Tirajon & Moonshadow Settlement in Enthion | World Anvil
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Tirajon & Moonshadow

Barynis, a district at the southwest edge of the city of Jarynos (the Couvaros-protected city of The Q'tari in The Sticks at the deserts' edge), is widely known for its lais·sez-faire policies regarding just about everything. While the land around is somewhat inhospitable, at least to those who are not q'tari, the protective presence of the looming Couvaros figure (the district spreads out from its left forepaw) above the city and the opportunity to buy most things openly and everything else on the black market makes for a lively, if dangerous, part of town.

Tirajon is the name of the vast open market available every day from sunup to sundown. Most business is done at stalls which are set up in a pattern of decreasing concentric circles. Smaller businesses share spaces with other businesses, usually because they can't afford to be open for all the daylight hours of every day, so they split the time with another vendor in a similar spot. This way, smaller businesses with fewer employees can afford to pay for space and they don't have to make sure someone is always there. These ever-changing market spots are the outmost circle of vendors, by far the largest and most diverse, but also the least reliable in terms of quality. This is called the Third Band. Some also call it "The Scrum."

The Second Band, also called the "Middle Ring," is a place for established businesses. Some have been around a long time, while others only recently graduated from success in the Third Circle. Middle Ring companies are large enough to stay open at all hours, though favored craftspeople and laborers, such as a well-loved smith or a celebrated stylist, may keep reduced hours. While not quite as diverse as the Third Circle, Middle Ring vendors sell everything from ivory and unicorn horns, illegal in many places, to tomes of necromancy and divination, also restricted or banned in other places. Bounty hunters have their own stalls in the outer circle, but in the Middle Ring, they have a full-fledged business by the name of Tracked & Racked.

The First Band, also called the "Inner Circle," consists of only three businesses. The newest of the three is still inveterate, having moved to the Inner Circle over a century ago. The other two are far older. The most recent of the three is Celebrated Coin, an exchange house that specializes in foreign currency exchange. They also have a side business with its own, adjacent stalls, called Wondrous Wares. The former is a high-traffic exchange house and independent bank with branches in many countries, while the latter is found only in Barynis, an exceedingly popular place to find hard-to-find goods, relics, and magic items. The bank and the items store were separate entities in the Middle Ring until the former bought out the latter, giving them considerable pull when a spot opened (the death of matriarch Ane-lia of Dry Travels and poor management from her surviving children sent that company back to the Middle Ring, where it recovered and thrives to this day).

Of the two older companies, the second-oldest is Orlon's Armor and Weaponry (The A&W, as it often goes by), which joined the inner circle before it was a circle at all, three hundred or so years ago when only the oldest of the companies held the center of the market. Friendship sealed the deal, as one of W&W's most sought-after smiths was a huge fan of The Eatery, the rather plainly-named elder business. W&W has smiths at many conjoined stalls, each with a small staff to take care of orders and finances in addition to servants and apprentices. Some specialize in jewelry, others in swords or armor. All are the best of the best, and people travel long distances just to patronize Orlon's Weapons and Wearables.

The eldest of the Inner Circle companies, The Eatery, has been around as long as anyone can remember. When the district first blossomed ages ago, the people of the neighborhood set up stalls to sell their wares, and The Eatery set up central tables to feed tourists, consumers, and vendors alike. Their combination of q'tari specials (like grilled scorpion kebabs) and popular foods from other lands--elven bread and wine, cougari sarshin (spiced raw meat in cubes in a warm blood sauce) and gnomish rainbow pastries are among the endless options--have made The Eatery a must-stop place on most everyone's list. Whether you came specifically for The Eatery or not, you probably stopped by for a bite...or you should have.

But that's not all! The black market, also called Moonshadow, opens as Tirajon, the open market, closes. The hands-off policy is apparent here. The best stalls in the Inner Circle go to the most established black market vendors, working much as the day market does. There are often connections between the two, and in some cases, some of the same faces at the stalls. But while the town patrols come through during the day, and while the day market is taxed and regulated loosely, the Moonshadow market is completely unregulated, to the extent that the greater city of Jarynos has declared Barynis a "day district," placing a sundown curfew on all residents and taking no responsibility for anything that transpires there are night, including murder, the sales of slaves, prostitution, dangerous drugs, forbidden weapons and items, or anything else. It is a legal "No Man's Land" that Jarynos officially denounces while refusing to regulate it. No matter what happens there at night, no legal recourse is available.

That said, a black market given free rein is too much for many to pass up. Not surprisingly, organized elements control it now, as chaos and murder are bad for business. The Talons, a militant gang with a strong sense of economics and an extremely weak sense of ethics, control's the lion's share of Moonshadow business, though anyone who dares to can sell anything they wish. Despite some controls imposed by Talon agents, that doesn't mean you'll always walk out the way you walked in, so it's important to have a strong contact, preferably a local. Black market guides are usually q'tari, and they sell their services (which consist largely of walking a group in and out of Moonshadow) for a fine piece of coin...but for those who want or need goods and services that can be very hard to find, and are often highly unethical, the high cost of a guide is considered to be worth the price.

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Cover image: Castle by jameschg


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