Random Encounters
City Scenes, Part 1
By Skip Williams

Goolstoc's Transport

Goolstoc's is one of several freight companies operating in the city. Goolstoc's specializes in porters, stevedores, and sedan chair carriers. The majority of its employees are actually slaves or indentured servants (depending on exactly what kinds of servitude your campaign allows). Goolstoc's considers itself a progressive firm, and one of its recent innovations is a freight and taxi service that utilizes a big wheelbarrow and one of Goolstoc's more unusual employees, the ogre Oyin Horsetail.

Not long ago, when Oyin's tribe began raiding the rural areas near the city, local military talent captured the entire tribe. At the time, Oyin had served his tribe as a scout, and his chief had selected him for the job because Oyin was comparatively weaker than most ogres, but he was also fleeter of foot. Though better suited to the task than most of his tribe, Oyin still wasn't very good at scouting, and the city's troops had little difficulty capturing him.

Oyin's wheelbarrow is roughly 5 feet wide, 5 feet long, and a 1 1/2 feet deep. It contains two folding seats that each can hold one Medium creature. It can hold about 400 pounds. When Oyin pushes the wheelbarrow, divide the weight of the cargo or passengers by three when calculating Oyin's load. Oyin can push the fully loaded wheelbarrow at his full speed of 50 feet, which makes the wheelbarrow as speedy as most horse-drawn vehicles.

Oyin works on the city's streets from dawn until dusk, every day of the week. He's a hard worker who prides himself on his ability to quickly reach any destination a customer names. The basic rate for his services is 3 copper pieces a mile, with a minimum fare of 1 copper piece (exact change only). The rate applies per trip and it's the same no matter how much cargo or how many passengers Oyin carries on a trip. A locked cashbox Oyin wears around his neck holds the fares. Oyin does not have a key.

Never particularly ferocious, Oyin has come to enjoy his job, though he'd rather become an adventurer. (His current goal is to become a famous ranger.) The people of the city have come to accept Oyin. The ogre is unfailingly polite (as the runt of his tribe, Oyin has had a lot of practice when in comes to groveling), and he shows a genuine soft spot for animals. On most days, one or two stray cats ride the wheelbarrow (except when customers object) and at least one mongrel dog walks at the ogre's heels.

Oyin Horsetail: Male ogre barbarian 2; CR 5; Large giant; HD 4d8+8 plus 2d12+4; hp 43; Init +0; Spd 50 ft.; AC 16, touch 9, flat-footed 16; Base Atk +5; Grp +14; Atk or Full Atk +9 melee (1d8+5, sap); Space/Reach 10 ft./10 ft.; SQ darkvision 60 ft., fast movement, low-light vision, rage 1/day, uncanny dodge; AL CG; SV Fort +9, Ref +1, Will +4; Str 21, Dex 10, Con 15, Int 8, Wis 12, Cha 9.

Skills and Feats: Climb +8, Handle Animal +1, Heal +3, Hide -4, Jump +15, Listen +5, Spot +5, Survival +5; Alertness, Iron Will, Self-Sufficient.

Rage (Ex): Once per day, Oyin can enter a state of fierce rage that lasts for 7 rounds. The following changes are in effect as long as he rages: hp 55; AC 14, touch 7, flat-footed 14; Grp +16; Atk or Full Atk +11 melee (1d8+7, sap); SV Fort +11, Will +6; Str 25, Con 19; Climb +10, Jump +17. At the end of his rage, Oyin is fatigued for the duration of the encounter.

Possessions: Leather armor, sap, gauntlets of ogre power +2, small locked box with 11-20 cp.

Cats (1-2): hp 2 each, see Monster Manual page 270.

Dogs (1-2): hp 6 each, see Monster Manual page 271.

Lockbox: 1 in. thick; hardness 8; hp 30; break DC 28, Open Lock DC 25.

Bringing the Parts Together

Because Oyin ranges all over the city, the PCs could meet him anywhere. He might be on hand to help them make a quick getaway from the mob of philosophers with clubs (see Part Two), or he might be the subject of their wrath. Oyin is in well with Madame Phadra (see Part Three), and he gladly endorses the efficacy of her potions and herbal balms. Oyin also might have escaped from the deadly pudding (see Part Four) or witnessed a street collapse (see Part Five).

Coming in Part 2 of City Scenes

Philosophers of any ilk often can cause people to question some very touchy matters. Find out what happens when a group of them adds a more physical dimension to their arguments.

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