Gold Goblin Gambling Hall
Welcome to the Gold Goblin, handsome, the hot spot for turning fortunes and winning wagers beneath the arch. Looking for the squarest games, most honest dealers, and prettiest blamed barmaids anywhere in the port? Well, you found ’em, sugar! Ready to be a rich man? Hope so, ’cause tonight’s your night. Belly up to a table and get to winnin’; we’ve got the gold to make your dreams glitter. Good drink, fine food, and warm company’s extra, but we’ve got all that too—at prices so cheap we might as well be giving it away. So find a spot, honey, order a pint, and leave it all to us, ’cause here, even a goblin could win his weight in gold! —Mirri Salassa, head barmaid and greeter at the Gold Goblin Gambling Hall
Once a high profile venue and shining diamond of the bustling Wharf District, this run-down gambling hall currently run by Saul Vancaskerkin has seen better days and a half-dozen changes in ownership over the years. Despite financial setbacks, it continues to put up a good face and even provides beast fighting to bet on in competition with the nearby Zincher’s Arena.
The Goblin, as it is often called, was one of the first and finest gambling halls established in Riddleport many years ago. At the time, its brass-plated dome attracted the attention of sailors as they first made port and offered them a fine venue where they could relax and wile away the time at games of chance. As time and mismanagement tarnished its splendid veneer, the Goblin fell from prestige, going from attracting the captains and officer corps of incoming ships to their surly and questionably groomed crews, and finally becoming a haunt for deserters, ne’er-do-wells, and worse. As its clientele deteriorated, so did its fortunes.
Most recently, the Goblin was purchased by one of Riddleport’s former crime bosses, a washed-up one-handed swindler named Saul Vancaskerkin. Vancaskerkin refurbished the place in hopes of recapturing its upscale origins, even as newer and grander game halls opened on the northern edge of the city. Saul has had some success and has regained a portion of the Goblin’s more respectable clientele, but he knows that if he’s going to make a go of this business venture, he needs something more dramatic. To this end, he decided to hold a gambling tournament called “Cheat the Devil and Take His Gold.”
The Gold Goblin Gambling Hall stands as a reminder of better times in one of the slummier sections of Riddleport, just off its wharves and within bowshot of the Velashu River. A wide
veranda runs along the front between two short wings of the building. A massive, brass half-dome tops the building, but it is now tarnished and marred by the impact of years of weathering and bears a patina of greenish brown. Crowds of participants and spectators mill about on the street or file together through the main doors to sign up for the tournament.
Overseeing this gathering before the main doors of the building is an 8-foot-tall statue cast in shining gold to resemble a larger-than-life goblin. It balances a golden dogslicer on a pile of gold as it stairs with a smirking expression of satisfaction on its face, as if personally enjoying the crowds that shuffle past it into the doorway beneath the gambling hall’s gilded dome. The doors themselves are of a strong dark wood imported from southern lands and are decorated with multiple panels depicting signs of luck and good fortune (four-leaf clovers, crossed fingers, and so on). They can be locked and barred from the inside.
Entering the Gold Goblin requires a 1 gp fee. This being Riddleport, there is no ban on armor or weapons—just an unspoken agreement to not cause problems in a public space.