What does every class have in common? A love of buying stuff, of course! What’s the point of all that treasure collecting if you can’t get the awesome gear that you want? This week’s Best in Class celebrates the people heroes buy their goods from, and these characters are often heroes themselves, as you shall soon find out. Get ready to be astounded as we count down the top ten merchants with class.
1. Gwuthur Heavy Blood, Half-Orc Barbarian. Though a half orc, Gwuthur has more orc in him than most and cuts an imposing figure. Towering nearly 8 1/2 feet tall, Gwuthur for many years was a force on the rocky plains that he called his home. Forsaking tribe and clan, Gwuthur led a life of his own accord, hunting the most powerful monsters and protecting travelers through the realm. Now, nearly a decade retried, Gwuthur makes the rounds through the various nomadic tribes, offering to trade the trophies of his journeys and even his ancient weapons. Gwuthur also collects rumors and stories to share with those who prove to be valiant. Currently he is looking for a warrior or company of warriors capable of finding his ancestral helm in a clan tomb haunted by a black dragon. He promises to open his greatest treasures to those who would retrieve such an item.
2. Irnwen Quire, Alchemist Extraordinaire. Irnwen is a trained alchemist more famed for her extravagant six-storey shop than for her achievements in the field; nevertheless, Irnwen is among the finest alchemists operating in the city. In addition to carrying the normal line of exotic reagents, poultices, and potions that most alchemist shops carry, she holds a fine stock of exotic transformative agents that are both powerful and highly unstable. While these agents are dangerous, they are often worth the risk to those looking for an edge in a challenging battle. Recently, she has begun experimenting with unusual formulae and is looking for skilled alchemists to test these formulae in the field, and is willing to part with them at a discounted rate if the user takes careful notes on how they work.
3. Ilyiri Kendili, Aasimar Cleric of Merchandos. A very unusual character, Ilyiri appeared out of nowhere nearly 30 years ago, claiming to be the prophet of Merchandos, the benevolent god of material and goods. While the dogma of Ilyiri’s faith seems complex and obscure, she has gained widespread acclaim as a purveyor of holy incense, sacred oils and gems, and powdered derivatives suitable for powerful cleric spells. What’s more, it seems her mission is to ensure that these exotic and rare materials be made available everywhere at a fair price, so that priests might work their mightiest of spells. Now she has kiosks all throughout every realm and kingdom, supplying diamonds, blessed oils, and powdered metals to those in greatest need of them. While the service is greatly appreciated, some are concerned about the source of all this great wealth, and wonder just what Ilyiri might be accomplishing with the fortune accumulated from her many shops.
4. Gomnip Burybodi, Gnome Druid Jeweler. Gomnip is one of the most famed and sought-after jewelers for those looking for something unique and special. A druid trained in the lore of the natural world and familiar with the mineral rich caves and caverns that lie beneath the meadows and soft hills in his charge, Gomnip is uniquely qualified to seek out the most extraordinary gems and jewels. He claims the stones speak to him, and that this sacred connection inspires his designs. While his pieces lack ornate settings, his exotic gem-cutting methods highlight the natural beauty of each piece in a way that no other mortal jeweler can match. Though Gomnip loves his home and is loathe to leave, he is extremely interested in gems from faraway places and will happily cut such stones at a vast discount.
5. Oki Oku, Fiendish Purveyor. A unique fiend of indeterminate origin, Oki Oku appears as a two-faced human with one serene female face and one tormented male face. A mysterious figure, Oki Oku appears in all sorts of unusual places, purveying items of historical or occult significance. Oki Oku will never sell more than one item to an individual, but his pieces are exceptionally unique and have rich and storied backgrounds. Often, his goods are morbid or cursed with foul magic. Even so, the unique pieces he offers are interesting curiosities and often powerful tools to those willing to risk their use.
6. Sulikar Sudarson, Dwarf Medium Merchant. An unfortunate soul, Sulikar was once an accomplished channeler of spirits and a famed adventurer, especially well known for quelling hauntings and undead incursions. Eventually, however, Sulikar was called upon to perform a séance with the soul of a great merchant to find out where he had hidden his treasure. While the task seemed simple enough, the merchant’s sprit proved too much for Sulikar, who became possessed. Now, unable to control the spirits that run free in his body, Sulikar has set up shop in a ruined city, selling all manner of magical and mundane goods scrounged up from the merchant’s stores. In addition to his vast wares, Sulikar is known to display a wide variety of odd characteristics as different spirits take over his body from time to time. In rare moments of lucidity, Sulikar has been known to offer all his goods and wealth to any that can free him from possession.
7. Palvos Palidar, Warrior Smith. A wandering swordsman, in his youth Palvos was merely one of countless fighters to pick up the warrior’s trade in search of fame and glory. Through trial and experience, he became the greatest swordsman in the land. So great was his prowess, in fact, that the swords he could purchase were no match for his skill at arms. To remedy his problem, Palvos began to forge his own weapons. As his legend grew, so did his skill in making blades, until such a time when his skill at weaponsmithing surpassed by far any other to be found within his kingdom. Eventually, Pavlos retired from adventuring and began to sell his blades instead. While his swords are of the absolute highest quality, he is vilified by many local adventurers for a trade partnership he has with the local mages’ guilds and temples, stipulating that they will only enchant swords made by Palvos. This stipulation has made Palvos a rich and powerful figure.
8. Catrine Belle, Fence. A charming and intelligent rogue, Catrine is a master thief, active in several major cities and capitals at different times throughout the year. For those that known how to find her, she can be a very impressive merchant offering stolen art, gems, and magic items for about 50% of their market price. However, Catrine only reveals herself to those that prove they share her skill and can assure her that they won’t turn her in. Thus, it is well known that in order to contact Catrine, one must perform a high-profile theft.
9. Nostbleeder, Goblin Hedge-Wizard. Though it is clear that Nostbleeder will never be much of a mage, he is an excellent choice for the frugal wizard looking to purchase spell components on the cheap. While Nostbleeder is not the most cunning of goblins or wizards, he has an encyclopedic knowledge of spell components, from the simple to the complex, and has made it his mission in life to become a great wizard by amassing all the spell components he can and creating a powerful spell capable of the effects of every known spell. While his experiments consume much of the components he has amassed, due to sheer numbers, he always has some to spare.
10. Lady Falconet, Beast Seller. A ranger of no small skill, the noble Lady Esmerelda Falconet has always had a great fascination with trained animals and exotic beasts. While she long ago hung up her bow and spear to focus on her duties as a noblewoman, Lady Falconet maintains both an exotic menagerie as well as a wide variety of eggs and very young animals she is willing to sell to those who do her people service or prove themselves to be heroes of the realm.