Punjar: The Tarnished Jewel
The Devil's Thumb
Notorious throughout the Known World as a den of vice and iniquity, the Devil’s Thumb is aptly named. Perched on the eastern edge of the city, it is a sharp peninsula situated within a hawk’s swoop of the noble villas and east of the Souk. This jutting spur of land is known throughout Punjar as a place of dark delights, chance, risk, and ill-gotten fortunes. The ward is justly infamous for its many taverns, feast-halls, gambling dens, fences, and houses of ill repute. These businesses beckon commoner and noble alike, hiding behind an illusion of cheap opulence that conceals the abject poverty pervading much of the ward. Visitors cleaving to the Thumb’s main thoroughfares have little to fear apart from pickpockets and conmen, but behind the façade of wealth and exotic architecture, lie mazes of dark, twisted alleys, where danger lurk at every turn.
During the day, the Devil’s Thumb could be mistaken for any of Punjar’s other world-weary wards, but at night, the district comes alive with a ferocity that defies description. Painted lamps are hung across the streets between buildings, raucous laughter and rowdy drinking songs erupt from every door, exotic street magicians ply their trade, and temptation waits at every turn.
On any given night, the ward is filled by a chaotic mix of sailors on shore leave, merchant-lords accompanied by entourages of sellswords and priest-mages, rowdy mercenaries celebrating their latest victories, and common folk clutching their hard-earned silver. Nobles and their retinues are regular visitors to the ward, donning featureless cloaks and masks to conceal their identities.
The dense throngs and fanciful folk make it easy for anyone to lose himself in the crowded night. The Devil’s Thumb is home to Punjar’s more exotic races – tieflings and dragonborn draw no more notice here than any of other more common races – and when combined with the distinct absence of Dragonne (the ward stands outside the city’s walls), the Devil’s Thumb is a bastion of freedom and independence.