Fair Damsels and Foul Treachery
The Goblin Market
The Garage Sale
(Taken from the White Wolf Forums )
The Garage Sale
The Goblin Market known simply as the Garage Sale occurs every Saturday, from noon until midnight. Its location is different every week, but each location is hinted at by the appearance of cardboard signs bearing the text “GARAGE SALE —>” with a depiction of a green man on them. When the market closes, the signs disappear. The actual location of the market is rarely if ever an actual garage. More often, an alley is taken over by fabric stalls and cardboard shanties. Occasionally an abandoned building is used in inclement weather.
The guardian of the market is known as Henry, although this is assumed to be an assigned nickname, as the Hobgoblin guard never speaks. It seems to outward appearances to be a hobo or bag lady swaddled in scarves and rags, such that only its eyes and nose are visible. To gain entrance to the Garage Sale, a person need only walk past the guard and say “Hi, Henry.” Anyone who fails to speak this passphrase finds him- or herself barred by the creature. If someone tries to sneak past Henry, or to push him out of the way, he throws back his drapings of drab cloth, revealing his six-armed, mottle-skinned form. Henry is… very stern with transgressors.
Inside the market, the stalls often change, but there are a few vendors who make regular appearances:
• Worthington’s Academy of Really Terrible Secrets: The pinched, miniscule creature that runs this business offers to take Changelings inside his cardboard room and teach them Goblin Contracts. Patrons are presented with a hand-written diploma bearing the insignia “W.A.R.T.S. Degree” and the name of the dubious Contract they have learned. Worthington, if indeed that is his name, only charges his students the sound of their laughter.
• CHIKN SHAK: A pair of smiling creatures that resemble sharks sell what they insist is chicken on a stick. Changelings who frequent their stall smell a variety of odors wafting from the kitchen behind the screen, none of which resemble chicken. However, the food sold is undeniably Goblin Fruit (or Goblin Meat, as seems more fitting). These fruit always have strange and unusual effects, most often the invocation of a Contract. The shark-like vendors allow payment in Glamour, but their rates are always more expensive by far than any other seller of Fruits.
• The House of Am: The House of Am is run by Madam Helsight, a languid, sensual creature with the body of a porn star and the temperament of a praying mantis. Some changelings have relied on her for oracular visions, although she also offers bottled skills. Changelings who partake of the latter often complain later that the skills come with memories stolen from others’ lives. She always offers two prices: contribute memories that she can use, or spend an evening in her bed. No one has yet had the nerve to take her up on that offer.
• Couscous Nani Hogle Wren Yonder Jones’ Oddities: The stick-thin being with the simpering smile using the aforementioned moniker sells a number of objects, both worthless and priceless. Some of his (her?) wares are identifiably Tokens, while others seem to be trinkets without special qualities. Changelings rarely find anything of particular value to them, but the Goblins that frequent the market seem to consider this booth one of the best and most precious parts of the whole market. Couscous Nani Hogle Wren Yonder Jones (“You can call me Peanut”) always asks what seems to be an entirely reasonable, and more frighteningly, sane price. She (he?) has been known to ask for anything from cereal to sacks of pennies to old articles of clothing as payment.
• The Dapper Ghoul: This clothier sells Hedgespun garments, some off the rack, some custom made. Lady Halfshadow is a surprisingly pleasant woman, considering she is an anthropomorphic spider. After a disastrous incident some years ago, she no longer offers Hedgespun armors, preferring not to allow her wares to be used to protect the ‘guilty’ from their just punishment. What Lady Halfshadow means by this incomplete and cryptic anecdote is any fae’s guess. Even other Goblins seem confused by this story, though just a few nod knowingly when she tells it.
With the nomadic nature of the Garage Sale, it can take weeks or months to track it down. But it is somewhere week after week. Determined changelings make it a regular practice to stake out various neighborhoods where the market has appeared often, then pass the word along if they see the signs. If no one has spotted the Garage Sale, a player may have his or her character search it out, rolling Resolve + Investigation, with a bonus or penalty relative to their mode of transportation. Walking might be a -3, while riding on the back of a motorcycle might be a +3.
The biggest Goblin Market in the area is the monthly market located in Purse State Park in Marbury, MD. Held every full moon, one must approach the lone “park ranger” seated in a small booth by the boat slip, and greet him with “Hello Ranger Smith, fine evening for a walk in the moonlight, isn’t it?” before attempting to enter the Market by way of the boat slip. Those who fail to greet the “ranger” find themselves walking down an empty slip. Those who do greet him find themselves on a vast wooden dock, with goblin boats, barges, dinghys and the occasional vast flying junk docked all around, hawking strange and sometimes frightening wares.
