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Places to Go, People to See: The Murghren Bazaar

Places to Go, People to See: The Murghren Bazaar

John William Waterhouse - A Grecian Flower MarketOh, they’ll have it at Murghren. They have everything at Murghren. It’s just finding it that is the problem. Finding it and leaving with some money left in your purse…that’s a bit harder. Finding it and leaving with money in your purse and no enemies with knives pointed at your back—that, my friend, would be a miracle…

The Murghren Bazaar is the largest market in the known world. It might even be the largest in any world, but who can confirm such speculations? It is contained within the towering, long-abandoned hive of an extinct species of termite. The place, constructed from earth and sand, is remarkably resilient, scarcely having been eroded in the thousand or so years of its existence. Each of the endless passages has a smooth finish like that of marble. Now, the towering hive swarms with a different kind of life: teeming masses of merchants.

It is said of the Murghren Bazaar that gods visit it to see the wonder of their creation concentrated into a single place. Within the crowded corridors, everything is for sale—the most ancient and secret of magical texts are lying in occluded corridors, forsaken and forgotten by a trader with too much on his mind to care about one, single, musty tome. Mythical weapons can be discovered in smoke-choked chambers, where hundreds of blacksmiths and artisans compete to match each other’s skill and craftsmanship.

Thieves prowl here, of course, attracted by the wealth hanging from the belts of those who have haggled well. But most thieves are too afraid of the guards who lurk beneath the tunnels—horrors called Burrowers that no one has ever seen, save for the sight of an enormous clawed hand stretching out from ravaged earth to pluck a criminal out and drag him or her into the fetid darkness. The Burrowers will attack anyone who has been seen to commit a crime; they do not care about motive or mitigating circumstances. How they know who has committed a crime is impossible to tell, though there are rumours of certain cracks in the walls of the Bazaar that can be whispered into, and something vast and unseen listens.

Adventure Fragments

  • The Murghren Bazaar allows the sale of anything—from contraband dragon eggs to the fabled helm of the Sleeping King. But who wants your party to find something in those teeming corridors? And just what do they want to do with it?
  • The termite species who constructed the Bazaar and encoded their history on its walls in odd pictograms have long been extinct. Or are they? What are the Burrowers who invisibly patrol the corridors from beneath? Who are those cowled figures, ever at the fringes of the crowd? And why have they invited so many thousands into their home?
  • So dense with a variety of life is the Bazaar, all of which is dedicated to the pursuit of money, that it has separated itself from the world. The moorings of reality are fraying and the world around the Bazaar flickers and dims, but where will the Bazaar reach next? What other reality will it latch on to? What things lurk in the immaterial darkness?
  • Holy War strikes the Bazaar! It is indeed true that gods wander the crowded corridors of the Murghren Bazaar; only this time, two gods have decided to bring a heavenly conflict quite savagely to this location. Perhaps one god procured an item desired by the other at a lower price; perhaps an insult was whispered behind a back. It doesn’t matter—now the hive city has become a mess of bloody conflict. And your player characters are caught up in it!

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