April 30, 2013

Shop: Zed’s Fruit Stand

This business did indeed start out as a fruit stand. The young Zed Narr has always been a hard worker and he wanted more than to simply be a fruit seller for someone else. First he saved up enough coppers to open his own fruit stand. Then he hired urchins and those looking for any sort of work to sell fruits throughout the city, often with nothing more than a small basket or cart as they wandered the town. Then he began to buy direct from farmers outside of town. Then he began importing fruit until now he is the premier fruit importer, not only of local produce but he also brings in exotic fruit from cities far away. There is talk that he is soon planning on purchasing some farms outside of the city so he has a complete supply chain, as well as broadening the variety of goods he sells.

Zed Narr has a number of fruit stands and moving vendors spread throughout the city. The joke within the city is that there is a Zed's Fruit Stand on every corner; while this is not true, it is close. The produce he sells is of good quality and is shipped into the city every day. It is his network that allows him to continue to sell the fruit cheap enough so anyone attempting to undercut him will do so at a loss.

Zed Narr
Zed is terrified. A few months ago he discovered one of his drivers was smuggling in goods for the Chain Gang thieves guild. When he tried to deal with the situation he was approached by the thieves guild and boldly had his life threatened by them if he did not allow the smuggling to continue. Fearing for his life he kept silent. Since then the smuggling has increased to the point that almost every day one of his transports is bringing in some type of contraband. Since then Zed has become paranoid and irritable, not sure of how to deal with the situation; he is scared for his life, but also scared that the smuggling operation will be discovered and he will take the fall for something he did not do.

Adventure Ideas
-A rare and magical fruit, the bacca, has been brought to the attention of Zed Narr. It is said to never rot and can pass on this luster to those that eat of it. It is also from a land far away. Zed is looking for some adventurers to travel to this land, locate the place where this fruit grows, discover the price of the bacca (or a means to acquire the fruit), and then return with their information. This would be a long journey through foreign and unknown lands rife with adventure.
-The local authorities have seen an increase in the amount of smuggled goods that have entered the city. The situation is made worse by the fact that a highly addictive herb, sarrio, has been one of the contraband. They are looking for someone to investigate that will not be seen as members of the city and the characters fit that description. What will they do when they uncover the beleaguered Zed Narr? What will they do when they have an entire thieves guild out to kill them?

List of Names for Thieves Guilds
1)      Brotherhood of Stealth
2)      League of Daggers
3)      Silent Eyes
4)      The False Union
5)      Society of Dusk
6)      The Blind
7)      Shroud of Blades
8)      The Benefice Club
9)      Lodge of the Splinter
10)   The Sly Fraternity
11)   Circle of Blood
12)   The Gold Faction

April 29, 2013

Shop: Yolanda's Bardic Circle

Yolanda's is a clearing house for bards of various types. If a person or organization wants a proficient bard to perform at their function they come here and hire one. They are predominantly musicians and singers; other types of performers, such as jesters, acrobats, mummers and dancers, can be hired elsewhere. They have an excellent reputation of providing top-notch entertainment and the local high society look down on any bard not hired through this shop. While most of their business is local, they are willing to hire out in other towns and there are even times when they will form a traveling show for a season.

There is, however, a dark side to the Bardic Circle. Ten years ago, the husband of Yolanda was killed by a drunken patron and due to the killers political position nothing was done about it. This caused Yolanda to lose faith in government. She saw a blight upon society that needed to be corrected and at times excised. A year later the killer of her husband was found dead, having drunkenly fallen into a pool and drowned. Since then Yolanda and the Bardic Circle has continued their secret agenda of righting the wrongs that government can not or will not. The bards are welcome in all the influential homes of the city and they use this to ferret out the corruption of the city. From there they use magic, blackmail and other coercion, up to and including killing, to influence city policies for the betterment of the populace. Most of this "betterment" is violent revenge for wrongs committed by those above the law.

Yolanda Charr
To outward appearances Yolanda is very outgoing and personable. However, she has a hard inside that can peek out if something touches off her sense of "rightness". Also, despite looking like she is easy to get along with, she is judgmental and she is not afraid to make mention of other people's failings. While she made a name for herself as an excellent harpist, she finds she has little time now to actively play due to running of the business occupying most of her time. This has made her even more bitter.

