A thriving high-class casino in the heart of Yung Zhi catering to those who have spilled blood for money.
by Ali May Sang (the Librarian)
Any business operating in the Pearl – that elite inner circle of Yung Zhi where the rich and powerful mingle – caters to a select clientele. What benefit is there to having means in such an impoverished world if you cannot use your influence to only associate with your own kind? In the case of the Red Leather Den, one of the City’s most elite and distinguished casinos, membership comes at a cost. Someone else’s life.
Bounty hunters, assassins, and various mercenaries come to the Red Leather Den to unwind and talk shop. Each of them is on a well guarded list and granted membership solely on the discretion of its mysterious owner. So mysterious that no one exactly knows who owns the Den and whoever it is certainly has their ear to the ground. Infamy as a killer of killers, a well respected bounty hunter called on by a warlord or two, even killing a previous member of the Den will automatically get you access to some of the finest wines, games of chance, and comforts this side of… well, anywhere. New members receive a personally delivered invitation welcoming them to the benefits of a hard life and can enjoy this access for life. To date, only one member has ever had their membership revoked – myself. It seems poking your nose into unmasking the Den’s shadowy owner is the one line that cannot be crossed.
The interior of this two-storey casino merges crimsons and golds with rich leather sofas, chandeliers, and numerous intricate touches such as paintings, water fountains, and other amenities most of those who have earned access can rarely enjoy anywhere else. Whatever games tickle your fancy are available inside, from blackjack to mahjong to pi gow. While the owner’s identity remains a tightly concealed secret, Michelle Lao serves as their liaison and manager of the Den. She runs a tight ship and ensures everything about this casino exceeds expectations. An excellent source of rumour and gossip in Yung Zhi, Michelle is one of those people who knows a guy who worked with this bounty hunter once who may be able to get you past the guards at some random place no one’s ever heard of before. Saying she’s connected is an understatement.
So what exactly is the Den’s fascination with professional killers? Some believe the owner is a former bounty hunter themselves and this casino is their retirement. A few have speculated the owner is none other than Xang herself and there’s some good points to back up this theory. No one turns to bounty hunters and assassins more than a warlord and the Den is a means of keeping close connections with some of the One Land’s most dangerous gunslingers and sword slingers. Even the possibility of Yung Zhi’s warlord paying the bills on this casino keeps everyone on their best behaviour – no sense pissing off the one person who could have you killed without question, right?
Inspired by the Misdirected Mark Podcast & their AP of High Plains Samurai: Legends