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City of Shiran $26.46 $24.99
Publisher: Columbia Games Inc.
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 11/02/2013 13:03:31

This excellent resource provides an overview - and plenty of detail - about Hârn's smallest city, which is renowened as the pleasure capital of Hârn: somewhere characters are likely to relish visiting, as well as finding plenty adventure and entertainment to be had.

History, economics and politics are described, painting a picture of a functioning, thriving yet corrupt city, where simple transactions can be overshadowed by a complex web of client-patron relationships that can be baffling to outsiders... yet flout them at your peril! Nepotism and patronage are rife, even the law courts do not escape... and virtually every crime can be settled by paying a fine.

There is a map of the city, situated on a bend in the river Thard, with descriptions of the various districts and notable locations to be found there. Each district has a more detailed map of its own, with notes about the businesses and other places of interest within that district - perfect for planning your visit and accommodating those players who want to know all about where they can find the goods and services that they are after. There's loads of those little details that make a place really come to life within your alternate reality - memorable locals each with their own stories, abitions and plans who provide a real sense that life here continues even after the adventurers have passed on elsewhere. Who can forget the lazy scribe whose scrolls are of low quality because she cannot be bothered to prepare them thoroughly, or the tutor who is so popular that mothers offer to sleep with him so that their children can get a place in his schoolroom?

An establishment called the Crimson Palace is described in detail: this may be a comment on the average adventurer given that it's an upmarket brothel! Still, should your characters fancy a night of negotiable affection, all the details you'll need are here, from the layout of the premises to notes on the courtesans that will wait on them hand and foot. Even for those not wishing the more, ah, intimate pleasures, there is much enjoyment to be had, the kitchen and cellar are first rate.

For those with other ideas in mind, the next section gives an equally-detailed account of the Pamesani Arena. Gladiators and animals perform here, and there is plenty of detail about the 'backstage' areas should the characters have occasion to visit as well as of the arena itself - which is big enough, it is said, to accommodate all the citizens of Shiran should they wish to attend a show. As well as fights, theatrical performances are held here, and it can be rented for private duels. The facility is owned and managed by the Order of the Octagonal Pit, whose temple is housed here.

For those of a religious bent, the Temple of Halea is covered next. This goddess, the Queen of Pleasures and Self-Fulfillment, is popular with merchants and nobles, and beautiful women, and has quite a following here in the Pleasure Capital of Hârn! Worship includes singing, feasting and mass orgies: unsurprisingly attendance at the main service once a month is good.

Just reading through suggests several adventures, especially if - like me - you happen to like city-based adventures. It would also provide a good place for adventurers to relax and enjoy themselves, especially if they have some money to spend!

[5 of 5 Stars!]
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City of Shiran
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