In a side chamber just off of the Great Hall, there is a place which many in the underworld see as the unofficial capital of Hell's Market. It is called the Harrow Court and is ruled by one they call the Underking. This reclusive figure who presides over a small criminal guild. This Underking is served by dozens of brutish guards, mostly orcs and ogres.
The main chamber of the Harrow Court is an opulent chamber. It is a large circular with massive stone columns supporting a domed ceiling. Silk curtains and colorful tapestries adorn every wall and column. The room is dimly lit by lanterns and braziers and the edges of the room are lost in shadow. A sweet smoky perfume haze hangs in the air. A number of cushioned divans form a central seating area. Directly across from the entrance is a dais and throne. It is here that the Underking "holds court". The courtiers are people of many different races, dressed in fine clothes and jewels and other finery, who spend their time reclining on the divans sipping from wine goblets and nibbling on morsels of food. They come to bask in the presence of the Underking, to enjoy his food and wine and music and to discuss the politics of the day.
The Harrow Court seems a small mote of civility in an uncivilized underworld. However, this civilized veneer covers a brutal crime ring which dabbles in smuggling, thievery, fencing, slavery and assassination. In some ways, the Underking does rule Hell's Market from the Harrow Court. He obtains a great deal of wealth from the Market by sending forth enforcers who demand "tribute" and "tax" for the Underking. Most of the major operations in the Market offer him a token tax. Few dare to oppose the Underking. The Harrow Court is partly about conducting the business of running his criminal empire and partly about indulging in the fruits of his labor. Many come to the Underking to sell, buy, trade and occasionally beg mercy.
Lord Malgorun, The Underking
The Underking has many other titles including Master of Hell’s Market, Patriach of Shadows and Ruler of All Beneath Drakkel. Lord Malgorun is a sarthak... a pale skinned creature with spindly limbs and great bloated belly. His ugly, misshapen head hangs forward on a long, curved neck. He dresses in gaudy silken robes and smokes an enormous ornate ivory pipe. He is always surrounded by drinks and food and bowls of tobacco. His pet, a dragonhound, is usually curled up next to the throne. Like all sarthak, Lord Malgorun has powerful telepathic abilities. He has enslaved dozens of beings to serve him as guards and servants and is able to communicate with them by thought. He also holds great sway over those who sit in his court as his guests. Lord Malgorun is subject to whims and erratic behavior. He has been known to forgive a debt one day and flay the skin from a clumsy slave the next over a drop of spilt wine. Because of this telepathy, he communicates to his servants and slaves with his mind. He never speaks himself, always allowing his chamberlain to speak for him with guests and victims. Lord Malgorun does indeed have very powerful mental abilities. His two most powerful abilities are to read thoughts and control the minds of the weak. It is even said that he can kill with a thought. It is known that powerful magic can shield one's mind and prevent the Underking's mental attacks from working. The Underking has a pet dragonhound that is usually coiled up next to the throne. On occasion, the Underking will pass judgement on an unfortunate wretch brought before him and execute the victim by letting the dragon hound have him.
The Chamberlain is the Underking's most valued servant. He is the voice of the Harrow Court, for the Chamberlain speaks for the Underking. It is the Chamberlain that conducts all ceremonies, greets visitors and so forth. The Chamberlain is a very fat human man who dresses in a colorful longcoat, silk breeches and silk slippers. He often wears elaborate headdresses and powdered makeup. He has a powerful, richly timbred baritone voice that commands attention. His voice can be as gentle as a summer wind when reciting a line of poetry or as loud as a whip crack when barking orders to the guards. Most of the time, his manner is pleasant and congenial but he often speaks in veiled threats that hint at the power of the Underking and the unfortunate fate of those who displease his master.
Haffel is the Underking's second in command. He handles many of the day to day business operations of the thieves guild. He leads the men on missions, recruits new members, represents the Underking at meetings in the city and so forth. The Underking himself rarely ventures forth from the Harrow Court. Haffel is a master swordsmen, an exceptional thief and a good judge of character. He commands a small army of thieves, bandits, thugs, enforcers and spies who work throughout Hell's Market and the city above to further the interests of the Underking.
Grimblade, Captain of the Harrowcourt Guard
Grimblade is the captain of the guards here in the Harrow Court. His true name is Gremblad, but he is known to one and all as Grimblade. He is an impressive physical speciman. Grimblade is a hulking monstrosity of muscle and metal. He may have once been a man, but dark magic has clearly twisted him into something else. Metal plates are grafted to his body in a grotesquerie of living armor. A mouth full of yellow teeth are visible beneath a dented iron mask. Ragged scars decorated flesh here and there. Where his left hand should be is only an ugly iron blade. Another blade hangs from his belt. Grimblade has an abrasive personality and a ragged voice to match his appearance. He enjoys whores, strong drink and gambling. All three have gotten him in to trouble at one time or another. Grimblade commands all the guards of the Harrow Court including the personal bodyguards of the Underking. Whenever the Underking ventures forth from the Harrow Court, Grimblade serves as his bodyguard. The Harrow Court guard consists of about thirty soldiers, including men, orcs, ogres and half-breeds.
This website was last updated October 5, 2021. Copyright 1990-2021 David M. Roomes.