In this 10th installment for the City of Rookroost we take our final look at the guilds of the city and the city districts themselves. Once again thanks to everyone that have given me inspiration from Nigel Findley, Erik Mona, Gary Holian, Sean K. Reynolds, Frederick Weining, Casey Brown, and all the fabulous BK authors and lastly Gygax himself.
The Smiths and Armorers Guild: The Smiths and Armorers guild has several forges and shops located throughout the city and provides everything from nails to brilliantly crafted swords. The only two forges allowed to operate outside of the guild belong to the Rookroost army, which is now used by Mortoth’s Red Guard and one used by the city guard, the Talons.
There was a time when many independent forges were in the city, but that changed with Ollie Clanless. The dwarven master smith climbed his way up the guild ladder until he was head of the organization, and he did so by any means necessary. Ollie soon started forcing unguilded smiths into the guild, and those that refused soon found themselves minus a hand as an example of what happens when you refuse Ollie.
The Council of Lords almost broke up the guild when Ollie fixed prices higher than most could afford after he'd established a monopoly, but Ollie relented and brought the prices back down. After Ollie's death, his son, Morley Clanless, took over the guild and is grooming his son, Targin, to eventually take his place. Morley is just as ruthless as his father was, but Targin takes after his mother and is more level headed dwarf.
Cost of Services – Good quality metalworking is not standard in Rookroost, and those who have some talent with it are snatched up and given positions right away within the city. Only a handful of stubborn smiths work outside of the guild, and because of this, all metal goods are 10% more expensive in Rookroost. Including items such as arrows, nails, carpentry tools in addition to the more apparent arms and armor. Selling metal items brings a higher price as well. While the standard amount given is usually 50% of resell value, metal items are purchased at 60% of the resell amount.
Other Groups of Note
The Thousand Faces:
The most powerful of the Outwall street gangs is the Thousand Faces. Like all street gangs from Outwall, the Thousand Faces got their start as a small-time gang known for wearing white handkerchiefs over their faces to hide their identities. They enacted this precaution for the gang's indifference of targeting guilded or unguilded citizens. These earlier members' skills are undeniable as they were able to avoid capture from the Talons and even privately hired mercenaries by some of the guilds. The gang's reputation grew, and so did the intensity of the Congress and guilds looking to put them out of action. Eventually, a deal was struck with the Congress, and the Thousand Faces were given the unprecedented freedom to target whomever they wished, so long as it remained within the Outwall district.
The white handkerchiefs that the gang wore evolved into featureless white masks, which quickly became the gang's trademark. The anonymity gained by members of the gang from hiding their identities added to the gang's mystique. Unlike most gangs in Outwall, the Thousand Faces had no claimed territory and didn't commit petty crimes. The Thousand Faces only took on large operations like stealing from merchants and robbing guild businesses located in outwall.
Also, unlike other gangs, one can not simply seek out membership by approaching gang members. Members are sought out by the Thousand Faces and approached secretly for recruitment.
Despite the change of leadership in the city, the Thousand Faces still conduct business as usual, but they have avoided targeting Mortoth's people or the Red Guard.
The Johrase Confederation: Many Kingdoms in the Bandit Kingdoms were smashed during the war, and those lucky enough to escape the slaughter found their way to Rookroost. Johrase, one of the oldest, proudest, and most recognized of the Bandit Kingdoms, was one of these unfortunate nations. This proud mercenary kingdom was beaten on the battlefield and their lands claimed by the Great Old One. Unlike other conquered territories, their army and the bulk of their nobility eluded total annihilation. The Johrase mercenaries soon regrouped and reformed, but instead of fighting a losing war, they became a people without a homeland.
With their king dead and lands lost, the Johrase mercenary confederation of lords became the most sought mercenaries in the Bandit Kingdoms. The Johrase Confederation was in Rookroost when it signed its treaty with Iuz's representatives. They were even at the table, and signed the treaty as well, agreeing not to pick up arms against Iuz's forces or allies in exchange for their continued existence.
Despite a burning desire to ride forth from Rookroost and continue the war against the forces of Iuz, the reality was simple, the confederation didn't have the manpower to take back their lands. Instead, the Johrasians decided it best to bide their time and see what would come next. The Johrasian lords fully intend to throw in with the first serious contender that should arise to fight the Iuz. Until then, they will continue to fill their war chests by contracting out their forces and recruiting those they feel meet their requirements in preparation for that day.
The Confederation has a permanent camp outside of Outwall, and while surrounded by defenses, there are no walls or stone fortifications as outlined in the treaty they signed. Johrasian mercenaries are a common sight in Outwall wearing surcoats with the yellow and white crest emblazoned with a black morningstar.
While Johrasian mercenary troops are in service throughout the Free Lords' remaining lands and even in some neighboring nations, they will never raise arms against a fellow Johrasian.
The Districts of the city
The city itself is situated on a hill surrounded by a relatively flat plain. The city radiates out in walled rings from its central location called the Peak, because it covers the top of the hill. While not high in elevation, only a mere hundred and fifty feet at its highest point, it still provides a commanding view of the surrounding country. The city walls are maned and patrolled night and day and act as an observation platform for the Talons. These Talons keep an eye out for flares that can be shot into the sky by the city's patrols if additional help is needed.
Starting from the Peak, the city's rings radiate outward, and the city becomes less affluent the further away from the Peak. There are three walled sections of the city, the Peak, the Inner-City, and the Outer-City. The sprawl outside the walls is known as Outwall. The total area of Outwall is larger than the Peak, Inner-City, and the Outer-City districts combined.
The materials used in constructing buildings change from mostly stone in the Peak to a mixture of stone and timber in the Inner-City. The Outer-City is mainly built with timber, while Outwall uses whatever can be found. Suitable building materials are hard to find and have to be transported into the city from forests to the north and quarries to the east and south.
The Peak under fifty square city blocks in size but packs into that area the most important places in Rookroost. The Peak is home to the Palace of the General, the Council Hall, and high-end housing and apartments. Other city buildings of note here are the old Generals Tower, which is now occupied by the Red Guard officers, and The Crystal Palace, the most elegant Inn and Tavern in the city.
The Peak has a special unit of city Talons stationed there made up of their best units. Before Mortoth took control of the city, even these Talons were Easily bribed, but since Mortoth revamped their ranks, they have become the most reliable Talons in the city.
Entry into the Peak is restricted to guilded citizens, and the gate is manned by sharp-eyed Talons that will stop and question anyone they think doesn't belong. After sundown, the peak gates are closed, and all traffic in and out of the district must have the doors opened for them. A set of smaller doors is inset into the larger gate doors to accommodate this traffic without swing the larger ones open every time someone needs to come or go.
