Bog's World

Altogether elsewhere

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Forgileill's letter

Forgileill finds a letter, addressed to her, in her own handwriting. It is dated a month or so ago, when she was still Sythyss, under the total control of Pelyth the Eldrich and a long way from Corvis.

The letter begins by telling her to call Sadie back before she disappears out to work. Forgileill’s advice to herself is not to go onto Church premises. And if possible, to avoid having to meet with Father Dumas. So Sadie is to go to the Cathedral, where the others will be invited to stay. Sadie can take a message to Thranduil (“He’s an elf in armour, Sadie. You couldn’t possibly mistake him for anyone else, he’s tall, handsome and very chivalrous.”) Saying that you’d meet them the next morning on the Cathedral Bridge, that you’re quite safe and staying with friends.

Which brings you here, to the Old Brewery. As far as everyone in this quarter of town is concerned, your name is Evie (Evelyn) and you are one of Tommy Verder’s whores. Adjusting you hair and using a little foundation you’ll be able to alter your appearance so that no-one will think that you are an elf, which could be important – elves are much less common in the Iron Kingdoms than in the Empire and your goal here is to be inconspicuous. There’s plenty of make up of all descriptions in the dresser.

Tommy Verder – your partner in deception. You’ve threatened him with death (and worse) on three occasions. Tommy is, in the eyes of his whores, not too bad. He’s youngish and good looking which all helps with one of their duties. He pays good coin for medical and magical assistance when the girls need it (Tommy has very carefully worked out his cash flows) and he’s not nearly as violent as most pimps. And he’s more scared of you than he is of anyone else – this is your security. I/you’ve danced for him, private showings, just to tease. It’s a bit of fun and keeps him on his toes.

There are four separate stashes of assorted coinage in this room. But the real fortune is the letter of credit behind the mirror in the dresser. It could be cashed at a Rhulic (Dwarven) bank, but you’d need a horse and cart to move what they gave you and every thief in Cygnar would be after you.

There is a list of people and a note of their approximate relationship with “Evie”, as well as rough guide to Filcher’s Crossing (including the entrance to the undercity and details of ‘the bucket’) and the Quad (including the ‘Buccaneer Bass’). Also the tawdry details of ‘the Last Chance’, ‘Stephan’s Place’ and ‘the Golden Fish’. These are the three local bars allocated to Tommy’s operations by the Griffins.

The griffins are just one of the underworld gangs in Corvis. They are not very well organised, being a mixture of good, bad and indifferent leaders who rule by committee. Their heartland is Filcher’s Crossing.

The griffins may well be unorganised thugs, but they do have a little spice! The ‘foot soldiers’ of the gang are masters of loud clothing, an absolute dedication to uneducated ignorance, patriotic jingoism and able to head butt with surgical precision. A typical run-in with a Griffin will be a normal walk down the street when some bloke you weren't anywhere near starts yelling, "OI! Givin' us the evils, was yeh? Well come an' 'ave a go, if yeh think yer 'ard enoof!" Then seven guys with broken bottles chase you down the street and mug you. Their idiom is an absolute dedication to strength, intimidation and being showy without being a Ryn about it. Also, everybody is a Southern Pansy. Unless they're from the Protectorate, in which case they're a Great Southern Pansy. This includes people from Lleal or Khador (which are both north of Corvis).

The letter ends with an exhortation to beware of someone called “the Bastard” because ‘Thunderwicket’ is a steamjack.

Oh, and if you attune to the arousal/orgasm device, you’ll be able to use it on other people (as well as yourself) just by lightly touching their flesh (or just by willing it, if you want to give yourself the pleasure).

Dramatis Personae

Evie is on talking, ie first name terms (or better, where annotated) with all of the following, except Moe, who has noted Evie’s presence, but they have never spoken to each other. One person it’d pay to remain the puppet mistress for is Tommy Verder – putty in your hands; he’s an Evie - obsessed congenital coward. The pimp for:

Tommy’s Girls, all very friendly with Evie as Tommy has smartened up a bit since you moved in.

Evie (You)
Sadie Too nice for words, too sweet for this game, poss in love with Tommy
Lily Best looking, ambitious, apt to use her friends. Sees herself top girl
Tylor Orfie’s Mum
Orfie Far too young for this
Lottie Older (28), not allowed to work the bars any more
Kuar Older (30), not allowed to work the bars any more

Other working girls who are Evie’s friends

Aileen Enda, Flonnese Doogan and Lizetta Cabridge. Aileen has made a pass at Evie in the last six months and actually sworn undying love. Lizetta has seen Forgileill kill – but that was over a year ago and she’s never breathed a word. These three are good company. Occasionally there’ll be enough cash that they’d not have to work for a night and then the four of you would go and have a night out – go up town where you weren’t known and live it up a little (see below). This doesn’t happen too often, as it’s not healthy for any of the common whores of Corvis to fall into arrears with her subscription.

Desle Baskin, Elspeth Scarrow, Jordan Scarrow, Canice Calligan, Kearey Calvirt, Nancy Spugden and Sally Jessop, in their very early twenties, they are streetwalkers who work the quad and back streets of Flitcher’s Crossing.

Lillian and Sharona. Used to work for Tommy until he ‘exchanged’ them (via Moe the Magimp) for Tyler and Orfie. Casual acquaintances.

Evie is viewed by most of the other prostitutes of Filcher’s Crossing as ‘a bit creepy’, in a “…there’s just something about her that makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.” sort of way. So far, this suits you fine.

Moe the Magimp – the most important man in Filcher’s crossing. Moe is nasty, slimy and vicious. He is also astute, patient and calculating. Easy to spot – he has one white eye and a scar running from his scalp, down over his blind eye and cheek all the way to his chin. He oversees all of the prostitution in Filcher’s Crossing. He does this by collecting a ‘voluntary subscription’ from every freelance girl and ‘renting’ patches to pimps. His enforcement band also collects rents for the better rooms in the Old Brewery House.

