Changeling/The Hedge/Market

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Changeling: The Hedge - Goblin Market

About The Market

  • Mortal Entrance: D02 - The Division
  • Hedge Entrance: HG03 - Needle Pines
  • Hours of Operation: 7 days a week, sun up to midnight

Along the Nonesuch River there is a bend where the river turns nearly back upon itself as it wends towards the ocean. Here, in the Brim, a Changeling who has great enough need can call out an incantation under the light of the full moon can enter the Nonesuch Market. They are similarly warned to never try this under the new moon unless the Changeling can match the blackness of the moon.

The incantation is:

Tout and out, through and about,
My fickle life is insane.
Somnium. Cupiditas. Potestatum.
Part the waters, I agree to the rules on my True Name.

The Changeling then offers drops of his own blood as the steps into the water, each drop bringing a stepping stone up to the Changeling's feet until it crosses into the glowing ring left by the moon reflecting in the rushing river water. Once the Changeling enters the circle of light, they are shifted to center of the Market proper.

The Market exists in a bubble drifting in the Hedge's reflection of the river, tiny compared to the swimming and hunting hedgebeasts that can be seen outside of the bubble's walls. Outside the walls is the violent and chaotic displays of Hedge life as everything struggles to survive, but gives something to capture the eye while waiting or partaking of one of the sumptuous meals sold in the Market. The market seems to be guarded by a school of prehistoric piranhas that seem to guide the bubble around and keep it from harm. It is common for the marketeers to stop and watch when something strays too close and there is always betting on when the river will next run red and how long the interloping creature might last. Any scraps left by the fish are even brought in for preparation by the chefs who shoot massive harpoon canons afixed on the top of their stalls to drag the bits into the bubble. Some even allow customers to try their hand at wrangling a choice bit to be prepared free of charge if said bit is large enough to feed more than three.

Despite being inside a bubble, the open Nonesuch Market is spacious if chaotic. It is lit by the soft glow of moonlight that brought the Changelings here in the first place. The stalls are as varied as their stall owners, boasting obvious witches of an arcane bent to self aware clockwork automatons with orderly displays to scavenging goblins working out of piles of junk to the odd Hedge Hob forager with piles of fruits and clippings. Various oddments and fruits, tokens and hedgespun, memories and dreams, even skills, contracts, and hedgebeasts can all be found here. In agreement with the local Freehold, however, under the light of the full moon, any form of slavery isn't allowed.

It's a hodgepodge of styles, ranging from simple carts, to tents, to modern looking storefronts, all mashed together to form a chaotic blend of new and old, rich and poor. And all of these merchants with their various styles are kept safe behind a stone wall, more reminiscent of a medieval castle wall than anything else. Within that wall and the heavy gates, streets, both of dirt and cobbled stone, run in a neat grid, each one packed full of stalls and their wares.

The Market is open seven days a week, except when the council declares a holiday for some reason, and the gates open at sun up, and close at midnight. However, after dark, the atmosphere of the Market is darker, more dangerous. Sure, the laws still apply, but this is when the Marketeers who specialize in more gruesome wares come out to peddle their goods.

Where the entrance is, the laws are clearly posted with the ability to slip right back out should the Changeling have agreement regret.

Market Laws

  • No Violence: The Market does not tolerate the intimidation, bullying, promise of violence, or actual violence upon either the merchants or the customers of said merchants. This also includes destruction of market stalls or goods. Offenders will be escorted to one of two exits by the duly appointed Market Guards. If not blood is spilled, the center exit will suffice. If blood is spilled, the violator(s) will be ejected by food vendor canon to enjoy the swift discipline of the river guardians.
  • No Stealing: The Market exists to buy and sell goods, therefore any theft, or attempted theft will be dealt with swiftly. Those caught attempting to steal will be banned from the market, and may be subject to a trial of the Market Council to decide on greater punishment, depending upon the item(s) and the will of the merchant(s) cheated. These punishments cannot include death, but may result in the loss of a hand.
  • You Get What Is Advertised: The Market will not tolerate merchants who cheat customers. If a merchant advertises that a hammer will cause any nail driven into a footprint to cripple the owner of the footprint, it will do work as advertised. Side-effects and other fine-print concerns are not the concern of the Market and the buyer should beware such catches and drawbacks.
  • Honor Your Deals: Merchants and buyers are bound to honor the arrangements. Failure to honor a deal by a merchant will lead to their expulsion from the Market via food vendor canon and all properties, minus restitution for the buyer, will become property of the Market Council. Failure to honor a deal by a buyer will result in sanctions against the perpetrator and their Court and Freehold should they claim membership to either. Should they have neither Court nor Freehold, they shall be expelled from the Market via food vendor canon and all properties, minus restitution for the merchant, will become property of the Market Council.
  • No Refunds: Merchants are not obliged to return anything under any circumstance, nor are they obliged to take back an object traded.
  • All Are Welcome: The Market welcomes the business of all and honors the old pacts declaring the Nonesuch River and surrounding areas neutral ground. No matter how distasteful you might find certain customers, their trades are just as important as yours. Should you be found bad for business, you shall be asked to leave. It is not the policy of the Market Guards to request anything twice.

