The people of Pitax divide the city into three regions, each with its own specific quirks and personality. Troutmouth, encompassing the docks of Pitax, holds most of the merchant houses and is where merchants conduct most of their business. The Shattered Ward contains the older buildings of Pitax and its longtime citizenry, including manor houses and temples. The New Ruins, long abandoned in the days following the bloody civil war that nearly consumed Pitax, rose from the ashes and became the realization of Irovetti’s strange dreams of grandeur. The New Ruins hold the Academy of Grand Arts as well as the Red Crescent Theater, fitfully shining paragons of the city’s supposed rebirth.
Government, Politics, & Order
On the surface, the bandit king Irovetti and the Trade Houses more commonly known as the Bandit Houses rule over the people of Pitax in an uneasy partnership. With each passing year, though, Irovetti gains more control over the city and pushes the Bandit Houses ever closer to irrelevance. A simple reason for this shift exists Irovetti’s close alliance with the Thieves’ Guild of Pitax. Though the Thieves’ Guild has never “officially” been recognized by the government of Pitax, the secretive organization has always held some influence over what happened in the city during the centuries of its existence. With the ascension of Irovetti, however, the Guild’s influence over Pitax grows ever stronger and is becoming overt, rather than subtle.
The Bandit Houses
Long ago, a group of bandits fleeing reprisal in Brevoy founded the safehold that would become Pitax. Their leader, the bandit lord Cesare Cattanei, became the patriarch of the Cattanei family, esteemed residents who ruled over Pitax during the early centuries of its existence. Descendants of the other original bandits also formed three other influential families: the Liacenzas, the Vascaris, and the Strocalles.
While the scions of these four houses have shaped Pitax over the years, time has expanded both their power and their ranks. Although each family’s bloodline continues, being counted as part of a particular family no longer necessarily means being related by blood. Today, many who dabble in the city’s politics and do favors for one of the trade houses find themselves “adopted,” a sometimes dubious honor bringing with it many of the connections afforded to true members of the house, as well as all of the family’s rivalries. However, only those able to trace their direct linage to the original bandits of Pitax may rise to a position of prominence in the families. Whether true scions or adoptees, members of the ruling families display certain colors and markers signifying their allegiances. Dyed feathers in a cap are the most common identifier, though signet rings and embroidered cloaks also serve as means of showing family allegiances.
Three of Pitax’s four controlling families own and control Trade Houses, which serve as their means of conducting business. Any merchant seeking to conduct business in Pitax needs to be approved by one of these Houses. Without a Trade House’s blessing, a merchant might face either sanctions or expulsion from Pitax. Newcomers to Pitax generally try to gain an audience with the Darkwind Trade House owned by the Strocalle family as it has proved most open to giving its blessing to anyone with enough gold to purchase its favor.
The Cattanei Family:
Though the Cattanei family had the greatest role in founding Pitax, its influence in the city diminishes with each passing year. The actions of the madman Ludov Cattanei a hundred years ago weakened their Trade House, and the civil war that followed shortly thereafter nearly destroyed them. The Cattaneis, along with their Serpent’s Breath Trade House, possess just a fraction of the wealth of the other Houses. Xapiri Yasmina, a mysterious merchant from Cheliax, recently purchased controlling interest in the Serpent’s Breath Trade House. The Cattaneis wanted no part of this deal, but they were forced to accept it lest they succumb to complete financial ruin. Salvarri Cattanei (NG male human bard 10, alchemist 4), meanwhile, recently took control of the Red Crescent Theater, more in an effort to curry favor with Irovetti than to make a contribution to the fine arts. House Colors, Red and Black.
The Liacenza Family:
Until recently, the Liacenzas controlled much of Pitax. With their controlling interests in the famed vineyards of Sarain, as well as most of the other orchards in the area, their Iron Fox Trade House proved the city’s most prosperous. Though the other families and Trade Houses held influence over what happened in the city, the Liacenzas determined its fate. At least, they did until Castruccio Irovetti arrived. In the span of just a few weeks, the leaders of the Liacenzas (the brothers Lothaire and Berengar) lost control of the Iron Fox Trade House to the bard in a series of bizarre incidents. Two short weeks after that, the two brothers disappeared without a trace. Young Gasperre Liacenza (Cavalier 7, Bard 2) took the mantle of leadership for the family in their absence, but his youth and inexperience hamper his effort to restore the family’s honor. The family mostly operates out of the Fallen Star Tavern, owned by Gasperre, as the warehouses of the Iron Fox remain under Irovetti’s control. House colors, Purple and Green.
The Strocalle Family:
The Darkwind Trade House of the Strocalle family currently enjoys the greatest wealth of Pitax’s Trade Houses, but it wields disproportionately minor influence. Simply put, no one in Pitax trusts the Strocalles. Their loyalties lie first with profit and second with members of their own house, with all others being a very distant third. Strocalle treachery weaves its way throughout the history of Pitax. Of all the families, the Strocalles maintain the closest ties with the city’s criminal element. Eliste Strocalle (NE human female rogue 14) controls both the Darkwind Wind Trade House and the Strocalle family. Scheming and ambitious, her plotting proved instrumental in Irovetti’s ascent to power. Her family’s alliance with the city’s ruler is stronger than many suspect, and she eventually plans (with Irovetti’s help) to eliminate the other Trade Houses. House colors, Silver or Gold trim.
The Vascari Family:
With their large warehouse at the docks of the Sellen River, the Vascari family controls the ships that make their way to Pitax. Unlike the other Trade Houses, they keep few holdings within the city, but their rule over the river makes them a force to be reckoned with. Every sailor in Pitax owes allegiance to the Vascaris and the Riversong Trade House. The Vascaris follow the rule of Jhofré Vascari (LN human male rogue 3, ranger 11). At a young age, Jhofré departed the city; he then spent much of his life as an ordinary merchant captain, establishing contacts along the length of the Sellen River. Despite his lineage, the other Trade Houses and most citizens view Jhofré as an outsider, so his influence is diminished. House colors, Blue.