April 1, 2013

Shop: Able’s Horse Shop

Helrin “Able” Min sells used horses at his one-man livery. These are older horses that have seen a lifetime of work or horses that the previous owners no longer wanted for some reason. However, he sells them cheaply; usually about 50% of the regular price for a horse. This makes them excellent for adventurers just starting out who could not otherwise afford a horse or as a cheap pack-horse. However, the horses are not in the best of conditions. You get what you pay for.

All horses are “sold as is” and Helrin is very clear that a horse can not be returned once sold. He also does not rent out horses; they are only for final sale. It is possible for a player character to examine a particular horse for possible issues a horse might have. This would require the appropriate animal handling skill at a normal difficulty.

Helrin “Able” Min
He is a young man, 21, who is trying to better himself. He has an entrepreneurial spirit and felt that this is an overlooked market that he could exploit and make a living at. So far he is right. He is full of high energy and this easily comes across as he tends to speak rapidly. He knows his horses all have some fundamental flaw; otherwise their previous owners wouldn’t have parted with them for such low prices in the first place. He won’t lie about a horse’s issues, but he also won’t volunteer such information. Helrin is single and with his successful business he sees himself moving up in society. Thus, for now, he is a ladies man playing the field.

Adventure Ideas
-Able bought and sold yet another horse without knowing its drawbacks. Only this time it was a Nightmare. He bought the horse from a traveling merchant, a demon in disguise who is sowing discord on the Mortal Plane. The Nightmare was warded to believe it was an ordinary horse until it had passed through three owners. Able sold the “horse” to a local farmer, Trent Waysider, and the Nightmare gained its true mind the next day. While Able normally enforces his “sold as is” policy, the Nightmare has been rampaging through the countryside causing all sorts of destruction and Able fears gaining a bad reputation. Able is looking to hire some adventurers to kill the demon horse.
-Most of Able’s horses have come down with a disease. Small patches of skin with raised spots have been scabbing over and spreading around the head area of his horses (Ringworm). The spread of the infection has increased and spread to his other horses so he knows this is not related to one animal. No one in town seems to know how to cure his horses. He knows of a tribe of centaurs, the Spirithoof Tribe, which roam nearby. However, they have a personal dislike for Able, “a horseflesh peddler”. Able is looking to hire some adventurers to go and talk to the centaurs in the hope they will be able to provide a cure for his horses. Of course, the centaurs may want something in return for such a cure other than gold; something like the removal of a monster that has recently moved into their territory.

List of Horses For Sale
1)      Dolly – Younger looking horse. Extremely skittish. The slightest thing will set her off; such things as a cat walking by, a loud cough, a low flying bird. She will then buck and run around. This has a chance of knocking the rider off and it will take some animal handling rolls to calm her down again.
2)      Blaze – He is very old. He moves slowly but diligently. However, he is already past his life expectancy. At the beginning of each day roll a 1d20; if a 1 is rolled, Blaze will finally succumb to death at some point during that day.
3)      Silver – This horse looks to be in fine condition. However, he has a very high metabolism. He needs to feed three times as much as normal or he will get sick and unable to work. This sickly condition begins to take effect the second day after not meeting his food requirements but his recovery occurs in one day after being fed enough.
4)      Thunder – This older horse’s heart beats too fast (Tachycardia). This causes him to become fatigued and disoriented quickly. Thunder becomes too tired to do anything, usually after about an hour of work. After an hour of rest, he can work again for an hour.
5)      Midge – She is older. Her joints are weak and if given too much weight to bear, up to half a horse’s normal carrying capacity, one of her legs will go lame. Once lame she will effectively be useless.
6)      Star – He has a severe case of Rain Rot. This causes scabs to form on his back, flanks and rump. These scabs will flake and peel off revealing the pink skin below. They also smell badly. Star is functional, despite being in some discomfort, but other people around him become uncomfortable fearing he might be bearing some form of plague. Curative magic will fix the issue, but inevitably, it will be back in a week’s time.

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