Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Lady Prunella's Lovely Locks (magic item)

The town of Badgerbrough, like any larger town, housed a numerous amount of small shops, each with their own kind of goods and services. In school, Billobi was taught that there existed some kind of balance between what the people wanted to buy, and what was actually in stock; if a rare item was highly sought after, it generally costed a whole lot more, and vice versa.

It was the opposite that got both him and best friend Tristan curious and slightly confused; if a certain item wasn't in demand, it would become cheaper. So if this continued, they reasoned, then the item would eventually cost nothing!

"I hope everybody stops buying candy", said Tristan and kicked a small rock.

"Why?" asked Billobi.

"Because, if no one buys candy, that means no one demands it, and therefore it will drop in price, and if it continues long enough, all candy will eventually be free! Free, for me to eat!"

Relieved that school was finally out for the day, they crossed the school yard with their backpacks dragging in the gravel.

"I don't think it's that easy", said Billobi. "Mrs. Alcott said a lot of other things about that too."

"Like what? I don't remember any of it."

"Me neither."

They walked on for a bit and arrived shortly at a street famous for its small shops, packed and stacked like items on a shelf.

"Do you think Angela Burdett's Candy is open?" said Tristan with dreamy eyes. "That nice lady always lets me taste for free..."

A scream interrupted their cravings; it came from a small store behind them. Curious, they rushed to see what was going on.

Inside, they found a young woman with arms crossed over her chest. Her clothes were bulky and colourful, and looked like a mixture of pants and dress in one. Her hair was pitch black and all over the place.

"Are you all right, madame?" asked Billobi.

She looked at them with wide open eyes.

"I just... That lady scared me, that's all", she said and pointed towards the wall.

The boys followed her arm but couldn't see anyone there; the wall looked ordinary, cluttered with shelves and strange cloth, and it was only the three of them.

"There's no one there, madame", said Tristan.

The woman dropped her arm slowly with a surprised look on her face. She walked up to the wall and inspected it carefully.

"Ah!" she suddenly said with a relief in her voice. "It was only my reflection! Damn those mirrors, ey?"

She walked over to a narrow counter at the back of the room, also cluttered with various things.

"Care for a sweetstick, boys? That fine woman Angela gave me these the other day. Taste a bit like bark, but good. I had five, but I think I lost one in me dress. So, so, don't be afraid."

Billobi and Tristan walked over to the counter and received the sweetsticks; they did actually taste like bark.

"Thank you, madame."

"No need for that, say Prunella, that's me name. Well, not really, but you may call me that anyway. So, what are two small boys as yourselves doing in my little shop? Fancy a lock for those backpacks, do you?"

Billobi and Tristan shook their heads.

"We hea'd you sc'eamin'", said Tristan, mouth filled with sweet candy.

"Ah, and you came to me rescue, didn't you?"

Billobi shrugged, and took another bite on his sweetstick.

"We'e adventu'e's", said Tristan.

"You are what?"

"Ad-ven-tu-es", Tristan repeated. A small piece of half-chewed, sticky candy fell out of his mouth and landed on the counter.

"Ah, adventurers! Yes, I saw that immediately the moment you walked in! And by what names do these brave adventurers go by?"



"Tristan and Billobi, my brave rescuers, who helped me defeat that awful lady in the mirror!"

A knock on the window interrupted them. A tall man walked in and started talking.

"It's 'bout them locks."

"Yes, what about them?" said Prunella and smiled.

"They're great..."

"I'm pleased to hear, not many of me customers comes back and complements my items!"

"Yes, they're great, but me wife and I decided that we need ordinary locks, like we said. Not the disposable ones you recommended."

"Absolutely, come this way."

Billobi and Tristan chewed away on their sweetsticks while witnessing the purchase of three new locks by the man.

"Another happy customer", said Prunella and smiled when he had left.

"Wha' wos w'ong wi'h hes locks?" asked Billobi.

"Ah, nothing. Some people just don't know what they want!"

Billobi and Tristan finished their sweetsticks, said good bye and left Prunella's shop. When they started thinking about what she'd said about people not knowing what they want, they realised that at least they knew what they'd want - and went straight to Angela Burdett's Candy.

Lady Prunella's Lovely Locks has a rather large assortment of devices for locking things up, and not only doors. Her sales philosophy is that every customer should come back and buy more, which they often do for obvious reasons.

Besides the ordinary type of locks found in every other store, she also has a selection of locking devices not necessarily useful. Unless noted, they all look and feel the same as ordinary ones. Naturally, combinations of these exists.
Here follows some.

