Filled with inns, taverns, festhalls and theaters, the Fest Quintan is the undisputed "place to be" for the enjoyment of life's pleasures. The eladrin-style squares of the quintan are surrounded by important and palatial theaters, with a disproportionate number of inns scattered among them. The reason for this is simple: most of the finest shows don't begin until after Gatefall, meaning that those who are there to take in the entertainment are also beholden to stay for the night. The inns in this district are usually intended more for over-nighting, and because they compete with one another for noble coin, strive to outdo one another in sumptuous accommodations. Those who cannot afford such over-night stays tend to attend those shows earlier in the day, dubbed the "workman's curtain".
Gates & Other Landmarks
- The Lanterngate (G5): Gate into Accord.
- The Gate of Fifes (G9): Gate into Noble Quintan.
- The Gate of Coins (G10): Gate into Market Quintan.
- The Spiregate (G16): Gate into the Greensward.
The theaters of the Fest Quintan are elaborate, almost impossible affairs. Massive keep-sized constructions, filled with stages, vast rows and boxes of seating, palatial lobbies and labyrinthine backstages, the theaters do not themselves put on shows. Instead, each season they audition the players' companies latest offerings, allowing them to construct shows that stun and astound.
- The Ebullient Cavalcade (F1): Known for its loud, raucous shows (often of a scandalous or simply rowdy nature), the Cavalcade is a massive theater. It is also always well-attended, for its party-like atmosphere extends beyond its stage, with attractive lads and lasses circulating with trays of drinks for a few coins during the performances, and a lobby with a massive and well-stocked bar.
- The Court of the Fair (F2): Located quite close to the Spiregate, the Court of the Fair promises a taste of the Feywild to its patrons. They hire only feyborn, half-elves and those humans slender enough to pass as such, and their shows are always ethereal romances and tragedies, filled with longing for a far-off and unseen homeland. Bards and singers from Arilan Atrin can almost always find work here, performing during theater down-times or between acts.
- The Birassadeo (F3): Wide open, with long drapes of shimmering, diaphanous silk in fiery colors and brass fixtures against warm wood construction, the Birassadeo specializes in the theater forms popular among the cultures of the geniefolk of the Elemental Chaos. Cavalcades of acrobatics, shows with lots of flashy choreographed fight scenes and the like are the order of the day, with singers and silk-dancers hanging from the ceiling by strips of silk in between acts.
- The Stage Pentumbral (F4): Called the Theater of Five Shadows, the Stage Pentumbral specializes in the dark sorts of theater well-loved in Gauntpeak, and around the Shadowfell. Tragedies, stories of melancholy and loss, and the occasional "light" piece filled with gallows humor are the preferred works here. The Five Shadows of the theater's name are its five anonymous patrons, who don dark cloaks and hoods from their central and prominent box seats.
- The Liminal Royal Theater (F5): The oldest theater in Liminal, the Royal dates back to the days of Liminal before the First Imbrication. Originally functioning as a small keep, the Royal now focuses on very mainstream shows. Those theater troupes from out of town are given preferential booking here, especially if they bring the latest trends from far away.
- The Golden Lion Theater (F6): Old and rundown, the Golden Lion is past its heyday. Its owners are on the verge of bankruptcy, and so far no one has shown any interest in buying the theater, though they are trying to sell it. It still shows the occasional show now and again, mostly up and coming troupes dying for a place and some kind of audience to perform for. Most of the time, these are deeply mediocre presentations, but a few gems are found here once in a while. The Golden Lion has a reputation as a blue-collar theater, with tickets cheap enough to allow all but the very poorest in Liminal to afford a seat.
- The Palace of Wonders (F7): The Palace promises the wonders of the multiverse to its audiences, and they deliver. Preferential treatment is given to those troupes that feature themes, actors and even magic that is extraplanar in nature. Even better are those whose acts include entities extraplanar in origin, which one or two do.
