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D&D magic shop

Enter an interdimensional D&D magic shop with this week’s Side Quest: The Sanctum Emporium

How many times has locating a store become an encounter of its own? In this week’s free D&D Magic shop Side Quest, adventurers can stumble upon the Sanctum Emporium, an interdimensional business that deals in magical oddities and rare curios. Run by an eccentric mage, brave shoppers may find all sorts of useful equipment, and possibly even find the means to alter time itself! 

If you’re new around here, we post a monthly Side Quest, which are short, free TTRPG encounters with corresponding maps that can be easily threaded into an ongoing or one shot campaign, allowing busy DMs to throw in a random encounter at the drop of a hat. Our Adventurer Level 2 tier on Patreon allows patrons to pick the game system, theme, and name a character or two in an upcoming Side Quest. We create a free adventure around their idea, and now everyone gets to enjoy this free dungeon encounter! Plus, Patrons receive a downloadable version of all our Side Quests.

For this month’s Side Quest, we collaborated with McRoMusic who has been playing and composing music for nearly 20 years and is an avid tabletop RPG fan. Now he’s married the two, and is creating high-quality music for players and GMs to enjoy at their table! McRoMusic can be found on Spotify (and anywhere else that you stream your music), and also has a Bandcamp store and Patreon if you would like to support him directly. McRoMusic wrote an original backing song for patrons to play when they visit the shop in-game! I provided him with a simple prompt of “chill/spacey prog rock” and he knocked it out of the park! I’m thrilled with the song, and patrons can download the track alongside the usual Side Quest perks.

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Reference Resources Needed

Side Quest D&D Magic shop: Sanctum Emporium

Background

The Sanctum Emporium is a large floating shop in the shape of an eight-sided diamond that resides primarily within the astral plane. It is owned and operated by two individuals: the human mage Harumi Triv and an enigmatic gith known as The Crafter. They travel the planes of existence in search of new and unique magical items to sell and trade. However, potential clients are expected to prove their worth to enter the establishment. Worn gateway keys are seeded all across the planes in innocuous locations. These tarnished silver keys seem worthless upon inspection, but those who are experts in the arcane can unlock a method to teleport directly to the emporium. 

Dramatis personae

Harumi Triv

Neutral good female human shopkeep (Age 32)

Harumi Triv was once a mundane scholar before accidentally solving the puzzle of the Crafter’s keys. It was in the Sanctum Emporium that she realized that her passion lay in the arcane, and begged the Crafter to allow her to join as an apprentice. Bemused, the Crafter agreed, and Harumi has been with the shop ever since. 

Harumi appears (and claims) to be a thirty-something human, though in actuality is much older due to the time-dilation effect of the Sanctum Emporium. She has lived lifetimes and learned much from travelling the planes in search of arcane knowledge, and as such is now a master of the mystic arts. 


Harumi is an archmage with the following changes: 

  • Harumi speaks Common, Gith, Draconic, Gnomish, Infernal, and Auran
  • She has proficiency with jeweler’s and glassblower’s tools. 
  • Harumi wears a pair of bracers of defense and carries a +2 wand of the war mage

Personality Trait. “I am more interested in making sure the right items go to the right people than making a profit.”

Ideal. “Knowledge is my passion, and I love searching for new discoveries”

Bond. “The emporium is my home, and I’d do anything to protect it.”

Flaw. “My search for mystic knowledge often distracts me from the obvious.”

The Crafter

Lawful neutral non-binary githzerai proprietor (Age ???)

The githzerai known as The Crafter has explored the planes for a very long time. After a lifetime of accumulating wealth and magical items, The Crafter decided to dedicate their time creating and selling items to worthy investors though enchanted silver keys. Thus the gith created the Sanctum Emporium from the raw firmament of Limbo and began travelling planes and offering their wares. 

The Crafter appears to be a middle-aged gith, with taut pale yellow skin, sharp features and bald head. No one knows for sure how old The Crafter actually is, and any time they leave the shop there is always someone they know in just about any city among the planes. With a wry yet knowing smile, The Crafter occasionally attends the showroom to entertain visitors or cease troublemakers, otherwise they spend their time creating new and interesting items. 

The Crafter is a githzerai anarch with the following changes: 

  • The Crafter speaks Common, Gith, Celestial, Draconic, Elvish, and Auran
  • They have proficiency with tinker’s tools and calligraphy supplies
  • The Sanctum Emporium acts as a Lair as long as the Crafter remains within one mile of it
  • The Crafter wields a rod of alertness and wears boots of speed

Personality Trait. “I am more comfortable sequestered away in my chamber alone.”

Ideal. “I’ve learned much in my long years, and I want to reward those who wish for the same.”