Adventure Ideas
-A new bard has joined Yolanda's Bardic Circle, Alic Tre'valle. She is a young woman and plays a mean dulcimer. However, she is disturbed by a few of the off-hand things some of the other bards have said within her hearing. She fears there is more to the Bardic Circle than a simple business offering bardic services. She is willing to hire the characters to investigate Yolanda's Bardic Circle to make sure everything is above-board and nothing sinister is going on.
-One of the bards is having second thoughts on the "goodness" of the Bardic Circle's secret agenda. Nik Huck feels the Circle is too quick to use violence to right the wrongs and he is not pleased with some of the things he has been asked to do for the Circle. He has decided to ask the characters to shut down the Bardic Circle but as he goes to meet them, he is killed before he can tell them what he wanted them for, right at their feet. Yolanda had gotten wind of Nik's intentions and had given the order to have him killed before he could disrupt their good work. Will the characters investigate what this man wanted of them and avenge his death?

List of Medieval Musical Instruments
1)      Bagpipe
2)      Bladder Pipe
3)      Cornamuse
4)      Crumhorn
5)      Drum
6)      Dulcian
7)      Dulcimer
8)      Cymbal
9)      Fiddle
10)   Flute
11)   Gamba
12)   Gemshorn
13)   Harp
14)   Harpsichord
15)   Lute
16)   Organetto
17)   Recorder
18)   Sackbut
19)   Trumpet
20)   Viol

April 27, 2013

Shop: Xorn Leather

This is a fairly run of the mill leather shop. The proprietor, Sam Tully, sells only leather, but no leather goods; he lets other shops actually manufacture goods. His claim to fame, and the reason he opened a leather shop in the first place, was that he had managed to kill a Xorn when he was younger. He skinned the creature and made enough from the sale of the skin to a magician's guild that he was able to open this business. He still keeps the head mounted in the shop. Since then he has been a middleman selling the skins that others bring him; he has not hunted since then. He will also skin a creature brought to him and then sell it. Ay any given time the shop will have a couple of more exotic skins, such as drake or owlbear, brought in by a group of adventurers, but the majority of the stock is generic, ordinary leather. He will, however, not knowingly sell the hide of a sentient creature.

Sam Tully
He is now middle-aged, 37, and his fairly sedentary lifestyle has caused him to pack on a few extra pounds. For a man who makes a living as a salesman, he has an odd habit of never making eye contact. This is because he constantly feels ashamed. First is that he did not actually kill the Xorn that funded his business. Instead he came across it's corpse where it had apparently died of some injuries it had earlier sustained. When he brought the corpse into town the people cheered him as a mighty hero and he never seemed to get around to clearing up the confusion. Second, is that he later learned that Xorn can be intelligent creatures and the thought of skinning a sentient creatures makes him ill.

Adventure Ideas
-Unknown to Sam, some Xorn exhibit a measure of sentient and intellect. And they are out for revenge after all these years. The characters will likely first meet a band of Xorn as a random encounter, but the Xorn keep coming. The characters will be asked by the local authorities to find out why the Xorn continuously attack and eventually the trail will lead to Sam.
-A special request order has come into Xorn Leather. Sam Tully is far too inactive to actually go and get the hide himself, so he is looking to hire a group of adventurers to hunt down the creature and get it for him, all for a good price. This can be run multiple times, choosing a different monster each time to keep things interesting. The monster to be hunted can be chosen by you or randomly rolled from the following list.
List of Exotic Leather
1)      Ankheg
2)      Basilisk
3)      Bulette
4)      Carrion Crawler
5)      Darkmantle
6)      Dire Animal
7)      Displacer Beast
8)      Drake
9)      Gorgon
10)   Grey Render
11)   Grick
12)   Hellhound
13)   Hydra
14)   Manticore
15)   Nightmare
16)   Owlbear
17)   Purple Worm
18)   Rust Monster
19)   Umberhulk
20)   Worg

April 26, 2013

Shop: Wine Shrine

As expected, this shop sells wine. It has the usual assortment of wines that can be found at various taverns and similar shops. They do try to carry a wide selection. Whereas a tavern or inn might carry only a couple of wines, the Wine Shrine, carries about twenty different types ranging from chardonnay to merlots. Their prices run normal and range from a cheap bottle to some of the more expensive ones.