The Lord of Brick has laborers who work in the district around the clock, picking up and removing all garbage, making it the city's cleanest.
The Peak has its own well that services only the Peak. A manual pump station operated by the same clan of Kobolds in charge of Rookroost's Undercity. This pump station provides water for all the Peak buildings, the only such system in the city.
With Mortoth and his Red Guard usurping power in the city, little has changed in the Peak beside the fact that the General's mansion is now the personal dwelling of Mortoth, and the general's Tower houses the Red Guards officers.
The Inner-City is the heart and soul of Rookroost. This is where the bulk of all the chartered guilds have their guildhalls. The average citizen who lives within the Inner-City is well-off and makes up the middle and upper-middle class. The mid-level bureaucrats, the Talons of the Guard, and guilded citizens are not just the common workers in guildhalls all live in the Inner City.
Entry into the Inner-City is not as strict as the Peak, but the guards here are vigilant about who is coming and going, and those that appear out of place will be stopped and questioned. A few coins can still smooth over most of the guards despite their vigilance. Patrols of guards are frequent inside the district, and the Talons generally move in squads of four while they make their rounds. Crime is not as prevalent in the Inner-City as in the Outer-City or Outwall, at least not on the surface.
The Inner-City has changed little under the occupation of Mortoth as he wishes to keep the city functioning as normal as possible.
The last ring of walls encompasses the Outer-City. The inhabitants of the Outer-City are the common workers and citizenry that don't hold influential positions within their guilds but are still guilded. The second-largest district in Rookroost, the Outer-City, is where the lawlessness that is Outwall mingles with the law and order in the cities' guilded system. The Outer-City is a mix of residential and guild shops and even a few guildhalls, along with the more high-end brothels, gambling halls, and taverns that cater to the brigands and bandits that the city is known for.
Most of the roads in the Outer-City are paved, and four wells provide the district with its water, wells that have a full-time complement of Talons on duty to make sure the water is shared. Gangs of ruffians in the past used to shake down the more genital citizens for a few coins for access to the wells, forcing the detachments of Talons to be stationed there. That post is assigned to the lucky Talons that find themselves not in favor with their current commanders. The large Rookroost Bizarre is also situated here and is where the bulk of the goods taken in raids are sold to visiting merchants from neighboring lands from late spring to early fall. Unlike the Inner-City and the Peak, the Outer-city has no sewer system, and refuse is thrown into the allies and the streets. During the spring and summer, the stench here is nearly as putrid as in Outwall. It is prevalent for individuals to carry scented handkerchiefs with them to block out particularly strong odors.
Raven's Square, the cities' largest place for the public to gather after the bizarre, is where the city's gallows are also found. Cages for those sentenced to death by prolonged exposure dangling from hooks around the perimeter of the square. Executions are carried out on the weekends and serve as a sort of sick entertainment with large turnouts. This is one of the few rare times that the Night Merchants of the city can be seen doing their jobs during the day as they whisk away bodies of those executed.
Patrols of Talons are frequent in the district during the day, usually in groups of four, with their main priority being to keep the flow of goods and commerce from being interrupted. The gates in and out of the district are manned by a garrison of Talons at all hours of the day and is considered a choice assignment. Those looking to enter the Outer-City must pay a tax of one copper day or night, but in the evening, it's not uncommon for the Talons on duty to be lax and or unwilling to confront large groups. Exiting from the Outer-City to Outwall has no fee, and those leaving are rarely stopped. Those pulled aside can easily forgo any sort of delay by paying a bribe or producing guilded credentials. If neither is provided, then the unfortunate souls are in store for at least a good ten minutes of pointless questions before being let go.
Much like the Inner-City, the Outer-City remains mostly unchanged since the occupation. The only difference here is that some of the army's higher-ranking officers bivouacked outside of the city can be found in this district. However, none of them are in the city for long as Mortoth makes sure to continually rotate out those units into the field on various assignments.
While many consider the districts inside the walls of Rookroost to be the seat of power of the city, Outwall, the city that sprawls out all around it, is larger than all three of the walled districts combined. Since the war, it has grown even larger with waves of refugees coming to the city. Looking for the most competent brigands for your raids, they can be found here. Looking for out-of-work craftsmen, you can find them here. There is an old saying that everyone ends up in Rookroost, but not everyone leaves. Outwall has always been full of brigands, bandits, humanoids, and all manner of nasty people, but the bulk of those that live here are just average citizens looking to make a living.
Parts of Outwall appear to be like your typical city neighborhood, while other parts are full of hovels and shacks and is little more than a shantytown. The only guild of any importance in Outwall is the Beggars guild, where it exclusively operates. Because of this chaos, Outwall has experienced several major fires over the years that have burned down large district sections. Only those buildings situated in and around the irrigation canals that bring in water diverted from the Artonsamay River surviving.
Outwall is a wild and semi-lawless area as the Talons are only present in a few places, and they do not patrol the district except to make sure the roads leading into the city remain clear for traffic to come and go. Gangs of mercenaries, bandits, brigands, street thugs, and street urchins are plentiful in Outwall, and very few people move about the district on their own. Out wall is a patchwork of these different gangs claiming territory in a constant chess game to stay on top. Regular citizens who live in the city are left alone for the most part if they pay tribute to the gang currently running their neighborhood. This doesn’t have to be always in coin either, but services and goods can take its place. Not all gangs are oppressive either, and some areas are fiercely loyal to their gang overlords.
One of the most prominent structures in Outwall is the Arena. The Arena is where many different competitive sports are held, but the gladiatorial fights are the most popular. Over the years, it has become organized, and several schools now train and recruit gladiators. These professional gladiators mix with the slaves that are brought back by raiders and sold to the Arena. There is a lot of money that exchanges hands at the bookies for the Arena, and performances are held twice a week. The Arena has become so popular and makes so much money that the City stepped in and took control of it. A fulltime regiment of Talons is stationed there to ensure the peace and to transport winnings and sales to the city coffers.
Also located in Outwall, and another of the city's main revenue streams is the Slave Pens. Slaves are brought back regularly from raiders and stocked with offenders from the Rookroost courts. Those who find the mselves unable to pay off fines or debts through the courts are often sold into slavery if there is no room for them in the forced labor gangs or if their sentences were life imprisonment. Gaining one’s freedom happens in one of two ways, the owner lets them go, or the owner dies before they are sold off to another party.
