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2e<Men1.p026>第8章:魔索布莱城的商人Menzoberranzan's Merchants


魔索布莱城的商人Menzoberranzan's Merchants

  家族的代理商、贸易商,以及数量更多的自主平民商人构成 魔索布莱城Menzoberranzan 的生命线。这些经营者(尤其是周游于幽暗地域其它城市与贸易点的那些)让魔索布莱城保持着生机勃勃、势力煊赫且富有丰饶的状态。这些经营者中有些是群孤僻者和怪人;另一些家伙则在一起组成了“商会”(譬如 撒莉丝商会Xalyth's Company 或 三枚黑戒商会The Company of Three Black Rings),或如“社团”(如 至高之手The High Handed、黑暗之爪The Black Claw 和 棕色蘑菇The Brown Mushroom)那样合作使用设施并签订贸易协定。
The lifeblood of Menzoberranzan is its merchants—House agents and traders, and the more numerous independent commoners. These entrepreneurs (particularly those who travel the Underdark to other cities and trademoots) keep Menzoberranzan vital, important, and rich. Some are loners and eccentrics; others band together to form “companies” (such as Xalyth's Company, or The Company of Three Black Rings), or cooperate in the use of facilities and in trade agreements as “fellowships” (such as The High Handed, The Black Claw, and The Brown Mushroom).

职业商人A Merchant Career

  魔索布莱城的商人主要是些男性卓尔(贸易是男性少数能够发挥进取心和创造力的选择之一),不过有一位名为“Nal”撒莉丝的著名贸易商,她的绰号是 不淑女Not A Lady 的首字母缩写,这一轻蔑的自夸得自一次聚会上,她一脚踢开了一位男性贵族奉承者。非卓尔商人越来越多,但往往沦为更低级的“路边摊”或“行脚苦力”角色。
Menzoberranzan's merchants are chiefly drow males (trade being one of the few outlets for aggressive and creative males), but a current star trader is “Nal” Xalyth (her nickname is an acronym for Not A Lady, a scornful boast she once made at a party, spurning a noble male flatterer). Nondrow traders are becoming more numerous, but tend to be relegated to “corner shop” or “lift and load laborer” roles.

Merchant careers in Menzoberranzan are dangerous, and often short. To anger a Matron or even a proud young House noble is to court death or disaster to one's trade through “accidental” destruction of one's goods (or one's home and family), by spell or “misdirected” House troops on arms practice.

This, plus the restlessness of many merchants (who, at heart, are happiest when traveling), makes the city's mercantile roster everchanging. To the other dangers of merchant life must be added rivalries among traders. These tend to be fiercest among drow native to the city; visiting drow, duergar, and other races who don't cause trouble tend to be left alone, by unwritten agreement.

家族联盟House Alliances

  许多商人依靠与贵族家族联盟生存——但激怒贵族的危险迫使他们为这类关系保守秘密,除非已到了直面可能是致命的威胁之时。(“你必须知道,罗斯为证,尊敬的贵族,攻击我就是攻击班瑞家族!我告诉你,你动手前先好好想想。若我身亡,将有人为我复仇!”)此类联盟的线索可以在这本书里找到,以个案的形式呈现——但此处仅列出一个例子:班瑞与 黑暗之爪The Black Claw 社团之间的联系。
Many merchants survive by alliances with noble Houses—but the dangers of angering nobles lead them to keep such relationships secret, except in the face of possiblyfatal threats. (“You should know, as Lloth is my witness, great noble, that to attack me is to attack—House Baenre. Think on this, I ask you, before you act. If I fall, I shall be avenged.”) Hints of such alliances can be found in this book, on a casebycase basis—but only one is noted here: the relationship between House Baenre and the fellowship of The Black Claw.

When merchant alliances and nobladesbared pacts began to be formalized as fellowships and companies, most commoners saw this as good—a counterbalance to the overwhelming power of haughty noble Houses.

