Andrew Fletcher [stats] is a half-elf who was traded to the Dewdrop Man, or Minstrel as he was known then, by his aunt and uncle in exchange for safety and prosperity. He spent nearly 5 generations stuck as a 10 year old in the feywild. Over the decades, he has learned much from his fey captor and captor’s friends. He is a clever deceiver and talented at avoiding or escaping sudden traps or enemies. Ten years ago, he won his freedom and returned to the mortal plane where he finally began to age once more.
Andrew lived by attaching himself to one caravan or another, always posing as someone else’s child until enough people talked and realized he belonged to no one. He traveled with a circus for a while and learned some acrobatics, but eventually ended up working with an artificer merchant who taught Andrew all he knew. Combined with what he had learned in the Feywild, Andrew became a formidable merchant who is sought after by those who like rare magical items.
Andrew has collected or created an inventory of cursed and blessed objects that he sells. He uses the items to mete out justice at his own discretion.
Everyone in Fletcher’s Perch only knows Andrew as a mysterious merchant who goes by ‘Alf “Alfie” Minstrel,’ ALF being his initials (Andrew Lionel Fletcher) and Minstrel being the name his captor once went by. His reputation is being a smooth talker who always gets the better end of his bargains and whose wares are dangerous to own. To some he’s also known as an unlikely savior.
What’s Going On?
Andrew travels widely. He’s back in Fletcher’s Perch at the point that he knows the Minstrel’s/Dewdrop Man’s power is beginning to wane. This is not the first time he’s stopped by the town. Andrew doesn’t quite know what he wants from the town his aunt and uncle created. Part of him wants to destroy it. Part of him wants to protect it from the Minstrel/Dewdrop Man. He is torn by his own impulses and so has decided to linger as an observer until he makes up his mind. He does, however, have a very deep soft spot for children.
When Andrew hears about the Dewdrop Man, he knows exactly who the children are meeting. Since he doesn’t know what he wants to do yet, he neither interferes or ignores what is going on. Instead, he can be relied on to drop some cryptic hints that should lead others to discover what is happening and force them to make their own choices.
Andrew cares about injustice, but half-hates the town, so he is more likely, again, to lead others to the problem than he is to take action himself. The exception being anyone who harms children or robs others of choices or freedom. When he does intervene, he does so through magical objects that seem innocuous but carry secondary properties.
For example, he sold Tommen Maguire a silver raven figurine. As long as Tommen spends his nights within 50 feet of the figurine, he is plagued by a deep and debilitating fear of the sky. He only ventures out on cloudy days now and even that is difficult for him. Andrew did this because he learned Tommen killed his childhood friend years ago and then disguised the murder as an animal attack. He got away with it and there’s no longer any proof of his deeds, so Andrew enacted his own justice.
Andrew’s Childhood in the Feywild
After Andrew’s parents died in a fire when he was five, he went to live with his human aunt and uncle. They traveled a lot looking for a new, safe place to live. When he was 10, he was traded to the Minstrel (Dewdrop Man) in exchange for safety and prosperity. He lived with the Minstrel for nearly 5 generations, never aging. While he did gain knowledge and skills, he was always small and his brain remained that of a 10 year old with all the impulses, etc that implies.
Life in the Feywild wasn’t always horrible, which makes the whole period of time even worse. At times, the Minstrel acted like he cherished Andrew and would lavish him with gifts, play games, etc. That’d go on for up to five years at a time and then he’d suddenly start ignoring Andrew with no warning or ‘testing’ him with locked rooms, mazes, and the like.
Part of Andrew loves the Minstrel because, for generations, he was the only adult Andrew could somewhat rely on. Part of him still wants to earn the Minstrel’s approval. And a great part of him hates him as well. While Andrew was often put into danger, he was always given the tools he needed to survive (providing he could find them and figure out their use). Also, he was never hurt directly on purpose and the Minstrel protected him from those who would hurt him. Andrew still doesn’t know if he did this because he felt some affection for Andrew or because he didn’t like others harming his possessions.
A decade ago, Andrew tricked the Minstrel and won his freedom. The Minstrel gave him a ring that, if activated, will return Andrew to the Feywild. As much as Andrew wants to destroy it, he can’t make himself do so.
When Andrew began living in the material plane, he struggled because, on one level he was still 10 years old, but on another, he was much, much older. He misses the Feywild because he knows it better than the Material Plane. He tends to act more like an Archfey than a half-elf.
