Back Alleys and How to Use Them
Introduction to the Game
"Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here"
-Scrawled across the top of the inner city gate.
"Welcome to New Acaunum, God's glorious arse-hole. I've heard what people say about this place; Center of civilization, home of technology, wealthiest, largest city in the world. Hell, suppose you can't really argue that last fact. The advertisements tell us we got fifty million people crawling on these streets. Fifty million! And that is just above ground.
But, they also tell us all races are equals.
That there is no poverty.
That everyone has food on there plate.
I guess that could be true. Just ignore the beggers you step over walking down the street. Ignore the refugees piling up outside the walls like flies on shit. Ignore that dwarf hanging from a lamp post. Ignore the smog covering half the city, and the shit covering the other half. Close your eyes and this place might almost be paradise.
Things weren't always like this. Of course, I don't remember those days. But my parents swore it was better. Before the trinity took up power.
The government. Well, they always had power. In fact, some say it is the government's lack of power that has lead us up shit creek without a paddle. They don't do squat no more but collect their taxes and throw delliquents into jail.
The Steel-beard Clan, lead by that bastard old coot… Baron Steel-beard. No one even knows his name. But he sits in his tower, watching the mines. He taxes the tar out of all metal, making it hard for anyone to get ahead. The dwarves have it the worst. They got exiled from their mines, replaced by damned goblins.
And the Church of Pelor. Word is they were once noble and good and all that stuff. But something happened. Their very core rotted. And Pelor all-mighty ain't done squat about it but let them rot more. They police this town, they make the law, they torture anyone who doesn't worship Pelor as the True being.
Oh, and I'm sure you noticed, the gates are closed. Been that way for a year now. No one in, no one out. Welcome to your prison."
-Silverfoot, Halfling scholar.
With metal being so rare, the city has instituted a new currency policy. There are copper marks, silver marks, gold marks, etc. Each mark is actually a coin, forged in an arcane-factory, imbued with an illusion to appear much like a normal coin. Outside the city, the illusion breaks, and the mark turns into a blank plastic disc forever.
All metal items are far more expensive in the city. Due to the Baron's stranglehold on all metal, players must spend double the book value to buy any item after creation.