A/N: I had originally written this story for the Ravenloft websites netbook. This story was a lead in for a catalogue I created for DMs of Ravenloft based of the marvelous Forgotten Realms accessory Aurora's Whole Realms Catalogue. Although I enjoyed doing it, I went to a great deal of trouble to try to make the catalogue thorough. However, the catalogue was not well received.
Disclaimer: Ravenloft and all it's supplements and Forgotten Realms aren't mine. Any references to any of the characters, places and settings are solely the property of TSR, except where specified.
A hearty, husky man with a barrel chest strode into town. His flaming red, shoulder length hair was charred in places. His full beard a shade lighter than the hair on his head, but just as charred, and where his left muttonchop sideburn should have been was just a black mark. He walked with his head held high and pride in every step, despite the fact that more than half his knee-length, pleated kilt was burned away. What was left of his loose white shirt was also charred and the round leather sporran, or rather what was left of it, covered what kilt there wasn't. His matching socks were burned away in the front and dragged behind him. And it was obvious by the remains of a matching charred tail that he had a cloak of some kind, at one time. A long sword hung at his side.
His four companions walked a few paces behind. It was obvious they were with him, even if they didn't walk next to him, because their clothes, or what was left of them, were also charred.
People stopped and whispered as he walked by. They gave him a wide berth. Some people even snickered. Some women covered their eye and the children's eyes. He paid them no mind. He had a purpose.
He saw a sign a block down.
from nearly everywhere."
He walked straight for the shop. As he opened the door he heard, "Greetings patron! Welcome to Beachum's Emporium! Please refrain from any spellcasting while in this shop. Thank you and enjoy your shopping experience," spoken in his native Forfarian. A smiling human woman of middle age with small-rimmed glasses stood behind the counter at the back of the room. The red-haired man strode into the shop, his four companions followed. The woman looked over the five people as they entered. Without looking anywhere else, he strode to the counter put both his hands down firmly on the counter and said, "Me name is Seamus McDougall, of Clan McDougall, und I need a new kilt."
"Daenacht hael!" the woman greeted in Forfarian. "If you'll wait a moment, I'll check my inventory and see if we have Clan McDougall's tartan on file. While you wait, perhaps you would like to look in our catalogue. There are several on the pedestals about the room. Perhaps you could find other things you need."
"Thank you," whispered the small elven woman in the group. She swam inside her makeshift dress, a human-sized hooded cloak pulled tightly around her. There were two arm holes cut in the sides. The cloak was charred and had burn holes in it that were tied shut by cords. And there was a cord tied around her waist as a belt. Her hair was unevenly cut very short, just past her pointed ears. A short sword hung from the makeshift belt, and a longbow and quiver hung over her back.
The woman disappeared behind a curtain.
The elven woman walked over to the pedestal nearest and looked at the book. There was a small notepad next to the book and a piece of charcoal. The book had a word on the cover saying, "Balok." She opened the book and sure enough, it was written in Balok. Although she could tell the language at a glance, she couldn't read it. She walked to the next pedestal. The book said, "Mordentish." She looked around the room; there were 15 other pedestals with books.
"The books are written in different languages," she announced. "That one is in Balok. You're Barovian right Baltasar?"
"Accommodating," he stated in a monotone voice. He was a thick stocky built human in charred robes, with breeches beneath. He had broad shoulders, meaty limbs, and wide hips. His coarse, wavy chestnut hair reached just above his shoulders. He had a maul hanging lightly from his belt. He looked over the counter and read the sign written in Balok above the curtain.
"Beachum's will never knowingly
do business with the
Red Vardo Traders."
"I am Gundarakite," Baltasar said coldly.
"Sorry, I though you were from Barovia."
The other two uncomfortably began looking at the other books. Seamus stood motionless at the counter, waiting. Baltasar walked over to look at the Balok book.
"Here's one in Sithican, Leeli," said the thin, fair-skinned man in once finely tailored breeches, high socks, loose white shirt and a buttoned waistcoat, now all charred and burnt primarily on the right side. The three-corner hat hanging low on the right side of his head was surprisingly the only thing seemingly untouched by flame. He had an empty holster on his left hip and the remains of a powder horn hanging from his belt on his right hip.
"Thank you, Allistair," the elven woman said softly, walking toward him. "The one next to Baltasar is Mordentish."
As they passed each other Allistair whispered, "he's very touchy about the ethnic differences."
"So I noticed. You might want to take your hat off inside."
Allistair smiled at her and tentatively removed his hat, showing a large burn mark on the right side of his head, where his hair should have been. He began thumbing through the Mordentish book.
