your legs are weary, or head on down into the basement to find the bar. The selection of stiff spirits they’re serving do not disappoint either, including Melted Glacier Whiskey, Winter Falls Wine, and Bleeding Kromzek, the drink of a warrior.
It’s also worth noting that the inn-keeper located in the lobby sells brewing ingredients and jeweling supplies for the DIY hobbyist travelers! They’ve got a little something for everybody, here.
Moving onward to The Icy Mug, little did we know the pleasant surprises waiting for us behind these walls. Between the large frothy ale on their signage and panoramic front window, this bar certainly calls a little more attention to it’s self. Surely drawn in by the ample amount of seating available for dwarven shenanigans and camaraderie, loyal patrons are not in short supply here.
Upon sparking up a conversation with one of the fine Coldbeard bartenders, Alefia learnt they’re offering Icy Mug Souvenir steins for just 5 gold pieces! An excellent find for the beginning of our brew tour!
The mugs alone are enough to lift our spirits, but we also find some top notch beers being poured. Dain’s Choice Porter is no doubt worth mentioning first and foremost, named after none other than the captain, explorer, and hero Colin Dain. A porter fit for him is a porter fit for us. For the binge drinker there’s Coldain Ice Beer, cold activated within the blue mountains of Great Divide. There’s also Dire Wolf Pale Ale for lovers of man’s best friend, or Kromif Spit Vodka for the a truly tough gut.
Needless to say we’ve had a few by this point.
Meandering through the icy Thurgadin streets, we’re drawn to a fine jingle being played on a fiddle, accompanied also by a large ruckus. Upon closer inspection we find The Velium Keg in full swing party mode. One dwarf has already had more than his fair share, apparently forcefully ejected through the front window! Or did he stumble through on his own accord, forgetting the existence of a door perhaps?
There’s certainly no lack of bar service or amenities here. Up front there’s a lengthy bar tended by the Bartleby’s and plenty of seating to accommodate the drinking of their very own Velium Keg Stout. A keen eye might even notice that this is in-fact a fully operational Coldain brewery! Towards the back of the room and down a few stairs, there’s not only a second equally large bar, but also a functional brewing kettle and multiple velium-carved fermentation barrels! There’s also a generously sized dining table to host even the largest fellowship of brews.
Making note of the brew kettle location, which will certainly come in handy later, we head on out to see what’s next to see. As we venture into the west side of town, some angry shouting suddenly catches our attention. Curious to find out what’s happening, we approach The Holy Harbinger just in time to catch a group of dwarves chasing somebody down the road!
What the heck!? Who was that guy? After listening to the bar banter, we discover this heathen Horasug claims to believe liquor is EVIL and that it needs to be BANISHED from Coldain culture!
“Over my dead body!” exclaims Jorumin, a regular here by the looks of it. This halfling agrees with that statement, for never does a dwarf need go sober. That idea is simply not written in the lore of Norrath, and even considering such a brash departure to this belief is just blasphemy. Good riddance!
Anyway, listening in on more bar chatter, the true purpose of The Holy Harbinger bar in Thurgadin finally becomes clear. They uphold dearly a religious following to the god of liquor! While some patrons may ask for Frostreaver Frozen Vodka (claims the bartender), the strongest spirit they offer is their very own Harbinger Holy Ale. An ale blessed by the liquor gods? I’ll allow it.
So by the time we leave there we’re feeling pretty blessed by the gods indeed, if you know what I mean. Good thing there’s only one charted bar left in town: Doogle’s Drinks. Located near the entrance to the old Thurgadin Mines, this fine establishment is surely catered to the lower key folk of Norrath. Offering a wide selection of spirits (most all of the non-exclusive drinks previously mentioned), this small bar sports the only dart board in town and also the only available rum in town. Their claim to fame is Doogle’s Spiced Rum, sure to light the fire of any soul who dares indulge.
We don’t even bother trying to stay standing for the final bar shot!
Alas, our bar crawl of Thurgadin was then concluded. However, after leaving the city and showing off our prized Icy Mug Souvenir steins, we quickly learn there are actually MORE of these treasures available for the taking! Word has it that many of the bars we visited offer their own take on a souvenir glass, if only you talk to the right person. So fear not, we’ll soon be back once again with more Thurgadin loot, Velious adventures, and even some fresh exploration of Kunark and the mainlands!