Chronicles of Khaldun: Bread and Circuses
The Illustrious Menagerie of Peacocks
Ah, yes. The Illustrious Menagerie of Peacocks. Many rumors surround them, but one thing is certain: they hold the power of life and death itself.
Over the past few centuries, the Menagerie of Peacocks has managed to edge out all the other competition. They hold a complete monopoly on crime in the Sorrowfell Plains.
Well, “complete” is a strong word, but they’re damn close — crime happens with or without the Peacocks, but organized crime is totally under their thrall. There aren’t thieves’ guilds or mercenary guilds in Scandshar, there’s just the Menagerie and that’s that.
Naturally, it would be impossible for them to control all of organized crime. The guys they don’t directly control still owe them — if you start your little gang and start raking in cash, you’ll probably get a visit very soon. It’s your choice whether you want to pay protection money or end up in the River of Tears, but most people choose the former option.
If you don’t play ball with the Menagerie of Peacocks, all manner of things will happen to you — you might die or disappear, or be turned to stone, or have your memory wiped, or be driven permanently insane.
As for their operations, they deal in pretty much everything. Rackets, drugs, prostitution, assassination, you name it. As far as anyone knows, they only openly engage in the slave trade in Scandshar, but that means they probably just do it on the sly in other locales.
Outside of Scandshar, the Menagerie isn’t as prominent — but they’re still there. Any town of notable size has a Peacock presence.
According to rumor and legend, the Menagerie of Peacocks is headed by the Esteemed and Omniscient Peacock Lord. Of course, nobody can agree on who this is — people have suggested that the Peacock Lord is, among others, an undying sorcerer, a coalition of goblins, the Sorgforge Citadel, the heads of Scandshar’s Council of Lords, a mind-flayer, a psychic projection of the Menagerie, or just a regular organized crime boss. No one has ever claimed to see this person, so the conjecture will likely continue unabated.