Prime Trinkets

Katrover Swatroad's picture


A few blocks from the Grand Bazaar is a small, mundane-looking curiosity shop that sells, sure enough, trinkets from the Prime Material Plane (Leave it to a prime to give such an obvious name to his shop!). Despite common sense, Prime Trinkets does attract enough customers to keep it in business; patrons include adventurers seeking gate-keys to specific prime worlds, Sensates seeking to sate their curiosity, wizards seeking spell components, and (of course) Outsiders seeking reminders of home.

Ten years ago, hireling Ed Howards (Prime / male human / F8 / Indep / LG) followed his adventuring employers to the planes. They all got written in the dead-book (in various leatherheaded ways) and poor Ed got stuck in Sigil. Instead of getting lost, scragged, peeled, or bobbed, he got a job in the Great Bazaar, working for a wealthy merchant who sold exotic foods from the prime. He was good enough to be promoted to second-in-command. He was also pretty homesick, for which his only remedy was a memento from his world - a ring bearing the symbol of his hometown. It saved him from going barmy, he often boasted of the cheap tin band.

Ed wondered if other primes felt the same as him, if other primes had mementos like his ring. Probably not - he himself arrived in Sigil with only the clothes on his back and the ring on his finger. When his employer got dead-booked trying to peel a Clueless blackguard, Ed had a wonderful idea. He took over her business, he took over her trade routes, he even took over her case in the Market Ward, but he switched merchandise from snacks to souvenirs.

And Prime Trinkets was born.

Here, mementos of every sort from every prime material world can be found: earrings, bracelets, necklaces, rings, pewter figurines, toys, cards, books etc. More useful stuff can also be found: candles, utensils, candles, lanterns, pots, cloaks, mugs, clocks, headgear, etc. Their prime origins are obvious: the toys are action figures of Tanis Half-Elven and Tasslehoff Burrfoot, the mugs bear the shield-logo of Waterdeep, and the lanterns are in the make of Lantan. If a prime wants something from his or her homeworld, no matter how obscure, he or she will most likely find it at Prime Trinkets (an exception reigns in everything, though, and the exception here is Ed’s homeworld).

Such a specialized shop should have gone out of business long ago, but it continues to this day. Perhaps it is because specialization is the best way for merchants to thrive in large cities like Sigil. Or perhaps it is because of Ed’s belief in the importance of his shop (and the prime) that powers it - belief is power, even that from a prime.

Ed likes to give a 10% discount to Clueless and members of the Free League.


Ed doesn’t know it, but there is a 5% chance that a trinket is magical in some way. The mug from Waterdeep purifies poison. The toys come to life and defend their owner if he or she is in danger - and their weapons are enchanted! The lantern casts Protection from Evil when it. The ring enables its wear to cast warp sense at will. The effect is unknown (and not in effect) until the trinket is bought and paid for.

The following are example powers a trinket can bestow on its owner:

  • Instantly know the right gate-key to a portal
  • Comprehend Slang (similar to Comprehend Languages, but for cant and jargon)
  • Instantly know the safest way out of the Hive (if he or she ever lands in there.…)
  • Enchant any weapon (+1) currently in possession

Such powers seem overbalancing, but recall that primes are disadvantaged on the planes (thanks to their naiveté); such powers may be the edge they need to not die. Where does this magic come from? No one knows …


Recently, Prime Trinkets has suffered a series of harassment (break-ins, theft, vandalism). Ed is considering hiring some adventurers to protect his store and investigate the matter. He suspects Planarists, since he knows his store is everything they hate. In reality, members of the Harmonium are responsible (those responsible for the current unauthorized harassment on Indeps – see The Factol’s Manifesto); he is an Indep himself, after all.

Prima Darkwyrm (planar / female tiefling / 0-level / Sensates / NE), Ed’s late employer’s well-off daughter, wants to take back his kip. And trade routes. And the business itself. See, she wants to convert Prime Trinkets back into “a family business” and send Ed to the Mazes. So far, Ed has told Prima to “go screw yourself, spoiled little brat” (Whatever that means … I think he meant, “pike it, berk.” Why didn’t he use cant like a normal basher?) No answer so far, but who knows what will happen next?

Adventurers who don’t mind going to the prime are welcome to be hired by Ed. Ed is always looking for someone to visit a prime world and retrieve merchandise.


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Like everything else in the Cage, Prime Trinkets was not untouched by the Tempest of Doors. It was abandoned, in fact. Was Ed killed during Faction War? Was his business ruined by the reconfiguration of portals? Did something bad happened?

No, something good. Right after the Tempest of Doors, a portal appeared in front of Ed - a one which led back to his hometown. His wildest wish fulfilled, his love for Sigil never that strong, Ed went through and ever looked back. Now he lives happily as a tavern keeper in his hometown, delighting friends and visitors with “fantasy tales of locales he makes up off the top of his head.”

Back in the Cage, Prima is more than delighted to restart her mother’s business. That is, if she can fix up the place - it got pretty trashed during Faction War - and find new trade routes. Are there adventurers willing to help?

Jem's picture
Joined: 2006-05-10
Re: Prime Trinkets

Neat store, and I dig the idea of Comprehend Slang.

("Dig?" "He approves.")

Zimrazim's picture
Joined: 2007-01-14
Re: Prime Trinkets

I like this article a lot.

One point, though: Sigil is a high-magic environment. You've got critters roaming around that have true seeing as an at-will ability. Even if he is a Clueless Prime, someone would either have sold him some form of detect magic/identify magic by now, or would at least have said "Hey, that's magical!" when examining one of the items he sells.


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1) Equip a bow or crossbow.
2) Roll a natural 1 on d20.
3) ?????
4) Profit!

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