  虽然,多数家族并不同意这一点;但班瑞家族狡猾到已经秘密地创立和赞助了所有社团中最强大且独立(公开藐视了各家族)的那个——黑暗之爪。黑暗之爪作为各家族的竞争对手而获得了民众的支持,但班瑞家族实质上掌控着它的方针和行动,并从中攫取财富。而随着时间推移,班恩对黑爪的掌控已经逐渐成为公开的秘密和一个常识——直到由 菲布兰契FeyBranche 领导的其它几个强大家族建立了 棕色蘑菇The Brown Mushroom 作为对班瑞家族深思熟虑的反击筹码(通过成功的贸易活动,她们分润着挣得的利润)。
Most Houses didn't agree. House Baenre, however, was crafty enough to secretly found and sponsor the most powerful and independent (openly defiant of Houses) fellowship of all, The Black Claw.It gained popular support as a rival to the nobles, but House Baenre controlled its policies and actions, and grew rich from it. Over time, Baenren control of the Claw became an open secret, and then common knowledge—until several other powerful houses, led by FeyBranche, founded The Brown Mushroom as a deliberate counter to House Baenre (to get their own share of riches earned through successful trade).

货物进出Goods In And Out

Menzoberranzan is largely selfsufficient,if need be (most drow communities must be, or they soon fall under the control of another city, or are destroyed), but trades with others to gain rare goods (especially highly prized surfaceworld delicacies such as fruit and shellfish varieties), slaves (labor is always in short supply, in a place dominated by sadistic, whipwielding priestesses), textiles, and anything that is offered at a lower price than it costs to buy or make oneself in Menzoberranzan.

  作为回报,魔索布莱城出口技巧熟练的石雕家、极高品质的可食用的蘑菇(生长在 东尼加顿湖Donigarten 滨肥沃的农场里)、精制武器、以及从附近矿脉开采的黑曜石雕(尤其受到 卡丽珊Calimshan、穆尔霍兰德Mulhorand和某些 北地the North 的邪教或兄弟会欢迎、用于献祭使用的“黑玻璃匕首black glass daggers”);举例来说,散塔林会Zhentarim 会对这样的武器施展法术制造魔法的 死亡匕首death daggers,作为他们留在暗杀现场的标记。这些武器在击打时会冒出烟气,并在伤口四周烧灼出独特的孔洞,并造成三倍的普通伤害——在此过程中,因其造成的极致痛苦而分心,受害者不能专注施法,并且所有攻击骰都将受到3点惩罚。
In return, Menzoberranzan exports skilled stonesculptors, edible mushrooms of very high quality (grown in the rich farms near Donigarten), finelymade weapons, and obsidian carvings mined from nearby veins—notably “black glass daggers” favored for sacrificial uses in Calimshan, Mulhorand, and certain cults and brotherhoods of the North; the Zhentarim, for example, enspell such weapons to create magical death daggers, which they leave as their calling card at the scenes of assassinations. These weapons smoke when striking, burning a distinctive hole around the wound, for triple normal damage—and in the process, cause such wracking pains that the victim cannot concentrate to cast spells, and is 3 on all attack rolls.

Menzoberranzan also sells water to longdistance travelers, and breeds and trains lizardmounts in nearby caverns.

  魔索布莱人以狩猎队为城市获取餐桌上的食物,让附近用于训练、辐射强烈或用于培育蜥蜴用的洞窟保持相对安全,并保持了来自和通向这座城市的贸易通道的开放(如果长期不加抑制,这座城市自己流放的蛛化精灵和幽暗地域的天然掠食者就会在所有地方泛滥成灾)。广泛的巡逻也会突袭 斯涅布力侏儒svirfneblin、斗篷怪cloaker 和 灰矮人duergar,但全面战争的日子已经过去(除非魔索布莱人想要破坏她们自己的成就——目前重要的贸易中心)。
Menzoberranyr hunting bands gain food for city tables, keep nearby training, radiationstrong, and lizardraising caverns relatively safe, and keep the tradepassages to and from the city open (the city's own exiled driders and natural predators of the Underdark would overrun all if unchecked for long). Wide patrols also raid svirfneblin, cloaker, and duergar holds occasionally, but the days of allout war are past (unless Menzoberranyr want to harm their own success as a presentlyimportant trading center).

  现在,她们不会;这座城市享受着执政家族之间相对的和平时期(只有很少的贵族家族毁灭,并伴随着全部的财富、仆从、人才和联系人的损失)和城市集市的成功(集市区The Bazaar 在本书占据独立一章)带来的繁荣高潮。
At present, they don't; the city is enjoying a wave of prosperity brought about by a time of relative peace among its ruling Houses (there have been few recent noble family extinctions, with attendant losses of all wealth, servants, talents, and contacts), and by the success of the city?s bazaar (The Bazaar has a chapter all its own, in this book).

