We’ve all been there, haven’t we? Playing a video game and you’re deep into a dungeon not opened in centuries, you’ve fought your way past ancient guardians, booby traps and foul odours only to find that, inexplicably, that traveling merchant from earlier has set up shop among the cobwebs and has exactly the items you need.
I’m the Chosen One, anointed by the gods themselves and I struggled to get in here, how did Barry the Merchant get there before you, while leaving no trace? You could’ve at least left the door open for us, Barry.
To me, this makes a little more sense in a D&D campaign, and I think we can take it a little further so with that in mind I present to you Salazaar’s House of Procurement (S.H.o.P.)! A timeless treasure-hunting wizard running an interdimensional magic item pawn shop. The S.H.o.P. travels between space and time, and therefore can be placed anywhere and have his inventory change drastically at any point, after all, what is days for you could be decades to Salazaar.
There are two NPC’s in S.H.o.P. Salazaar is never seen outside the shop and his Goblin manservant/butler, Kingsley, can be found at the entrance, inspecting the potential customers.
“Welcome honoured guests! No matter what you are looking for I assure you, you will find it here in my shop! Judging from your rough and tumble appearance, might I suggest starting in the armoury?”
Salazaar is intelligent, softly spoken, and polite, exuding an air of aristocracy while never condescending to his customers. He is in this business to accrue intriguing stories and rare items and respects adventurers as they are the most common source.
“Suddenly, I envy everyone in the planes who has never meet you.”
Kingsley rarely speaks but when he does his voice is a nasal imitation of Salazaar’s, he knows every language known across the Planes (as does Salazaar) and he always observes proper decorum. Kingsley holds adventurers in far less esteem than his master but, at least thinly, attempts to keep that view to himself.
Neither Salazaar nor Kingsley can venture further than 60 feet from S.H.o.P. as this would cause it, and them, to be teleported back to their original plane and time
“Ah no, I’m sorry Sirs. Magic items like that are quite rare. You’ll have a hard time finding something like that even in Neverwinter. But you’ve been good customers, so I’ll let you in on a secret. Take this ring to the marker on Firesday and show it to the fancy goblin standing outside a tent with a gold S on it. I’ll need the ring back when next we meet, but If anyone has what you are looking for it’ll be old Salazaar!”
Nothing much is known of Salazaar except for his love of obscure magic items and his unnatural movements across Fea’run. There are often conflicting reports of his shop popping up in Neverwinter one day and Waterdeep the next.
Players might hear about the S.H.o.P. and its strange curator in a din of taverns or a Wizard who tips the players off on a “once in a lifetime” opportunity to buy powerful magic items.
Salazaar’s shop appears as a non-descript tent, often in a bazaar, or among a traveling caravan. However, it has been known to appear in obscure or even dangerous locations. On the outside, S.H.o.P. appears as a small circus tent, it’s dark red canvas walls give nothing away, a red and gold striped roof with a small red flag perched on top bears a gold “S”.
After approaching the tent flap, players are greeted by an incredibly well-dressed Goblin in a swallow-tail coat and fantastic posture stands there, white-gloved hands behind his back, chin up, hair parted and waxed. It gives off a faint aroma of lavender and superiority. If you attempt to converse with this servant, he merely holds up his gloved hand until you stop talking and pulls back the flap.
On the inside of the tent, things become less mundane. The interior is far larger than it appears on the outside, easily triple the size. A maelstrom of smell and colour; incense hangs thickly in the air. each panel of the canvas wall is a gaudy, vibrant colour. Three orbs are stitched into the canvas of the back wall: one black, one blue, and one green. These represent the Shadowfell, Material Plane, and Feywild, respectively. The appropriate orb will light up depending on where the entrance to the tent currently exists.
Affixed to the walls are dark stained timber shelves holding almost impossibly bright, gleaming armour and weapons, artifacts, spell focuses, scroll, potions, almost everything the seasoned adventurer could need. Every piece announces its quality by its appearance alone yet also suggests hidden, magical depths.
