Thieves & Kings
The Adventurer's Quarter
The Adventurer’s Quarter is the closest thing to a Foreign Quarter to be found anywhere in the City of Bright Sails. If the city had a heart (and most claim it doesn’t), the Adventurer’s Quarter is the district of the city where adventurers seem to always end up. It is possibly the most cosmopolitan part of the already cosmopolitan city in the Forest Kingdom.
Bounded by the Ambarin River to the west, and including the city’s “Old Mill”, it is tucked away against the central north wall of the city. The district border continues south from the main North Gate of the city south along the widest and most travelled street in the city, West Market Road, to the entrance to Rustwyvern Towers, the sprawling residence of the Rustwyvern clan. To the south, lies the Bridgegate District and its Trader’s Court.
The quarter is about the same size as any other district in the city, but is noteworthy for its population of primarily adventurers and dungeon delvers, where they seem to live, congregate, make their plans and spend their treasures. Many non-humans call the district home, and as the saying goes, “Everything passes through the Adventurer’s Quarter.”
There is only one major road, the North Tower Street, that passes from the Trader’s Court through the heart of the district. There are three noteworthy gathering places; Adventurer’s End, Walled Angle, and the infamous Curio Court. Several other sites have been noticed by the adventurers, and are listed below.
The quarter hosts many residences, shops and other places of business, of which a selection is listed below. There are many older apartments to be found in the portions near the river, and that region is especially filled with adventurers and the agents of the Griffons, who claim this section of town as their own. Also, many young and inexperienced mages, fighters and clerics can be found for those seeking to fill their rosters.
Shrine (“Water Queen’s House”) : Temple of Hydania the Queen of the Oceans : A small, walled shrine located in the far south-western corner of the district, the shrine has a single priestess, Sea-Mother Iseabal, known for her beauty and rough dealings with the darker shade of the folk who make a living from the river and the sea. While there is a larger (and more respectable) shrine to Hydania just east across the Trader’s Court that appeals to sea merchants and ship’s officers, this particular shrine is patronized by common fishermen and riverfolk. The Sea-Mother is assisted by three acolytes and numerous shady seamen, who are often pirates on leave; the Harbour Rats are known to swing wide of this shrine, as violence and smuggling are commonly associated with the place.
The shrine is constantly a site of the illicit goods trade, often given as offerings for the shrine’s blessings and potions, and the shrine is always on the hunt for new worshipers. Its membership are particularly noted for their zeal, and often take working passage on a ship solely to try and convert their shipmates. The shrine has become infamous for adopting local young urchins into its ranks, and in a few years might have a sudden upswing in its clergy membership, when these increasingly fervent children assume a larger role in the community. The main building is host to several salt pools, a workshop that produces and sells relics of Hydania such as blessed spyglasses and nautical charts, and is known to keep an extensive archive of charts and maps of the surrounding coastal waters, and the river banks of the Ambarin for many miles north. As expected, the shrine has a political reach that far exceeds its appearances.
Chandler (“Silver’s Equipment”) : ### $$$ : A less-than-tidy tenement hosting a pawnshop in it slowest level, marked by the traditional chandler’s sign above a painted board displaying an over-laden mule with a resigned expression. Surprisingly well-organized, the shop is filled with worn barrels and racks containing large quantities of second-hand adventurer’s equipment, along with the traditional lamps, candles, lamp oil and preserved foods one expects to find at a chandler’s. It is next to the “Inn of the Rose and Thorn”, in the central bend of North Tower Street.
Silver is a grizzled dwarf with a cloth tied to cover his missing right eye, though the ragged scar that caused it remains obvious. He also wears a peg from his right knee, carved in the shape of an owlbear bearing the dwarf’s stump in its arms. Silver is always attended by his young apprentice, and spends his days whittling away on scraps of wood to carve little goblins and fighting knights, which he gives away to local children. He welcomes tales of far away lands, and does not fear adventurers, hinting at a past of some experience.
Clothier’s : ### $$$ : A small two-level building tucked between Evendim’s large lexigrapher shop, and Ameri’s laundry, this shop makes and sells clothing. Owned by the rail-thin, but immaculately-dressed Piter, he offers makes clothes to order, and never sells anyone anything “off the rack”. His shop features a small fitting room in the back, with crystal-clear mirrors, and charges what he feels the customer can afford.