A “DM's handy selection”of currently prominent city merchants can be gleaned from the “Neighborhoods” chapter. Here one of the most interesting traders is detailed, as a guide for DMs developing merchant NPCs.


  撒莉丝Xalyth 女性卓尔 战士F7;
  防御等级 4(卓尔链甲 +1);移动速度 12;生命值 44;#攻击次数3次/2轮;
  伤害 根据武器(1d8:长剑 或 舞空剑sword of dancing;1d4:匕首; 1d3:手弩, 60码射程,对抗-4惩罚的毒素豁免检定,否则将沉睡2d4小时, 她携带了2张手弩和33支弩矢);零级命中值 14;
  力量 15,敏捷 14,体质 16,智力 18,感知 17,魅力 16;
  法术 (卓尔天赋力量);混乱邪恶CE
  Xalyth: drow female F7; AC 4 (drow chainmail +1); MV 12; 44 hp; #AT 3/2 rounds; Dmg by weapon (1d8: long sword or sword of dancing; 1d4: dagger; 13: hand crossbow bolts, 60yard range, save vs. poison at 4 or sleep for 2d4 hours, 2 bows and 33 bolts carried); THAC0 14; S 15, D 14, C 16,I 18, W 17, CH 16; spell use (innate drow powers); CE.

“Not A Lady”Xalyth rose from humble origins (as a child, she emptied chamberpots—by hand—onto her father’s dungcart, to be taken to the fungusfarm fields) to dominate gemdealing (and underthetable fencing of stolen goods) in Menzoberranzan. Her unadvertised sideline is providing material components for spells.

  撒莉丝被认为是一位公正的珠宝鉴定师,但作为买卖人也以条件严苛著称——她低价进货高价出手(无论是大量采购还是反复光顾都没有优惠)。她并不必过多地竞争;她只会稳定地(相对于拖着大篷车旅行靠卖空车里的东西牟取暴利的销售访问而言)作为在这座城市里的施法材料来源(除了给那些对唤起不死生物者感兴趣者供应尸体的“死尸服务stiff services”)。
Xalyth is known as a fair gem appraiser but a hard bargainer, who buys low and sells high (with no discounts for volume or repeated patronage). She doesn’t have to compete overmuch; she is the only steady (as opposed to caravan emptythecart windfall sale visits) source of spell components in the city (except for 'stiff services' providing corpses to those interested in animating undead).

  撒莉丝的贸易成功依赖与九个远途旅行供应商稳固的人际关系,包括 信仰 维伦Vhaeraun头骨港Skullport 男性卓尔 安利尔Amryyr地底尖顶城Underspires 的灰矮人 恩波来·“肥地冒烟”·署比利区Ubelein “Fatreek” Shubelith
Xalyth's success in that trade depends on firm relationships with nine fartraveled suppliers, from the Vhaeraunworshipping drow male Amryyr of Skullport to the duergar Ubelein “Fatreek” Shubelith, of Underspires.

Xalyth never tries to cheat anyone, holding to even casual promises and agreements (unless forced from her at weaponpoint). This trustworthiness is the cornerstone of her success, and she cements it with occasional aid (doctoring, hiding, and giving shelter) to her suppliers, if they arrive wounded or in trouble with the authorities or rivals.

On one memorable occasion, Xalyth went out into the Underdark alone, when a magical sending told her Amryyr was endangered by zealous priestesses of Lloth. She attacked their patrol from behind, using special bolts (tipped with a poison that puts to sleep even priestesses immune to the usual crossbowbolt spider venom). Leaving them slumped asleep as a warning to their Houses, she brought Amryyr in safety to the city. Such deeds have made her famous in Menzoberranzan.

Xalyth always puts on a calm front;shrieking rages are for priestesses who think society revolves around them, and have soldiers at their call. At times, her calm is rather icy, and her sharp tongue is famous, but she is always interested in making a deal first, and fighting later.

In fights, Xalyth is known for keeping alert track of foes who work around to attack her from behind, while she confronts those in front of her.

