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Thursday, July 28, 2016

This Weeks NPC: Fasir Grutyem the Fence

I love creating NPC's.  They are always at the heart of my creations whether I'm writing an adventure, building a dungeon, or filling up a town or city.  For me, it's the 'actors' that make the play...

...and so I'm proposing to throw a new NPC each week up on the blog.  Hopefully it'll be interesting enough for you to drop into your game!  No pictures I'm afraid, since I'm no kind of artist but the bad kind, but hopefully there's enough meat on these folks that your minds-eye will do the trick!


Hushstep looked up, startled, as Grutyem came in.  He had not been expecting the portly, dark-skinned desert crawler to come today.
"Grutyem my friend, how good to see you again.  Twice in one week?  I hardly can contain my joy," Hushstep said mockingly.  "What's in the bag?"
Grutyem heaved the sack onto the large, old cherry wood counter top with a relieved huff.  It clanged a bit as it landed, the contents of the sack shifting awkwardly with a scrape and a final clang.
"It's Nogel, he's passed.  I've collected my debt and now I need to convert it to coin.  You seemed a better risk than the merchants, and I know what I sell to you won't be yelled across the market square any time soon.  Bring us some wine Hushstep, and let's get down to business, you and I, eh?" asked Grutyem, his chubby arms glistening with sweat from the exhaustive walk three blocks over.
Hushstep liked Grutyem, enjoyed his company and appreciated his business, but he truly wished that the fat fence would eat a few salads now and again.  Grutyem was a man of girth, and men that size and the southern heat simply did not mix well.  It was a cocktail that left Hushsteop wrinkling his nose and lighting a few scented candles.  Soon the store would reek of sandalwood and not Grutyems perspiration.
"Poor Nogel," tsked Hushstep.  "It was only a matter of time, you know.  He was not half the thief he believed himself to be.  Getting a bit long in the tooth if you ask me, and I hinted to him more than once that perhaps he should find *safer* work.  Wasn't one for listening, Nogel, and look where it's gotten him."
"Swinging's where it got him," said Grutyem matter-of-factly, "and his wife making way as I collected my debt."  The obese man reached into the sack and began to remove the contents and place them on the table, one at a time and all in a neat, orderly row.

Fasir Grutyem, Purveyor of Rare Goods, Fence

Grutyem, the crown prince of Fences, owns and operates The Trayfe, a small shop filled with various knick-knacks, tools, household items, and Objet d'art.  Standing at 5’11” and weighing in at an impressive 325 Lbs., Fasir Grutyem is a man whose reputation often precedes him but only slightly farther ahead than his belly. His head is covered by a bandanna, which is often soaked with the sweat of his brow. His eyes, far too close together for kindly folk, are deep set and dark as coal. His nose is lean and long, and bent in several places where angry men have left their mark.

More often found at a cafe having a second or third breakfast, or wandering the streets in search of something to consume on a stick, his shop is more of a hobby, which he often leaves in the hands of his young ward Hirem, whom he claims is the third son of his sister, a woman of low social standing and even lower moral standing.  

Characters will often be sent to Grutyem if they have rare or ill-gotten gains (any barkeeper can point them in his direction) that require rapid liquidation.  He pays in Gold or Gems, which he often keeps in a purse secreted away within his garish robes, safely embedded in the top-most fold of his belly fat.  He has a deep, gravelly voice that is quite pronounced, and speaks with an accent reminiscent of his former desert home.

Grutyem is usually in possession of odd and possible useful pieces of local information not easily sussed out, but for a price he may divulge a few, and he almost always has work for an enterprising group who doesn’t mind their work a bit on the ‘dirty’ side.  Examples of current available jobs are:

  1. A gang of ruffians who call themselves ‘The Blue Gryphons’ recently robbed and raped the son of a good friend of Grutyem’s, and the fellow has asked Grutyem to supply him with ‘Swift and permanent’ retribution
  2. There is a cave to the south that Grutyem once visited, hearing tales of a golden Idol in the shape of a Sea Creature, but his friend and bodyguard Therus was slain by Orcs as they approached the cave.  Grutyem escaped, and has been trying to acquire the rumored statue for many years.
  3. Horace Baggleton has started to compete with Grutyem, and needs to be taught a lesson.  This small -berg is not big enough for two small timers, so Grutyem would like Baggleton put out of business in a hurry.  Problem is, Ol’ Bagsy has a half-brother who is also a half-ogre.  500 GP is offered for Baggleton’s exit from town.

Game Stats : The GM should consider Grutyem to be a level 4 thief, though scaling walls and sneaking into tall towers is far beyond his current abilities.  He is more of a ‘Hustler’, a con man and a blackmailer (when such work presents itself).  His skills as a pickpocket are adequate, but his lock picking skills are very advanced (and should be treated as level 10).  A life of languish has found him now, and he plies only the aspects of his former trade that require little or no activity, which also has kept him safe from the law in most cases.

HP: 28
AC: 3
Save: As Level 4 Thief
Special Skills: Pick Lock (lvl 10) Pick Pocket (lvl 5) Read Languages (lvl 5)
Weapon Proficiencies: Dagger (1d4), Shortsword (1d6)


  1. I'm interested in hearing more about Hushstep. Cool stuff, Howard.

    1. Thanks Michael! Hushstep is indeed an interesting fellow. All of the characters above (and more) are from a NANOWRIMO I completed a bit ago, and I've been dying to use the stuff somewhere. I will push a post with Hushstep next week...just for you!