Most of the theater and cavalcade troupes of the Fest Quintan do not have their own company halls. The majority meet in parks, basements and any other space they can get together in. A few have modest spaces here in the Fest Quintain or in other districts, but the most successful maintain full offices, complete with workspace for training, business offices, space for playwrites to work and even accommodations for those important employees (other than the big stars, of course, who maintain their own dwelling spaces).
- Karuzzo's Players (F8): The most famous and successful of the theater and cabaret troupes in Liminal, Karuzzo is the undisputed master of performance drama. He is a major celebrity in his own right, a handsome bearded half-elf who is fond of leather and velvet garments. His troupe consists of some of the most renowned actors, dancers and performers, and he employs two of the best-known dramaturges working today.
- The Lily and Ivy Troupe (F9): A troupe of all-female chanteuses, dancers and cabaret performers, the Lily and Ivy actresses are all lovely, well-trained and adore the spotlight. The star of the show is Asalva, a hauntingly beautiful shadar-kai who normally refrains from speaking, but whose melancholy song can drive nearly anyone to tears.
- Company Piridrago (F10): A small troupe run by the gnomish illusionist known as Piridrago, this company relies quite a bit on the magics of Piridrago and his apprentices. Company Piridrago tends to tell children's tales and fairy stories, using extensive puppetry (sometimes animated by magic) and shadowplay to spin their narratives. Piridrago isn't just the director, but is the star of his show as well.
- The Company of the Sun and Moon (F11): A company with a reputation for performances of the highest calibre, the Sun and Moon is said to never produce any work that is newer than fifty years. Where Karuzzo's Players perform the most popular of works, the Company of the Sun and Moon is said to practically define "fine performance" - they are the measure by which a piece's artistic integrity and cultural relevance are measured.
- Aridunn and His Marvelous Gleefolk (F12): Aridunn is a master gleeman, specialized in performing shows for small gatherings of peasants and workers. Though he is too old to go on the road anymore, Aridunn trains three groups of wandering gleemen in new shows and songs. After a season of performances in Liminal intended to sharpen the troupe's mastery, Aridunn then sends them out on a tour of Rinhony that takes about two seasons worth of travel. In this way, he runs his operation constantly, with one troupe in Liminal learning a new routine, and two others at various stages of their journeys.
- Irilasso (F13): The lissome feyborn who make up the company known as Irilasso are like poetry in motion. In every instance, they conceal their identities while performing, as it is the their philosophy that fame is fleeting and detracts from the sublime story being told. Their performances often include extensive make-up, tight-fitting clothing, subtle magics, dance, singing and acrobatics. Irilasso split their performance time between Liminal and Arilan Atrin.
- Rasmussen's Pigments (F14): Among the players of the Fest Quintan, those who prefer the highest quality in their cosmetics, dyes and colorants know that there is no substitute for Rasmussen's work. Though he himself is an alchemist of some renown, he maintains that his current art isn't alchemy - it is a craft all its own. To that end, he's been petitioning the Merchants Guilds for years to allow him to found a new Guild, but thus far they have not granted him that permission.
- The Pluck'd Vine (F15): Named for a line from the epic tragedy "The Pastoral Blood", this shop specializes in fine wines and other alcohols. The owner, Garrond, used to be an actor with the Company of the Sun and Moon before an accident in a choreographed sword fight on stage injured him too badly to continue. He inherited the wineshop from his uncle, and has taken great pride in providing the finest of drinks to actors, gleemen and musicians. In his time in the Eminent Sodality of Brewers and Vintners, he has risen quite high, so much so that three years ago, his shop was declared Guild Hall for the Sodality in Liminal.
- Erudelle's Fine Gems (F16): The slight craftsman Erudelle is almost short enough to be a dwarf. Her lined face often wears a smile, and her eyes shine as brightly as the gems she makes. Yes, makes - Erudelle specializes in fake, costume jewelry for the stage, specializing in paste gemstones and false precious metals. Though she has made false copies of jewelry for nobles and the wealthy to wear out rather than endangering their actual riches, for the most part, she works on theater pieces.
