Friday, January 5, 2018

Lore of Ahneria: In the Merchant's Stalls of Garton
This is part of a series on the lore of my homebrew world, Ahneria. As I outlined here, much of this information will be pulled from existing D&D lore and tropes. At the end, I'll be including a section on how to use this sort of thing in your own games. 

So, you're visiting the City of Free Trade and you want to buy something? Well, why didn't you say so in the first place?

The Garlancian Merchant's Guild

Also known as the House of Coins, The Bank, or the King's Second Coffers.

The Merchant's Guild sets regulations on prices for everything sold within the city. They are usually very lenient about minimum selling prices, but the limit means that a black market does exist for cheap and illegal goods. They are particularly stringent when it comes to magic items: they work with the Mage's Guild to ensure every item is fairly priced. Common magic items (as defined by the DMG) are sellable in any vendor around the city, but beyond that you'll have to get in with the Guild to find more expensive fare.

It's common knowledge within the City of Garton that the epithet "City of Free Trade" isn't as true as people wish it would be.
There are several Guild-sponsored magic item sellers around the city. They are usually located on busy shopping streets or within an open market or bazaar, and they sell Uncommon magic items. They try to keep their stocks full, but there's never a guarantee that what you're looking for is available. The vendors are hesitant to purchase items from adventurers, never going above half the selling price and usually starting their bid even lower.

To purchase or sell Rare magic items, you'll have to go to one of the two Magic Item Specialist shops in the city. They are both located in the High District, one within the Mage's Guild and one within the Merchant's Guild headquarters. The Mage's Guild shop is also known to sell blueprints and recipes for magic items from Common to Very Rare, and sometimes even has fragments of a Very Rare magic item that can be built into a weaker version of the item.

As far as outright purchasing Very Rare or Legendary magic items, you won't have much luck in Garton. However, the Mage's Guild might be interested in purchasing such items if you find the right wizard.

The guild is lead by Oswald Lee Bailey, an intense man with a large mustache and a love for rare and unusual artifacts. He and his trusted advisers oversee and coordinate all of the merchants in the High District, with their branch offices managing the other merchants in the city. They also have an influence in other cities around Garlancia, with Eastcliff being the most prominent.

Shops of All Shapes and Sizes

Since Garton is a town built on trade, you can expect to find anything and everything here. Here's a list of shops a group of adventurers might happen upon while wandering the city. If a shop can't be rolled on the table (for example, in the High District you can't roll and find the Black Market), that simply means that the players won't stumble upon it. They might be able to follow some leads and dig up a shop, though.

The number of dice rolled depends on the district they are exploring:
  • Low District - 1d10
  • Middle District - 2d10
  • High District - 3d10
  1. Farm and Feed Store
  2. Black Market
  3. Stables
  4. Roadside Knickknack Vendor
  5. Potter
  6. Carpenter
  7. Mason/Stonecutting Services
  8. Leatherworking Shop
  9. Tailor
  10. Temple
  11. General Store
  12. Adventuring Supply Store
  13. Blacksmith
  14. Potion Supply Store
  15. Magic Item Shop
  16. Glassblower
  17. Books and Writing Supplies
  18. Brothel
  19. Fletcher/Bowmaker
  20. Spellcasting Services
  21. Fine Clothier
  22. Art Supply Shop
  23. Fine Spices
  24. Map Maker
  25. Bodyguard Rental
  26. Alchemist
  27. Jeweler/Locksmith
  28. Spell Supply Store
  29. Magic Item Specialist Store (2 in the city)
  30. Merchant's Guild Headquarters (1 in the city)

Note that slave trade is outlawed in Garton, however, indentured servitude is practiced by those rich enough to be owed money in large amounts. If you want to buy or sell humanoids, you'll need to find the Black Market.
Most merchants get their supplies from the river that runs through the city, by way of barges that run alongside it. However, there are many caravans and carriages that pass in and out of the city gates.

