Some of the coolest people in our campaigns are the vendors we run into. We had quite a few but some of them were much more memorable. Asterisk was a vendor of magical items in the city of King’s Crest on the island of Novos. He was also a famous enchanter. His specialty was smashing enchantments together to form new, unusual enchantments. He was a controversial topic across the city and the island.
Asterisk was what you could call our “main vendor”. We had met him all the way back in Barovia and had actually helped him escape the enclosed land. He had enchanted his shop to be accessible through any door, provided you were a trusted member. We each signed up for the membership and got handed these fancy cards. When he was nearby the cards would glow and point the way towards the activated doorway. It was a nifty way he had found to expand his business to other lands without actually having to shoulder the expense of opening up so many physical locations.
Milo, our rogue from the last campaign, was employed by Asterisk for a short time. His job was to retrieve any items from his shop upon the wearer’s demise. Adventurers who signed up for the membership also agreed to return ownership of the items bought within the store back to Asterisk upon their death. He employed another halfling, a man named Jack who usually handled those things. Having been trapped in Barovia with us for so long, the items needing retrieval kept growing and growing. Milo actually got quite a bad reputation on the island at the beginning for defiling corpses and grave robbing.
Asterisk built wonderful items that weren’t always useful or safe. He once built a ring of diamond protection but it was a literal application. When attuned, the ring would transform the wearer into hard diamond. The problem was, the wearer would also be rendered immobile and incapacitated. The only way to return to normal was to remove the ring but when you can’t move it becomes problematic to remove anything. Eventually, the wearer would die of starvation or dehydration and the ring would be brought back to Asterisk. People were under no obligation to buy the items but if they did, they did it with the understanding that unexpected side effects were par for the course.
He was also a part of the council as one of the more lucrative businesses in the city of King’s Crest. His knowledge of enchantment was invaluable to determining the severity of the Curse of Ash when it hit the city and when dealing with the defenses of the city. He and Urstil were great old friends, having known each other for a very long time. This meant he had connections at Whistler University and was often sought out for advice on research projects. He was a part of the investigations into his former apprentice Sane too.
Sane had been a fellow gnome that showed promise, so Asterisk had taken him under his wing to cultivate his growth. The boy had been extremely intelligent, his building capabilities knew no equal, but he had no magic. For a gnome it was extremely rare, but Sane could not cast magic and so could not become an enchanter. Asterisk had to remove him from his apprenticeship but Sane could not give up the idea of magic. He searched for ways to bring his creations to life. It was not until he captured the earth spirit of Novos, Terra, that he was able to imbue his creations with a semblance of life and control. Asterisk helped determine that it was Sane who was sending destructive Earth elementals to ravage the lands outside the city and eventually, the city itself.
We loved visiting Asterisk and seeing what new items he had to torment us with. We also had many custom enchantments made by him. Aleera asked for a necklace that could change her outfits with a gesture and he provided such a gorgeous piece that she never took it off. I think everyone is hoping to meet him during out travels in our new campaign. It’s enough to know that he is out there somewhere making crazy things and causing trouble.