The Merchant

Return to the main campaign page?

Elizabeth Bruce, the Merchant

Emotion XP: Fist Shake


Height: 1.75m
Favourite foods: anything exotic!
Hobbies: boxing, watercolours
Trinket of Choice: rare paints

Resources & Wounds

Will 8/8
MP 5/5
Normal Health [ ] [ ]
Tough Health [ ]
Divine Health [ ] [ ] [ ]


(Magic) Economancy 3
Perseverance 2
Boxing 2
Mislead 2
Painting -1


Affliction: I Know Everyone [X] - equal to your Over Your Head Issue.
Bond: Everything Has Its Price [3]
Connection: Alisa Rosewater [2]
Connection: the Fortune Teller [1]
Connection: the Local Genius [2]

Miraculous Powers

Arc Trait: Sickly


Agent of the Invisible Hand [Specialist 0]

  • 0 MP - hide the Silver Struggle from uninitiated eyes.
  • 4 MP - reveal the Silver Struggle to another person!

Economancer [Specialist 0]

  • Gain a +1 bonus to Economancy (already accounted for). Gain a further bonus at Specialist 4.

The Dismal Science [Specialist 1]

  • 0 MP - know all there is to know about trade and economics.
  • 0 MP - gain a +2 tool bonus for edge cases, strange applications of economic theory or understanding hidden markets.

The Inevitability of Trade [Specialist 1]

  • Resist and mitigate minor damage.
  • Continue to operate despite massive systemic damage.
  • Survive in a coma when something really ought to kill you.
  • Use Economancy to heal.
  • Use Mislead to disguise yourself.

The Silver Struggle [Specialist 1]

  • 1 MP - use one of your supernatural merchant moves!
  • 4 MP - teach someone else one of your moves.

Trade Goods [Specialist 2]

  • 1 MP - activate one of your Trade Goods.
  • 2 MP - claim to have a new Trade Good (a rare object or owed favour); ordinarily, have only up to two of each.

Derivatives [Specialist 2]

  • 1 MP - call upon your knack for Economancy to gain one of many, wide ranging benefits.

Market Failure [Specialist 2]

  • 2 MP - explain why, economically, someone's action will lead to catastrophe; guaranteeing them some adverse consequences.

Risk-Return [Specialist 3]

  • 1/book - gain a +1 Tool Bonus by narrating desperation and struggle.
  • 2MP - do so a second or later time per book.

Trade Gains [Specialist 3]

  • 1/book - reveal an object (or, occasionally, a person or place) has incredible power and importance!
  • 4MP - do so a second or later time per book.

New Markets [Wounded Angel 0]

  • 0MP - appear when someone needs something physical to solve a problem or help themselves!

Economic Models [Wounded Angel 0]

  • gain a +1 Tool Bonus to Economancy when operating in a region you know; +2 when specifically dealing with the people of Rustic Vale.

Limited Liability Company [Wounded Angel 0]

  • gain an additional Divine Health Level.

Issues and Quests


It never stops! 1

Progress [Wounded Angel 0-1]

Arc XP: 0/72
Unspent XP: 0


The Cost of Doing Business
Type: basic
XP: 1/9

  • gain 1 XP / once a scene when you explain the costs of doing business.

Quest 1: The Dark Woods
Type: Blue
XP: 1/15

The HG can award 3 XP toward this quest when:

  • You get kidnapped by goblins.
  • You successfully open a market stall in the Dark Woods.

1/chapter you can earn bonus XP toward this quest when you:

  • Sell items to adventurers.
  • Sell items to monsters who can't really use them.
  • Spend time exploring one of the Five Dread Realms.
  • Refuse to help someone without getting properly paid.
  • Actively dodge questions about your past.

Side Quest: The Silver Struggle
Type: Silver
XP: 3/21

The HG can award 3 XP for up to two of the following:

  • You win a struggle against a particularly powerful and dangerous merchant-warrior.
  • You convert one of your foes to your point of view.
  • One of your friends becomes collateral in a Silver Struggle.

1/chapter you can earn bonus XP toward this quest when you:

  • Have traumatic flashbacks to earlier struggles.
  • Take part in a minor Silver Struggle.
  • Refuse to accept gifts without properly paying for them.
  • Recruit someone to help you prepare for a future Struggle.
  • Gather information on the merchants of the region.

The Cut of Your Jib

You were not born here. You were raised in the Temple-Bank of the Silver Struggle, a child of two merchant-priests of Kath. You took to the family trade as a duck to water. But your father was stricken with Asset Seizures when you were ten, and your mother retired in disgrace after losing the temple’s Gold Standard in the Countercyclical Campaigns. You left home to build a fortune - to repair her reputation.

And then the Sun died and the world ended, and you never stopped travelling. You eventually found your way to Rustic Vale, and… it's strange. Your profit margins keep growing, even though the town is stable. And the presence of adventurers, while good for your bottom line, don’t really explain what’s going on. Still, you like it here. There are good people, and lots of room for wealth acquisition.

But there was a God, back in Kath. The God, really. It controlled the Temple Banks, the Guild Conglomerates, and the Corporate Schools. It was a primal beast, a force of endless chaos and infinite greed that set the people of your world against each other. It was never seen, never heard, never spoke: always working indirectly, setting brother against brother, worker against master. It was called the Invisible Hand, and the war that it began was the Silver Struggle.

The Hand should have died with Kath, but it did not. It had already begun infiltrating other worlds, other merchants: creating Agents wherever it went. Those Agents still travel the remnants of existence. The Silver Struggle goes on, and Rustic Vale is the next frontier. You wish there was a way to control the Invisible Hand. To protect this place from its effects. The only way that you can think of is to take up the Struggle, and defend your markets. So you will.

That's not all you do, though! You have hobbies, of course. Who doesn’t? In particular, your fondest hobby is painting, and you will spend hours working on a landscape or a portrait, using rare paints uncovered in your travels. In fact, wandering adventurers often coax discounts from you by trading you paints that they’ve found on their journeys.

It is a shame you are so very, very, bad at it.

Your lack of artistic skill aside, from day to day, you are a merchant, an investor, and a patron of Rustic Vale's enterprising businesses. It's your job to worry about the cost of things, and you try to avoid the sorts of adventure that will really hurt your bottom line (or your bottom!). You're always looking for chances to complain that some course of action that you or someone else is on will be far too expensive, and detailing the costs involved, literal or metaphorical. You can frequently be found:

  • Chatting with townsfolk, trying to sell them things they don’t need.
  • Keeping an ear to the ground, and a firm grip on the shopkeepers of Rustic Vale.
  • Relaxing at the inn and having a light drink in the evening. Not that you can hold your liquor…

Of course, there’s also the Silver Struggle to worry about. There are always new merchants arriving, and you need to be ready to find them, outmanoeuvre them, buy them out, and send them packing. You’re worried that particularly dangerous Agents might be on the way, and you need to keep an eye out for them.

But you wish that this campaign could end. You want to find a way to control or ward off the Invisible Hand forever. The first step is expanding your markets, and you’ve decided on a great first step - the Goblins of the Dark Woods. They have lots of treasure! You just need to figure out what they buy…



See also: the scrapbook!


Miraculous Arcs



Market Research: the Bargains of Elizabeth Bruce

This is the story of an exile who has found a new home, who sees a threat to the world that no one else can face. It is the story of making a terrible mistake, and of a triumphant victory. It is a tale of the cost of power and the power of cost. Above all else, it is a story of friendship amidst greed and mistrust.

You begin with three quests: “The Cost of Doing Business”, “The Silver Struggle”, and “The Dark Woods”.

Future Quests

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License