Unlike most men in his position, he doesn’t keep a stable for himself, nor even a favourite doxy.[1]

He doesn’t like murder on his patch. All of his enforcers have a well-drilled response to any escalating situation. Moe himself is not beyond calling for the Watch if he thinks it’d benefit him more than any adversary. He has his team split into muscle trios and accounting pairs. The muscle trios are positioned at strategic points about the Griffin’s territory and the accounting pairs are those who know and speak to all of the working girls therein, including the ones ‘belonging to’ the pimps. Moe usually only speaks to the pimps. They are all scared of him. He looks scary and normally has at least one of the Griffin’s trollkin with him whenever he’s collecting revenue.

Selar is another captain of the Griffins. She’s a knife fighter and in nominal charge of their mugging and armed robbery operations. She spends most of her time smashed out of her head on absinthe. She keeps a flat in the dungeons under the Old Brewery. For some bizarre reason, when drunk (almost all the time) she’s quite protective of Evie and has asked for a private dance before. So far, she’s passed out every time.

Willem Sykes is a mildly paranoid psychopath always accompanied by the only creature who really cares for him, a large vicious white dog called ‘Target’. Sykes has done occasional work for the Griffins but mostly operates in a ‘freelance’ fashion. He can get together a band of seven or eight hard men and would be cut-throats in 48 hours if he finds the need to. He is big, strong, fast, brutal and arrogant. Willem Sykes looks at Evie as a man would look at his mother’s cadaver, with a curious mixture of revulsion and self-pity.

Vaden is an old Rhulic (Dwarf) pickpocket. Now too arthritic for what he would term ‘regular work’ he remains active in the Corvis Underworld. Vaden runs a home for waifs and strays. At any one time, in an attic somewhere in three of the more run areas of the city, there will be a small community of street urchins, between five and twelve individuals of between four and fourteen years of age. His diminutive crooks are commonly known as ‘Twisters’. Evie usually uses twisters as intermediaries, rather than dealing with fences directly. In Evie’s experience, Vaden is a spiteful old bugger.

Jaryll Greydan, a tailor in the quad (Corvis’ main mercantile area). Jaryll is clever, he knows how to create garments in which one would pass for a common whore, but with a little gimmickry, became a little more, versatile (hidden pockets etc). More importantly, despite Forgileill’s continuing cover as a prostitute, Jaryll still has time for her and treats her like a favoured client. Which is more than can be said for almost every other dress maker in the city, most of whom refuse to even deal with her. The only man in Corvis for whom she gets undressed without feeling a little sullied.

“Mad” Malek, another Griffins captain. Has a reputation for flying off the handle etc. Hence the ‘mad’ epithet. In between these psychotic bouts he provides the glue that keeps the griffins together, hence his continued sufferance in Filcher’s Crossing. You know him only by sight (having deliberately avoided him) and already don’t like him.

The Girl’s Nights Out

The four of them would set a date and don their finest gowns before crossing the Quad, loosing their pimps in the crowd and heading into the more exclusive districts, where the lights are bright and pretty and the place was more illuminated than shadowed. Where paving had been fixed and the streets weren’t caked in filth. Forgetting all their worries, they would set out with scrimped and saved coin to live it up a little without having to work. The four of them would be happy, as happy as they could be. Forgieliell is well aware that these brief moments of carefree joy are limited in time and that her friends will probably spend the rest of their lives working Filcher’s Crossing; dying poor and young. Almost certainly alone and in poverty. More than once she caught herself just watching the three of them, wondering how their short, mostly miserable lives would end.

But for those few hours, together they would forget all their cares. Listening to the gentle rhythms of the quartets playing for the entertainment of the moneyed classes[2] . The girls would get itchy feet, wanting to dance. Everything in the area seemed to be waiting for them to arrive. They would march arm in arm through the streets, laughing and joking. They would often go to some glittering venue (such as the Silver Ewer[3] ) where the food is passable, the music is good and the dancing goes on for hours. Followed by some place with excellent food where they never close (such as Marco’s[4] ).

As long as the money was made up and no-one was caught by the Gertens Crime Family’s agents[5] who ran what little crime happened in that part of Corvis, no harm was done. Their pimps would never know and they themselves had a great time.

[1] He believes strongly in true love and doesn’t touch any of the whores at all. He also makes no secret of his disappointment should any of his enforcers use their position to elicit freebies. Moe’s job is to generate revenue for the Griffins, from the whores. He is not interesting in the petty gratification of the men and women who are supposed to be the regulators of this most essential of trades.
[2] Not at all like home, where the ruling (ilin) classes would play their music and sing their own songs. That might be something that money conscious Perran merchants might do, but not elves or ilin.
[3] Where ever they went, the girls proved popular. Some venues that would normally charge admission would waive their fee for any group of attractive young ladies out for fun. It didn’t matter that they weren’t interested in male company, they helped attract custom regardless.
[4] Marco liked their custom and didn’t mind keeping the place open just for them. And of course it was quiet and intimate after the Silver Ewer, a place where they could relax and unwind before having to cross back to the squalor of Filtcher’s Crossing. Even if he suspected what they really were, Marco was still polite and kind to them.
[5] This all hinged on being identified (or not) as Griffin’s whores. If they were marked as such then the assumption would be that they were working, regardless of whether they were or not. This would quite likely turn unpleasant on the way home, away from the bright lights and could result in a turf war between the Griffins and the Gertens. Or the Gertens might apprehend them, figure out that they had crossed onto their turf without permission and hand them back to Moe the Magimp, rather than their own pimps.


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