The Planar Merchant


Trader and crafter extraordinaire.


Aro is a strange man that is never seen outside of his store, "Aro's Curious Curios." The store always appears out of nowhere and vanishes the same way, seemingly at the whim of its owner. It is a large, glistening, smooth, black pyramid with a single entrance over which the store's name is etched into what looks like onyx. Upon first visiting and looking about the showroom, a visitor might feel underwhelmed by the wares on display. Such things as a bowl full of variously colored 'lucky' rabbit's feet, enchanted brooms of sweeping, minor magical swords, and low power potions are seen throughout the store.

The proprietor himself is a tall, imposingly built man of alabaster white skin and no hair whatsoever, not even eyebrows or lashes. His eyes are completely black and glossy, like the outside of his store. He wears a dark grey and black suit of robes that appear to have been crafted from rubbery bones and flesh. He speaks with an unplaceable and unique accent full of strangely timed pauses and odd word choice as if the common tongue is new and difficult for him to speak in.

Despite the humble showroom, those that enter Aro's with sufficient wealth will find that much, much more is available. The Merchant can instantly create any magical item, even custom-designed ones with effects never before seen in any branch of magical study. Despite the best efforts of the Sendrellan, one of these unique items has never been successfull reverse engineered.

What keeps your average Joe from walking in off the street and having access to his most desired items is Aro's membership gates. Aro will only craft custom items for those with a membership with his store. Almost everyone that has a membership cites different specifics of the deal, indicating that the Merchant custom tailors each membership to each customer. That said, there are a few commonalities. One such common theme are the names of the levels. Those that are known are as follows, in order of lowest to highest: Basic, Standard, Premium, Silver, Gold, Platinum, Black, Transcendant, Akashic.

Each membership typically involves two costs for the aspiring member: a one-time fee, and a guarantee of future business. The fees can become extremely exorbitant, with the higher tiers of membership carrying a fee that cannot be paid in money alone. The guarantee of business usually involves signing a magical contract that ensures the member will only buy and sell certain types of goods and services from Aro. Membership may also include altered selling or purchasing prices and/or access to unique goods and services (such as Aro's Bank and Trust, instant delivery systems that allow for remote shopping, or even the ability to teleport to Aro's store a limited number of times per day).

Even this isn't what brings most of Aro's business to the Curious Curios. It is his ability to trade in intangible goods. Such things as souls, quinetessence, years of life, talents and skills, and even True Names have been known to be accepted as currency, or required as payment for some of his services. For this reason many extraplanar beings have memberships with Aro, especially demons and devils, who enjoy exchanging other currency for souls to torment.

Aro services the good and evil alike, and seems to be utterly disconnected from the world and its events, and uncaring of the consequences of his universal trading policies.

Despite his many, many customers, anyone that enters the store never sees anyone else in the showroom other than themselves, any allies they entered with, and Aro himself. It is unknown whether this means that there are potentially hundreds or thousands of identical, seemingly omnipotent magical crafters, or various phases of one shop, or some other eldritch explanation.

Despite all that is known about Aro's Curious Curios and Aro himself, he remains one of Torar's greatest mysteries.