Caravan of the Coin

From fattwiki

The Caravan of the Coin is a traveling band of merchant-clerics whose ancestors were cursed by Ribbadon, the great Frog God of Wealth. They aim to find the silver coin that Ribbadon first gave their forebears, and have found it numerous times but been unable to return it to him before it slipped through their fingers.

Hazard is a member of the Caravan, and briefly possessed the coin before losing it to Uno Riscano in a card game. It was taken from him by the Carnival of Moted Light, appearing for sale in its gift shop, and has since been lost.

Almanac Description[edit | edit source]

It goes like this: Once, a pair of brothers wanted an ox, and so they did what they were told never to do. They made a deal with Ribbadon, the great Frog God of Wealth. “Give us a silver coin,” they said, and he did, on the condition that they return the coin that year, or else owe it and its double the next year, and so on, forever. Well, they bought the ox, and with that ox they bought a pair more, and soon they appeared quite rich.

I write “appeared” because, in fact, they were deeply indebted to old Ribbadon. As the two grew in age and worry, they sought to make good on their debt, but there was one problem: They had, of course, spent that silver coin many decades ago, so they were at a loss. Until, they realized, with all their wealth, they could forge a coin like the one they were given, and fool the old frog.

Wheelbarrows filled with silver and gold were led to Ribbadon’s court, and in a single swipe of his tongue, he swallowed years of profit in an instant, and then bellowed his judgment. “You have paid me back one more coin than you owe me, yet one less than you took.” The brothers knew instantly that their deception had been for naught, but before they could object, a curse descended. “There is no fortune too rich in taste for my tongue, and until I have my coin, on your tongues will be the only way to hold your fortune.”

When the brothers, their kin, their descendents, and even their servants returned home, they found that anything they’d carried with them had been turned into something else of the same weight. Gold coins turned lead. Prayer books transformed into straw. A rock to a diamond.

This is why you see those caravans now, hauling mysterious cargo across the grasslands and deserts of the heartland. They’re trading whatever it is they can, forever, in doomed worship of Ribbadon. Paying down interest. And looking for that old coin. They’ll tell you that the lesson is that you cannot stop change, and so you must lean in to the chaos. Let yourself and everything you have be changed by curse of the heartland. And they’ll demonstrate their new mastery over magics alchemical, illusionary, and alterative as proof of their philosophy’s power.

And yet... sometimes they’ll tell you nothing at all, the hypocrites, because in their mouths they carry cargo they are desperate to keep. It is as old Ribbadon implied: Whatever they hold on their tongues is kept from the curse.

Mechanics of the curse[edit | edit source]

When a member of the caravan arrives at a new destination, the items they carry stay the same weight, but change drastically in every other quality. The only exception to this is anything that they hold underneath their tongue.

Gallery[edit | edit source]