However, their claim to fame and what sets them truly apart is the Centaur Pressing. This bubbly wine appears in the shop on the first day every three months. There are only ever 100 bottles of the wine, they are priced very high and they are gone usually in a day. Wine connoisseurs, and even those with nothing but a taste for alcohol, claim this is the finest wine ever produced. People are willing to pay almost any price for a bottle and do so happily. The owner of the Wine Shrine, Pe’re Caville, has to date refused to reveal where he gets the wine. All anyone knows is that the week before the day of the sale he heads out with a wagon full of empty bottles and then he reappears the day before the sale with a wagon full of the wine.

The truth of the mysterious wine is that Pe’re was once an adventurer, the cleric for a group called the Special League. During one of their adventures they came across the Bloody Eye goblin tribe. This tribe was fairly weak and hurriedly offered to pay the adventurers off to make them go away. In the pay-off was a bottle of wine they had made. It was absolutely fabulous. Sometime soon thereafter the Special League split up (due to a romantic triangle that ended bitterly) and Pe’re decided to retire from the dangers of adventuring. Not sure what to do he thought again about the Bloody Eye tribe and their wine. Seeking them out he negotiated buying the wine they had made and he resold it in town. People wanted more. So he again went to the goblin tribe and came back with more. And that sold just as fast and for a higher price. Since then, Pe’re decided to open the Wine Shrine selling a variety of wine and the occasional sale of Centaur Pressing. And the name, Centaur Pressing? Pe’re decided to direct people’s attention away from goblins as the source of the wine by making them think centaurs are somehow involved in its production. So far, it’s worked.

Pe’re Caville
Pe’re has managed to stay in shape from leading a fairly regimented lifestyle that he carried over into his retirement. The only indication that he is getting older is his receding hairline. Pe’re is enjoying his semi-retirement. Other than procuring the Centaur Pressing he does little of the day-to-day management of the Wine Shrine. The rest of the time he frequents taverns, shows and other entertainments. And when there is nothing exciting going on in town he likes to go fishing, a hobby he has recently picked up.

Adventure Ideas
-Pe’re Caville is looking to hire some guards on his next trip to gather the Centaur Pressing as he fears a more violent attempt will be made to follow him to his source. The characters are hired to keep him safe and then wait for him as he goes on alone. After the trip is made successfully (after fighting off a couple of ambushes) the characters are offered money by a rival merchant to reveal everything they know about the trip.
-Pe’re Caville comes to the characters with an unusual request. There has been an uprising in the number of attacks from local orcs and goblins. Local authorities have called a hunt on them and are offering bounties. Pe’re knows the Bloody Eye Tribe is not involved. Pe’re wants the characters to deal with the other orc and goblin attackers and to make sure that the Bloody Eye Tribe is kept safe from other adventurers.

List of Wines by Race
This can be used in an encounter where you want to add in a bit more flavor. They can be served when in a racial community or found as part of a treasure.
Fiery Red                                      Dragonborn
Husk Harvest                                Dragonborn
Foundry Grape                              Dwarf
Special Reserve Mead                   Dwarf
West Wind Assemblage                Elf
Leaf Whisper Preserve                  Elf
Apple Appellation                         Halfling
Sparkling Burst                             Halfling
Robust Premier                             Human
Grand Dry                                     Human
Fermented Growth                        Gnome
Moonberry Wine                           Gnome
Black Grape                                   Orc
Ever Red                                        Orc
Dark Amber                                   Tiefling
Shadowberry Wine                        Tiefling


April 25, 2013

Shop: Viable Connection Service

This business is a one-man operation run by Lian Weaver. In effect, he introduces a person who is looking for something to a person who has that something. His business is built on effectiveness and discretion. In the past, he has done such things as helping a necromancer find a lost tome (and barely avoided going to the dungeons for it), found a wizard adept at making traps for the city guard and helped a noble family sell its jewelry collection. He knows everyone and what they are capable of. He usually has several deals going on at the same time and it can take a few days for him to make the right connections. The charge for his services is usually 10% of the value of what is to be traded, though he only takes his fee once what the customer is looking for has been found.

