The Great Helm Tavern sits in the heart of Dragon's Gate, across the street from the Outback, Arena and the Twilight Isle portal. Its location makes it well suited for many of the city's warriors and travelers to gather for a relaxing drink or rejuvenating meal.
Standing two stories tall with stalwart walls of stone and mortar, the tavern is one of the oldest buildings in the city. It gets its name from the great battle helm affixed over the two heavy wooden doors that make up the main entrance, which faces the street corner. The helm itself is a striking piece that pervades an air of nobility. Although it has been recently restored, you can still find blemishes in the metal if you look closely enough whether they war-torn or weather-torn, it is unknown.
As you step inside, you enter the main room, which extends out to your left. The ceiling rises the full two stories, and two chandeliers hang down to provide the room with ample light. An array of ancient armor and weaponry adorn the open spaces of the walls. Against the far wall is a set of stone stairs leading up to a second-story balcony that runs the length of the front wall. The balcony and stairs are accented by a stone-crafted railing about waist-high. Three separate archways lead from the balcony to the outside terrace, which offers a panoramic view of the city that includes the Outback and Red Dragon Inn across the street.
Against the back wall is the bar. Constructed during some recent renovations to the tavern, the bar accents the building's old age. The countertop is hand-carved from the densest wood found throughout the realm, allowing it to stand up against usual wear and tear; the wood has also been dyed and finished to protect it from spillages and stains. Behind the counter are various cabinets for storing beverage containers and beer steins, and a pair of doorways leads back to the kitchen, pantry and tap rooms. The steins bear a distinct resemblance to the old war helms from which they were forged, offering an eccentric touch to the tavern's décor, with no two steins being the same. To the left of the bar is a hallway that leads to a pair of privies; past the privies is the back door that exits into an alley.
The tavern offers plenty of options for seating. Tables and chairs can be found scattered throughout the main room and inner balcony, while a few booths are available on the ground floor against the front wall. Stools line the entire length of the bar, and smaller tables that fit just two people can be found outside on the terrace. Even the window sills, set within the tavern's thick walls, are wide enough for lounging should space ever be at a premium.
If you move beyond the right edge of the bar, you will enter a smaller room where the ceiling lowers to a one-story level. There you will find a hearth carved into the left-hand wall, which provides the tavern with warmth during the colder seasons. The hearth is shared with the kitchen on the other side of the wall; sometimes you can sneak a peak inside the kitchen when the fire dies down. In the center of the room is a long, rectangular table labeled "The Lord's Table", which can accommodate large parties the room itself is often referred to as the Lord's Nook after the table. A collection of couches and small tables line the Nook's walls, and the windows are smaller than those found throughout the rest of the tavern, all adding to the Nook's cozier atmosphere.
The Great Helm is open at all hours. When the weather is warm, one of the front doors is regularly propped open. Some patrons may choose to bypass the main entrance altogether, however, by sliding in through one of the windows, which also are often left open. During the quieter times of the day, it may be a little difficult to find service chances are the staff on duty is napping in one of the back rooms. A loud banging on the bar or table should summon them from their slumber.