The Eight Crimes of The Iconodules
“After Vale, Dramanaks was the most vital district to the operation of The City. Its linchpin status as the crossroads through which the Docks are connected to the rest of The City with the abandonment of the Ven, Locatta and Ice gates has made Dramanaks the primary conduit through which goods can flow between Periad and the western districts without permitting mercantile traffic to travel north through Rast and Brise, ensuring their relative isolation. For this reason, the majority of your introductory logistics focused on Dramanaks and its economic effects on other districts. Everything from the Quarantine, to the existence of smuggling as a force of the black market, to the relative scarcity and price of fish in the northern districts all stems from Dramanaks and its function.”
“We believe that is the reason the district was targeted.”
“As a Researcher it will be important to take stock not only of the economic effects of The City’s policies and neutral factors, but also how such things can be altered by hostile actions from within the districts themselves. It is dangerous to build efficiency and speed at the cost of safety, a lesson that Brise learned in managing Dramanaks.”
-Ergis D’vit, Lecturing on Advanced Economics
“Flensing Rot. Not my preferred name, but nobody speaks Elven properly, so the more poetic name I would have preferred will be resigned to live merely in my notes. Transmission by contact, fluid exchange, water supply. Initial symptoms are nausea, fever, some amount of dryness. Somewhat insidiously after the fever breaks, the disease may have been shrugged off, or perhaps it will move on to the second stage. Affects fat, primarily, but goes after tendons in the long run. Humans are terribly susceptible. Elves, of course, would probably be immune. The name those outside gave it comes from the skin’s tendency to fall into long strips. Well, after the infected bleeds to death. One of three separate diseases we’ve identified, along with the Yellow Squirt and The Pallor. Again I’ll reiterate my desire to switch to my slightly less disgusting Elven naming structure.”
Gail Spencer, Asklepian Researcher (and, it should be noted, not an elf)
“What do you want from me, Dreamer? Information? I have some. Answers? I have few, and your Hunters haven’t done much to help with that. I ask for interrogations and they bring me corpses. I ask for samples for my Researcher and they bring me ash. I ask for the mere opportunity to debrief your masked coterie and they refute me with claims that they are too deeply ingrained in their work to be contacted. The Council is too busy managing the people. I need resources that aren’t limited by your agenda if you expect me to be effective. You’ll tell me who these cults are. You’ll tell me who your people are hunting. You will give me the information I need to do my job if you expect my job to be done to your liking.”
Eman Shavrem, First Watch of Dramanaks
There was a point in The City’s history where Dramanaks was a primary trading hub for most of the districts. Rast, despite its similar position in the north, does not have the open space nor access to The Docks that Dramanaks has. This meant that for a while, Dramanaks was flush with gold from Brise, goods from Periad, skilled laborers migrating from Avadeen and enough dietary variety from The Docks to make it a very pleasant place to live.
Then came the troubles.
It started with a disease. A manageable one which seemed to come from inside the district. The Yellow Squirt should have ended with the quarantine of the river, the diverting of the underground channels from Avadeen, a switch to upstream ground water and the building of a purification facility by a fresh-faced group of Researchers. Unfortunately, it didn’t end. Those Researchers never left, and were instead reassigned to the district on a permanent basis. “Fix this.” They were told, and they did their best. The Council, Dramanaks’ strangely republican ruling body, once comprised of merchants and townsfolk of all stripes, became nervous and insular under the anger of their constituents. Their policies shifted towards supporting the district’s research in hope of finding a speedy resolution to the issues it faced. The researchers’ small building spread into an entire compound, then a multi-story hospital that became a Monument in its own right, fueled by the resources of the wealthy district.
That was five years ago. Dramanaks has only compounded in its troubles since then.The Council has become insular and paranoid in reflection of their constituents, shoring up the clean areas of the district and leaving those in the vast markets that have turned into tent-cities to fend for themselves. So split into the Clean and Unclean, the rhetoric of Dramanaks has taken on a cruel, demonizing tone when dealing with those from outside the clean areas in the south. In a victory for oppressed peoples across the district, the Dramanaks Watchmen and their leader, Eman Shavrem, have abandoned the Council’s orders to only patrol clean portions of the district and, in an arguably treasonous maneuver, thrown their lot in with the Researchers of the Asklepian Hospital.
In the mid-district the suffering people are turning on each other and turning to smuggling goods out of the district for the high prices they’ll fetch elsewhere, increasing the risk that the plagues of Dramanaks spread. Crime is rampant, and the number of criminals is compounded by Dramanaks’ stringent regulations concerning the disposal of waste and bodies, requiring regular incineration, as the previous option of transporting waste to the purification plant in the southwest of the district has been obviated by its complete loss to hostile ooze.
Commerce in Dramanaks churns on, however. Trade between Dramanaks and other districts still comes sporadically, and is hotly contested for by those with goods to transport out of the district. Food still rolls in from The Docks, despite the dockside no longer being recognized as an official district. Con-men and legitimate healers carry out brisk business in tinctures that will alleviate suffering. Thievery exists, of course, and doesn’t consign itself just to food and essentials, but also to the reserves of wealth that were once stored in the district, sometimes in armed estates that are sheltering themselves from the chaos outside.
Worst of all, rumors in the north of the district imply there is a place wholly immune to the ravages of disease. There, it is said, ethereal figures that locals have taken to calling Sirens walk the streets at night, luring the desperate from their homes with promises of safety.
Needless to say, the Watchmen of Dramanaks are overworked.