Thieves & Kings
The Curio Court
“This was monsters and magic and more than I had ever dreamed. This was the Curio Court.”
Established several years ago in the northern sector of the City of Bright Sails, known as the Adventurer’s Quarter, adventurers in town began exploring the Ratways under the city and established this location as a good place to resupply. The site was cleared and cleaned-out, and they sealed off any unwanted passages. They ensured there were connections to both the sewers and the surface, of course, but the deeper labyrinths and pathways under the city were quickly made accessible.
Known to some as the Undercity Market, the facility consists of the Great Hall – a vast chamber used in a similar fashion to open market areas of most cities – with many sections off this chamber serving as permanent shops and housing for a number of retired adventurers, thieves and wizards. The Market is interesting, because the goods sold here are almost exclusively aimed at adventurers and loremasters. Torches, rope, mining equipment, weapons, alchemical items, and so on are the standard order of the day.
Statue of Paladin Abesh Runeweaver, Curio Court
The entrance to the Undercity Market is a wide stairway leading down from the obscure Curio Court, a market square located in the Adventurer’s Quarter, that seems to cater to adventurers providing long-term lodging, as well as numerous “retired” adventurers who operate shops down below. Several cheap residences can be found, typically for 20 sp per month, though such places are usually little more than single rooms with no furnishings, unless the previous tenant left them behind, a small corner fireplace, and no direct access to water. Locks are non-existent, unless purchased or provided by the tenant. The Court itself also hosts its own number of small shops and residences, listed below.
Originally, the entire area below Curio Court served as some sort of lair for a lich or something similar, carved out of the raw stone through magic. The entire complex once hosted a horde of undead guardians that watched over his casket, but adventurers came, destroyed them all and left the remnants behind for others to build into the Undercity Market; while the traditional tale is that the adventurers since moved on, rumors persist that they have become the unofficial guardians of the Market and the dungeons around it. The only known member of the group, was its leader, Abesh Runeweaver, a paladin who fell in the battle, and whose 14’-tall bronze statue guards the entrance to the Market in the square above, just behind the broad stone well of the court.
Temple (“Saint Runeweaver’s Shrine”) : Temple of Larani, the Celestial Paladin : One of two small shrines of the Celestial Paladin located in the city, Saint Runeweaver’s Shrine is a small chapel dedicated to the fallen paladin that helped clear the lich’s lair below. The common wisdom is that the place was established by his companions as a place to remember and bless the visitors to the Curio Court, and many wealthy adventurers contribute to the shrine on their return to the city above.
The place remains quite dingy and worn compared to the loftier cathedrals of the nearby districts, but the single warrior-priest Swordmaster Fabrithor, has been proven to be well-meaning and earnest in helping the local community. He is known to sell the occasional potion or relic donated to the shrine from well-meaning adventurers, and freely heals any with grievous wounds brought to his door, unable to otherwise pay for help.
Chandler (“Myth’s Oddities”) : ### $$$ : Myth Runeweaver, believed to be the heir of the fallen paladin, Runeweaver, runs what is effectively the only “magic shop” in the city. Selling strange trinkets pulled from below the city, and bought on the cheap from adventurers, such as candlesticks and cutlery, or second-hand rope, spikes, lanterns and torches, and other provisions, it is the place to sell whatever adventurers might not want from their expeditions.
More importantly, Myth buys and sells magic trinkets that maintains an ever-changing stock of minor relics that make the shop popular as a venue among adventurers looking for some odd or useful item in their expeditions. There are never any powerful items, and his stock of potions and scrolls is always low, as these items often find better prices elsewhere and through private sale to merchants.
Inkeeper (“The Ghostly Minstrel”) : ### $$$ : A passable inn, the “Minstrel” is the choice for adventurers in the area. It has earned a reputation as a service to visiting and returning adventurers, and everyone who comes to the district visits it if only to say they have. The owner, Vard Hillman keeps a very low profile, and spends his time in the kitchens or his small office on the top floor. The place is watched over by several young men and women from the area, who are “herded” by Tellis Herdsman, a pretty young woman with auburn hair who manages the rooms, and Zadar, a balding, skinny barman who remembers everyone who visits the place. A large number of minstrels visit the taproom regularly, and are almost consistently very talented.
