Night caressed Shadizar, that city known as ‘the Wicked’, and veiled the happenings which justified that name a thousand times over. The darkness that brought respite to other cities drew out the worst in Shadizar of the Alabaster Towers, Shadizar of the Golden Domes, city of venality and debauchery.

In a score of marble chambers, silk-clad nobles coerced wives not theirs to their beds and many-chinned merchants licked fat lips over the abductions of competitors’ nubile daughters. Perfumed wives, fanned by slaves wielding snowy ostrich plumes, plotted the cuckolding of husbands, sometimes their own, while hot-eyed young women of wealth or noble birth or both schemed at circumventing the guards placed on their supposed chastity. Nine women and thirty-one men, one a beggar and one a lord, died by murder. The gold of ten wealthy men was taken from iron vaults by thieves and fifty others increased their wealth at the expense of the poor. In three brothels perversions never before contemplated by humankind were created. Doxies beyond numbering plied their ancient trade from the shadows and twisted, ragged beggars preyed on the trulls’ wine-soaked patrons. No man walked the streets unarmed but even in the best quarters of the city arms were often not enough to save one’s silver from cutpurses and footpads. Night in Shadizar was in full cry.

Conan: Blades of Shadizar

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