4 (More) Fairground Stalls

Beyond the fair or festival’s main event, most have countless side attractions. Local merchants sell their produce to revellers, and other folk put on special attractions—games of skill, special services and so on.

Behold, four stalls for your PCs to visit at the fair:

1: Lauri’s Cornucopia of Wonder

Two wagons, drawn up next to each other, form this makeshift stall. Here Lauri Saarelainen (CN male human) sells bric-a-brac, odds and ends and other bits and bobs he has bought from hard-up customers desperate to turn their assets into cold, hard coin.

His carts hold an incredible array of objects. Organisation has wholly escaped Lauri, however, and everything is jumbled together—there is no rhythm or reason to the display. If the PCs search through the jumble, they might find something of interest. If they do, roll on the table below to determine what they find:

  1. This pair of well-shod boots with worn heels has a gash across one of its soles. Perceptive characters notice magical symbols pertaining to speed picked out in silver thread on the back of each shoe.
  2. This dagger is more of a short sword—being almost 18-inches long. It has an oversized pommel, which can be unscrewed to reveal a hidden compartment big enough for a potion vial. The weapon needs sharpening and comes with a worn, but serviceable, sheath.
  3. A strange stubby, prickly plant fills a battered clay pot. Knowledgeable characters recognise the plant as a cactus. How it got here, remains a mystery as Lauri can recall virtually nothing about the seller. Hidden in the pot, beneath the dry earth, lies a forgotten trove of 3 pp.
  4. This cracked silver hand mirror has traces of stone clinging to its handle. Disturbingly, the stone remnants seem to be patterned in a way similar to a hand’s grip. The stone can be chipped off, but doing so scratches the mirror’s handle.
  5. Intricately carved, this wooden ship is missing its sails and rigging. Careful examination of the model reveals means to attach lengths of fine string and small pieces of canvas to the model to fully depict a ship under full sail.
  6. This small book is a travelogue; it is water stained and has several torn pages. As well as a traveller’s general description of the lands he travelled through, it also has several hand-drawn maps of the surrounding region. The maps are not to scale but do show all large regional features and settlements.

2: Blue Boar Tavern

Three sides of this vast, gaudy pavilion have been pulled back to create an open-air tavern. On all three sides, a stout ten-foot high stake driven deep into the ground holds a carved blue-faced boar akin to a ship’s figurehead in size and style aloft.

Upturned barrels scattered about the interior serve as make-shift tables about which gather a happy throng. The tavern’s bar stands at one end of the tent; here the crowd is deeper as many festival-goers try to get served. Harried servers push their way through the people carrying drinks to the various tables. The tavern’s crowd is good-natured, but a small patrol of the watch loiter nearby to keep an eye on the revellers.

  • For Sale: mug of ale 4 cp, pitcher of wine 2 sp.

Pekko Salme (NE male human fighter 3/rogue 3) owns and runs the Blue Boar Tavern, aided by his extended family. The family are travellers—always on the road to the next market day, festival or fair. Although he appears a bluff, welcoming fellow the Blue Boar tavern has a sinister side—Pekko is a black-hearted thief, murderer and kidnapper who uses the Blue Boar tavern as a cover to go about his sinister doings. Worse than that, his extended family have similar proclivities and the group prey on those who appear weak or vulnerable. Pekko is wary of tangling with adventurers and avoids any confrontations with such folk.

3: Tiera’s Wandering Players

This small travelling troupe of actors, bards and sundry stage performers wander the land and make their living performing certain plays and comedies to the masses. Typically found in towns and cities where the audience is plentiful, they sometimes perform at large festivals and fairs.

Led by the charismatic Rusi Tiera (NG middle-aged male human) the group perform a series of short plays, sketches and other performances during the day. Many of their performances require fantastical costumes and relate epic tales of heroes of old. Most have no basis in reality, but the GM could insert rumours or legends of ancient events pertaining to upcoming adventures into the performances.

4: Kytenian’s Performing Bears

Kytenian Pyloninn (NG male half-elf ranger 5) wanders from settlement to settlement with his two young trained bears. A consummate animal trainer, Kytenian has raised the pair since he found their mother dead in the woods amid a circle of slain orcs.

The two juvenile bears—My and Solal—travel everywhere with Kytenian in his specially reinforced wagon. He is a friendly and popular man, and his charges are well-trained—something he shows off in a popular show which involves the bears fetching and carrying things, dancing—sometimes with people plucked from the crowd—and so on.

Kytenian is also a trainer of animals for hire. A sign on his wagon proclaims him as such. If hired, he requires 1 gp a day as well as food and lodgings; to complete his duties, he needs somewhere quiet to train his new charge. He only works with natural animals—he wants no part of training potentially sentient monsters.

Angry Bear: A small boy in the crowd is in a mischievous mood. While Kytenian is distracted, the boy throws small sticks, peddles and anything else he can get his hands on at the bears. Eventually, one missile strikes Solal in the eye. The sudden pain sends the bear in a wild frenzy. Solal roars loudly and tries to get at his tormenter. Terrified, the crowd scatters.

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This article appears in 20 Things #36: Fairs & Festivals. Members of our Patreon campaign got 20 Things #36: Fairs & Festivals completely free as a thank you for their awesome support. Join today!

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