- The Glorious Raiment Shop (F42): The Glorious Raiment is not for the faint-hearted, when it comes to fashion. The reason for that is simple: they specialize in works meant to be shown on the stage. There is nothing subtle or nuanced about their work, but it is always breathtaking, if a touch gaudy. For years, they would only take commissions from theaters and troupes, but in recent days the coins of those society ladies anxious to wear the fine gowns they saw on the stage the night before have tempted them to take less theatrical fare.
Government & Nobility
- The Winesop (F17): Though named in official records as the "Fest Quintan Overnight Gaol", the Winesop is the largest of the different Quintan Overnight Gaols, intended to be used to hold criminals apprehended after Gatefall. It is called the Winesop, however, because the majority of those who are dragged here are quite drunk, nabbed for their intoxicated antics. It is one of the largest of the Overnights, with plenty of space for passed out revelers. Moreover, a local tradition has evolved with the bravos and adventurous patrons of the Quintan's many taverns and festhalls: the Winesop Charge. In it, several people get together across the street and charge the Winesop's street-facing wall, where many of the cells have windows. The goal is to get up to a window and hand off a skin of wine, allowing someone trapped inside to continue the night's revelry, without being grabbed by the guard.
- Persimmon House (F18): The former estate of long-fallen House Warul, Persimmon House has been abandoned for several decades now. House Warul was originally a noble house of Liminal founded by the wayward daughter of another noble house and the handsome actor she married against her family's wishes. Ambitious and cunning, the actor worked hard to found his own House, but the couples' marriage ended in tragedy, the tale of which still survives as the play "Fading Persimmons".
- Cormorant Hall (F19): House Desiram One of the multiple House Desiram estates in Liminal, Cormorant Hall is the house's preferred living quarters for most of their younger scions. Though the estate is generally held by a permissive younger aunt or uncle of the previous generation, its true masters are the young and beautiful Desiram of just-at adult age. So notorious are these parties that the term "flying the cormorant banner" has come to mean partying through the night and well into the morning.
Taverns & Inns
- Aygarelda's Board (Inn) (F20): Tucked away down a side street, Aygarelda's Board is something of an open secret among those who frequent the Fest Quintan. Comfortable but unassuming, Aygarelda - a dwarven matron who runs the shop - is open long hours. She does not, however, suffer fools gladly, and she has a long memory.
- The Crone and Nightingale (Tavern) (F21): Found near the Gate of Coins, the sign depicting the old witch holding a caged bird has faded with the elements. This tavern is well-known for its strong fermented herbal drinks...and the fact that the women who work out of here are said to know witches and the finest herb-wives, assuming they aren't witches themselves.
- Drake's Retreat (Tavern) (F22): The notorious dragonborn adventurer, the Drake, purchased this inn when he retired from his adventuring career. Shortly thereafter, he adopted a trio of young dragonborn, who have since inherited the inn. These days, Drake is quite old, rarely venturing out of his small cottage behind the inn, leaving the running of the place to his son Yrolam and his daughters Kharoya and Warlahss. It is a favorite inn for many folks of middle-class means who intend on spending the night in the quintan after the Gatebell.
- The Saint (Inn) (F23): Across the way from the Theodrome, the Saint is a favored inn for those who remain past the gate-bell to attend the holy passion plays in the massive temple-theater. The Saint is quiet and serene, and decorated with the iconography of the Empyrean gods.
- Inn of the Eight Masks (Inn) (F24): The eight masks that give this inn its name hang above the bar, and each has a long and storied history associated with it. The taproom of the Eight Masks is a favored place for many of the most experienced players in the Fest Quintan to retire to after an evening's performance.
