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Sanael posted a topic in General FantasySo, this is a thing I've been kicking around for a little while; I finally got my thoughts typed up. The Eberron campaing I run got its start with the adventure in the back of the 3.5E Eberron Campaign Setting. One of the unexpected hits of the adventure was Skakaan, a goblin merchant deep in the Sharn undercity. My players have returned to shop with Skakaan on numerous occasions, well past the point he should have been useful to them (he was originally a shop for first-level characters; they're now over tenth). I've introduced one of Skakaan's cousins, and spent some time pondering how to make it all make sense. This is what I've come up with. For your consideration, thrown pottery, acclaim or revilement, I present: The Amzaan Daâ€™Kaam Or, The open-all-night, anywhere, anytime goblin market As the party pushes through the crowd to the center of the plaza, a gravelly voice lifts above the noise of city life. â€œWhat do you need? Akbaali provides, yes! Step forth and see! Akbaali can make it yours!â€ Finally emerging from the crowd, you can see the square is dominated by a fountain, gushing clean water that sparkles through the air. Children carry buckets back and forth from their homes while thirsty travelers drink from a communal ladle; a town guard stands nearby, her watchful gaze ensuring traffic around the fountain continues to flow. But there, on the flagstone ground, tucked into a corner of the fountainâ€™s low wall, is a patch of stillness and the source of the hawking voice. â€œYes, you see something interesting, indeed! Come closer, peruse Akbaaliâ€™s wares and be amazed!â€ Small and sun-brown, the goblin sits cross-legged on a threadbare carpet, surrounded by piles of all manner of merchandise. He genuflects without standing and opens his arms to encompass his wares. â€œlook, kind customer, and find. Akbaali is happy to meet you today!â€ Near the edges of the carpet are rusted bits of metal pipe, tarnished pans and dirt-encrusted silverware, goods more likely from a junkyard than a warehouse. It is clear this wizened merchant subsists on poor customers in need of basic items, more concerned with low prices than high quality. With all this spread at your feet and the goblin smiling expectantly, you politely inspect a leather-wrapped dagger and return it to its place on the carpet after seeing the cancerous rust covering the blade. â€œYou turn away now? Akbaali has what you need, it is as I have said!â€ Arrested by the low voice, you take a second look at the items nearer the goblin. To his left, several worn baskets and beaten pots appear to overflow with spices from impossibly far-off lands; though caked with mud, several sealed amphorae promise spirits unheard of in this climate. At his right, a pile of inconspicuously rough-spun cloth covers the liquid shine of silk, and a mildewed leather hat sports a jeweled band. At your intake of breath, the goblin grins widely and produces a sheathed dagger, glowing unmistakably with magic, from beneath his well-worn cloak. â€œYou are happy now, to make Akbaaliâ€™s acquaintance, yes?â€ The gist: Amzaan, once little more than a simple grunt in the Dhakaani army, has built an enterprise which reaches throughout the Five Kingdoms and beyond, with operatives on every continent. As a purveyor of fine items, both magical and mundane, Amzaan has made it his business to have everything a customer might need, no matter where, no matter when. NB: The ancient goblin Daâ€™Kaam was a mobile marketplace of both goods and ideas, a caravan, workshop and university all rolled into one. Although the components of his network of shops donâ€™t often move, Amzaan took the ancient name as a symbol of his dedication to providing consumers with goods and services regardless of their location. How it works: In a given location (a large city, a crossroads near the national border, a hollow tree in the haunted forest; ie, anywhere the DM requires), a lone goblin sets up a stall. This stall will primarily appear as a junk shop, a moth-eaten carpet strewn with cracked pottery, moldy books and half-empty ink pots. On closer inspection, items of higher quality can be seen hidden amongst the dross, and the goblin merchant seems able to produce almost anything requested from within the folds of his brown and travel-worn cloak. This is the primary way an adventurer is likely to encounter part of the Daâ€™Kaam: as a customer. What isnâ€™t immediately apparent is that the goblinâ€™s cloak hides a portal (essentially a Ring Gate) and a few extradimensional storage spaces. The goblin may have any number of items stored within his or her cloak, and the portal provides access to a well-stocked warehouse which exists nowhere near the stallâ€™s location. When a customer asks for an item not already in the merchantâ€™s possession, he closes his cloak over his hands and puts them through the portal within. A pair of rings allows his hands to pass freely through a gate which would normally be painfulâ€”or deadlyâ€”to organic flesh, and arcane marks invisibly tattooed on his palms identify him to the eyes on the other side. The â€œswitchboardâ€ is a room lined with portals, manned by several goblins. When a hand emerges from a gate, a goblin rushes over with a sharp knife, ready to sever the limb if need be; the knives are sheathed when a mark is identified, and the task of reading an order given in hand-sign begins. Once the order is complete the goblins in the switchboard call to the warehouse floor below, and set in motion a flurry of movement throughout the well-organized shelves. Within moments, the requested item is placed in the waiting hands and drawn back through the gate. Meanwhile, the merchant has continued his friendly patter, keeping the customer occupied until he appears to seamlessly remove the item from his cloak. Obviously, this is a great expenditure of energy and not undertaken lightly; the merchants in Amzaanâ€™s network are well-trained, often very high-level rogues or bards with maxed ranks in Sense Motive. If a customer seems likely to walk off without paying, or is simply browsing and has no real intent to buy, the merchant usually knows this long before actually requesting the item. The merchants also refrain from providing too much to any given customer; although it may be an open secret among many adventurers, the Daâ€™Kaam strives to maintain a plausible deniability about the source of its wares. This also means low-level adventurers arenâ€™t likely to get particularly over-powered equipment through one of the Daâ€™Kaamâ€™s merchants; a merchant simply isnâ€™t going to ask the Warehouse for a Holy Avenger if he knows the customer doesnâ€™t have more than 25 gold pieces. The Daâ€™Kaam also retains a small army of investigators, bounty hunters and assassins, in addition to keeping up very good relationships with local law enforcement agencies. If a merchantsâ€™ cloak is stolen (an unlikely scenario if the merchant is still living), it will be tracked down swiftly and the thief dealt with (a task often made simpler by the identifying marks of newly severed hands).