Nexus's Portable Headquarters
What Is Nexus's Portable Headquarters?
From the outside, a portable headquarters (this is a rare, but not unique item) looks like a standard leather backpack, measuring around 20 inches by 10 inches by 2 foot 4 inches. Regardless of what is inside the backpack, it will always weigh around 20 pounds.
The backpacks most interesting aspect is its internal volume, which is a bit bigger than its external dimensions would indicate. Due to some rather advanced trans-dimensional spellcraft, the interior in fact measures around 20 feet by 40 feet by 56 feet.
This is of course rather handy.
Persons can gain access to the interior of the backpack by climbing through a leather flap on the back. The flap, which is hinged across the top, and can be tied closed from the inside, measures 20 inches by 20 inches.
The backpack also has two further capabilities.
Firstly, it can, from the inside, be set to weight around 200 pounds, with nearly all that weight appearing to come from the very bottom of the pack. The practical upshot of this is that when set on the ground it will not topple over.
Secondly, and again from the inside, it can be set to "sink" into whatever surface it is standing upon. When "sunk" it effectively disappears from the universe and is totally secure and isolated until, from the inside, it is commanded to "rise" back up, reappearing at the point where it last was.
(Basically, at night, you set the backpack to "settle", then you all climb in, then you set it to "sink", and then you can all settle down for a good nights sleep).
Who Made Them?
The backpacks (a small number only) were made many millennia ago by a long-forgotten Emperor for his diplomats. His diplomats were the cream of his court, and he wished them to travel in safety and comfort. But he also wished them to travel discretely, without obvious fuss.
The portable headquarters was the solution. All the outside world would see was a small group of travellers, one wearing a leather backpack, walking or riding along the track. But inside the backpack was the diplomat and his retinue, comfortable in their luxurious surroundings, and able to plan their diplomatic mission.
What Facilities Do They Have?
The backpack is sized so that it can be worn either walking, or on horseback. Here is a diagram showing its exterior size relative to an average sized person. (Note:- if you click on any of the diagrams it will display a super-duper giant sized version, for your pleasure and convenience).
From the interior, the outside world is totally excluded, and vice versa. The backpack could be upside down, or bouncing down a hillside, and those inside would never know. Regardless of how much weight is located inside, from the outside the backpack will only weigh 20 pounds.
The backpack also contains six magical servants. These "beings" exist only within the backpack and cannot leave. They have the necessary skills to perform their specific tasks and some degree of intelligence, but this is limited in its scope (imagine a computer program which is very good at what it does, but not at anything else).
The magical servants do not need to sleep and have no quarters. When not required they will disappear, but can be summoned by shouting for them. (They have no names, and are referred to by role. For example, if you want the barman you'd shout: "Barman!" and he'll reappear). Note that although the servants tend to have specific rooms they are allocated to, they can be ordered to go to any location within the backpack, although if you are asking the healer to help you hump items to the basement he might get a bit sulky.
The backpack has an infinite supply of air. The inhabitants can stay in there for as long as their food and supplies last (there is a magical water supply to the bathrooms, the kitchen, and the bar).
The backpack also has full interior lighting. This is magically produced from half globes set into the ceilings. They can be turned off (for when you want to sleep) by pulling down levers set into the walls in each room.
How Is The Interior Laid Out?
The space inside the backpack is divided up into seven levels. A staircase connects all the levels. In addition, there is a "fireman's pole" leading down from the top floor to the ground floor. This is provided to enable the occupants to get outside quickly if required.
The "exterior" walls within are made of a diamond hard impenetrable substance coloured a light cream. (This also means that if the leather outside is slashed, underneath is an impenetrable substance). Basically, there is no possibility of "digging" extra rooms. The interior walls and floors are conventionally constructed of wood and plaster.
This level is a single clear space, broken only by the staircase, and measuring around 40 feet by 20 feet. If the backpack, when acquired, has previously been used by another group of adventurers, this area is likely to be absolutely full of crap. Think of a typical attic or garage.