Of all the districts in Rookroost, Outwall has changed the most since the war. The bulk of the refugees that flooded into Rookroost ended up here. These refugees injected new blood into all levels of the city's social structure, but the majority of them were not skilled enough or had enough coin to join most guilds. Even the Beggers Guild, the traditional guild of the poor, found themselves inundated with membership applications. The shantytowns and poorest sections doubled in population overnight. This influx led to violence as the traditional lawlessness of Outwall was put to the test.
The number of armed and out of work was turning the streets into chaos. The city had to do something about it as the violence was affecting the legitimate businesses that were significant contributors to the city's coffers, mainly the Marketplace, the Arena, and the Slave Pens. Detachments of Talons were increased at all of these places, and the main thoroughfares saw regular patrols for the first time in the city's history. Despite this increased presence of Talons, their job remains the same: to protect the city's interests and property of guilded citizens only.
Several large riots also have erupted in Outwall, riots that could not be ignored. These riots were so large in fact that Mortoth deployed his own Red Guard to put them down. Even the Congress has found it harder to ply their trade in Outwall since the war with such an influx of unaffiliated swords looking to make quick coin. Outwall had always been a dangerous place, but it has become even more so since the end of the war.
The hill upon which Rookroost was built has been honeycombed with a labyrinth of tunnels, passages, and secret rooms by many different people. From the Congress to smugglers and a host of others looking to make their way about the city unseen. The first tunnels were part of the first sewer system, but others quickly added onto them, creating the tangled mess beneath the city. The digging of tunnels became so common that a building collapsed into a hole due to a lack of proper support on more than one occasion. Eventually, the Council of Lords passed laws banning the digging of tunnels and bricked up most of the ones they could find. An agreement was worked out between the Council and the Congress, allowing them to continue using some of their tunnels, so long as they helped the city police what was now being called Under-City.
After bricking up of tunnels, a clan of Kobolds was introduced into the sewers to be their custodians in exchange for them being able to declare the Under-City their official domain. The kobolds keep the sewers clear enough so that when the spring thunderstorms occur, the sewers can handle the runoff. The kobolds have a love-hate relationship with the Congress, and it has erupted into small turf wars in the past forcing the Council of Lords to intervene and negotiate a peace between them.
Besides the kobolds, the Undercity is the home of Rookroost's Ratmen. Unlike wererats, the Ratmen of Rookroost are unique to the city and a handful of surrounding areas. They are small, halfling sized intelligent creatures. The Ratmen have their own language, which sounds little nothing more than click, growls, and squeaks to the untrained ear. Master scavengers that pilfer the city at night and have evolved into surprisingly good tinkerers and their warrens are littered with traps. The Ratmen have worked out a mutual peace with the kobolds, and while they still fight each other from time to time, they mostly live in peace. All of the sewers and official city tunnels are under the kobolds' control, while the Ratmen live in small tunnels systems they have dug out themselves.
In this 9th installment for the City of Rookroost we start looking at the guilds of the city. The backbone of the founding of the city was it's guilds, before that it was just a collection of bandits. Once again thanks to everyone that have given me inspiration from Nigel Findley, Erik Mona, Gary Holian, Sean K. Reynolds, Frederick Weining, Casey Brown, and all the fabulous BK authors and lastly Gygax himself.
The Barbers and Dentists Guild – The barbers and dentists guild is another highly respected guild throughout the city. They offer services that are used by most that can afford them, and there are several clinics located even in Outwall where most novices will ply their trade to hone their skills. While the apothecaries and herbalists deal mainly with internal medicine, the barbers and dentists guild deal mainly with helping to heal physical trauma. Removing of arrows, sowing up of wounds, extracting teeth, and setting broken bones are common services.
While magical means of healing are available to the rich even, they will frequent the barbers and dentists first if they can. Magical healing is awfully expensive and sometimes reserved for members of temples only.
The cost of healing through the Barbers and Dentists Guild is 10gp per point of health or hit point recovered. The amount of health or hit points recovered in this way caps at 10. The remainder of lost hit points or health needs to be recovered through rest.
The Beggars Guild – The beggars guild is the largest in Rookroost, and while most people don't think of it as a real guild, they do have a guildhall located in Outwall, and they provide some services for its members. Despite the animosity shown toward the Beggars Guild by other guilds, it is recognized by the Council of Lords, and for a good reason, the taxes from the right to operate as a guild is a hefty sum.
Started initially by Tarzin Peddelquick, to help give the street level cut-purses and pickpockets protection from being shaken down by the Congress and the Talons, it quickly evolved into an institution that tried to provide an affordable alternative for those that couldn't get into other guilds. To be a member costs a 5gp entry fee followed by a 5cp a quarter fee. While still a sizable amount for the poor, the costs are far less than other guilds. Membership gets the citizen the gilded rank and access to the guilds soup kitchen at the guildhall.
The beggar’s guild is also a front for illegal activity, but they are careful to limit this activity to Outwall and unguilded citizens to avoid the wrath of not just the Congress but also the other guilds.
The Cartographers and Academics Guild – The cartographers and academics guild is very small, and most citizens are unaware that one even exists. Their guildhall is in The Peak and also doubles as the cities only library. The library is private, but nonmembers can pay a yearly fee of 10gp, which allows them access to the general area. In addition to the general area, there is also the private library for guild members only.
Despite the guild's anonymity with the general public, it is well known to all of the brigands and bandits that raid into neighboring kingdoms. These bandits know that the cartographers and academics guild will pay well for the right kind books. Most raiding parties will make it a point to bring back any books that they come across. Of course, most of these brigands are illiterate, and the books they get are worthless. Even worthless books will fetch a minimum of 1cp to help ensure the flow of books continues. The most prized books sought out by the guild are rare histories and nonmagical studies. All books that are arcane in nature are taken to the Guild of Wizardry, where they are sold at a discount for future considerations. The guild will pay upwards of 500gp for spell books and up to 200gp for rare histories and the like.
The Gravediggers Guild – Another small guild is the gravedigger’s guild, which is located well outside the city in the official cemetery of Rookroost. The cemetery is a small city of its own with rows of mausoleums and underground crypts. Only the rich have separate burials while the rest of the bodies brought to the cemetery are placed into mass graves.
Some Nerull and Wee Jas priests are part of the gravedigger’s guild and help keep the area free of the undead, at least undead they do not control. These priests employ a small army of zombies that perform most of the physical labor in the cemetery, but they hire out zombies to those willing to pay them the cost of animating them. The House of the Dead is the name of the guildhall of the gravedigger’s guild, located in the cemetery, and resembles an old Keep.
