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You are a (I think yet unnamed) travelling merchant, travelling the sea in a sailraft, currently with a cargo of honey.

>Previous threads:
1: https://warosu.org/tg/thread/S45781348
2: https://warosu.org/tg/thread/S45842387

[Log of raft sail north from Wrinkles' bay]

Day 1: Good wind. Made good distance. Saw an unfamiliar seabird.

Day 2: Good wind. More unfamiliar seabirds.

Day 3: More good wind. Heavy, cold rain, though.

Day 4: Strong wind. Put reef in sail. Saw a small familiar shark pass under the raft. This type of shark often ruins fishing nets around The Cliff. Did the scent of the salted fish draw it in?

Day 5: Good wind. Unreefed sail. Cloudless night - saw lots of stars. Full moon.

Day 6: Very strong wind. Took down sail. Raft was tossed wildly by waves - stayed inside hut in case of being washed overboard.

Day 7: Weak wind. Storm passed. 1 barrel of honey has been punctured and has leaked - patched barrel with piece of clothing.

Day 8: Very strong wind. Was wrong to think storm had passed. Lost some drinking water. Patch on barrel didn't hold - repatched with more clothing.

Day 9: Storm still going. Whale surfaced. Lightning in distance a few times. Lots of thunder.

Day 10: Storm continues. Have not had sail up since Day 7. V. afraid of being wrecked against the shore. Eventually saw town in afternoon - frantically rushed to get sail up - sailed into port - v. scary. Dragged raft out of water.
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You're alive! You survived you first northern storm and made it into port. Now to check what the storm's done to your sailraft and its cargo.

You drag the sailraft away from the churning water of the water as the wind blows, blows, blows, BLOWS, pummeling and pushing at you and trying to snatch the raft from your hands as you struggle to hang on.

Once the raft has been dragged out of the wind, you examine it carefully.

- Sail: Torn. Fixable with thread or string. Will need fixing before you set sail again.
- Base: The ropes have badly frayed in 1 place and lightly frayed in 5 other places.
- Hut: Intact
- Cargo: 1 barrel of honey punctured and patched with clothing. Drinking water punctured and also patched with piece of clothing. Drinking water low.
What should we be? Chinese?
The town is made up of light pine-wood houses, surrounded by the conifer forest that has been ever-present along your journey north up this coast. You've dragged your sailraft up a beach of light grey pebbles and into a gravel street; the water is still agitating violently and the wind is blowing strongly.

(Sensible write-in is always an option in this quest.)

>Head into the town
>Look for someone in the immediate area
>Drag the raft further into town
You are a white, male teenager and this is a fantasy world.
>Look for someone in the immediate area
>Look for someone in the immediate area

The wide street in which you are standing is completely empty - you can't see any people or animals. The gravel of the street is being blown about along the ground and has formed small piles against the walls of the houses You expect all the inhabitants of the town are inside sheltering from the storm - or maybe this town, like the hamlet you visited before, is mostly deserted. You knock on the door of the closest house, which opens onto the street, and it is opened by a boy of about thirteen, wearing an oilskin.

"Hello?" he asks.

>"I am a travelling merchant. Do you know of an inn nearby?"."
>"Hello; I am a travelling merchant selling goods from The Cliff, a town to the south."
>"On a day as cold and windy as today, what better to warm your heart than a bottle of finest mead from the clifftop wildflower meadows of The Cliff? You look like a man with good taste!"
2nd one
>"Hello; I am a travelling merchant selling goods from The Cliff, a town to the south."

The boy peers onto the street. "That's your raft out there, is it? You didn't arrive here today, did you? In this weather?"

"Neither wind nor rain, wave or storm will obstruct me in my quest to bring high-quality goods to new markets," you say. "Do you know where I might find an inn to spend the night, or just a pub to wait through the storm?"

"There's an inn further into town," , says the boy; "it's not too far. Can't say I envy you the walk in this wind, but it must be nothing compared to what you've sailed through to get here. It won't be easy if that raft's full, though."

He's right; that raft weighs a ton laden down witht the barrels of honey you've been transported. The cargo might be more manageable if you rolled the barrels individually, but that might take a while.

"I could give you a room for tonight," says the boy, "if you want it. I make some wooden models for the market; you could take a look whilst you're here."

>Accept the offer of a room
>Refuse and head towards the inn
>Knock on the door of another house
hopeful bumpu

...not that hopeful
>refuse politely
I'll be posting how much money you have soon. You started with 1000 copper coins but you've spent something like 750 coppers. You also have some pearls and discs of pressed spice.

Your cargo is
>2 barrels of honey
>1 keg of mead (both made locally around your hometown, The Cliff)
>A spare sail

"You make a kind and good offer, but I must refuse. I don't want to burden you with an unexpected guest."

"As you will," says the boy. "Don't you even want a mug of beer or something?"

"No, thank you. I'm sure the inn will have at least a barrel of beer or a keg or two of cider."

"Well, take care. I think your cargo will be safe enough here, but I'll take a look out of the window every now and again to see if it all looks alright. The inn's a big wide building, by the way, with a tree near the door."

You thank the boy and turn to the task of transporting your cargo to the inn. Being the son of two sailors, you are used to hard manual work in rough conditions - at least right now, you are not being lashed with cold, salty ocean spray. You roll one of your wooden barrels of honey up the street - the pebble gravel is inconvenient as it piles up behind the barrel. Every now and again you move to the front of the barrel and kick the piles away.