Indeed, one of the first people the characters are likely to meet within this town is Lian Weaver. He makes an effort to meet everyone new and introduce his services. For adventurers he is able to connect the characters to someone willing to buy esoteric books, magic items and other objects that the characters may be looking to sell off. All too often some items are almost impossible to sell on the open market for anything approaching their value and Lian can help move them. Lian can also help adventurers find a person with knowledge that the party may be in need of, such as a specialized sage.

Lian Weaver
Lian is actually a fairly friendly person; certainly he is very outgoing. However, he also has an air of a snakeoil salesman. He makes his living by getting people to trust him and by knowing the details of everyone’s life. He appears to have no conscience with his “no questions asked” policy, but he puts the spin of “trust” and "discretion" on it. However, those who know of his four girlfriends are not so trusting.

Adventure Ideas
-Apparently Lian does have a conscience. He was recently contacted by M’mrac the Yellow, a noted magician, to find a book called the Tome of Closing. Lian did so, having discovered the book lies in the library of a local merchant. However, his research also turned up the pure evil of the book and how it can bring about "The End Times". Fearing for his life he still told M'mrac where the book was. Now he is looking for adventurers to prevent M'mrac from acquiring the Tome or, if failing that, to stop whatever M'mrac is planning with the book.
-At the request of Yun Supp'e, Lian introduced him to a mutual merchant, Sherrod Diamond. Yun has since disappeared before he paid Lian for his services and now Sherrod claims to have never met Yun. Lian suspects something untoward has happened and hires the characters to discover what it is going on, if only so he can get paid. Unknown to Lian, Sherrod is actually a diabolist using his mercantile business as a cover. Yun has been searching for him for a few years now, but Sherrod managed to gain the upper hand and dispose of Yun. Now Sherrod needs to clean up the trail to him and that includes Lian and the characters.

List of Evil Tomes
1)      The Book of Inverse
2)      Codex of Pain
3)      The Insidious Volume
4)      Manuscript of Souls
5)      Journal of a Lost
6)      The Black Edition
7)      The Scrolls of Madness
8)      The Diabolic Works
9)      Scripts of the Stone Blood
10)   Manual of the Damnable
11)   The Foul Works
12)   Treatise of the Tentacle


April 24, 2013

Shop: Uncle Ned’s Bakery

This is a fairly normal bakery. Breads get baked early so the morning crowd can get their day’s bread. There are additional baked goods such as pastries, cookies and cakes. At first glance, this appears to be your typical bakery. However, of late, the quality of the baked goods has gone up considerably. The bakery has been producing some of the best baked goods ever tasted; it is almost orgasmic. For the past few weeks the bakery has been running out of food on a daily basis as people have been buying everything the bakery produces. Other bakeries are at a loss to explain the sudden change in quality. Some suspect a new recipe or magics are involved. Thus far the owner of Uncle Ned’s Bakery, Tobias “Uncle Ned” Malone, has remained silent as to what secret ingredient or baking method he has changed.

The reason why Tobias Malone has remained silent is because he has no idea what has changed. He is baking his goods as he always has. Nothing has changed. In fact, he has tried his baked goods and they taste the same to him. The truth lies beneath the bakery. Before the current building was erected, there was a brothel at the same spot. One night, many years ago, it was burnt down to the ground by a disgruntled and obsessive customer. People quickly forgot about the former brothel and a new building was erected over it. However, the spirits of those slain in the fire did not pass on and lingered.

Recently a weakening in the veil between the mortal and the spirit world has allowed these spirits to reenter the mortal world. For some unknown reason they are tied to an exchange of some sort and go with whoever buys something in the bakery, i.e. the baked goods. Thereafter, they follow a driving force and they stimulate the pleasure centers of the brain. However, once the good that was exchanged is gone (eaten) the spirit is forced back to where it came from, the bakery. The spirits would still like to move on, but are trapped in this cycle. Unfortunately, there may come a time soon when they are able to overcome the force that is causing them to stimulate the pleasure centers and instead turn violent in rage for their confinement in this world.

