Way of the Wicked
Ten Places of Interest in Ghastenhall
1. Castle Ghasten (Old Ghastenhall)
Properly the Castle Ghasten is Ghastenhall. The city that shares its name developed around the castle which was built to command control of the great Godscar river. These days to avoid confusion the castle is called the Castle Ghasten. This is the the palace of the duke and his family. It is also the seat of government in this region and where all official business is conducted.
Once a week from the noon bell till sunset the Duke holds an open court. Any who wish can come and speak to the Duke. Usually this consists of an endless parade of peasants venting some petty land complaint or minor nobility trying to bend the duke’s ear in hopes of receiving money. The current duke weathers it all with good humor and even sporadically decides to help some local in need of actual assistance.
2. Grand Cathedral of Mitra the Fire Undying
One of largest churches of Mitra in Talingarde, this is not just a center of worship. This is an institution and center of business. The Cathy is where the Cardinal of Ghastenhall conducts his court. The Cardinal is the second most important person in Ghastenhall (below the duke). The Church owns massive holdings both in and outside the city and it is in this court that the business of all those holdings is conducted.
3. The Old Barcan Cemetery
This is the oldest cemetery in Ghastenhall. It has a reputation for being haunted and this reputation is not undeserved.
4. The Crowley Estate
This is one of the very few uninhabited estates in the Lord’s Quarter. Using his considerable wealth, Cardinal Thorn has had Brother Barnabus Thrane acquire it for
use as a safe house. It is this estate that will serve as the Ninth’s base of operation while they are in Ghastenhall.
5. The Golden Palace
Located at the intersection of Crabtrap Row and Longshot Lane in the Red Quarter, the Golden Palace is Ghastenhall’s most infamous center of vice and violence. Owned by the enigmatic Mister Martigan Vex, it is hard to catalog just how many vices are catered to. Part brothel, part speak-easy, part opium den, part casino and part pit-fighting arena, there is little not for sale here.
6. The Grand Market
Once a season (save for winter), Ghastenhall hosts a great three day market located in the heart of Whitequarter. For those three days, the city goes wild with commerce. One of these markets happens the month the Ninth spends in Ghastenhall.
7. The Library of Ghaster
The Library Ghaster is actually a wonder of Talingarde. This open library charges only a pittance (5 sp a day) for access to its stacks. Inside is the single greatest collection of books, tomes ands scrolls in all of Talingarde. This is the preferred haunt of Barnabus Thrane, who is a member of the library’s staff. It is also a fine place to do research. Spending a day here grants a +4 circumstance bonus to an Knowledge skill check.
There is however one great hole in the Library’s collections. The library has no books at all about Asmodeus, his worship or evil outsiders. That lore is forbidden by Church edict.
8. Victory Circle
This large open plaza has at its center a gigantic marble statue of King Marcadian I called the Victorious – the Victor himself. The Victor stands triumphant on a crest of white skyros holding aloft a sword in his right hand and the banner of Mitra in his left. The statue is surrounded by fountains and on clear days great throngs of city dwellers gather here to chat and stroll.
Victory Circle is also famous for something else – its mad men. Lines of prophets, crazies, cranks and crackpots gather here to regale the passing populace on a host of subjects. Most of them are simple homeless nuts ranting about the end of the world. But every once in a while a true oracle appears and speaks here. The Church of Mitra only barely tolerates this gathering of blasphemers.
9. Barrington-in-the-Round Theater
Ghastenhall’s nicest and newest theater. This theater has raised controversy by allowing women to join the cast. This is also the theater that made the reputation of famed thespian William Marcus Marlowe, the beloved bard of Barrington. In fact, he is performing here! Now! Not the “Fall of Amberlyn” I’m afraid. That is so last season. This season he will be starring as the lead in “Five Against Fortune”. This play is a rousing tale of five heroes who manage to outwit a vicious, ludicrously angry Asmodean king, woo his daughter and beat his pet devil. Its a big boisterous performance with Marlowe cast as that rapscallion with a heart of gold – Brandon of Braskerly. It features sword fights, singing, romance and a funny bit with a dog.
This old manor house sits on a rise overlooking Wrongside just past Snakerly Trail. No one lives in this house and by reputation this house is haunted.