The three-foot tall man (?) with the closely cropped mud colored beard pointed at the chin walked to the two-foot high pedestal, his knee-length pants, white shirt and soft ankle-boot were also charred and burnt, like the others. The book was written in gnomish. "Perfect!" he stated cheerfully. Then he heard something. Looking up, he noticed a tall brawny man with a very long sword standing guard in the corner. Despite the over intimidating factor of the guard, the gnome turned his attention back to the book and began leafing through it, humming. He had no weapons visible.
The woman returned through the curtain. The glasses were now hanging on a chain around her neck. "I'm sorry Mr. McDougall, we do not have your clan's tartan on file. However, if you could leave a swatch, we can make it and add it to the file for any future purchases you or your clansmen make. The kilt will take two days to have the pattern made. Meanwhile, we can offer you a single colored kilt at half price now or the Black Guard pattern to wear until your tartan kilt is made."
"Thank you, I'll take it."
She handed him a pair of scissors that he used to cut a large square of fabric off the tail. "The half-kilt is one and a three quarters layers of fabric with a waistline and two buttons, one on the inside and one on the outside and a shoulder overhang or cape. The full-kilt is a longer piece of unaltered fabric that wraps around the waist several times, with enough fabric to hang over the shoulder or use as a cape. These come in cotton, flannel or wool, 2gp for half-kilts and 5gp for full-kilts, in bold plaids, earthy greens, browns, the Black Guard pattern, and the Tartans." She put a book on the counter and opened it to a page with the colors. "Here are the colors available." He noticed the book was written in Forfarian. He touched the color he wanted, the Black Guard, in the full-kilt. She placed a note pad on the counter and wrote the order on it. "Will you be needing a sporran also and a simple pin in gold or silver tone to keep the front closed? We do not sell clan pins at this time, I'm afraid."
"Yes, that will be fine."
"The basic leather sporran costs 2gp, fur covered is 2gp extra for common animals, horsehair is 3gps extra. The basic leather sporran can be tooled with Celtic weave patterns or the clan symbol, if provided, at no extra cost. Although the clan symbol will take two days. Three leather tassels can be added at no extra cost. Three fur or horsehair tassels can be added for 5sp. The simple pin is 5gp." She pointed to the book where the Celtic weave patterns were. He pointed to what he wanted and she wrote it on the notepad. "Will you be needing a shirt as well, Mr. McDougall?"
"Our shirts are attractive, comfortable, and durable, and can be worn as an overgarment or undergarment. Human in sackcloth is 8sp; linen, 2gp; cotton, 3gp; silk, 6gp. Colors are white, beige, or grey. Lace and ruffles, for ladies, may be added for 10sp. Ivory buttons popular in Mordent, are 2gp." Leeli looked over at the woman and smiled. "Halfling and gnome are one quarter list price, elven and dwarven are one half list price. Will this order be together or separate."
"Together is fine," Baltasar said. The gentlemen came over to the counter.
"Breeches, Human in sackcloth are 10sp; linen, 2gp; woolen, 4gp; velvet, 8gp, silk, 16gp. Dwarf and elf sizes are one half price, gnome and halfling are one quarter price. Colors are available in white, black, gray, beige, and brown." The three gentlemen chose their breeches, which she wrote down. "And most of our clothing can be died nearly any color at no extra charge. The kilts and several of the undergarments," she looked at Leeli, "we can not dye. However, there is Jurald's Tailors down the street that will for a small charge. They also do alterations.
"There are many different types of coats. Waistcoats which are sleeveless popular in Richemulot and Mordent," she looked to Allistair, "reach to the waist, come in linen for 10sp; woolen, 1gp; flannel, 30sp; cotton 2gp; velvet, 3gp; silk, 4gp; leather, 10gp. Sleeved, full coats and long coats reach from the hips to the knees in linen are 1gp; woolen, 2gp; flannel, 3gp; cotton 4gp; velvet, 6gp; silk 8gp; leather, 20gp. For high collars that fasten tightly up to the throat popular with Richemuloise women, add 10sp. Wide cuffs on the sleeves popular in Kartakass, tails popular in Mordent, or large folded back cuffs popular in Dementlieu, add 1gp. Colors are available in white, black, gray, beige, and brown. Halfling and gnome are one-quarter list price, elven and dwarven are one half list price. " Allistair made his order.
"The common labor woman's dress in linen in elf size is 1sp or cotton add ½. Gowns are a simple dress of silk that can later be adorned with lace and ruffles, in elf size is 10gp also available in ecto-, meso-, or endomorphic body type. The skirt can be made to flair out at the waist popular in Mordent add 1gp. For velvet double price and brocade triple price popular in Dementlieu, these are special order."
"What about skirts?" Leeli asked.
"Will it be long or short length?"
"Floor-length," Leeli smiled, bashfully.
