Wyrmspire: The Noble Quarter

The Noble Quarter is one of the six quarters of Wyrmspire. It is, by quite a degree, the most posh and pompous one. It has all the nobles. It’s filled to the brim with various lord’s manors and assorted uselessness. Quite a lot of the upper middle class live there as well, but as they are comparatively less rich than the nobles and property values in the Noble Quarter are sky-high, most of them live in apartments. Whatever, it’s a prestige thing, living in the Noble Quarter.

Supposedly, the Noble Quarter is the safest quarter in all Wyrmspire. That’s not true; it’s safe for people who live there. If you don’t, you’re likely to get mugged by a gang of bored young delinquents or kidnapped and forced into selling Varith, a popular herb that makes you feel vaguely like you’re flying when smoked, and has seen increasing popularity recently. Of course, the local guards are very vigilant when it comes to countering these things. It’s just that selling Varith to stupid rich kids happens to be an incredibly profitable business.

The population of the Noble Quarter is mostly human, like most of Wyrmspire. Rich elves have a large presence. Dwarves are less common there than in other areas of Wyrmspire, but rich merchant dwarf families often have large houses there. Underfoot are practically unheard of, although there’s one rich winebrewer by the name of Gandris Silksleeve. There are no Rhokari in the Noble Quarter, and if there are any minotaurs, they’re probably just Varith dealers.

The laws of the Noble Quarter are slightly more restrictive than those of the rest of Wyrmspire (due to the size of Wyrmspire, its quarters are governed as individual cities and have their own laws, as well as their own city watches). Theft is punishable by anything from a month’s imprisonment to several years, as opposed to the custom in the Old Quarter of being given a stern talk by one of the guards (if they can catch you). The Noble Quarter is the only quarter aside from the Temple Quarter in which prostitution is illegal. This doesn’t stop it from happening.

Prostitution is, in fact, one of the most burgeoning and profitable trades in the Noble Quarter. It is disguised quite cunningly. A potential customer buys a small item from a *ahem* purveyor of carnal goods for a very large sum of money, and then the real *ahem* transaction takes place. This is quite commonplace, and has led to some very interesting slang. A brothel is referred to as a bazaar, a prostitute a merchantwoman (people who are actually both merchants and females are simply referred to as merchants), a customer an axe (actually, we’ve no idea where that comes from), and the process of searching out a prostitute “bazaaring”. As you can imagine, this leads to some hilarious misunderstandings.

The most prosperous broth- err, “bazaar” in the Noble Quarter is known as Madam Fantasia’s Curiosity Shop. In it, there are quite a lot of merchantwomen harking their wares upon various axes (isn’t slang fun?). Most of the merchantwomen are human, but there’s a few elves, and at least one dwarf for those with… interesting tastes. Quite a lot of funny conversations can be overheard if one frequents the Curiosity Shop (“Kind sir, would you like to buy this old boot for one hundred draketalons?”). Of course, if one frequents the Curiosity Shop, one is probably a sick fuck in the first place. The Curiosity Shop has a foolproof warning system to prevent watch intrusions (a random guy they payed a few coins to stand outside and holler if someone suspicious walks up). Of course, everyone knows what’s going on, but as long as they aren’t too conspicuous about it no one does much about it.

Of course, there are a lot of other things in the Noble Quarter besides fops, drugs, and whores. There are many wonderful (and expensive) inns, many wonderful (and expensive) theaters and other places of entertainment, and many wonderful (and expensive) casinos.

The inns of the Noble Quarter are quite splendiferous. They serve all kinds of fancy food, from odd fish imported from the far north and prepared in exactly the right way so as not to kill the consumer to the incredibly expensive delicacy that is dragon fillet (to be actually palatable, dragon has to have a delicate combination of several dozen spices applied in exactly the right amounts and be cooked at an incredibly massively high temperature for several days – a single pound of prepared dragon meat can cost as much as a house does in the Old Quarter). Of course, this is combined with some of the most amazing drinks ever served ever. Most of them are wines that actually don’t taste very good at all, but are very expensive and made from very rare berries and thus have to be good. Right?

The theaters of the Noble Quarter are among the most famous in all the Civilized Lands. The most famous is undoubtedly the Green Dragon Theater, a massive place that regularly shows various plays by all manner of famous playwrights, quite a lot of which were elven (the issue here is that most old elven plays were written in a form of poetry with an incredibly complicated meter that sounded beautiful in elven but, if translated, sounded like ass. Thus, most elven plays are performed in elven, to an audience that most likely doesn’t speak it but thinks the tickets are worth spending a small fortune on anyway. Gods, I hate rich people). Also shown are plays written by more modern playwrights, which are mostly in common. The theater makes massive amounts of money, something the theater’s proprietor, a half-elf by the name of Larissa Dúnevel, is quite aware of. She’s thinking of purchasing the entire upper portion of the Old Quarters soon. That’s how rich she is.

