Grimrrah is an anarchic city where all the scum and outlaws of the world seem to gather and conduct business. It is famous for its slave trade and for being home to notorious criminal organizations, such as the Black Ivy, a guild of thieves and spies with a network spread throughout the three realms. The only law here is that which can be imposed by power and cunning. Many warriors come from different lands with the dream of growing a fortune within the Coliseum, but most end up working in mercenary companies or dead.
The Mercator DistrictEdit
The Trader’s district is by far the largest area within the city. It is composed of grand open plazas with vendors shouting at everyone. Generally, only the more wealthy businesses have actual stores and buildings. Anything and everything is sold here, from ancient relics of the Old World to slaves from almost every race. This district is perhaps the safest in the entire city due to the large amount of mercenaries employed here as security by merchants. Providing one doesn’t attempt to steal it is unlikely that you will be murdered in broad daylight. Despite this heightened level of security pickpockets are a rampant problem and are dealt with very harshly. There are two main groups and one wild card faction that dominate this area of the city. This is the first area of the city that most encounter as it is the largest and directly beyond the main gates to the city.
The first faction would be the slavers of Malekith, or their proxies at least. Those with a great deal of money invested into the slave trade have hired various mercenary groups to watch over their investments and partners within the city. Because of this, slaver’s hold a great deal of power within the district and own entire blocks dedicated to their depraved practice. Slavers also have cornered the market in prostitution and cheap labor for obvious reasons. The slavers have taken to running a protection ring for smaller merchants within their sphere of influence. Usually they target merchants who deal in drugs, along with merchants who deal with other items that would be considered illegal in most other cities. To steal from one here is to steal from an entire slave empire. The slaver’s hold the eastern section of this district, closest to the gate which is roughly forty percent of the market place.
--The Black Palace: A building made entirely out of black marble imported from Malekith. This is the hub of all slaving, prostitution, and drug related business within the district. During non formal business hours the black palace’s massive basement complex also doubles as the only night club within the district.
The second group that dominates the area would be the Ministers of War. This is a business that deals in arms and manpower. The ministers are composed entirely of arms merchants and soldiers for hire who have joined together to form Grimrah’s most powerful mercenary group. While their name is not as well known outside the city they are still considered a force to be reckoned with within the region as they can move supplies and men faster than some governments. While their main focus is weaponry from a business standpoint, they have begun to diversify. They are moving into the market for personal and military vehicles, often with many modifications. The Ministry controls the western section of the market place, equating to about forty percent of the district as well.
Notable Location: The only truly notable location within the western section of the district is the Ministry’s place of operation. There one can buy weapons, vehicles and soldiers for hire.
It should be noted that there is an informal truce between the two groups as it would cost far too much to dislodge either group and would ultimately be a waste of resources that would ruin both of them. Because of this they generally only interact when it concerns business or the other has overstepped its bounds.
The third and newest faction is a group of demons known as the Thousand Sons of Solomon. They arrived in the city about a decade ago. This was a highly disturbing event to the dominating factions within the city. Manny had already encountered the garden-variety imp or daevol but very few had any interaction with the upper echelons of the demon hierarchy. It was a rude awakening for all involved. Why they had come to Grimrah was and still is a mystery for the most part. Initially they seemed to just be after pieces of land within the city and took from both slavers and the Ministry and then they simply stopped. Very few go to that area to the market unless they desire certain oddities and suspect cuts of meat. The few skilled merchants, engineers and accomplished business men and woman, produce very little that is sold to others at this point. Some speculate that the demons are learning about the science of war and management techniques in order to bring back these skills to Pent-Vael. This section of the market has also become an informal haven for traveling demons of Hellion caste and above.
The Coliseum is perhaps Grimrah’s most visited attraction by tourist and resident alike. It serves both as an attraction and a deterrent. The lure of easy money from gambling accompanied by unnaturally satisfying violence is what originally brought so many of the less than moral factions to Grimrah in the first place. The Coliseum’s constant need for contestants fostered the slave trade in the city an the few winners who earned their freedom turned to mercenary work and formed the Ministry Of War shortly afterwards. The Coliseum is the heart of Grimrah. As with the Black Palace there is always something going on in the Coliseum whether it be in the actual arena or the catacombs that lay beneath. After the usual shows have ended for the day, catacombs open for business where extravagant raves and other nighttime events are thrown.
Grimrah’s population is spread across two districts.
The first district is the most condensed and largest. It is usually in a state of general anarchy. But not the civilized anarchy of the market place. No, this is a barbarous place where survival is dictated by the ebb and flow of the mob. The same rules and principles that govern the market simply do not apply here. Murder, theft, assault, rape. It is all permitted as the ruling factions care very little about what happens to the common man. As long as the money flows steady. Because of this a numerous amount of gangs have risen in order to protect themselves adding a small degree of order that ensures an even small degree of safety, providing they are paid appropriately. The same factions that dominate the Traders District also exert their influence in the slums, often pedaling drugs and on occasion abducting people form their homes for the slave trade. Occasionally the Ministry will go in and clear out groups that have been causing particularly large amounts of chaos in order to keep the mob complacent. Solomon’s Thousand Sons have very little interest in the area and generally avoid it, save for when they are in the mood for easy game. Housing here is generally in the form of large apartment buildings packed closely together to form a virtual chain of interconnected buildings allowing rapid movement around the district for those who cannot afford transportation, which are virtually every resident of this area. The district doesn’t really have any notable landmarks due to al the chaos that occurs that creates a general atmosphere of uncertainty. Visitors to the city try to avoid the area when possible.
