Adventures in Thargothras
Frequently asked questions
Since it is likely that you'll want to know the same stuff your characters do, I have taken a list of questions from Jeff's Gameblog and answered them using the voices of the civilians in Whitefield. Remember that no NPC is all-knowing, and not all are reliable, and keep it in mind as you read what they have to say.
Where can we go to buy standard equipment?
Between Wilhelmina the Blacksmith, Old Zeke's General Store, and Madame Raleigh's Distillery, you can get most mundane gear under 500gp in value. That said, Old Zeke has a spyglass for sale, that so far no one in town can afford (except the Baroness, but she's already got one).
Where can we go to get platemail custom fitted for this monster I just befriended?
Oooh, for that you'd need to go to a city, like Healey. Head East for a few days down along the Old Road and you can't miss it. But when you make camp, be sure to keep the road in sight. It's easy to get lost if you're not careful, even on the plains.
Who is the mightiest wizard in the land?
-Olafmyr Gapas the Red. Lives to the northeast, closer to the city. Not a big talker, though, just likes to hole up in that tower and work on uh, "evocational theory" or "particle restructurement" or "thermo-dynamics" or somesuch.
-Or painting. Greatest painter in the land, too. Only leaves that tower once in a while to sell a painting and buy weirdly specific ingredients and gemstones. Saw a few in the museum in the Capitol, that time I went to visit. Good as anything else there.
Who is the greatest warrior in the land?
-Sir Selnos of Port Westvale, Baron of Draganyr. I heard he slew an ettin in single combat. That, and he was a hero in the war. We'd have lost Camor Castle, Beshadowed Bridge, and St Sean's Bay, at least, if he hadn't been there. He can solve a lot of problems with a few good swings of his sword. Not his drinking problem. I think he drinks to try and forget all that killing he did. Ever since he retired from duty, he's had a hair-trigger temper and nervous twitches. Won't go near water, either.
-No, it's Dame Odiera Hesroth, Duchess of Rowaera. She was trained in fencing by Alira of High Diamondmarsh as a child, and at the end of her tutelage, she bested her teacher, and then went on to best the next six tutors her father hired. Then, for whatever reason, she decided to become a privateer for three years. Killed eight pirate captains, and forced the surrender of a dozen more. I heard she came home with a chest full of trophies that she keeps in her bedchamber and never opens, for fear that something inside might escape.
-Wrong! Haven't you heard of Dana Alfped? The dragonslayer? She may be from Silverhold, but she lives over in Highridge now. I heard she took on a nest of wyverns on her own, and came home with a wagon full of heads. Her axes have spilt the blood of more dragons than you and I will ever see.
-You people, so fixated on swords and axes! That's all well and good if you want to win a skirmish, but if you want to win a war, you'd want none other than Unyal the Peerless Bowman. He can kill a hundred men before they get within a hundred yards, I tell you. Too bad he spends all his time wandering in caves from town to town, looking for the other half of that old staff.
Who is the richest person in the land?
-Well, the King and Queen technically own all the money, and that's why their faces are on the coins, but the taxes they collect mostly get paid right back out into infrastructure and patronage to the Arts. Still, if the royal family wants to buy something, they can almost always get it, if they're willing to owe someone a favor.
-The only person you need to worry about 'round these parts is Dame Zelcir, Baroness of Radimyr, and her house. She's sitting on top of a dragon's hoard, what I hear, left by her grandfather. Mostly she has investments in businesses all over the land. I hear she has the cash to buy any property in the six baronies, but she'd rather leave the money to her grandchildren.
Where can we go to get some magical healing?
The Hearthfires are your best bet for some discount healing, as long as you don't mind sitting through a sermon afterward and maybe being asked to do some chores for them.
Where can we go to get cures for the following conditions: poison, disease, curse, level drain, lycanthropy, polymorph, alignment change, death, undeath?
The first two the Hearthfires can take care of. For the magical ailments there's the Cloister in the mountains north of here, or the Mystics of Burall to the south, or you could see if there's a good-sized, prestigious temple in Healey.
Is there a magic guild my MU belongs to or that I can join in order to get more spells?
The Amethyst Consortium has a foothold in this area, and while they do not meet regularly, there are newsletters sent out four times a year, and spells can be traded (or bought) by mail. Most members know each other through written correspondence alone.
Where can I find an alchemist, sage or other expert NPC?
-Madame Raleigh, at her Distillery. She makes perfumes, unguents, medicines, and alchemical goods. She doesn't have any weapons on display, but she can make them if she trusts you to use them for a good cause.
-[points to another PC] Like them? They're an expert in [PC's role].
-Uh, try the Mystics of Burall? They live down south and know a lot about a lot. They also pay well for new arcane knowledge, provided that it's true.
Where can I hire mercenaries?
I heard some of the bandits to the west used to be sellswords. Maybe you could try to talk some of them into full-time employment. It's got to be a hard life bein' a bandit and I'm sure a couple of them wouldn't mind gettin' their old jobs back. Course you'd have to pay to get the bounty off their heads, but then they'll be yours for life.
Is there any place on the map where swords are illegal, magic is outlawed or any other notable hassles from Johnny Law?
