Punjar: The Tarnished Jewel
THE (MIS)RULE OF LAW
Ask any sage of the city and you will get the same answer: in Punjar, every man is his own emperor. The saying has two meanings. First, even the Overlord, master of Punjar and the Southern Province, was once a common pickpocket. Secondly, the citizens of Punjar, from the lowest beggar to the dread master of the Slayers, are notoriously self-possessed, greedy, and aggressive.
This culture of covetousness and violence is born out of the very nature of the city. While the Dragonne reign over life and death, they are self-serving at best, and their rule extends no further than the reach of their blade. With no city guard proper to watch over Punjar, it has fallen to each of the various districts and wards of the city to create their own semblance of order.
These codes vary from ward to ward, neighborhood to neighborhood, and in some parts of Old Punjar, from block to block. Depending on the temperament of the reigning boss, these codes can vary from draconian and tyrannical, to labyrinthine and malleable, all in the span of a few blocks. Some bosses can be bought off with gold; others by service, but adventurers foolish enough to earn the enmity of the ward bosses are condemned to the Blackwell Citadel, a prison island located just off the mainland. There, the lucky ones are executed and their bodies left for the crows, but the unlucky ones are cursed to live unnaturally long lives, toiling in the dungeons that give the Blackwell its name.