Fai Chen, the purveyor of fine magical items of the famous Fai Chen’s Fantastical Faire, has revealed to the world of Faerún in an astounding announcement, that he has finally cracked the secret of magic item fabrication! Heralded by magical fireworks over the Trades Ward of Waterdeep. Flying on one of his treademark flying carpets, the beaming man shouted his statement using a magically amplified voice to the hushed crowed below:
“My good friends of Waterdeep, I have two major announcements to make regarding the Fai Chen’s Fantastical Faire! No, the rumors are not true. I am not disbanding due to the magic item turn-in policy. Instead, I have two wonderful things to tell you! The first is this: due to staff increase and improvements in our magic item procurement process, we are now folding Fai Chen’s Fantastical Faire under our new umbrella corporation named Fai Chen Enterprises! The Fantastical Faire will now be only one of our many business with the Fai Chen’s stamp of quality upon it.
The second item, and of most importance, is that myself and our highly trained magical engineers have created an amazing new magical artifact. It has the ability to transform anything into a magical item of your choice. Yes, anything from mundane metal, wood, and cloth, to magical items of minor importance, can be fed into this artifact and fabricate into a any configuration you desire!”
At this point, the crowd was dumbstruck. Mutterings of disbelief permeated the crowd.
“A lucky few will get a chance to first experience this incredible artifact tonight! Please, step forward and we’ll select from the crowd.”
Needless to say, the Tribune is always on top of breaking news. Our reporter was selected and taken with 9 other individuals into a nearby building clearly owned by Fai Chen, as the branding on the outside indicated. It seemed as if Fai Chen’s entire family was there to watch the spectacle, which included his 17 children who looked strikingly similar to him. They regularly assist with the family business (except for Trevor, who last we heard is currently adventuring).
True to his word, we were shown a slightly shimmering box roughly the size of a healthy orc. It had a feed tube leading to a large unit of crystalline material off to its side. There were several gnome assistants, dressed in tinkering gear, buzzing around the machine and making adjustments with strange implements. One of them explained that this magic device used the crystalline material to construct its magic items, first turning mundane and magical items into the crystalline material through a “secret process”. One of them revealed that they were some sort of arcane or mana crystals, although any further questions were dismissed. After rebuffing most questions about how the box and crystals functioned, the assistants asked for a volunteer, and an excited half-elf man eagerly volunteered.
They asked him to imagine some magic item that he had seen before after putting on some sort of purple headband with crystals woven in to it. As the man shut his eyes and concentrated, the box began glowing vibrating as a high-pitched noise – almost musical – emanated from it. As this happened, the crystalline material was magically floating into the feed tube connected to the machine, where a faint crunching sound could be heard. This continued for several minutes until the device finally dimmed and an assistant opened up a hatch on the side that we had not seen before. Struggling a bit, he pulled forth a large, shiny sword that the man eagerly grabbed.
“I’ve always wanted a magic sword to call my own,” he said, happily. “Let’s see those giant rats in my basement chew through this. Thank you, Fai Chen!”
Everyone else was given a chance to use the device and saw similar results, although one individual’s request caused the box to sputter and fail.
“Sorry,” Fai Chen said, “you’ve probably asked for something on the restricted list. We don’t want to have evil artifacts running around, do we? It also won’t create anything you haven’t seen before. Sorry, that’s just the way the magic works. You’ll have to try again.”
After the event, Fai Chen explained that although we were given a free sampling, it wouldn’t work that way going forward. They would be contracting with individuals, adventurers in particular, to automatically take in a supply of valuables for conversion purposes. The way it would work is currently planned to be as such: an individual or organization would sign a contract agreeing for any extra treasure found above a set amount to be shipped to a local Fai Chen Enterprises outpost, where it would be immediately converted into these crystals and banked under their name – with a little bit taken off the top for Fai Chen, of course. At any time, they could use this currency to ‘purchase’ an item of their choice from any recognized dealer.
“We’re workshopping a few names for the crystal currency,” Fai Chen explained to us as we left. “So far we’re liking ‘treasure points’ as the name, although that may change before official release.”
We received promotional Fai Chen Enterprises tabards as we were escorted out and sent off into the Waterdeep streets to be bombarded with questions from a nervous and excited crowd waiting outside.
It almost goes without saying that the future of magic items will be changing in quite an interesting way with this new invention. Look soon for the new Fai Chen Enterprises trade outposts springing up in the nearest major city. We’ve been told that franchise opportunities will be available. In addition, he has also struck a deal with the local Waterdeep city guard. Anyone turning in items for the Waterdeep buyback program can instead opt to receive credit with Fai Chen instead of gold value. Many will likely be taking that option after tonight.