Organization

While some would say that there is no organization within the Market, there is definitely one at work. They have a group that oversees the laws, and under them are the merchants and the staff who take care of the day to day business of things. Beneath them are the guards. While each merchant is operating on his own (usually), the are all bound to the same laws and protection.

Market Staff

These hobgoblins are the ones who deal with the tasks within the Market such as selling stalls to new Merchants, hiring or firing guards, informing the Council that judgment is needed and all the other odds and ends that are needed to make things run smoothly. These staff are never merchants themselves, though some often will work with specific merchants, ensuring that a guard is always posted by their stall, or steering potential customers in their direction.

Market Guards

There are guards everywhere within the Market. They're found at every entrance, ensuring that those banned from the Market don't enter, and patrol the Market, ensuring that while the Market is open, there's always a guard within earshot.

Those chosen to be guards aren't chosen for their brains, most often, but for their brawl and skill at apprehending someone who breaks Market law and escorting them out of the Market or to the Market Council. Primarily made up of hobgoblins, there are some Lost who choose to join the Market as guards, though in almost every instance, these Lost are bound by a pledge.

Market Council

Every organization needs someone to maintain order, and for the Market, it's the Council. The Council is made up of three members of the Market, either staff or merchants. They're elected in a vote involving all members of the Market and hold their position until they die, are caught breaking Market law, or are maneuvered out by someone wanting to call a new vote.

The Council has one main purpose: to ensure that the laws are being upheld and to act as judges if someone breaks Market law in such a way that a punishment must be decided on. Occasionally they may make rulings on laws, tweaking them as needed, but most often they are simply the judges that lawbreakers are taken to for judgment.

The council is currently made up of:

  • Miss Petunia: Staff. Miss Petunia (who will only answer by that name) is an older hob woman, and not one to be crossed lightly. She may look like some odd variation of the kindly grandmother, but she is known to be harshest, by far, of all the council members when it comes to punishing lawbreakers.
  • Skunk: Merchant. As might be expected, Skunk is not this hob's real name, but comes from the odor that he simply cannot get rid of no matter how hard he tries. Oddly enough, he sells hedge fruits and odd flowers, but the smell just won't rub off on him.
  • Mark Myers: The only Lost who is a member of the Council, Mark claims ties to no freehold or Court, but claims the Market as his home.

Becoming a Merchant

Nothing comes for free, not even being a merchant at the Market. In fact, becoming one is equivalent in value to a powerful token or guide who can take you to Arcadia. (Value 4). To purchase a stall, a Lost must approach any of the staff of the Market with their request, and haggling over price will begin. Purchasing a stall at the Market comes with several benefits though.

  • Being able to store goods which are protected by the magic of the Market (-4 to attempts to steal while the market is open. Impossible while the market is closed) Visible objects on display are exempt from this bonus. However, if the Market is closed, even the merchant can’t access his stall.
  • Can buy and sell abstractions as though they were physical property. (I.E, skills, memories)
  • Can sell to anyone at the Market and knows which vendors have what goods

OOC Note: If you want to become a Merchant, please +request to staff, as this requires a scene where the character will purchase a stall.

Merchants

This is a list of merchants who can be found at the Market, along with a sampling of what wares might be found at their stall. For NPC merchants, the ST is also listed.

If you would like to be the ST for a NPC merchant, please +request to staff.

If you'd like to purchase something NOT offered by these NPCs, you can always have someone run a preapproved PrP for you to get it.

Vendors

Buying Things at Market

For the most part, any approved Market ST can run a scene at the Market without needing to go through staff. There are two exceptions to this, however:

  • Purchasing Tokens and Hedgespun (other than 0-dot 'fluff' hedgespun) require that the items be +requested and approved by staff BEFORE a Market scene is run to purchase this.
  • Permanent transformations (including purchasing/changing kiths or having a NPC use a contract on a PC) DO require a PrP to be preapproved by staff before the scene is run.

