A wretched hive of scum and villainy -- you must be cautious...
Spacefarers everywhere agreed—Freebooter’s Rock was a wretched den of vice, thievery and betrayal, the midden-pit of the Universe. But everyone came there eventually. That was what Shaundar Sunfall was relying on... He had been in port three months now, however, and he wasn’t sure he could wait here much longer. The handful of coins he’d arrived with when he’d hit the shore had quickly dwindled away. Shaundar had no idea how expensive everything was here... He was trying to find work along the dockyards. Tug-Pilot, stevedore, supply clerk, common labourer; he’d tried it all to no avail. He’d even tried to get on at the Ironworks, no matter how horrible foundry work was to him.Freebooter's Rock is a mobile asteroid settlement, powered by multiple, harmonized Starfaring Engines so that it can set itself up anywhere in Known Space. It is a busy, active trading and tourism port, that also makes a secondary living mining Mithril. It has a reputation for being a place where anything can be purchased... if the price is right.
Industry & Trade
Gabble in a hundred languages assaulted their senses. A fruit vendor offered them blue apples, first in Elvish and then in Dwarvish. A gnome bard sang a cheerful ballad accompanied by a lute. Yathar sighed. Shaundar put a comforting hand on his shoulder. There were a lot of Cthulans walking around and conducting business, which, in light of their recent experiences, couldn’t help but make Shaundar edgy. The plethora of cultures and species present was impressive. “Are they allowed to be here?” Nashavara asked nervously of the Cthulans. Shaundar nodded. Grimmauld turned and said something to the fruit vendor in Dwarvish that sounded like a question. He nodded, spoke a reply and indicated up the street. Shaundar knew enough Dwarvish to understand the “thank you” that Grimmauld responded with. “Come on!” he said cheerfully to the group. “I’m told there’s a fine dwarven establishment up that way.”Just about anything can be bought and sold at Freebooter's Rock. Despite the fact that many view the Rock as a scum-magnet and eyesore on the Void, it is such an important hub for trade that it cannot be ignored. If one wants something in space, and doesn't know where to find it, one comes to the Rock. Still, some industries have more importance in the local economy than others. Mithril remains the primary export. Shipbuilding and repair is a hopping business, which often attracts the best shipwrights, since they know they can make good coin here. The Avalonian Navy also contributes a surprising amount to the economy, between their lumber yard, shipbuilding, munitions manufacturing, and more. There is also a prestigious dwarven foundry, and a number of mercenary companies operate out of the Rock. Rumour has it that there is a lively underground slave trade, and a black market trade in stolen art, antiquities, and magical items. One has to know whom to ask to find it, however. But above all, the primary trade remains vice. Gambling, drugs, alcohol, prostitution, perhaps even contract murder, remain the primary industries, raking in millions of Galaxies a year.
Guilds and Factions
Part of the problem was the districts. Everyone kept to their own in the Lower City of Freebooter’s Rock. He could see that he’d wandered into the Dwarven District and the spacefaring dwarves didn’t have much use for elves. And the fact that he didn’t have a job was something the hardworking people just didn’t understand. There was always work for dwarves with other dwarves, and what were you good for if you weren’t working? The gnomes rightly didn’t trust anyone who wasn’t a gnome. He’d tried his luck in Elephant Town, figuring that there had to be some way to hook up with a mercenary company or something there. But he found that since he was an elf, no one took him seriously when he said he was a marine and they wouldn’t even let him prove himself. And he didn’t speak most of the human tongues. He bought a bottle of rum for the evening. As a light drizzle started, he returned to his room, tromping up the three flight walk-up in a narrow alley, only to find that the lock on his door had been changed. “Ye can have yer stuff back when ye’ve paid the rent,” snarled the landlord behind him in his Galatian dialect. He was a human male with a thick black beard, a beer belly, and no concept of what soap or water were for.Aside from the Captain's Council and the Avalonian Imperial Navy and their power struggles, there are many other significant factions on the Rock that exert their own particular influence. The Guild of Gnomish Builders is probably the most powerful trade union, and disputes with them can lead to a complete halt in shipbuilding and repair. It can also lead to having all the docks occupied by "unfinished repair jobs," which puts a distinct hamper on trade. As a result, dockworkers of all stripes tend to do much better financially on the Rock than in many other places, averaging 50* to 75*Sp a day. In the bowels of the Rock, maintaining the lifegiving plumbing and water supply of its population, the Goblin Sanitation Engineers hold sway. Negotiating with them is always a delicate balance. There are a couple of significant mercenary companies, and they are in the process of unionizing as well. Together, they represent a large, and potentially dangerous faction. There are also at least three large organized criminal gangs who have divided up the various districts into territories, which they defend with legal force. Ironically, this often means that open street crime is nearly non-existent, as no one wants little crimes interfering with their big business. Last, the City Guard is a significant faction in and of itself, and serves as the arm of the Captain's Council. However, they can often be persuaded to act against the Council's interests in favour of their own -- for a modest fee, of course.
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The Smiling Shoggoth was a hopping place. A few of the patrons cast Shaundar strange looks as lurked by the door in his orcish armour, but not as many as he expected. Then again, next to a bartending shoggoth, what would look strange? Watching Mike draw draught with his pseudopods and telekinesis was more than enough entertainment for one evening. He was downright chatty too. Customer after customer greeted him like an old friend, and they came in every race known to space. Shaundar quickly saw the clever design of the furniture. For instance, the barstools had a couple of rails mounted at strategic points along the stem. A gruff dwarf with a red beard streaked white and an ivory peg leg was able to stomp himself up on the stool by using one of rails as a step. He lit an oversized calabash pipe and the room was quickly filled with sour tobacco smoke, like the stuff Shaundar was smoking before he came to the Temple-Brothel. At the other end of the bar, three gnome bards accompanied their attractive and talented front girl with fiddle, mandolin and accordion. Shaundar dropped a few of his limited coins into their fiddle case. Two dragonfolk stretched out on couches playing backgammon while a human free trader discussed business eye-to-eye with a gnome in a high chair. A trio of robed Cthulans huddled in a corner couch, wriggling their tentacles in animated discussion; everyone else gave them a wide berth. The bar’s other employee, a pretty blond human girl, asked them if they were done with their drinks and would they like another? One of them waved an empty glass with its strange three-fingered hand; the barmaid took it away and returned a few moments later with something green and bubbling. A pair of decorated pachyderms came in about halfway through the night. They took over a table with big, sturdy oaken chairs and proceeded to sing three hours’ worth of off-key military chants, unfortunately drowning out the skilled bards, while they put away so many shots of rum that Shaundar figured they must have disposed of about a cask between them. Before Shaundar knew it, Mike was bellowing, “All right, that’s it folks! Last call!”
It didn’t take much for Blackjack to force the Cthulans to turn over the three Navy elves and the other Raven Talon refugees. Blackjack advised them that the Avalonian Navy would take great exception to an attempt to leave the Rock’s airspace with Navy personnel and refugees under their protection on board. <The Navy’s fortunes have been failing in this system as of late,> pointed out the Cthulan captain. Blackjack smirked without humour. “Maybe,” he said, “but even a single elven man-o-war full of mages wouldn’t have much difficulty taking out a lone merchantman.” The Cthulans handed over the prisoners without any further protest.
Dockworker | Stevedore and Longshoreman
A dockworker is a manual labourer who loads and unloads cargo on ships. They are essential to the safe and successful running of a dockyard, and to all starfaring and seafaring trade.
The Temple-Brothel of the Rose and Heart
The Temple of the Rose and Heart is a multi-denominational temple dedicated to the service of multiple deities of love, sex and healing.