The Frozen City
One of two markets in Ptolus, the North Market is known for its open-air stalls more than its workshops. Those interested in the technology of the Empire should check out the Smoke Shop, and shoppers can always take a break and have a drink at the Red Stallion Pub.
The North Market, which centers more or less around the North Gate. Ptolus residents conduct a fair bit of commerce here in open markets and shops. One of the busiest commercial areas, Market Street, runs through the heart of the North Market. The district is bounded by the cliffs of Rivergate on the west, the wall of the Necropolis on the east, the city wall on the north, and Golden Elm Way on the south.
Population: About 9,000
Primary Function: Commerce
Primary Social Class: Low to middle
The Flavor of the North Market
The smell of vegetables. The sounds of a crowd, with vendors shouting their sales pitches above the noise. This is the hustle and bustle of the North Market. The North Market differs from the South in that it is a market in a truer sense of the word. Open areas overflow with vendors selling from wagons, carts, tents, and stalls, and small shops
cluster together in the district’s squares. While the South Market contains many shops where artisans create and sell their wares, little is actually produced in the North Market. A soap seller in the South Market has likely made her soap in the back of the shop, but that’s not the case in the North Market.
About about half the goods sold in the North Market are perishables and food, not craft- work, though it was even more before the frost made growing food and raising livestock such a challenge. Many stalls sale the magically produced rations the lower classes of the city have been surviving on for the best part of this century.
At night after the vendors pack in there wares, this market get quiet, alchemic lamps light the street and North Market becomes one of the most peaceful districts in the city, carriages and foot traffic trundle through off to other destinations and night life across the city.
Although the North Market is a commercial district full of shops and people selling various goods, it is also a fairly major residential area. More and more people have taken to living in the market, even though they might work elsewhere.
North Market Locations
The North Market includes some varied and interesting locations. So many of the merchants here come and go that it may be difficult to find the same one twice. Others, however, are more permanent.
Bith the Ratter
Bith the Ratter (male human rogue) usually parks his wagon along Calabis Street, but he sometimes moves around a bit. A rat catcher with an infamous reputation, Bith (he never uses a surname) is short and stooped with stringy black hair, small eyes, and a long nose. He keeps a pair of small, wiry, and dirty terriers to dig under buildings and chase out his quarry. His wagon, a roofed vehicle with wooden sides, contains many weapons, traps, tools, and poisons to help with his work. It also serves as his home.
Bith is an excellent source of information about the markets, sewers, and the Undercity. He hates ratmen more than anything: A rat with the brains of a man, nothing worse in all creation, he has been known to comment. Adventurers who have enjoyed success against these foes in the sewers will find a ready audience for their tales in Bith.
Heavenly Baked Goods
The aging Edwina Coll (Female Human Oracle) owns a cart pulled by her large Great Dane over which hangs the sign, Heavenly Baked Goods. She’s been a fixture in the Market for years, with a reputation of having some of the greatest bread and pastries in the city.
Unbeknownst to all her customers and fellow merchants, Edwina is a Fate Weaver, a group of information brokers and diviners that seeks to better society at large. A supporter of the Empire and, in specific, of Empress Addares and the Commissar.
The Book Wagon
Upper God Way (#114, H4)
Although it’s technically mobile, the Book Wagon hasn’t moved in well over four years. The owner, Darthalis Temester (male human) is an information broker of the highest order. Ostensibly selling books, he actually makes it his business to try to know everything about everything in Ptolus. Anyone willing to pay his fee,
Rather than making any kind of roll, the DM can simply require PCs looking for some important bit of information or news to come to Darthalis, or another character equally in the know. In fact, the result of an initial Knowledge (local) check on the matter may simply be, Go ask Darthalis Temester.
Pennylost Street (#117, I4)
This wooden building looks like little more than a shack. The sign over the door reads simply Lendarick, which gives no suggestion of what’s inside. The sounds of barking might give that away, however. The neighborhood dogs like hanging around Lendarick, as Pabos always has some bones or other treats for them.
Lendarick is a dog kennel with a large fenced-in area around back and many individual dog pens. Customers can buy dogs here or kennel their own animals (for 12 sp per month). Pabos Lendarick (male human commoner) is the proprietor. He lives in the house next door with his rather large family.
Market Street (#113, H3)
Kharl Mitoren (male human) sells weapons of all kinds out of a permanent wooden stall in a crowded market- place. Kharl is of average build with sandy brown hair and a clean-shaven face. He is straightforward and honest. He’s also a fair judge of weapon quality. Kharl only sells what he has on hand and buys what people are willing to sell to him, he is not a smith. He disdains firearms and looks down on those who use the crude, noisy things.
Red Stallion Pub
Diamond Street (#109, G4)
Full of a strange mixture of laborers, and marketplace merchants, the Red Stallion is the largest, most popular alehouse in the district. Co-owners Yallis Kether (female human) and Utha Aryen (female human) maintain a staff of six to help them with their always busy, always crowded tavern. They serve only light meals, focusing mostly on drink ale, beer, and hard alcohol. Each night, the Red Stallion holds con- tests for drinking, singing, and throwing darts. The winners get free drinks the following night.
The Smoke Shop
Carver Lane (#121, J4)
The Shuul recently opened this small shop with the confusing name (most people expect it to be a tobacconist). Here they sell cutting-edge technological items, spectacles, watches, spyglasses, magnifying lenses, goggles, precision tools, pills of various kinds, and various Ethertech creations . They also sell all manner of firearms and technological weaponry.
The manager of the store is Gunther Edlund (male human expert), a tall, balding man of advanced years who walks with a cane that is also a pistol. At least two other Shuul always remain on duty as well (usually humans, but occasionally a Grailwarden dwarf). All are armed.
Gunther and the others make fairly poor shopkeepers and salesmen, they sometimes drive off customers with their overly technical speech and rather humorless demeanor.
Veil Lane (#124, K4)
The Zar’at is a cluster of homes and buildings all occupied by Harrow elves. Almost every Harrow elf in the city lives in the Zar’at, but that’s still not a lot (about a hundred individuals). These residents mostly just want to be left alone to live their lives. They distrust any outsiders who enter their tiny cul-de-sac and likely would kill an orc who came here as look at him. They would not act so immediately violent with others, although the Harrow elves are moody creatures with unpredictable temperaments. They are not overly concerned with keeping within the bounds of the law, but they remain keenly aware that the many in Ptolus would like nothing more than to come into the Zar’at in force and roust them all out, or put them to the sword.
Their leader is a quick-to-anger female named Karetsan (Harrow elf wizard). She is tall with long brown hair and wears about a unusual amount of gold jewelry. Another prominent resident is the mercenary Sulet (male Harrow elf fighter/wizard). This particularly muscular elf ultimately wishes nothing more than to recover a lost artifact of his people, said to lie somewhere in or beneath the city.
Rumors claim that a juvenile male red dragon named Rethicalas lives among the Harrow elves of the Za’rat.