The district of Toiltown is about as bad as it gets in the Blight; a seething murderous mass of slog, sweat and continuation that offers many a place to hide, and those with imaginations to dream and want. The East Ending is one parish of Toiltown, and like Pigbrine, the Bilges, BoatTown and Heaven’s Heights to name but a few of its filthy parts, a seemingly endless maze of slums and people and trouble.
Here’s part of the East Ending description in the Toiltown chapter of the Blight, together with just a taste of one of her gangs in the Gang Statistic Block format used in the Gazetteer. This is for the Pathfinder version of the game.
TT11 East Ending
The city chokes upon itself before finally reaching the river; this vast place of impossible variety and temporariness. It is a city within a city made of leftovers and spit and hope; a place that might fall at any moment and yet is alive, giving the impression of a human nest or anthill. Places rise amongst this rot; a vast prison, a huge levee, a handful of towers and other places, yet it all seems to have a feeling of instability. Perhaps it is the timber, which clothes the whole place in the risk of immolation, or perhaps it is the smog, the burning peat and coal of the chimneys. Whatever it is, you have the feeling man should not be here; is unwelcome, from the furthest northern fishing towns through sweatshops and vast tanning pits and jumbles in the centre.
Finally, in the very far south of the shanty-city, the buildings stop, as though unprepared to dip their toes into the fetid marsh and more beyond. And while a few farmsteads and brave thorps do slip into the fens, they are noteworthy; bare, or perhaps foolish places built to fail.
Fractious, violent and selfish, the East Ending is the miserable bloated mass of Toiltown, and home to almost a third of its population. It is the toughest, most crowded, dirtiest part of the city. Like the Wash, its properties are owned and administered by numerous vile landlords who charge the earth, and hold all the cards of law. The sick cycle goes on for generation upon generation—extortion, bullying, blackmail—and is given tacit approval by the owners and their gangs. Occasionally locals form lynch mobs or turn to gangs for help, and the mixture is shaken a little before being returned to normal.
Yet below this violence is a brotherhood; a shared suffering that occasionally brings out the best in people; often from the most unexpected quarters. Do not mistake the East Ender for a brotherly tender man of peace, however, there is simply a common bond of misery and wanting here.
Across the gin houses, beer halls, petty markets and low traders, a fractious group of gangs and organisations rule the town, under the fearing gaze of the aristocracy, who keep a small contingent group of prisons and gaols here. These fifty or so petty lock-ups and jails are tough places, run by tougher folk.
Most famous of all groups, the Thieves Guild (a.k.a. the Guild) has its operational soul here, although in truth the whole organisation is so unwieldy that at any time a dozen men and women claim to be the Master Thief above all others. The three most important aspects of the Guild are listed below, each opposes and yet somehow also works with the other, an uneasy alliance that is shed like snakeskin.
The first of these thugs, the incredibly beautiful Constance Grubb (NE female rogue 7/assassin 4) is icily ambitious, and sees herself as the de-facto head of the Guild right now. Unfortunately for her, her nearest rival, the frighteningly violent Cherpy Jack Hornum (NE male halfling bard street performer 6/rogue poisoner 4) has other ideas. His smile may rarely fade (but if it does, watch out), but his silver tongue makes and breaks and remakes alliances as easily as Grubb’s threats. One thing that will never change while Hornum is in charge is a total opposition to the Family of Festival, who are actively hunted and slaughtered by his Boys (who often include girls). Finally, the cultured Gentleman Gabe Bindweed (N male human rogue rake 11), likes the finer things in life. He and his dandy mob the Twisted Wheel like culture and scams more than dirtying their nails and skin on fist fights. They despise the narrow-mindedness of other gangs, and see the wealthy as a free meal-ticket who should be kept. They are thus loathed by anarchists and disliked by the revolutionaries.
Sample East Ending Gang
The Blinders (Thieves Guild) (level 11)
Leader Constance Grubb (NE female human commoner rogue 7/assassin 4)
Motivations Greed, some fatuous social tokenism
Friends In theory the East End Boys and the Cutters, but these can also be enemies at any given time
Enemies The wealthy, some friends
Tactics The Blinders live up to their names, blinding those who oppose them to leave a permanent fearful reminder. Such blindings are in truth relatively rare, but always take place in public
Morale Tough and wealthy, the Guild ties across the city are strong, and while leaders come and go the Blinders have been on the streets for a long, long time.
Seething below the surface are countless other groups; from Illuminati spies to Great Coven witches. The sweaty streets of Toiltown are a circus of deviance, a carnival of variety and a dance of sin. Winding between the toil—and the glimpses of Between here—are the anarchists and rebels. These groups are incredibly fractious and temporary; groups come and go, are wiped out and reborn. A sample of the larger and more permanent of these groups are given below, but at any given time there will be at least a score of lesser, or more fanatical groups...