The Minstrel’s second and third floors boast more than thirty private rooms, which though small are secure, clean and quiet. Rooms rent for 1 gp per night. Provender is typical pottage stew and bread with cheese slices for 2 sp per serving, but a joint of roast mutton can also be obtained for an additional 3 sp. Drink is either a simple ale brewed in the cellars, or a Berrywater wine for 2 sp per pitcher. Baths are also available for 1 gp, upon request, but take some time to prepare.
Innkeeper (“The Iron Bar”) : ### $$$ : The “Bar” is a small tavern that serves arcanists exclusively, and visitors must present proof of membership in the Mage’s Guild of Mornhaven or other similar guild holding, or be denied service. Arcanists here trade their wizardly secrets in lore and magic, and quietly do their business in the hushed, dim little establishment.
Drink is a fairly wide selection of wines, though ale is procured as well for those with the desire, universally good and served chill at 3 sp per pitcher. Select vintages popular with regulars are also provided at special cost, and such folk do not pay, knowing the owner, Darken personally, and paying through other private means. The provender is hot spiced fish stew cooked with old beer and pepper, and hot cinnamon butter loaves for 3 sp per serving. The place is a common meeting place for mages conducting business, and non-mages can be invited at their request to conduct such.
Weaponsmith (“Bull and Bear Arms”) : ## $$ : Two brothers, Halst and Shiloh operate the Bull and Bear, but don’t forge anything fancy or notable; they tend to buy and sell second-hand armor from explorers, and fit these goods to order. More often than not, however, they have a relic of minor power available for sale.
Weaponsmith (“Rastorius’ Weapons”) : ### $$$ : Rastorius is a massive centaur with beads braided into its mane. He has a reputation for good blades, and freely gives an assessment of a blade’s quality if asked. He buys surplus arms from adventurers and other sources; he does not make them, but maintains and sells them.
The Undercity Market
Despite the lack of sunlight, the Undercity Market’s shops remain open during the same hours surface shops and markets operate, from sunrise to sunset. The permanent shops do sometimes change, but for the most part, have remained the same over the years. The Market itself is watched over by an enterprising member of the Merchant’s Guild, Mistress Galsworth Jerkin, formerly of Katarre. A pleasant, attractive, middle-aged woman with short blonde hair, she always dresses smartly and carries a sheaf of parchment and charcoal sticks with her wherever she goes. She greets everyone she meets and every situation with a smile and a very optimistic attitude. She has a large staff of litigants and merchant journeymen on hand, who tax everyone at the market daily, and cover supply shipments to the various vendors. Some have begun referring to her and her staff as the Delver’s Union of Mornhaven.
In addition to taking care of her vendors, Galswinth operates a tavern of sorts, offering light refreshments and simple fare, and sometimes getting adventurers in contact with the appropriate patron. The hall, known as the Delver’s Hall, is a popular place for adventurers to spend a few hours between forays into the underdark, and has become known as a place to hire mercenaries to add a few swords to your roster before another trip into the dark below the city. Adventurers also post bills to announce their availability and location in the city above, or groups looking for a specific skill or person.
The vendors in the Undercity Market are usually retired adventurers or their relatives, who set up a table in the Market Hall to sell used equipment, maps and so forth. Sometimes such sales also include minor magical artifacts – most goods sell for half or three-quarters their actual market cost, since any less and they could just offer them to regular chandlers, any more and the delver might as well purchase new gear. Likewise, sometimes merchants set up a booth to sell a limited quantity of goods that they have acquired cheaply, seeking to off-load quickly and to fill a specific market. Goods such as nearly spoiled meat or large bulk salvaged goods like pottery, rope or leather goods will find a ready market among adventurers and visiting merchants looking to strike a bargain.
Vendors often set up nicely decorated tables to attract customers. They have well-staked locations, so regulars know where to locate them, but most do not use any signs or names for their business, simply being known for their personal names. Regular vendors include;
“Sign of the Arcane Scribe” : Neriadoc Bittersong is a gnome wizard of some power, who sits at a simple, scroll-covered table under the carved wooden picture of a gnome busily scribbling under a tree. He sells his wares all day, and scribes more scrolls each night. He usually has half a dozen low level scrolls available on the more mundane varieties such as Detect Magic and Identify. Given a day’s warning, he can scribe one or more scrolls for adventurers who request common scrolls for their work.
