Sure, Radiant City sounds like the best place you could ever possibly think of! Temples, protected by Radiant Knights, the Emperor’s own guard no less. The streets in some places are literally paved in gold! But know this, Child, as you leave our home in hope of greater things in the big city, that evil beats as one at the heart of that city. The occupants that live next to you may seem like the peak of society, but with power and privilege comes corruption.
I never told you how I came to meet your Father for he never wanted you to know. I will take this time whilst he is off in temple to prayer to tell you of where I found him. I was a mercenary in the early days. A Dog of War that cared only for coin and the next battle. I cared not for the people that employed me and soon found myself with a minor Baron of Radiant City, Geldrik was the family name I think, acting as a bodyguard. And there was ample to guard if you get my drift. Too much opulence and not enough hard work made him soft and weak. But he felt wise and powerful.
He was at a loose end on one evening, which apparently was a social taboo in Radiant City, so he bid me travel with him into the heart of the city. I followed him and kept my eyes peeled as he led us into some of the most dangerous alleys of the palace district. You may think this a safe area but there are more deaths in those streets in a week than in most other districts of the entire city if you ignore one or two. Soon he came to a three story building and opened the gate. He walked to the side of the stairs and opened a secret panel that showed a fourth floor, the basement. He walked down quickly and I followed. Tapping out some knock quickly the door was opened to him and we entered a large room filled with the scum of the world.
As we picked our way through the throng, well dressed and bred individuals the lot of them, all drinking from fine glasses, greeted the Baron like an old friend. I noted to either side of the room there were small chambers cordoned off by heavy curtains and an ogre guard beside each one. Ogres! In the centre of Radiant City! We came to a set of bars and I heard the Baron spit. Turning I saw a naked man with burns all over his body and his left ear bled from where someone had cut it off. Yes Child, your father did not get the scars from a house fire like we told you. It was this scum that had done it to him.
I was not so callous that I had lost my self to such evil. I did not think but I acted. The last I saw of the Baron he was taking his last breaths and I fled into the night with your father. I nursed him to health and learnt that there were many more just like him. Any race, any sex, anything they wanted. Apparently that was the motto. If the gentry wished to kill someone they would go to the Meat Market and pay a fee for precisely that. If they wanted a slave or worse, this was the place they would go. I reported it of course, once I knew that the assassination attempts had stopped. But they were long gone from there, no doubt in another den.
So watch yourself Child in that city for they prey on the new. They prey on those that have wide eyes in a new city. They buddy up to you and show you the town making sure none would miss you and then you go missing. Write me once a week. If those letters stop Child, I will come back and finish what I should have done, so long ago.
Pathfinder Encounters: Meat Market CR 12
I am sorry this one is a bit dim and dark, but then again, some games are not all high fantasy and frivolous. I offer your players the chance to wipe out a den of pure evil run by slavers and the thieves guild. The Meat Market is a rumor that is poorly kept in Radiant City and is frequented by much of the leading caste. Protected by crooked officials and a source of the seediest, foulest beings on the material plane. And there are some Ogre guards too…
There are nine chambers for slaves. Five of them have manacles on the wall for the meat that puts up the most trouble. Four others are for those that “know their place”. One of the scariest of things in the Meat Market is most of the Meat is young, halflings or gnomes. The smaller champers much more numerous than the larger are filled with such Meat.
In the back corner is a bar where all transactions are handled. 100 Gold for a killing and pretty much a varying rate around that amount for other brutality. It is very cordial at the bar and it could seem like you are at a local Inn apart from the muscle that serves you. It is clear that they want no trouble here and they strike first and ask questions later. It is also rumored that there are trained assassins in the crowd who act if they see trouble brewing. Keep your armor and weapons close, because they are professionals.
There is one Slaver that handles the money behind the bar and also organizes the merchandise deliveries (CR 3). His job is to pretty much get the heck out of the place with the takings if trouble starts. Among the crowd there are two Assassins that mingle and attempt to keep there eye on dealings. Striking first and quietly if anything feels suspicious or if anyone acts against the Meat without paying up front (CR 8) each. There are four thugs behind the counter with the slaver. They act as bar tenders and also handle the coin for the acts against the Meat (CR 1 each). Last but not least there are 9 Ogres whose sole job is to keep patrons away from the other Meat and to jump on anyone causing trouble near them (CR 3 each).
This is a hard battle but also a good battle for groups with large variations in character level and ability. It is on the dark side of plot but this is something that some people want to explore. It is also important to note that the assumption is that the players wish to be liberators in this situation. Well, at least that is what I would expect. I hope someone uses it in their games! Keep rolling.