Keepers of the Realm
Once a hilltop wayside inn, this site has become a walled community of ramshackle, often-rebuilt wooden towers and buildings now entirely cloaking a hill that overlooks the village of Womford across the river.
Bargewright Inn reeks of manure and filthy mud. It houses blacksmiths, dealers who buy and sell horses, mules, and oxen, wheelwrights, coopers, and wagonmakers. It has inns, stables, and warehouses, and two concentric rings of high protective walls with gates that are firmly closed and barred by night. (Individuals can pay stiff fees to be raised and lowered after sunset on rope-slung chairs, but nothing beyond what they can carry can pass.)
Bargewright Inn fell under Zhentarim influence a few years ago. Any member or ally of that faction can find a discreet welcome (and few or low fees) within its walls. The Zhentarim spy on everyone, even each other (or as one merchant put it, “especially each other”). Bargewright Inn is ruled by a plutocracy of business owners, most of whom are in the pockets of the Zhentarim. The unofficial leader is Chalaska Muruin (female Damaran human veteran), the terse, cold-eyed “Senior Sword” and master of the gate guards.
The largest inn, The Old Bargewright, was recently rebuilt as a substantial stone structure with thick walls, secret passages, and private chambers separated from nearby rooms by sealed-off passages. Innkeeper Nalaskur Thaelond (male half-elf) keeps careful watch over who comes and goes from his inn; it’s where Zhentarim meet to broker deals in commerce illicit in Minnariha, such as smuggled goods, poisons, and certain magic.