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The markets run by the Niemheim gnomes in the great city of Holmgard are famous for selling mithral, high quality wood, and fine liqueurs. They are infamous for the magic items and eldritch treasures they traffic. A few well-known items and their qualities are listed below.
Items of Interest
Found in some of the grimmer shops of Niemheim markets, these items carry high price tags, in gold or favors.
Black Cherry Brandy
This dark, cherry-flavored fruit liqueur is brewed from the orchards of Niemheim. The cordial tastes strong and sweet, but a creature who takes two shots or more of it in less than an hour must succeed on a DC 14 Constitution saving throw, or roll with disadvantage against all enchantment spells for the next eight hours.
Brimstone Acorn Powder
This substance is made of brimstone acorns ground in specially glazed mortars & pestles. It is usually found in small, glazed pots. If cast into the eyes of an enemy, the target must succeed on a DC 14 Dexterity saving throw or take 1d6 points of fire damage and gain the blinded condition until the end of their next turn.
If this acorn powder is mixed with black powder, it doubles the damage of black powder bombs. It also adds an extra damage die to any black powder weapon damage, and increases all black powder weapon ranges by 10 feet.
If a wielder of a brimstone-infused black powder weapon rolls a critical hit, they triple damage dice rather than double. If they roll a natural 1 on an attack, the weapon explodes, destroying destroying itself in flames and dealing 2d8 fire damage to all creatures and objects within 10 feet of it.
Brimstone Acorn Infusion
These ruddy alchemical brews are infused with brimstone acorn powder. They are usually found in small, glazed-stone vials. If a creature drinks such a brew, the next time they speak or otherwise exhale through their mouth, they breathe a 15-foot cone of fire (treat as red dragonborn breath for damage, range, saving throws, etc.). An imbiber who does not exhale within 3 rounds takes 3d6 fire damage (no saving throw).
These surprisingly sturdy robes are made from sheets of lichen and moss grown within the Wormwood Forest. Along with their “redcap” mushroom hats, these robes allow Niemheim gnomes to wander from the devil-guarded woods of Niemheim, concealing them from Baba Yaga and her agents (they hope) by keeping the wearers “within” the confines of the forest.
It is rumored that some of these garments, which can be worn under armor or other clothes, are further enchanted for some of King Redbeard’s agents. Supposedly, these specially-enchanted robes can provide magical protections to their wearers, such as barkskin, mage armor, shield, or even invisibility.
Vellum of Niemheim
This exceptionally fine and flexible vellum is highly prized by wizards, as using this unique vellum halves the time and cost of copying spells into or out of spellbooks. The only known drawback of these fine pages is that if they take any necrotic damage, they become shriveled and blackened at once, and rendered instantly useless.
This powerful liqueur is distilled from the potent sap of the mighty wormwood trees that give the Wormwood Forest its name. A creature who drinks it must make a DC 15 Constitution saving throw. On a failure, they take 1d6 poison damage. On a succeess, they gain 1d6 temporary hit points. Most Niemheim gnomes have a tolerance for wormwood elixir, and agents of King Redbeard often use draughts of the liqueur to determine who is a Niemheim gnome and who is a disguised or glamoured spy.
These items are associated with Niemheim gnomes, for good or for ill (mostly ill).
Staff, Very Rare (Requires Attunement by a Sorcerer, Warlock, or Wizard)
These staffs are constructed of singed antlers bound to charred yew staffs. A staff found in the Niemheim markets typically has three to six points on the black antlers. Once attuned, a staff wielder can store spells in the tips of the antlers. Each tip invested with a spell burns with a small, intense flame which remains lit until the spell is expended by the wielder as an action.
The flame is hot enough to light flammable materials it touches, and casts dim light in a 10-foot radius. The flame can be covered, but can only be extinguished by casting the spell stored within it. An antler can hold one level of spell for each point on it. For instance, in a three-point staff, a spellcaster can store one 3rd-level spell, three 1st-level spells, or one 2nd-level spell and one 1st-level spell.
King Redbeard and some of his more powerful retainers are rumored to have antler staffs with twelve or more points that can snatch spells out of the air and store them. If true, these are never offered for sale to non-gnomes, but might be available as a reward for favored agents of the king.
Wondrous Item, Rare (Requires Attunement)
These hand-carved, ensorcelled wormwood bowls grant useful abilities for a grisly price. An amount of blood, measured by hit points lost, can be drained from a living creature into the bowl. Another creature can then drink the blood from the bowl and must make a DC 13 Constitution saving throw. If they fail, they vomit up the blood and gain no benefit.
However, if they succeed, the drinker gain benefits based on the number of points of blood ingested:
1–14 points: Heal the number of hit points drained into the bowl, and gain any extra as temporary points, if the drinker is at hit point maximum.
15–29 points: Gain the effects of the greater invisibility and pass without trace spells for one hour.
30 points: Gain resistance to all damage and advantage on all saving throws against any effect from a devil for 1 hour. This ability can only be used once per day. If it is used more often, the bowl cracks, becoming nonmagical and useless.
The bowl holds a maximum of 30 hit points’ worth of blood. Excess spills over the sides and is lost.
Weapon (Bullet), Uncommon
The fiery acorns from Niemheim’s corrupted world tree, Sulf, are intensely hot. Many Niemheim gnomes carry them as fire starters in flame proof containers like charcoal shells or specially glazed ceramic pots. When fired from flame-resistant slings, they duplicate the effects and damage of a firebolt cantrip (use the character’s ranged weapon modifier).
Glower Stones, Small
Wondrous Item, Rare (Requires Attunement)
These are smaller, versions of the larger glower stones set around Niemheim’s borders, the size and appearance of a gnome’s head. The bone- and gore-encrusted stone can be used to guard a small room or campsite, as an alarm spell. This can be done once per night by an attuned user.
What gnomish merchants fail to disclose to unwary customers is that King Redbeard and his devilish vizier, Xingat, can see and hear through the stones, with the effects of a scrying spell. Attuned users also have disadvantage on Charisma, Intelligence, and Wisdom saving throws against spells cast by Niemheim gnomes or devils.
Intrigued? Read more about the horrible bargain the gnomes of Niemheim made to stay alive in the Midgard Worldbook!