The second district is generally were the wealthy and powerful dwell. This district is far more organized and generally safe in the regard that you can walk the streets without being mugged. Why? Because the wealthy can afford to employ their own security for their homes.
To put it simply, the climate is arid and dry most of the year, yet there is never an excess of heat or a lack of warmth. Generally the city receives rain for only a few weeks in the spring that amounts to only a few inches. Despite this water isn’t a huge issue in Grimrah because the city was build on top of oasis which provides water in most districts.
Most in the city rely on their bicycles for transportation across long distances. Of course, when moving about the slums it is possible to simply leap from building to building due to their close proximity. This method is rarely used as many gangs camp out on roof tops and balconies in order to keep watch over their territory. Therefore, most stick to bikes in the slums. Once one moves away from the slums and into the market districts cars and other vehicles will become a slightly more common site as this area is usually frequented by tourist and other visitors looking for items that are illegal from where they come from.
Energy here is mainly derived from the oil rich desert. There is a small mining operation located just outside the city's southern gate, near the slums, where those who choose to earn an honest living go on a daily basis to work. Of course very few choose to earn an honest living which means most of the work there is provided by the slavers giving them a monopoly on energy within the city. Despite this, the Ministry still has a tight hold because they provide virtually all the security for the city walls. Without them the drilling machines would be constantly under assault by gangs from the slums and others seeking their fortune. Most oil in the city is used to fuel the market district and some of the larger apartment buildings in the slums.
Humans make up fifty percent of the population in Grimrah. Most of the humans here have lived in the region for generations. Despite this, humans of this region have done little in the way of innovation and promoting social growth. This is due to the fact that the other races that have flocked to Grimrah due to its lack of laws often resent humanity for its utter dominance and rise to power. Because of this humans in general are treated with disdain by the often more powerful and wealthy races that exist within the city. This forces them into a state of desperation. Most will do almost anything for money or food creating a very mercenary attitude among the human population which explains why most gravitate towards mercenary work.
Dark Elves make up a good ten percent of the population. Most that live here are descendants of those who were sent from Malekith to keep a watch over one of the largest slaving ports in Nyxheim. They have kept a long tradition of overseeing the slaving enterprise and ensuring it runs smoothly. While it isn’t the most glamorous area for most, Dark Elves recognize the importance their rule and have stayed within the city. They have even set up entire communities within the wealthier housing district to imitate Malekian architecture.
Demons make up roughly ten percent of the population. A surprisingly large amount of the population considering the fact that the higher caste of demon kind are suppose to be a rarity outside of Pent-Vael. Generally demons do as they please within the confines of the their district in the market and the slums as most are not sure how to interact with them and would simply leave them be. They are regarded with a healthy degree of suspicion when they are seen outside of their territory and are thus always watched.
The last thirty percent is composed of a myriad of races ranging from wood elves and efferii, to the more illusive dragons and incubi. All of them are equal in Grimrah though. Race based prejudice is virtually non existent against nonhumans, not including demons, due to the fact that the constant state of anarchy brings almost everyone down to an equal level whether it be economically or socially.
There is no formal government within Grimrah. Everything is dominated by the opinion of the mob and those who hold the most wealth. In this case the Slavers and The Ministry of War. The owner of the arena also has a considerable say in politics, which is business in the city of Grimrah, as he can easily sway the opinion of the mob.
Law & CrimeEdit
While nothing is explicitly illegal within Grimrah there is a single unspoken law that is common sense. Don’t steal from those who have power. Besides that nothing is illegal. Of course because nothing is illegal there is no official police force and thus vigilantism is rampant. Often transgressions against others are repaid in violence by the party wronged or by a hired thug looking to get paid. Be careful when traveling Grimrah. Occasionally those who have offended enough people will have open bounties placed on their head by The Ministry. When this does happen the suspect is usually brought in dead and the matter is settled with an exchange of money. On the rare occasions where a suspect is brought in alive they are thrown to the lions, literally. The Arena is always looking for a new contestants and handing over volunteers keeps the relationship between the two factions agreeable.
Grimtah has a rather strong trade relationship with Malekith due to the business of slaving. Despite this, it is highly doubtful that Malekith would waste resources dealing with an invasion of such a small city if it were besieged by Howldon or some other great metropolis.
Officially defense duties are generally taken up by the ministry due to the fact that they consider Grimrah their official base of operations. Because of this they have regular patrols along city walls and have set up several forward bunkers a few miles outside the city. Each bunker is staffed with a couple of hundred men. Because of this the area outside of the city is incredibly safe for traveling merchants.
Most revenue that comes into the city is from three things. The first being the slave trade and everything associated with it. The second is contract work given to the Ministry along with its many arms dealers who are always buying and selling the latest way to slaughter. The third comes from the massive amounts of money the arena makes from gambling. These three industries ensure Grimrah remains powerful.
Arts & Music
The hedonistic nature of Grimrah is not the greatest place for inspiring great works of art and pieces of music, as daily life is usually a fight for survival for the majority of the population. Of course the wealthier citizens of Grimrah will often commissions great works of art solely for their self-glorification and the same goes with music. The only two places in the city where musical talent is cultivated for the sake of enjoyment would be the bowels of the Black Palace and the catacombs etched beneath the Coliseum.