-Well, this area here is what they call a "dry" area on account of the Hearthfires not taking a liking to alcohol. They say it's a poison, and that if the Baroness allows inns to serve it, they won't provide healing for so cheap. Now, the Baroness is a teetotaler, so she's got no problem keeping others from enjoyin' themselves, so no drinking until you're in the next barony. You can get some hot tea at the Silver Sphinx, though. Good place to meet up.
-Most folk's 'll give you a lot of elbow room if they see you carryin' a melee weapon. You carry a bow, most folks just think you're a hunter and don't worry about it too much. The baroness prefers that you keep your weapons visible, and her guards enforce that. They figure anyone walking around with a dagger hidden in their boot can't be up to no good, or they wouldn't need to hide nothin'.
Which way to the nearest tavern?
East, to Healey. Or west, if you don't mind being hassled by bandits on your way to Highridge. If you just want some tea, there's the Sphinx, and you can get the same kind of company and odd jobs sitting at those tables as any other tavern.
What monsters are terrorizing the countryside sufficiently that if I kill them I will become famous?
-Well, there's the guy calling himself the Bandit King, not that killing him will really end the bandit problem unless you convince the rest of 'em to move away (or stop bein' bandits and get real jobs).
<s>-There's the Hag in the woods. She steals children sometimes, nasty business I'd rather not talk about, but no one's been able to find her where she lives and come back to tell the tale. You bring her down and you'll have hundreds of parents thanking you for keepin' their little ones out of the stew pot. </s>
-And there's that pack of ogres that likes to come through town once in a while and bully us into fillin' their bellies with our best pigs and cattle. The baroness says she'll pay two hundred gold for every ogre head in a sack you bring to her manor, and a thousand gold besides if'n you kill them all. A good way to get your foot in the door with the fancy types, too, I reckon.
Are there any wars brewing I could go fight?
Gods, I hope not. That is, nothing domestic. There's a few wars being fought abroad, though. None of 'em by us, mind you, but orcs have been coming out of the ground to raid the elven provinces to the east.
-Rumor is the dwarves in Silverhold are gearin' up for some big battle, bringin' in so much iron and such for their special steel, and paying out silver like it's burning a hole in their vaults. If you have what they want, you could get twice the going rate anywhere else. I'll bet you anything it's got to do with giants.
How about gladiatorial arenas complete with hard-won glory and fabulous cash prizes?
Healey has a boxing ring, but for the really exotic large-scale stuff you'd have to go somewhere like Staygate.
Are there any secret societies with sinister agendas I could join and/or fight?
-How would I know?
-If I knew and I told you, it wouldn't be a secret, now would it?
-Not anymore. We used to meet next to the old well at midnight, bringing three silver and a snack. A few people brought up some pretty good points against it during the goblin siege, though, so I don't think we'll be meeting again anytime soon.
What is there to eat around here?
Lamb, wheat, milk, turnips, carrots, venison, squirrel, hard cheese, blueberries, and potato. And whatever beef and pork the ogres don't take away.
Any legendary lost treasures I could be looking for?
-You could help Unyal look for the half-a-staff, if you don't mind spending weeks at a time underground. He'd probably be happy for the company and the extra sets of eyes. Tracking his current whereabouts will be an adventure in itself.
-Surely you know the old story about Empyrean Glory, the finely crafted arming sword which once belonged to the great ranger Irindis, who perished in the Blackwyrm Mire? Legend has it that the sword is still there, used as bait by the dragons to lure adventurers to its lair. The Mire is somewhere in Suffermarsh, but no one can say exactly where.
-What about the Hidden Library of Talabyr? She spent years researching bloodlines and wrote hundreds of books. There are books on royalty and nobility, books on planar hybrids, books on magical bloodlines… but someone thought her knowledge was dangerous, and had her killed and everything she wrote found and burnt. But according to some rumors, she saw the danger coming and had one copy of every book and copies of her notes stashed away with the help of a few close friends. Everything was placed into one underground room, and the entrance was hidden, but everyone who knew where it was was hunted down and killed before they could smuggle it out of the country. Everyone seems to have their own idea about who was behind it (secret vampires, impostors, embarrassed fiendish descendants), but no one can prove anything.
Where is the nearest dragon or other monster with Type H treasure?
-Hey, now, that's a fool's errand. But I suppose if you're determined to get yourself turned into a skeleton by dragon's breath, there's a mated pair of black dragons lairing under the deeper parts of Suffermarsh about a week's ride away to the southeast. I heard there's also a green dragon lairing between Cembeorn Brook and the River Ohron.
-If it's treasure you want, but you don't feel like fighting a dragon, there's a whole lot of old ruins, above ground and below, filled with treasure. Why, the Forsaken Vaults of Aggath Dagzerayth are fairly close, but the whole place is cursed. Cursed, I say! Too much meddling with demons, and in the end they dragged him away, leaving behind that empty, cursed house.
-Gimme yer map. Right there, see, is the Black Dungeon of Alad the Warlock, and it's choked with loot and the unrestful dead. You'd be doing Ortrul's work if you went in and cleared it out. I warn ye, though, you'll need to take a few trips in and out before you're through, unless you hire a whole caravan to carry out your loot and the corpses – well so's you can bury them and put their spirits to rest, o' course! Now, right. Died wealthy, he did, but the gold ain't all. Word is he had a magic statue that told prophesies, so if you find it, don't leave without it!