Droaam: Graywall and Long Shadows
Called Sorghun in the goblin tongue. Bloodstone is the largest of the four districts and home to most of the Medium and Large inhabitants of the town—minotaurs, shifters, ogres, orcs not aligned with House Tharashk, and others. Bloodstone is also home to doppelgangers, tieflings, and a variety of bandits, deserters, and criminals from the eastern lands who have found refuge in Graywall.
The district takes its name from the crimson coloring of the stone used in many of its buildings; stone that was recovered from the shattered walls of Korash Khaar. Bloodstone is the home of the Arena, where the people of Graywall perform in blood sports every night. Inns in the district include the Hydra Halls and the Labyrinth; taverns include the Bloody Tooth, the Broken Sword, and the Venomous Voice; and the district is home to the Street of Shadows, where followers of the Shadow pay homage.
• The Arena: The people of Droaam love their blood sports, and battles take place in the arena every night. Combats include formal grudge matches, open melees, bounty battles with fierce beasts or condemned criminals, and trials for the soldiers of the Flayer Guard. One popular form of bounty battle is Six Stones, in which seven challengers are set in the arena with one or more basilisks; the combatants are not allowed to fight the basilisks or kill one another, and the contest continues until only one contestant remains. Those who wish to fight in the arena can seek a sponsor who can get them into the ring for a share of the purse.
• The Bloody Tooth: The Blood Tooth is a rough tavern; any disputes between patrons can be settled quickly in the challenge ring in the common room. The Bloody Tooth caters primarily to monstrous clientele, and humans and their ilk receive a cold welcome here.
• The Broken Sword: Atavern catering to ex-soldiers of the eastern nations, the Broken Sword has Knights Arcane to Darguul chainmasters within it at any given moment. Located in Bloodstone, this tavern counts war criminals, brigands, and revolutionaries among its clients. ACyran warforged named Maul serves as both bartender and bouncer; either he owns the tavern, or the true owner has chosen to remain anonymous. Patrons of the Broken Sword are expected to leave their national feuds outside. Within the Broken Sword, the Thrane paladin and Karrnathi bone knight are both exiles. The unwritten rule is that if anyone starts a fight in the Sword—especially a Sentinel Marshal or other bounty hunter—every patron lends a hand, acting to end the fight as quickly as possible.
• Challenge Rings: The arena is the sight of grand battles, but no shortage of conflict exists through¬out Graywall. Circles are scratched into the ground at many of the major intersections in Bloodstone. Most contain large chunks of stone, shards of broken statues, or patches of dried blood. A wide variety of challenges take place in these rings. Brawling and feats of strength are commonplace. Minotaurs engage in a form of wrestling in which the two combatants seek to push or shove the opponent out of the ring. Most of these are skill challenges involving raw physical powers or fleetness of foot, but there are alternatives. Akobold duel is a match of insults and put-downs, judged by the onlookers.
• The House of Worms: An injured gladiator who can’t afford the services of House Jorasco can try his luck at the House of Worms in Bloodstone. The griz¬zled and ornery longtooth shifter who runs the hostel is known as Worms, due to his use of broodworms in treating infected wounds. Although his techniques are disturbing, Worms usually provides effective though only mundane treatment. He is always on the lookout for ritual scrolls or other ways of increasing his successfulness.
• The Hydra Halls: Graywall is a young town that was built to house thousands. The Hydra Halls are mass dormitories, and each is virtually identical in layout and appearance to the others. The only dis¬tinctive feature of a hall is the unique icon painted above the main entrance. As such, an ogre knows that he lives in the Eye or the Claw. Most of the halls are assigned to specific work crews, but a few have rooms available for monstrous travelers on a barter basis. The halls are spread around the two enormous grist mills, where the laborers go for food, drink, and harpy song.
• The Labyrinth: Built at the base of an old quarry, the Labyrinth is a literal hole in the ground. Its rooms are scattered throughout a maze of passages, making it the perfect home away from home for the fugitive who doesn’t want to be found. A family of minotaurs owns the bar, and they take the privacy of their guests seriously. The average cost of a room is a few gold per night, with a small discount for long-term rental. The price is high given the austere nature of the accommodations, but the Labyrinth caters to fugitives who have gold and need privacy.
• The Skin Factory: Although laborers can eat a meal at a grist factory, no one likes grist. The Skin Factory is the name given to the collection of slaugh¬terhouses, butchers, and tanners found on the edge of Bloodstone. The merchants of the Skin Factory are looking for fresh meat, and any who bring in fresh kills to the district can get something more useful in trade, whether nuggets of precious metal or preserved rations for the road. The Skin Factory includes Horac’s Hides, which is home to a family of orc tanners who make excellent leather and hide armor.
• The Street of Shadows: Shrines to demons and various faces of the Dark Six are scattered across Graywall, but the Street of Shadows is lined with them. From the cairns of the Znir gnolls to the horned idols of the minotaurs, there are dozens of icons and altars. The street ends at the Eye of the Shadow, a small windowless temple formed from black stone. The medusa priestess Zerasha holds court here.
• Tooth and Steel: Members of the Flayer Guard are outfitted by the Karda Forge and the goblins of Little Graywall, but there are always customers for arms and armor in Droaam. Staffed largely by shifters and minotaurs, Tooth and Steel produces highly distinctive (albeit mundane) equipment in all sizes. The master of the forge is the oni mage Szalas Jal, who has focused his mystical studies on the creation of enchanted weaponry. Szalas spends years working on his weapons, and they are tools of great power; he rarely sells these masterpieces, but might make an exception.
• The Venomous Voice: All the grist mills and most of the taverns of Bloodstone have a harpy songbird in residence, but these are frequently novices honing their skills. The best of these deadly singers reside at the Venomous Voice, a tavern that serves both as a roost for the independent harpies of Graywall and a place for daring patrons to hear musical duels between harpy virtuosos. Entertain¬ment at the Voice also includes storytelling, choral training (used to teach the youngest harpies the basic skills), and command performances by the most gifted sirens. Many who visit the Voice find them¬selves braving the dangers of Bloodstone to return to the harpy tavern, and some jaded tourists travel from the Five Nations to hear the legendary performances.