Derran Springdart : A young male halfling, who sells wooden clubs with Everburning Flames cast on them. His wife, a sorcerer who remains in the city above, creates the items, and the two live very comfortably. Pleasant but quiet, Derran has brown hair and always wears an immaculate green overcoat, no matter the season or weather.
Jerris Potter : Jerris is a fairly typical female human commoner, who sells mapping equipment. Her wares include knotted skeins of string of various lengths (usually knots at six or twelve inch lengths : 1 cp per foot), vellum, parchment, writing quills, ink, charcoal sticks, yardsticks (3 sp), slide rules (25 gp) and sextants (75 gp), and other marking and measuring tools.
Jinsa Hammerblight : A notable female dwarven warrior, Jinsa sells repeating crossbows and bolts. She also buys and repairs them. Most of her stock are old and refurbished items salvaged from duergar holds in the Underdark, that she buys from adventurers. A “shield” dwarf with golden hair worn in braids, she has been dealing in the weapons ever since the Market opened, and has no ties to any one faction over another.
Nanna Kraken : An older human woman who makes and sells iron rations . Her hearty vegetable bread is known as “longbread” among delvers, and is notable for being very light, but highly nourishing (10 sp per day, but only weighs 1/2-lb).
“Sign of the Shovel” : Two vendors run this booth, under the painted sign of a shovel. They sell excavation equipment of all types, including basic tool sets for carpenters (8 gp), masons (10 gp), and smiths (20 gp). Kurenor Steelaxe is a blacksmith with a bad past and a dirty countenance. His partner, the human warrior Norwen the Horse is a great blond bear of a man who does most of the heavy hauling.
Sting Notary : Sting is a tiefling fighter who stands out in a crowd, even as diverse as this. Her eyes are bright yellow and her skin is dark, almost a deep blue. She works hard at overcoming her bloodline, and most locals know her as one to be trusted – to a point. Sting sells daggers, knives, and so forth, along with fancy sheathes for all sorts of light blades. Her specialty is hidden sheathes, that can be sewn into cloaks and on light belts for the small of one’s back or neck (double the price; +2 to Dexterity (Stealth) checks).
Tallis Icestone : Tal is an artist with a small shop in the city above. She and her three apprentices make all types of leather goods and sell them in the Market. A short redhead with green eyes and an obvious origin in the Ninn clans, she takes orders at her booth for specialty items, catering to the specific needs of her clients.
Tirres : Tirres is a weaponsmith with a workshop in the city. He has found, however, that he sells more goods to adventurers in the Undercity Market, than up above. He and his apprentice, a young female girl, bring all sorts of weaponry down to the Market each day, but he also makes weapons to order. He has a special talent for strong, light bows, making them especially capable of ranged shots in a dungeon environment (+20’ range; 110% market price).
“Ursas Used” : Ursas Brightfall is a chandler. He has several tables strewn with his wares, as well as three strong chests for the more valuable goods. He sells a bizarre and eclectic collection of goods, mostly junk, but also salvaged goods found in the Underdark and a bit of magic every now and again. He has a very keen eye, and never sells anything for less than its full value. He is also a venue for thieves to sell stolen goods.
Vatur : There are few enough lizardfolk merchants, and in fact, Vatur seems to be the only one in Mornhaven. More of a craftsman who specializes in repairing salvaged goods of all sorts, he fixes weapons, leather goods (boots, bags and armor), and even more complex items like climber’s kits or delicate thieves tools. He can only repair minor damage to armor.
Shops of the Great Hall
Apothecary (“Potions and Elixers”) : ### $$$ : The tables and shelves of this well-stocked, well-lit shop are covered with vials of all shapes and sizes. The proprietors offer most simple potions at market price, plus holy water and various herbal mixtures, such as Alchemical Fire. Unusual concoctions include; Disease Resistance (100 sp : offers a +1 bonus on Constitution saving throws over the next 24 hours); Hair Removal (3 sp); Hair Restorative (50 sp); Healing Ointment/Wound Cleanser (Hit points recovered from a short rest and spending Hit DIce is doubled for one day : 100 sp).
The apothecary is operated by the young and beautiful Tyanoreth Glittersprite, an elven sorcerer, and her husband Quiver, an older, grey-haired wizard. She keeps a raven for a pet, and he a ferret. The shop also employs a pair of guards, a human fighter in full plate named Larsh, and a large war troll named Torg, also in full plate with a greatsword appropriately sized for his girth.
