This slender woman has elven features with skin the color of midnight blue and eyes as gray as unpolished steel. A black velvet hood often drapes over her head to cast deep shadows over her eyes. Long silver-white locks of hair spill out from under her hood. Alauniira wears layered, black leather armor with fur trim about it all. Sheathed at both of her hips are two short swords and hanging at her back is a hand crossbow that is typically covered by a short black fur cloak.
Alauniira sees other races beyond her own as potential slaves or deadly vermin that is to be exterminated. She sees herself as superior to all she meets, and only gives a grudging respect to those who prove their worth over time. The dark elf despises humans and most other humanoids, but saves her true venom for sun and moon elves. She sees every person and every opportunity as a means to increase her power and standing within her family.
Alauniira is cruel, arrogant and hedonistic. She trusts no one and nothing, and is incapable of compassion, kindness or love. At times she can be downright murderous and finds delight in the giving of pain. She is an alcoholic and drinks to deal with her overbearing, controlling mother, Pellanistra.
Homeland: Citadel District, Bedlam
Bedlam is chock full of barmies and a lot of ‘not quite barmy but we sure do act like we are’ berks. It’s also got a lot of Bleakers wandering around it acting despondent. The buildings aren’t quite built on the level, and most of the place just looks kooky. The price of earplugs here is heavily inflated, so you’d best pick them up elsewhere, you’ll need them if you’re going to Pandemonium. Bedlam’s the kind of place where a body can never tell what’s going to happen next, but can be pretty sure it’s going to be bad. The place is as barmy as Xaos, but in a much more malicious way - the barmies of Xaos may be unpredictable and confusing, but they’re as likely to mean well as they are to mean ill, while in Bedlam you can usually count on evil intentions.
Bedlam is built on a large hill called Maurash. The burg is roughly fan-shaped, with the base of the fan at the bottom of the hill, where the gate to Pandemonium is, and eight roads radiating upward. Things tend to get more and more unpleasant the closer a body gets to the base of the hill. The part of the burg right at the bottom is called the Gatemouth district, and is chaotic even by Bedlam’s standards. Mismatched buildings huddle next to and even merge into each other; narrow streets cross at odd angles and dead-end unexpectedly; walls and overhangs seem to jut out of surfaces for no reason at all. Most of Gatemouth’s residents are evil, and a good proportion of them have fiendish blood, or are even pure fiends. Not surprisingly, Gatemouth is the most densely populated part of the burg. In contrast, the Citadel district, at the top of the hill, is where most of the high-ups live, and is a much nicer area. The people in the Citadel are still barmy, but not as barmy; the architecture and the street design seem to make more sense; and there are more neutral inhabitants of the Citadel than evil, and even a fair number of good. The Citadel district is cut off from the rest of the town by a well-defended curtain wall, complete with watchtowers; the high-ups who live there don’t twig to the idea of random fiends wandering through their yards. Still, as long as a basher doesn’t seem too suspicious, he can usually get through the gates.
The most notable geographical feature near Bedlam is of course Maurash itself, the hill Bedlam was built on. Maurash shows some clear indications of being of volcanic origin, but if there is a volcano beneath Bedlam it seems to be extinct now - or at least it’s been dormant for a while. Some claim the entire hill is the remains of a long-forgotten god who tried to escape Pandemonium and got stuck halfway -but only the barmies really believe that.
It’s Midtown, the area between Gatemouth and the Citadel that best typifies the burg to most planewalkers, and that contains most of Bedlam’s inns and taverns. Midtown is between the other two districts in more ways than the geographical - it’s more disorderly and strangely designed than the Citadel, but less so than Gatemouth, and it’s got a good mix of inhabitants of all alignments - well, all non-lawful alignments, anyway - not that there aren’t any lawful bashers in Bedlam, but there sure ain’t many.
Most of the people in Bedlam - especially in the Gatemouth district - won’t need much excuse to plant a dagger in a sod’s back. They’re peery to the point of paranoia, and usually figure they have to get you before you get them. Bedlam is a hotbed of plotting and treachery; a body’s got to watch his step here if he doesn’t want to end up in the dead-book and worse.
It wouldn’t be quite so bad if the Bedlamites at least had a good reason for wanting a sod dead. But more often than not, they’re just barmy. The wind that howls from the gate to Pandemonium has the same effect in Bedlam as it does in its plane of origin, and no one in the burg is quite sane. Bedlamites jump at the slightest noise (other than the everpresent howl of the wind), and shuffle about arguing with voices that only they can hear. (Of course, the fact that no one else can hear them doesn’t mean the voices ain’t real - some of these voices are probably Hrava’s work.)
