Vam’s Shop of Wonders
Rounding a busy corner, barely dodging the two sandy-haired urchins chased by an angry-looking priest, you take in the most bizarre sight you’ve seen in the city yet. An old wooden schooner, easily thirty-five feet in length, lies atop a dozen stone columns, suspended at least 6 feet off the ground, with a battered shipping ramp leading up to the entry hatch carved in the side. Its masts long since removed, it boasts a collection of random piping and ventilation holes, through which the occasional puff of multicolored smoke can be seen escaping. As you face the ramp, no doubt pondering its ability to support the weight of your entire group, you are startled by a sudden BANG, followed by muffled triumphant cackling from inside. Once you push aside the hatch and enter, you’re surrounded by an endless pile of unsorted, uncategorized trinkets and machinery piled high amongst the shelves and workbenches in the converted ship’s cabin. A gnome bounds up to you, wearing a boisterous grin, the manic gleam in his eye not the least bit hidden by the leather goggles he’s forgotten to remove. “VAM BALLYWALL!”, he shouts, spreading his arms wide, obviously burstin with pride at the chaotic, ramshakle surroundings. “I mean, I am Vam Ballywall. And this is my shop! Of wonders. But you know that, it was on the sign.” He pauses. “Or wait. No, there’s no sign anymore. Not since the accident. Well, last month’s accident. Not that that should cause you worry, as I assure you, everything here is completely –” He suddenly ducks, as another BANG reverberates through the room, loud enough to shake the floor. From an unseen cranny in the room, hazy smoke tendrils waft their way towards you. He fiddles with his goggles, and offers an unconcerned shrug, asking what he can help you with.