The air inside the bar is heavy with acrid pipe smoke and stale alcohol, and it mingles in your nostrils with the body odor of myriad patrons. The dim light, cast by a dingy pair of oil lamps and a slowly-dying fire in the hearth, obscures stains of every hue imaginable. The bartender eyes you as you enter, puffing heavily on a wooden pipe carved to resemble a serpentine dragon, before returning to the glass they are “cleaning” with a dirty rag. The bar is stocked, floor to ceiling, with bottles of liquor both mundane and otherwise. The dust caking the bottles indicates some have been here years, if not decades. The patrons assembled here resemble the venue—worn, standoffish, and coated in a layer of grime.

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