If this description makes it sound like Bedlam is a thoroughly unpleasant and dangerous place - well, then it’s done its job. But that’s not to say the burg is necessarily all bad. For one thing, it is a fairly big artistic center, even though most of the art that comes out of Bedlam is a mite discomfiting. And there’s the Sanatorium, where those who’ve been driven barmy by the winds of Pandemonium or of Bedlam itself can find rest and healing, for a price. But for the most part, unless a basher has specific business there, Bedlam’s a good town to stay away from.
Tharick Bleakshadow has been the Keeper of Bedlam for some twenty years now, against everyone’s expectation, including his own. They don’t come any barmier than Bleakshadow, and the berk’s always clamoring about his enemies who are trying to oust him. No such enemies have surfaced. A lot of bashers say Bleakshadow’s just getting senile. Those who have been around longer know better - he was just as barmy when he was younger. Rumors hold that he has dealings with things that are even more crazy than he is, but he’s yet to bring that out in the open.
Fact is, though, Bleakshadow’s rule is largely in name only. He’s a powerful enough spellslinger he can generally get people to do what he wants when he’s face to face with ’em, but governing a city is somewhat beyond him. In fact, no one really rules the burg - but some have more influence than others. One of the biggest high-ups in Bedlam, though he’s most a behind-the-scenes player, is a shadow demon named Hrava. Hrava enjoys playing with sods’ minds, and rather than ruling anything directly, he insinuates himself into bashers’ thoughts and dreams, pulling their strings without showing himself. His ultimate goals are still dark, but it’s a sure bet he’s up to no good.
More overt in their actions are three groups that act as self-appointed protectors of the townspeople. Up at the top of the hill, the resident “protectors” are the Windlancers, a bunch of well-meaning - and relatively stable - cutters, run by the bariaur Erigyl Verrith, who concentrate mostly on trying to keep the town’s madness to a minimum. The bottom of the hill is overseen - more or less - by a party of Outlander petitioners who’ve earned the name of the Misguided, led by a basher named Thoa; they’ve gotten a little better at what they do since they started “protecting” Bedlam, but still don’t manage to accomplish much. In the middle are the “Sarex”, tough bashers who ain’t nearly as well-meaning as the Windlancers and the Misguided. The Sarex are puppets of Hrava, pure and simple, and one of his biggest tools to work his will in the burg.
No one should be too surprised to find out that the Bleak Cabal is the most prominent faction in this barmy burg. After all, they’re barmy enough already that the winds can’t make them much worse. As for religion, you’ll find some Bedlamites worshipping just about any chaotic god. Anshar is particularly popular there, and there’s a large temple to Hruggek frequented by the burg’s sizable bugbear population. Bedlam’s citizens are predominantly CE and CN, though of course there are people of other alignments as well. Even those of other alignments tend to fall prey to the maddening power of the wind. Sane Bedlamites are few and far between.
Part of the reason Bedlam’s so large compared to other gate-towns - it’s the largest of them all, as far as population goes if not area - is that it’s also one of the oldest. Most other gate-towns have gone through several cycles of slipping into the connected plane and being replaced by a new burg while Bedlam’s stayed firmly in place on the Outlands. This seems especially odd, since of all the gate-towns Bedlam’s one of them that seems the most “attuned” to the plane its connected to, and that seems the closest to slipping. Everyone says Bedlam’s about to slide over to the Howling Land - but everyone’s been saying that for a long, long time. So why has the burg lasted so long? What’s held it back? Is the order and relative benignity of the Citadel district enough to keep Bedlam on the Outlands? Or is the reverse true, and is Gatemouth too evil for Bedlam to slide into a plane that’s supposed to be just chaotic with evil tendencies? Or - as a few believe - is the forgotten god who’s supposedly stuck between the planes and whose arm is the Black Tower blocking the burg’s route to Pandemonium, like a clog in a pipe?
One of Bedlam’s biggest imports is weapons. With their distrust and malice, almost every Bedlamite wants to keep at least a shiv or two on hand to nick their enemies when the time comes. Its other biggest import is alcohol, and other mind-altering substances. If Bedlamites can’t face reality on its own terms, the next best thing for many of them is to alter their minds so they can’t see it.
