The Double Dip
A caravanserai is a building with a square or rectangular walled exterior, with a single portal wide enough to permit large or heavily laden beasts such as an inix to enter. The courtyard is open to the sky, and the inside walls of the enclosure are outfitted with a number of identical stalls, bays, niches, or chambers to accommodate merchants and their servants, animals, and merchandise.
Caravanserais provide water for humanoid and animal consumption, washing, and ritual ablutions. (Sometimes they even have elaborate baths.) They also keep fodder for animals and have shops for travelers where they can acquire new supplies, or where traders can dispose of some of their goods.
One of the caravanserais in Ripple Ridge, the Double Dip, has a pair of Dipper Plants at the front gate. Native to the Stony Barrens, a Dipper Plant consists of a small base with three 4’ leaves stemming from it. These leaves are roughly triangular in appearance and are dark green in coloration. Throughout most of the day, the Dipper Plant’s leaves are pointed upward and are closed in on themselves (put your hands together so that your palms line up—this is how it is shaped). In the hours just before dawn, the plant’s leaves spread out (open your hands, but leave the wrists joined). Its multitude of jagged thorns are now exposed, this is usually enough to ward off any predators. At this time, the leaves collect the dew from the air. When daylight comes, the plant folds up again, trapping the valuable water between its leaves.
The Double Dip is open to all travelers and traders who come to Ripple Dry Dock, and employs a diverse staff that caters to those who might otherwise be suspicious of the elves.
The keeper of the place is an elf of the Swiftwing tribe named Hiyonwa Swiftwing. He runs the caravanserai on behalf of his grandmother, Hongsi. They always appear poor and bedraggled, but they are very efficient and have a large and loyal staff that includes members of many races. Hiyonwa is always talking about the “maiden from the south” he is going to marry.