Standard warnings re:Slaanesh apply. If the critical tables blowing people’s limbs off seem okay to you but recognizing that prostitution exists is a bridge too far, you will want to give this post a miss.
The official name is East Row, but nobody calls it that. Red Row is a raucous and gaudy neighborhood at night, crammed with shops, inns, pubs, and casinos, almost all of which double as brothels. By day, the poor workers in the slums just off the Row come in to clean up the debris of last night’s revelry and spruce things up to do it all again at sunset. When drugs need to get from the healthy smuggling trade in East Vale and Fireside Downs to the less than moral nobles of Winter Estates, they go through Red Row. Oldtown sits on the west of Red Row, and across a bridge to the east lies East Vale. Just barely connected to the Row in the southwest is Winter Harbour, and many of the customers of the Row are itinerants from the docks.
Red Row Smuggling Den
Discovery TN: -10
Lead: People are wandering out of the Devout Sister pub and brothel in a clearly dazed state. Even a brief conversation with them makes it clear that they’re high as a kite.
Investigation: The smuggler’s den just operates out of one of the girls’ rooms, and the smuggler is one of the whores. She hides her wares in a cupboard in the room with a false bottom. If the characters methodically search the entire brothel, then unless they’re somehow doing it in stealth mode she’ll catch wind and flee the premises with her wares. If the characters have a perimeter, they (or their NPC allies, if that’s who’s maintaining the perimeter) can roll Awareness opposed to her Stealth to try and catch her as she escapes. An Ordinary(+10) Inquiry check will reveal that hers is the room where the goods are sold, unless the characters appear to be law enforcement, in which case the test is Hard(-20). Finding the hidden stash while searching her room is a Challenging(+0) Awareness test. If the characters snoop around for a while and are either unsuccessful or decide not to immediately act on their information, they’ll be confronted by a pair of standard thugs. These thugs will tell the characters to leave the premises (even if they’re law enforcement), and get violent if the characters refuse. If defeated but not killed, the thugs will reveal after an Ordinary(+10) Interrogation check the identity of the smuggler.
Confrontation: The smuggler will try to talk her way out of things by claiming that she’s not the smuggler, the whore who used the room previously is, and she had no idea that false bottom was there. After a Difficult(-10) Interrogation check, she’ll reveal the truth. If the characters don’t attempt to be subtle at all while leaving the brothel with her captive, the thugs will attack them on their way out. The smuggler will use the opportunity to attempt to escape, but will not help the thugs fight unless the characters are outnumbered (i.e. there are two or fewer of them and they do not drop a thug in the first round). If the smuggler leaves uncoerced (for example, if she’s recruited) or if the characters specifically try to make it look like she’s uncoerced by threatening her to act casual while they leave, the thugs will not attack.
Defeating the smuggler is worth one point of Influence, and recruiting her is worth 1d5. Her stash contains fifty doses of obscura and ten doses of spook. She knows the location of the Fireside Downs smugglers den. If the characters get this information from her, they can go directly to the den without bothering with an Inquiry roll to acquire a lead or any investigation, as she’s told them exactly who the smuggler is and where he operates. The smuggler will reveal this information after an Ordinary(+10) Interrogation check if she’s taken alive.
Red Row Witch
Discovery TN: +10, unless one or more acolytes appears to be law enforcement, in which case -10
Lead: Rumor has it that there’s a place you can gather between the Devout Sister Pub and the Companion Hotel (“hotel”) where you can get high without even taking anything. The air itself just gets you buzzed. Since obscura (among other drugs) can be released into the air and inhaled, and since a lot of the people on Red Row pregame anyway, it’s possible that this is an actual hallucinogen of some kind, but it could also be Warp-related.
Investigation: Searching the Devout Sister won’t help, there’s nothing there, but go ahead and let the players roll anyway if they want to try. See the Red Row Smuggler’s Den encounter for what they might find. At the Companion Hotel, however, a Difficult(-10) Awareness check will reveal a trap door hidden beneath a bed in one of the ground floor guest rooms which leads to the witch coven. A Hard(-20) Inquiry check on the people gathered there will turn up one who can point the characters towards the witch coven in the Companion Hotel. A Challenging(+0) Psyniscience test will guide the characters towards the source of the Warp disturbances, at which point they will be led to the room above the coven and it is only a Routine(+20) Awareness test to search the room for a hidden trapdoor when you know that the Warp activity is down from there.
An Ordinary(+10) Forbidden Lore(Psykers) or Forbidden Lore(the Warp) check will allow a character to identify patterns in the phenomenon, which can be either observed over the course of several days staking out the area or gleaned from the people nearby as a Challenging(+0) Inquiry check. Once this information is nailed down, the characters can make a Challenging(+0) Logic test to sort-of triangulate the position of the coven, all of which works like the Psyniscience test above, leading the acolytes to the room and making the Awareness test to find the trapdoor Routine(+20).
Confrontation: The hidden room has earth walls and minimal decoration or furniture except for the shrine to the faceless witch in the center. If it’s night time when the characters arrive they’ll stumble across a ritual in progress. If it’s daylight, they’ll have to stake the area out. When the coven room is in use, the avatar of the faceless witch (stats of a telepathy spook witch) will appear and observe while a pyromancy spook witch leads three obscura addicts in a ritual. The cultists will verbally confront the characters, attempting to scare them away or, if they look lawless and pass a subtlety test, recruit them at first. If the characters fail the subtlety test, are blatantly law enforcement, or if they appear reluctant or suspicious, the avatar of the faceless witch will attack and her minions will follow suit.
Defeating the avatar of the faceless witch completes the mission and is worth 1d5 Influence if the characters take credit with the authorities. The obscura addicts don’t know anything except that awesome spooky shit goes down here and the faceless witch is somehow responsible. The spook witch who leads the procession, however, will say that the faceless witch is everywhere no matter how badly an interrogation roll is botched. On a Hard(-20) Interrogation check, the spook witch will reveal that she was inducted into the faceless cult by masked cultists in Fireside Downs, and that she was recruited from amongst the spook/obscura addicts. She will point the characters both to the secret Fireside Downs witch coven and the East Vale smuggler den, eliminating the need for finding or investigating a lead in both.
Red Row Default Encounter
Roll a subtlety test for the party. If they appear to be Imperium aligned (that is, if they’re acolytes and they failed or if they’re heretics and they succeeded), the characters are attacked by four thugs. If defeated, the thugs are a Challenging(+0) interrogation and will point the characters to a random smugglers den outside Oldtown. If they point the characters to a cleared smugglers den, then they’re no longer attached to any organized crime and just hate the characters for putting them out of a job.
If the characters pass their subtlety check, the thugs will instead offer them an obscura hit. Buying the obscura requires a Scarce(-10) Influence check. A group of whores will also offer themselves to the characters (male or female). Each one requires an Average(+0) Influence check to purchase. One character can roll multiple checks and buy up whores at Average until their luck runs out.