"Skirts come in various lengths, from the knee to the ankle or floor if you'd like. You'll need to specify length when order. We have a tape measure. Elven sizes in long lengths come in linen for 5gp; cotton, 6gp; wool, 7gp; velvet, 8gp; silk, 9gp. The Hazlani Zarongs, which is an ankle-length clothe that wraps around the waist for 2gp less than the long length price. For pleating, popular in Richemulot, add 30sp for long length. The skirt can be made to flair out at the waist popular in Mordent for 1gp extra. Colors are available in white, brown, black, grey, forest green and the Tartan." Leeli smiled and made her order.
"Now sir, about your outer garment," she began, looking at Baltasar. "Was it an open front robe with a tie or more like the closed front cote?"
"Closed front cote I believe," he replied, in his usual monotone.
"The cote and tunic. These usually reach to mid-thigh, and are sleeved or sleeveless in white, tan, brown, and black. Ankle-length popular in Hazlan, called a Kaftan, is one-quarter more. Human in linen is 7gp; cotton, 8gp; velvet, 10gp; silk, 11gp."
"Although I am not Hazlani, the ankle-length Kaftan will probably do if it's baggie. With a tie or sash also."
"We can make it ectomorphic if you'd like at no extra cost. With or without a hood?"
She wrote down the order. "Will you be needing any stockings, fullclothes, hosiery, hose supporters or other undergarments, like petticoats, corsets, bodices or garters?" "Shoes or boots?" "Cloaks or capes?" "A Wig?" Allistair embarrassed, put his hand to the burn spot on his head. "Other provisions, backpacks, weapons, musical instruments?"
Seamus' companions all shook their heads.
"Do you have pipes?"
"The Zulkoon or bagpipes are part of our inventory."
For the first time, Seamus smiled broadly.
"That's coming out of your pocket," the gnome said.
"Fine, Nelleg, the bagpipes will come out of my pocket."
"Now is there anything else you can think of?"
After she completed the order, the woman went into the back to check on the items on the list. When she emerged she said, "you're lucky, our warehouse isn't very busy so most of the items can be filled today." Then she read over everything to see if she got it right:
1 Black Guard pattern full-kilt, flannel, 2gp, 10sp
1 tartan full-kilt, flannel, 5gp special order 2 days
1 basic sporran with Celtic weave pattern number 8 with 3 leather tassels 2gp
1 simple pin, gold tone, 5gp
1 white shirt, cotton, 3gp
1 beige shirt, cotton, 3gp
1 beige shirt, linen, gnome size, 10sp
1 white shirt, silk with lace and ruffles, and ivory buttons, 6gp+10sp+2gp special order 2 days
1 pair brown trousers, linen, 5gp
1 pair black breeches, with leg ties, silk, 16gp
1 pair beige breeches, no leg ties, linen, gnome size 10sp
1 black waistcoat, velvet 3gp
1 black hip-length full coat with tails, cotton, 4gp +1gp
1 brown hip-length full coat, velvet, elven size, 3gp
1 brown skirt, long-length, cotton, elven size, with flair 6gp+1gp
1 silk gown, died blue, elven size, 10gp
1 brown ankle-length (Kaftan) cote with sleeves, ectomorphic, with tie (no charge), cotton 16gp
1 white petticoat, bodice, and garters, 2gp
1 pair silk hose, elven size 10gp
1 pair silk stockings/hose, 12gp
2 pair cotton long stockings, 22gp
1 pair cotton short stockings, demihuman 1gp
3 pair high black boots with hard soles, 27gp
1 pair low, soft boots with dagger sheaths, gnome size 15sp+1gp
1 pair ladies low boots, hard, with lace up front, 1" heel, 2gp
1 forest green cloak, single layer wool, with hood, gnome size, 45sp+11sp
1 Champaign blond non-powdered wig, male, hair 16" long, straight, no bangs, no part, long-term daily wear, Mordent, 3gp special order 2 days
1 spool of brown ribbon, 1sp
3 flannel nightshirts 36gp
2 flannel nightshirts, demihuman 24gp
1 bronze holy symbol, the Morninglord, 1gp
1 Alchemical field kit, 100gp
1 Pocket watch, 30gp
1 package Smelling salts, 10gp
1 set Herbal Medications, 10gp
1 Chirurgery kit, 75gp
1 Pistol, 250gp
5 (10 cartridge) bullets, 53gp
1-2lbs Gunpowder, with horn, 35gp
1 Sword cane with rapier, 1gp/cane, 25gp/rapier
1 whip, 3gp
4 backpacks, 42gp
1 rucksack, 1gp
4 bedrolls, 420gp
1 bedroll, ½ size 10gp special order 2 days
5 waterskins, 58sp
5 messkits, 58gp
4 razor kits, 45gp
1 box 50 cigars, good flavor 21gp
2lb tobacco, good 27gp
1 variety box tea, 7gp
Total: 931gp, 12sp
1 Zulkoon or bagpipes, 95gp special order 2 days
"Now if everything is correct, would you like to check over my math?"
