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Grand Duchy: Master Rasmus Pulling’s Peddler Arcana

Grand Duchy: Master Rasmus Pulling’s Peddler Arcana

Going to MarketThe cart of the elfmarked peddler Rasmus Pulling is well-recognized across the Grand Duchy, and welcome in just about every village or city he and his clan visit. Adorned in splashes of starburst flower designs of yellow, red, orange, purple, and green, the lead cart is easily spotted from afar, which gives folk time to rush back to their homes and retrieve their purses.

The business of Rasmus Pulling is more than this single cart, actually. He operates an entire caravan of carts laden with a variety of goods, each one maintained by members of his immediate and extended family. And though the operation trundles along, never spending more than two days in a place, it traverses much of the duchy in a single year, a circuit that starts in Reywald and circles around to most of the major cities before ending up in the River Court, where it receives a fey escort back to Reywald.

For protection, Rasmus hires guards that he has chosen first for their loyalty and only secondly for their skill at arms. But it is a robust group, visible and recognizable in their orange tabards emblazoned with a white wagon wheel on the breast, an ample deterrent to most thieves.

One business of Rasmus goes unadvertised. While he makes his bones on the sale of mundane—yet good quality—goods to the common folk, the undecorated (and iron-locked) supply cart in the center of the caravan holds genuine treasures. Practitioners of arcana seek Rasmus out if they are on the lookout for the unusual, mystical, and rare.

You never know what Rasmus might be carrying. But the following selection is in his collection at the moment. (The list includes items from or inspired by the fifth edition Dungeon Master’s Guide, but can be used in just about any game).

  1. This potion of resistance (thunder) is contained in a pewter tube with a wax cap, and it was acquired from a dwarf merchant out of Hammerfell who vouched for its authenticity.
  2. The cap of water breathing, a midnight blue bicorn officer’s cap, is trimmed with copper thread with a ruffle ribbon on one side of the sort worn by Imperial naval officers about 200 years ago. It has an admiral’s rank pin clasped to the front fold.
  3. The compass token (anchor) was acquired from a naval officer’s estate sale in Gemport. This palm-sized object appears and functions as an ordinary compass. But an appraiser said it would function as a Quaal’s feather token when lain on the deck or against the hull of a ship.
  4. Beads of force are serving as fingernail-sized black gemstone decorations for a pair of clasp earrings of a design often favored by Seven Cities silversmiths. The jewelry has a matching necklace of three settings, but they were empty when Rasmus acquired it and so he had it reset with black glass beads, a fact he discloses during the sales pitch.
  5. A potion of giant strength (cloud) is in a clear glass orb held secure by a metal-bracing and rubber stopper. Rasmus made a side trek to Castle Tannenbirg where he was called to appraise an adventuring party’s treasure hoard acquired from an expedition to the Cloudwell Mountains. Rasmus took the potion as his fee for identifying the other items, which were even more wondrous.
  6. This scroll has the bard spell mirage arcane. It was found in a fat folio of unorganized papers, including sheet music, maps, and a journal that was sold to Rasmus by a bard named Rayanna Highnote, who said she was selling her worldly possessions so she could devote herself fully to the life of a cleric of Lada.
  7. This arrow of slaying (aranea) was once part of a clutch of six arrows, but only this single arrow and its matching quiver of spiderweb markings remains. A courtier in the River Court told Rasmus a tale that centuries ago members of a squad of elite archers loyal to the king each was equipped with a quiver and arrows of such design and purpose.
  8. The circlet of blasting was crafted in a very recent Barsellan design, though use of this magic item comes with a cost. The user takes d10 damage each time it emits a scorching ray.
  9. This bowl of command water elementals was salvaged from a Northlander shipwreck on the shore near Donnermark. Research shows the engravings on the side of the bowl are of troll design.
  10. Rasmus carries few weapons in his stores because he considers it provocative, but he does have a battle axe +3. The viscountess of Leofwine Althing asked a favor of Rasmus to carry the weapon until he could find a champion worthy of it and bequeath it in her name.

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