Rathwood

The cramped gold leaf sign announcing Rathwood's Confectionary And Spiritshouse is in front of an overly-ornate storefront on a street with other wizardly business that cater to the College's students, staff, and professors. The front of the business is devoted to long candle-lit glass cases that contain candies, sweets, pastries, smokes, and beverages of a distinctly alien and possibly sinister nature. Deeply cowled servers man the counter, wrapping up the confections for a procession of unhinged-looking and mysterious patrons. Small brass locks seal some of the candy boxes and some of the beverages are decanted into flickering glasses.

Situated in the back area are many comfy leather chairs and some furtive looking characters imbibing shots, sipping tall purple beers, and eating cakes that chime quietly when you run a fork through them. Pritchard orders the most normal-sounding ale off of the menu from the cowled server, but gradually begins to sample more of the exotic fare as the night wears on. Each time the waiter takes another order, he warns Pritchard about possibly hazardous conditions and combinations of the items being served. Mr. Rathwood apparently has suffered a lot of heat from the Glantri authorities for past activities, and wants to keep patrons from dying immediately on the premises. Pritchard notices that many of the menu items are marked "take-out only". The stated reason the Rathwood's is still open is that he serves the best Jinn Torte in town, a Glantrian dessert served when a wizardling graduates.

The door of Rathwood's Confectionary and Spirits House opens with the dull jangle of copper chimes at the door and three pointy little hats enter and pass the glass counter under the watch of the deeply cowled server. "Right this way gentlemen." intones his low and rasping voice and he leads the trio of brightly adorned gnomes to the back area that Pritchard described from last week.

Many eyes of noble-but-tainted patrons stare over their pulsating blue drinks and mewling puddings to gaze at the highly irregular visitors. Snickwick, Grittlesby, and Frognettle are lead to the back corner where fine half-size chairs and a table are produced on a slightly raised dais. The server seats them and presents them with a menu but clasps his long nailed hands before his chest.

"You fine and distinguished gentlemen may of course order anything from the menu. However the master Rathwood has told all of his staff to inform him of any patrons of the gnomish race so that he may personally cater a delight for their enjoyment. The course has a very high material cost but I am assured it is quite worth the slight time and expenditure involved. With your permission gentlemen?"

And with that, the black robed server floats into the back kitchen and there is heard a rasping commotion and a dull gong is rung and many pots and pans are crashed together. Shortly thereafter another server cowled in blood red comes from the back and produces flute glasses of Whitelight Root-Wine, a very rare gnomish vintage that gives a warm sensation to the belly, an aged woody smell that lasts for hours, and pleasant geometrical streamers that flash in the imbiber's vision at each sip. This is followed by pressurized lighter-than-air blond beers brought in small wood casks tethered to a lead weight shaped like a laughing gnome.

The exotic drinks and snacks continue until at last the first server in black with long spindly fingers rolls out a cart with three trays. He places them on the table and uncovers the three to reveal what appear to be a small chimney made from a dark pastry substance, chocolate cylinders filled with cream, a series of gears made from cast toffee, a small and delicate white egg on the top of the sugary structure, and what appears to be a minuscule fire elemental dancing around the lip of each plate. "Gentlemen, I present the Clockwork Cocoa Cake."

And with that the server cracks each of the eggs into the mouth of the tiny chimneys in turn. The cylinders of cream empty their contents into the base of the cocoa structure as well. The toffee wheels begin to crank away for several minutes as the three gnomes watch in rapt silence and the server leaves. Slowly the teeth of the gears of the toffee strip away and the cogs spin off the main structure, chasing the small fire elemental into the base of the pastry furnace. The whole plate begins to slowly heat with the fine scent of baking sugar and cocoa and continues for some minutes until the hard-cookie oven splits under the heat to reveal a perfectly square serving of cake before each gnome.

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