Standing hard against Bleakhaven Harbour, an ornately painted but slightly weatherworn mural depicting a cresting wave decorates the frontage of this long, two-storey building. A sign reading “Emporium of the Waves” hangs above the building’s double front door.
This general shop caters to the needs of Bleakhaven’s fisherfolk and other maritime visitors. The Emporium of the Waves hides a dark secret, however—the owners and several of their staff are fanatical devotees of Serat, the Mistress of Storms. In a secret cellar fed by hidden flooded tunnels, these heretics sacrifice those who will not be missed to placate their uncaring mistress.
The emporium stocks many of the everyday items a fisherfolk or their family may need. Here can be found rope, canvas, wood, nails and nets alongside more homely items such as pots, pans, utensils, general provisions and more. The shop does not stock weapons (beyond daggers, handaxes and the like) or armour.
Certain folk are often encountered at the Emporium of the Waves.
- Loviisa Mietti (CN female human cultist of Serat) runs the emporium and the hidden cult of Serat with her husband. She is openly friendly, and she is extremely organised. Loviisa harbours a deep fear of drowning and secretly believes that if she makes enough sacrifices to Serat, she will be spared such a fate. She hasn’t been on a boat in years.
- Eljas Mietti (CN male human cultist of Serat) runs the emporium and the hidden cult of Serat with his overbearing wife. His parents ran the shop before him. In public, he is in charge, but in private, there is no doubt who runs things.
- Aatto Keiho (CN male human adherent of Serat) works at the emporium and is an enthusiastic cult member; he loves watching sacrifices drown. Aatto presents as a friendly townsperson but is endlessly inquisitive about a visitor’s business—in an attempt to identify a suitable candidate for “Serat’s Embrace”.
What’s Going On?
While the characters are at the Emporium of the Waves, one or more things from the list below may occur.
- Closed: The emporium is unexpectedly closed; maybe the cult meets within to plot their next service.
- Delivery: The emporium is receiving a delivery from a merchant ship, and chaos reigns. The characters may have to wait for service.
- Rearranging: The staff are rearranging one of the shop's displays, and goods are scattered about the floor.
- Busy: Several fisherfolk are at the emporium, browsing the shop’s shelves. They are friendly but not interested in serving the characters; they don’t have time and are not interested in facing more danger than they do in their daily lives.
- Help Wanted: The Miettis are advertising for another member of staff. They use this process to find their next sacrifice and only offer the job to travellers and strangers. The “lucky” applicant won’t last long.
- Tidying Up: Several staff members are cleaning the emporium’s frontage when the characters arrive.
Opportunities & Complications
Lucky adventurers find opportunities almost anywhere. Unlucky adventurers find complications almost anywhere.
- Faint Shouting: A character passing the emporium who makes a DC 20 Wisdom (Perception) check hears a faint shout coming from an unidentifiable source. The character makes out the phrase, “Help me!” Before the shouting stops.
- Muttered Conversation: A perceptive character overhears Aatto Keiho (see "Notable Folk") muttering about finding someone for “Serat’s Embrace”.
- Inconvenient Witnesses: Several fisherfolk are at the emporium, browsing the shop’s shelves. They are all innocent folk—oblivious to the cult’s presence in the shop; they are inconvenient witnesses if the characters are here to fight the cult.
- Curious Eljas: Eljas Mietti (see “Notable Folk”) is in the shop when the characters arrive. If the characters are obvious adventurers, Eljas worries that they might be investigating the cult. He engages the characters in conversation, and if their answers do not satisfy him, he commands several cultists to watch them for a few days to learn more.
- Chatty Eljas: Eljas Mieti (see “Notable Folk”) recognises the characters as adventurers and wants to distract them. To do so, he tells them several 1d3 rumours (roll on “General Whispers & Rumours”) but only imparts rumours that might lure the characters away from Bleakhaven.
- Have You Seen My Friend?: Eetu Kylli (NG male human commoner) is looking for his friend, Ari Neuvo. They both arrived in Bleakhaven a month ago, but Ari disappeared a week ago. Eetu speaks with the characters before going into the Emporium to ask the same questions. This brings him to the cult’s attention, and several days later, he also disappears.
This location is part of my design for Citadel on the Wilderlands. Citadel on the Wilderlands is my love letter to B2 Keep on the Borderlands and B5 Horror on the Hill. I'm writing 500 words every weekday for a year.