Tobias Malone
Tobias never wanted to be more than he is, a man who does his job adequately and earns enough to live on. He never wanted to win any sort of baking contest or be the most popular person. However, all this new attention is making him unsettled. Some see him as a genius (or so they say), some find him ruggedly handsome (or so they say), some are impressed by his new prosperity (or so they say). Tobias suspects it is the new taste of his baked goods and that people either want his secret ingredient or to use him for their own ends. Of course the attention is still nice.

Adventure Ideas
-The characters are hired to uncover the secret ingredient of the bakery. The bakery is looking to hire some new employees to keep up with the demand and one of the characters can try and infiltrate the bakery this way. Or a brute force breaking-in could also work. But what do the characters do when they don’t find anything out of the ordinary?
-The spirit of the arsonist who initially burned down the brothel managed to escape the bakery. It begins to wreak havoc on the town and then just as suddenly disappears. After a few instances of this happening, the characters are hired to solve this problem and track the spirit back to its lair and expel it from the mortal world.

List of Bakery Items
You can use this list to augment the description of a meal.
1)      Biscotti
2)      Biscuit
3)      Bread
4)      Bread Pudding
5)      Cake
6)      Cinnamon Roll
7)      Cookies
8)      Croissant
9)      Cupcake
10)    Danish
11)    Ã‰clair
12)    Fruitcake
13)    Fudge
14)    Quiche
15)    Pie
16)    Squares
17)    Strudel
18)    Tart
19)    Tiramisu
20)    Torte

April 23, 2013

Shop: Two Forge Blacksmith

A couple of years ago there were rumors of a potential war. Scoll Blackwell, a local blacksmith, spent a considerable sum of money to expand his smithy in anticipation of increased demand. The war never came about and Scoll nearly went bankrupt. Since then he has limped along with his blacksmith business and should be out of debt in a few more years, assuming he can continue getting the small jobs and he actually reinvests the money he makes as opposed to spending it on new plans.

Due to his misfortunes Scoll is more than willing to rent out the second forge/anvil to anyone looking to use it. Adventurers tend to want to do their own blacksmithing so they are a favorite customer. He is also willing to consider “selling” the second set-up and taking on a partner.

Scoll Blackwell
Scoll is the stereotypical big man; he has to be from working the smithy all day. He is also loud, boisterous and has a wonderful belly laugh. He is an optimistic person. Unfortunately, this optimism is also his downfall. Scoll is forever chasing after the latest harebrain scheme and plan to make lots of money. One week it’s buying a map to some lost treasure and the next he will invest in a new breed of chickens said to lay bigger eggs than normal. His enthusiasm for these sorts of projects means he tends to focus on those with the highest risk factor and those peddled by con-men because they purport to have the highest chance of return on investment. ew is also farily loud and boisterousH

Adventure Ideas
-It was bound to happen. Scoll bought a map to a lost treasure and he is looking for adventurers to do the actual dungeon delving to get the treasure. Of course with Scoll's luck the map leads to something unpleasant. It could be a complete fake or it could lead to a dungeon filled with deadly traps and a monster at the end that is using the map to bring adventurers to it so it can eat them.
-Apparently Scoll's impulsiveness and bad luck is caused by a cursed heirloom. The pendant has been in the family for generations, but was cursed long ago by a vengeful witch. Scoll hires the characters to find the ancient gravesite of the witch, deal with any creatures inhabitating the area, dig up her corpse and put her to rest; only then will the curse be removed. Of course, this could all be another of Scoll's harebrain ideas. Either way the characters will get paid...or take part ownership in the blacksmith.

