The Old Quarter
With paved streets and wrought-iron lampposts, the Old Quarter sometimes feels like a place out of time. The aged stone houses seem to be piled up one on top of the other, forming a labyrinth of back alleys and passageways in which one could easily become lost under the watchful eye of black ravens. A bohemian hodge-podge of artists, writers, musicians, and new-age practitioners have set up their galleries, museums, and posh recording studios here, alongside funky bistros and nightclubs. But it’s the indigenous inhabitants of this quarter that you need to watch out for.
A place as old as this holds a wealth of opportunities for Rifts. From stories of archaeological treasures containing caches of gold and cursed relics to local superstitions and legends of black magic, the Mist does not seem as thick in this place. A souvenir shop may only be the facade for a room draped in velvet where a fortune-teller will read your future, for a price. A beautiful old house could be boarded up and sealed as a crime scene after yet another potential buyer was brutally murdered there, and the word on the street is the devil in the attic got him, too.
Whatever it may be about this place, there is no denying that some of the oldest and greatest Rifts operating in the City reside here or at least take an interest in the quarter. Buried deep within it (or underneath it) may be the answers that everyone wants and yet no one is able to find...
Places of Interest:
The Museum - An impressive edifice of stone and marble, erected in a time when history and culture still mattered. Today, most of the City residents regard it as a dull activity reserved for tourists and intellectuals. What most City residents naturally overlook is that the museum is the largest repository of Relics in the City. Sure, the most powerful Relics, if they ever made it to the Museum, have been stolen or sold long ago. But there are still so many minor Relics stored within the marble-coated walls of this institution that it’s practically a mythical armory.
The Cobbled Street - Possibly the first paved street in the City, this narrow street has been renovated countless times, but has kept its historical look all the same. Mysterious street performers perform magical tricks that defy logic while musicians play long-forgotten tunes. At night this street takes on an otherworldly appearance. Mist creeps in and coils around the lampposts and silence washes over, seemingly covering the entire quarter, except for the faraway sounds of medieval music. Few walk about, their footsteps muffled and their figures dark and blurry. You get a feeling that something could emerge out of the night and spirit you away to another place, another life, and no one would ever know.
Old Mirna / Baba Yaga
Old Mirna is a ubiquitous elderly woman living on the streets of the Old Quarter. Unkempt and disheveled, she is known to hiss away any handouts offered to her, but seems to respect confidence and courage. No one ever sees Mirna set up her tent in the dark of night, it simply appears one day in a courtyard or a small park. Those who manage to exchange a few words with her and are invited into her tent must be clear about what they want and be willing to pay for it, lest she send them away cursed. Once past her gruff exterior, she is known to help those she finds worthy by reading their palms, telling their future, or providing talismans to bring luck.
Fadi Malek / Thoth, Egyptian god of knowledge
Perpetually red-faced and frowny, Fadi Malek is everyone’s favorite librarian. As he patrols the library with his unique swagger, the heavyset man huffs at anyone who might be breaking the library rules. There isn’t a night that goes by without the round librarian fighting off mythical burglars in search of ancient tomes of wisdom. No, knowledge is given to those worthy of it, to those who seek to learn and grow wiser. Everyone else goes on the waiting list. He is the keeper of knowledge, and keep it he will.
Ella Kirky / Circe the Sorceress
The attractive owner of Hart Bistro, Ella grew up in the Quarter and is a fierce proponent of its charms and uniqueness. People from across the City seek out her cooking, which has gained her celebrity status; her cookbooks are all bestsellers. Fostering a nostalgia to the refinement of ages past, she abhors nothing more than lack of dignity and decorum. If her patrons aren’t properly respectful, she is more than willing to add a little “something” to the recipes. There is a strange and of yet uninvestigated correlation between people who misbehaved in Hart Bistro and missing persons reports in the Old Quarter. Ella doesn’t feel like she’s hurting anyone, she’s simply revealing what’s there. If they want so much to behave like animals, let them.