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White Blade
2005-07-13, 08:12 PM
The Vein
Introduction: If the adventurers arrive when it is not a full moon:
The city is full of rag and sewer sludge covered people, huddled around small fires and eating tiny morsels. Crime covers the streets, muggings happen to your left and right. Near the center of the city is a towering Black Pillar, which even from the entrance of the city has notable dents and broken pieces of it missing almost as if it had been mined near the base. You can smell the stench of sewers beneath you.
If the adventurers arrive on the night of a full moon... I do not envy them
The city is covered with bestial humanoids, blood dripping from their mouths and dagger or crossbow in hand. Half-devoured corpses laden the streets and the smell of carnage reaches your nose. Luckily it appears the creatures do not care for your flesh or else it is doubtful you would live the night. A tiny ally way with a door at the end of it catches your eye, a sign hangs on the ally door which says "Shelter from Beasts."

Stats: *
Size: Large City
Gold Limit: 20,000, but those who wish for a more expensive product can find it... for a price of course.
Population: 20,000. (30% Human, 8% Orc, 10% Half-Orc, 6% Elf, 22% Half-Elf, 10% Gnome, 14% Halfling. 95% Lycanthrop, 15% Natural Lycanthrop.)
Power-Center: Crime Syndicates. Neutral Evil
Religion: Loki (Asgardian)/Malar and the Mask (Forgotten Realms)/Obad-Hai (Standard)
The Vein was supposed to be where all roads leaded to, a crux of civilization, cultures and such. But it is not a place you want to be, because as with all civilization all cultures have criminals. And here these criminals find others of their colors to help them. Centuries of gang-wars, assassination, and other such events and crimes have transformed the city. But perhaps what sets this city apart from the others is the pillar of black diamond, corrupted by foulest of magics, which originally stood as a testament to the moon has been infected with bestial properties. it spreads the curse of Lycanthropy to those who carry a piece of it with them for long. Thou it is a grueling task many have taken chips from the monument in hopes of dark powers and strength.
Background Information:

Physical Description: *The city is almost a maze like pattern, and the sewers are no different. Architecture is either elegant and old or simple and newish, the sewers are filled with rats, both were and none, and is extremely well known and used by few mundane beings that exist in the city.
Arts and Culture: *Art is nearly non-existent in The Vein, but most culture is somewhat animalistic focusing around the art of killing and hunting, and the gangs sometimes act like tribes, hunting and gathering farming funguses ect. However the real culture lies in the more orderly and structured crime syndicates. These have aristocrats of the group from long lines of natives or not so long in the case of certain lines.

Economics: *The main products bought and sold here are illegal objects, any kind and any price, poisons, drugs, illegal weaponry, black magic scrolls, illegal spell components, ect. You name it you can probably find it. But you have to look hard for objects worth more then 40,000 GP. And you might end up in a criminal's debt.

Religion: *The temples to gods of thievery, trickery, assassins, and anything else there is a god for that is not legal are somewhat common close to the black pillar. However that is not important, the main religious leader is not even a cleric of a god. She is prophetess by the name of El'crizzan a half-fiend drow. Her prophecies and commands are carried out wide and far, but no one likes her. Well almost no one likes her, one crime lord does but we will learn about him later.

Government: *Anarchy, everyone follows the golden rule, and by golden rule I mean he who has the gold rules.

Crime: *Thou the city is covered with crime groups, I find only three worth mentioning:
Blood Prophets: This Group, ruled over by El'crizzan, Zan for short, who was the first blood prophet and has attracted the attention of powerful creatures of the planes. Bound to the material plane and her soul twisted into the blood of many mortals who fell dead at her rituals it is very hard to kill her. The lesser prophets are sheer amateurs in comparison and Zan does not trust their prophecies except in minor things.
Bracz Family's Syndicate: A powerful crime syndicate which has been in existence for the last three hundred years, the latest of those who have come to the throne is Ircun, a half-drow wererat. Ircun has fallen very deeply in love with El'crizzan but he cares little for the life of any other. El'crizzan has yet to his return his feelings but she is beginning to have a bit of a soft spot for him and that alone is rarer then a paladin were-tiger. Primarily dealing in murder, slaves, and poison Ircun's and El'crizzan's groups constantly interact and are nearly the same unit.
The Wolves' Pact: A Werewolf blackguard by the name of Salrion is the first werewolf to organize more then two packs together into a group and his thirst for Ircun's blood knows no bounds. He has a savage hatred of Ircun and will sooner die then give him mercy. Salrion's children and his wolves are bloody mercenaries willing to work for any group for a price. Other then the blood prophets and Bracz of course.

The Monument: *This entry is, of course, your chance to describe the monument itself.

Power Struggles: *This section should outline major conflicts in the city. *Unlike the previous section, this should be a more "active" crisis. *It can be recent or longstanding, but it should be a point of serious contention. *It can be anything from a virulent Theives' Guild versus a stern government to two rival schools of art. *The point is, it should be a major struggle between two forces within the city. *Major figures in these conflicts should get minimal stats (race, class, level, and alignment).

Adventure Hooks: *Please include two specific and immediate plot/adventure hooks that a DM could throw at his players right off the bat.