Gerto hurried into the inn from the cold and quickly made his way to the warm fire. The wily gnome sat down near The Cinder Block’s famed magical stove, the first moment he had stopped moving since his escape. As the magical warmth hit the gnome he was overcome with lethargy and had to fight to stay awake, only the smell of good food kept him from collapsing right there. A half elven woman soon came to wait on the exhausted gnome collecting 10 gold coins for room, food, and drink. Gerto did not haggle. At least for this day, money upside would be no problem, in his rise from the watery depths below, he had recovered plenty of coin from several frozen bodies on the great stairs. As feeling returned to his cold numbed extremities and his clothes began to dry out Gerto took in his surroundings. A bard was entertaining in the crowded bar while sounds of elation and despair carried in from another room the gnome was sure held gamblers. Now that Gerto was inside he could tell that the Inn was only one part of this block sized building.
Walking from around behind several tall folk working the bar, Gerto was astonished to see Pilini the gnome whose adventures and search for the fabled city of Drakarmos had inspired Gerto’s own fascination with the magical city of Kaer Maga and subsequent imprisonment in the underwater city of Mons Montis. Gerto had no idea what happened to release him from Mons Montis or how the hidden prison city had risen from the depths, destroying half the Driftdowns. Like many who ended up in the slaver prison’s there, Gerto had gone there expecting to find Kaer Maga and instead found himself the slave of Claustrum, an Aboleth. Escaping the prison, Gerto had found himself swept up in a flotsam of poor and destitute that took to the grand stairs to escape the brutal cold. His experiences on that stair would haunt him for the rest of his days but he survived and had made his way to the only place said to be taking in anyone or providing any safety during this winter war, this place called The Cinder Block
Pilini now saw Gerto, not so much recognizing Gerto as recognizing the familial resemblance and style. Despite Gerto’s exhaustion, Pilini would talk to him for the next three hours before finally allowing the gnome to fall asleep in the room he paid so handsomely for.