The City of Arkham

Hay guys it’s been a while, I had to go a few weeks without a working computer. I am officially back with something big, an entire city for you to use in your campaign based on Lovecraft and the Detective Comics location of Arkham City.

Arkham is a sizable city in disarray; the buildings are falling apart, crime is getting out of hand, shops are known to sell very strange items, and mad men can be heard walking the streets babbling incoherent nonsense during the night. Arkham is not a place most people choose to live, but more so a place people end up on accident. Some are too poor to live anywhere else; others are trying to hide from the law. But curiously enough some say they are called to live here, though they don’t seem happy about it. A lot of the traveling merchants will tell you that Arkham is one of the most dangerous, and the strangest places in all of the Kingdom.

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Places of Importance and Interest

Church of the Listeners – This Church belongs to the Holy Ring of the Librarian surround in the worship of Sirri and her want for knowledge; or rather the Head of the Scarce Circles want for knowledge. It is known as the eyes and ears of the Circles as it specializes in training spys to gather information, and glorified bureaucrats to sort it out and make sense of it. Despite the oath the Listeners take apon joining, roumors have the common folk believing that they train assassins.

Weapons and Armor Warehouse – One of the reasons the reasons crime is so bad in Arkham is the guards are not armed well. And because there is no smith willing to set up shop in this city the arms that supply the guard are donated from around the kingdom, though most donations are second hand lend –me-downs from other cities guard houses. All weapons donated to the city are stored in a heavily guarded warehouse along with whatever else the guards can get off criminals.

The Old Orphanage – At one time Arkham had a place dedicated to finding a home for homeless children till it was left abandoned after a mass cult murder. This old and crumbling building has become the local urban legend, said to be a meeting house for the cult that murdered the children, that the head caretaker who went missing still lives in the abandoned house, and that the spirit of the children killed still haunt the grounds.

The Old Woad Caver – An old carpentry house that went out of business; sill up for rent at a very cheap price but still haven’t seen any takers. The land owner is short of donating it to the city to use as a store house. The place is known for being a squat house for the local crazies.

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Taverns & Inns (Menu Prices on PHG.158)

The Grog Hole (Tavern/Inn, Upper-Class/Dinning Club) – A place for the scum of the city underbelly to thrive, The Grog Hole is a Dinning Club for wealthy people in the bigger crime circles. Prices are driven up for people who aren’t vouched for by any regular and recognizable patrons.

It offers meals:

  • Comfortable: A pair of Chicken Breast with Moonshine and Frog Legs
  • Wealthy: Bison and Sweet Berry Wine with a side of Shrimp
  • Aristocratic: Buttered Lobster and Sea Salted Ale with a side of clams

It offers rooms: One squalid, Three modest, Two wealthy, One aristocratic.

Zhans Dreamhouse (Inn/Smokehouse, Gambling Den) – Zhan is a wood elf who came to Cryhawk to take advantage of the humans addictive nature. His weeds and smoke seeds have something in them that induces waking dreams in the smoker. He also runs a gambling den in the basement where in if you can’t make good on your bets, it can cost you dearly.

It offers rooms: Three Squalid, Two Poor, One Modest

The Wandering Lamb (Brothel, Quite/low-key) – This place trades in the art of pleasure, but because of its illegal nature it is a hard place to find. It recruits based on the taste of the locals, which is manly female oriented. The house is really to advertising forbidden desires; many teiflings use the brothel as a place to hide, but work is expected from them.

The Prancing Hoard (Tavern, Members Only) – This Tavern is exclusive to the guard and friends of the guard for the purpose of being a safe haven in the cesspit that is Arkham. Everyone who enters the Hoard must surrender their weapons at the door, anyone caught with weapons in the house must leave or become subject to arrest. Refusal to cooperate does not happen often but has often resulted in the injury and banishment of patrons by the hands of off duty guards.

It offers meals:

  • Poor: Rabbit Meat with bread and water
  • Modest: Salted Pork and Dwarven Ale
  • Comfortable: Chicken and Red Wine with cheese

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Shops

The Wooden Hand (Carpenter) – The carpenter Hennery Chipper, among other things, specializes in making wagons. He just recently took over the business after his father died to take care of his mother.

Kaiser Clays (Pottery) – Dwarven pottery is less about art and more about war; for Jaska of Clan Mortar it’s a little bit about both. He sells small decorative pots that can be used as fire bombs.

The Golden Shackle (Money Lender) – This money lender is commissioned by the local government. Half the interest collected goes to supporting the guards and the Listeners.

Reapers Den (Money Lender) – If you’re looking for a place that won’t ask questions this is it. Lends coin to anyone no matter the motive, but those who don’t pay on time tend to disappear.

Light of Raphuel (Chandler) – Once a holy man of the Trail Blazers, old man Elbert Donton now has left the church to sell candles. They say his candles burn brighter than torches.

Dream Scents (Chandler) – The waxes here have very potent scents. The shop owner, Kendra Wicker, swears that her candles can put a grown man to sleep in seconds.

