5 The Marquis Moon

There are a number of taverns and pubs scattered throughout the Old City. They make a good business catering to the politicians, lawyers, and guards, offering food, drink, and places where the powerful can meet privately and negotiate deals. Of course, these establishments are all of varying quality, and at the bottom of the heap is the Marquis Moon.

The Marquis Moon has had a seedy reputation almost since it opened its doors for business. It offered accommodations to those who needed a discreet place to conduct business, which made the place popular with the movers and shakers in the city as they could negotiate secret deals without attracting undue attention. Unfortunately, its value as a political haven quickly evaporated as a series of scandals erupted with the Marquis Moon at the center.

The Marquis Moon reinvented itself as a flophouse with lodging rented by the hour. Those with coin could buy rooms for extended periods, and those who wanted a few moments of carnal pleasure in the comforts of a room—instead of a piss-soaked alley—could rent one. The Marquis Moon has served a number of famous Freeporters, offering apartments to those leading double lives. Milos, a serpent person and cultist, paid handsomely for lodgings here for a time and transformed a shabby room into a well-appointed chamber that contained the tools of his trade and countless volumes of occult lore.

The owner eventually died, and the Marquis Moon passed to his worthless son, Ficca, who was more concerned with using his rooms than actually running the business.

This sagging brick building has seen better days. Positioned between two larger tenement buildings and tucked away on a side street, it is easily overlooked by passers-by, which is just the way its patrons like it. The building is two stories and roofed with old ceramic tiles. Occasionally, one slips free and shatters on the cobbles below—regulars keep an eye upturned to avoid the often painful precipitation. A thick stone slab serves as the step up to a grimy wooden door set with a single window filled with expensive blue glass. A sign hangs overtop, featuring a painting of a lascivious noblewoman straddling a crescent moon.

The interior is little better. A large central room holds several tables surrounded by mismatched chairs. The floor is wooden, though years of accumulated filth conceal all but a few nails that poke up through the muck. Running against the back wall is a bar where Ficca spends most of his time.

A narrow flight of stone steps winds up to a long hall that forms the spine of the second floor. Lined with numbered doors, from which issue suspicious grunts and moans along with the occasional tittering laugh, the place stinks of smoke, excrement, sweat, and desperation. Beyond each door is a shabby room equipped with a mattress, table, honey pot, and a tattered rug. A few rooms have wardrobes, while others have basins and pitchers filled with impossibly foul water. None of these rooms have windows—or rather they once did but were bricked up at some point.

Prominent NPCs
Ficca: The owner of the Marquis Moon is a rather foolish young man who has a tendency to scowl and mutter. Disinterested in most things, he spends his time picking his nose and paying the cheapest whore available to entertain him behind the bar. If he has any redeeming qualities, they have yet to be revealed. He wears brown breeches splattered with suspicious stains. His shirt is little better, marred as it is by the leavings of his last meals.

Aleksander Tovac: Although the city watch and the Sea Lord’s Guard before them were loath to admit it, Aleksander Tovac is the best detective in the city. With a keen mind, sharp eyes, and infallible skills of perception, he has personally solved dozens of crimes, ranging from simple thefts to horrible murders. He used to be a detective in the Guard, but the recent turmoil found Tovac suddenly out of a job. He now takes private cases and occasionally snoops into police business to remind them he’s still the best.

Sesamin Anders: A tall, well-groomed half-orc, Anders has become one of the city's better-known lawyers. She was born in one of the small villages in the center of the island, and grew up in an orc den that was eventually destroyed by forces from Turtleback Ferry. She was brought back to town by those forces, and adopted by a paladin who had led a company of the raiders. She quickly showed herself to be smarter than most of her kind, and eventually came to Freeport to attend the Academy. After that, she joined the bar, and has developed a very solid reputation.

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