[edit] BPRD Field Guide

[edit] The Guide

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Tales of the Troll Markets first appear as early as 12,000 B.C.E., in the region now known as the Sahara Desert - then, a lush and fertile paradise. As the climate grew arid, the human and magical populations migrated outward, spreading across Europe and Asia.
In 1799, French explorers discovered a cache of ancient Egyptian tablets. The most famous of these is, of course, the Rosetta Stone, but in 1822, Jean-Francois Champollion deciphered passages on another tablet that referred to a bazaar frequented by magical creatures. Unfortunately, the tablet was destroyed in the great Paris flood of 1910, and only Champollion's incomplete translation has survived.

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Dark Ages

During the inquisition of 1478, almost all contact with and record of magical creatures disappeared; only a handful of poems and legends survives. Nearly two centuries later, fires ravaging through London revealed the ruins of a Troll Market beneath the city. At the time, authorities insisted that the remains of the Market were in fact the foundations of Londinium, a town established by the Romans circa 400 B.C.E.

John Deak

In 1836, occultist and explorer John Deak discovered a thriving Troll Market underneath the London Bridge. Deak's diary, containing detailed notes and drawings, remains the most comprehensive human record of the Troll Market of that time.

Deak's Diary

The diary containing Deak's record of his trip to the Troll Market was discovered in 1893 by workers demolishing the building where it had been stored with a handful of other artifacts of unknown origin. Both diary and artifacts remained in the possession of a private collector until 1946, when they were purchased by the British government. They currently reside in the vaults of the British Museum.

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Land of Opportunity

The Great Troll Migration took place during the late Victorian period, when thousands of trolls stowed away on ships to America, living in cargo holds and subsisting on rats and other small vermin. They first established colonies in New York, then spread down the East Coast. However, they were far from the first magical creatures to make their way to the New World; records indicate that Spanish soldiers found native enclaves in Central and South America as early as 1512.

Link to "comic pages 1-3" (direct link)
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Troll Markets in the Twenty-First Century

As of the compilation of this guide, London, New York, Hong Kong, and Mexico City are all home to thriving Troll Markets. Most share a basic layout and certain common features.

Main Entrance

The largest of several known entrances to London's underground Market.

Handle with care

A vendor's prosthetic arm is testament to the dangers of the care and trading of magical creatures.

Street performers fill every available cranny -- in this case, the niche behind a butcher's gristly display.

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On the Streets

The alleyways of the Market are crowded with potion vendors and artifact mongers, as well as smokehouses and cult centers.

Trading Information

Scroll vendors offer ancient secrets and lost knowledge to the highest bidder, and their territory is among the most dangerous areas of the Market.

To protect them from damage and theft, particularly valuable scrolls are generally packaged in magical cases, accessible only to their intended recipients.

This graffiti design, found stenciled in urban locations around the world, is rumored to mark entrances to Troll Markets. It is said that, with the aid of an incantation, and individual may use these magical doors to transverse the globe in a matter of seconds.

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Dry-Goods Peddlers

Colorful wooden masks are popular among the peddlers and patrons of the Troll Market. The purpose of these masks -- whether their patterns denote social status, family affiliation, or intent; or simply reflect the current fashions -- remains a mystery. This particular mask covers the face of one of the most common sights in the Market: a dry-goods vendor, hawking herbs and other ingredients regularly used in the making of magical potions. Although most such vendors carry limited wares, they are often affiliated with and can direct customers to black-market traders who sell much rarer items.

Fluid Vendors

Patrons looking for pre-mixed potions can often purchase them from vendors like this one, who offer a wide rage of medicinal, magical, and recreational concoctions, from refreshin beverages to strong hallucinogens. Please note that B.P.R.D. policy expressly forbids agents from consuming any unidentified or potentially paranormal substance without prior authorization.

Link to "comic pages 4-6" (direct link)

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Like any bazaar, the Troll Market has its share of beggars, Some barter labor and services for merchandise; others turn to picking pockets.

Goblin Cooks

Goblins are widely known for their skill at handicrafts; it is less common knowledge that those crafts include cooking. The goblin cooks at the Market are invariably high demand for the exotic delicacies they create.

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Creature Catchers

Often confused with butchers, creature catchers deal in a different sort of fare: exotic animals intended for use in potions, spells, and, very occasionally, gourmet cookery. Their wares are among the most expensive in the Market, and for additional fees, some can be commissioned to hunt rarer quarries still.

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Hookah Smokers

Every large Troll Market features at least one "smoke house" (more often a tent), where patrons can imbibe opium or other, more exotic intoxicants. Those who prefer the open air often hire carriers to transport them around the market while they smoke.

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Fortune Tellers

For as long as there have been Troll Markets, fortune tellers have been among their mainstays, and many can still trace their lineage back to the Markets of ancient Egypt. For a handful of coins, they will contact dead loved ones, deliver messages by way of dreams, and predict the future with disarming accuracy.

Link to "comic pages 7-10" (direct link)