Monday, 21 April 2014

Q is for Trancas Quendalmanliye

So I searched and I searched for something in Marienburg starting with the letter 'Q', and I found squat... As such, I'm going with the next best thing - a character whose last name starts with 'Q'. He's a cool character, though, so it sort of makes up for it!

The path is shrouded in fog. Before you looms a glaring, flaming spectre in the night - a shapeless mass of writhing colours. Screams, whoops, and shouts echo from its direction, and the clatter of bones sinks into your soul. A shrill squeal leaps towards you, and you're subsumed into the cacophony and light.

Are you trapped? Are you about to die? No. You're about the lose your money at the Three of a Kind Cabaret & Casino!

The famous, illustrious, and highly fashionable club is owned in joint by three partners: Fredrik "Freddie" Greendale, Morgaine Bauersdottir, and the brains of the group, Trancas Quendalmanliye. It stands as the premier entertainment for the elite and wealthy of the city, sitting in the middle of the Elfgate Bridge. Not quite Marienburg, and not quite Elftown, the club enjoys a level of freedom from taxation that is seldom found elsewhere in the city. At least, this is the lie given by the owners.

The Three of a Kind is a three-storey affair, open all night, and accommodating anyone with a full purse. The ground floor - which is actually the middle floor - is a cabaret and restaurant, where some of the finest food in the city can be eaten whilst the best dancers, magicians, comedians and musicians ply their trade on the central stage. Then, if you're looking for a bit more spice, you've two options. One can go into the warren of private back rooms for 5 Guilders for 30 minutes, or 30 Guilders for a night and explore some of the other guests. Or, if one is truly game, they can go down stairs.

At a nod from Trancas or one of his associates, you'll be admitted into the Casino proper, where every game of chance can be found - from cards to dice to fortune wheels. Usually a 20 Guilder limit sits on all bets, but this is often waived for the grander clients. But one word out of line, one dispute of Trancas's rules, and you're out on your ass.

All of this is a front, of sorts. Don't mistake it - Trancas genuinely prefers Human company, a fact that makes him the strangest Elf in Marienburg - but the lofty, gentlemanly owner of the fine establishments has other motives. Quendalmanliye is the most successful and effective information broker in the city, and will sell any information, or gather any information that you're willing to pay for. On top of this, he himself is hunting more than a few terrible sorts - namely a child-smuggling ring which has infested the Reik Valley for the past hundred or so years.

Why would a Wood Elf forsake his kin and work away his infinite years bringing justice to Human affairs? Why would he care?

It was over a hundred years ago, and fog shrouded the path in front of him. The young Trancas could hear the whoop of Orcs as they rode down the defences of his family's woodland realm. He can still hear the scream. He can still feel the life-blood course out of the Human noble who set the Orcs down upon them. He can still hear the gallows being drawn up to accept his neck, and the greedy clink of Gold Crowns as the bounty is paid.

Trancas is hunted, and he chooses to hide in plain sight.