A Dance with Dragons
From the outside the Purple Lotus is a low brick hovel squatting amidst a row of similar hovels in the shadow of the great yellow-and-green pyramid of Rhazdar. There is no Westerosi style sign outside the establishment. Instead there is a mark—a purple lotus—painted on the weathered wooden door.
A shriveled old woman named Zahrina, who wears a dark red tokar fringed with tiny golden skulls, is the owner (or proprietor). Her skin is as white as mare’s milk and her hair so thin that her scalp can be seen beneath it. Zahrina offers patrons food, but according to the Tattered Prince the bread is stale and her stew is unspeakable, grease and salt with a morsel or two of meat, supposedly dog but it is more likely rat, it will not kill you though.
To enter a patron has to knock twice on the wooden door and provide the password, in Quentyn Martell’s case it is freedom.
Within the Purple Lotus the air is hazy with bluish smoke - whose sweet smell cannot quite cover up the deeper stinks of piss and sour wine and rotting meat.
The space is much larger than it seems from without, stretching off to right and left into adjoining hovels. What appears to be a dozen structures from the street turns into one long hall inside. There is a pit at the far end of the room where pairs of naked men slash at each other with knives while watchers cheer them on.
After Quentyn Martell and his two companions enter the Purple Lotus a door he had not seen before swings open and Zahrina appears. She gestures them beyond the door to a flight of steps, steep and twisting. It is a long way down and so dark that Quentyn has to feel his way.
Once at the bottom Quentyn and his two companions emerge in a brick vault, thrice the size of the winesink above. Huge wooden vats line the walls as far as the eye can see. A red lantern hangs on a hook just inside the door, and a greasy black candle flickers on an overturned barrel serving as a table. That is the only light.
Caggo Corpsekiller is pacing by the wine vats, Pretty Meris stands cradling a crossbow and Denzo D'han bars the door once the Dornishmen are inside and takes up a position in front of it. The Tattered Prince is seated at the table nursing a cup of wine, with a bench across from him.