The Bucket of Blood
The Bucket of Blood

The Bucket of Blood

The Bucket of Blood

Location: Abyss / Pazunia / Broken Reach

The Bucket of Blood is a large, wild, and wildly successful tavern in Broken Reach.

“Want a taste of the Abyss, blood? Well, Broken Reach can offer you a safe haven. Graz’zt trade with many other planes. But none of these has the sheer appeal (and dangers) of the Bucket of Blood!”

— Advertisement leaflet in the walls of the Styx Oarsman by H.H.

Ruler: ‘Roy’ (goristro tanar’ri [he/him] /CE) serves drinks tirelessly. While not very bright, he mixes drinks like no one else. And he’s been doing it for ten millennia now. He is a little smarter than the average goristro, even if only to better understand the orders. But no mistake, he’s squashed all who’ve tried to seize the bar from him.

Behind the Throne: Seems like Roy is not as stupid as he looks. Many speak of the secret patron of the Bucket of Blood, but no one can pinpoint who it might be. Some speculate that the mysterious yugoloth musician is the wandering master of the bar, others that it could be the balor Grezzas’yut that frequently comes here to celebrate victories in the Waste. Yet more folks speculate that Roy is in the service of an Abyssal Lord. What no one dares suspect is that Roy actually has no master.

Description: There is no door, just a massive hole huge enough for two goristroi to try to enter at the same time. The structure, more like a fortress than a tavern, spirals deep into the ground and up into the sky, with red spines piercing petrified baatezu and hanging buckets of ever-flowing blood adding to the external decor, overshadowing even the Civic Festhall in its over-the-top decor. Inside the bar is a relatively simple place, but the drinks are something to die for. Inside, the gambling mobs rage and scream among sounds of shattering and wheels spinning. There are game tables, from human roulettes to planar card tables where the stakes are worth jink, slaves and souls. The are succubus and incubus galore, and dancing vrocks in hanging cages.

What’s your poison, cutter?

The seats are arranged in a spiral around the bar. Anyone sitting there can be challenged by those without seats and are taken to a small fighting arena over one of the beer tanks. The loser tends to get made into beer. Other places can be found around all over the walls and other tables.

The Bucket is a place with a history, that few tanar’ri dare question. It’s such a well-known haunt of tanar’ri troops on leave from the Blood War that the baatezu have tried to storm the place many times. They hoped that attacking the bar would draw attention and make the tanar’ri risk much to protect it. But the baatezu didn’t reckon on the ferocity of the patrons in defending their favourite drinking establishment, and the place still stands.

Although cavernously huge, in the Abyss this is what counts as a homely place. Since it’s located on the Plain of Infinite Portals, it’c a convenient meeting place for tanar’ri and their allies, and the many rooms and loud background noises helps protect the privacy of the clients. Being in Broken Reach, it’s also handy for access to the gate to the Outlands.

It is a common tradition among tanar’ri to take newly a promoted babau to a special assignment at the Bucket of Blood. His fellow babau order him to go to the bar and get out of there with at least ten recruits for the Blood War and they give him some time. If he fails he is branded and demoted, if he makes it he is accepted as a babau. Of course, that is easier said than done. Many a babau had to enter the bar twenty times before the clientele stopped throwing him out.

Militia: There’s no militia. Roy kicks any trouble-maker (from a tanar’ri perspective) out, or simply puts them in the dead-book. If he is wounded, this tends to rile the patrons, who generally defend him and reduce the offender to shreds. This usually earns them free drinks from Roy, assuming he is conscious. It’s in the patron’s interests to make sure he is.

Services: The drinks are the best in Pazunia, without question. Graz’zt found himself offering large amounts of riches, souls or power in exchange for either Roy’s services or, at least, his recipes. But the goristo’ll have none of it. There are many other kinds of services available by dealing with the house’s more illustrious figures.

  • Bub Face (planar green slaad [he/him] / CN) is a Blood War oracle. Unlike many other tellers of fortunes, Bub has a knack for foreseeing the baatezu’s plans. His services aren’t very expensive, just difficult to get. He only asks for drinks, but lots of them. He can’t — or won’t — make divinations before being rendered blind drunk, which can take days when dealing with a slaad. He has a habit of insisting his customers drink with him, which has proved lethal on more than one occasion.
  • For those with interests in the Blood War, Grezzas’yut (planar balor [he/him] / CE) is the blood one to meet. He serves under Marduk, fighting the Waste and taking care of abyssal politics.
  • One of the best recruiters of the Plain, Romeo (planar babau tanar’ri [he/him] / CE) is an old friend of Roy and is watched closely by the true tanar’ri.
  • Vanessa (planar succubus tanar’ri [she/her] / CE) is the house’s main attraction (and Romeo’s lover), with a voice capable of silencing the mobs.
  • The Musician (planar nycaloth [she/her] / NE) comes to play twice or thrice a year. She has a strange organ made of tortured petitioners tied to strings and made into tubes. Her company is a choir of canoloths trained from birth for this purpose. She wears a white mask and a large cloak, never speaking or accepting job offers. She plays wherever she wishes to, and just about the only place she visits regularly is this bar.

[Check out these incredible songs for examples you could use in a game session…! Music to Suffer By / Leona Anderson / Fish or Rats in my Room]

Local News: All kinds of chant from the Abyss may be picked up here. From jokes about which tanar’ri just got embarrassingly exorcised from the Prime, who the glabrezu are trying to corrupt now, to what the wastriliths are currently discussing in the Gaping Maw. While the chant is always changing though, the bar itself seems eternal; a symbol of the Abyssal way of life.

The Crazy Nun

The Bub: Crazy Nun is a mainstay in the Bucket of Blood. It’s the very first drink every visitor has to drink; this is one of the few rules of the bar. Crazy Nun is also listed among the nine drinks a true Sensate must have in his life. While the tanar’ri like saying it’s a nun polymorphed into liquid form, the drink is actually a wild mix of pineapple and slaad sweat with alcohol.

Death Rides Goristroi is the drink for the “macho” in the Abyss. Even tanar’ri may die from it. Most prefer not to take chances. It is a pitch-black substance that could be taken for a cola, but is made of an unknown venom blended with tamarind. One who often drinks it is said to live forever, but this may just be marketing. It’s Roy’s specialty. [Drinking this cocktail requires a saving throw vs. death / fortitude save DC20 to survive drinking it, but once resisted you can always drink it safely in future.]

Styx Ale from the Gaping Maw does not make one forget anything, but it does makes the drinker feel like a whirlpool is gonna absorb them all of a sudden. As the Abyssal proverb goes, “it tastes like crap, but good crap”. It’s the usual drink for the regulars in the Bucket of Blood and is strictly tanar’ric, deadly damaging to other races. If Roy is in a good mood he even points this out to humans who order it.

Source: Leo and Jon Winter-Holt,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *