|For there is no honour amongst 'Fibs.|
“It’s a hardscrabble existence down here in Swamp City... hell; it’s hard on us ‘Fibs that have to live here, what you think we’ll do to you? Huh? A tourist? It doesn’t work like that, you either play, or get played. Man, your ass is just so much swamp fodder, take my word for it, human... either gamble, get laid, or get lost. If you don’t? You’d better just stay the hell away.”
If you want to get high, or send someone low, then this is the place for you. It rose out of the stinking morass of mud, and rot, like a bloated corpse a little over ten years ago. There was a need for it you see. Gambling, drinking, fornication, everything deemed fun is against the law in nearby Silverton. So, a young and enterprising ‘Fib, who called himself the Toad, got a few derelict boats, lashed them together, and started selling jugs of Moon Juice and dealing a few hands of cards on the side. Word of mouth did the rest. A few choice kick-backs to the pious of Silverton guaranteed a blind eye to all his endeavours, just as long as he kept the action south of the Pads, and squarely in the bayou.
Now, ten full years later, Swamp City boasts three Casinos, over twenty drinking establishments, taverns, hostelries, night markets, bazaars, and more than a bushel of bordellos. Toad has built himself a mansion at the heart of his creation, and called it Toad Hall. He is the Kingpin of Swamp City, and nothing happens here without his command. He controls Swamp City with an iron fist and a gang of hardnosed amphibians called the ‘Fibs. He keeps them around to do the heavy lifting and the policing of his establishments. For his more, shall we say, specialist work, he’s employed One-Eyed Bill, the belligerent battle badger who is his bodyguard, and chief debt collector.
|Badger, out cracking heads and collecting debts|
Where badger might fail in his heavy handed negotiations, Toad lets Ratty take over, and if you see him coming, then you know it’s too late. He’ll take the money, and your life, then feed your corpse to the Alligators. He favours a slick, razor-sharp stiletto for his wet work. Silent and deadly is old Ratty, and he’s no slouch when it comes to picking locks either.
Then there is the one they call, Mole. A practitioner of the Dark Arts, he acts as council to Mr Toad. Wise, often silent, he gives his keen insight into the day-to-day running of Toads Empire. He keeps a string of dried human ears around his neck and dines on the flesh of the dead. Warped, twisted, and dangerous. A powerful sorcerer who cavorts and converses with demons, not many people have ever tangled with the Mole and lived to tell the tale. He uses human skin for his spell books, more supple, and holds the ink better he says.
|Toad, holding forth in the morning.|
Oddities and Rarities
The Flesh Farms.
On the outskirts of Swamp City, and hidden deep within the greenery of the Pads, lies the Mole’s Flesh Farms. It’s here that he grows flesh, limbs, and organs in arcane vats of bubbling bile. He caters to Necromancers, local hostelries, and anyone who is in the market for black market bodies. If you plan on dining in Swamp City, it’s best not to ask where the chef gets his meat from.
|Toad, holding forth in the evening.|
The Floating Palace
Run by one of the Toad’s henchmen, known simply as the Caterpillar, the Palace is the largest consumer of Lotus, Dream-Weed, and M’Eth in all the seven Kingdoms. Room upon room of bedraggled smokers, spikers, plungers and sniffers, all nodding off or racing around as manic as rabid monkeys. Those that chase their dreams a little too closely, the ones that slip over the edge, are merely thrown overboard to let the wildlife dispose of the remains.
The Poppy Fields
Why buy, when you can grow your own supply? That’s what Toad came up with one sunny morning as he was messing around in a boat. So that’s what he’s done. Toad has cleared entire acres of bayou in order to grow his own steady supply of narcotics that he sells to the punters. Heavily guarded by ‘Fibs, both night and day, this is the most profitable piece of real estate around.
Enemies of the Toad
They are legend. Ranging from Kings to commoners, and the entire spectrum in-between, Toad is one hated individual. Why? Because he is rich, arrogant, duplicitous, dangerous, and a murderer. No longer satisfied with what he has grown in the Swamps, he wants to extend his reach beyond the bayou, into the Wild Wood, and that, will start a war between two of the most dangerous gangs the region has ever known: The Weasels and the ‘Fibs.
Led by Sly, a vicious, dipsomaniac killer who has a burning desire to take Swamp City for his own. He will stop at nothing to do so, and has even gone so far as to enlist the aid of Albert, the Burgermeester of Silverton. He too has grown weary of the Toads amphibious influence. The Weasels run the Wild Wood and have a similar, yet less lucrative set-up to Swamp City. War between the two gangs is inevitable.Who will be the victor? No one can say for sure, but if it came to it? My money would be on Toad and his motley crew of 'Fibs and his diabolical henchmen.