Smaller Markets crop up throughout the area on a weekly basis. Every Tuesday night in Prince Fredrick there is a small market hidden away in a vacant office building. There’s a Goblin Market in Camp Springs on Thursday evenings, but getting there requires lots of walking down narrow back roads and through underbrush.
What’s for Sale?
You can buy anything your heart desires (or dreads) at a Goblin Market. Here’s just a sample: (Again, taken from the forums for the most part.)
- A locket containing a human fingernail
- A last kiss
- A first kiss
- A broken promise
- Werewolf blood
- A flask of solutions (located right next to a flask of problems)
- A discarded passport
- A telephone number
- A box of cassettes from the 1980s (with several duplicates of “Thriller.”) About half of them have been overwritten with the voices of changelings talking about how much happier they are now that they’re back in Arcadia.
- A stompbox that nails the Stevie Ray Vaughan sound, even through a solid-state practice amp. If you tamper with it (or try to change the battery), you find that there’s nothing inside and the pedal stops working.
- Several unopened cans of New Coke, which are inexplicably the hottest thing going.
- Integrity, dignity, and decency, being sold by the can. The vendor is notably lacking in all three. (If you want to explain a rise in Clarity, here you go.)
- The deed to a summer house in Stepford, CT.
- Sausages boiling in a giant pot of water. Don’t ask what’s in them.
- Silver dollar-sized mirrors, each smudged with a single fingerprint.
- A wax-stoppered phial, marked with a skull and crossbones, whose thin liquid contents the seller swears up and down are unknown to modern man, whatever that means.
- A sheet of matte black metal, with vaguely Gigerian-Lovecraftian forms drifting across its surface. The vendor says that it’s an anti-mirror that only reflects things that don’t exist.
- A bunch of unmarked jewelry boxes containing things that have never been exposed to light. Since displaying them would expose them to light, the vendor staunchly refuses to let anybody see what’s actually on sale. (If you ask for a specific object, though, you’ll get pointed to a specific box.)
- Left socks. There’s a wagon with a pile of them at least a dozen feet high, and it seems to get a little bigger every time you look at it. None of them are matched.
- A 1960 Gibson Les Paul. The incredibly powerful (Wyrd 6+) hobgoblin who’s selling it says that it’s the one Clapton used on the Beano album. He’s offering it for thirteen favors to be specified at a later date. There are no takers.
- Several Danielle Steele novels, being sold as a single, absurdly overpriced lot. “For you,” the seller’s also offering to throw in another book for free. It looks like a grimoire written in what looks like Greek, and it looks like it needs to get sold fast.
- An entire ring of keys that won’t fit any door. Sold individually or collectively at a discount.
- A jar containing the last rays of the sun over Rome.
- A barbed and twisted knife, which when drawn near flesh recoils from it. The vendor promises it will only harm those who are true enemies of the bearer.
- A safety deposit box ripped from its moorings. The contents occasionally rattle loudly and if a character picks it up a low growling comes from behind the character, but there appears to be nothing there.
- Several clumps of hair (human, animal, other) which are all tied together with different coloured ribbons to indicate their quality/importance/type/etc.
- A four leaf clover
- A puppy
- Your favorite doll or action figure from your childhood
- A faded baseball cap which the seller refuses to trade at any price, unless the wearer has the cap of a rival team.
- An intricate collection of pins which are stuck together to form a tree. If the character so much as breathes on it wrong, it will collapse and the hobgoblin will demand payment for the ruined item.
- A collection of human teeth on a string, with a clasp made of four interlocking wisdom teeth.
- A personal raincloud, which will follow the buyer through the Hedge and drizzle on him. Occasionally a small bolt of lighting will fly out and burn one’s ear.
- A stolen idea.
- A key to a safety deposit box.
- The blueprints to the Glass Mansion (okay, I need to get ahold of World of Darkness: Reliquary)
- A pen that allows the bearer to create living artwork when filled with human blood (Token 5)
- Jimmy Hoffa
- A locked box that allegedly belonged to a very well-known Pearl Satrap
- The alleged gourd-shaped heart of an infamous Scarecrow Minister
- X-Ray Glasses
- A suitcase full of old Halloween costumes
- A Caladrius kept in a white wicker cage
- Mandrake roots
- A vegetable lamb in a decorative pot
- A pocket watch with a broken face that continues to tick regardless. It never needs to be wound however. This is a ghostly anchor, and will function as such if taken from the Hedge.