(Most adventuring groups with a backpack will adopt a "swarm of locusts" approach to dungeoneering. Basically every single item measuring less that 20 inches by 20 inches, which isn't actually nailed down, will be shoved through the flap to be stored in the basement. The basement will be thus full of thousands of items, most of them total junk).
At the rear of the basement is a open cargo lift (elevator in yankish). This is controlled by a lever on the wall to the right-hand side. When the lever is in a down position, the lift, which is a wooden platform 8 feet square, will sit flush with the floor. When the level is in an up position, the lift will magically float up to the hole in the ceiling above. There is no visible mechanism.
This level is where people enter from the outside world, via a 20 inch by 20 inch hole, which is covered by a leather flap which can be tied back from the inside.
To the left-hand side of the opening (left-hand if you are facing the opening) is a large sheet of a glass-like substance mounted on the wall and measuring around 3 feet by 2 feet. This panel displays a 360 degree view (obviously somewhat distorted) of the surroundings of the backpack. When the backpack is "sunk" into the ground, the display shows the surroundings where the backpack will reappear (i.e. what is waiting for you).
Next to the display is a lever. When the lever is in the up position, the backpack appears to weigh 20 pounds. If the lever is pulled down to the middle position, the backpack will appear to weigh 200 pounds (with a very low centre of gravity). If the lever is pulled down to the lower position, the backpack will "sink" into the ground.
There are two rooms on this level:
The infirmary contains a bed, assorted healing implements and substances, and a magical servant with skills as a healer.
The armoury contains racks for storing weapons and armour, tools for maintaining and repairing these weapons and a magical servant with skills as a weaponsmith.
This contains two bedrooms. Each bedroom contains an en-suite bathroom. The toilet is basically a vertical drop to oblivion. Anything dropped down it just disappears from the universe (more advanced trans-dimensional spellcraft). The bath and basin both have running water, magically provided.
When originally constructed, each bedroom contained identical furnishings, consisting of a good quality bed, a wardrobe, a large chest, a bedside table and floor rugs. However, subsequent inhabitants might have customised each room.
A magical servant with skills as a valet is available to serve the inhabitants of the backpack, and to tidy the bedrooms on this floor and on the 3rd and 4th floors.
This floor contains two bedrooms, identical to those on the 2nd floor.
This floor contains two bedrooms, identical to those on the 2nd floor.
This floor contains two rooms:
The kitchen contains both food storage and preparation areas, including a large wood fired stove. (There is a quantity of wood stored here, but this will need to be replenished in the conventional manner, i.e. a furious row followed by someone sulking off into the forest with an axe).
The food is also real food, which has to be acquired in the conventional fashion.
The kitchen contains a magical servant will skills in cooking. There is a table here where inhabitants can eat food, but generally the cook will carry food up to the bar area and serve it there.
The pleasure room contains a large comfortable bed surrounded by silk screens and a female magical servant skilled in the arts of pleasuring men (and women if any female PCs are that way inclined).
The entire sixth floor is given over to a bar area. It is unique among the levels (with the exception of the "display screen" on the ground floor) for having windows giving a view of the outside world. These windows are one-way. That is, they look totally normal from the inside, but are invisible from the outside (they just look like more leather).
The Bar contains several tables and accompanying comfy chairs (unless the last owning party contained a barbarian, in which case he probably got drunk and smashed the Bar up, as is their want).
At the rear area of the Bar is the actual bar itself. Behind that is a store room which contains drinks and bar snacks.
The room also contains a magical servant, skilled in both the ways of drink preparation and the management of drunken psychopaths. He is also a good listener (better than the healer, who will patch up your wounds, but has bugger all sympathy if you're undergoing a nervous breakdown).
For those of you playing some form of D20 game, we've included some statistics about the portable headquarters (including stats for all of the magical servants).
NOTE:- Those statistics are for GMs only, so if you're a player don't read them (just tell your GM that you want one of these items for your group).
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