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Midgard Monday: Kobold Ghettos

Midgard Monday: Kobold Ghettos

It’s Midgard Monday! Each week, we visit a corner of the wide world of Midgard. Look for standalone content you can drop into your campaign—whether it’s in Midgard or your own homebrew. Find new inspiration each Midgard Monday!

The cloistered alleyways of Zobeck’s Kobold Ghetto are known for their narrow byways, cunning traps, and bloody fighting pits, of which the Fierce Lynx is the largest and most infamous (See Zobeck Gazetteer).

Here are a few less well known businesses and personages you might find in the winding alleys and tunnels of the Ghetto.

Pesk’Amack the Bookie

Pesk is a hugely fat, middle-aged kobold, and the biggest bookie in the Ghetto. He and his swolbold (see Creature Codex) enforcers run the largest gambling syndicate and numbers racket in Zobeck, as the kobold populace love gambling and carousing almost as much as they love working and crafting.

Pesk handles all the betting at the Fierce Lynx. He also has adolescent kobolds “running numbers” for him across Zobeck. It is said that if gambling goes down the Ghetto, Pesk gets his cut. The notable exception is the Red Ruby Casino (see below), which he covets. He is currently planning a violent takeover of the casino. Players can take sides for or against Pesk in this effort—or chart their own perilous third path.

Xat’ruck the Trapster

Xat’ruck is a well-known artificer in the Ghetto, notable for his cunning traps and locks, even among kobolds. His shop sells almost any sort of mechanical lock or trap imaginable (at nearly unimaginable markups). Xat’ruck sells sturdy treasure chests with poison needle traps built into elaborate puzzle locks, mechanical snares that can be thrown in the path of pursuers to immobilize or slow them, even clockwork gargoyles that guard doorways and snatch unwanted visitors and restrain them until the owner releases them. Xat’ruck gladly takes customized orders, and just as gladly charges exorbitant prices for them.

Temterusk’s House of Tools

This mining supply shop is respected in the Ghetto for quality new and used mining tools and other dry goods. Many of these tools are imported almost daily from Lillefor. Kobold miners hang around the front of the shop and discuss the Ghetto’s latest news, making it an excellent place to pick up on rumors. It’s also a great place to purchase high-quality dungoneering equipment at reasonable prices, such as hooded lanterns, pitons, and iron mallets.

The Red Ruby Casino

The largest, oldest, and most popular gambling destination in the Ghetto, the Ruby is also the only gambling den not controlled by Pesk’Amack (see above).

The current owner is believed to be Atterrik’e’Eckma, an ancient (by kobold standards) blue-scaled kobold sorceress. The casino was reportedly built by her great-grandmother, a powerful kobold sorceress known as the Sibyl, who disappeared almost a century ago under mysterious circumstances.

Lady e’Eckma, like her mothers before her, is in line to become a Kobold Queen in the ghetto, a position she awaits with enthusiasm. She knows about Pesk’Amack’s plans to take her casino away from her, and is looking to hire more muscle to protect her interests. Player characters who are small in stature (or willing to bend down all day and night), might just fit the bill.

Gaz’ratik’s Woodworking Shop

In a city of metalworkers and clockwork magic, Gaz is a curious exception: a kobold that specializes in woodcarving and woodworking. This affable, elderly, but spry kobold imports rare woods from the Margreve and beyond. He creates wonders and curiosities with seemingly nothing but his gnarled hands and carving knives.

Gaz is most famous for his wooden puzzle boxes, self-propelled wooden boats and animals, and elaborate sculptures of mythical creatures and famous heroes. As fast as he and his apprentices (kobold, human, and dwarf) can make them, they seem to fly out of his shop to the homes of collectors in Zobeck, Perunalia, Dornig, and beyond.

The Stone Oracle

While not technically a business, the so-called Stone Oracle has become a recent feature of the Ghetto.  This black-scaled ancient kobold wears blue braided robes and always has a long staff across his knees. The staff is capped with a large amethyst gemstone.

The Oracle appears at random times and seemingly random places in the Ghetto: small, dead-end side passages and hollow alcoves off the main tunnels. He never speaks, unless a small offering is placed in the obsidian bowl at his feet. The offering does not have to be especially valuable, but if it is of a sentimental value to the donor, it counts as two or three offerings.

The Oracle accepts up to three offerings at a time, and provide a prophecy for each offering. The first prophecy is always completely accurate. The second of two or third of three prophecies is always false, at least in part. After the Oracle pronounces the prophecies in a deep, sonorous, gravelly voice, he vanishes in a puff of sulfurous smoke and fumes, only to reappear in a new location in the Ghetto one to four weeks later (GM Note: The Oracle is actually a nichny (see Tome of Beasts 1) in disguise. Why the nichny is handing out prophecies in the Ghetto is left up to the GM].

Get into Midgard with the Midgard Worldbook! This acclaimed campaign setting is rich and deep, with a decade of support from Kobold Press.
Does a new setting feel like a big lift? Check out our intro article, Unpacking the Midgard Worldbook!

about Adam W. Roy

Adam has been playing TTRPGs for almost forty years, and has been a freelance game writer and editor for decades. He has written for Kobold Press, Paizo, White Wolf, and others. He is also a full-time father, husband, and e-commerce guru…. He manages all of this by avoiding sleep altogether.

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