This is a small, neat booth with many small bottles displayed on the counter, run by a genial man by the name of Johnathan. He's tall and thin, and usually covered in residue from his work. He's also apparently accident prone: he's missing the little finger on his right hand, the result of an accidental explosion, and another unspecified accident has rendered him mute. He communicates by the aid of a small slate and chalk, or, in the event his customers can't read, his assistant Lis translates. Lis is a taciturn young woman, and tends to be antisocial almost to the point of rudeness.
The name is actually a bit of a misnomer, for the proprietor Johnathan is not an alchemist in the traditional sense; he is a chemist. This shop sells not only some commonly requested potions, medicines, and other items, but custom recipes. Tell Johnathan what effect you want a particular formula to have, and he'll compound it for you. Needless to say, custom orders are much more expensive.
Both Johnathan and Lis have very strong veiws on killing, and as such, they won't sell anything that is meant to kill. This does not mean that they don't sell anything that can kill, but their products are only fatal if misused.
Though they do not sell poisons, they do a steady business in antidotes, both common and rare. In fact, Lis has an almost uncanny ability to diagnose a particular poison based on the symptoms alone, and rumor suggests that she is a former assassin.
That one restriction aside, Johnathan will sell anything, legal or illegal, and has been known to sell his share of placebos and fake "wonder products." Go to Comment
This ramshackle little stall is surprisingly popular. It is run by the Cassinos family, three siblings (Riisha, Laren, and Derris) and their aging father Malachai. It's a tiny little construction, and looks as if it will fall down at any moment (and occasionally does.)
Despite this, they do a fairly brisk business, for there is no finer source of liquor and wine to be had. They sell all of the commonly seen spirits, and a few things not so common. The house specialty is the incredibly strong Gypsy Wine that Malachai brews himself. Illegal in many places, it can send a man unused to it into a drunken stupor after only a glassful. This makes it popular among thieves, spies, and those engaged in illicit affairs of other types. Also popular is what Malachai calls Nectar, which is a sweet liquor that acts as a mild aphrodesiac.
The stall is barely big enough to house the shelves of bottles and a tiny desk where Riisha takes the customers' money. Big, hulking Laren stands outside, keeping an eye on the clients to make sure they don't trouble his sister or try to make off with the merchandise. Derris is kept busy delivering orders of liquor for parties, and Malachai can usually be found sitting outside, conversing with passers-by in a state of affable drunkeness.
Still, it is not odd to find Derris minding the till, or that Laren has taken a crate to be delivered, or that Malachai is watching his shop with unusual attentiveness. This is, after all, the Black Market, and the Cassinos thieves have their own purchases to make. Go to Comment
Small, locked display cases are arranged around the sides of this quiet little stall located away from the main thoroughfare. It is owned by a perpetually amused young woman named Mona Emerald (although there are those who question if that is her real name). The display cases are filled with what looks like a wide array of jewels of every description: diamonds, rubies, sapphires, opals, pearls, and, of course, emeralds.
However, the displays are substantially less valuable than they appear. Mona deals in high quality false gems, and her products are usually made of glass or porcelain. These are mostly bought by clever thieves who wish to replace the real thing or unscrupulous jewelers who wish to cheat their customers, although occasionally someone more upstanding will purchase her wares to use as costume jewels. Most of her gems are unset, but she always has a few in various settings. She also usually has one or two hollow gems, for those interested in them for the novelty value or more sinister purposes.
Although she certainly doesn't advertise it, she is also quite willing to fence real jewels that have been removed from their settings. (It's not a wise idea to try to pass a fake off as genuine to her. If there's one thing she knows, it's jewels, and anyone who tries to cheat her will soon find that their name has been passed to the authorities and any relevant guildmasters.) She travels from place to place, taking her wares with her, and finds it easy to find buyers for the real thing in places where they won't immediately be recognized.
Genuine jewels are hidden in plain sight, in the display cases amongst their less valuable replicas. Mona keeps a small double-locked case containing several fakes where she can appear to keep a close eye on it; she is not a fool, and understands that in a market frequented by thieves, real jewels would prove tempting. Go to Comment
This place doesn't have a sign to name it, but it's hard to miss. Every available surface is covered with books of every description. It's also a permanent building, a small shop located in the same general vicinity as the stalls of the Black Market. The proprietor, an exhuberent red-haired young man, is just called "Bookman" because he never seems to mention his name to anyone. He sells surprisingly useful items of all sorts, legal and illegal, from banned magical tomes to the Poisoner's Almanac to poetry to a truly astonishing selection of pornography (which, naturally, is quite popular even with the illiterate).