List of Blacksmith Items
Note that many of these listed items have sub items. When stocking a blacksmith there will be many items within when you include all the variations.
Anvil (Used as block to pound other objects on.)
Anvil Tools (Assortment of components for an anvil; Horn, Hardy Cone, Bickerns, Devils, Fuller, Bending Fork, OC Mushroom, OC Drawing, Leaf Swage, Bowl, Large Radius, Cone, Crown, V Swage.)
Bellows (Blower. Forces air into the forge.)
Chisel (Hot Slit, Cold, Chasing Set, Narrow, Pointed.)
Coal (or Wood.)
Flatter (Hammer with a broad, flat head used to flatten and smooth surfaces.)
Forge (Hearth used to heat metal.)
Fuller (Tool with a triangle head used to flatten metal.)
Hammer (Comes in a variety of types; Rounding, Dinging, Polishing, Raising/Chasing, Doming, Grooving, Straight Peen, Opposite, Scythe, Embossing, Bossing.)
Hand Punch Set (A form of chisel.)
Mandrel (Narrow metal cone used to bend a pipe.)
Nail Header (Tool with a square hole in the head used to make nails.)
Pliers (Scrolling, Flat, Flared.)
Slack Tub (Large barrel of water to cool the metal.)
Scrolling Wrench (Wrench like tool used to twist the metal.)
Tongs (Used to move the workpiece. It comes in a variety of types; Wolf Jaw, Universal, V-Bit, Blade, Scrolling, Ring, Pickup, Box, Knee, Rivet, Farrier.)
Twisting Wrench (Long piece of metal with a square hole in the center used to twist a bar of metal.)


April 22, 2013

Shop: Spirits Be Gone

This features the work of two former clerics who make a living removing ghosts and other malevolent spirits from homes. Brother Cadvel and Brother Beringer no longer belong to a church but still go by the monikers of Brother, calling each other "Brother" rather than their using their names. Most of their clients are not haunted by ghosts but rather by small animals or neighborhood kids. The Brothers put on a big show of "removing the evil spirits", remove the mundane cause (or tell the kids to lay off) and then charge full price for their services. However, there have been a couple of times when they have encountered real undead poltergeists and they were able to remove the spirits permanently.

Whatever god the two followed is unknown; some think Brother Beringer never was a priest. However, they both dress and act the part with what must be inside knowledge. Their activities have gained the attention of the local temples. Some ignore them but some are starting to see Spirits Be Gone as an unwanted thorn in their side.

Brother Cadvel
Cadvel is of average height but is stout, though there is definite muscle beneath his outer later of fat. He is the thinker of the two and does most of the talking. His mind is keen and he has an uncanny knack for sifting through information and coming up with the relevant and important parts. Of the two, most people think he was a former cleric and can still call upon his god for power. Brother Cadvel has a habit of taking an inordinate amount of time when responding to someone. This is him taking time to make sure he is responding accurately and succinctly.

Brother Beringer
Beringer is the brawnier of the two, standing over 6' tall and built of thick muscle. While Cadvel is the "front man" of the two of them, Beringer is still fairly smart and capable of finding a thoughtful solution to a problem. Violence just tends to be the easier way. Also, his tendency toward sarcasm and a lack of respect for authority figures tends to alienate people, especially those in positions of power. Brother Beringer has a habit of smacking his lips when bored or nervous.

Adventure Ideas
-Brother Beringer is acting funny. Brother Cadvel is concerned Beringer might be possessed by a legitimate spirit. He has asked the characters in to help, but makes it clear that they have to move carefully as the spirit could destroy Beringer's soul if openly attacked. Perhaps they can follow Beringer for some time and go through his things when they get a chance. In fact, Cadvel is the possessed one and is looking to create some havoc by driving Beringer insane, with the character's help.
-A mysterious figure approaches the characters offering to pay them if they will eliminate Brother Cadvel and Brother Beringer. The figure drops some unsubtle hints that he is a high-ranking member of a local temple. In fact, the figure is a ghost that inhabits a crypt the Spirits Be Gone crew is investigating. The ghost figures the characters will either kill the two or stir up some trouble for them through the temple.
-The Brothers come across a ghost they were unable to exorcise. They come to the characters looking for help and are willing to give them a cut of the pay.

List of the Word 'Ghost' in Other Languages
Aave                    Finnish
Aswang               Filipino
Draugur               Icelandic
Duch                   Czech
Fantome              French
Geist                   German
Hantu                  Indonesian
Hayalet               Turkish
Kummitus           Estonian
Larva                  Latin
Mzimu                Swahili
Pantasma            Galician
Spogelse             Danish
Szellem              Hungarian
Vaiduoklis          Lithuanian
Ysbryd               Welsh