Aunt Queen, really Lorraine McQueen but she insists, is an old woman white snow white hair, and is close to her 80th birthday. She still wears silk dresses adorned with beadwork, lace, or even sprays of feathers, but it is all with an impeccable sense of taste. She is also fond of elaborate hats, and is seldom seen without one, though she will favor smaller hats while inside her home, or her curio shop. Most of all, Aunt Queen is a collector of cameos and she loves to adorn herself with them. She will often wear tiny cameo earrings, a cameo on a choker around her neck, or even a belt of gold, and cameos.
Born to wealth and privelage, Aunt Queen soon made a name for herself within the family for being very outgoing and adventuresome without actually becoming an adventurer. She has been to every country that can be traveled to, dined with the dwarves in front of roaring fires, drinking malt beer and red meat off of the bone. She has likewise made company among the elves and much enjoyed their rarified world of art, and music.
She settled during her thirties long enough to marry, have a daughter and then began her extensive travels again. The years went quickly, but tragedy was to strike. During one of her short stays at the family manorial home, her husband fell ill, and before help could arrive, he passed away. She was distraught, and after a few weeks, left the home and went into seclusion, and what the family calls her White Period. During the next decade, she had little to do with the family, and her travels took a religious tone as she sought to understand her loss, and tried to deal with the matter.
Her daughter was raised by the family spoiled, and despizing her mother, but that is another tale entirely. After her religious travels, she returned home, her wardrobe, while still extravagant and tasteful had lost all of it’s color and had gone to white. This would last until her husband was 20 years dead. Even then, the return to color was a slow one, with pastels returning first, and full vibrant colors not returning until six to seven years later. It was during this time that her fascination with cameos was born. The last gift her husband had given her was a set of cameos to wear on a lace choker. Cameos thereafter would remind her of him, and his kindness, gentleness, and generosity.
The years roared by she reached her 75th birthday and was forced to deal with the fact that she was no longer a young woman. She took ill and spent some time recuperating at the family home, her health damaged by age and her active lifestyle. She was forced to resign her world travels for fear of her health deteriorating faster than it already was. As a compromise, the lord of the family, her grandson, Tarquinn, set her up in a posh city home staffed with all the servants she would need, as well as a moderately sized curio shop. She is still able to travel, though it is vicariously through her collections of cameos and the merchandise that makes it way in and out of her shop.
Aunt Queen, a name she started using for herself after her husband’s death, soon changed the stock of the small shop. The counterspace is dominated by large glass cases that display her large collection of cameos, some of which are magical by nature. There is also displayed jewelry she has acquired from her extensive travels, some bought, and some gifted from her hosts. Dwarven gold shines next to elven shaped gems, and human carved ivory, and jet. All of it has a story, and she is willing to tell anyone who will listen. Her stories are inviting and light hearted, and are seldom dry, and boring. If she feels that the listeners are not enjoying the tale, she will abbreviate it, not wanting to be unseemly or desperate for attention.
The rest of the shop is equally stocked. She has collections of scrolls, and books from around the world as well. The bulk owuld be uncommon literature, sheet music, maps, and other bits and pieces of collectible sort. THere are also likely to be magic scrolls and spellbooks, but she knows these for what they are and will keep them under careful watch. She will often let an aspiring wizard copy a spell from one of her books for a suitabel payment. As she is not lacking in money, that payment is usually either to fetch a certain item she can no longer travel and do herself, or to acquire her a new and unique cameo.
Aside from jewelry and books, she has many other items of interest (Think Pier 1, or a similar import store) There is antique and rare furniture such as dwarven ottomans (footrest), elven settees (backless couch) and halfling chairs. There are a plethora of statues and statuaries, knick-knacks, bric-a-brac, and other odds and ends, all carefully sorted and inventoried. There is also a small collection of shoes, again ranging from antique to foreign.
Aunt Queen tends her shop and is most often found there. In the evenings the shop is closed, as she is either away at a soiree of the local upper class, or the debut of a new artist, or musician. A consumate socialist, she attends every wedding, christening, and funeral she is invited to. Not one to take only, she hosts several soirees of her own a year, inviting her friends and family. It can be an ecclectic group ranging from foreign lords and ladies stopped to pay a visit, to common working folk, all under the same roof. Her grandson, Tarquinn, is always present at these meetings as he is fiercly loyal to his grandmother, whom he too calls Aunt Queen.
Aunt Queen should be at the very least a pleasant old woman who owns basically a magic shop, provided you look through the other mundane 95%. She should be vivacious, full of life, and painfully frail, a reminder or mortality to adventurers. She is very intelligent, and wise, but is by no means powerful.
Some plot hooks
- The party is interested in attaining some magic items, no weapons, she isnt an arms dealer. They must barter with Aunt Queen, fetching her some obscure cameo, or having one made for her in exchange for the item they want
- She commisions the party to go to a foreign locale to pick up something she has, or wants to purchase. This would be an easy way to send the party in a completely new direction.
- Someone, perhaps a ghost, is threatening/haunting the family estate. Aunt Queen would see that her own are well protected and cared for, and thus seeks adventurers.