Barter Circles

Barter Circles

Barter Circle


Since the beginning of time, impromptu Monster Markets have sprung up in neutral zones throughout Obscuria – typically wilderness locations far from the prying eyes of Nodds. Some say that the first ones to spring up were Trolla Wrestling Bazaars, while others claim that Faerie Faires were surely first, while Goblins claim that the Red Goblin Trade Circus predates all others.

One can imagine a harried Goblin Shoe merchant trading with a Slyph Crystaline bladesmith, or a Trolla Brewer selling his Doombrew to some forlorn turnip farmers. It is a place of both wonder and commerce, where ideas and cultures mix as freely as the Thyr crystals and Hex Charms.

All can agree that the tradition of mixed species gathering together, trading wares in a neutral zone, is a foundation to Monstrous Society. They typically last no more than 3 nights, and take place inside a circle of stones. Anyone who can find and see a Barter Circle is welcome, including Manlings.

Once can imagine a turnip farmer witnessing a nighttime hillside glow with such a market, and wandering in trading his turnips for shimmering shoes for his children.

Baron Davis himself is said to have been brought to his first Barter Circle by Marrow Thatch in the Spring of 1903, where he claims to have purchased 70 bottles of rancid Norgat Mead. (Which only could get better over time.)

Being a true neutral zone, even Monsterologists have frequented Barter Circles, well before the Monster Rangers were even founded. It is said that they have a particular interest in Monster Mort, discarded shells, bones, and horns of monstrous beasts. Since Trolla and Elph trade together, the Monsterologists are tolerated (they always pay in antique gold Bullion.) Other strange folk also have been witnessed at Barter Circles, including Government Agents, Cultists, and the clinically unsane.]

Running a Barter Circle is easy! Just tell folks about it ahead of time, find some tables or a log, and bring out the BARTERING! Just make sure that you follow the rules, because they are sacred.


1. All Monsters, Manlings (and other beings seen and unseen) that can find the BARTER CIRCLE are welcome to trade here.

2. Barter Circle is a zone of non-violence, that reaches 100 paces from the Barter Totem at the center of market. The edge will be marked by stones. Outside of the 200 pace circle, it is the WILDS, and Natural Law rules.

3. The Barter Circle is adjudicated by the BARTER WARDEN, an official (often elected) for the 3 evenings. The BARTER WARDEN deals with all trade disputes, acts of violence, and taxation within the Circle.

4. The BARTER WARDEN has no say or concern over the WILDS.

5. The verdict of the BARTER WARDEN is Law.

6. TRICKERY is a long held tradition of BARTER CIRCLE; Caveat emptor. The BARTER WARDEN has little time for Foolish Mortals who do not know this.

7. Actions counter to the health of the CIRCLE are unlawful, and subject to the rulings of the WARDEN. You are responsible to bring such problems to the WARDEN.

8. BARTER CIRCLE Crisis allow the WARDEN to call upon the LAW of LEGION, where for one night, the entire community bands together under the WARDEN’s command, to deal with the crisis. This has happened only 3 times last Century, and is an remarkable occurrence.

About The Author

Steam Crow

Daniel has a lifelong fascination with Monsters, Halloween, illustration, pen & paper rpgs, collecting miniatures, watching movies, and listening to and playing music. He's been a graphic designer since 1994; Monster Rangers is a culmination of all of his personal projects in one. He lives in Arizona with Dawna and Goblin, and runs the Steam Crow.

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