In which I ask folks on G+ to creatively contribute. Thank you to everyone who contributed.
A group of adventurers are starting to feel like bad-asses after having hauled a powerful magic sword out of a faraway ruin. Now they want to sell it.
There’s no such thing as magic shops – magic just doesn’t work that way. They decide to auction the magic item off to the highest bidder. Word spreads as they hunker down in a big, comfortable city, hosted by a metropolitan inn whose ambitious innkeeper thinks the business from the auction could pull her place out of debt.
Who shows up to bid?
- A black-silk clad manservant, with carefully braided hair, and lacquered nails, bearing ancient coins for payment.
- A brattish high-class child, no more than seven, entourage in tow, who exclaims that they must have that.
- A bitter, down on their luck mercenary who claims to be the heir to the original wielder of the sword.
- The original owner of the sword, dead for centuries, awakened when the blade was removed.
- An inconspicuous halfling dressed in the plain clothes of a city laborer, perhaps a fetch.
- A dour dwarf, who claims to be the son of the smith who originally forged the sword, and further that the original owner never paid and therefore the sword should be returned to his family.
- A lanky, out-of-shape young man, with the pale skin and soft hands of the wealthy, dressed in very practical, sturdy, and visibly brand-new adventuring clothes. He’s trying to gear up for his first delve!
- A gray-haired woman of 50 or more, unbent despite her age. Careful observation reveals she wears well-made leather and chain beneath her woolen garments. She carries no coin.
- The agent of a powerful, but mysterious and wealthy, collector, who offers 40% of the item’s value and secretly plans to take the item by force if it cannot be bought…
- A representative from the city’s public enchantment bureau, which uses magical objects to power the city’s wards and estimates that this weapon will satisfy their needs for upwards of a year. In uniform, meaning they are wearing a tight-fitting outfit that magically conceals their gender and identity, and a featureless obsidian mask that forms a mouth temporarily only when it’s needed to shape words.
- A furniture-maker, a sturdily built woman in her middle age, with callused hands and heavy shoes. It’s well known that the Iron Emperor has required certain upgrades for his terrible Throne of Blades.
- A man in battered armor and worn clothing. He is in his middle years pushing towards fifty perhaps. The symbol of his company is torn and filthy so it is impossible to tell who he once served. He has the bearing of a soldier and already bears a sword that in contrast to his armor and clothing is clean and well maintained. He looks upon the auction with sadness in his face. If you ask him why he is here he will say “It was her sword. She may be lost forever, but I’d pay anything to have this one thing that she held almost as dear as me.”
- A boringly dressed, middle aged man. Unremarkable and he does nothing to bring attention to himself. He only stands out because of all of the outlandish people already here and it isn’t long before a new arrival has attracted your attention and you’ve already forgotten about him.
- A group of pacifist priests of the Sun, in yellow robes and carrying chests and chests of tithe-coin. Their sect practices a transformative magic that makes weapons of war into beautiful mechanical creatures that tirelessly tend their hopyards and barley fields.
- A regular human noble who appears to have more than enough money to pay for it several times over. He hopes to purchase the sword as though purchasing legitimacy as a warrior. Secretly he is wearing a nearly impenetrable glamer, and is, in fact, not from this world,. Instead, it is simply taking on the shape of a human, a form that bears little resemblance to its true self. The sword is actually a key for dimensional travel.
- A glassy collection of bubbles and threads, something like a floating Portuguese man-o-war. A magical ring tangled in its fore-tentacles allows it to speak.
- A cult who want to trick the party into completing a ritual to free the demon they believe is within.
- A well-dressed young woman: the second, disinherited daughter of the local lord. Her feud with her elder sibling is the stuff of recent gossip, as is her new entourage of mercenaries.
(a spy follows her)
- A priestess and priest in the red robes of the goddess of War.
- A group of slavers in silk and powdered wigs with plenty of silver, gold and gems made off of the blood and misery of others.
- A bald man with tattoos etched into his deeply tanned skin. They shimmer silver in the sunlight and are recognizable as runes of binding to those with the right knowledge. He wears a white robe that is stained with the constant trickle of blood from his eyes. His voice is not his own.
- A man, maybe in his late twenties, driving a farmer’s wagon. He’s got a military cap, so he is probably a recent war veteran. He does not look wealthy, but he’s willing to give all he’s got.
- A person who was once a magical sword. That is a long story. It wants to buy the sword and turn it into a companion.
- A regular drinker at the inn, sitting at his usual table in the back corner. This is his inn, dammit. Has been for years. A whole lot of fuss about a magic sword isn’t going to force him out of his drinking spot. (But with enough liquid courage he might join in on the bidding, show these interloping newcomers up at their own game. Not that his purse could back his increasingly loud mouth…)
- A suit of fine plate armor, empty of resident, but ready to bid with hand gestures.
- The Ambassador. A long, thin man, wearing an exquisite, exceedingly purple and gold toga. His eyes are below his cheekbones and his mouth on his forehead. Extremely refined, his breath smells just a little like sulfur. He’ll gladly pay in years of life.
- Wizard’s Guild delegates, willing to pay a smaller fee to study the sword but also there as serious bidders.
- A youngish woman, in beat-up leather and chain armour. She looks a bit like death warmed over, but there’s a quiet fury in her eyes. She claims to have been part of the original adventuring party, and to have been the one who actually found and freed the sword, only to be left for dead by her fellow party members after a partial tunnel collapse. Turns out she wasn’t dead, after all. At least, not entirely. It’s unclear whether she’s come for the sword, or vengeance. Maybe both.
- A veteran paladin devoted to fighting demons and their ilk. A holy vision revealed to him that this sword would be a powerful weapon against his eternal foes. He has the monetary backing of his cult, but would prefer to persuade the current owners into donating it to his worthy cause.
- One of seven competing embodiments of Death.