THE CIRCLE OF LIGHT
Unelected leader of Haven: Troll Warrior and owner of "Torgak Supplies and Goods"
Torgak, Troll Warrior
“We don’t want any trouble here, do we? I didn’t so. No hard feelings, son. Come by the store later; got a good price on pole arms this week.”
Some say that Torgak is Haven. To this statement, Torgak’s detractors usually add, “Yes, both are dirty, ugly and uncouth.” Since founding the town with help of a group of ork and troll adventurers, Torgak has reaped considerable benefits from his endeavor. His store, Torgak’s Supplies and Goods, has grown from a storage room in a shattered stone hut to a marble hall almost as impressive as the ruined structures of the Vaults. Retired from adventuring, he now profits from the efforts of other explorers. Anyone who stays in Haven for any length of think ends up putting money in Torgak’s pockets.
In addition to profiting financially from Haven, Torgak feels an emotional stake in its welfare. Together with his cronies, the original builders of the town or their heirs and relatives, Torgak enforces his law against those who would threaten Haven’s peace and order. Of course, “peace and order” are relative terms in Haven. Torgak winks at many activities that others in his position would consider minor crimes. For example, Torgak tolerates brawling unless the victim was unarmed or attacked from behind, and even then he only gets involved if the fight resulted in serious injury (in game terms, Unconsciousness or Death). Torgak treats swindling with equal casualness, often simply shrugging his shoulders and advising complainants to be less gullible. Haven is Barsaive’s frontier, and Torgak expects its residents to look after themselves
Torgak is getting on in years, but his mind is as sharp as ever. This broad-shouldered troll walks with a rolling, swaggering gait. He’s gruff and canny, similar to the grizzled sheriff portrayed in countless Westerns. He cares little for idle chat. His priorities are to keep Haven safe, to squeeze more profit from his store, and to nap when he feels like it. Anything unrelated to these objectives Torgak regards as a waste of time. If he holds any broad political syrnpathies or goals, he keeps them to himself.
Torgak Supplies and Goods
The most famous store in all of Barsaive offers an amazing number of goods for sale, especially considering Haven’s relative isolation from the rest of the province. Money talks, and Torgak possesses a great deal of money with which to arrange for transportation of goods from far distant cities. He passes that cost on to his customers, cheerfully relieving them of the oppressive weight of coins and gems looted from the ruins.
Torgak’s Supplies stocks all items listed in the Goods and Services Table, with the exception of animals. Upon request, however, Torgak can arrange for fine animals to reach buyers in Haven within 2D6 days. Player characters will find that most items on the tables mentioned cost two times the listed price in Haven. Anyone complaining about Torgak’s prices gets a lengthy lecture on the risks and costs of doing business in Haven. All of Torgak’s employees use roughly the same words for this lecture and heave a bored sigh before launching into it; they field this complaint constantly.
Because he allows no significant competition to exist, Torgak prices his goods as high as the market will bear. He boosts his prices by 150 percent whenever a major influx of cash pumps up Haven’s economy. If an adventuring group finds a great trove of jewelry and immediately ships it to Throal for safekeeping, the local economy remains unaffected. If, however, this same group succeeded in driving off the cadaver men of the Eastern Catacombs and opening Queen Twiceborn’s treasure vault, every adventurer in town would rush to grab part of the swag. Soon Haven would be afloat in loot, and Torgak would adjust his prices accordingly.
Torgak discourages potential competitors, though they rarely cause him trouble. Torgak and his cronies still own most of Haven, and those few others who own shops in Haven do business under his good graces. Torgak uses his deputies to hassle any newcomers intent on setting up a business, and also harasses anyone foolish enough to think of selling land or buildings to such an individual. If a newcomer actually manages to set up shop, Torgak lowers his prices to bargain-basement level until his new rival packs it in. So far, his pockets have proven deep enough to outlast all competitors. As soon as his opponent goes out of business, Torgak jacks his prices back up to the normal level. Torgak claims to have no interest in buying valuables from the ruins, saying that no local market exists for them. In truth, Torgak will buy valuables whose resale value exceeds 2,000 silver pieces. He pays cash up front, but only 10 percent of an item’s resale value. This 90 percent profit margin reflects the risk and difficulty inherent in selling such items.
After several years of roaring success in several converted, ancient buildings, Torgak spent a bundle of his profits to build his current shop. Modeled on the structures in the area known as the Vaults, Torgak’s Supplies and Goods is an imposing building, lined inside and out with massive marble columns. Torgak finished the interior chambers in marble and polished metal with gilt fixtures. A statue garden adorns the roof, depicting Torgak and his friends standing in heroic postures, defending the earliest incarnation of Haven from a ravening pack of Horrors. An outside staircase allows visitors to climb up to the roof and walk among the statues. In its outsized desire to strike the viewer with awe, the garden is wonderfully vulgar.
In the shop’s spacious main showroom, at least a dozen staff members are always on duty during business hours. They wear military style uniforms dripping with gold braid, designed by Torgak. In response to their employer’s insistence on classy, quality service, many of Torgak’s workers have adopted the foppish mannerisms of court lackeys, which usually impresses the typical rustic adventurer no end.
The floor immediately above the main showroom serves as a warehouse, and also as home to Torgak’s deputies and five largely unoccupied prison cells. Across from the cells is a lounge for the deputies’ use. The third floor contains office space and Torgak’s palatial private quarters. In addition, most people believe that the shop has a basement in which Torgak hides his money.
Torgak’s full-time deputies also serve as highly placed members of the Loyal Order of Delvers. These Name-givers respond to the sorts of trouble unruly player characters might cause. All possess the conservative mentality of followers and lead comfortable lives that they consider their just reward for helping to build Haven. They protect their town jealously, and are more interested in peace and order than in justice. In addition to the full-time deputies, Torgak also uses the three Grobakk brothers as part-time deputies. At all other times, the Grobakks work for Vardeghul.
Sealak: Troll Sky Raider
Sealak ’sees life as a series of simple choices. To him, people are either good or bad. Sealak wants lots of food and drink, the company of his friends, and peace and quiet. Bad people stop him from getting these things, so Sealak gets rough with bad people.
Hookhoof: Ork Cavalryman
Easily offended, Hookhoof becomes angry very swiftly if anyone insults his ork heritage. He feels a special hatred for slavers, and uses his position to harass any who stop in Haven.
Ireeka Shagmane: Ork Weaponsmith
Ireeka has been moody ever since she was forced to slay her sister, who had become a cadaver man after dying in the Twists. Sometimes she feels recklessly happy, joking with and teasing her fellow Havenites. Other times she is morose and prone to violent rages.
Dishara Eyes-of-Straw: Ork Wizard
Dishara is one of few Name-givers to raise a family in Haven. Married to a potter named Yough, her two sons are nearing adolescence. Though level-headed and nderstanding, Dishara becomes an implacable foe when something threatens her family or her town.