He has been known to boast that if it's been written down, he can get it, and backs it up with blueprints, tax records (which is more useful than you might think, if you're trying to pick the right target to rob), and the occasional bit of blackmail material. While the Knotworker gives an immediate answer to a single question, Bookman's books are meant to provide more in-depth and specialized information that can be frequently checked.
No one's really sure where Bookman came from, but most seem to get the impression he belongs in the Black Market, due in part to his evasiveness on the very subject. The fact that he will often disappear for weeks or months at a time with no explanation, leaving his shop in the care of his father (a bent, shrivelled, cantankerous old man who will also answer to Bookman) tends to solidify this belief. Rumors about young Bookman range from he's a literary-minded assassin, to a thief specializing in valuable books, to a spy for this power or that. Of course, the truth could easily be something quite different.
(This wouldn't really be aimed solely at thieves, of course, but it would have books thieves could use. And since he's quite willing to sell illegal books as well, the Black Market seems a good place for him.) Go to Comment
The Family of Cleshedor
Their booth is fairly low key. It is mostly two low tables sitting pillows, a few chairs, and a serving table with some cheese, wine, and a metallic contraption that makes the best tea and klah you have ever tasted. A few members are dressed in fairly bland looking local clothing, and some odd dark glass eyeshades that they Family tends to wear. They are polite and business like, but do not wish to gain "more power" or "more territory". They just want their own business concerns and to be left alone. If you have something interesting, profitable, and to their eyes, without risk, they will gladly do business with you.
The Family waundered into the criminal scene a few decades ago. Little is honestly known about them. Given their organization is in full bloom, they came from somewhere else (rumored to be on the other side of the Great Khanate Empire and Orcen tribes). They have the ability to move things. This make them smugglers without peer, both import and export. They are a tight lipped bunch, never talking much to anyone outside of their own organization. However, they tend to be exceptionally polite and seem almost bored by what is going on around them.
While a few guilds took offense by their moving in, most accepted them quickly. Especially since those that were aggressive against them, were never seen again.
The Family of Cleshedor specializes in moving people and things from one place to another, with near magical speed and ability. Big loads, small loads, ships or caravans worth of slaves, it makes no difference. They can make people disappear never to be found again, even with magics. How they achieve this, no one can say for sure... though many speculate. Some say they have access to a Gate Network that still works from Imperial times. Others say they use illusion and deception to make others miss their work. A few simply think they are just more organized than everyone else, utilizing carefully created tunnels and clamp carts (primitive railroads with pulley systems moving cars). While they seem to have some odd contraptions and odder magic items, no one can pin down the truth. All can agree that they are not from around here And that is fairly profitable to work with The Family.
Kramer's Rigging Supply
It looks like a normal market day stall. Rigging supplies of all types; ropes of all types, coil wraps (some are retractable, a feature that is unique to his shop and something he is quite proud of), pullies and tackles, winches, koge gloves and shoes (hooked gloves and shoes to make rigging easier to climb), waterproof bags and gear (for rain while on the deck), sticky gloves (for ease of climbing), and a variety of pitch for climbing and waterproofing. Normally this is a maritime shop, but it is selling things to this rarified clientel to pick up a few silver.
Kramer is a bit nervous being here. He is not a thief, nor even that shady of a character. However, since most of the drydocks and warfs are closing in his town, there has been nobody else to buy his gear. He never asked what the occasional shady character was buying boat gear for when business was good. Now that they are most of his business, he desperately is trying not to think about what they are doing with it. Go to Comment
The Purple Bowl2420
This is a very nice place in a very bad part of town. This is where the upper echelons of the criminal society dine. An occassional noble or merchant might find their way here, either on a dare or having a secretive meeting. The fare is a bit expensive for the neighborhood (heck most of the city actually), but the house sauce is Xoct sauce.
Here, they are selling the Bounder's Special which consists of a bowl of noodles, rice batter fried chicken, and Xoct Sauce. (Note: Bounder is the current slang for a cat burgler. It comes from bounding from roof to roof. ) They are also selling small bottles of the sauce that they are making locally. Go to Comment
Ahh, I see then. Well, I promise to have my entry ready by Friday. I think you'll enjoy it. By the way, sweet work on this criminal center of commercial. It has the potential to become one of the best threads here, in my humble opinion. Go to Comment
An uncommon name for a business that is by all accounts, run by a very unusual individual, even by the shady standards of the Market. Located on the more obscure outskirts of the Market out of his paranoid fear that some nosy parker might develop an inclination to thwart his ambitions, the Horatio lurks in his cone shaped mud-hut like a hungry spider, keeping a constant vigil at the entrance for customers genuinely interested in the products he has to offer for sale.