If asked about his childhood in the Feywild, Andrew will deflect or share inconsequential stories. Ultimately, he’ll say it was lonely, but not always, dangerous, but also safe. It was horrible except when it was wonderful. And, if really pressed, he’ll admit that he both hated his time there and wishes he could go back.
What if Andrew and the Dewdrop Man Meet?
First, Andrew will avoid this at all costs. If tricked into a meeting, though, the conversation may be slightly stilted with about a half dozen underlying meanings. The Dewdrop Man/Minstrel will remark on Andrew using one of his names and will say that Andrew should return home. Andrew will point out that Fletcher’s Perch should have been his home. If the Dewdrop Man/Minstrel asks if it was all bad, Andrew will avoid answering the question, but, if forced, will admit that it wasn’t, but that doesn’t mean it was good either. This relationship is very complicated and fraught and should be played as such.
Andrew has a whole slew of magical items, weapons, and armor. He keeps his many bags of holding locked shut with locks of trickery to prevent thieves. Andrew is very open to bargaining; the range of gold next to each item below represents how much he’ll request and how much he’ll accept. He is also willing to let buyers supplement their payments with favors. Sometimes he’ll provide a sending stone with a promise to contact them in the future.
Always in Stock
Bag of Holding (2d6 for sale), 500-900 gold
Star Stones (2d10 + 2 for sale), 30-100 gold (but he’ll give these away to children who are afraid of the dark; these stones emit dim light in a 10ft radius when the command word ‘starlight’ is spoken; ‘off’ stops the effect)
Potion of Animal Friendship (3d4 for sale), 100-300 gold
Ring of Jumping (2d4 for sale), 600-1,000 gold (but he’ll give one away to kids to play with)
Summon sticks (not for sale; given to children only; Andrew is alerted mentally when the stick is broken)
Requested by Name
Common (75-125 gold):
1-40, Andrew has none in stock;
41-85, Andrew has 1d4 in stock;
86-100, Andrew has 1d6 in stock
Uncommon (400-700 gold):
1-55, Andrew has none in stock;
56 to 90, Andrew has 1d4 in stock;
91-100, Andrew has 1d6 in stock
Rare (3,000 to 6,000 gold):
1-75, Andrew has none in stock;
76-90, Andrew has 1d4 in stock;
91-100, Andrew has 1d6 in stock
Very Rare (30,000 to 60,000 gold):
1-90, Andrew has none in stock;
91-97, Andrew has 1 in stock;
98-100, Andrew has 1d4 in stock
Legendary (200,000 to 300,000 gold):
1-97, Andrew has none in stock,
98-100, Andrew has 1 in stock
Artifacts (500,000+ gold):
1-99, Andrew has none in stock;
100, Andrew has 1 in stock
If an item is consumable, it should cost up to ½ of the listed price.
Randomly Drawn Items
Roll 1d100; for prices refer to the ‘Requested by Name’ column
1-65: Common item
66-80: Uncommon item
81-95: Rare item
96-99: Very rare item
100: Legendary item
Almost every common, uncommon, and rare item Andrew sells has either a curse or a blessing placed upon it. He never gives a child a cursed item, not even a mean child. The below columns offer suggestions; feel free to create your own.
When wearing or holding the item, the user can cast the Bless spell once upon themself.
The user’s nightmares are redirected to those who harm them, leaving the user with good dreams
The user may reroll one failed ability check or saving throw; the single charge renews after a long rest
The user may cast the Shield spell once and the Shield endures for 10 minutes, ending if the user stops wearing or holding the object; the single charge renews after a long rest
The user may cast Cure Wounds at the 2nd level three times (healing 2d8+spellcasting modifier or plus 1 if a non-spellcaster); all three charges renew after a long rest
The user must roll with Disadvantage on all [Ability] checks.
The user is plagued by nightmares they are convinced are prophetic dreams.
A glowing sign appears over the user’s head as a warning to others for as long as they use the item. If they stop using the item, the effect persists until they take a long rest. The user cannot see the sign and does not believe others who say they see it. Warnings include: Liar, Cheater, Child-Beater, Spouse-Beater, Coward, Murderer, Rapist, Thief
The user is overcome with a deep fear for something of Andrew’s choosing. Common options are their own family, the sky, water, the dark, and spiders. The user or someone else can try to understand the source of the sudden, new fear with an Investigate DC 18 check.
