Sunday, March 19, 2017

Scarabae: Codes of the City

The Code of the Safe Room: Innkeepers who take money have a code to not answer any question whether or not they have a certain person staying in their room. Many times, when confront by interested parties, an innkeeper will smile and say.

"Bring forth some law, and then I'll crack open my books."

Obviously in a city that lacks any formal law, this is considered a jab in the eye of the questioner as it is an impossible task. Picaro beware! While the code frowns upon an innkeeper taking bribe money to sell out their tenant, by the code, a innkeeper does not have to sacrifice their personal safety for such measures. Some innkeepers charge extra to extend protections further, but any professional knows money can only buy so much silence.

Another rule of thumb: Never give your real name to the register, that way if the local thugs grab it and look it over they probably will not glean anything.

The Code of the Tavern Regular: In a city that lacks formal laws or police force, one might feel that Scarabae has an open season for thugs who want to rob or rough up the local innkeeper, tavern keeper, or barmaid. Thug beware! It is by the rule and custom that tavern regulars and locals will rise up and defend their local watering hole. After all, this dive let's the patron in, drink, and chat with his friend. Woe has fallen any punks who have entered a strange neighborhood to stage a robbery, only to find several blades, guns, and wands pointed at their backs.

The Arakocra Duel: ... aka 'the Peck'. Arakocra have often divided themselves by what 'class' of avian they descend on. Arakocra who take on the features of powerful falcons or other raptors are known as 'High Arakocra' while those who share features of ravens or owls are known as 'Wise Arakocra' and those who descend from large species of vultures and less predatory birds are known as 'Low Arakocra'. Such division leads to questions of honor or station, and such questions are answered by duels that are either to wound or death in Arakocra culture. Typically if it is between Arakocra of equal station, it is to wound. If it is an Arakocra and another station, it is to death.

This duel is accomplished by what is known as the 'peck'. The contest is simple. Hands and legs can be used to grapple, but the true wound comes from the pecking blow delivered. A contest of wounding requires the loss of eye, major loss of beak, or one side yields. To the death is, well, quite obvious. Arakocra are known to display the scarring and gouging of their beaks. Quite a number of the bird-men also shown battle wounds of missing or damaged eyes.

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