Besides the cemetery's care and upkeep, the gravedigger’s guild works hand-in-hand with the Night Merchants, the licensed collectors of the dead that roam the city streets. Many of the Night Merchants are also members of the Gravediggers Guild, but only about a quarter of them. The city gives the Gravediggers guild 2gp for each body they dispose of, one for the Gravediggers Guild, and one that is paid to the Night Merchants for collecting them.
The Jewelers and Gem-cutters Guild – Another small guild is the Jewelers and Gem-cutters guild. Located in the Peak District, the guild is the go-to place to unload gems and jewelry for the best price. While they do run a shop in the Peak, they also have shops located in the Inner-City and Outer-City districts. Their main trade is the re-cutting of gems to move them back to markets outside of the Bandit Kingdoms.
The Laborers Guild – Second only in size to the Beggars Guild is the laborers guild. Made up of the common laborers in the city, it has the second-lowest dues membership fee. The guild members provide physical labor for most of the city-run projects and everyday activities. The Talons hire foremen from this guild to oversee their work details of prisoners sentenced to forced labor. The League of Merchants also employs members of the Laborers Guild to load wagons, dig trenches, or any other mundane work that might be needed.
While Rookroost has a larger population of brigands and bandits, over half of the people within these lands are ordinary folk. Workers, farmers, and the like and the laborers Guild is their representative. Even in a notorious city such as Rookroost, there are farms in the countryside. Joining the laborers guild is the number one way of deterring bandits from pilfering their crops. Punishment for those that prey upon the working class of Rookroost is severe if they are guilded citizens.
The Laborers Guild is the only guild with no main guildhall, but instead, it has chapter houses spread throughout the city. While considered an unskilled guild, the Laborers Guild has strong ties to the Lord of Brick that heavily relies on them.
The Leatherworkers and Masons Guild – The Leatherworkers and Masons guild has a strong affiliation with the Lord of Brick, who uses their services on projects. Along with other artisans’ guilds, this guild makes up the backbone of the guild structure that the city operates on. While more specialized than the Butchers, Backers and Cooks Guild, or the Laborer’s Guild, the Leatherworkers and Masons guild still considers itself among the working-class. Their guild hall is found in the Outer-City and is a practical stone house.
The Mercenary and Free Swords Guild- To newcomers of Rookroost, this might seem like a prestigious guild, but it is not. Rookroost has many Mercenary Troops and Companies that call it home, and these groups all file for separate guild recognition. For those mercenaries that are not part of one of these troops or companies, there is the Mercenary and Free Swords Guild. Members rely on the guild to help them get work and help them to maintain arms and armor. While members are generally employed together in groups, there is no real cohesion among them like traditional mercenary troops and companies. Because of this, the work that a member of the guild gets is generally nothing better than routine guard work.
Despite their poor reputation, the Mercenary and Free Swords Guild still has a considerable sway because of their large membership, which swelled in numbers after the Rookroost army disbanded. Mortoth has also been keen to utilize them closer to home when he needs extra manpower instead of relying on the humanoid forces, he commands for the Great Old One.
The Messengers Guild- The messenger guild is a highly specialized collection of talented rangers, rogues, and spellcasters that have a knack for moving about unnoticed. Those that can disguise themselves or use magic to travel great distances are highly sought-after recruits for the guild. The Messenger’s Guild is one of the few guilds in Rookroost that have guildhalls outside of the city and throughout the Free Lords' lands.
Founded over 100 years ago after the city had become well established and a hub of influence. The guild formed to fill the need to deliver messages in a land of constant turmoil and shifting alliances. Magical messages can be tricky at best, as the Free Lords' wizards have become very adept at intercepting or blocking magical communications.
Because of this, Silva Torren, a master thief from the Congress, began his service of delivering messages. Agreeing to pay a monthly tribute to the Congress, he was allowed to separate from them and fully develop his organization. The fact that Silva had amassed tons of blackmail material over his fellow members in the Congress didn't hurt either.
Today, the Messengers guild's offices can be found in all the cities and towns within the Bandit Kingdoms' lands. They also have offices in both of the Urnst states, Furyondy and The Shield Lands. The Messengers guild has never worked with or for Iuz or his minions. While several offices have recently closed down due to the war, their services are still in high demand.
The Moneychangers and Pawnbrokers Guild – Rookroost has never had an official currency or mint because the city has never had a shortage of coin flooding in with the brigands and bandits from their raids. Merchants and shop owners will accept any currency, but that’s not where the problem lies; the problem is for the merchants that come to Rookroost and into the Bandit Kingdoms to do business. Merchants Caught with coinage from several nations might tip-off authorities they were doing business in the Bandit Kingdoms, a moniker that could severely damage their reputation. Merchants can use the moneychangers to swap out the coin they might acquire during a stay in Rookroost for their homelands before heading home.
Foreign Merchants sneaking into Rookroost to buy illegally stolen goods is a tradition as old as the city itself. Still, they are not always in the city in large numbers, especially during the winter. During these leaner times, bandits can go to pawnbrokers to sell their goods or pawn a sword they might not need until raiding season comes around again, or even settle a gambling debt. These middlemen can keep the wheels of commerce running smoothly even if at a discounted cost to their customers.
In earlier years, competition between Pawnbrokers was as fierce as the rivalries between competing bandit groups, and those rivalries would often turn violent. Eventually, as the guilds took hold in Rookroost, the pawnbrokers banded together into a guild for its benefits. Today, their shops can be found in all the city districts, and they have a monopoly on it. Anyone that wants to open a store must get approval from them first. If a foolish person opens a pawnshop without permission, they soon realize that no one will go there for fear of being banned from guild pawnshops.
Cost of Services
Pawning items - In Rookroost, pawning is a way to get some quick cash but allow you to get it your items back. As a rule of thumb, a character can get up to 50% of an item's value in a loan. The rate of interest varies depending on your status, but there is a cap to it. The total amount of interest will need to be paid to retrieve the item from pawn, and this includes the interest which is tacked onto the total regardless of whether the item is taken out of pawn immediately. To find your interest rate roll on the chart below, adding in any charisma modifiers of appropriate skill modifiers such as persuasion and the like.
Purchasing Items from a Pawnshop: The other benefit of a pawnshop is finding useful items cheaper than the going market rate. The downside is that sometimes those items are not of the best quality. Pawnshops are also poor places to find more mundane objects, as they only want items with decent value to them. Because of this, if the item is under 5gp in value, pawnshops will not bother with them. The chart below shows the possibility of an item being found in a pawn shop and how it’s value modifies that. Items purchased from a pawn shop can be bought at 60% of the current market value, but there is a chance that there is something wrong with it. Each Item purchased by a player requires a roll of a 1D100, and on a result of 10 or lower, there is something wrong with the item. What exactly is wrong with it will be up to the GM’s interpretation, but whatever it is not noticeable.
