Saturday 14 October 2023

Hex Crawl 23 #272: Mehershal's Caravanserai

Eleven hexes northwest, two north of Alakran.


Merchants and wayfarers have stopped at the point where the road to Eryptos calves from the great Road of Flowers forever, it seems. But the place truly became amenable when an archmage by the name of Mehershal was persuaded to command a djinn of water to open up an ever-flowing well at the spot. Now, a complex of buildings has sprung up around the watering place: eight great stables, a feasting hall, an entertainment tent, a house of booths where private business may be conducted, places with rooms great and small for lodging, a modest place of devotion, a hot and cold bathhouse, all connected by arched arcades that cast deep concealing shadows in the evening.

It is free to stay there and to draw water; the family that runs the place has other ways to extract money from the business, some as innocent as selling food and renting more comfortable furnishings. Shifty-eyed informers stalk the public areas looking for people who might be interested in a little profit, a little trouble. Their rumors start at 2 gp for vague suggestions, and run up to 25 for detailed blueprints of adventure.  Other carry dice and other games, which they pretend at first not to play very well for money. Some of the worst hustlers eavesdrop on prayers at the temple, and use them against their marks. 

The patriarch of the operation, mountainous, merry, effusive Bezaz, simply beams and shakes his head and says, "People and their damn human nature! What can be done about them, eh?" But he and his staff of eight burly trouble-squashers can be induced to administer rough justice if it would be in their interests.

Those who retire directly to a private room or dormitory corner, have their stew brought to them. and depart betweem waking and dawn, seldom find any of the troubles listed on the faces of a d6 below:

1. You're offered 40 gp to start a diversion while something unsavory goes on in another building. Not just any brawl - something that will truly attact every eye, and have people running outside to fetch their friends. Something memorable.

2. One player character has random people eyeing them oddly, demanding money they're owed; they're slapped by an angry woman, accused of selling inferior wares by another, challenged to a duel by a Dharvi sword adept. It will emerge that a rogue has, by cunning art, impersonated the general appearance of the character and committed a string of indicretions under such cover.

3. A trained monkey steals something from the player characters, and disappears, but is seen later and can be tracked to its owner, a blind traveling beggar.

4. You are invited to judge an argument between two merchants as to whose lead camel is the most beautiful. Indeed, the white camel Pillar-of-Salt is objectively more lovely, but the owner of the plump brown camel Rolling-Beetle is wealthier. If you choose for the white, the crowd and her owner will love you but you will have gained a powerful enemy. If you choose for the brown, the rich merchant will favor you with gifts, but the crowd will disdain you, If you philosophize or otherwise avoid a clear decision, the merchants will grumble and the crowd will jeer you as a poseur.

5. Screams from the wellhouse. A long-bearded man failed to give thanks to the spirit of the well, and a vengeful water elemental has his beard gripped tight and threatens to drown him!

6. Two men start tussling over a stoppered bottle, each one claiming it as their own. In the fight the stopper comes loose and an elemental whirlwind is loosed, shooting lightning and causing great havoc. The wind may be fought, to Bezaz' great gratitude, or the players may simply take advantage of the havoc to rob and loot.

No comments:

Post a Comment