- The Lady and the Fool (Tavern) (F25): With its sign depicting a figure that is a woman on one side, and a male jester on the other, the Lady and the Fool is a favored gathering place for those who both prefer the intimate company of their own gender, and for those who prefer to don the garb of the other gender. The crowd here is tight-knit, and the harlequin at the door only lets those in who he knows, or who are in the company of those he knows.
- Saynard's Inn (Inn) (F26): No less than six floors in height, Saynard's Inn towers over those buildings around it. Saynard's is known primarily for its size and relative cheapness, without much else to commend it. It has three tap rooms, a pair of doss-rooms (one for men and one for women), and a staggering number of rooms both common and fine. Its food and drink are decent, but not extravagant.
- Sign of the Chequered Cloak (Inn) (F27): Named for the tradition of wandering minstrels and gleemen to wear mantles of chequered squares of many colors, this is the favored establishment for such wandering entertainers. Many of them consider it a sort of "home base" to return to from their wanderings. Many of them use it as a place to gather new songs from during that downtime, resting and learning new material before setting out again.
Brothels & Festhalls
There is a difference, in Liminal, between brothels and festhalls. A brothel is a place where the night-workers are available in rooms of their own. They often congregate in a central lobby or other gathering-place where they might entice visitors to the brothel. A festhall, on the other hand, uses a stage and many tavern-like tables and chairs as its central gathering area. All of its men and women entertain both on the stage and in the bedrooms of the establishment. Many times, the stars of truly successful festhalls come to wield tremendous power, wealth and influence, including the ability to choose from among their suitors as they see fit. Such folk are referred to as "inamorata." Most festhalls take in and train their courtesans. Not all those a festhall trains are kept in the festhall, however. Even such cast-offs are greatly desired as paramours and workers in brothels.
- The Crimson Palace (Brothel) (F28): Bronze accents, deep redwood paneling, scarlet glass and jewel-toned fabrics are the order of the day in the Crimson Palace. Arguably the most upscale of Liminal's brothels, its patrons all pay well for the skill and beauty of their workers, who are called "consorts," as well as for their privacy. It is quite common to see its plain but elegant coaches delivering patrons to the side courtyard, shielded from view.
- Raumandyr's Theater (Festhall) (F29): High energy performances of dance and acrobatics are Raumandyr's signature. The men and women who perform on Raudmandyr's stage are always dressed skimpily, with beautiful henna'd patterns on their skin, and khol'd eyes. Though there are other festhalls of higher class, perhaps, none are so vibrant and passionate as this one, thrumming as it does with barely-restrained sexual tension in each performance. Raumandyr's two inamorata, Royale Elise (a half-elf known for the royal purple color of her hair) and Idella of the Diamonds (a pale, blonde human known for her ownership of strings of diamonds given to her by admirers, and her performances wearing nothing but) are highly sought-after.
- Dark Desires (Brothel) (F30): Dark and sensuous, its air redolent with heady incenses and the faint smell of sex, Dark Desires promises its patrons purest ecstasy. And they achieve it, through the skills of its workers, the use of certain passion-enhancing drugs and a willingness to cater to very nearly any desire, no matter how depraved. Its owner, Qolton Harou, an avowed Iritsan, is often the center of many scandals and dramatic rumormills.
- The Traveler's Rest (Festhall) (F31): Where Raumandyr focuses on high class, the Traveler's Rest touts itself as a rustic paradise - what the countryside should be like, with randy shepherd boys and blushing, buxom milkmaids. The main hall itself is done up like a country inn, with high wooden beams and serving good pastoral fare. The singers of the Rest are the finest in any of Liminal's festhalls, preferring worksongs and rustic ballads. Its owner is the motherly Goodwife Shirah, and the Rest features a pair of inamorata: the burly, scruffy-jawed Volmer and the sweetly rounded and corseted Maid Janisha.