And what truly exotic products they are. Peek into Horatio's hut and you will see hundreds of reed cages covering almost every inch of his modest dwelling. Horatio as any visitor will soon come to discover, is an avid breeder of insects. Yes, insects. A most accomplished keeper of slimy, little repulsive things, Horatio has managed through years of zealously forcing distantly related species of bugs to mate with one another, resulting in a bewildering variety of insects that possess rather interesting attributes which a thief would find very useful indeed. Want a bug that can noiselessly disable sturdy locks for you? His unique Cront roaches can pull off this trick, when the lock in question is smeared with traces of their favorite snack, decaying pig brain material, their beloved food item. Just let them get a whiff of it and then release them from their cage, to watch with satisfaction as they slobber all over the lock with their destructive vomit, a highly corrosive substance the shade of thick, putrid yellow that utterly dissolves and melts the metal. Or need a bug that unleashes powerful fumes capable of causing an entire posse of guards to swoon, while you make off with the loot? Horatio's Bulg Spider can do this very nicely. Just remember to swallow an antidote, and then happily see your plan unfold as the fist sized critter is provoked into unleashing its deadly load when one of its legs is ripped off. Oh, and if any guard is strong enough to endure the stench and come after you, just chuck the severed leg at any part of his exposed skin that you see. The numerous toxin-laced hairs sprouting from it, immediately cause blood poisoning upon coming into contact with naked skin. Feel like poisoning anyone to death? Simply grab a pair of gloves, and give a bloated Shar slug a gentle squeeze. A few of the sickly green drops that ooze from its pores are enough to kill a hundred men.
Yes, old Horatio can be very useful at times, or rather his hideous little creations are. They certainly earn him a handsome profit, the little beasties.
And yet, Horatio continues to live in a state of wretched poverty. The clothes that clad his thick, grotesque body are rags, while the food he eats would make a pig gag. Unlike your common black market trader, Horatio isn't keen on accumulating money. Most of what he earns, is spent on procuring ever more rare types of bugs to breed with his existing stock.
Horatio, you see, lives only to inflict his vengeance on those who wrecked his dreams. Once a respected researcher of natural history for the Royal Archives and a devoted observer of the marvelous mini-beasts known as insects, he dreamt of the day that the miraculous abilities of these tiny invertebrates could be harnessed to aid man-kind in all his endeavors. Only to be sacked from the position he occupied when he proposed to cross-breed into existence, a species of fast breeding silk spinning insect that would make silk a widespread commodity. Powerful nobles owning large cotton growing plantations, became concerned for their future profits in a world where silk was readily available, and insisted that the king discharge from his service, this man who was audacious enough to incur the wrath of God by tampering with His creations.
Furious at their greed, Horatio vowed to punish them for it. And so he vanished from the sight of all academia, choosing to forge a new path for himself in the shadowy world of crime..
Twenty years have passed since then, and Horatio revels in the satisfaction that his creations bring him. That, and the knowledge that they now assist in emptying the vaults of the ones who halted his progress for their own narrow, selfish interests. However, a part of him lives in constant fear that his old oppressors are aware of what he is up to, and conspire to put an end to his research for once and all. Terrified of this prospect, Horatio avoids the other criminal traders of the Market as he is suspicious of their true identities, keeping to himself as much as possible. They in turn, think him a crazy, insect obsessed loon, and dismiss him as such. It's an arrangement that works for everyone, Horatio included. Go to Comment
A failed wizards apprentice, Carravi is a genial and well spoken man and one of the few tailors who frequents the Black Market. While his wares are not illegal, they are valuable to the criminal intent, and are quite pricey. He flashes a black cloak and tells that he took a swatch of midnight sky and sewed it into the lining. Once worn, the Thief gets bonuses to hide. nother gray cloak was woven from cloth that was drawn from mist and fog and woven into physical form.
A consumate socialite, Carravi is possibly the most friendly face to be seen at the market. Go to Comment
A desolate region is almost entirely without normal vegetation. Local plants are able to unroot themselves and crawl along the ground in search of water and fertile soil. The inhabitants fence their crops in to keep them from wandering off and put heavy stone thresholds in the doorways of their huts to keep wayward plants out.
The plants sense by chemical cues, lacking sight or hearing, and tend to avoid herbivores or anything that smells of "dead plants". Characters with horses are likely to be unwelcome among the locals.