Savage Treasures

February 1st, 2017

Josh Zaback

Magic Market Archive

I don’t know about you, but it always stretches my imagination just a little bit about the kind of art objects you find in the lairs of orcs, ogres, and other savage monstrous creatures. Sure, some things they will have looted from intelligent humanoids, but how many of you travel around with golden cups and ivory elephant statuettes? This week’s article looks at ten art objects you might find in the lairs of savage humanoids.

1. A cracked stained glass window. This window was forcibly removed from the north face of a chapel devoted to a god of winter and frost. The window itself features a mountain scene, painted in beautiful blues and greens. Only slightly damaged, it could fetch a few hundred gold pieces at any market, but the church it belongs to is offering a special reward for its repair and return.

2. A necklace of birds. This handsome necklace belongs to an ogre shaman who captured and subsequently killed a number of colorful tropical birds. Having loved the colors of the birds, he decided to preserve their bodies with a gentle repose spell and string them together to be worn as a necklace. Though macabre, the necklace is undeniably attractive and would fetch between 50 and 200 gp for the right buyer.

3. A dreamcatcher made from spider silk and tiger teeth. Created by the high priest for the chieftain of an orc tribe who was troubled by nightmares, this large dreamcatcher has a frame comprised of two massive sabretooth tiger teeth, and is filled with silvery spider webs in a complex pattern. Though it is doubtful the device works as intended, it could have considerable value as an art object.

4. A large dress made from deer pelt and decorated with polished bones. This floor length dress is worn by the queen of a tribe of gnolls and has a savage beauty about it. Though currently covered in blood and other fluids, once cleaned, this garment would make an ideal gift for any woman of nature, but particularly one that felt a primal call to the harsh realities of life and death, away from the trappings of civilization.

5. A brass platter locked in an iron chest. The goblins hoarding this platter assumed it was a giant gold coin (and thus of greater value than all other gold coins). They stored it in the safest spot they knew and even guarded it with traps. The brass is tarnished and worth very little, but the goblins overlooked the value of the silverware that accompanied the platter, which was haphazardly thrown in with it.

6. An animal skin drum. This beautiful drum is made from local hardwood and covered with the dried skin of a horse. Owing to a unique quality of the hardwood, the drum produces an inspiring acoustic effect, and is, through no fault of its creator, one of the finest instruments within the kingdom, and the perfect remedy to cure the melancholy of the court bard.

7. A human skull set with fine gemstones for teeth. Apparently revered as some kind of idol by the savage folks who guard this treasure, it is unclear who the individual is, and none of the tribe seem to know or care about the original identity of the skull. Where its teeth once were, polished gems of tourmaline and lapis lazuli give it a colorful grin. Though the gems have a value on their own, the piece as  whole is considerably more valuable, though it may be difficult to convince the savage tribe to part with their “god head,” as they call it, much less find a buyer willing to admit to wanting such a treasure.

8. A barrel full of cured meat. This massive 80 lb. barrel contains dried and spiced beef, elk, and pork meat, once meant for sale. Attracted to the smell, it was seized by a group of troglodytes; however, they found that they preferred fresher meat and have barely touched the stock. In addition to being delicious and satisfying, the high-quality meat could feed a tavern full of people and should fetch at least 100 gold if hauled out of its keeping place.

9. A cracked mirror. This silver framed mirror holds a place of reverence among a tribe of hobgoblins. The reason for this seems obvious: though the mirror is badly damaged and severely cracked, within its shattered planes one can catch glimpses of a beautiful woman of indeterminate humanoid race, pacing about a golden palace. She audibly whispers through the mirror in an unknown language, appearing to be begging for help.

10. A crude wooden statue of a massive mountain orc. This full-sized orc statue at first seems unremarkable, but anyone trained in woodcraft knows that this towering statue is made from a special sort of wood, which comes from trees that only grow on ground where diamonds can be found. Though convincing the orcs to reveal where they got the wood might be difficult, the rewards would be generous.