Disposable locks
Works a fixed number of times, before they either crumble to dust or just stops working.

Irreflexive locks
Only appears on one side (e.g. on only one side of a door; there have been reports of people locking themselves out while installing these).

Mood locks
Need to be pleased to be operational (the unforgiving ones may take weeks to work as expected again).

Sweet locks
Needs to be eaten to unlock (the name is misleading since its taste will vary greatly).

Invisible locks
Discontinued (impossible to handle in stock).

Twin locks
Twin locks are two ordinary locks with a relation; if they like each other, they share the same state (e.g. either they're both locked, or both unlocked), but if they don't, they will strive to be the opposite of the other (e.g. if one is locked, the other will unlock, and vice versa).
Although rare, there have been twin locks that all of a sudden have started to dislike each other, and therefore changed their ways of working. Some twin locks also forgive one and other.

None locks
Not considered as real locks by many, since they only lock things when someone tries to unlock them (e.g. with some key or by picking). Only way to open anything with these types of locks is to treat it like it's unlocked.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The almost secret tower of Leasspell, part 2 (map)

It was a chilly morning. Billobi stood by the window of his room on the second floor, and looked out over the treeless scenery; the ground was covered in white mist as if the clouds had become too heavy and sunk from the sky. The flat, ghastly view and the silence made his mind wandering; he imagined abominations lurking in the mist, white spiders ten feet wide but no taller than an inch, like living traps unnoticeable in the early morning, just waiting for someone to step on them...

The sound of a bell struck three times indicated that lady Darnton was serving breakfast downstairs. Billobi quickly awoke from his daydream, put on his jacket and headed for the stairs.

"Good morning, lad", said old Badsey, already on his second plate. "For a minute there I was worried that a WALLEATER had taken you. Nasty things, eats people's walls, leaving only floor and roof, and then - BANG! - everything collapses on ye. Nasty critters, yes, yes."

Billobi sat down on an empty chair next to Badsey and started filling his plate with various forms of meat, bread and something that resembled stew.

Lady Darnton swept by their table, filling their cups with a warm, black substance. Old Badsey gave her a big, warm smile, unfortunately covered in half-chewed breakfast.

"I dreamt about that tower last night", Billobi said and took a sip of the warm liquid.

"What tower?"

"That tower you told me about, remember? The one the people couldn't see."

"Ah, yes, yes, the tower of Leasspell, nasty tower, yes, yes. Could use a good walleater that one!" Old Badsey chuckled so much a piece of meat got caught in his throat. He coughed a couple of times, and finally spat it out on his plate, only to put it back in. "In it goes again!"

"I dreamt I was stuck inside it", Billobi continued, "traversing its floors, but it was ever changing. I felt completely lost."

"Sounds just like the time when I accidentally put the eye-patch on me healthy eye", Badsey said and pointed at his eye with the fork. "Walked right into a tree, I did."

"Finally, I found the exit, and found myself surrounded by people - I was in Leasspell. Somehow, I just knew it was Leasspell. A woman approached, and said: 'Stuck in place but not in time'."


"And then I woke up."

Old Badsey chewed intensively while observing Billobi.

"You know, lad", he said after a while, "I've heard something like that before, yes, yes, long time ago. Back then I though she was crazy - crazy with a nice backside, I might add - but now... She told me that exact line, yes."

"Are you making this up?" Billobi said sceptical.

Badsey raised one arm and held the other one on his heart, and said: "Swear on me mother's hair! That woman said the same thing!"

"Did she say anything else?"

"Well, something about the tower and the people only sharing the same space, but not time. I don't remember too well, I was already ogling her sister by that time."

"I don't understand", said Billobi.

"Me neither", said old Badsey and bit off the end of a large, grey sausage.

Lady Darnton swept by their table a second time to refill their cups.

"Thank you, fair lady!" said Badsey and smiled big.

"You have stew on your eye-patch", said lady Darnton and left.

The zipped archive contains a one paged PDF with the seven floors of the tower, with a small map key. Also included are the seven individual floors as separate files (in PNG-format).

This map is intended to be stocked and populated by you; there's no monsters or any hooks. Just seven floors, accessible by the central winding staircase. The floors are numbered but not necessarily in order.

If you want to simulate the feeling of being lost (just like Billobi felt), you could roll a 1d10 every time the adventurers are using the staircase. A result of 1-7 means they enter the floor with that number, 8-9 means they enter the same floor again, and 10 means they enter the same floor again only to meet themselves (they've travelled one minute back in time).

Everything in the archive is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Download it here.

(Read the first part of the story here: The almost secret tower of Leasspell)