In this 8th installment for the City of Rookroost we start looking at the guilds of the city. The backbone of the founding of the city was it's guilds, before that it was just a collection of bandits. Once again thanks to everyone that have given me inspiration from Nigel Findley, Erik Mona, Gary Holian, Sean K. Reynolds, Frederick Weining, Casey Brown, and all the fabulous BK authors and lastly Gygax himself.
While the Congress might be the power behind the scenes, the guilds are still the lifeblood of Rookroost. The city would be nothing more than a collection of tents, brothels, and taverns if it weren’t for the guilds who helped turn the place into what it is.
It is a common misconception that there is only one guild for a craft or service. The truth is many guilds make up the larger super guilds that dominate the city. There are also many smaller stores and shops unaffiliated with the guilds in Outwall, and some in the Outer-City. The super guilds are, however, the ones that are detailed below in greater detail, while the smaller ones are left up to the judge or game master to flesh out and use as they see fit.
Unaligned guilds are far more likely to fall victim to being robbed and bullied by the city's criminals. Those owners who can hire guards, but most simply live in their stores and guard them themselves. Those who live in Outwall are in constant vigilance and fear of someone kicking in their door to rob them. The best security for the money are dogs, and the Rookroost Hound is a breed of dog that has been bred over the centuries to be a fierce and loyal guard dog. Unfortunately, no matter how well trained a hound is, it’s still no guarantee that they can keep every burglar at bay. The hounds themselves can be a burden, and there are packs of stray dogs that roam Outwall and can be dangerous to children and smaller humanoids or solitary citizens.
The Apothecaries and Herbalists Guild – The apothecaries and herbalists guild is highly regarded and respected by all the other guilds in Rookroost. In a highly divided city such as Rookroost, the guild is known for its neutrality when dealing with the public, something that can't be said for most other guilds. Their potions and poultices are for all that can afford them. While most of their wares are not cheap, they tend to keep the prices fair, which surprises most in a city known for its greed. The guild's fairness is attributed to Mauldren Borrow, a kind and elderly druid who has been the guilds leader for the past thirty years.
The Apothecaries and Herbalist’s Guild is on good terms with the Guild of Wizardry, and several residents hold membership in both organizations. Usually, this would be a problem in other guilds, but the wizards and apothecaries are not rivals.
While the apothecaries and herbalists produce many magical items, their main stock in trade is non-magical remedies and products. These non-magical remedies are bought in significant quantities by the city's barbers and dentists, which is another guild they have a strong relationship with.
The Apothecaries guildhall, which doubles as their storefront, is located in the Inner City. The guild also employs a wagon that acts as a mobile dispensary that travels through Outwall and the Outer-city several times a week. The wagon, of course, is well guarded.
Anti-Poison: In a city full of shady individuals as Rookroost, poison is easy to come by, and poisonings are an everyday occurrence. Common toxins are from local sources, and symptoms and side effects are well known, and anti-poison to counter these poisons are relatively easy to make. However, poisons with harder to find ingredients will, of course, drive up the price. If the anti-poison is taken within one round after exposure, it can counteract the poison removing the poisoned effect.
NOTE: anti-poisons will always work against common poisons, but there is a 10% chance that it will be ineffective against an uncommon poison, and 20% it could be ineffective against a rare poison. The reason for this is the vast number of poisons that the apothecary must try and counter, of which no apothecary is 100% aware or versed in. In addition to this, the poison dosage can drastically affect the way an ant-poison might work. These variables are summarized in the percentage chance that the rarer the poison, the greater the possibility that the anti-poison might not work.
Balm: A balm is a fragrant or aromatic ointment spread upon the skin to dilute a topical poison spread. When applied, it will give a +1 to poison saves, and can 1/2 the duration of the poison effect, and provide the patient resistance to the poison damage. The balm results last for the duration of one long rest before needing to be reapplied.
Elixir: A tincture or medicine consisting of a sweetened alcoholic solution of a small quantity of the drug or drugs, thus compounded. Patients who ingest an elixir will receive a +1 to saves vs. poison and diseases and decrease the duration of the poison or disease's effects. Patients taking an elixir will have resistance to damage taken from the poison or disease during the period while they have ingested the elixir. If taken over two days, it will cure the poison or diseased patient if the substance's duration has not run its course. The elixir can only be administered once per long rest.
Fortifier: A medicine that fortifies the patient taking it from contracting a disease or ailment. Patients taking the fortifier will receive a +1 to any saving throw to resist the effects of a disease or illness for the duration of one long rest before needing to be reapplied.
Liniment: An oil medicine, a type of liquid ointment, used to treat ailments of the skin such as bruises, lacerations, or burns. If applied to an affected area, it will increase the area's healing by allowing the reroll of a 1 or 2 for the number of hit points regained by the patient. This applies to magical healing and the taking of hit dice during a rest. The liniment can only be used once per short or long rest.
Philtre: A potion or type of charm used to bring about magical effects and cures. While wearing a Philtre to ward against a specific kind of effect or ailment, the character will receive a +1 to saving throws against the type of effect that the philtre is specifically designed for. Examples of common Philtres aid in saving throws against poison, disease, cold, fire, acid, physical exertion (strength checks). Philtres will retain their potency for one month's time per 1,000gp spent on the philtre. Philtre's that have lost their potency can have them rejuvenated by an alchemist at the cost of 500gp for each additional month.
Restorative: A lotion, poultice, potion, or similar substance that restores the loss of sight or hearing due to a disease or ailment. The patient receives a +1 to all saving throws to recover from their vision effects once per application. Applications can not exceed more than one dose per 24 period. Only one bonus per save per application occurs.
Spirit: A spirit is a substance consumed usually in a liquid form that allows the patient to ignore the effects of an injury or ailment during the duration of the spirits' effect. The spirit does not aid in healing the injury or ailment but will allow the patient to ignore its effects for the duration while the spirit is taking effect, which lasts no longer than one short rest. Each subsequent use of the spirit requires an additional dose to be effective until a maximum of three treatments have been reached, after which time the spirit will no longer retain its potency. Spirits do not mask the effects of blindness or deafness or any magically induced side effects such as charm, hold person or feeble mind.
