Bête Noire

Sprawling along a shore of the Unterzee, and often swaddled in mist, Bête Noire has made a new home Below. Once the heart of the Turathian slave trade, the city’s liberation from the Imperium allowed it to grow into a bustling urban centre. Even after its Descent, Bête Noire has become an important trading partner to a number of subterranean communities. Dwarves, daemonfae, and devil alike can all be found in the Sunken City’s markets.

Bête Noire began as a port where Turathian mage-lords moved slaves throughout western Clotharia. When the city was liberated during the Theudemerian Rebellion, the slave trade ended and business moved in. The initial markets grew to what is now called the Upper City. The strictly policed, orderly Upper City is home to the city’s elite. The aristocracy flock to the Traitor King’s court. Many also attend parties held by the Duchess. The streets are kept safe by Bête Noire’s special constables.

The crescent-shaped Lower City rings the harbour and gains elevation up from the shores of the Unterzee until it meets the walls of the Upper City. Labourers and crafters alike toil and dwell in the Lower City’s labyrinth of small buildings. The Lower City’s streets are patrolled by the Greycloaks, a mercenary organization formed when civil war threatened to tear the kingdom apart.

A sprawl of paddocks, dirt streets, shanties, and semipermanent buildings outside the walls, the Outer City accommodates everything the Upper and Lower Cities don’t. The dirtiest and smelliest trades are found here, away from Bête Noire’s elite. Long ago, the ruling council decided not to pay the Greycloaks to patrol the Outer City. Now, the only law is what common custom and the Thieves’ Guild impose.
© 2014 Tyler Yaehne
All images are copyrighted by their respective copyright owners.