After any Market scene where something is purchased, however, we do need the Market ST/PC to submit a +job so staff is aware of what's been bought/sold.

Rumors

These are rumors that can be heard in the Market, or rumors of the Market.

  • Some say that during new moons, when the Hedge is the darkest, a new, more dangerous, darker Market opens up. But no one's spoken up yet who's seen such a thing.

Haggling

Haggling is arguably the most important thing about the Market. It's rare that a price will be asked for an item, and given without some measure of haggling. Often Merchants will make a high offer, knowing that it'll be argued down a bit. Customers who offer too high to start with, however, may find themselves cheated, and without any Market laws broken.

Goods/Services Available

Most anything can be traded at the Goblin Market. Those things that don't require and investiture of a customer's potential have their own economy of sorts where bottled dreams might be traded for a gewgaw, goblin fruit, hedge ingredient, mortal world treasure or the satisfaction of a vice. While the various tokens, skills, and things quantified by experience are the highlights of most merchants' days, the most brisk trading occurs in the little things.

Here are some of the things that can be purchased at the Market.

Hedgespun

Hedgespun accessories like scarves or belts, along with weapons and armor.

Tokens

Tokens of all sorts are frequently found at Market, since hobs tend to spend more time in the Hedge and thus run across more of these items.

Gewgaws

Gewgaws can be found at many of the stalls.

Goblin Contracts

Most any Goblin Contracts can be found and purchased at the Market for the right price.

Goblin Fruits

These are generally the most common thing found at the market, and the more common ones are often sold very cheaply, with only the rarest or hardest to obtain fruits commanding great prices. Oddments can also be found here.

Curiosities

The goblins do brisk trade in hard-to-obtain items with potential mystical value. These range from the seemingly innocuous (a dove’s feather) to the utterly obscure (a mote of dust gathered on a sunny day) to the obviously potent (a shard of the True Cross). Sometimes it’s not the curiosity itself that determines its value, but rather its importance to the owner. Some examples are:

  • Hedge Thorn
  • Mundane Mirror
  • Tortilla which has an image of the Virgin Mary
  • Dream or nightmares
  • A witch's finger
  • Werewolf pelt
  • Lewis Carroll's fountain pen
  • Chair from the Amber room

Living Merchandise

As ugly a practice as it is, slave trading is one of the most lucrative businesses in the shadowed recesses of the Goblin Markets. A Lost willing to engage in a little kidnapping can quickly discover that nothing at market is out of her price range. Such activities can be rough on a changeling’s Clarity, however, as few things make a Lost more akin to her keeper than abducting another.

Not all of the living merchandise is human either. Mundane animals, hedgebeasts, humans, Lost and even other supernatural creatures can all be found at Market.

Memories

Many stories feature fae creatures with an inordinate fondness for memories, especially happy ones. A changeling might agree to give up her memory of a specific event or person. This specific memory loss incurs a –1 die penalty on Social rolls in situations that refer to that memory, such as speaking to an old flame whose memory the character gave up. Memories can be of anything, from a song the Lost mildly enjoys, to the face of their favorite sibling, to their first kiss, and all things in between.

Transformations

Often transformations simply mirror Contracts or are temporary. They can be as simple as temporarily changing hair color, more complex, such as temporarily getting gills or having claws that do +1 damage, or even things that stay with the Lost permanently, like buying a new kith.

Second Hand Destinies

Second-Hand Skills

This is a 1 to 3 dot merit that reflects the fact that the changeling aligned her destiny with someone who was skilled in a way the character is not. There is a story behind the skills, such as who had them before, how they learned them, and why they gave them up.

Values

While every item will, of course, have an XP cost, there is also an IC cost to be paid. This has nothing to do with the XP cost of the item purchased or sold, this is the value as far as bartering is concerned. Each section details the value for that item, but here is a quick list for reference of what sort of value is assigned to different things that can be purchased. If something isn't listed on this page, go with the closest estimate.