Gambling is both legal and incredibly popular in the Noble Quarter. Casinos are placed all over the bloody place, and many of them are combined with inns or even theaters for a better experience. The games involved are, of course, highly foppish and complicated. A very popular game currently is Gellért, a complicated game played with several eight-sided dice and the traditional deck of cards used in the Civilized Lands (described here). Karran is also widely played, and in some establishments there are special back rooms for the masters to concentrate on their games of Dra’Karran (both described in the above link). Most everything is gambled upon, from who’s going to win to each individual aspect of said victory.

The least legal method of entertainment in the Noble Quarter is the Arena of Blood. Technically, it’s in the tunnels of the Undercity below the Noble Quarter, but so many residents of the Noble Quarter visit it that it’s a large part of their culture. Basically, you watch people (or animals, or whatever the hell they dragged in this week) pummel each other for hours. It’s actually very cheap to get in, but it costs quite a lot to get into the special, upper-class section of the stands, so you don’t rub elbows with the common scum (of which there is a lot).

The governing council of the Noble Quarter is known as the Circle of Lords, a group of foppish nobles who really don’t do much good ever. They just try to further their own agendas and enforce their own (often dubious) morals. They’re also running a slave ring underground. Literally, underground – most of it is run through the Undercity, where they sell whatever slaves they happen to have to basically whoever wants to buy them. The most prominent buyers are various nobles who want servants, the proprietor of the Arena of Blood, who wants fodder, and various Varith lords who need dealers. Some of the shadier brothels also buy slaves to serve as prostitutes, but the most prestigious have more morals.

Important Noble Quarter Residents:

The Circle of Lords is the governing council of the Noble Quarter. It is made up of Lord Enuoc Vassal, Lord Uriel Vanticláim, Lord Thettin Auris, Lady Kendra Salkes, Lord Hardath Flinteyes, Lord Allatharis Dú Nassin, and Lady Thanassa Dú Laris.

Lord Enuoc Vassal is a man of about sixty. He’s a supreme classist, and believes that the poor should be sold to the rich for whatever purposes the rich desire. He’s helping this along in any way he can. The Circle of Lords was an actual governmental council before he got on it, maneuvered his associates into the other six positions, and began using it as a cover for a slave ring. Of course, they still make laws and things. They just also traffic in human lives.

Lord Uriel Vanticláim has been Lord Enuoc’s friend since early childhood. They grew up as neighbors, and they’ve been dealing in various shady areas since about age fifteen. He’s several years Enuoc’s junior. Uriel is a superb diplomat, and he often does the talking for the Circle of Lords when talking is required. He’s one of the most moralistic of the lords, and is currently trying to get stricter punishments enacted for prostitution. While selling slaves to brothels. Consistent morals are fun?

Lord Thettin Auris is vaguely frightening. He’s the only one of the Circle of Lords that was not actually born into a position of power. Thettin was a low-level administrator in a small drug ring several years ago when he encountered Lord Enuoc and Lord Uriel, who had both managed to get into trouble with the same drug ring. He pulled some strings and got them off the hook. Pulling strings in fact involved a dagger in the back of his immediate superior, but whatever. Enuoc and Uriel befriended him and contributed a small fortune to buy him both a lordship and a new identity to avoid the wrath of the drug ring. Thettin is a tall, wiry man of about forty. He kills people. Sometimes for business reasons, sometimes just because he’s bored.

Lady Kendra Salkes is the only human woman on the Circle of Lords. She was, at one point, the lover of Enuoc Vassal. At another, she was the lover of Uriel Vanticláim. Currently she’s with Thettin, but she’s thinking of going after Allatharis. The most amazing part of all this is that she manages to remain close friends with all her former lovers, thus insuring her continued position on the Circle of Lords and the fact that everyone else is more loyal to her than to each other. She’s a quite attractive woman of about forty, though she looks younger (we think magic might be involved). Also, she’s secretly a worshiper of Black Hundriss. She keeps this even from the other lords, who mostly adhere to Archus, for some reason.

