The Frozen City
To locals, the North Market is simply “the Market,” while this area is the “South Market.” Unlike its counterpart, the South Market is not an open-air marketplace. It has fewer vendors dealing out of carts and more established shops and places of business. Goods usually cost more in the South Market, but a buyer is far more likely to find trustworthy and reliable salespeople here. This is also where one finds the city’s commodities markets and the headquarters of large merchant organizations, such as the Rogue Moon Trading Company. As in the North Market, many of those who work here also live here; the district has substantial residential sections.
The South Market is newer than the North Market and has more artisans and industry than its counterpart. You’re more likely to get something made to order in the South Market, because the store selling leather goods, for example, is probably also a leatherworker’s shop (such as Donnel’s, a friendly dealer in leather goods). Nonstandard races or those with special physical needs when it comes to clothing should check out Maran’s Odd Sizes and those looking for a real treat should stop by Ramoro’s Bakery.
The South Market contains many shops and small marketplaces for people to purchase goods, but it also has a number of commodities markets. Commodities markets are always devoted to one type of good, such as cloth, spices, grain, and so on. While anyone can shop at these markets, they are intended for merchants, exporters, or vendors buying in bulk. The commercial connection between the Guildsman District and the South Market is clear. Many South Market workshops are controlled by The Guilds of the Guildsman District.
Population: About 8,000
Primary Function: Commerce
Primary Social Class: Middle
The Flavor of South Market
Only a large city could support a district like the South Market of Ptolus, with commodities markets, established merchant companies, and permanent shops. It grew naturally in what was once a more residential area called the South End. In those days, the North Market was “the Market.”
Things are always on the move in the South Market. Business is brisk, and people—both customers and merchants—crowd the narrow, newly paved streets. The smells of baked goods, cooking vegetables, and spiced meat mix favorably with the other, less pleasant odors of the city. Vendors stand outside their shops, enticing customers in with assurances of low prices and high quality. A man in an apron with a broom chases away raggedy children from a large fruit shop before they can steal apples. Laborers load up a wagon with bales of cloth.
Compared with the other districts, the South Market is fairly safe. Even with such criminal enterprises as the Cock Pit gambling den, few muggings or attacks happen here. Burglary is the crime of this district, edging out other “victimless” crimes like smuggling, gambling, and prostitution.
While shops and commodities markets make up the majority of the district, as a traveler heads north toward Midtown, the shops become more interspersed with homes. Heading east toward the Guildsman District, one finds as many warehouses and workshops as regular shops. Near the South and Market gates, the district offers restaurants, taverns, inns, stables, bathhouses, and other services one might need after arriving in the city on the Emperor’s Road from the south. This list also includes a few brothels, gambling dens, and illegal drug parlors run by the local criminal element.
South Market Loactions
The South Market boasts a number of varied and interesting campaign locations.
Iron Street (#277, H8)
Blackstock Printing is a medium-sized freestanding building. Clerks deal with customers in the small room in the front, while printers work in the large print shop in the back. The second floor holds a spacious apartment. Blackstock prints fliers, leaflets, and the occasional short-run book. Most of its clients are South Market businesses looking to advertise. Blackstock is one of the few businesses in the city with a functioning large-scale movable type printing press. Despite the fact that it is run by elves (which is a bit surprising), it seems a normal place.
The Cock Pit
South Street (#283, H8)
Although it started as an underground cockfighting arena (hence its name), the Cock Pit has grown over the last two decades into one of the largest illegal gambling dens in Ptolus. A mysterious figure named Aggah-Shan runs the place. Most outsiders assume that he owes allegiance to Balacazar’s organization.
From the outside, the Cock Pit looks like a large warehouse. Though there are no markings or signs on the outside, its location is well known even to the authorities. Inside, the Cock Pit consists of a large area with many gaming tables and a bar, a smaller, more exclusive gambling room with only four tables, and a separate room with an arena pit surrounded by one hundred seats. The establishment also has six private rooms used by the staff prostitutes to service customers, and a comfortable back office.
Mill Way (#272, G8)
Falles Donnel started this leatherworker’s shop more than forty years ago. The two-story building has a double-gabled rooftop. Uris Donnel (male human), Falles’ son, owns and operates the shop and lives above it. Donnel’s sells all types of leather goods: bags, belts, straps, boots, gloves, and more. Uris makes items of excellent quality and also buys secondhand items in good shape for half their value. Uris Donnel, a man of average height and dark hair with a large scar on his left cheek, has posted a sign in [Delver Square]] advertising maps of areas below the city that he will sell to interested delvers. His deceased sister, Mathella, was an adventurer and drew them. The maps carry a price of 30 gp to 500 gp, depending on the importance his sister gave them.
