Mephibosheth’s Mess hall

DM’s Text
As you walk into Mephibosheth’s Mess hall, you are struck first by the sound of conversation and the smell of hearty food that dominate the large common room. An immense diversity of individuals are enjoying their meals on the long, rough-hewn wooden benches. A woman says to you, “Welcome to Mephibosheth’s! Please follow the line to the left into the serving area. If you need any assistance, feel free to ask one of the volunteers.”

General Description
Mephibosheth’s Mess hall is a charity kitchen devoted to tending the needs and dealing with the problems of the city’s poor and destitute. It serves simple, hearty, and healthy fare and gives patrons the option of adding several enhancements to alter the flavor or increase the health benefits of their food. Some of these enhancements can cure minor ailments and wounds, others improve the consumer’s physical well-being for a short period of time, and still others increase the immune system of the consumer.

Mephibosheth’s also offers limited job-placement services for the down-on-their-luck (making liberal use of Mephibosheth’s contacts throughout the city) and a free dormitory where people can spend the night. The Mess Hall is funded mostly by donations from the well-to-do, but Mephibosheth does supplement this income with his substantial reserves (a combination of his inheritance and money he makes from his hobby/side-job of crafting culinary magic items).

The Mess Hall is staffed largely by volunteers, with the exceptions of Mephibosheth himself (who supervises the administrative side of the kitchen, ensures that patrons remain safe and sound, and helps run the kitchen staff, being himself an accomplished chef), Pravi (who assists Mephibosheth in his administrative duties, coordinates volunteers, greets patrons at the door, and occasionally treats the patrons and their children to an entertaining story), and Rasoya (the head cook, affectionately known as “Ovens” by repeat volunteers). Pravi is Mephibosheth’s wife and lives with him in the rooms above the Mess Hall, as does Rasoya (obviously, in his own private quarters). Additionally, the three friends keep a small magic laboratory on the 4th floor of the building where they make their magic items and experiment with new magical recipes and spells.

Mephibosheth’s Mess Hall is frequented mostly by the poor and the downtrodden, who go there for a bit of fun and a good meal. For many of the city’s poorest residents, Mephibosheth’s is their main source of nourishment. However, the food at Mephibosheth’s is far and away superior to other charity kitchens, and many members of higher social classes stop by when they are in the neighborhood. Additionally, Mephibosheth is well-known amongst the higher classes, and many of his friends and acquaintances come to visit and eat his food. People of all backgrounds tend to eat in peace at Mephibosheth’s, regardless of their normal animosities. The city guard frequents the establishment to ensure that this remains the case, and Mephibosheth and his friends frequently make use of calming magic to keep the mood even.

Finally, Mephibosheth views himself as something of an advocate for the downtrodden residents of the city, often lobbying the rulers to enact changes to help those on the bottom rung of society. He has amassed a significant network of contacts among the politically powerful within the city, using these friends to obtain donations and to pressure for political action.

Description (External)
Mephibosheth’s Mess Hall takes up the first floor of a well-made, four-story building made largely of brick with a wooden frame. Its front door is made of sturdy hardwood and its windows are made of thick, translucent glass. It located in the lower-class district of the city, where it is easily the largest and most well-constructed building around. A simple wrought-iron sign proclaiming the name of the establishment swings above the front door of the establishment, and the sounds of talking, laughing, music, and the general bustle of a busy cafeteria can be heard. Above the door and around the windows, you see intricate carvings in the wood, depicting scenes of generosity and bounty. Figures distributing food and water to the destitute are common, as well as scenes of individuals healing and helping the less fortunate. If you arrive on the premises early in the morning, around noon, or around the dinner hour, a sizeable line can be seen forming outside the front door and down the street. This line moves slowly but unceasingly into the kitchen.

Description (Internal, 1st floor)
Stepping through the door into the single large, well-lit common room, you are greeted by the heat from the kitchen, the sound of people eating and talking, and the smell of the food that seems to be everywhere. It appears that patrons wait in line to receive a plate and a glass and move through a serving line where they are given liberal portions of whatever’s on the menu. You look for a list of prices, only to realize that all food in Mephibosheth’s Mess Hall is free. Going through the line, you pick up a plain wooden platter and a sturdy, well-made but undecorated mug and get your food from the servers, almost all of whom greet you with a smile. Behind the serving line, you can see a large open window leading into the kitchen, were several cooks are busy preparing large quantities of the hardy, plain fare the Mess Hall serves. Having received your fare, you are confronted with a cheery woman asking if you would like any special additives for your meal. Your inquiry into the possible additives results in a list of curative and enhancing properties that can be added into the food in the form of seasonings or condiments. Finally, at the end of the line, you see a booth occupied by a man seated on a high stool. He introduces himself as Mephibosheth, the proprietor of the Mess Hall, and asks if you would like to sign up to stay in the dormitory for the evening, or if you would like to make a donation to the continuation of his charitable work, gesturing to a sturdy box with a slot in the lid. Finally, having passed through the line, you make your way to one of the many rough-hewn benches that stand in rows throughout the majority of the common room, where individuals of all shapes, sizes, races, and cultures are enjoying their hearty (and free) meals. You see large quantities of people who look like residents of the slums and poor districts of the city, but also a fair number of what appear to be adventuring groups (obviously looking to save on room and board) and some people who appear to be slightly more prosperous residents of the city.

Description (Internal, 2nd floor)
The second floor of the structure is also one single large room, this time dominated by a large quantity of sturdy two-layer bunk beds. At the foot of each bed are two small footlockers with padlocks (obviously, for visitors to store their belongings). The room is lit by the flickering glow of many torches (likely the result of a casting of Continual Flame) and heated by a large fire at the far end of the room. There are three rows of bunk beds, each containing around 10 beds, spaced about 5 feet apart.