The user becomes unusually protective of the item and begins to believe that everyone else is trying to steal it from them. They are driven to extreme actions as they try to keep the item safe and in their own possession. Eventually they become hermits who refuse to interact with others out of paranoid fear.
What Can the Players Do?
Andrew can fill a few different roles in the game.
First, he is a magic item merchant. This gives players an opportunity to purchase magic items and to learn rumors about the road and distant lands. Additionally, if the GM wants to bring in a specific item, they can include it within Andrew’s inventory and offer it for cheap plus a couple favors.
Second, Andrew is a quest giver. He is very willing to trade items and sensitive information for favors. If he doesn’t have an immediate favor to request, he’ll give the players a sending stone with a promise to contact them when he needs them.
- Reyna Hilt is abusing her two children (Ben and Helia). The children have pinch bruises on their thighs and upper arms and are frequently denied dinner or are locked out of the house at night. Their father, Benjamin, is a traveling merchant selling wool, candles, and etc, who is only home a few months a year. Andrew wants the players to stop Reyna’s abuses and, most importantly, ensure the children are protected. Reyna is only a Commoner, but the trick is figuring out how to handle the situation so that the children are best helped.
- Paul Wilder stole a ring of jumping from Andrew the last time he came through town. The item is cursed and is driving Paul into paranoia. He is no longer taking good care of himself and has isolated himself in a cabin about 2 days from Fletcher’s Perch to protect his precious ring. Paul is a young adult and Andrew figures he has suffered enough for his theft. He wants the players to retrieve the ring from Paul, ideally without harming Paul. Whoever touches the ring, though, will be affected by the curse. Andrew doesn’t share that last tidbit unless pressed. Paul’s paranoia and devotion to his ring means you should use Cultist stats for him. The fight would be easy at any level; the trick is not harming him and then handling the curse when it transfers to a member of the party.
- Andrew has spotted a fey creature on the borders of the forest near where the children play. He is worried the children will be harmed and so wants the players to handle the creature. The creature(s) should be a Hard encounter with fey creatures. Suggestions are below:
- Levels 1-3: Green Hag, possibly with some protective Shadows, or a Dryad, possibly with some protective Sprites
- Levels 4-6: Night Hag, potentially with a protective Ogre
- Levels 7-10: A Treant with 5-10 protective Sprites
- Levels 11-15: Two Dryads and 1-3 Treants
- Levels 15-18: A coven of Hags, potentially with a protective Ogre or Troll
- Levels 18-20: The Dewdrop Man, potentially with protective Treants
Third, Andrew is deeply tied to the history of the town and the Dewdrop Man. He will provide cryptic information about each, unless convinced by the players to intervene (Note: Convincing him should involve completing one favor well). If he is convinced, he’ll share everything he knows. He may also give the group a magic item or even each character a common or uncommon magic item uniquely suited to them. Andrew will not join the fight against the Dewdrop Man, if the players unwisely decide to fight him, citing the ‘deal’ he made in exchange for his freedom a decade ago.
Fourth, Andrew can be a villain. If Andrew decides that the town should be destroyed, he may decide to give away or sell for very low prices cursed items designed to kill a lot of people or drive them paranoid. In this case, the players would need to find and collect his items or convince the townspeople to hand over all of their new magical items. Then they would likely need to fight Andrew or otherwise convince him to give up his revenge.
- Convincing Andrew to Give Up His Revenge: Andrew’s stubbornness and pain is at DC 30 to overcome. The players can make up to 5 arguments to overcome this 30. If the argument fails, but the roll was 15 or higher, the DC lowers by 5. A critical failure raises the DC by 5. A natural 20 lowers the DC by 10. Players can get advantage by proof to back up their arguments (e.g., his aunt’s diary, a child who lives in town asking him to stop, etc).
- First roll: 15, Fail, but the DC lowers to 25
- Second roll: 19, Fail but the DC lowers to 20
- Third roll: 1, Critical fail, the DC raises to 25
- Fourth roll: natural 20, Fail, but the DC lowers to 15
- Fifth roll: 16, Success!
Fifth, Andrew is a very perceptive and insightful person. While he doesn’t know everything that’s going on in the town, he is very good at telling when people have something to hide or whether they’re telling the truth. He’s also good at guessing motives. The GM can use Andrew to give hints to the players as they engage in other plots. His hints should be limited to reading people, though, and any secrets he may have picked up in exchange for discounts on items or by listening to children.