West Stave is one of the two major canals that bracket the Barrel in Ketterdam. The other is East Stave. Full of lights and music, West Stave is known for its brothels, which attract pleasure-seekers and crowd-watching tourists alike. Many people visit the pleasure district in disguise as characters from the Komedie Brute. Other tourists never enter the brothels, simply coming to watch the costumed crowd.
"Music floated out of parlors where the doors had been flung open, and men and women lounged on couches in little more than scraps of silk and gaudy baubles. Acrobats dangled from cords over the canal, lithe bodies garbed in nothing but glitter, while street performers played their fiddles, hoping to garner a coin or two from passersby. Hawkers shouted at the sleek private gondels of rich merchers in the canal and the larger browboats that brought tourists and sailors inland from the Lid."
- Six of Crows Chapter 5
Each pleasure house on West Stave has its own specialty. The theme extends to the decor and the employees of the brothel.
Like much of Kerch, the working environment of West Stave serves as a haven for human trafficking and enslavement, particularly for foreigners who cannot read Kerch. A person may be abducted from their home, trafficked, and then have their indenture sold; the victim then signs a contract that they cannot read because they have no other choice. Both Kerch natives and foreigners are often swindled in unfair contracts, and many of them are subjected to physical and emotional abuses by their pimps and their customers.
- Ammbers Hotel
- Emporium Komedie
- The Anvil, whose specialty is tattooed men
- The Bandycat
- The Forge, whose specialty is bearded men
- The House of the White Rose
- The House of the Blue Iris
- The House of Snow, whose specialty is dewy-eyed blondes
- The Menagerie, also known as the House of Exotics
- The Obscura
- The Sweet Shop
- The Willow Switch