The Thieves of Mitrik - Arcus Stanton
Date: Sun, September 15, 2002
Topic: Rogue's Gallery
Come into the underworld of the fair city of Mitrik, and meet one of its most interesting citizens: Arcus Stanton, merchant, respected citizen, and fence!
by Daniel Harrison with MerricB
The Thieves of Mitrik - Arcus Stanton
by Daniel Harrison with Merric Blackman
To an outsider, Arcus Stanton seems to be one of Mitrik's richest men. With great sway in the merchant's guild, he is a powerful man who is not to be trifled with. However, it is not until one knows Arcus' dark secrets that they can actually conceive what it is that makes him such. a prominent figure.
Arcus is probably the Mitrik thieves' guild's best kept secret. This man is well known by thieves as the one person to reliably purchase illegal, restricted and stolen goods from, and as the man who will put a price on almost anything you own, usually for slightly more than you would sell it for elsewhere (about 55-65% of the usual retail price).
Arcus is quite an unusual man. His dress sense varies from day to day, he prefers bright copper jewelry encrusted with valuable gemstones (he says the copper makes him look more approachable) and he always wears a small pair of spectacles on the end of his nose. A portly man, Arcus Stanton enjoys the finer things in life, and can usually be found in one of Mitrik's more elegant taverns, surrounded by a lass or two and drinking until the bartender refuses to serve him any more or until he passes out.
The black market merchant is almost never seen without his Amulet of Intuition, which he calls his 'good luck charm'. When in the streets, it is almost impossible to speak with him unless one looks wealthy enough to be seen speaking with nobles. However, he also regularly frequents some of the seedier Taverns in town, keeping up with his main suppliers and clients while satisfying his taste for revelry.
Arcus's dealings are not restricted to Mitrik and the local area. He has major contacts in the city-states of Greyhawk and Mitrik, and also throughout the Great Kingdom. It is even rumoured that he has partners in the County of Ulek as there are recently-discovered plants only found in that area which can be made into a potent poison with no known antidote.
Recently, an acquaintance of Arcus, Guevera - a skilled rogue with many contacts in both Mitrik and the City of Greyhawk - has gone into business with Arcus. A friend of his - the late Roywinn Ningle - started a business creating and selling minor magical items often of use to rogues in their work, and Guevera worked out the contact details between her and Arcus. Though Roywinn mysteriously disappeared, Guevera's lover (Ellestrianie, female elven fighter/wizard) has taken over the manufacturing side of the business.
However, this business does not sell exclusively to Arcus as it also makes a large profit from customers such as nobles and merchants, Guevera usually handles the illicit side of the business. Guevera's patron goddess, Xan-Yae, has shown no displeasure with Guevera's dealings.
To someone without the approval of the Mitrik thieves' guild, it is almost impossible to contact Arcus for illicit dealings, as no-one but the highest ranking members of the said thieves' guild (with a few choice exceptions) know that he is actually a black market merchant. In this respect, no significant authorities know of Arcus except as a rich man who occasionally has to be escorted home for being drunk in public.
Though Arcus seems harmless, he is well capable of defending himself, and despite his obese appearance he can be quite nimble when the situation calls for it. Many would-be assassins have been thwarted by the merchant, and he has been known to kill without remorse on more than one occasion. However, he dislikes bloodshed and avoids it when at all possible. Still, if one should attack him, they would be quite surprised at how quickly he can draw his crossbow (kept in a glove of storing and loaded with a bolt tipped with wyvern venom) and at the accuracy at which he fires it.
Arcus holds several things (besides money) to be very important to him. He is always loyal to a friend, unless that friend betrays him, and to a degree will extend his hospitality and services to one who has gained his trust. This is how Guevera gained Arcus as an ally and business acquaintance. The merchant was travelling between taverns when he heard someone call out to him to duck. Guevera had spotted an assassin on a rooftop and warned Arcus not a second too soon before a crossbow bolt whizzed past Arcus's head with what would have been a fatal shot. Guevera managed to tackle the assassin (as he was also on the rooftops) and one of Arcus's bodyguards disposed of the would-be killer.
Another philosophy that Arcus always holds true to is to always avenge a wrongdoing against yourself, whatever it takes. People have been known to mysteriously 'disappear' even twenty years after swindling the man in major deals, and it is rumoured that he has held grudges for even longer. Generally, it is a good idea to stay on Arcus's good side.
Arcus' Amulet of Intuition
The Amulet of Intuition is a small red gemstone worth at least 500gp set in a copper pendant made to look worthless. It gives Arcus a sense of what people around it are thinking as well as an insight into any dealings Arcus might make so that he gains a psychological advantage when bargaining.
The amulet grants a a +1 bonus to initiative and a +5 bonus to Innuendo and Sense Motive checks.
(Caster Level 9, Cost: 10,000 g.p.)