Situated about 6 days ride northwest of Tal Verrar, along the coast of the Sea of Brass, Salon Corbeau is described as a demi-city. More substantial than just a private estate, but not large and diverse enough to be called a city in its own right, the place has grown around the estate of Countess Vira Saljesca of Lashain. The countess is the undisputed ruler of the area, and no one seems to care to challenge her over it, as the area around Salon Corbeau is mostly a wasteland created by the eruption of the nearby Mount Azar, more than 300 years in the past. It is also about equidistant from Tal Verrar, Lashain, and Balinel, though far enough from all of them as to be too much trouble for any of them to try and claim. This makes it, more or less, an autonomous resort state, a place for the wealthy along the Brass Coast to visit and enjoy the kind of freedoms that only come with ridiculous amounts of money.
The large numbers of wealthy patrons have attracted skilled artisans of various crafts, people selling the quality of merchandise that only the rich could afford. The most talented tailors, alchemists, glassbenders, carpenters, entertainers and the like from all over the area set up shop in Salon Corbeau to sell their wares to the idle rich.This led Locke Lamora there in the 78th Year of Nara to buy a special set of chairs from a skilled carpenter for the Sinspire job.
The Amusement War
While the talented artisans who ply their crafts in Salon Corbeau are useful to the wealthy visitors, the real reason that people with too much money and time come from all over the Brass Coast is the Amusement War. At the heart of Salon Corbeau is a stadium, a miniature replica of the legendary Stadia Ultra of Therim Pel. Three times a day, the wealthy fill the luxury galleries of the stadium to witness a spectacle unlike any other. The floor of the arena is covered with a 20x20 grid of black and white marble squares, an enormous Catch-the-Duke board. The poor and desperate from all around, any who could survive the walk through the surrounding wastelands, come to be pieces in the Countess's game. Three times a day, 80 of these desperate folks are led out onto the board to play.
At each end of the stadium is a special box, which needs to be reserved far in advance, as the waiting lists are very long. The person in the box is in command of their side for the game, and while controlling pieces in a life-size game of Catch-the-Duke is certainly outre in and of itself and might be amusing for some, the true spectacle of the Amusement War is in the "defaults."
When a "piece" is taken in the Amusement War, the person controlling the opposing team can choose a default, to inflict upon them. The default can be almost anything, short of death. "Pieces" can be beaten with clubs, stripped naked, raped, or splashed with alchemical caustics. The more humiliating or painful the default, the more the spectators love it.
In exchange for participating in the Amusement War, the poor are fed 2 meals a day while they wait for their number to be drawn for a War. If they're chosen, they receive a copper centira. If they're given a default, they get a silver volani, and with each War there is a random drawing. One of the 80 is randomly chosen to receive a gold solari.