- A copy of Shakespeare’s Lost Play, which – when performed all the way through – opens a gateway to Arcadia…or somewhere even worse…
- Two Dormant Pandorans, appearing to be a pair of oddly-shaped, eerie black rocks
- A pop-top aluminum can labeled “SNAKES” with no other markings.
- A wad of ABC (already been chewed) bubblegum that can replenish Glamour for each bubble the chewer blows
- a bottle of “Glamour Water” that resembles Vitamin Water except that the water is bright sparkling gold. Oh, and the quirky little blurb contains some of your deepest secrets.
- A View Master with twelve reels and the disclaimer: “OBJECTS IN ARCADIA ARE LARGER THEN THEY APPEAR.”
- A Venus Flytrap in a pot with a label reading: “INSTRUCTIONS: FEED ME BEER.”
- An object in a sandwich bag resembling a really large contact lens in a thick red watery solution — the label reads: “Maiden’s Virginity”
- A package of Sea Monkeys, where the monkeys are moving about violently and trying to get out of the package.
- A miniature piano, about one foot long and six inches tall, with two octaves of ebony and ivory keys.
- An oil painting version of M. C. Escher’s impossible waterfall. The water looks really lifelike and seems to be flowing…
- An old external SCSI drive from circa 1993 in a box that reads: “Infinite Storage Hard Drive”
- Adilene’s journal, which hints at more knowledge of changeling society than a normal girl in her situation would know
- One blood-encrusted bullet, said to be the seed of a Bulletfinger Tree
- A gauntlet worn by Walter Lucianus during his time as the Damsel’s knight, which if worn by another changeling automatically gives the changeling the power to influence Walter’s actions or words five times
- A pile of Seraphinus’s treasure from his time as a dragon, which seems to hold hypnotic power over him and causes him to begin ignoring everything else in order to collect “treasure”
- The gemstone that used to sit in the hollow at the base of # Drusy Chrysocolla‘s throat, which causes her to have terrible hallucinations of her Keeper when it’s nearby
- A marionette that looks eerily like Eltiana – and grants the owner total control over her actions for one turn, after which the marionette breaks
- A contract with TheGreatWhiteHunter to kill or take alive anyone whose name the owner writes on the parchment
Tokens, Trifles, Relics
- A Child’s Garden of Verses (00000)
This well-worn copy of Robert Louis Stevenson’s “A Child’s Garden of Verses” may surprise anyone – mortal or changeling – who rifles through its pages. Many of the illustrations seem surreal: a squat hideous creature with tusks climbing a tree with a little boy, two white creatures with faces smooth as eggshell march along behind a band of children playing improvised instruments. The user must recite a poem from the book while in the vicinity of the creature it wishes to trap, which is of course contested, as the creature may well be trying to attack the reader. Once the poem is recited the target is violently sucked into the book, and once the whirlwind subsides the target can be seen within the poem’s accompanying illustration.
Mien: To all eyes, this is a normal, if old and slightly weathered, book. The hardbound collection has a green cover, with the title and “R. L. Stevenson” printed along the spine in gold lettering. Inside, each poem has its own page, and the next page is invariably covered by a watercolor and ink illustration. Unmasked, the only subtle change is that the illustrations sometimes seem different than before, as though one of the monsters moved while the pages were shut.
Drawback: Upon coming into possession of the book, the user’s dreams soon become filled with the surreal imagery contained within. A changeling might not like having his or her dreams full of hobgoblins, Hedge Beasts, and even the unlucky True Fae that found itself forever condemned to helping a child into bed to the text of “My Bed is a Boat.” The illustrations, static in the book, play out in the owner’s
dreams. The True Fae, a regal watery nymph, seems to stare in a particularly malicious manner through the dreams, as though she knows where she is and wants out. Until the book passes to a new owner, the user suffers from the “Nightmares” Flaw. (Just abandoning it to a used-book store won’t help; the book must actually SELL for the nightmares to pass on to a new owner.)
Catch: For every use, someone or something beloved of the user becomes trapped within the Token. It might be something as innocuous as another book, a favorite shirt, or a prized coin…or something as unspeakable as a mother or a child.
