Outer City

Even though the Privy Council taxes the Outer City and nominally rules the area, they rarely exert control over it. The Greycloaks don’t patrol these poverty-stricken districts, while the special constables lack the manpower to properly maintain patrols. Even though crime and open violence are commonplace in the Outer City, people are still able to do business.

The Outer City sprawls without rhyme or reason, its muddy streets a tangle of shanties, forges, tanneries, dye works, slaughterhouses, stables, stockyards, paddocks, and dung heaps. Its layout and architecture are a mess of unregulated construction and styles. Many buildings are made of wood or wattle. A significant amount of daily trade takes place in this unpoliced, dangerous area, where one finds "outsiders" (foreigners too poor to lodge in the Lower City, farmers, dabblers in unwanted or illegal trades, and the lawless).

The Outer City threatens to overwhelm visitors to Bête Noire. On any given day, a passerby could encounter packs of stray dogs, people hawking wares, stable hands fighting over potential customers, braying animals penned near the road, flocks of chickens and geese, beggars raising their hands and mumbling in unknown tongues, and a riot of pungent scents.

Unlike in the Upper and Lower cities, the Outer City's days and nights are much the same. People live in shifts and sleep when they can, so their filthy surroundings are always bustling.

The Guild

Like any conclave of thieves, the Guild tries to keep a low profile, and much of its effort inside the walls deals with policing crime so that the illicit activities don't draw too much attention. The criminal organization doesn't rule the Outer City in anything resembling the same way, but it's the only group that has any significant control in the area.

Many Outer City businesses and residents pay protection money to the Guild. In return, these cooperative establishments and people are marked with a special sign as off limits to would-be burglars or vandals, and the Guild makes an effort to hunt down anyone who flouts its decrees. Pleading ignorance earns offenders nothing.

The Drow Quarter

Bête Noire does not take sides in the conflicts of other nations and city-states. Nor does it form grudges or permanent alliances based on the Greycloaks' actions outside the city. This policy of noninvolvement has earned the city a not-quite-deserved reputation for tolerance and has made it a magnet for refugees looking to escape wars and other disasters.

Battles in Svartálfaheimr have driven many daemonfae to Bête Noire. In fact, the drow population has built a walled-in enclave in the Outer City. While most of the city calls it the drow quarter, its residents prefer the name Mal'kyth.
© 2014 Tyler Yaehne
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