Looking for a Home? Think About SKARA BRAE
By Penn-Hedley III
The word that comes to mind for Skara Brae is "underutilized". The 25 merchants are more than you find in Minoc or Magincia (only slightly fewer than Trinsic or Moonglow. Not only that, the town is safe and compact with a moongate almost in the centre of town. Besides that, the distribution of resources among the most useful skills is more practical than for any other town I have surveyed, with the possible exception of Vesper (which has 41 merchants). The only thing Skara seems to lack is adequate citizenry to fully take advantage of its amenities.
If Skara has a specialty, it is probably armor and weaponry. The 2 weaponsmiths and 2 armourers are distributed among 3 shops, each with an open forge. The more lightly equipped will have no trouble finding the bowyer and the leather worker, although the tailor shop contains some local cottage crafters who might serve your needs, as well. That tailor shop is fully equipped and has a permanent professional tailor in addition to the talented amateurs.
Other basic adventuring needs are filled by the local carpenter, provisioner, cobbler, stablemaster and banker. A need for luxury goods can be filled by the jeweler, and 2 alchemists, a mage and a scribe see to the needs of the magically inclined.
In the area of food one can find Skara's biggest weakness. There is a farmer, butcher, and that rarity, a beekeeper, but no baker. One of the local inns has an oven available for public use, but there is no handy flour mill or water supply. Speaking of liquids, there are two local inns, one with a barkeep and one managed by an old-fashioned innkeeper.
A couple of things about Skara seemed strangely out of place. The island community's bank is so secure and crime-free that they just leave gold blocks stacked around the floor. We also noticed there is no Skara Brae ranger. I don't know why, but these two things seem, well WRONG.
The other services unavailable in Skara Brae are easily dealt with. There is no architect, bard, decorator or tinker. It's a long way to the next town, but transportation options include the ferry ("I wish to cross"), the docks, and the handy moongate.
Here it sits, ready but scarcely used. What are you waiting for?