Ban: Changelings may not be captured within the book, unless, of course, they are beloved of the user who doesn’t pay with Glamour or Wyrd.
- The Atomic Pistol U-235 (00000)
This metal squirt gun would look right at home displayed on the bookshelf of any Buck Rogers aficionado. In fact, back in 1948 its owner was fascinated with Buck Rogers and just about everything else that the Atomic Age had to offer a ten-year-old boy.
Tommy brought it into Arcadia with him; it was a “gift” for his new True Fae best friend, who’d seemed overly fond of it when he came into
Tommy’s room every night for two weeks. Over the years it’s leeched fey magic off of The Atom and turned into something quite a bit more deadly than the “harmless” toy pistol advertised by Daisy back in 1946. Getting hit by one of the glowing green bolts fired by the gun does +1 aggravated damage in addition to normal lethal damage.
Mien: To mortal eyes it might appear to be a cast-off child’s toy, made of dull, oddly tarnished metal. To fae eyes, the gun gleams silver and copper, and a faint electrical current seems to be humming within it.
Drawback: While the Token is active, the user suffers a 3-dice penalty to any Brawl rolls.
Catch: One out of every five shots backfires on the user.
- Kundela (000)
This “pointing bone” might not have the power to kill, but it can certainly make someone on the receiving end of its powers wish they were dead. Once per scene, the user may point the bone at a target (who must, obviously, be within eyesight of the user) and it will “curse” the target with Fickle Fate.
Mien: The yellowed old bone is approximately seven inches long. One end has been filed down to a point, while the other has a depression
drilled into it, into which a resin has been poured, cementing in a lock of long, black human hair. The hair is wrapped and tied around the shaft of the bone. Mortal eyes can’t see that the bone twitches and shudders and occasionally makes a sound like muffled sobbing.
Drawback: As with the Fickle Fate Contract, attempting to use the Kundela on the same subject more than once per hour will cause a backlash on the user.
Catch: The user wears emu feathers somewhere on his or her body.
- Ring of Desire (0)
Despite being the archetypal emotion of the Court of Spring, desire is a powerful emotion beloved of manipulative, crafty individuals. This signet ring allows the wearer to know his or her target’s greatest desire, so long as they have met the target in person. Once per day the wearer may make a Wyrd plus Manipulation roll; success means that the character instinctively knows the desire, no matter how traumatizing, embarrassing, or amusing it might be.
Mien: Appears to be a tarnished copper signet ring with a flat, unadorned face to mortals. To fae, the copper is bright and gleaming, and an intricate signet carved of cinnabar is mounted on the face.
Drawback: The user’s Vice turns to Lust for 24 hours and Willpower cannot be replenished by expressing the old Vice. If the user’s Vice is already Lust, then Willpower is gained at half the normal rate for Virtues (round down) though regaining Willpower through expression of Lust acts as it normally does.
Catch: The user is the target’s greatest desire.
- Saber Teeth (00)
Teeth from various Hobgoblins might well end up being used as weapons, able to fuse to the Token owner’s natural teeth and giving them the abilities of a Hedge creature. These vicious-looking saber teeth act as knives, causing 1 lethal damage per bite.
Mien: A pair of six-inch long teeth, yellowed with age, that seem to have been ripped straight from the mouth of a still-living animal. When active, the bases of the teeth ooze a viscous red substance that may or may not be blood. They must be worn in a character’s mouth, over his or her own teeth.
Drawback: The size of the Teeth garble words, conferring a -2 Social penalty to any interactions involving speech, in addition to being
highly uncomfortable to wear.
Catch: Every time a character uses the Teeth without paying the activation cost, his or her own teeth begin to decay and fall out at an accelerated rate, and all the brushing and flossing in the world can’t save them.
- Wise Old Teddy (00)
This bespectacled little teddy bear was brought into the Hedge by a stolen child. Now threadbare and missing its left arm, the stuffed toy can, once per day, provide access to the Common Sense Merit.
Mien: A ratty blue teddy bear, covered in unidentifiable stains and greasy to the touch. Sewn to its face are plastic spectacles surrounding the button eyes.
Drawback: When the Token is used, the user’s ears ring with the screams and cries of a child. Aside from being unsettling, this distraction causes a -2 penalty on rolls involving concentration.
Catch: The user is less than 12 years old.
- ABC Gum
A wad of gray, foul-looking bubblegum stuck to the side of something, such as a shoe or table. A wad must be chewed for at least 30 seconds to access the entire point of Glamour held within.
