A Light in the Dark
Abhain an Tsolais (Merchants, Shopkeeps, and Businessman)
Abhain an Tsolais has established itself as a hub for trade throughout the Silver Marches. As such there are a number of traders, merchants, shopkeepers, and businessman within the city.
Merchants: There is a thriving merchant’s guild within the walls of Abhain an Tsolais. Responsible for overseeing the majority of the trade that passes through the town, the guild’s coffers overflow with wealth. Most of this success is due to the dedication of the guild’s membership, and their willingness to give back to their town. The guild regularly donates funds to the city treasury for the purpose of upkeep for the town, and maintaining the guard.
- The most prominent member of the guild, and defacto leader, is the dwarven merchant Torval McRuff. A seemingly jovial old dwarf, Torval hides a ruthless savviness beneath his benign exterior. He has used his distant relationship to the famous Shingles McRuff as leverage to earn himself superior prices from the dwarves of Mithril Hall. This business relationship combined with his cunning has made him one of the wealthiest people in town. His trade consortium single-handedly brings in half the merchant guild’s prophets, earning him a permanent position as Master-Merchant. Torval has been somewhat withdrawn lately however, ever since the arrival of his absent-minded nephew Dennet from Mithril Hall.
Shopkeeps, and Business Owners: There are a number of successful shops, inns, taverns, restaurants, and other establishments throughout the town of Abhain an Tsolais. These businesses do a brisk trade with both travelers, and locals alike, and several of their owners have gained prominance within the community.
Innkeepers: There are three major inns that receive most of the custom within town, the Balanced Scales in the northern part of town, the Night’s Song, just south of the Great Square that forms the center of town, and the Broken Bow which lies in the docks district and caters to sailors and dockworkers.
- Nicket Nacklenok runs the Broken Bow, which he established with his wife over fifty years ago. He is a cheerful, friendly sort even for a forest gnome, and enjoys working the bar himself. He has some small skill with magic, which he often uses to entertain customers and make his own job a little easier. He has a daughter Nyx “Sparkles” Nacklenok who has become the most important thing in his life ever since his wife dissapeared nineteen years ago. He is growing increasingly concerned about her since she has joined with the group of young adventurers that have been aiding the town during these troubled times. Nevertheless he does not interfere, knowing that she is too wild and headstrong to restrain. He does a brisk business, especially during the trade season, with most of the dockworkers and sailors who come through town passing through his bar on a daily basis. He employs a half-orc named Gurt as a bouncer, and a number of local women as barmaids. His cook is a large, ill-tempered dwarf woman named Helga. Nicket stands two feet, six inches tall, has wiry brown hair that shoots out from the top of his head in all directions, neatly trimmed mutton-chop sideburns with a luxurious mustache, and vibrant blue eyes.
- Baric Kent runs the Night’s Song, a popular inn and tavern just south of the Great Square. He has owned the tavern since his father, Lyndan Kent, passed away fifteen years ago. His establishment caters to locals, and travelers alike. A little over a year and a half ago Baric ran for the post of Representative of the South and won, he has done little with the office, and rarely attends council meetings. It is widely believed he will not be winning a second term, as his constituents are growing restless, and wanting a representative that will get results on their behalf. Baric is an easy-going, lackadaisical sort that prefers spinning stories through the day to actually working, as such he employs a number of people to run his inn for him. He has several attractive young barmaids, a half-elven minstrel who performs nightly, two bartenders, two cooks, and a handful of bouncers. Baric is jealous of his half-brother’s influence and popularity, but too lazy to do more than complain about it. He stands at five feet, nine inches, is becoming slightly rotund as he ages, has thin black hair which he combs back in a failed attempt to hide his growing bald spot, and watery pale blue eyes.
- Larien Silverleaf, a moon elf woman who first arrived in Abhain an Tsolais with her brother Elarith almost a century ago from parts unknown, runs the Balanced Scale. Her establishment resides on the north side of town and caters exclusively to nobility, the wealthy, and travelers of means. She can often be seen socializing with her customers, but is not above getting her hands dirty when she needs to. She employs a well groomed dwarven bartender named Bruck, a halfling chef from waterdeep who claims to have once served one of the famed Lords of Waterdeep, two beautiful half-elven serving maids that are rumored to be her own daughters, and she has an arrangement with the aging Uthgardt warrior Raloth Ulfgarsson to deal with unruly customers in exchange for all the alchohol he desires to consume, an arrangement she is currently reconsidering. Larien is proud and haughty, but has a secret soft spot for children and those down on their luck. She donates regularly to the local orphanage, and sends the scraps of unused food to be given to the poor at the end of each day. Larien is an attractive woman, standing five and a half feet tall with shining silver eyes, pale blue hair, and almost alabaster skin.
