At the end of a narrow alley off the street that runs behind the warehouses is a large but unobtrusive hostelry called the Pelican’s Perch. Every true Suiddocker knows where it is, and it is a favourite watering-hole for stevedores, rivermen and dubious traders of all kinds. It opens from noon till midnight.

The interior of the Pelican’s Perch is larger than one might expect from the modest entrance. There is a large common room, and a number of curtained booths and side-rooms for those patrons who require privacy. It is rumoured that there are secret passages leading to all the sewers around, used for smuggling and other nefarious activities.

The Pelican’s Perch is owned by Ishmael Boorsevelt, a former ship’s mate who lost his leg (and, some say, a few of his marbles) when his last ship was destroyed by a sea-monster in the Aryth Ocean. Sailors are known for being superstitious, but Ishmael is legendary. For instance, he fears being known only by his last name: “That’s the mark of a dead man,” he mutters. “Just call me Ishmael.” Few people even know he has a last name.

The Pelican’s Perch offers a wide range of local beers and spirits, including the notorious Alte Geheerentode rum and Braakbroew strong ale. It also boasts an array of brandies from Illian and Aiel Waste vodka. The range of drink available is well-known throughout the Suiddock – as, indeed, are the prices, which are lower than one might expect. The Perch also offers accommodation – there is a bunk room upstairs, with twelve bunks. Ishmael charges 3/6 per person per night, in advance, whether you get a bunk or not, and he is not averse to overbooking. According to the regulars, the record is thirty-two people in the bunk room.

Entertainment at the Pelican’s Perch includes singers, storytellers and exotic dancers, all on a nautical theme. There is no regular program of entertainment – “it happens when it happens”, as the regulars say. A loaded crossbow behind the counter prevents critics in the audience from getting out of hand.

The Perch is named after Ishmael’s pelican, Beaky, who has the run of the place – much to the discomfort of unwary customers.


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