These values are for the use of STs and those with appropriate Goblin Market merits. They're just here for reference. Click Expand to view.
(x) Gewgaws, Goblin Contract surcharge or finder’s fee, Minor Hedgespun accessories, Goblin Market guides
***** Common fruits and oddments, Hedgespun (1-2 dot), Lesser Goblin Contracts (1-2 dot), Local Freehold guide, Untrained minor Slave (1-2 dot), Token (1 dot)
***** Rare fruits, Unusual Hedgespun (3 dot), Medial Goblin Contracts (3), Untrained medial Slave (3-4), Trained minor Slave (1), Local Hedge Guide, Token (2)
***** Major Goblin Contracts (4 to 5), Untrained incredible Slave (5), Hedge guide to another freehold, Mentorship in standard Contracts, Token (3)
***** Mentorship in unusual contracts, Goblin Market membership, Deep Hedge guide or guide to the gates of Arcadia, Token (4)
***** A Goblin Market stall, Guide through Arcadia, Well-trained but unimpressive Slave 2),Token (5)
******+ Well-trained, competent Slaves (3 to 5), Unique items of incredible power

Hedgespun

(x) Minor (0-dot) Hedgespun accessories like scarves or belts
***** 1-2 dot Hedgespun items
***** Unusual Hedgespun (3 dot)

Tokens

Tokens are frequently found at Market, since hobs tend to spend more time in the Hedge and thus run across more of these items. In general, a Token will have a value the same as it's rating. (I.E., a 3-dot Token has a value of 3.)

Gewgaws

Essentially these are value 0 items and occasionally tossed in to another purchase to sweeten the pot.

Goblin Contracts

(x) Goblin Contract surcharge or finder’s fee
***** Lesser Goblin Contracts (1-2 dot)
***** Medial Goblin Contracts (3)
***** Major Goblin Contracts (4 to 5)

Goblin Fruits

***** Common fruits and oddments
***** Rare fruits

Curiosities

(x) Common Component: An unusual Goblin fruit, a Hedge thorn, a mundane mirror, a chunk of naturally frozen ice, a 0-point Token, regular dream or nightmare
***** Curiosity: Strange handcrafted music box, a copy of Peter Pan in which a child sketched his nightmares, a tortilla on which there is an image of the Virgin Mary, exceptionally crafted dream or nightmare (5+ intensity)
***** Unusual Component: A witch’s finger, a spider that has been scared to death, a vampire’s fang, a fading ember that will not go out unless spat upon, dream poison
***** Heirloom: Grandfather’s pocket watch, a rare Rosicrucian manuscript, a 0-point Token given to the Lost by her Mentor
***** Artifact: A Gutenberg Bible, a chair from the Amber Room, a werewolf pelt, the lost log from a sunken slaver vessel
***** Unique Artifact: Hitler’s molar, Lewis Carroll’s fountain pen, a sword forged in Arcadia, the key to a Gentry’s keep

Living Merchandise

(x) Mundane: Cats, dogs, cows, or any other animals with few exceptions, particularly minor Hedge creatures
***** Uncommon: Unusual animals (whether due to species, such as a cougar, or circumstance, such as the runt of the litter), mentally or physically handicapped adult humans, children
***** Useful: Average adult human laborers, guards, soldiers or teachers, small Hedge creatures
***** Unusual: Particularly skilled humans (such as doctors), terribly beautiful humans or animals, humans touched by the supernatural (such as psychics, ghouls, and wolf-bloods), strong Hedge Beasts
***** Auspicious: A seventh son of a seventh son, a changeling, a firstborn infant, a powerful and intelligent Hedge Beast
***** Impressive: Non-fae supernatural creatures (such as mages or werewolves), particularly potent or unusual changelings

Memories

(x) Unimportant: A mildly enjoyed song, a boring memory, a bad dream
***** Trifling: A kiss, a good dream, a whispered secret
***** Important: A day spent with a childhood friend, an enjoyable song or poem, a visit to a favorite museum, an intense erotic dream
***** Beloved: A favorite song, a beautiful memory, an adored sibling’s face, a favorite concert, an incredibly uplifting dream
***** Crucial: A beloved parent’s name, a part of the buyer’s True Name, a hated memory of Arcadia, a powerful dream shared with another, a broken heart
***** Life-Changing: The buyer’s first kiss, own magnum opus, True Name, a dream shared with a dead beloved, an important sexual escapade

Transformations

(x) Non-permanent changes that grant no mechanical benefit such as changing hair color
***** Permanent cosmetic changes (such as changing hair color) or non-permanent changes with a small bonus that last a scene (claws that grant +1 damage or gills)
***** Non-permanent changes with a small bonus that last a week
***** New kith or kith change

Second Hand Destinies

Second-Hand Skills

The value of this merit is equal to the dots taken in it.