Vas Legas is a city where anyone can walk in with a handful of copper pieces and win a king’s ransom playing cards. They’re also just as likely to lose those winnings on a bad toss of the dice. This gamblers paradise was founded by Kowenguar, the most powerful barghest in the known lands. After a lifetime of leading goblins on wars of conquest, Kowenguar settled down on the plains of Valchiva to live out his dream of opening a gambling den. He was tired of having to fight for treasure and found it much easier to simply let others give him their hard earned gold through crooked gambling games.
The single gambling den became very popular despite being openly run by Kowenguar and his goblin lackeys. All the money pouring in allowed Kowenguar to expand the small location into a full-fledged casino which in even more crowds. Not all the locals were pleased about a casino run by monsters and considered the whole operation a blight. They launched several raids against the casino culminating in a massive fire that burned the whole place to the ground. Kowenguar cemented his reputation as someone not to be trifled with by burning entire villages to the ground in retaliation.
It would take more than a fire to burn out Kowenguar’s dream and he quickly set about rebuilding his casino. His clientele proved very loyal after the fire and there was so money rolling in that Kowenguar was able to greatly expand his operation. Rather than focusing on a single large casino, he built several smaller themed ones. He was able to expand his coffers even further by building a massive arena that could be used for races as well as gladiatorial matches. Learning from his previous experience, Kowenguar hired several hobgoblin tribes to provide security in his growing metropolis. The city of Vas Legas officially came into being some forty years ago when Kowenguar declared himself lord mayor of the surrounding area in order to start levying taxes.
Kowenguar does not concern himself with the daily operation of the casinos. He prefers to leave most things up to his goblinoid underlings as long as they make him money. The gaming tables and restaurants in the casinos are staffed by well-dressed goblins, who are encouraged to wring as much gold as they can out of every customer. They are known to demand tips for the smallest amount of service, such as giving directions. In addition to protecting the city from attack, many of the hobgoblins act as bouncers and security guards to keep casino patrons in line. The hobgoblin security forces wear necklaces made of gold-plated teeth as symbols of their authority. The more teeth they have on a necklace the higher their rank. Locals often refer to the hobgoblins as Fangs because of this practice.
Vas Legas has more than just dice and card games, there are exotic shows and sports gambling. People come from far and wide to see a troupe of female deep merfolk known as the Vas Legas Mermaids. The mermaids paint themselves with luminescent dyes and perform spectacularly choreographed underwater dances in darkened tanks. The Vas Legas arena also holds daily gladiator matches where brave warriors face off against terrifying creatures brought from distant lands. The gladiators are primarily dwarves from nearby mountains who were captured in raids by the Fangs. The arena also holds regular races where enslaved dwarves ride chariots pulled by massive beetles rather than horses.
Behind all the glitz and glamour Vas Legas is a dangerous city, and those who visit it tend to be dangerous as well. The majority of the annual visitors are orcs who come hoping to win big and retire to a life of luxury. Orcs travel in groups and can often be found huddled around dice games because they lack the patience for cards. Ogres are a common if not well-liked sight within the city as well. Most do not take losing gracefully and can lash out at anyone within reach when they do. Goblin bartenders have strict guidelines on how much they’re allowed to serve ogre patrons in order to limit damage to personnel and property.
Kowenguar has recently begun a long-term city beautification project in Vas Legas. He has sunk a lot of money into building monuments to improve the city’s skyline. Rather than building new monuments, however, he is paying builders to re-create famous monuments from other lands. The half-finished copy of the famous Ixideltra Sphinx statue has already infuriated its elven masons. On the flip side, the gnomes who originally built Egrast Tower actually approved of the changes made to their design. In addition to the monuments, construction has also begun on a massive art museum. Kowenguar has put out a call for artwork to fill the museum which he hopes will be yet another revenue stream to add to his vast fortune.
The thieves’ guild in the nearby city of Dwalforn has watched Vas Legas with envious eyes for many years. People want to go to Vas Legas to gamble in opulence rather than the dark and drafty guild basement. The word on the street is that the guild is trying to establish a foothold in Vas Legas to capture some of the profits for themselves. Kowenguar does not like to share, especially when it comes to money and has put out a bounty on any thieves’ guild members found within the city. Eager to collect on this bounty, some locals have taken to kidnapping out of towners who look like guild members and dressing them up to fit the part.
Drag & Drop Encounter (CR 8)
Standing at the mouth of the alley is fancy goblin wearing a crown at a jaunty angle. “Right then fellows,” he addresses you while pulling out a dogslicer, “Let’s not have any trouble now. Hand over your winnings and no one needs to lose a limb”. As he’s talking four sneaky goblins are positioning themselves behind cover to attack if the signal is given. The fancy goblin pauses, waiting for you to respond. “Well, what’s it going to be then, your gold or your lives?”