Apothecary (“Alchemist”) : ### $$$ : Vladmir and Taltos Fog, distant cousins of the royal family of the Kingdom of Brak, operate this alchemy. Each brother has a thick white bard and wears spectacles, and neither appears to have seen the sun in decades. Together they make a wide variety of typical alchemical agents, such as Alchemist’s Fire and Smokesticks, but they also stock a variety of their own recipes, including; Alchemical Compass (Always points true north : 450 gp); Eye Cusps (+2 bonus to saving throws versus visual effects like Charm or Petrification); Food-Freshening Powder (Purifies one day’s food ration : 10 sp); Tracking Powder (Makes a Wisdom (Survival) roll have advantage if tracking : 500 sp); Trollbane Powder (Negates scent abilities in 100’-radius : 100 sp); Water Purifying Tablet (Purifies one day’s water ration : 10 sp).
Chandler (“Curiosities and Oddities”) : ### $$$ : This small collection of chambers contains numerous artifacts from all over the planes. Vials of raw elemental essences, a selection of gemstones, old books, talismans, amulets and such are scattered across shelves and tables and buried under junk and debris worth nothing. The usual fare of iron rations, rope, candles, torches and lamp oil are also available.
The owner, a strange dusky-skinned man whose movements are too fluid to be real, owns and operates this shop. Detached but friendly enough, Baran, but people often claim he seems to shift into something dark and shadowy in the corner of one’s eye. While he appears to be unaware of what exactly lies under the debris on his tables, he is remarkably shrewd as a bargainer. Most Common magic items can be found somewhere in his shop, with a successful (DC 20) Investigation (Wisdom) check.
Innkeeper (“Common Ground”) : ### $$$ : A widely dispersed series of chambers here has been suborned to form a tavern. The outer chambers are primarily a large room with tables and booths. The decor is decidedly magic-oriented, with various stuffed underdark animals along the walls, and murals of various deepearth battles painted across its walls. Also, its stone tables and benches are made of solid slabs of granite and held up by petrified goblins. Local fair is simple, but features a pleasant mix of deepearth and surface foodstocks; soups and stews with spore bread or rye bread is typical (3 sp per serving). Drinks are typical ales and beers from the surface (5 cp per tankard), or wines from Berryshore (2 sp per tankard).
Rubious Shadow is the owner and manager of the Common Ground, and he caters to anyone with coin to spend, which always supports a wide and diverse crowd of regulars. Middle-aged with thinning brown hair, quick smile and a bawdy sense of humor, Rubious claims to have once been an adventurer, but everyone knows he has visitors of a “shadowy” bent on occasion, and that he hasn’t lost any of his skill with rapier or lute. His staff are quiet and efficient, just cold and don’t pry into others affairs.
Lexigrapher (“Calico’s Tomes”) : ### $$$$ : This little bookstore has an incredible selection of books and scrolls of lore. Although most are simple key reference volumes on topics such as architecture, lineages, and planar phenomena, the shop also sells second-hand spell books and other magical grimoires. In fact, there are rumored to be selected works on demonic true names, and outer-planer pact magic, but these tend to be kept under lock and key. He also sells standard parchment, vellum, ink and scrolls, but this is not his main source of income.
Calico is a quiet and unassuming human of middle years, wearing spectacles that sit low on his nose, and a constant look of distraction, as though he can see into the shadows around you. He is a shrewd negotiator and commands high prices for his works.
Mercantyler (Slaver’s Market) : ### $$$ : A group of slavers calling themselves the “Brothers of Darkness” operate out of this side chamber. While the actual masters of the slavers are rarely present, their sixteen (16) troglodyte soldiers with full bonemold armor and wicked scimitars, always are. Leading them is Nastriss, a massive trog leader who acts like he owns the “stock” personally. He makes each transaction with close scrutiny of the payment involved. They also pay a pair of ogres for extra muscle to watch the doors.
The slaves sold include kobolds (5 sp), goblins (10 sp), orcs (25 sp), and humans (50 sp). The kobolds are sold for their cleverness, but they are also trouble, so are considered cheap. The goblins are common porters, the orcs are laborers or foot-soldiers, and the humans are sold for a variety of services, with pretty or talented ones selling for double or triple market. Manacles are extra, as it is assumed the buyer will bring their own.