Corruption of Azim
Penumbra’s Pandemonius Shadow Circus
The Shadow Circus is a world-famous traveling circus run by the dynamic and enchanting man known only as Penumbra. It travels from city to city and will set up for several weeks, always in the exact same setup. It boasts exotic animals, acrobats, musicians, storytellers, and all sorts of wonders. The circus is a “donation-only” run organization, so the poor can come and see it for themselves. That being said, there is usually a section in the main tent cordoned off for the wealthy and noble.
At night, after the daily entertainment has finished, the dazzling colors are still on display but with a much different tone. Turning the tents into more of a burlesque house than fun-filled circus, the nighttime activities range from exotic dancing to prostitution (under the direction of The Slevain Sisters), with gambling and fighting (both animal and cage) thrown in the mix. In short, the fun-filled tents of the day become seething cauldrons of vice at night.
But, in reality, all of this is a front for the true activities of the circus. Penumbra himself is a criminal mastermind and uses the show as front for smuggling, stealing, trafficking, spying (who suspects a circus?), and even assassinations. The circus is a kind of traveling thieves guild. The elite acrobats that started the show itself, the original Shadow Circus, are all Shadowdancers, and they use their skills for nefarious ends. This is why the layout of the circus is always identical, so that Penumbra and the other Shadowdancers can flit about from place to place unseen, helping each other with alibi’s, hiding contraband, etc. Those in the know believe Penumbra to have amassed a fortune to rival most minor, and probably some major, noble houses.