Monday, August 20, 2018

A City of Entertainment and Perils

Love takes your eyes first.                       

 – Mandolina Sweet, tea merchant

There are a million ways to be entertained in Umberwell: all-night cabarets, theater and opera, sporting events, veil-dancers and burlesque, pub singalongs, etc. But the most invigorating performances are those of the Ritual—gladiatorial events in which ostentatiously-arrayed warriors bolstered by otherworldly pacts fight each other to the death in bouts that are part of some larger occult significance. 

The Bullroarer is a combination of tavern and sauna operating in Redgutter that is mostly frequented by picaros and crypt-kickers. The Bullroarer is run by Wick, a succubus who tends the bar and keeps a sharp ear out for gossip and lucrative work that would interest adventurers. Because Wick cannot stand cold weather, the interior of the Bullroarer is kept sweltering and humid—even during the balmy summer months. The Bullroarer serves an infamously spicy goat curry. Near the Bullroarer is the Gilded Tom, a brothel run by the secretive, kimono-clad Mariska Magwitch—the two establishments share a clientele. 

Some speak of the Slumgullian Warrens as a sovereign nation within Umberwell—the “city below the city’s streets.” Residents of the subterranean depths—such as kobolds, dark elves, gnomes, and goblins—find curious ways to adapt to their environment despite the hardscrabble existence of each island’s portion of the under-city. Luminescent foolfire fungi is cultivated in the Slumgullian Warrens for the benefit of those races not blessed with darkvision.


The candlekin are the degenerate descendants of renegade engineers who were imprisoned deep below the earth in disused train tunnels by the Ministry of Wands. They are supplied food and candles from a mysterious benefactor or jailer. The candlekin keep thousands of candles burning at all times within their lairs; their domains are coated with lairs of cooled, lumpen wax. The constant exposure to intense candlelight has rendered the candlekin blind, and the light within their lairs makes it difficult for others to see. Although their blindness renders them relatively harmless on an individual level, they tend to attack in great swarms of broken-bodied madness when encountered in the undercity.

There is good money to be had for adventurers willing to clear out nests of blood-seeking stirges or infestations of giant rats. Wolfcove & Sons is a trusted name in the vermin removal business. The exterminators employed by Wolfcove & Sons are recognizable by their covered wagons which display the image of a roach being crushed by a warhammer on their canvas sides.