  在她的商店里,撒莉丝有几个装满 强力催眠瓦斯potent sleepgas 的玻璃瓶;如果被攻击,她会打破一个,迫使所有在90尺范围内者通过一次4的喷吐武器豁免,否则陷入睡眠4d4轮。
In her shop, Xalyth has several glass vials full of potent sleepgas; if attacked, she can break one, forcing all within 90' to save versus breath weapon at 4, or fall asleep for 4d4 rounds.

  如果走投无路或者恐惧死亡时,撒莉丝将不情愿地使用她的秘密武器,这件武器是以一些稀有且昂贵的法术材料从一位卓尔法师那里购买而来。她念出或低声说出某个单词,她傲人胸部的一部分(那是一件法术构装体而非她的肉体)将消失,释放出 连锁闪电Chain Lightning 对第一个受影响的生物造成12d6(通过豁免减半)伤害,第二个是11d6,以此类推;撒莉丝可以控制闪电最初的两次跳跃,而她自身免疫这次爆炸的所有伤害。
If cornered and fearing death, Xalyth will reluctantly use her secret weapon,bought from a drow wizard for many rare and expensive spell components. If she speaks or whispers a certain word, part of her prominent bust (a magical construct, not her own flesh) vanishes, releasing chain lightning that inflicts 12d6 (save for half damage) harm on the first being struck, 11d6 to the second, and so on; Xalyth can control where the first two jumps go, and is herself immune from all burst damage.

This bodyweapon is a magical form of lastditch defense becoming popular among drow able to afford it. Typically the loss of a body part is involved, and the procedure is long, risky, and expensive.Some drow who want such protections (such as Matrons or ambitious high priestesses) can't trust a drow wizard enough to have it done.

  撒莉丝的胸部闪电爆炸是最简单的、最常见的身体武器类型(另一个例子见 法师领主Mage Lords 部分的 蜘蛛法师The Spider Mage)。这件魔法物品由年迈的 前大师Past Maste、魔索布莱城名誉大法师Archmage Emeritus of Menzoberranzan 库尔顿·米兹瑞姆Courdh Mizzrym 为她所做的,他负责学院的所有教学任务,同样负责试验和保管那些术士学院最强大的魔法物品。他是术士学院秘密的安全监督——这一点,并不为主母们所知,这意味着他是他们在贵族家族之中的首席间谍。在回答执政议会的多疑问题时,他能够用要这样的理由为他的工作辩解:与其它卓尔城市在防御性魔法艺术上保持并驾齐驱,必须与平民商人合作(未详细透露他为她做了什么)进行“危险,但是必要的”实验——这太危险以致于不能冒险(将此技术)施于任何罗丝的女祭祀。
Xalyth's chest lightning burst is the simplest, most common sort of bodyweapon (for another, see The Spider Mage in the chapter on Mage Lords). It was done for her by the aged Past Master Courdh Mizzrym, Archmage Emeritus of Menzoberranzan, who oversees all teaching at the Academy, and is in charge of experimenting with and guarding most powerful magical items held by Sorcere. He is secretly Sorcere's overseer of security—which, unbeknownst to the Matrons, means he is their chief spy on the noble Houses. In answer to suspicious queries from the ruling Council, Courdh was able to justify working with a commoner merchant (and not reveal precisely what he did for her) on the grounds of “dangerous, but necessary” experimentation if Menzoberranzan was to keep pace with other drow cities in defensive sorcerous arts—too risky to yet perform on any priestess of Lloth.

  撒莉丝的最终目的是打破这个高阶女祭祀统治的政权,以便让所有在此城市生活的卓尔都能有更大的话语权——或者如果她不能实现这个,那么退求次离开魔索布莱城到临近一个地表的更自由且更平等、她能继续进行贸易的社区。有一天,如果卓尔法师开发出必要的法术和防护物品,她希望能够自由地在 幽暗地域Underdark 和地表世界之间旅行,去见识 日光之土The Lands of Light 的奇迹并在那里继续做生意。
Xalyth's ultimate aims are to break the power of the ruling high priestesses, so that all drow have a greater say over their lives in the city—or if she can't do that, to leave Menzoberranzan for a more free and equal community near the surface, where she can carry on trade. One day, if drow wizards develop the necessary spells and protective items, she'd like to be able to travel freely between the Underdark and the surface world, to see the wonders of The Lands of Light and to do trade there.