Zema married Kiger Julian when they were both young. Kiger’s father had been the third son of Count Vago and left him enough money to live comfortably on. Instead, Kiger invested everything in his bar The Ninebranch Hall. When he went off to war in 989 AI, he left Zema in charge. He died in combat not long after and Zema has kept the bar ever since.
In the intervening 9 years, Zema has gone from willful to downright spiteful. She has little patience, especially for them that can’t pay, ask for extra of anything or leave her place worse than they found it. Not stingy by any means but she drives a hard bargain, and she knows how to negotiate with the local farmers and merchants for the best goods at the lowest prices. She’s honest – to a fault – and would never overcharge a customer, even if she would tell them they were the “worst slice of ugly she ever saw.” This biting attitude has earned her the name “Sawtooth” among the locals.
The Ninebranch Hall itself is the marvel of Fallen Oak. Outside it resembles nothing more than a large, round-ish building about three stories tall. Inside, past a small cloak room always piled with dirty outwear and boots, there is the main floor – an enormous round room with nine butresses carved from local oak that meet in the center of the roof, perhaps 75 feet up. A small window at the apex lets light stream down in a solid shaft and at noon, it falls directly on the round, central bar in the middle of the room. Sawtooth is often seen disappearing into the trap door behind this bar that leads down to the cellar.
From either side of the entrance to the main room, a climbing staircase winds against the wall, about a quarter of the circumference of the room, meeting with a large balcony that runs all the way around the back half of the room’s perimeter. From this balustraded vantage, one can see the whole bar floor and has access to the many portals off this deck, leading to state rooms, suites and common sleeping rooms deeper in the building.