Westlaws 2.0 - The Devouring
Daer'Naga - City of Pedestal
Trade City of the Drow Borderlands
Formerly a powerful drow city-state known for its access to the frontier lands (known as the Drow Borderlands) and the regions beyond the Sunless Sea. However, a prolonged but successful war with a mind flayer pod weakened the city leaving it susceptible to a magical plague that brought its ruling clans low nearly a generation ago.
Pedastal is not a thriving city, bustling with activity and trade. Only about half the buildings in its dark streets are inhabited, and those inhabitants are not always civilized creatures. In fact, Pedastal’s streets are arguably more dangerous than the average Underdark tunnel – threats tend to be more concentrated in the city.
Pedastal is inhabited by the downtrodden, the vicious and the monstrous. As many buildings lie empty as inhabited, and nearly all doors remain barred agianst intrusion. Its streets bear the remnants of its past, with black iron lanterns illuminating the city with ghoulish green light. Without tending, hundreds have been pilfered over the years, though enough exist to provide a dim, diffuse light across the city. It remains a true warren of iniquity where no creature is safe on the streets, and the only law is dispensed through violence. The weak and unwanted scrounge for food and shelter as well as they can, moving as necessary to avoid fighting between rival gangs that each try to assert themselves as the future rulers of the city.
What still draws people to the city is its Bazaar, a rowdy collection of traders and merchants near the East Gate. The city exports limited quantities of foodstuffs, but remains primarily a market community, attracting coins and goods from the surrounding regions to support itself and its new ruling class of drow, House Dusklorn.
City Walls : An outer wall encircles the entire land-ward portions of the city, including a second wall protecting the Noble’s Bluff, the region immediately near the Necromancer’s Spike, the central column that gave the city its name. Parapets run along the top of both walls, with iwide walkways, though no one officially defends them. All city gates have been broken and destroyed, though the western “Noble’s Gate” remains choked with rubble and is unpassable. Unofficially, the “Web of Shadows” keeps watch on everything that enters or leaves the city.
The Riddle : The most dangerous and run-down region of the city, it occupies the SE portion of Pedastal, though gangs in the area spend as much time fighting each other as they do intruders.
Necromancer’s Spike : Even when the city of Pedestal was under the firm rule of the ruling Drow Houses, the Necromancer’s Spike remained apart. Maroe, a pale Master Necromancer of some renown and ability, inhabited it. It now is a haunted ruin, though rumors abound that the Earth Serpent’s cult has taken an interest in the place.
The Blight : The Blight is the magical plague that laid the city’s ruling Houses low many years ago, and the region it originated from in the upper Noble’s Bluff is avoided in fear of its renewal to this day. Still infectious, the region taints those who get too close with Ash Doom. This infectious disease is arcane in origin, and gradually disintergrates its victim into luminescent green ash, until they become one of the “Plaguelost”, ghostly beings that hate the living and exist onyl to spread Ash Doom.
City Factions :
The Dark Brotherhood : Unlike other groups of professional killers, Pedestal’s assassin’s have decided to openly seize power in the city during the vacuum created by the eradication of the ruling drow of the city. As a powerful and efficient criminal organization, the Guild has had many successes, and many of the city inhabitants pay their “taxes” to the guild as protection money. They are rumored to be allied with House Dusklorn, the new ruling drow House. The guild is led by “Fluid”, believed to be a shapechanger, and known to have ties with the aboleth of the Sunless Sea. “Fadheela”, a mysterious woman of unknown origins, is its most successful enforcer, and recently moved into the Necromancer’s Spike.
Anyone can take a contract out through the guild by dropping an order into their drop box on Skull Avenue. How it works from there is unknown. An order must indicate the target, as well as a location where the person seeking the contract can be located. If the target is considered acceptable, a Dark Brotherhood advocate will contact whoever requested the hit and ask for one-half the payment in advance (no refunds). Another agent will collect the remainder upon conclusion of the contract. A contract is considered complete whether or not it’s successful, and it might be re-initiated. Upon completion, the victim’s head is destroyed, guaranteeing the silence of the victim to later interrogation.
Es Sarch : A mysterious figure in the city’s twisted political structure, holds structure, holds court in the Dripstone Inn, the city’s only neutral ground. An information broker and patron of trade, he seems responsible for what little order remains among the lower castes in the Riddle. He has numerous agents, including numerous undead creatures.
House Dusklorn : Plague survivors among the low-caste Drow who didn’t flee the city, or who have since returned in its aftermath, founded a new Drow House, House Dusklorn. The group maintains a rebuilt noble’s mansion in the Noble’s Bluff, that is both heavily guarded and fortified. Central to their claim to power, is the single legitimate priestess of Lolth who remains in the city, Elesawara Nledoor.
Elesawara and her deadly consort, Muvaysil, maintain many small mercenary forces of drow, who hire out as caravan guards and protect the numerous mushroom farmsers around the city from attacks, earning the House control over the foodstocks of the city, and giving them its greatest claim to ruling House. Their symbol is a diamond on an adamantine web with a bronze background. They are often referred to as “The House of Ruins” by other drow Houses, and are desperately trying to gain position and acceptance among the more established Drow Houses in the Drow Deeps and beyond, particualrly House Vrama.
The Inheritors : The Inheritors is a gang of primarily derro, grimlocks and kuo-toans that want to take over the region, and enslave or drive the drow from the city. Led by the mysterious figure known as “The Blueknight”, their HQ lies somewhere within The Riddle.
The Low Gangs : Lesser gangs whose ambitions outstrip their resources, these groups call Pedestal their home. They are known to include; “The Spiderhaunts”, a drow-hating gang of mixed races; “The Grimlocks”, a group of scavengers ruled by a powerful Grimlock tribe; and “The Nooners”, a duergar band led by the powerful human wizard, Noonan
Vanguard of Sertrous : A small group of self-proclaimed “…Heralds of the Coming…”. Their chief agent is the powerful assassin, Fadheela. They have many powerful macickal abilities, but their purposes remain obscure and unknown.