Innkeeper (“Inn of the Rose and Thorn”) : ### $$$ : Located at the mid-point of North Tower Street, the confluence of the residential and shopping areas of the district, the “Rose and Thorn” is is a large, bustling place . The strong, pleasant aroma of spicy sauces and broiling fish is always the first thing anyone notices about the place. Master Gilles Stain, a widower of slim build owns the place, and is known for his somewhat oily, fawning manner towards guests. He is aided by his six cheerful and hard-working daughters, noteworthy for their plain appearances, though all are excellent cooks and workers. Master Gilles is always trying to find them wealthy husbands, treating all men who are regulars with attention. His daughters recognize this and try to keep him otherwise busy.
Private rooms are usually available, but can prove pricey, at 2 gp per night, but come with fresh bedding, a washbasin with fresh water and towel, lockable door and a trunk for one’s gear. A warm bath can also be arranged for an additional 2 gp. Most stay in the common room for 3 sp per night, including a seperate trunk for one’s gear, but no locks. Stabling can be arranged for an additional 1 gp per mount. The typical meals include either roast eels or fish in the inn’s special spiced sauces, with roasted beans, two small loaves of bread, and a pitcher of either wine or ale, for 3 gp per serving, but the feast is well-made and popular among adventurers.
Innkeeper (“The Rabbit Hole”) : ## $$ : Located down a narrow alley in the shadow of the main temple of the Queen of the Oceans, this dark, dank tavern filled with shady characters, serving maids and many foreigners. Most tend to be the brigands and low-life warriors and rogues of the district, and tend to be of an evil nature. Strangers are immediate targets for trouble, particularly when they prove nosy. The upper levels are held as private for select regulars to conduct private business, and the cellars are rumored to be filled with illegal goods popular among its patrons; weapons, poisons and thieves’ tools are available to those with the proper code words. Whatever its faults, however, the place excels as a place for information and a clearing house for unemployed thugs. The proprietor is a sleazy scum named Pieter Lovelace, always accompanied by his ogre bodyguard “Ford”. Pieter is assisted by a whorish maid, Morag and her mother Lili. Together they wait tables, and keep the place relatively clean, while Ford keeps the peace.
Meals tend towards simple roast rabbit at 1 sp per joint or rack of ribs, served in a bread bowl. The cellars brew a salty, horrid ale and keep an even worse wine for 3 cp per tankard. Rarer drinks can be ordered, but are expensive and limited in quantity. The tavern has no rooms and offers no stabling.
Jeweller : #### $$$$ (Spec : Silversmith) : A silversmith, who only deals in silver and plating weapons for adventurers in that precious metal, for a charge of 1200 sp per weapon. He is noted as both quick and readily takes commissions.
Lexigrapher : ### $$$$ : Fornost Everdim is a Phaedran, whose large staff produce ink and parchment for the quarter from this modest, though busy little shop. The real attraction, however, is that for a few silvers, visitors can be admitted to the “Hall of Argoth”, a large hall in the back that has its entire floor made of a detailed, hand-lettered mosaic that details the known continent of Argoth. In addition, fair maps of the continent and select regions are available for 100 sp to interested buyers.
Lexigrapher (“The Winding Way”) : ### $$$ : Located next to the entrance to Curio Court, the “Winding Way” is a battered shop selling and making books, scrolls, quills and ink for sale to adventurers and others. The owner, Theodorus Black, is a known arcanist, and registered with the Mage’s Guild of Mornhaven, openly offers training in arcane arts, selling esoteric lore and spells to those who can pay. He is a known information source for lore regarding demons, devils and other dark powers. While his standard lexigrapher’s goods are fairly priced, his magic and information can prove ruinous.
Mercantyler : #### $$$ (Spec : Produce) : Sergei “The Grocer” Bowerthorn and his young Drek bride Leena operate this large shop. Located very near the Trader’s Common, only his apprentices and journeymen live in the upper level, and the couple keep a private residence deeper in the quarter, that overlooks the river. The couple met after Sergei’s first wife died, and they married to legitimize the relationship. His only child, Tanya remains confused by the whole situation, and works a stall in the nearby Trader’s Common.