In the centre of the space is a doughnut-shaped counter, in a large, burgundy leather chair sits a middle-aged human man, sporting thick red and gold robes. He puffs on his pipe, stands to his full height of 6ft, smiles, and bids you welcome in a smooth, strangely accent-less baritone. “Hello, welcome to Salazaar’s. What are we buying today?”
“No roughhousing in master’s shop!”
Salazaar is a powerful, neutral wizard but he refrains from outright violence, preferring simply to remove unruly customers and thieves. Should any ne’er-do-wells provoke Kingsley, however, they will find the prim and proper Goblin has had a high level of training, courtesy of his master, and is far less hesitant to stoop to violence if pushed far enough. Use the Arch-Mage stat block for Kingsley and Demi Lich for Salazaar. When attacked Salazaar will use Antimagic Field as a layer action on the character who looks like the most powerful magic user then use Cloud of Dust and flight to confuse and avoid other combatants while Kingsly uses banishment to remove hostels from the demi-plane.
Once outside the shop players cannot renter S.H.o.P. unless Salazar or Kingsley open the tent flap. Players who attempt to pass through the flap without being let in find themselves inside an entirely mundane, if somewhat abandoned-looking, tent.
“Anything! …for a price”
Salazaar deals primarily in rarer items, included here is an example table for his early introduction to the party. I prefer the Sane Magical Prices  to standard pricing so prices here will reflect that.
|War pick of Warning
|Long sword of Wounding
|Wand of Web
|Scale Armour of Cold Resistance
|Potion of Superior Healing
|Potion of Supreme Healing
|Potion of Greater Healing
|Potion of Healing
|Potion of Necrotic Resistance
|Scroll of Aid
|Scroll of Conjure Animals
|Scroll of Passwall
|Scroll of Wall of Fire
|Scroll of Soul Cage
“You seem like someone who knows how to get things?”
Salazaar collects obscure magic items. However, he cannot personally leave the demi-plane that the shop exists in. If the players seem capable, he might ask them to procure a seemingly innocuous artifact that Salazaar insists has great cultural significance. He can take you close to the object (a broken sword hilt wrapped in common leather) he just needs someone to pop out and bring it to his shop for him. Of course, he is eager to compensate the players for their services and offers a token that will summon Kingsley, his remarkably powerful Goblin manservant, for 1 minute as payment. Alternatively, should your party favour more traditional means of payment, Salazaar would happily offer each party member their choice of any item he has in stock when they return with the artifact. Not bad for an afternoon’s work!
If the players accept Salazaar’s offer, the blue orb at the back of the tent dims and the green orb lights up. Salazarr then informs the party that the artifact is just outside if they would only grab it for him. When the players leave the tent, they find themselves in the center of a very large hedge maze. On a small alter sits a rod wrapped in leather. Behind the alter, a large tree covered with strange flowers. The air is filled with a sweet, almost sicky, smell.
When the players approach, they are greeted by three pixies. They don’t speak but make animated facial expressions. The pixies come out of the tree and try to stop the players from taking the item. First by pushing on the players and shaking their heads, then by swarming the person who picks up the artifact and trying to steal it away. If it seems like the players are going to leave with the artifact, they cast Polymorph on the tree as a last-ditch effort to stop the players. The tree becomes a hedge dragon (use young green dragon stats) and attacks the players
After the players have the artifact, it’s obvious that it is not a sword hilt, but a broken piece of a larger rod. Under the leather is inscribed the word cælum (heavens). The artifact can cast the spell Slow once per day if a person holding the rod speaks the command word. After the rod is delivered, Salazaar is true to his word and grants the players an item before returning them to the material plane. If questioned about the rod, Salazar is evasive about his intent, but might let slip that it is a fragment of the legendary Item The Rod of Seven Parts and before today he had two additional pieces; Raut and Fiat. If the players are interested there might be additional quests involving the remaining parts which have been scattered across the Material Plane, the Shadowfell, and the Feywild.