Farron, The King of Baubles
The plump and extravagant Farron is a minor thief lord — not quite at the level of a Thieves’ Guild grandmaster, but one or two rungs down from that kind of position. His specialty? Underground trade in magical items, relics, and lore about such devices — as well as information about their owners.
Farron is the guy you talk to if you need to find a buyer for an item with magical properties — or if you need to acquire one.
He is not, however, a “magic store.” Whatever items he has, he keeps to himself. Instead, Farron is a broker. A matchmaker between seller and collector. Goods pass through his hands but never linger, if he touches them at all. (If you’re following our earlier guidance on big-city-shopping, he’d be a type 7 vendor, but one who keeps information rather than inventory.)
In the course of doing his business, the self-titled King of Baubles collects information about items in his city — who has them, what they do, whether the individuals might be open to selling, how dangerous the owners are, whether they are sloppy about their personal security, and what kinds of influence or leverage might work on them. Farron also collects information about possible buyers — interests, funds, assets other than funds (like political leverage) that might be useful.
And, drawing on the information he has collected, Farron attempts to broker deals for percentages.
If someone with enough influence wants an item badly enough, and an owner is unwilling to part with the sort or item, then Farron might arrange for acquisition of the item by deception, stealth, or force.
But Farron is highly particular about which people he abuses. Stay on his good side, and he’s a useful ally. Cross him, even unintentionally, and he can be a dangerous foe.
An Invitation One Cannot Refuse
Farron loves the company of successful adventurers and is a gregarious if intimidating host to them — most of the time. Well-equipped adventurers who inquire in his city about acquiring or selling magical items often find scrolls delivered to them, inviting them to dine with the King of Baubles. No blindfolds are involved, but getting to Ferron’s underground Throne Room (and yes, it’s called that, though it’s actually a highly decorated, tapestry-laden, out-of-use, ancient cistern) requires going through several checkpoints, including two chambers that can be locked off and filled with water.
The Throne Room features a dining table large enough for 20 guests (2 for every 5 feet of table length). At the far end of the hall from the entrance, beyond the dining table, stairs climb to a tier that features an ornate throne carved from galeb wood (wood that resembles polished granite after worked and treated).
Once the invited adventurers arrive, Farron descends from his throne and invites them to eat. If the PCs are low-level, the dinner will be simply prepared fare (boar, stews, soups, bread), though the ales — from his private store — are excellent. If PCs are already well-known within the region and clearly capable, he attempts to wow them with a meal catered by several local chefs, all extraordinary. He plies them with compliments and quality drinks and listens eagerly to their stories while four or more bodyguards (thugs) look on. Farron is a rapt and enthusiastic audience, toasting good stories with good drink and amiably referring to his guests by name, often, whether male or female, preceded with “My dear” (as in “My dear Watson”). He has a warm and hearty chuckle and a firm handshake.
Of course, his guests’ stories often give away what they’re capable of and what their equipment can do. Farron knows enough about devices, about the kinds of training that wizards and clerics and other spellcasters go through, and more, that he can often deduce with Sherlockian ability what they’re carrying from tales about their exploits. It helps, though, that he legitimately enjoys tales of adventure. His memory of their stories will be nearly perfect, should they talk to him again, even years later.
Farron expects a brokering fee of 15% of the value of any items he helps change hands, to be paid by the party that initiated the exchange, or to be split between the two parties if both buyer and seller happened to approach him.
Next page: How Farron anticipates and prepares for trouble…