The store offers a wide variety of goods, much of which is brought in daily from the nearby valley farmlands. The shop (and its market stall) are famous for its freshness and taste. In addition, Leena produces a line of soaps that they sell on the side. Bacon (7cp per lbs), beans and peas (5 sp per 15-lbs basket), dried beef (15 cp per lbs), apples and pears (17 sp per 30-lbs basket), garlic and onions (10 sp per lbs), lard (3 sp per 3-lbs jar), oats (5 sp per 15-lbs basket), and wheat (8 sp per 15-lbs basket). The shop sells its soap in two varieties; regular (15 cp per bar) and scented (25 cp per bar). In addition, he gets in the rare dried Molkurian Tomatoes on a regular basis for (8 sp per 3-lbs jar).
Miller : ### $$ : A smallish walled enclosure that hosts a large stone mill, one of two owned by the infamous Woodhew clan. A tall, broad-shouldered man with a patch over one eye that hints at his militant past as a caravan guard, Targon Woodhew is a violent and ardent supporter of his clan, and has a history of going out with his apprentices to bust heads at night with their staves. He is not prone to bargaining, and is firm on all his good’s prices, though they tend to be quite reasonable.
Ostler’s (Hammerhand’s Stables") : ### $$$ : Three two-story warehouses located in the middle of Crooked Street, were bought up and converted into a single stables by the far-thinking Havern Hammerhand, a former farmer from the northern farms of Mornhaven. Combined together, the new stables form space for about a hundred (100) horses and other mounts, while the upper levels are storage for grain, hay and other special equipment required for the care of mounts. There are also a series of small rooms for the ostler’s apprentices, and a workshop in one corner for conducting basic repairs and smith’s tasks.
The stables charge 2 sp per day for care and feeding of one’s mounts, or 4 gp per ten-day. Havern also has a small barracks set aside for visiting drovers and pack-handlers on the second level, with twenty (2) bunks for those who are aware of the place. Established for his many contacts and friends in the business, Havern charges only 1 cp per night, but turns-out everyone when his crew opens the place each dawn. It is usually quite full.
Perfumer’s (“Laundry”) : ### $$$ : Ameri and her young apprentice girls (Teeni, Laurel and Lauthren) operate a constantly busy laundry, serving the numerous local inns and adventurers, whose clothing is in constant need of repair and cleaning. They also sell typical soaps, scents and perfumes, where “lavender” is the most common and popular scent, but “honey” and “rosewater” are also fairly popular.
They charge 2 cp per garment for overnight service, or 1 sp per garment for “as-you-wait” service. They also offer other services; 5 cp for cleaning with perfumed soaps, 1-2 sp per garment for embroidery or off-color dyes, and 1 sp per garment for simple stitching or repairs. Ameri is a good friend of Mistress Gorah, the owner of a tenement off Curio Court, and the two are often found chatting in the court behind the shop, quietly doing their own repairs and stitch work.
Seaman’s Guild : ### $$$ : Mostly a hostel for sailors and rivermen, mariners from across Argoth and beyond can be found here.
Weaponcrafter : #### $$$$ (Spec : Long Blades) : This workshop is of heavy timber construction, with iron grates on the windows shaped like swords. Alton Sharp is a master weaponsmith, best known for his work with longswords and greatswords, but has been known to make maces and spears when requested. HE also spends a great deal of time offering sharpening services to adventurers and nearby shop keepers.
A compulsive fisherman, Sharp is rarely seen early in the day, unless one visits him on the nearby banks of the Ambarin River, where he and some locals often gather, sharing a drink of ale and swapping “fish-tales”. He is known to give adventurers with a good tale of “the river monster that got away” a good deal. He also does custom work at a price of 20 gp per day, but is best with his battleaxes (120 sp), daggers (25 sp), greatswords (600 sp), longswords (200 sp), and maces (60 sp). His weapons can also be forged as masterwork, for the usual fee of 10x his regular costs, and are noteworthy for their snakeskin handles and distinctive scrollwork designs.
“Gardens” Guard Barracks : The closest city watch barracks, is the Gardens Guard Barracks, located just beyond the Angled Court and next to the North Gate of the city. Once an aging noble’s manor, it was occupied by the Warduk soon after he took over the city, and soon converted into a barracks for some of the local city guard, the Harbour Rats.
