Trophy: Kormoran's Wheel

The ramshackle village of Kormoran’s Wheel sits between Fort Duhrin and the heart of old Kalduhr, just inside the edge of the forest. The residents of the Wheel make a healthy profit on the poor planning of the many treasure-hunters that pass through. It’s said that nearly anything can be acquired here, though those purchases are often of questionable quality or otherwise… strange.

@jasoncordova and I are putting together a standalone book for the Trophy RPG (the game and its many expansions are currently featured in each new issue of Codex). One of the things we’re going to do with this book is include numerous tables that help flesh out the world Trophy takes place in. Keeping with the spirit of Trophy as a community project, we’re going to be crowdsourcing many of the elements that go into these tables. We already have a number of these crowdsourcing threads underway, any of which you can still contribute to. They can be found in this master list:

https://forums.gauntlet-rpg.com/t/trophy-crowdsourcing-master-list/3011

For this installment, we’re exploring the rough-and -tumble tent city of Kormoran’s Wheel. We’re looking for one type of contribution:

The strange vendors of Kormoran’s Wheel, and the even stranger items they sell

NOTE: Please avoid anything that feels like sexual predation or that is misogynistic in nature. We won’t print such things.

You can submit as many entries as you wish. By submitting here, you agree to let us use your contribution in the Trophy standalone book and PDF (you will be credited as a contributor). Submissions should be fairly brief (just a few sentences). Here are some examples:

“Eboj the cordage-maker can supply you with as much rope as you need, and his rope is the cheapest available in the Wheel. However, it’s interwoven with a very particular ochre thread that comes from vines found deep in the woods. This thread only serves two masters: Eboj, and the forest Kalduhr.”

“The Fair Lady offers various tinctures and herbal compresses for dealing with injuries that occur far from the healing hands of a doctor. Her remedies are harvested not from her gardens, or even from the forest, but from the oozing, otherworldly funguses growing on the five faeborn she keeps drugged and caged in the root cellar under her cottage.”

“Though very few return from the forest, stories of those who do tell of the small idols they have carried with them through their journey. These pocket gods come from only one place: The Sisters’ Brother, a temple and clayworks. The proprietor—a goblin simply called ‘Brother’—is a true artist, and will offer to whisper a special blessing from your god just for you into a pocket-sized, hollow clay doll. It will not come without a sizeable ‘donation’ to his temple.”

2 Likes

The impossibly old Gonsarod is perhaps the least assuming vendor in Kormoran’s Wheel, making maybe one sale a month from his tattered rug on the dirt path as you exit the village. His selection is narrow: stone and clay ears of various levels of quality, all weathered and chipped hinting at ages beyond his own. If you can get him talking, he will softly mumble about all the forgotten gods he has left nearly deaf in his time and how their desperation leaves them receptive to a stranger’s whispered prayers.

6 Likes

The purple and white tent at the end of the second row on the east side of the village is Malchavainia’s tent. Don’t ever go there!

1 Like

Ferg One-Ear can talk for hours on the virtues of donkeys - and little else, it seems. What better companion for your journey into the Kalduhr than one of his noble beasts, to bear your supplies calmly and without complaint? Donkeys will never let you down and always find their way back, dutifully bearing the treasures you’re sure to find. Ferg can’t say the same for all treasure hunters, but that’s humans for you.

1 Like

Menov has an array of jars of different sizes and colors on his table. He never strays far from them and he speaks to the inhabitants as though there is a group conversation. Within each jar are 1-6 of his beauties, specifically : hornets, scorpions, centipedes, wasps, spiders and bees. He may offer to sell one as a cure for an ailment, solution to a vexing person, or just a lively companion.

2 Likes

Ordo the blind runs an unassuming food cart that serves morsels battered and fried on long skewers. At first glance there is no sign of affliction to suggest his moniker, but if one is patient they will see him cackle gleefully, plunge a skewer into each eye, levering the eyeballs from their sockets in turn, then proceed to batter and fry them to place them among the other morsels.

2 Likes

If you weren’t looking for Sadie’s stall, you’d miss it. Tucked between Meyer’s Furs & Hides and Kalisha’s Amulets, Sadie’s is barely a stall. A couple old stumps, really, and no sign to speak of. She sells bunches of wildflowers, hardly worth the pennies she charges. But lean in when you hand her the coins and she’ll whisper the advice you need, right there, right now. They say she’s never wrong, but those who heed her advice seem different, distant and detached. Kings and Queens have sought her “advice,” but the locals? The locals stay away.

2 Likes

Meyer’s Furs & Hides, the largest stall at this end of the Wheel, bustles with activity. Cured skins strewn about on make-shift tables, the locals eagerly ferreting through them. Toward the back, Meyer himself does the tanning, humming joylessly in his work. Anyone spending even a moment perusing will see one of Meyer’s goons arrive, a dead adventurer from the forest slung over their shoulder. They throw it down on the pile next to Meyer, the buzzing flies momentarily dispersing from the stack of corpses.