- The Eru'adni (Brothel) (F32): A brothel whose name means "pleasure garden", this establishment is surrounded by vibrant plantlife and features a central garden. Its inward looking rooms open large windows and doorways onto this garden, creating a private environment for customers that nonetheless hints at the erotic play going on elsewhere in the establishment. Eru'adni specializes in environs and workers evocative of the Feywild, with the majority of its workers being elves and half-elves, with a few eladrin and a handful of particularly elfin humans among their number, as well as a sprinkling of others, like halflings.
- The Workhouse (Festhall) (F33): A curiosity that could really only exist in Liminal, the Workhouse is a very specialized festhall. The Smithy's performance space is designed to look like a rough workhouse floor, with various stations where difficult manual labor goes on: blacksmithing, carpentry, and less skilled work, such as lifting and moving heavy burdens and shattering rocks. Though there are a few powerfully built women to be found, for the most part the Smithy's workers are strongly-built men (mostly humans and dwarves) who sweat away at their labors while appreciative audiences watch from the balconies overlooking the work floor. The dwarf Tunrau and the human Eldbar - the inamorata of the Smithy - are there to fulfill the fantasies of those clients who lust after rough laborers and the lower class.
- Madame Pearl's Hall (Brothel) (F34): Simple and unassuming, Mother Pearl maintains a veneer of simple class for her establishment. Nothing too "fancy", as she prefers, Madame Pearl's is also a favored locale among the locals for its massive parlor, made up to function as a gambling den. Pearl's workers wander among the gamblers, happy to offer a good-luck kiss and pretty lap-companion for a chip or two, and are happy to guide those same men and women upstairs to help them celebrate their winnings, or console them on their losses.
Mages & the Arcane
- The Grand Macabre (F35): A theater with a delightfully sinister reputation, the Grand Macabre is run by several graduates of the Fallen House. It specializes in scenarios and one-act performances that highlight the worst parts of life: misery, pain, betrayal, grief and similar fare. Its special effects are quite phantasmagoric and extremely gory. The Grand Macabre's shows are often responsible for more than a few faintings in the crowd each evening.
- Larue the Siren (F36): A sorceress known for her enchanting singing voice, Larue is a teacher of the voice. Some of the finest singers in Liminal have trained with her, and most of its performers would do anything for the opportunity to train with her, just for a few weeks. As such, she is always busy with her work. It is known that her best friend, finest student and possible lover is Asalva, the star of the Lily and Ivy Troupe.
- The House of a Thousand Veils (F37): An order of mages who specialize in illusions and phantasms, the House of a Thousand Veils occasionally offer professional advice on the creation of stage illusions, whether created through magic or mundane means. The majority of its members are Spellwrights.
Temples & Monasteries
- The Veiled Palace (F38): Temple to Iritsa A temple-brothel, the Veiled Palace's hierodules serve those worshippers who come to its incense-clouded halls. Most of its worshippers can be divided into two sorts: those who come to sample the sacraments of the boudoir-shrines of its priestesses and priests, and those brothel workers who come to worship and ask the advice and aid of its clergy.
- The Theodrome (F39): Multidivinity Temple The Theodrome is another of the quintan's theaters, but one with a specialized purpose: the performance of religious passion plays and chorale events. It is willing to hire secular players who are performing known and approved religious theater pieces, but for the most part, its seasons consist of ecclesiastic troupes and chorus groups.
- The Moongardens (F40): Temple to Xanayr An expansive, beautiful temple-gardens, the Moongardens host full moon revels, with hired performers and ample wine, to allow the faithful of Xanayr to pass a night of wild revelry. The rest of the month, it serves those who come seeking its clergy's advice and sacraments.
Military & Mercenaries
- The Masked Men (F41): The Masked Men are a relatively unique mercenary group. They specialize in providing security for those establishments and events where high-energy revelry is the order of the day. They blend in well in such environments, generally appearing as just another party-goer, all the while ensuring nothing gets too out of hand. They are also the preferred bodyguards for those attending events where they would like protection without it being too obvious.
The Crossroads City