Seek and Find (Thrift Shop) – Deals in the trade of unusual trinkets. Though the shop owner Samuel Hatchet goes to great lengths to dispel rumors that say he often deals with grave robbers, they stay alive due to patrons finding lost family heirlooms being sold in the shop.

Cyclopean Carvings (Pottery and Carpenter) – A very popular shop among the local crazies, in fact some even say the shop owner George Kratter is crazy himself. He comes off well enough, except he claims to hear voices in his head that tell him what to make. He says he doesn’t know what the voice is all about, but it commands him by threatening his life. His pots take strange shapes, and the wooden statues he caves are even stranger.

Maps of Fortune (Map Maker) – Named for the fortune teller that helps with the business, this map maker Hanna Ester makes maps of the local area, but hates her boss who she sees as a scam artist.

The Red Jester (Tailor) – This shop was started by the son of a court jester, who fell into madness after a tragic accident and went missing. Regor Lander is the current and second generation shop owner. He has turned the business around after marrying a great sower and sells the high-end fashion she produces.

Pickman’s Paints (Gallery) – Where the owner of Cyclopean Carvings’ madness is mostly hear-say, Fredrick Pickman is a madman in fact. He claims to see a world within ours that only he can see, and it serves as the inspiration for his morbid art.

Treasures from Yann (Pawnshop) – Joseph Laow is a Half-Elf who wants nothing more but to return to his mother in Varen Vale, but ended up having to set up shop here in Arkham to pay off his gambling debts. He hates Arkham and with every passing day his outlook on life becomes more and more hopeless.

Nahums Yield (Fruits & Veggies) – The farms of the heath near Arkham experienced something weird and other worldly that affected the look of their crops. Most of the farms moved out, but Nahums Gardner stayed to sell his fruits and vegetables which some have said might be related with the amount of crazies running about. His wife Mary runs the shop, sometimes with her son tagging along, and stands by her husband’s crops being perfectly healthy to eat.

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Interesting NPCs

  1. Captain Ruthus Warden (LN) – Ruthus is head of the town guard, and is very distrusting of people he hasn’t meat or less heard of. He is known among the men as a serious, unforgiving, stick up the bung-hole. He has a great distaste for people who sympathize with teiflings.
  2. Lister Janna Slint (CG) – A rookie spy for the Church trying to gather information about the local economy relating to the criminal underground. She is very paranoid and distrusting of anyone outside the church.
  3. Kebal Poster (N) – A fortune teller, who works in Maps of Fortune; says he can sense where treasure is at a good price. Most who have met him say he’s a shifty fella, but many people swear he has true power.
  4. Jeher Amul (NG) – A human spear fighter from the lands down south, he frequents tourneys and has a cult fan base as “The Frog Hunter”. He is known to be very calm in battle and very kind, especially to his fans.
  5. Darsa Ellie (NG) – A winch from the Wandering Lamb, who has regrets about running away from her home in Haymercher. Unfortunately she has become the favorite play thing of an infamous killer known to the commoners “The Tally Man”, who has threatened to slit her throat if she leaves the city. She has curiously found a friend in the simple farm boy Joe Joe who has grown sweet on her and takes advantage of the protection he offers when he is around.
  6. Lord Dunton Sars (NE) – Some say a pathetic excuse for a Lord, Dunton Sars has just recently inherited the position from his father the late Jasper Sars II. Must suspicion has surrounded Dunton due to his father’s mysterious death, but no one expresses their opinions out loud in fear of his “swift and fair” justice.
  7. Joe Joe (CN) – The son of farmer Nahums Gardner is a strong, childlike, drooling, and unpredictable beast of a man. He mostly stays on the farm as a farm hand in case one of the plow horses becomes injured, but will become board when he doesn’t have anything to do. When this happens he will tear up crops, break tools, toss sheep until his father begs his wife to take him into town were more often than not he gets into more trouble.
  8. Timothy Straw (CE) – Also known as “The Tally Man”, Timothy is a killer in Arkham known for carving tally marks on his skin for every person he has killed.
  9. Strange Stephan (CG) – One of the local crazies who made a name for himself in Arkham. Claiming to be some powerful sorcerer or warlock (it changes sometimes) people have spotted him hopping roofs in the night on the lookout for criminals. Some think he may have been a spy belonging to The Listeners though the church has no recorded of his recruitment, others say he was a master cleric who went mad after a tragic accident. The closest anyone has gotten to finding out his real name was the letter once left at the doors of multiple persons that read “Stephan protects the night”, most assume it was him.
  10. Jonathan Lark (NG) – A hint of kindness caught in the mits of the scum and villainy, Jonathan Lark (aka Old Man Jon), was once the owner of the failed Woad Carver carpentry shop. He spends a lot of time helping people fix their houses in exchange for food and clothes. The Prancing Hoard lets him squat in the tavern’s basement as long as he doesn’t drink any of the stores.

I really hope that this article really inspires you and gives you something to keep your campaign moving. Please if you like this article share it around or subscribe to my blog for more every week. Till next time, keep safe on the streets!

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