Bond. “The thrill of creation is the most meaningful thing to me”

Flaw. “I am aloof to a fault, and occasionally miss out on making connections.”

Fixit, Sprog & Tidbit
  • Neutral kobold shop assistants (Ages 55, 49, and 10)

The kobolds known as Fixit, Sprog and Tidbit are recent additions to the Sanctum Emporium. Fixit and Sprog are a parental couple to young Tidbit, and the three together help Harumi and The Crafter by cleaning and occasionally leaving the shop to distribute the enchanted silver keys. Fixit and Sprog spend their off time devising magical items of their own, but have yet to craft anything that would be sold in the showroom. As of late Tidbit has started taking classes with Harumi to expand their magical knowledge, and is proving to be an apt pupil.

The kobolds have light reddish-brown scales and small tails, and are bold in personality — not shying away from newcomers to the shop. 

Fixit and Sprog are kobold inventors and Tidbit is a kobold scale sorcerer with the following changes:

  • All three speak Common, Draconic, and Gnomish
  • Fixit and Sprog have proficiency with tinker’s tools
  • Tidbit keeps a pearl of power gifted to them by Harumi at all times

  • Personality Trait. “We’re not afraid of anyone.”
  • Ideal. “One day our creations will be known throughout the planes.”
  • Bond. “Whatever happens, we will remain a family.”
  • Flaw. “Our obsession with creating new magic items sometimes overrides our common sense.”

Locating the Sanctum Emporium

Entering the Sanctum Emporium is as easy as turning a key. The real catch is not only the difficulty in finding one of these rare trinkets, but also what in learning the conditions needed to turn the key. On occasional trips to the material plane, the kobold assistants leave silver keys in unusual places. Keys can be found behind stacks of crates in abandoned warehouses, at the bottom of filled flower pots, or lost in knick-knack chests all along the realms. 

Once a key is within one’s possession, a character needs to succeed on a DC 15 Intelligence (Arcana or Investigation) check to determine the key’s special nature. Fine script is written upon the key’s tiny surface that details how each key can be used. Each key is enchanted to unlock a gateway that leads to the Sanctum Emporium under certain conditions. The following table presents possible methods of unlocking that can be generated randomly or selected as desired.

Random Key Chart

Once the gate is active, it remains in place for 5 minutes and allows any to enter the gateway room (M1) before both the key and portal disappear. Creatures that pass through the portal have a minor enchantment placed upon them that, when they leave the emporium, teleports the user back to the same place and time from where they activated the key, regardless of how much time they spent in the shop. If the enchantment is dispelled (Spell save DC 16), the creature is instead teleported to a random location somewhere on their plane of origin.

Sanctum Emporium Overview

General Features

The entire Sanctum Emporium is made out of adamantine willed into existence by the Crafter. Walls, doors, and most objects are made out of the incredibly dense material, which appears faintly purple-white and textureless. Light from the continual flame torches on the walls provide illumination for all rooms. Rooms are 12 feet tall with sloped ceilings, while the magically-produced air mildly smells of lavender and olive oil. 

M1. Gateway room

This 10 by 15 feet room holds no decoration aside from a teleportation circle on the floor that emits a dim glow. The nearby adamantine door is unlocked. 

M2. Showroom

Adamantine shelves fill the large open-air showroom that comprises the majority of the structure. Each ledge and surface is crammed full with various curios and oddities, which allows customers to browse at their leisure. The mage Harumi Triv sits behind the counter and greets visitors as they enter. She and one of the kobolds run the shop and keep an eye on the inventory. A raised platform in the center of the room casts disguise self on any creatures that step upon it to allow them to inspect clothing and other worn goods, while a minor illusion is projected that mirrors the creature’s movements. A stairwell next to the platform leads to the upstairs level, while stairs behind the counter lead to the lower levels. 

Invisible stalkers. Two invisible stalkers sit in wait behind the counter area and act as additional security in case of trouble.  

Treasure. Much of what is listed in the Shop’s inventory (see below) is on display out on the showroom floor. However, each item is ensorcelled with a minor enchantment to blast a centralized color spray spell at 5th level at any creature that attempts to steal it. Potential burglars must discreetly dispel the enchantment (DC 15) before pocketing the item. Triggering this blast causes the invisible stalkers to apprehend the offending thief.

M3. Upstairs hallway

Adamantine shelves fill the large open-air showroom that comprises the majority of the structure. Each ledge and surface is crammed full with various curios and oddities, which allows customers to browse at their leisure. The mage Harumi Triv sits behind the counter and greets visitors as they enter. She and one of the kobolds run the shop and keep an eye on the inventory. A raised platform in the center of the room casts disguise self on any creatures that step upon it to allow them to inspect clothing and other worn goods, while a minor illusion is projected that mirrors the creature’s movements. A stairwell next to the platform leads to the upstairs level, while stairs behind the counter lead to the lower levels. 

