While carefully cataloging my chest of looted and liberated goods, I was struck by the realization that I may have a mandrake problem. Through diligent harvesting and frisking of crushed mages, my mandrake supply far exceeds my usage. Some would say that’s not possible, but I admit that I simply have more than I need.

Under normal circumstances, I would slip the stockpile into some nondescript sacks, hitch up the wagon, and under the cover of darkness make my way to Owl’s Head to sell a few backpacks worth of goods to the reagents merchant for a handsome profit.

However, the sting of that salt transportation incident is still fresh in my mind and I would prefer not to have any constabulary entanglements and be held in the Clink at Lord Enmar’s pleasure.

So, instead of venturing into the dragon’s nest and putting myself to the hazard, I will bring those in need of mandrake to me. I have spoken with my man Habberdash, who has agreed to set up shop at our crafting pavilion. Since this our first batch for sale on the open market, we are willing to sell a small sample at less than market value.

In order to recognize a buyer who knows a high quality product from some clearly disguised enforcer of jurisprudence, Habberdash will only respond to a predetermined call sign. When greeted with the phrase, “The drunken condor wears no pants,” he will reply with “Hmm, I don’t understand.” This will weave a web of confusion to would be eavesdroppers.

If he’s comfortable with the transaction he will give a wink, a nudge, and then open the special chest containing our mandrake stash.

We’ve also got an excess of nightshade plants, so if you’re in the market for some quality reagens, we might be able to do some business.

More brilliant musings about my adventures in New Britannia

We’ve had some form of random encounter, on and off, for well over a year, but by and large they haven’t been of any great interest. However, I find the new Random Encounters are a nice step forward.

The new encounters give an opportunity to grab some quick loot and resources. When I see a Bandit or Skeleton skulking in the distance looking bandity or boney, I head straight toward them. This gives me the chance to loot their pockets, harvest wood from multiple trees, collect cotton and grab both gold and copper. And since the scene resets each time, the nodes are replenished. The regular mines have significantly dropped their yields, so I find this is a quick and easy way to make up the difference.

The skeleton scenes also provide a good source of mandrake and nightshade. Look carefully around the ring of stones. The mandrake root can be hard to see, but it’s there in quantity.

Scenes with wolves and stags offer a grand opportunity for the hunt. Again, trees and cotton are readily available, and I take great pleasure in reliving those wolves of their winter coats. Depending on where you go, there might be an opportunity to do some crocodile wrestling. With the new crating recipes, those carcasses are needed for the butchery station.

These are not the highest yield nodes and resources, but since they spawn so quickly, their frequency makes up the difference. They will continue to adapt and change as we move forward, such as sieges and gypsy wagons. But if you are roaming the overworld, I would take advantage of these new scenes, especially since they will most likely be scaled back.

More brilliant musings about my adventures in New Britannia

Now that I’ve found some interesting places, it’s time to turn attention to finding resources and reagents. That took me over to the Northmarsh, Mysterious Swamp and West Ravenswood. Up to this point, I have avoided the swamps, mainly because they are swamps. They’re dirty, smelly, stinky places loaded with sludge and too many things I can’t identify and I really don’t need that seeping into my boots. But that is where the reagents are, so that was my destination.

I figured I would start off with something simple and went in search of the Black Pearl, the actual pearl, not the ship with some crazy, wild-eyed, drunk captain at the helm. I’d never seen oysters before, but after conferring with The Mad Hermit, I was ready to give it a go. In West Ravenswood, I made my way over to the small creek where the bears happened to be frolicking. If you look really closely at the banks, you will see oysters. But seriously, you have to look really closely! If you go running through there with packs of spiders, wolves, bears and skeletons on your heels, you won’t see them. Not only do they look like rocks, they look like very hard to see rocks. But I found several clusters of oysters and managed to pull out quite a few pearls. I had to contend with several bears who thought my walking in their stream with dirty, steel-toed boots was unacceptable, but after they knocked me down a couple of times, I turned them into slippers.

With a couple of pearls in my pocket, I went over to the Northmarsh to see what I could find. I stumbled through the dank water, slipped on the boggy mud and eventually found the elusive Nightshade plant. Garlic is easy to see. Cotton is very noticeable. Nightshade is damn near invisible. You will really need to take a couple of steps, stop and look around. Keep in mind this area has spiders, wolves, skeletons and kobolds. It’s not the type of place to stop and smell the roses. It’s not the type of place to stop and smell.

Feeling giddy from the lack of oxygen and perhaps from blood loss associated with leeches in my boots, I went over to the Mysterious Swamp to see what mysteries it held for me. Oddly, this is a pretty rich resource environment. I found cotton, maple, pine, copper ore and garlic with no problem. I even found a cluster of oysters right next to the rotting wood walkway. Really? Oysters in a swamp? Who eats those?

And what of Nightshade? Yes, it can be found here as well and it’s just as hard to see. I haven’t found the Mandrake Root yet, but I’m not done looking. I know what it should look like, just have to find the right spot. This really isn’t the type of place I want to come at night and look for things. It’s nasty as can be out there.


Do you see the oysters? They’re ever so slightly to the right and directly in front of me.


Same bed of oysters now that I’ve harvested them. Told you, very hard to see these little rascals.


Do you see the Nightshade plant next to the cotton? Cotton on the right, Nightshade on the left.


Nice deposit of Copper to be mined. Don’t forget, Spiders are resources too – Spider silk, Venom Sack, Spider Leg.


Seriously, that Nightshade plant is tricky to see!


Look! Dirty oysters!

More brilliant musings about my adventures in New Britannia

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