Est. Population 40-60,000
LawThe city is in a state of constant martial law with the Raiflin Vanguard patrolling for crimes in progress and there are many at any given time. Crime is a way of life for almost everyone who lives in the city. It is nearly the only way to survive. Hou’s law states: A crime never occurred if it has already been committed as the Vanguard only stop crimes in progress. The only offense that can be investigated after it has been committed is that of bodily harm above the waist. Hou has made it very clear that those who have been found guilty of trying to kill someone will be executed. This leads to great parody in the city as many people walk around stabbing others in the rear or groin. There is a low birth-rate in Hou’Caw and this is the reason why. The people assume that Hou created this law to amuse himself and nothing more. The other parody is that Hou has created a Death Contract system, whereby for a heavy price, you may purchase a Death Contract on a person. Though many people have bought themselves off the death contract availability list, there are still a huge portion of the population who can’t afford to be off the list. This contract does not aid you in your murder in any way, but allows you free ability to track down and murder the person who’s name is on the contract. A person is perfectly allowed to evade this manhunt and it is up to the individual to survive. Only the purchaser of the contract is allowed to murder the individual. Homosexuality is outright prohibited, though it is practiced in every corner of the city (This allows Hou the luxury of arresting almost anyone he wants). It is illegal to leave the city unless you have purchased a Departure Ticket. Anyone caught leaving the city without authorization will be executed. This is a problem from time to time because MANY people wish to leave the city. Though most cannot afford the departure ticket or can’t afford the cost of a Joon flight. No one dares attempt to leave the city on foot. It is illegal to smear the name of Hou. Anyone caught in the act will be executed. It is illegal to drink defecate on the streets, or you are executed. If you are caught committing any crimes, you are held by the Raiflin Vanguard until Justice Arbiter arrives and either executes you or takes you to Hou’s castle where you can bargain for you life or be put to work on the castle(which basically means death). Lastly, it is forbidden to move around the city dangerously during the wax and wane of Zinthan. A fine of 60HC will be incurred.
There are many forms of payment for services rendered in Hou’Caw, but most of these center around the Hou Coin(HC). Bartering with goods or services is far more common than trading HC, but many find it prudent to keep coins around for the simple reason that you can buy your way out of many situations that bartering cannot. With the buried river being routed directly through the city, you would think that would be plentiful. This is simply not true. Hou keeps a close eye on how hydrated the population is and uses his river as a form of control. So water has become a highly touted bartering tool. Amassing deposits of water is a known meter of wealth among individuals or organizations. Slaves are the most important trade item next to food and water, especially slave children and the better the race, the higher the value. Kanem is sold and bought regularly due to the level of addiction in the city. Rare foods are another form of currency among the wealthy. Alcohol is also traded regularly. Basically, almost anything is of some value because of the irregularity of controlled trade with other cities.