Lord Hardath Flinteyes is the only dwarf on the Circle. He appeared in the Noble Quarter quite suddenly about twenty years ago. It’s impossible to tell how old he is, but he’s pretty damn old, and he seems to have money pouring out of his ass. He was not technically asked by Enuoc to join the Circle, but instead got wind of the slave ring and demanded to be included. He’s proved invaluable, as he has a secret source far to the north that seems to buy as many slaves as can be sold to them. No one’s sure what the source is, as he’s rather secretive. All that’s known about him is that if you look closely, you can see the remains of blue tattoos on his face…

Lord Allatharis Dú Nassin is an elf. He looks quite young, but that doesn’t mean anything, for an elf. It also doesn’t mean anything because he’s a vampire. Damn vampires. He personally buys one slave every week to serve as a blood source for him, as he doesn’t like drinking the blood of his neighbors and all the other quarters are a bit of a walk away. He’s got blond hair and piercing blue eyes, as well as canines that are just a wee bit creepy. He dresses in clothes even finer than all of the other lords, and constantly upstages them with his large vocabulary. Quite frankly, he’s not well liked by the other lords, but they’re all just a bit scared of him

Lady Thanassa Dú Laris is an elven woman.  She looks very young, but in her case it’s because she’s actually pretty young, not because of her being a vampire.  She’s not a vampire, she just has regular sex with one.  She’s the lover of Allatharis, and it was only due to his influence that she got on the Circle at all.  Of course, she’s well liked by all the other lords, as she’s very charming and has an absolutely beautiful smile.  Kendra objects a bit to what she sees as a usurping of her territory, but she’s not willing to say anything.  It’s not well known that she’s with Allatharis, or the other lords would almost certainly stop hitting on her out of fright.

Commander Abhaile Durnholt is the commander of the Noble Quarter guard.  He takes care of all those little things that matter so much.  Like law enforcement.  The Noble Quarter has an absolutely massive amount of money set aside for law enforcement, so it would seem logical that their guard would be very good.  This is not the case.  Abhaile is a corrupt bastard who skims quite a lot of money off the top, the bottom, the sides, and wherever else he can.  He’s also a regular customer at Madam Fantasia’s Curiosity Shop.  Basically, he’s everything you don’t want in a watch captain.  He’s roughly five and a half feet tall, overweight, balding, and has a generally sour disposition.

He is slightly balanced out, however, by his second-in-command, Captain Thywart Nottlehelm.  Thywart is noble, courageous, and wishes to uphold the law in any way possible.  This is made challenging by the absolute boob that is his immediate superior.  Thywart is currently campaigning to be installed as the Watch Commander.  This isn’t going well, mostly because the people who have the most say are the Circle of Lords, who have Abhaile right in their pocket and don’t want to lose their control over the quarter law enforcement.  Also, there’s a chance Thywart might disapprove of the whole “underground slave ring” thing.  Just a chance.  Overall, Thywart’s kind of screwed until the Circle of Lords gets overthrown.  He’s trying to do that too, of course.  It’s challenging, though.

Larissa Dúnevel is the proprietor of the Green Dragon theater.  It’s a massive venue, located right in the middle of the Noble Quarter.  You can tell which building it is by the huge frickin’ green dragon painted on the front.  The Green Dragon is the most prestigious theater in all the Civilized Lands, and at any time various mountains of foreign dignitaries can be seen attending it, eager to get a taste of the famous plays they serve.  On any given night, there may be minotaur warlords, Rhokari chieftains, elf lords, human nobles, dwarf merchants, and underfoot that somehow managed to sneak in seen in the stands of the prestigious Green Dragon theater.

Larissa herself is a half-elf.  Her mother was raped by a human (stupid humans) and she happened.  She later moved to Wyrmspire with her brother, Garamis Dúnevel, a full-blooded elf, to join a performing troupe.  This troupe snowballed into the Green Dragon theater.  Garamis is a playwright, and more than two dozen of his plays have seen the light of day on the stage of the Green Dragon.  Other playwrights commonly featured include Dandaril Quicksilver, a famous elven playwright from several centuries ago, Aedan Locke, a human playwright who is famed for his comedies, and Kargath dún Larik, a fanatical minotaur who wrote violent epics that often take at least a day to perform.

Agai Urun is not a nice person.  He’s the leader of the local chapter of the massive Shatva, an organization that deals entirely with the selling of Varith.  Agai is an elf.  No one knows how old he is, only that his hair is almost pure white and he’s probably blind, as he wears a cloth around his eyes.  Agai supervises all Varith sales in the Noble Quarter.  He keeps incredibly detailed tabs on all past, present and future Varith dealers, as well as all customers.  If someone is found to be betraying the Shatva from within, they disappear.

Agai is probably an assumed name.  People have tried to find out things about his past before, but they never find anything, and more often than not he kills them for trying.  He fights with two long, curved swords, and he’s deadly with them.  He’s been known to take an ear for disobedience.  He has a necklace of ears.  Occasionally he dies them different colors.  It’s actually quite a nice effect, once you get past the “holy shit, he wears ears as ornamentation” thing.

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2 Comments

  1. pieboy said,

    September 29, 2007 at 6:46 pm

    5 stars for the fantasy Pablo Escobar. This is becoming a very cool part of the project.

  2. tuskedchimp said,

    September 29, 2007 at 8:26 pm

    Hellz yes.


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