- Babel Gum
Slightly more pleasant than ABC Gum, this Goblin Fruit only appears to have already been chewed. It actually tastes a bit like eating a hardened marshmallow with a licorice center. While under the fruit’s effects a character cannot read, but can speak and understand any language encountered, no matter how strange.
Chikn, otherwise known as “big ugly fae lizard,” comes in many varieties: on a skewer, in a bowl, dried or perhaps still bleeding. Upon eating one serving of Chikn (there are about three or four servings per whole animal) the bearer may access one randomly chosen Fleeting [Season] clause without Glamour expenditure.
This Goblin Fruit can be found growing on any plant or occasionally under the eaves of a building in the Hedge. It is the size of a small watermelon and covered in a papery husk, with pale orange flesh like that of a persimmon inside. Curiously, swarms of insects – typically wasps, bees, or biting flies – always seem to be in attendance around the hanging plant. It may be a pain to obtain, but it rewards eaters with a full point of Glamour as well as a “honeyed tongue,” gaining 9-again on Socialize and Manipulation rolls for a scene.
- Kiss in a Bottle
A Kiss (or perhaps several Kisses purchased in bulk) is cellophane-thin and slightly tacky to the touch, and comes rolled up in a small container. Applying a rolled-up Kiss (which can come in any shade, but pink and red are the most common) to the lips grants the wearer the benefits of the Striking Looks Merit at two dots. If the wearer already has the two-dot version of the Merit, it is upgraded to four dots.
If the wearer already has the four-dot Merit, then they might wish to purchase a First Kiss or a Last Kiss in a Bottle. These confer – in addition to the Striking Looks Merit – a +2 to Empathy rolls or a +2 to Manipulation rolls, respectively.
- Shakespeare’s Lost Play
This is a hardbound copy of , written by William Shakespeare, a play that calls to mind both the myth of Hades and Persephone and Judeo-Christian mysticism. Several lines of dialogue in were culled and reproduced in . It was played out before an audience of 26 only once, and Shakespeare, along with the audience, swore on their eternal souls and on the bound copy of the book that they would never reveal what they’d seen during the play: a gaping portal into the flames of Hell.
Resist Fire: The Lost Play – in the original bound form, or as a copy – won’t burn. The Lost Play will not protect those who carry it from
burning, only itself. In addition, the Play seems to attract fire; every building that has stored it has mysteriously caught fire.
Manufacture Verge: If is performed all the way through, the Verge opens in the final act. The actors won’t see the Verge, as they are facing away from it, but audience members and stagehands can. Typically, a Verge opens into the Shadow Realm, but Lost scholars familiar with the legend of the play submit that perhaps this one opens into some fiery Fae lord’s Arcadian realm…
- Crystal Skull
This is a human skull carved out of solid quartz, which is rumored to have its origins in the Maya city of Nakbe. It is said that the entire family of artisans who carved the skull were sacrificed to the gods, ensuring impossible successes for years to come. Sacrifice after sacrifice fed the skull, ensuring bountiful harvests and peace in the city. Eventually the skull found its way into the hands of English archaeologists, and though the daughter of one of the original explorers claimed to own the skull, she is now deceased – and who knows where these things might end up?
Potent Success, Any: The skull can cause nigh impossible success for the user…but only at the price of death. The death need not be caused (or even seen) by the user, but people must die for the Skull’s power to work. To activate the relic, a living creature must be sacrificed and the user must place his or her hand in the blood, then place it on the crown of the skull, announcing the endeavor he or she wishes to undertake. The skull’s eyes glow while the power is active.
Sacrificing something small – a chicken, a mouse – provides enough power for the death of a few animals. It provides 9-again on the spoken Skill for a number of scenes equal to Resolve plus Occult rolled during the sacrifice. A horse or other large animal causes a large number of animals or one human to die. The 9-again goes into effect on twice the number of successes rolled as above, or 8-again for one scene. A human sacrifice allows the skull to kill anything standing in the way of the endeavor. This allows 8-again on any number of scenes until the goal is met.
The user experiences the murders caused by the Skull through the victim’s senses, making it impossible to deny the murders – unless, of course, one pretends that they didn’t actually happen. Narcissism and Fixation (and eventually their Severe counterparts) eventually occur. Additionally, each human death caused by the Skull causes a Clarity degeneration as “casual/callous crime.”