Surprisingly, Bedlam’s biggest export is works of fine art. Almost all of these works have something very disturbing about them, as if they were the products of deranged minds - which, coming from Bedlam, they almost certainly were. Sometimes the art’s aberration is obvious, mad swirls of paint forming chaotic patterns or weird statues of unearthly shapes, but other times the art looks almost right, but there’s something subtly unsettling about it. Despite their disquieting nature, though, somehow these demented artworks manage to find buyers - after all, not all the barmies are in Bedlam.
If a cutter needs to find something in Bedlam, he can generally figure out which district to look in depending on what he’s looking for. For an inn or tavern, Midtown’s the best bet - unless he’s looking for a tavern that caters specifically with fiends and the like, in which case he’d probably better go to Gatemouth. For an establishment catering more to the upper class, the Citadel’s the most likely place. And, of course, for the seedy, the disreputable, and the downright evil - Gatemouth’s the place to go.
Most bashers assume the Bonechill Wind, a Midtown tavern, got its name from the animated skeletons that serve as its staff. That’s a natural assumption, but it’s wrong - actually, the tavern already had its name when its current proprietor, a big blood named Dessenak, took over and decided to give it staff to match its name. Dessenak’s a rarity, a reave who decided to study magic instead of just straightforward physical combat. Make no mistake, though - he’s still a tough basher in a fight, as more than one unruly patron has learned the hard way.
The Dark Draft
The walls of the Dark Draft are honeycombed with holes and passages that let the wind that howls through Bedlam pass through the tavern as well. On one hand, this does mean that the Dark Draft is a relatively safe place to talk without being overheard over the droning of the wind - but on the other hand, of course, it’s not secure from the wind’s maddening influence. Then again, most Bedlamites have already been long ago driven barmy anyway. The proprietor of the Dark Draft, named Toufri, claims to be an air genasi, but there are some who suspect he’s got some fiendish blood too - there’s even some chant he’s really a vacuum genasi, if such a thing exists.
The Eye and Dagger
Near the gate to Pandemonium, the Eye and Dagger is a popular hangout among the folks of Gatemouth - who, of course, tend to be the most unpleasant inhabitants of an already unpleasant burg. Owned by a slick-haired tiefling named Grist, The Eye and Dagger is frequented by fiends and tieflings and cross-traders of all sorts; the service ain’t too good, but Grist doesn’t ask questions. ’Least, not if you pay him enough.
The most popular inn in Midtown, Weylund’s Inn is also the main hangout for the burg’s artists. The dwarven proprietor, Pockmarked Weylund, considers himself a devoted patron of the arts, which in practice usually ends up meaning that he tends to charge artists (or, as he calls them, “artistes”) at less than he charges others, and is more forgiving of them if they default on their bills. Even for non-“artistes”, though, Weylund’s Inn has a few advantages over most other inns in Bedlam. For one thing, it’s cleaner than the average Bedlamite inn, and for another, unlike many of Bedlam’s inns that are filled with shouting and noise at all hours, Weylund’s Inn is usually relatively quiet.
Home of Keeper Tharick Bleakshadow, the Keep is a big blocky structure near the center of the burg. The Keep lives up to its name; this big square building looks built to withstand a siege. Why the Keep is in Midtown instead of the Citadel with the rest of the high-ups’ cases, no one’s sure, but for once it’s not Bleakshadow’s doing; the Keepers of Bedlam have occupied the same Keep for long before Bleakshadow arrived on the scene.
The bauriar, Althax Darkfleece is about the only Bedlam resident who actually takes an active hand in trying to cure those who have been driven barmy by the winds - or by other factors. She runs an establishment in the Citadel district called the Sanatorium, where she ministers to the insane, as well as providing a safe place to rest for any good-aligned bashers who need some time to recuperate. The Sanatorium also includes a spa and a hospital where Darkfleece sells cures for mental imbalances.
The gate to Pandemonium is in a structure called the Black Tower, at the base of the hill right where the burg’s eight main roads intersect. The Tower gets its name for a reason - it is indeed a tall tower of pure obsidian, as tall as Maurash itself. The top of the tower looks like an oversized humanoid hand; even many of those who don’t believe the chant about the whole hill being the body of a forgotten god think the Black Tower is the arm of one. At any rate, six stone and iron archways called blastgates are spaced unevenly around the gate, and from all six perpetually howl the winds of Pandemonium. It’s past those archways deep inside the base of the tower where the gate lies to the Howling Land.
- Alauniira comes from a family of drow out of Bedlam that has lived there for several generations.