Punjar: The Tarnished Jewel
High Quarter and Low Court
Situated to the east of the gleaming Palace of the Overlord, High and Low Court are home to Punjar’s aristocracy. Sweeping manors, whitewashed walls, secluded gardens, and manicured groves make up the bulk of the wards, standing in stark contrast to their neighbors to the south. Life is quiet and peaceful here, save for the masked fetes and balls, befitting Punjar’s oldest and wealthiest families.
Of course, in Punjar, not all is as it seems, and the Court’s placid veneer only serves to hide age-old secrets and fell pacts.
The nobles of Punjar can trace their family legacies back to the founding of the city, when their ancestors were not foppish dandies, but warlords that ruled vast tracts of land with iron fists. However, over the course of history, changing economic climate forced all the noble families to slowly sell off their lands to maintain their lavish lifestyles. The rise of the Dragonne sealed the nobility’s demise, and the last of their lands were awarded to the companies of slave-warriors.
Faced with their extinction, the nobles took their last resource – access to the Overlord – and quietly offered it to those that needed it the most: the Thieves Guild. A devil’s pact was struck, with the various Guild factions supporting their chosen patron, and the noble families speaking and acting in their faction’s interests.
This practice of patronage spread like wildfire throughout the aristocracy, so that today, every noble line maintains active ties to a faction of the Thieves Guild. The relationships to specific members of the families may vary, but the overarching affect is the same, with noble families as the puppets, and the crime factions, the puppeteers.
While the intrigues of Punjar’s nobility are too complex to be detailed here, it merits noting that each family maintains a house guard composed of the finest warriors and wizards that the family can afford. Perhaps of greater concern to would-be thieves, each of the various houses also keeps a master thief in their employ. This rogue serves two purposes: He ensures noble complicity, and he wards against other rogues that would seek to harm the Guild’s investment.
Following is a partial list of the noble houses with a prominent presence in the High and Low Courts: Cainegont, Dev’shir, Drucaul, Farod, Indragi, Ororo, Sauronan, Rituzag, and Vagimmor.