Stimulant: A lotion, poultice, potion, or similar substance that, once applied, induces an effect that bolsters their ability to perform physical saving throws for the duration of one long rest. During this time, the patient will receive a bonus of +1 to any STR, CON, or DEX saving throw that they perform for the duration that they are under the stimulant's effects. A period of one long rest without use of the substance must be allowed between applications to avoid a wisdom saving through to resist becoming addicted to the substance. Each period of use without a long rest will require a DC 10 +1 per use without a long rest to avoid becoming addicted. For example. Using the stimulant three times in a row will require a DC 13 saving throw to avoid becoming addicted. Multiple uses of the stimulant do not increase the potency of the saving throw bonus above the +1. Patients becoming addicted to the stimulant will suffer a -1 to all INT, WIS, and CHR saving throws until a period of time equal to the number of does taken consecutively in long rests has elapsed. At that time, the patient returns to normal.
The Architects Guild – This small and exclusive guild has an office in the Inner City and works exceptionally close with the Lord of Brick, who is the guilds, principal employer. The Architects guild is known for its simple yet highly functional designs. In a city like Rookroost, it's essential that your buildings last with only intermittent repairs at best, and the Architects guild specializes in such structures.
The Assassins Guild – The assassin's guild has been a part of the Congress in the past, but each time the assassin’s guild is assimilated by them, another one pops into existence to take its place as an independent entity. Despite the Congress' desire to have a monopoly on the professional killing business, there are far too many organizations that need these kinds of services, and many of them are not on the best of terms with the Congress.
The current assassin’s guild has been in independent operations for just over twenty years, and it appears the inhabitants of Rookroost wish to keep it that way. The Assassins Guild takes significant steps to ensure that they stay independent from the local political scene because being seen to favor any organization is bad for business. It is commonly believed that the assassins guild carried out the deaths during the Night of the Silent Deaths. Of course, no proof was found to prove this, and no one is willing to publicly accuse them of it and draw the ire of these professional killers.
A building known as The Black House is the public office of the guild. It's a small, unassuming building in the Outer-City. The people that work there are go-betweens that relay the work to the assassins through drops and couriers. The actual members of the guild are secret, and if a particular member is outed, they are dismissed from the guild. While a rare occurrence, those ousted usually find employment with the Congress or are killed by their former guild members.
NOTE* For contracts for targets above level 17, the cost must be negotiated.
The Bakers, Butchers, and Cooks Guild – The bakers, Butchers, and Cook’s guild is one of the larger guilds in the city as their services are used by many of the cities citizens. The guild tries to ensure that prices are reasonably set, but the guild's primary purpose is to provide safety to its members. It also gives them the buying power to ensure that the necessary ingredients for their jobs flow into the city and at a price they can afford. The guild has close ties to the Lord of Brick, who usually is the one that champions their causes.
The main guildhall is known as The Kitchen, and is in the Outer-City, but their members can be found throughout Rookroost. Those who work in Outwall, or the Outer-City, often wear an armband with the hearth symbol of the guild on it to readily recognize that they are part of a guild and not someone to be lightly trifled with.
In this 7th installment for the City of Rookroost we take look at the very unique system of laws in Rookroost and how they don't apply to everyone. Once again thanks to everyone that have given me inspiration from Nigel Findley, Erik Mona, Gary Holian, Sean K. Reynolds, Frederick Weining, Casey Brown, and all the fabulous BK authors and lastly Gygax himself.
The Rule of Guilded and Unguilded Law
The Bandit Kingdoms' lands are a chaotic place at best, and Rookroost is a prime example. While some places have a semblance of law and order, none would be your typical law and order found in other places of the Flanaess. Rookroost has plenty of laws and regulations, but none of them apply to everyone in the same fashion. There are two completely separate sets of laws: one for guilded citizens, and one for everyone else.
The laws passed by the Council of Lords are not designed to benefit ordinary citizens but the members of guilds instead. The guilds and factions want to ensure that no one can take their possessions or harm them without repercussion; they also don't want to include everyone in their little club. Robbers and thieves founded the city, and the idea of not being able to steal from someone legally was unappealing to the cities founders.
Anyone that steals from a guilded member, and gets caught, must return or reimburse the victim for the total amount of stolen or damaged property. In addition to the reimbursement, the magistrates of the Courts of Rookroost can levy a fine. Fines are determined by the magistrate, with half of the fine going to the city coffers, and a half to the victim of the crime. Those who cannot pay will either be sentenced to forced labor or, more likely, sold into slavery. At no time will a criminal be in danger of going to jail if they have the resources to pay everyone off. Even in death cases, the offender will be forced to pay the amount determined by the magistrate. With most minor crimes, the capture and payment of fines can all occur on the streets or where the crime occurred. Guilded members are only taken to jail when the crime is severe or do not have the coin to pay the fine. Guilded members are allowed to send a message to have the funds delivered to the jail so they can be released. When a crime is committed between a guilded member and an unguilded member, the punishment is usually the same, except there is typically a period of forced labor accompanying the fine for the unguilded.
Due to the unfairness of the system and the steep cost of seeking legal justice, assassins are in high demand for dispensing vengeance for those who feel the courts can not satisfy them.
Crime and Punishment
The courts of Rookroost are headed by magistrates appointed by the Council of Lords and are, of course, guilded citizens. Most cases rarely go to trial, having fines paid out instead. Magistrates cannot have membership in the same guild as the plaintiff or defendants in a trial they oversee. Magistrates are appointed to terms of three years, after which they must be reappointed. How much coin a magistrate generates for the city through their rulings has a direct influence on their being reappointed. Heavy-handed Judges generally don't work out as well as those that are willing to find common ground. The city has thirteen active magistrates at all times.
With the legal system being such a sham, there are no lawyers in Rookroost because there is no real litigation, only compromise. However, some legal scholars that can advise clients how best to bribe their way out of their charges do exist.
The following list of crimes are punishable when committed by either a guilded or unguilded citizen. Each offense has a fine connected to it, along with a possible work sentence and other punishments.
Arson – In arson cases, those charged with a crime are forced to pay for damages and a fine of 50 to 100gp. In arson cases with losses greater than 20gp a sentence of 1 to 4 years of forced labor, or a penalty of 100gp per year sentenced may be levied.
Assault – Assault is a common crime, especially in a city like Rookroost full of brigands and bandits. Most assaults will generally result in little more than a fine of 1 to 20gp and a night in jail, but for more serious assaults, which usually means influential people were hurt, the fine can be as much as 100 to 200gp and up to 1 to 2 years of forced labor.
Burglary and Theft – Crimes of burglary and theft are only enforced when the victims are guilded citizens. If convicted of this crime, the condemned must repay the stolen items' value, and any property damaged a result of the burglary or theft. Fines range from 50gp to 100gp, and forced labor is generally only enforced with the inability to pay fines. The minimum time sentenced is one year, with additional years added per 1,000 gp of value stolen.
