. . .
arriving in Iguana Shores, you and your closest friends were known by
the dubious moniker, The Tribe. It was such a catchy name back home in
the Land of Dobb and the mischief you performed while guised beneath the
veil of that name seemed to buy you more respect and fame than the ill
reputation that you probably deserved. But here and now, while you run
for your lives in the dusty streets, an entire ocean away from that vaunted
fame, you cannot help but to wish that the name bore no connection to
But wish as you may, the name cannot be dissassociated with you or your
compatriots. The Tribe - you are stuck with it, and all of the trouble
that comes with it. For how were you to know that the golden city of Iguana
Shores, the city of dreams, the land of hope, the famed metropolis that
you worked so hard to journey to all of these years . . . how were you
to know that this city would be nothing more than a despoiled pit of corruption
where millions of other would-be-fortune-finders, drawn to these sandy
beaches, lived in hot, dusty and penniless squalor. The City of Dreams
. . . bah! This foul cesspool on the fringes of the Empire is but a trap
for the hopeful, like moths to the flame they come. And you were no exception.
How were you to know, no sooner than the great transit ship that brought
you here had left the harbor, that you were hopelessly trapped along with
the rest of these filthy masses, in a city run by an evil despot, and
destined not for fame and fortune, but for empty pockets - fleeced not
by alley urchins, but by overpriced inns, wild parties and extensive taxes.
How were you to know that Balthazar Rhett, this city's self-proclaimed
czar, would soon snare you in his raggedy nets as so many millions before
True, the illusion was grand enough. The beaches were golden and the water
was warm. The women were wild and the thousands of entertainers who paraded
within the streets from sun-up to sun-up painted the perfect picture of
mind-numbing hedonistic opportunity. How were you to know that those very
same wild women and colorful entertainers were just the prettiest of the
fish caught by Balthazar Rhett - but their debt was really no different
than the rest of the filthy rabble behind the scenes who worked the fields
for him, who worked the sewers for him, who ate dust for him, and who
died for him, too.
How were you to know that the desperate bet you placed at the wigami table
just yesterday in the name of The Tribe would seal your fate? How were
you to know that the wigami tables were just as crooked as the lord of
this city? And, most importantly, how were you to know that a five Golden
Crown bet was not risking just five Dobbian gold coins -- but 5,000?
And now you run. You and your faithful friends, for none of you are safe
within these city walls. Truth be told, you have no idea how far you must
run beyond those walls before safe harbors are found, for none of you
truly know how far the nets of Iguana Shores have been cast. How far does
the influence of Balthazar Rhett really reach? All you know is that staying
here to pay off your debt is nothing more than a life sentence. You would
be wrinkled and grey before working off what you owe within these city
walls - if you survived that long.
The little coin you have between you may be able to cover the exit tax
required at the city gates, but Balthazar Rhett's Rat Patrol is loyal
to a man (they have to be, having little choice in the matter), and you
would certainly be spotted and hauled off to the fields, or worse, before
getting a half-mile down one of those dusty roads out of town. The ships
leaving the harbor are of no use either as none are allowed to take on
passengers within the borders of Iguana Shores.
NOW . .
And so now
you wish for a miracle. After spending the night in hiding, covered in
dirty rags and stink and laying low amongst the poorest of the city's
poor, you now stand in line with nearly 50 other desperate men and women
outside Smiling Jack Sampson's Thrift Shop Emporium and Day Labor Post
Shop. In the days now gone of yesterday, you motley member of the once
mighty Tribe, you could scarcely stifle a snicker at these poor sods who
stood outside this shop in the unbearable heat just for a chance to snag
one of the few job postings listed inside.
But that was another lifetime, wasn't it?
Now you stand in that very same line, wearing the very same desperate
look as the others before you and you hope that today Lady Luck will be
with you. If only you can be faster and stronger that the rest of this
rabble in front of you, because Smiling Jack opens the door at 8-bells
every morning, only the toughest will reach the posting board first. Well,
looking at your competition you realize you have one thing in your favor
- your bellies have only known hunger for a few hours....so, perhaps......
But just then you see running up the street in your direction two scantily
dressed and familiar looking bronzed bodies. It's Trixie and Belle! Two
of the beach party crowd you and The Tribe fell in with shortly after
your arrival here.
"Hey, there you are!," Trixie shouts when she breathlessly reaches your
side, "We thought we might find you here. Unfortunately, the Rat Patrol
is thinking they might find you here too. They've been asking around for
the Tribe all night and someone tipped them off that you might be here.
You've got to hide!"