Baltasar checked everything over. "Looks good to me."
"The total is 931gp and 12sp, not including the 95gps for the bagpipes. As noted, the special orders will take two days to fill. The remainder of the items will be ready in four hours. Half is due at time of order the remainder is due upon pickup. The special orders are paid in advance. We have a waiting room through the door on the left if you'd like to wait. Or you can come back in four hours. There are changing rooms as well as a privy to the rear of the waiting room, both are clearly labeled in multiple languages. We do ask that you not eat or drink on the premises."
Everyone in the party looked down at Nelleg. "Do you take gems?"
"Yes we do, at our resale value minus five percent."
"May I use your privy?"
"Certainly, there is a wash basin, soap, and towels," the woman said.
After several minutes Nelleg returned. He handed the woman an emerald. She took an appraiser's glass out of a pocket and examined the gem. After several minutes she wrote something on the order form.
Payment: 1-1ct flawless emerald worth 1120gp, minus 5%, value 1064gp.
"The emerald is worth 1064gp. That is minus our five percent. Would you like to pay for the whole order now?"
"Certainly," Nelleg said, "including the bagpipes."
"Very well, if you'll wait a minute while I place your order and get your change." She stepped into the back room.
"Is that fair for the emerald?" Baltasar asked.
"Yes, according to their inventory, an emerald is sold 140gp per one eighth of a carat. The emerald I gave her was a full carat. That means it's worth 1120gp, minus the five percent or 56gp, which equals 1064gp. We should get back 37gp and 8sp."
"Maybe you should have checked her math," Baltasar droned.
"I trust you," Nelleg smiled.
"You got that just from a quick glance at the inventory?" Leeli said softly.
"My eyes tend to pick up certain things. Gnomes are big on gems."
The woman returned with a large pouch and a copy of the order form. She placed them both on the counter. "Here is your copy of the order form. If you leave the premises, you will need the order form to pick up your order." A chime sounded throughout the room. Everyone turned to the right wall and noticed a large grandfather clock against the wall. The woman noted the time. "It is now 1:30. The order will be ready at 5:30. Will someone be waiting."
"Aye," Seamus said. "I'm not leaving without me kilt."
"Very good." She dumped out the money on the counter and counted it out. Baltasar watched her. "Would you like to verify the amount? You may keep the pouch. The special order will be ready the day after tomorrow at 1:30. Would one of you sign the order form please." Baltasar signed it; then the woman did.
"About the time pieces," Allistair began. "I noticed they are considerably less expensive than if they were bought in Dementlieu. How do you do it?"
"We had trouble selling them in some of the other domains, like Barovia for example. So we made an arrangement with the manufacturers in Dementlieu. We buy larger quantities with simpler designs. We also had a request for a model smaller than the Grandfather clock and larger than the mantle clock that hangs on the wall. Hence the Grandmother clock. Most major businesses in town have either a Grandfather or Grandmother clock in their lobbies."
"Speaking thus, is there an inn in town?" Leeli asked.
"Yes, if you step outside and turn right, go to the intersection and turn right again, go half a block and you'll see the Roaring Wolf Inn. They have no prejudices against non-humans. They also have a very nice restaurant and tavern on the first floor that are both always open. There are other inns in town, but they have a problem with certain non-humans." She pulled a card out of a pocket. "Here, if you hand them this you'll get a discount and a free breakfast. We also can deliver the items to the inn for 10gp, if you'd like. It will be an additional 15 minutes on the order time."
"Let's do that," Leeli said, taking Seamus by the arm. "That way you're all cleaned up and ready for your kilt when it arrives."
"Very well," Seamus agreed, blushing.
The woman wrote, Delivery to the Roaring Wolf Inn, 10gp, delivery time 5:45, on the order form. "Would you sign please?" Baltasar and the woman both signed the change to the order form. He gave her the extra 10gp. "You'll need to show the order form when the merchandise is delivered. Feel free to verify the order before the delivery person leaves."
"Thank you," Baltasar said.
"And thank you. I hope you enjoy your stay in town, and please stop by Beachum's Emporium again."
The group went to the Roaring Wolf Inn and had no problems checking in. As she said, they received a discount and vouchers for a free breakfast. And at 5:45 precisely the order arrived and was exactly as specified and in excellent condition. Seamus was thrilled to get his new kilt, even if it wasn't his tartan.
And in two days, the special orders arrived at the inn, as specified. The delivery boy gave the party a ten percent return customer discount card, good at any Beachum's Emporium location, with a list of the currently open locations and the soon to open locations.
Seamus was beside himself, the tartan pattern was perfect. Finally, someone outside Forlorn was able to give him his kilt. And bagpipes also. Now all he needed was his clan pin.
A/N: All the characters are mine, as is Beachum's Emporium.