Damaging Property – The crime of property damage is only enforced if the property is that of a guilded citizen. Those convicted of this crime must pay the cost of repairing or replacing said property and pay a fine of 50 to 100gp.
Importing of Controlled items – The term, controlled items, refers to things that cannot be imported into the city to resell. These items are the sole domain of guilds that have obtained a charter to do so. These items are as follows.
· Magical Items
· Consumables – Drink/Food/Spirits
· Weapons and armor
Anyone caught smuggling in these items without the proper authority will have all the items confiscated without compensation. A fine of 10gp per 100gp of value in goods smuggled into the city is also levied. Permission to deal in these goods is obtained through the Council of Lords in the form of a writ of import. A Writ of Import generally costs either 100gp per shipment or 1,000gp for a full year. A writ can be obtained through the offices of the Lord of Merchants.
Practicing Magic Within the city in public- The use of magic is controlled within the city since the time of Latavius. Public displays of magic are illegal without the Lord of Letters' permission in the form of a Writ of Practice. Getting a Writ of Practice is relatively easy, provided the magic performed is not dangerous and easily contained. A Writ of Practice is good for one day from sunup to sundown. The writ's cost depends on the type of magic performed; in other words, the level of the magic. The charge of the writ is 100gp per level. With 1st level magic being 100gp, 2nd level being 200gp, and so on. Purchasing a Writ of Practice at a third level will allow you to perform magic of lower levels on the same day as well. Performing cantrips has a cost of 50gp for the day.
Casting within the privacy of one’s own home is allowed provided that person is a member of the Guild of Wizardry.
Casting of magic that directly or indirectly affects others - If someone casts magic that directly affects another person, then the victim is entitled to a settlement of roughly 100gp per level of the spell provided they were not a willing participant. The caster will also suffer a fine of 100gp per level of the spell and pay for any damages. If a guilded citizen's death occurs from an unauthorized spell, the spell's caster will be hanged. The death of an ungilded citizen carries an additional fine of 500gp. These strict sentences, of course, depends on those involved. Members of the Guild of Wizardry have some leeway and are rarely held accountable for this behavior unless it is against other guilded citizens. If the caster is guilded and the victim an unguilded citizen, then only a fine is levied.
Magical Interference of Authority – Surprisingly, the use of magic to impede or interfere with the functions of the Rookroost government has a much stricter punishment leveled against it than the casting of magics in the city against citizens. The Council of Lords agrees that the greatest threat to it, at least after the hordes of Iuz, is allowing magic to go unchecked when it comes to the collection of taxes. There is a strict ban on glamours, illusions, and all mind-altering magic outside of spells sanctioned by the Lord of Letters.
The typical fine of 100gp per level of the spell still applies, but a minimum of one year of forced labor is attached to these fines per level of the spell. Thus a 3rd level spell would have a three-year sentence and a 4th level spell a four-year sentence.
Scrying, illusion, and non-detection spells are only permissible if authorized with a Writ of Practice. When petitioning for these spells the council will usually only permit the casting to be performed by a member of the Guild of Wizardry.
Murder – Murder is common in the Outer City and Outwall but uncommon in the Inner City and very rare in the Peak. Those guilded citizens, with membership in a well-established guild, expect a fair amount of protection for the coin, which translates into an increased presence of Talons in the Inner-City and The Peak.
Unsurprisingly, if a guilded citizen murders a non-guilded citizen, there is at best only a fine levied against them. This fine is usually no more than 50gp. However, it depends on where that murder occurred. While it’s harder for non-guilded citizens to gain access to the Inner City and the Peak, they are safer there regardless of their citizenship status. A murder carried out in the Outer-City would be 100gp fine while in the Inner-City, the fine would be 200gp and a year of forced labor. In the Peak, the fine jumps to 500gp and six years of forced labor. Non-guilded citizens sentenced with committing murder in the Inner-City and the Peak are hanged.
Incarceration – When charged with imprisonment, or forced labor, prisoners are taken to the Slab. Originally built to house Rookroost's army, the walled was eventually transformed into a prison as the army outgrew it. It’s a sturdy structure constructed out of large granite blocks shipped in from the Rift Canyon. It gets its nickname from the fact that it’s a rather plain-looking keep with no adornments or style to it. Located in Outwall, the Slab looms over the nicest neighborhoods of that district. The proximity to the prison and the comings and goings of the Talons stationed there makes this section of Outwall less chaotic than the rest. A detachment of Talons are stationed here as the guards of the prison.
If the convicted cannot pay off their fines at the time of their trial, they are taken to the Slab to work off their fines or serve their sentence. Even after entering the Slab to serve their sentence, a convict can still pay off any labor sentence.
In this 6th installment for the City of Rookroost we take another look at the power structure of the city and its power brokers. Many different factions vie for power within its walls, and outside of them. Once again thanks to everyone that have given me inspiration from Nigel Findley, Erik Mona, Gary Holian, Sean K. Reynolds, Frederick Weining, Casey Brown, and all the fabulous BK authors and lastly Gygax himself.
Wherever people gather, the gods they worship are not far behind, and Rookroost is no exception. While the gods worshiped in Rookroost are a motley bunch, they are openly worshiped. One might think that this type of religious freedom is refreshing, but it has led to open hostilities between different faiths. This hostility, which could flare up at a moment’s notice, was the main reason the Council of Lords added the Lord of Temples' to the council. This figurehead helps them to mediate differences and settle qualms between the faiths nonviolently. Of course, this does not mean that the animosities between rival gods have disappeared, just that it has become more discrete and gone underground.
Initially, no such position was considered for the Council of Lords because no one believed priests would listen to anyone except their patrons on how to conduct themselves. Of all the gods worshiped within Rookroost, only one is acknowledged by all the faiths; Istus, goddess of fate. Being in her graces is said to open more doors of opportunity for a worshiper, while angering, or mocking her, limiting one's possibilities. Regardless of the validity of these beliefs, no one wishes to have a life of limited opportunity. Since she speaks nothing against other deities, she is worshiped widely even by those that venerate other gods. Because of this, the position of the Lord of Temples has been held by a priest of Istus since its inception.
The Lord of Temples helps to make sure that all holy days and festivals do not impede the city's everyday traffic and business. While some religious rites can be unsavory, none are outlawed so long as they are performed in private. The Lord also helps organize all large festivals and gatherings, with the majority held outside the city walls.
