A writhing mass of red tentacles
The RJD2 series virus, affectionately known as The Red Scribble, is the scourge of cyberspace.
"I have seen the beast, tentacled and cruel. Tore out me eye, it did, like pickin’ a plum. It’s cursed, I tell ye, cursed to its cold heart."
-Jerboam the Sailor
Misunderstood and much maligned, the Hek is a traveller who dreads violence. If it only understood the violence it caused.
In a city where the justice system features judicial dueling, plaintiffs and defendants are permitted to request a champion to take their place in the duel: Someone chosen by lot from among the foreigners in the city. When anyone first arrives, they are given an enchanted ceramic pendant that marks them as a candidate for "court duty".
Wealthy folk entering the city are often escorted by burly guards, paid to carry pendants on their behalf: They elude court duty in that way.
Adventurers may seek work as a rich man's proxy or may find themselves magically summoned to serve as a champion.