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The Praag Opera House is not unlike the city in miniature: the scars and ruin of the war are proudly borne between the beauty and extravagance of the rebuilding and defiantly aesthetic in the face of decay. The vaulted ceiling inside the grand, baroque building still preserves the hole struck by cannon fire, and the stalls are decorated with the bones of the dead, forming macabre yet undeniably beautiful patterns. The acoustics on stage are phenomenal, and to play here is an entertainer's dream, the equal of appearing at the Breughel in Altdorf. The Opera House is a symbol of great pride to both the rich and poor of Praag, and every person in town has attended at least once, thanks to the annual performance where everyone is allowed in for only a penny. Since this yearly event fills the halls with peasants, or muzhiks, these events are known colloquially as muzhik-hals.[1a][1b]

All great Opera Houses have a ghost, and Praag's is no exception. Everyone knows that the great pipe organ plays even when the building is empty. However, it is not being played by just any rogue spirit; the organ is tainted with Dark Magic and corrupts any who play it. Anyone spending a season as the Opera House's organist grows insane and feels driven to commit lustful and violent acts. The long run of the Opera House organists who have gone mad or been arrested has been noticed, but such is the price of great music.[1b]

The Operatic Society

The Opera House is funded partly by the opera companies, partly by the duke, but mostly by the Operatic Society, a loose collection of the city's wealthiest boyars who believe fervently in the promotion of great music. They also passionately believe in protecting their power and their incomes, and the prosperity of Praag ensures both. They are the true rulers of the city, and they manipulate every part of it to ensure trade continues without undue influence from the south and that profits—their profits—remain high. Such profiteering chafes the boyars and guild masters who are not members of the Operatic Society. They would pay handsomely for anything that helps weaken the society's position—or, alternatively, anything that permits them to join. With almost half the society dying in the Chaos Incursion, such social mobility is suddenly a lot more likely.[1a]

Source

  • 1: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 2nd ED -- Realm of the Ice Queen
    • 1a: pg. 73
    • 1b: pg. 75

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