The site houses two companies (40 troops) who have watch over the North Gate, and nearby Trader’s market, but they rarely pass beyond the North Tower Street when passing through the Quarter on their rounds. The compound is fortified with a thick stone wall, and numerous store-houses that serve as a common depot for confiscated goods and livestock taken at the gate. The cellars store a large quantity of dried rations and a small armory holding a few select magical relics, useful to the Harbour Rats in their duties. It is rumored that these cellars connect to tunnels under the city itself.
Rustwyvern Manor : A substantial walled manor located next to the the Celestial Paladin’s Temple, which though technically located just outside the south-east corner of the quarter, is still considered a notable landmark. An oddly-shaped compound walled by thick stone, two tall, heavily-weathered towers attached to a fine stone manor are easily seen over the walls. The compound also hosts a large barn, several fruit trees and a substantial garden.
The complex is owned by Konrad & Garth Rustwyvern, a pair of brothers who share their knowledge and experiences with each other, and are often found at the nearby tavern “The Hoot”, engaged in deep philosophical discussions regarding lost magicks and planar occurrences. They are often quite abrupt in their dealings, and sometimes take commissions for creating magic, but generally keep to themselves and spend their gold frugally.
Adventure’s End : An isolated court in the middle of a cluster of residences once populated by retired adventurers. During the adventurer’s explorations of the quarter, they discovered it to be a filthy place, with a small pen for pigs, and the local host to a drug den owned by Asnaan Sharoosh. The reputation of the place as an adventurer’s haven were obviously from the past, as the place is now a dense collection of tenements housing the poorest of the Quarter, rife with drug addictions.
Curio Court : Best known as the entrance to Undercity Market, and site for much of the district’s business. Many mercenaries, often poor adventurers, are known to wait here for hire. The place is always bustling with minor adventurers, practicing, gambling and carousing with each other, and is possibly the safest place in the Quarter. The local inn the “Ghostly Minstrel”, is the focus of the entire community, and several tenements along its edge are safe, pleasant places.
Dream Fever Alley : Located off the minor Crooked Street in the heart of the Quarter, Dream Fever Alley is an isolated and dead end street. Many of the buildings are over-built to shadow the alley below, making a crowded, impromptu flophouse for the poor of the city. the locals tend to look after each other in their common vices, though their choices of lifestyle lend them a desperation against visitors with some substance. The neighboring Hammerhand’s Stables lends the place an “air” of less than pleasant atmosphere, with its dung mounds dominating the northern side of the alley.
In recent history, the alley was the site of the mass suicide which now lends the place its name. A half-dozen Shiver addicts reputedly hung themselves in late-Kelen, TR 1050, their bodies covered in numerous tiny bite marks, which the authorities dismissed as vermin. The adventurers hadn’t really investigated this event, but were aware of its occurring.
Mariposa Manor : There are several smaller walled manors, typically housing merchant families trying to rise into the power-brokers of the city, while some are also the home of retired adventurers. A handful are also abandoned, and Mariposa Manor is one of these latter places. Long reputed to be haunted, the site was abandoned by its owners following their drop in fortunes, and concluded by a fire that consumed the western wing of the manor.
The adventurers explored this site in early-Nolus, TR 1050, finding it to be the center of the Shiver trade and haunted by a cult worshiping an unknown spider god.
Walled Angle : Also known as “The Gardens”, the Walled Angle is a former residence, rebuilt as a minor park and thoroughfare to grant the district access to the West Market Road and North Gate. Formerly, the only access was North gate Road through the Trader’s market. Though the interior buildings have been demolished, the walls of the former residence remain, with a gate drilled into the southern wall to provide a very commonly traveled access into and from the Adventurer’s Quarter.
The adventurers discovered the local well, referred to as “The Fountain”, to be a key drop-point in the Shiver trade, but have also heard rumors of the place being called the “Night Market”. On nights of the full moon (evening of the 15th of each month), the location becomes an impromptu marketplace in the shadows of the local Harbor Rats barracks, where a thriving barter-and-trade system exists. Dozens of locals and petty merchants gather and spread their goods out for the locals of the Adventurer’s Quarter to exchange often stolen goods for things they need, like lamp oil, cloth and other goods. There are always vendors selling roast oysters in wood bowls (1 sp per serving) at these events, as well as poor bards and amateur performers, lending the place an air of revelry.