The Exotic Market
Bladeburn Street (#254, E7)
Although technically a commodities market, the Exotic Market feels more like one of the North Market district’s marketplaces. Here vendors sell one-of-a-kind items; imports from the other city states; miscellaneous magical trinkets brought in from elsewhere; and even odd, non-livestock animals. The market consists of a strange jumble of small wooden stalls, temporary tents, a few open-frame buildings, and even people selling out of the back of wagons. The market’s management is just as chaotic,and finding someone in charge can prove difficult. The land is owned by a woman named Esbel Pamorias (female human), and the various Imperial papers for the market are all registered in her name, but she is never here. Instead, a gnome named Inlios Pabovini (male sorcerer) seems to run things. Inlios also works as an importer of strange magic items from across Praemal. Years ago, he traveled the world himself, but now he lives in Ptolus with his wife and children; he maintains a home in Fairbriar in Midtown and spends time in Danbury’s when off work.
The Fabric Market
Woodsman Street (#261, F8)
This commodities market sells fabric of all kinds. Obviously, members of the Textile Workers’ Guild spend a lot of time here: Seamstresses, tailors, drapers, dyers, and clothiers of all kinds come to buy fabric for their work, and weavers, spinners, and anyone who produces cloth comes to sell. While the place is not the Textile Workers’ Guild Headquarters, it might as well be, virtually all textile workers visit this market at some point.
The Fabric Market consists of one open-frame building surrounded by a wide courtyard filled with pavilions. Beneath these roofs, different vendors sell their cloth in huge bales. It is usually quite bustling. The market manager is Yurikin Falahoff (male human).
Off of Horseweed Street (#248, D8)
Tucked in a narrow side street that seems more like an alleyway, this tiny shop sells nothing but perfume. Bottles of all shapes, sizes, and colors jam the shelves in the main room. Most bottles are unlabeled, and only the shopkeeper, Niaer Daystep (male half-elf ), and his assistant, Saeth Watersong (male elf ), know what each one holds. Prices range from 10 gp to 500 gp per bottle.
The Golden Tooth
Citation Street (#249, D9)
Hannis Goldtooth (female dwarf) offers her services as a goldsmith in the South Market. She doesn’t actually sell ready-made goods, so thieves who might break in will find themselves disappointed. Instead, she operates her workshop here and plies her trade through commissions. This usually amounts to a fair bit of gilding work, and some inlays and engraving. Occasionally, a wealthy customer requests an item such as a ring, amulet, or even a small statue.
Hannis is the leader of the Goldsmiths’ Guild based in the Guildsman District, but that isn’t saying much—it’s a fairly small, inconsequential group controlled by the [[Ironworkers’ Guild]]. The goldsmiths currently feud with the Silversmiths’ Guild over a slight Hannis made about their guildmaster’s skill.
Rogue Moon Trading Company
Star Crossing Plaza (#246, E8)
The largest merchant company in Ptolus operates out of a three-story building in the middle of the South Market. Some people call it “the Star of the South Market,” implying that Star Crossing Plaza gets its name from the office (which it does not). In any event, vast amounts of money—both coin and paper transactions—pass through this building. The lower level is used almost exclusively as a hiring hall, where the company interviews and hires merchants, laborers, caravan drivers, and guards. The upper two levels contain offices for the bookkeepers and staff members who manage transaction records and shipment information.
The Rogue Moon Trading Company doesn’t actually produce or sell anything directly. It buys large stocks of goods in one city, then sells them where they are needed. It buys and sells in the Ptolus commodities markets for the most part, although large businesses work with the trading company directly. Rogue Moon has buyers and agents looking for business in every commodities market in Ptolus.
Tamora Rigan (female human aristocrat) runs the office here, answerable only to the board of directors. Tamora belongs to House Abanar, as her family has for a few generations. Her close friend, Tashari Lin (female human aristocrat) is one of the main stockholders in the Rogue Moon Trading Company, and one can often find her in the offices. Tashari is the ex-wife of Linech Cran, a drug smuggler allied with the Balacazar family.