Trading Post

Tonight I want to put a bit of inspiration out there whether its the beginning of an adventure or the plot of a one shot time will tell. Traditionally D&D adventures start in a tavern, or an Inn but what about a Trading Post – someplace that’s not soo different to the norm. So let me know if you believe that it would be a good start to a campaign, all campaigns (instead of the traditional “you meet at an inn” or the theme of a one shot adventure.

So sit back, have a mug, or bucket, of coffee and enjoy.


Brazen’s Trading Post

As the last of the walls came up and boxed in the frame he stood there as his faithful animal companion honked next to him. Reaching out he scratched the ears of the oddity and looked to the cart it carried which held several lengths of timber for the beams of the roof.

“Well old girl, its the end of an era. We wont be going on many adventures any more but we can at least help those that still have that drive.” He said as he grabbed a large fibrous bag of kibble for the creature. The creature honked, a weird grunting honk, in thanks as it chewed down into the food whilst he began to move the beams off the cart. His arms flexed as they braced for the weight, the solid redwood beams still felt heavy despite the enchanted gear he was wearing.

Lifting the beams up onto the next level of scaffolding was slow work, getting up the three levels of the new building wasn’t the hardest part though. Squeezing the large materials for the building between his new building and the two neighbouring established houses was. Duck honked a warning just in time for him to catch the beam before it crashed through the wall of his new neighbours. “Thanks Duck” he called down who dug her head back into the bag, at least he thought she was a she.

Memories

As the sun began to set he leant against the large quadruped and looked up at the frame for his new building – a trading post. A place where he could provide experience, wears and services to the new and experienced adventurers. Like he once was. Looking a the scars, scratches and patches of missing fur he remembered the final battle he had taken Duck into, the large reptilian form snaking its way around the pillars. The sheer volume of fangs was daunting enough but the panicked honks increased from Duck as he stood and loosed volley upon volley at the creature. In the end Duck had saved him.

Throwing herself at the creature as he sustained a tail swipe that broke his arm and shattered several ribs. Healing potions kept him alive is what the other adventurers said but he knew differently. The weird creature that he had raised as a chick from a egg is the reason. She is the reason why he gave up adventuring to build this place. A place where his experience, items and knowledge could help those who would befall similar fates to him.

A trading post of not just goods and services but knowledge. Something more valuable than enchanted swords, crossbows or armour. Something that holds the only the truly strong manage to obtain.

Walking down the street with duck walking beside him pulling the empty cart he looked back at their dream. The frame was there, good and strong and tomorrow the roof goes on, then the walls. He glanced to the one finished room he had on the block of land – a stable for Duck where she could be safe and warm. He owed her more than that but she didn’t seem to care – she was just happy to be nearby.

Flickering

“…and thats when I knew I had the job, the panel member’s couldn’t hide the smiles on their faces” I said, drinking down the bitter instant coffee, how I both despised and loved the stuff.

“you said the last question threw you, what was it?” Mum asked as she drank from her tea, it had been a long say helping her unpack and sort out some things around her property. I hadn’t missed farm work but it was good to help mum since she was by herself for the first time in as long as I could remember.

Give us an example where you have dealt with failure, and what did you do to address it?” I responded gulping down the poorly mixed liquid. “I hadn’t prepared or thought of that scenario or even contemplated that a question like that but I had an example. I don’t think I mentioned that I mentored someone in my team?”

Mum paused for a moment, her memory wasn’t as sharp as it always was and, I noted with sharp, intense, instant regret, I hated it. She was always able to keep up with me, understand what I was saying and follow with my tangents and thoughts. “No I dont think so” she responded, I knew I had mentioned them before – I was quite proud of the way I mentored the juniors at work.

I smiled “well James is a good kid, but I dropped the ball with him and he went off the rails. Started making mistakes which I said I would help with later when I wasn’t busy delivering this project but I forgot. The mistakes got so bad that the fraud investigation team got involved due to the timesheet errors and I got tapped on the shoulder to account for his performance and throughput of work.”

“Oh thats not very good sweety, what happened” mum asked a concerned look on her face.

“I sorted it. Fast and efficient like when…” I trailed off as I saw a orb of inky black bobbing above mums shoulder.

“what?” Mum asked, turning around and looking in the direction I didn’t realise I was staring at.

“you’ve got a visitor…” I said to mum calmly tipping the burnt, luke warm instant coffee down the sink. “It’s not malicious I don’t think, it’s.. just watching like the things that used to watch us from the old cubby” I said referring to my childhood house, and my little brother Harry.