Unusual Vendors

Being the biggest trade city for miles, Garton draws vendors whose products simply wouldn't sell anywhere else. I took some great lists from elsewhere on the internet and narrowed them down to what you might find specifically in the streets of Garton:

Roll d20 for a unique shop.
  1. The Outdoor Librarian, has books/scrolls/tablets/etchings/etc. on wide range of outré subjects stashed in nooks and crannies throughout city
  2. Greale, an illegal dungeon intoxicant salesman on home-crafted in-line skates zooms around openly pitching wares, issues obscene gestures to city watch. He's got some banshee protoplasm that will knock you on your butt.
  3. Multi-Nefarious Games, sells small dice, various gaming implements. People sit around pretending to go on adventures.
  4. Shopkeep Ayala is selling domesticated pork-fed troll fatback: a perpetual food source if byzantine directions followed to the letter (store in acid, allow 1 hour to grow, stab repeatedly before repacking), saving throw required on initial consumption.
  5. Bearded witch under black tarp will curse enemies for cash, outcomes range from minor skin eruptions to howling madness to lethal afflictions, priced accordingly
  6. Shopkeep Storch is selling Lanterns filled w/bioluminescent fluid harvested from living giant glow worm, shake to activate, lasts 2d4 hours.
  7. Kallamants, a foreign vendor sells unusual footwear, mostly mundane w/extremely pointy toes, new line of troll-rubber boots that never wear out, enhance sneakiness.
  8. Shopkeep Coljar sells Master-trained monster-detecting falcon: 1 in 6 chance of betraying new owners (flying off, leading in predators, etc.).
  9. Rashad, a butcher w/variety of Underworld meats, dubious sausages, menacing terrines, weird shanks, will pay bounty for reasonably fresh monster corpses. Spends a lot of time telling city inspectors they are just unusual beef cuts.
  10. Shopkeep Flarsteng, a half-dwarf, selling Mountaineering boots w/toe-activated retractable claw mechanism.
  11. Shopkeep Mistletoe (half-elf) is selling torches infused w/a variety of fragrant essences. Your choice of smell!
  12. Aunt Dramie's Dust Bunny Ranch. Incredibly cheap, great for distractions and jumping in people's eyes. Keep away from strong winds.
  13. Shopkeep Gilvel is selling tentacles. Just tentacles. Squid, Octopus, Grick, Mind Flayer, you name it. He's buying them, too.
  14. Shopkeep Polly Chastity Cleora Nottle Cholmondeley, gnome, is selling love potions and charms. 1 in 6 chance they actually work, and even then it's more likely to be mild affection than head-over-heels romance. No refunds. Kept afloat by rumors and gossip she herself spreads.
  15. Street Artist (who can cast levitate) named Eugene paying for objects that would look artistic floating in the air. Might include people who are particularly beautiful or hideous. Ties long ropes to his works and sells them like balloons.
  16. Mystic Azariah will tell your future for 1 copper, 1 silver, 1 gold, and 1 platinum piece. Most people don't carry around platinum, so business has been slow. Unfortunately, those who do pay find that his predictions always center around the next time they will stub their toe, which invariably comes true.
  17. Street Vendor Enoch is buying and selling bones. He claims to store them in crypts steeped in ancient magic, which increases their magic potency. Wizards can confirm the value of these "Crypt-o-Currencies", but others remain skeptical.
  18. Shopkeep Hepzibah Hardfist, dwarf, sells magic locks. Locks that only open to a specific person's blood, locks that feature tumblers which change position at dawn, locks that blare alarms when picked, and more. Claims to be the best locksmith in her distant homeland, constantly disappointed by non-dwarvish economic state.
  19. Street Artist Quinby sells charcoal sketches of anyone who pays him, usually cast in a funny light. The more you convince him you can take a joke, the funnier the sketches. Nobles get stern portraits, beggars get outlandish caricatures.
  20. A large, abandoned warehouse. Passersby say it once sold goods of an adult persuasion, but it went out of business a while back. Frequently used by gangs as a hideout.

Using This Material in Your Setting

  • Where can your players go to shop?
  • Who controls the market? The Guilds? The Royalty? The Royalty-like Guilds?
  • Are Magic Items for sale?
  • Where are these shops located?
  • Who are some unusual vendors that the PCs might befriend?

Thanks for reading!

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