the Well

At the center of the great market plaza and surrounded by a wall etched with dwarven and Dornish
runes is the Well, a vast void that opens into the quarries below the city. Looming over the void is a boom of intricately worked iron, with pulleys and gears that hold in place heavy chains. A bronze turnstile, once driven by teams of boro but now tended by shackled slaves, powers the boom, which raises and lowers nets to the landing below. Once the nets reach the lip of the well, the boom is swung over the retaining wall and the cargo within is lowered to a receiving yard. There the merchants separate their goods and take them to market stalls that line the plaza.

The Well operates in all but the foulest of weather. Even in the winter, when ice and snow are thick and the road to the lower city is too treacherous to travel, the Well brings goods to the market. The Bredas family rises before dawn to heat great urns and pour steaming water over the ice-encrusted boom. Ice picks and shovels are often required to free the turnstile from the ice,
and are also useful prods with which to force thinly clad slaves from their pens to their positions at the great turnstile.

The market plaza is a mixture of small shops built of wood and stone interspersed with temporary tables and tents. The merchants fight for the best spaces and hire local tuffs to protect their goods. Almost anything imaginable is sold here, from spices from the distant south to intricately carved ivory from the Dornish lands in the forgotten north. If you know where to look, you can also find items banned by the local legates and their puppet count. Poisons are hidden in plain sight among the healing roots and spices. Weapons are concealed inside bolts of fabric or buried under baskets of produce. Even books, the most dangerous of the items banned by the Shadow, can be found by those trusted by the Badens.

Due to the importance of the Well to the city, the local garrison has a heavy presence here. Guard patrols of six to ten men roam the stalls, halfheartedly looking for contraband and thieves. Each of the four main roads leaving the plaza is overseen by a guard barracks: ugly,
squat stone buildings, each holding up to fifty troops, usually human. Orcs are only rarely stationed here, and usually only as a punishment to the merchants and craftsmen. The Shadow’s hand is light on the district as long as the goods continue to flow.

Haden’s Sundries

Merchants’ Hospice

the Well

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