“oh, I better get the salt then” mum replied looking a bit disturbed. She’d hadn’t seen anything for quite some years now I was in seeing these spectres every now and again, more frequently that my daughter had been born. I belief it was the tiredness and fatigue with travel that a barrier had been dropped but they kept coming and they only seemed to be growing in, err, presence isn’t quite the word.

Nodding I willed the orb to leave, frowning at it as I embraced my mum. “If you need help with the farm stuff just give me a call. I’ll always be available to help” the orb and shadowy tendrils wavered a bit and floated a few feet backwards but still hovering around mum.

Squeezing me back she replied “thanks son, I dont think I could have fixed the fences today by myself.”

“maybe take out the jet and obsidian tonight..” mum had a large stone collection from her wicker club days “I’ve been seeing things a bit more recently and they’re becoming bolder, not as aggressive as the old place but still, best be safe not sorry.” I said as I turned and grabbed my keys out of mt kmart beanie – I needed an upgrade as this barely kept my head warm during winter mornings, but money was tight with the house, car and kid. Thats why I was applying for a promotion at work.

“will do sweety, thanks’ she said as she turn on the light to the car port. “Watch going down the driveway, the lamp at the end was damaged last weekend. It flickers a bit”

“don’t stress, I’m still the best driver in the family” I said with a smirk as I walked into the bracing chill. “Thanks for the coffee Mum, I better get back to my girls”. Walking to the car I waved to mum through the windows and started my old Toyota, it taking a moment to click over as I put it into reversed and began to move down the driveway. As I left the carport the light turned off and the immediate area behind the car was bathed in the red from the brake lights that I feathered moving backwards between the fence and rocky garden bed. Looking backwards I noticed the light at the end of the driveway, a solar powered lamp post, flickering for a moment before turning off. Applying the break and looking at my rearview and side mirrors to make sure I was missing some large trees that were growing next the fence, I looked up in time to see the lamp flicker on revealing a hunched tall figure at the end of the driveway. Its arms scraping the ground beneath its wide spread hairy legs. It stared at the car, breathing heavily before the light flickered again causing the darkness to envelope the creature, or thing. A heartbeat later, and as my break lights bathed the end of the drive in red as the pedal pressed into the floor of the car I turned around to look through the back window and the lamp flickered back on – the thing was no where to be seen. Reversing back a bit more tentatively now I passed we’re it stood at the gate to my mum’s driveway where it met a service road. Looking down and using the flickering lights to illuminate the soft June soil I couldn’t see any prints or tracks, not that I was a hunter but growing up on a farm taught me a few things. Nothing, no prints or tracks other than the cars tyres.

Perhaps I’d get my own crystals out tonight, and the salt just in case. This spooky shit was getting a bit too frequent and the things in the shadows a bit too big for my liking.


TBW

Quick Adventure Challenge – May 14

So I have honestly missed doing these so for tonight’s “what ever” Saturday I wanted to have another go. So as per the other challenges for the sake of tonight I will enforce the below constraints:

  • 30 minute time limit
  • 1 protagonist
  • 1 location
  • 1 enemy/antagonist
  • “randomly generated pot” (tonight we have two words being provided by readers of the blog!!)
  • Grammar and spelling (ONLY!) can be fixed outside of the 30 minutes if required.

So let’s kick off.


Words

Consumption, Deposit

PROTAGONIST

Pride, a Tiefling has been put in charge of the vaults wealth and she has hired the party as protection as people have suddenly become aware that she is the holder of the promised gold and she has had two attempts on her life so far – one left her right hand disformed and damaged – which is taking some time to heal.

SECONDARY CHARACTER

Graff Felonbore – a well spoken, charming but ruthless noble born is behind the attacks on Pride, but furthermore is behind more than just that.

Location

Lakapucha, a many tiered city with great tall (and deep) towers that aim to bridge the gap between the deities of both good and evil so the ruling Priests of the city can better commune with those who bless them.

PLOT

A disease that affects that causes the infected to stop breathing, see visions before dying a bloody death (as their lungs appear to be coughed up and out) has caused denizens of Lakapucha, a city that is famous for its devout and religious beliefs (to the point of being zealous). A large sum of gold has been deposited in the cities vaults for someone who can procure the cure for this disease as all magical and known measures at the moment have failed.