There are occasions when the different religions unite to throw their collective force behind a cause, usually in opposition to some religion's rights being taken away, like worshippers of Nerull right to give blood sacrifices in public. All the faiths realize that once one of them loses their rights, it could cause a domino effect. Despite these odd moments of solidarity, the temples are a diverse collection of independent churches and temples.
The Rebel Scum
Rookroost being the largest of the cities found in the Free Lords lands is considered the unofficial capital of the region. The Great Old One realized this and placed high importance in taking it intact. Iuz had no desire to see this gem destroyed when he could reap the benefits of its resources. The sensitivity of capturing and holding the city is believed to be why Mortoth was handpicked to capture it. Most of Iuz's other generals couldn't be trusted not to destroy it in the process. Rookroost's strategic importance to the Great Old One's empire is not lost on his enemies either. Because of this, several resistance and rebel groups operate within the city.
While Iuz is a foul and evil being that commands hordes of terrible humanoids and demons, not all of his foes are fighting for justice and freedom. The resistance groups that sprung up from the Free Lords' destroyed kingdoms were far from shining examples of good. Unlike in the Rift Canyon, and the Fellreev Forest Rookroost has no significant resistance group made up of local fighters.
The Congress tries to keep tabs on the rebel groups as best they can, and when possible, they will pass on the locations of any resistance groups to Mortoth. To the Congress, it's in their best interest to keep Mortoth in power, at least for now. If the winds should change, and it appears that the minions of the Great Old Ones might be ousted, they would most certainly turn from hampering these resistance groups to helping them. They currently allow some groups to exist in Rookroost, but only so long as their influence and numbers are not significant. If one begins to get out of hand, the Congress takes measures to keep them in check.
Below are the major factions in the resistance that are currently active and attempting to destroy or interfere with all of Iuz's plans whenever they can.
Chief among the Great Old One's rivals on the battlefield is the kingdom of Furyondy. Located southwest of the Free Lords' lands, Furyondy interacted little with them. Now with the Bandit Kingdoms helping to fuel the armies of Iuz they have become a major target of covert operations to disrupt all assistance flowing from there.
To help destabilize the region, bands of spies from Furyondy, often lead by paladins and priests of Trithereon, the god of freedom, have moved infiltrated the city. A group headed by a paladin named Arnol Marsh leads the freedom fighters within Rookroost. Marsh's main job is to destabilize all aid that would be heading from Rookroost to the empire of Iuz. Including the quarterly tribute collected in the region and sent to Doraka. In addition to hampering with the delivery of tribute, the Furyondian resistance fighters act as saboteurs. Marsh also attempts to gather as much intelligence on the Free Lords' realms' activities and send it back to Furyondy.
While Marsh hates the people of Ravensrook and the Free Lords, he hates the Great Old One's minions even more. Despite this hatred, he realizes that his mission comes first, and all under his command realize that tipping their hand of being Furyondy agents is not acceptable. Marsh and his people often will plant evidence at the scenes of their attacks to mislead Mortoth's men into thinking it's either the Horned Society's agents or even sometimes the resistance fighters from the Shield Lands.
Marsh knows Beanor Borralis, the Shield Land's resistance fighters' leader in Rookroost, but has only met him twice. Marsh does not coordinate jobs with Borralis as he thinks that the man is far too wild and unpredictable and would draw undue attention to his people.
The Shield Lands
One of the worst-hit lands during the Greyhawk Wars was the kingdom of the Shield Lands. The Shield Lands' lords rose from a collection of smaller nations that banded together to protect themselves from their neighbors. The glue that kept them together was the widespread worship of Heironeous, a god of justice, honor, war, and courage.
More than half of the Shield Lands now lies in their enemies' hands and has been for nearly seven years. While the war is technically over, skirmishes along the border are frequent. It is a well-known secret that both sides are merely licking their wounds and preparing for future hostilities.
The Shield Lands sends small bands of agents into their former lands to fight a continuous subterfuge and resistance battle. The occupying humanoids easily root out most. The Bandit Kingdoms are far easier to infiltrate and operate in with its high volume of rebels and resistance fighters. These resistance fighters either join forces with or simply merge quietly with these rebels to help them carry the fight to Iuz.
In Rookroost, one such band is led by a fiery and hot-tempered fighter named Beanor Borralis. Beanor is a man with a death wish, and he intends to go out in the biggest ball of destruction that he can orchestrate. Despite this death wish, Borralis, realizes that he still has a job to do in Rookroost, and until he can find a suitable way of accomplishing his mission, he bids his time and tries to disrupt as much of the Great Old Ones plans as possible. Borralis has attempted to waylay the tribute caravan to Doraka seven times and failed each time at great cost.
Borralis sees the use of fear as a weapon, and unlike his counterpart, Arnol Marsh from Furyondy, Borralis, and his people often leave a calling card in the form of the symbol of Heironeous carved or painted onto the corpses they leave behind.
The Horned Society
The Great Old One's demon and humanoid hordes were not the only feared nation in the region before the Greyhawk Wars; the lands of the Horned Society had grand plans of empire themselves. A more orderly land than the Empire of Iuz, the Horned Society, was methodical in its preparedness and conquest plans. Run by a council of 13, known as Hierarchs, they also employed armies of humanoids but preferred the more organized and reliable Hobgoblins over orcs. Many considered them a greater threat than Iuz, at least until most of the thirteen were assassinated and the whole of their lands taken over in a nearly bloodless coup.
While the coupe eliminated most of the Hierarchs, a few were able to anticipate or survive the assassination attempts and flee. No one is sure how many survived, but Hierarch Nezmajen, a priest of Nerull, fled to the Fellreev with a small band and has been recruiting and reorganizing there.
Nezmajen sees the Bandit Kingdoms as a linchpin to helping regain the lost territories of the Horned Society. The Free Lords provide needed supplies, resources, and more reliable troops for the Great Old One's war machine. Without them, Iuz's plans for domination would fall flat and grind to a halt. Wishing to destabilize the region, which needs little encouragement, Nezmajen has sent small groups of saboteurs and assassins to critical locations in the Bandit Kingdoms, with Rookroost being of particular interest.
Heading Nezmajen's efforts inside the city is Karst, a half-drow assassin. Karst is sly and cunning and recruits via third person most of her operatives. She relies on small bands of loyal Horned Society operatives to help her coordinate them. Rookroost is ideal for this kind of tactic as the city is overflowing with desperate men and women looking to make quick coin. Karst's favorite tactic is having her operatives pose as members of the Congress when recruiting for missions as it redirects attention and helps to sow the seeds of dissent.