Invisible stalkers. Two invisible stalkers sit in wait behind the counter area and act as additional security in case of trouble.  

Treasure. Much of what is listed in the Shop’s inventory (see below) is on display out on the showroom floor. However, each item is ensorcelled with a minor enchantment to blast a centralized color spray spell at 5th level at any creature that attempts to steal it. Potential burglars must discreetly dispel the enchantment (DC 15) before pocketing the item. Triggering this blast causes the invisible stalkers to apprehend the offending thief.

M4. The Crafter's chamber

The adamantine door is locked, which requires a successful DC 18 Dexterity check using thieves’ tools to unlock. The Crafter also holds a key to this room. The inside of this spartan chamber holds only a few pieces of comfort. Aside from the stuffed chair and wooden table, the rest of the space is dedicated towards the creation of magical items. An arcane workbench rests against the wall, while shelves filled with tools and reagents stand nearby. 

Treasure. The shelves hold a multitude of arcane supplies worth up to 750 gold pieces, as well as 5 precious gems worth a total of 1200 gold pieces.

M5. Downstairs hallway

Below the showroom is a small hallway that closes off the private chambers from the rest of the shop. There are a number of security measures in place should unwanted visitors find their way down. The adamantine door is locked and trapped, requiring a successful DC 18 Dexterity check using thieves’ tools to unlock and a DC 20 Intelligence (Investigation) to notice the trap. If the trap is triggered, a wall panel opens to the right and reveals a small room containing a medium-sized iron golem that pursues interlopers. The golem can be deactivated by either Harumi or the Crafter. Harumi, the kobolds and the Crafter each hold keys that allow them entry without triggering the golem. 

M6. Storage

Much of the emporium’s lesser-used items are stored within this room. Wooden crates and barrels filled with emergency supplies sit atop one another and surround a strange stone-carved platform. Two unlocked doors are visible down a narrow hallway. 

Reality foundation. This obsidian carving is engraved with multiple runes from a long-forgotten culture. Any creature that steps upon the foundation and concentrates on a fixed location and time must pass an Intelligence (Arcana) check to travel to that place and time. See the chart below to determine DC:

If a user fails their arcana check, their body is torn asunder as temporal forces rip into their being. The user suffers 1d12 force damage for every 5 DC they attempted to travel. For example, failing to travel one year in time on the same plane of existence (DC 35) causes the user to take 7d12 force damage.

Once teleported, the time/space jump is permanent, and only by finding the Sanctum Emporium again can one teleport back.

M7. Kobold's room

This room is the definition of “controlled chaos”. While the floors are clear of debris, the adamantine shelves and tables are filled to the brim with different handmade tools and items made by the kobold trio. Two sets of bunk beds rest against the wall and are ill-kempt though clean. The room has a slightly “musky” aroma that never seems to dissipate. There is little of value within this room.

M8. Harumi's chamber

This comfortable chamber holds Harumi’s personal belongings. A wooden queen-sized bed sits in one corner of the room while a table set for two resides near the center. Shelves full of personal items line the walls, alongside souvenirs from different planes. 

Pet mimic. Harumi has befriended and trained a mimic to guard her room from thieves. The mimic sits at the foot of her bed and attacks any creature other than the Crafter or the kobolds that enter her room. 

Treasure. A small chest sits on the lowest shelf in this chamber. The chest is a modified bag of holding and contains 2500 gold worth of gems, as well as an accumulated wealth of 6500 gp in random coins from across the planes. Harumi also keeps a copy of her spellbook underneath her bed pillow.

Appendix - Shop Inventory

Much of the inventory of the Sanctorum Emporium was either acquired during The Crafter’s adventuring days or handmade by the gith and their assistants. In terms of stock, the shop carries most common and uncommon magical items, with extra reserves of popular consumables (such as potions of healing). The Crafter is constantly making rare and very rare items, stocking 5-10 items total. The shop keeps 1-2 legendary items off of the showroom floor, and only brings them out for special requests. In addition to magical items, Harumi sells spell components, including a handful of expensive items up to a total value of 1000 gp, such as gemstones and jeweled cups (for heroes’ feast).

Note: For a standard pricing model, please see the very useful Sane magical prices guide.

Wrap up

That’s all for now for this D&D Magic shop Side Quest! Hopefully you find the Sanctum Emporium useful and can incorporate it into future campaigns. Thanks for dropping by! We would love to know what you thought of our Side Quest, so please drop a comment here on the blog, on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or Discord to let us know how it went! If you’d like access to more maps and content, including downloadable PDFs of our adventures, check out our Patreon. We’re able to do what we do because of all our amazing Patrons!

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