Consumption – both to ingest something (generally with a negative connotation) but also another name for a lung disease (from earths history) is used as the focal point in this adventure

The disease known as “Gods fever” is running rampart. It struck those in the clergy of the ruling sects (in which there are many of them) and has also begun to appear in the general populace of the city. Those who are afflicted claim to see visions of a a winged figure looking down at them from a ring of light, the experience leaves them weak, tired and weary but they all believe one thing – that they have been chosen to be the next prophet of a new deity – one that has been born fresh unto this world and who has taken an interest in the lives of mortals in Lakapucha – a most holy of city.

However, as there is always a however in these times, they never recover from the experience – they grow weaker, they soon lose their ability to talk and thus preach the good tidings of their new deity (who goes by a dozen names depending on who sees them) as their breathing becomes laboured – no amount of food can sate them and only expensive liquor sold at a few stores seems to offer any relief.

Most of the first infected die within two months and after the first deaths in the temple sects, taking down several high profile priests and clerics, the governing chapter of clerics scraped together their knowledge of medicine, religion and alchemy (from those inclined to the arcane as well as divine) and they believe that the visitations of the deity spells death – a disease given to those who are perhaps too close to their gods as a vindictive punishment from this new deity.

What is not known is that the hallucinations is a poison, created and given to those who Graff Felonbore deem unfit to rule, which is all those who claim control over the city based on religion, and when mixed with other reagents it creates a sickness in the lungs that withers and sickens the infected until they die from affixation as their lungs rot and are coughed up.

Graff has organised the attacks on Pride as a way of trying to steal the riches so there is no way for the Chapter, the religious rulers of the city, to tempt those to create or look into the cure. However, in his haste he has begun to hire mercenaries to do his bidding, distributing the poisons which caused the first local population infection – which has seen the poison contamination spread in such a closely packed community.

As an attempt to coverup he bought the mercenaries silence and began to look for new recruits, new faces to the city, to do his bidding and be scape goats.

Graff mistakes the party as fresh faces, not hired by the Chapter to look after Pride, and invites them to dinner – explaining how he is looking for like minded people to help him correct mistakes of the city and bring about a new dawn of prosperity for Lakapucha.

Graff then leaves the party to think about the deal – however, as the party leave they see him talking to one of his henchmen and the conversation appears to be discussing the party members – a look of rage and violence crosses his face (insight check DC13 can determine that he realised that he was speaking to the wrong people).

Graff then sends mercenaries after the party to silence them, first bribing with gold with the promise to leave the city and forget about what was said, then with violence if the bribe is refused – he only uses mercenaries who are expendable and is well like enough in the community that most people wont believe the party if they point the finger of blame at him.

As the party are dealing with the bribe-gone-wrong, a joyous looking Pride bursts through the door announcing that they have found someone who can cure the illness – a man named Jed. One of the mercenaries hears this, jumps through a nearby window (into or out of a building – DMs discretion) and runs for it. The party are left then to explain to Pride the situation and now they need to both protect Pride and Jed as well as prove Graff’s guilt.

If the party can do this they are given a building, a small manor house, where they will find a house keep willing to serve them when they are in town. They will be named as citizens of Lakapucha and will also be offered a seat at the table of the Chapter when they meet if they desire such a seat.


The end goal here is simple – the party can by any means try and prove that Graff is the cause of the illness – or they can silence him in the manner they see fit – however the latter will have more dire consequences.

Graff has left a trail of paperwork in his manor house, that his servant – Prue, will be able to direct the party to if asked nicely – and promised safe passage.


Time commenced: 09:00pm

Time completed: 09:30pm

Notes,…

Well tonight it didn’t flow as well as it did the week before – the words threw me for a few minutes and it took a bit to work out how to use Consumption (the old name for Tuberculosis) and Deposit in a D&D adventure without going super medical. I had a bit more to wrap up at the end tonight, I think, I wanted to add a bit more in there as I am not quite satisfied on the location of the encounter with the mercanries sent to bribe, or where Graff Felonbore finds the party and mistakes them for someone else. But, it could be any inn, or a shop that Graff owns – or they could appear at his manor to ask some questions – quite a few too many “or’s” for my liking.

However, I am still happy with this – I picture Lakapucha as a religious city, a lot of people dressing humbly and the general public being well treated but “knowing their place” – the weather is warm and mildly humid, enough that thinner clothes are able to be work most of the year. The main export is, apart from religious good and services, crops that grow exceedingly well in this environment.

Let me know what you thought of this weeks 30 minute challenge – I pushed it to the edge this week, no free minutes but I seemed to write less. I will need to push my self more next time!

If you like what you read tonight let me know or better yet leave a suggestion for a future one and any restrictions (within reason) that you have in the comments below, I look forward to doing more of these in the future.

Don’t forget to come back tomorrow for the end of the week write-up and, as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe