What Dreams Wrought
Everything For Sale
The Hedge Merchant
Hedge Merchants are deeply rooted in the Fey world where contracts and agreements hold the world together. Rumors persist that the most powerful Fey of Arcadia made agreements with every primal force on the world and only a very select few people are allowed to have access to those agreements. These special few individuals are called Hedge Merchants, but haven’t existed for a long, long time.
Hedge Merchants deal in everything and anything. They’re capable of taking even abstract things, like a person’s loyalty or hair color, and storing them as tangible things. The Hedge Merchant must have an item in which to store the abstract concept or can choose to hold the item of trade within herself, able to be given freely at any time.
Things can only be given by their rightful owners and have to be given for the Hedge Merchant to extract them. Unconscious or killed individuals can have things taken from them though. Things given to the Hedge Merchant are completely lost by the person that makes the offering, the Hedge Merchant cannot “copy” things given to her.
In addition to the Hedge Merchant’s formidable ability to physically manifest conceptual things, this ability comes from the Hedge Merchant’s connection to the contractual agreements of the Fey that bestowed her power. As a result, contracts have a powerful hold over the Hedge Merchant. If she either agrees to a contract or enforces a contract as an arbiter, the ancient contract magic she draws power from enforces those agreements. If any party that gives their word in an agreement either with or enforced by the Hedge Merchant and breaks it, they invoke the wrath of an ancient power older than the world itself.
While Hedge Merchants often trade among supernatural creatures and broker deals for power or other things that normally can’t be traded, she’s also free to keep power for herself. Strangely, the Hedge Merchant has continual access to powers she trades for meaning she need not acquire supernatural resources to fuel her abilities, though she’s still free to do so. Since she also lacks supernatural traits, she uses powers in the following way:
The Hedge Merchant uses her own traits when wielding borrowed powers. She can substitute the Supernatural Resistance merit in place for her Supernatural Tolerance and she uses her Integrity for the corresponding trait. If she somehow acquires these traits, she can use them natively instead. When supernatural powers call for the rating in the ability to be used in the activation roll, the Hedge Merchant uses the highest rating of a power she’s acquired. For instance, if she manages to acquire Forces 1 and 4 and activates a Forces 1 power, she treats her Forces as though it’s 4.
Most believe that a creature’s power is mostly contained in the soul, and while a willing creature can choose to sacrifice whatever it wishes a less willing soul is much more resilient. The below rules apply to harvesting traits from supernaturally compelled or unconscious creatures.
The Hedge Merchant rolls her Intelligence + Craft. She then multiplies the successes by the creature’s Supernatural Tolerance and extracts that much XP in traits. If the Hedge Merchant wants to target something specific, she takes a penalty depending on how specific she wishes to be. A -1 penalty allows her to target a broad range, such as Attributes or Supernatural Powers. A -2 penalty allows her to target something slightly more specific in that range, such as the physical attributes of a creature or Disciplines in a Kindred’s supernatural retinue. A -4 penalty allows her to target exactly what she wants, such as the character’s “Dexterity” Attribute or a Vampire’s “Dominate” Discipline. Harvesting over an extended period of time follows the same rules as other Extended Actions (GMC p.187) in that the Hedge Merchant can attempt a number of rolls equal to her unmodified die pool. Once this limit is reached, the Hedge Merchant cannot further ravage the creature for a year and a day.
Limits of Powers
- The Hedge Merchant cannot create something from nothing
- Lesser abilities cannot grant Elder abilities
- For example, giving a BP 5 Kindred the BP of a neonite will not elevate the Kindred above 5 (this is also true for Disciplines)
- Abilities cannot be distilled into XP, but a character with potential XP is free to trade it as normal
- For example, the Hedge Merchant can’t take 1 dot in a Discipline and distill it to 4 XP to give to someone else