1 Dreaming Street

While there are a wide variety of bars and taverns in the rest of the city, as well as a number of brothels, drug dens, and gambling establishments discreetly scattered across the various districts, Dreaming Street takes things to a whole different level. Name the activity, and you can probably engage in it on Dreaming Street—if you can meet the price.

Freeport has always had a Dreaming Street; the pirates who founded the city were not about to deny their vices in their own home. It wasn’t until Captain Drac made Freeport “respectable” that Dreaming Street was considered disreputable—and even that had little effect on its popularity. There’s always been a Dreaming Street and there always will be. True, outcry from the more upstanding citizens sometimes results in a token round of arrests, brothel raids, and gambling house closures. But it’s never more than a charade—no one in power really wants Dreaming Street to change or vanish. Many rich men and women from the Merchant District and the Old City (not to mention members of the Sea Lord’s Guard) travel to Scurvytown to indulge their tastes for pleasure. Money often changes hands to avoid inconveniencing someone important with a raid or to ensure a crime goes uninvestigated.

As long as what happens in Dreaming Street stays on Dreaming Street, the Watch is willing to look the other way. The Captains’ Council sees the street as a sort of safety valve, a place where the darker urges of the city’s inhabitants can be safely exercised, with no one really getting hurt. Unfortunately, that thinking is completely unrealistic. There are some truly disturbing and sick activities taking place in the back rooms and basements of the ramshackle buildings of Dreaming Street. Ritual torture, forced prostitution, drug addiction, ritual murder, the veneration of forbidden gods—if a perversion has a name, chances are it’s happening on Dreaming Street.

No criminal organization dominates Dreaming Street; most of the folks there are independent operators. Over the years, the “businessmen” of Dreaming Street have become quite proud of their independent status, only pulling together for one thing: keeping any outside organization from taking over the street. Which is not to say that Finn, Mister Wednesday, or any of the other lesser criminal figures of the city don’t have interests and followers on Dreaming Street—just that none of them can claim control of the Street (or the rest of Scurvytown for that matter). This situation makes Dreaming Street a great place to enter the world of professional vice—and the site for constant low-level hostility between the warring criminal powers of Freeport.

Dreaming Street runs several blocks—in truth, it’s a neighborhood now, not a single street, but the name has stuck. Ramshackle old buildings slump against each other in all directions, lining dirt roads that teem at night with customers and victims. Some venues display their wares for all to see: prostitutes lean from balconies cajoling passersby, while doormen shout out the virtues of gambling halls and floor shows. Other operations are more circumspect and less friendly to strangers, and it takes the right knock on a locked door to allow access.

Some of Dreaming Street’s venues attempt to provide the illusion of luxury inside, draping red velvet over rotting floorboards and dressing whores in second-hand ball gowns. But the beauty is only skin-deep and purposely so; anyone who truly wants luxury goes elsewhere for it. In other corners of the street, even a pretense of beauty (or cleanliness) is too much effort; the patrons of a drug den don’t care that their refuge from the world is a filthy hovel crawling with vermin. Dreaming Street is a place of masks, and the faces behind those masks can be ugly.

Prominent NPCs
Lady Jane: Lady Jane is the madam of the Torchlight Academy, one of the most popular brothels on Dreaming Street. No one takes her claim of being a member of an aristocratic family very seriously—but if she wants to call herself a “lady,” no one’s going to argue with her. Aristocrat or not, Lady Jane is one of the most influential vice mongers of Dreaming Street; she has clients in high places, several well-armed thugs as retainers, and is rumored to have some skill in witchcraft. And she bears a grudge.

Largo Dorn: Largo Dorn spends most days leaning against a wall in the mouth of an alley, scrutinizing passersby and saying nothing. But if someone walks up to him and says the right phrase, gives him the right amount of money, and has the right amount of desperation on their face, he leads them back into the shadows, to the door of a drug den and a wide array of illegal narcotics. A veteran of Dreaming Street, Dorn sold his morals and conscience years ago; he’s allied with Finn, who supplies the dwarf with drugs and occasionally pays him to harass or kill off a rival entrepreneur.

Ayebar Jaxx: A thin, naturally handsome half-elf with carefully groomed blond hair, Jaxx is usually seen wearing a forest green cloak as wanders around Dreaming Street. He is perpetually optimistic, friendly and well-spoken, and he is constantly on the lookout for work. Has has held a variety of different jobs since he arrived in the city, and is happy to share tales from his experiences as a dock hand, warehouse guard, storekeeper's assistant, and many others.

Timothy: A skinny ten year old with unruly blond hair, a lean, freckled face and big, active gray eyes. Timothy smiles frequently, revealing a chipped front tooth, and sports a prominent scar over his right eyebrow. He goes barefoot and wears patched, secondhand clothing - an untucked, loose-fitting shirt that's a couple of sizes too big belted over baggy black pants rolled up to mid-calf. Although generally dusty, he is cleaner than would be expected for a street urchin.

He has a diverse and colorful vocabulary, and is rarely afraid to use it. He enjoys listening to local elders tell tall tales, and occasionally sneaks out to the Field Of Honor to watch the duels there. While he has sometimes had to steal to provide for himself, he dreams of becoming a famous adventurer. He will cheerfully listen to anyone who can tell such stories.

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