- In addition to the three inns, there is a festhall on the south side of town run by the dwarf Daggit Ironbreaker. It is widely known to be a legitimate front for his shadier activities, but so far the guard has failed to prove enough to shut him down. The festhall is a popular hang-out for gamblers, thieves, lechers, and scum of the worst sort. Every sort of entertainment can be found there, including a variety of nude dancers, and prostitutes, of many different races and both genders, games of chance, pit fights, contests of skill and strength, musicians, and more.
Shopkeeps: There are a number of shops throughout Abhain an Tsolais that cater to every need. Many shops are actively owned by the craftsman who make their product, or serve as the public faces of members of the craft and merchant guilds. However there are a few independent shops that have made a name for themselves within the community.
- Found at the end of a shadowy alley deep in the heart of the south-west side of town, where only the brave and the foolish tread, is a small apothecary known to cater to any need. Run by a strange hunch-backed, club-footed old man who has forgotten more about herbs, reagents, and poisons than most people ever learn, this shop is frequented only by those rare few desperate, and wealthy enough to procure the very special products created by the proprietor.
- Found on the western edge of the Grand Marketplace that lies just inside the Great East Gate is a tailor’s shop known to be able to fit even the most unusual physiques. Run by a flamboyant, over-friendly half-ogre named Zed, this shop has earned a reputation for excellence, serving many of the wealthiest townsfolk. Many find Zed’s appearance off-putting during their first visit, but are generally reassured by his manner, and the quality of his product.
- In the Docks District just inside the West Gate is a small jeweler’s shop that does a brisk business. Run by one of the few Sun Elves that lives in the city, he works in partnership with a gold dwarf from the south of Faerun who crafts their products. They are known for the quality and beauty of their product, and their work can be found in the possession of nobles in kingdoms half-way across Faerun.
Businessmen: Where there are shops, and traders, there are those who profit from their presence. Selling no goods of their own, but instead acting as silent partners in the businesses of others, these cunning magnates make an easy living peddling influence and coin.
- The most prominent, and successfull, businessman in town is the tiefling named Varis Ashod who has sat on the High Council as Representative of the North for nearly twenty years now. Varis is a cunning and charismatic man who seems driven to prove himself to his peers. He is always hunting for the most lucrative deals, the best products, and above all anything that can increase his influence and power within the town. He is often abrupt, and many find him difficult to get along with, but he has a gentle side rarely seen by the public. Few know that his beneficience is the primary support for the local orphanage, or in addition to his more profitable holdings he’s the owner of a small clothing shop that caters to the poor at bargain prices, as well as several kitchens on the south side of town that freely give food to the needy. He is a slender, athletic man standing just under six feet tall with dark red skin, long straight purple hair that he often has pulled back in a punishingly tight pony-tail, heavy ram-like horns that he flaunts openly, and a once handsome face that has hardened with age and stress. His business holdings include silent partnerships in two of the finest restaurants in town, a number of shops, the half-ogre Zed’s tailoring business, the glazier’s guild, a mercenary company that is currently serving in Amn, and half a beet plantation somewhere in Thay. Many of the wealthiest townsfolk hold suspicions about Varis’ past, remembering his arrival in town almost thirty years ago. When he first came to town he had little more than rags on his back and no visible wealth, being accompanied only by his elven lover. A month later he began spending lavishly and quickly established himself among the wealthy townsfolk, growing his business and influence until he became Representative of the North. The same year he gained his position on the High Council is the year his daughter was born. Shortly after their daughter’s birth his elven lover vanished, and has not been seen since, though some suspect the moon elf woman that has arrived in town representing the elves of the Moon Wood to be his former lover. Since the departure of his lover Varis seemed to harden, becoming driven by profit and power to the point of neglecting his daughter Ciani. She removed herself from his house when she was in her teens and publicly flaunted her status as a member of the thieve’s guild, soon after she and Varis had a falling out and have rarely spoken or been seen together since.