3 Likes

Gohraj is a spindly woman of bulging eyes and sinew and skin so leathery it’s hard to tell where she ends and her tent begins. She makes a steady sale of outdated blueprints of Barsul Prison. The '43 medical wing is a favourite — it’s currently out of stock

2 Likes

A strange store is left unattended. It consists of nothing more than a sign, a bowl with a few scant coins, and a stone tile upon which rests a massive mixed pile of artifacts decorated with the trappings of opulent wealth and bristling with occult energies. The sign reads simply, “Take a treasure leave a treasure. Tips appreciated. Beware thy greed.”
Fresh blood pools upon the tile.

7 Likes

Well respected among goblin clans, the Zidaj family maintains an ironfruit grove just at the edge of the Wheel. The squat trees thrive in shade, protected from scavengers by a woven canopy of thorny briars. The fruits themselves are deep blue in color and have a faint metallic taste. A bite of ironfruit dulls the sense of fear, while consuming a whole fruit makes one numb and utterly heedless of danger. Wine of the fruit, if the rumors are true, inspires such a madness that those who taste it wander towards their doom with open arms, singing joyfully…

4 Likes

The ever-eager Olinfehr excitedly rushes to greet anyone demonstrating a passing glance at his table, grandly gesturing over the broken gear lovingly arranged on the finest cloth he can afford. If a customer shows the slightest interest in any item, he will breathlessly recite its entire history, complete with previous owners and memorable moments of use. The rare purchase will fill the buyer with good spirits, inspiration to wield the equipment, regardless of condition or accompanying shift in personality, and will thus begin the gradual return of its owner…

2 Likes

Do you hear that sound? It is Runik, playing their flutes for the spirits of this place. Some songs put the spirits at ease, others stir them to dance or drive them away. You will find many kinds of flutes for sale in the hollow tree where Runik lives. They have hollow orbs of clay with finger holes arranged just so, delicate flutes of fragrant wood, polished goat horns with a soothing timbre - and slender whistles of bone which seem to fit your hands perfectly, as if they want you to play them. Where does Runik find clay of that strange hue, and where do all the bones come from? If you are careful to observe the proper courtesies, perhaps Runik will tell you.

2 Likes

Grandmother Nura never sleeps, but hangs gracefully in her glowing silk tent and sells lanterns to those who would venture into the dark forest. Soft lights to bring comfort, radiant lights for guidance, and cold lights which reveal things otherwise obscured. How do her lanterns maintain their light? Why do they seem to glow brighter when carried down certain paths?
Each lantern comes with a simple warning - do not ever open it.

1 Like

Should your purse come up short when a pretty bauble has caught your eye, or should a bout of haggling leave you dejected while some counter-polisher laughs at your besting, you may hear a soft voice offer to make the purchase on your behalf. Worry not. There’s no shop keep who’d let you accept this offer, even if you were tempted. Pelleck the Coin Bearer knows what they did, and why that coin is theirs forever. That coin, and none other.

3 Likes

As you wander the stalls, a paltry trinket catches your eye. You then dismiss it as uninteresting and quickly forget it. But then you see it again at another stall. By the third sighting, you are suspicious. By the seventh you are certain the trinket is following you, calling ever stronger to your wallet for sweet release. Can you resist the call of the beggar’s bauble long enough to escape the market?

3 Likes

Buk Shagol is back in town with his cart of mysteries. He sells his bits and bobs and then goes to see what’s on offer from the other vendors. Without fail he leaves empty handed, however, muttering “not this year, never this year” under his breath.

2 Likes

Naddiramiarach is the only store at the bottom of the well (or so boasts its owner, the diminutive Flimhock Dill). He shines a light on his wares for you to peer down at but the coins must be thrown down before the bucket, and your prize, ascend.

3 Likes

A four-armed woman with a tattooed throat and skin the color of curdled milk. She sells rituals. Scars. Beneath her furs there writhes the fruit of her ruin. For a price, a terrible price, she will take you into her tented manse and place your future in a jar. For safekeeping.

5 Likes

Ask anyone and they will point you to a tall, wiry potter who goes by the name Ron. You can buy as many mugs and jars you want only one pot ever. He will adorn the pot with your name and never sell you another one. Don’t even try and trick him with a clever disguise - Ron remembers everyone. Pot is expensive and always comes with some tasty food inside. Eat it all and there’s no more; leave some in the pot before you got to bed and in the morning your entire ration is back. Few from the Kormoran’s Wheel village resisted temptation of eating the food at some point and those who still rely on their pot, keep it hidden from neighbors’ envious eyes.

3 Likes