Catarina, The Unforgiving City
Named for a long-forgotten heroine, Catarina has a long heritage and goes by many names – the City of Gold, the Nest of Vipers, the City That Never Sleeps. All are accurate, but none moreso than The Unforgiving City.
Catarina is a city-state that has stood apart for a thousand years. Her walls have been sieged countless times and have never fallen – though change has come from within more often than her rulers would care to admit. Politics has always been a dangerous game here, where rulers are looked upon with suspicion at best, and countless factions form alliances for power, principles, or petty grudges. Those who would master this city govern from a perilous throne indeed.
Everyone else, wealthy merchant or penniless beggar, must run to catch up. Failing to adapt to change in this city means death, or worse – especially for those who live on the edge. Power changes, loyalties change, and when the dust settles you don’t want to be the only one without a knife to someone else’s throat.
And now? Well, now it’s especially important. Now is a time of flux. The Seneschal is dead, and there is no clear replacement. The Noble Families bicker and fight amongst each other for the right to occupy the Broken Throne. In the background, the Guilds agitate and brawl in the gutters. Maybe it is time to cast off the antiquated ideas of nobility and let the people rule. Or maybe something else entirely…
The party are members of Catarina’s Thieves’ Guild – a storied (if not well-respected) organisation that represents the City’s criminal underworld. The Guild claims primacy over all illegal activity in the City, extorting protection money from high profile businesses and individuals, and punishing with extreme prejudice those who operate outside its purview. In theory, membership means just two things: don’t hit people who’ve paid up, and pay your dues to the Guild. In practice, the Thieves’ Guild is as incestuous and political as the City it steals from and things are never that straightforward…