Luckily, just as the boy said, the inn was not far from your landing point and it does not take you very long to reach a building which fits the description given by the boy - a wide building made of the light pinewood planks seen everywhere in this town. By the door is a pine, swaying at a severe angle in the wind.

>Enter the inn
>Go back for the rest of your cargo
>Sit down, catch your breath and drink some water.
I'm probably going to bed now..
>Go back for cargo
>Catch my breath, get a drink of water
After stopping for a short time and drinking half of your small stock of drinking water from your damaged and patched leather flask, you repeat your journey twice and carry the rest of your cargo to the inn. It's a good job you managed to flog a barrel of honey to the old man in the hamlet you visited. Luckily, the cold wind lets you work without perspiring as much as on a less stormy day. Hopefully the inn will buy your keg of mead, you think, as you hear an upbeat folk song from inside. You head back to the street for your sailraft.

Eventually nothing is left in your sailraft, which lies empty, filling the wide pebble street. Your balsa-log sailraft is nowhere near as heavy as a raft made from a heavier wood, but you know that if you take it to the inn, you will have to carry or drag it all the way back to the shore in order to set off to sea when you decide to leave the town. On the other hand, to leave the raft here risks your only vehicle being stolen or vandalised, even though the boy assured you that this was a safe area. That would really piss you off.

>Drag the raft to the inn
>Pay someone to guard the raft
>Tie the raft to something using some of its structural rope
>Find someone to help you carry the raft to the inn
> tie it off near the boys house
I believe an offer of some sort would make the boy more willing to ensure our only transports safety, perhaps just some gold? Maybe a smile.
You look around for good spots to tie the raft to, but find nothing suitable on the young modelmaker's house walls except a lantern on a thin chain, dangling from a short wooden pole next to his house's front door. You judge the pole to be unsuitable for tying onto - it is high up, thin and short, and you don't want to obstruct his doorway. When you came into the town's small harbour, you noticed some brass hoops which looked purpose-forged and sturdy - but in the harbour, the raft would be more exposed to the wind and waves, and even though you are confident that you could secure it safely, the frayed ropes might break and allow the raft to be tossed onto its side or upside down and its mast might be damaged. You settle on a pole of the house's fence, which looks to surround a small agricultural garden and you tie a secure hitch to it with the rope.

After knocking on the house's door and checking that it's alright to tie off your raft on his fence, you ask him to guard your raft.

"I offer you ten copper coins," you propose. "For just a few hours service guarding my sailraft. The only labour you'd have to do for me is shoo away any thieves, and you assure me that the residents of this street are friendly and good-hearted. As long as you give my raft your full attention and ensure that it remains here, that no harm comes to it and no-one touches it, I will gladly give you every one of the coins I have promised you. I bet you've never heard a more generous and reasonable proposition."

"Sounds like alright money," says the boy, "though a little boring, I'd rather be carving - woodcarving is my profession, as I told you. You should visit if you need some tool-hilts or fishing rods. I've got more than just pine - I've got oak and beech as well. My produce is worth a look."

"I have already have a fishing rod," you say, "and all my tools are undamaged. But thanks for the business offer." Reaching into your coinpurse, you say "Here's five coppers now and you can have the other ten when I return if you've done a good job."

With the safety of your raft assured, you return to the inn, where your barrels still lie outside at the front. Luckily, it seems that the wind and cold have kept enterprising drunks away from your goods.

Ominous feeling about that boy, but with my travel arrangements tidy. Time to get some rest. Head to the inn
There is no lettering above the door; instead, there is a large wooden symbol of a pinecone.

You grab the keg of mead and push open the door with your body, and are hit by a wave of warmth.


A fire sheds heat from a stone hearth and the building is lit by a set of chain-suspended lanterns which hang above a collection of round wooden tables and stools on a plank floor. Men and women of all ages, from youths to old men sit around drinking, laughing and playing table games. In a corner of the inn, a is playing a folk song on a guitar. There's a bar on your left, manned by a young man and a woman with long, brown hair.

"Welcome to the Pinecone, traveller!" shouts the man.

>Go to the bar
>Take a seat at one of the tables
>Approach one of the people
>a is playing a folk song

a musician
Go to the bar, ask the barman if they've any rooms.
I say we stay until the "worst" of the storm passes
Assuming the worst of this storm, I say we also try and learn some history from the locals. Maybe learn a thing or 2 about the forest.
Sorry for the wait; I was eating dinner.
Is cool
You head over to the bar
"Welcome!" says the woman, smiling.
"What d'ya want t' drink, lad?" asks the man. "We've got some cider, perry, some different kinds'a fruit wine, some proper grape wine - though that's a bit dear, not too many grapes round 'ere you understand - and some mead."
Mead?! Fuck!

"I'll have a pint of cider, please," you reply.
"Two coppers."
You place two copper coins onto the bar and try the cider, which is simple and pleasant, and served in an iron tankard.

"Rough weather, eh?" comments the barman. "A storm like this's a bit unusual for spring. Glad I'm not out in the forest right now, I'll tell y' that. Or on the ocean, for that matter. You arrive here by land or sea?"

"I came here by sail," you answer, "and thank the stars I reached your town when I did. I travelled alone, but with a certain sweet friend I think you'd like to meet." You pick up the keg of mead with both hands and lift it onto the bar. "This is a mead from the verdant clifftop meadows of the south. I've tried it and it is delightful - but don't just take my word for it. Please try some whilst we talk."

The barman opens the keg and pours both of you a small glass; he suspect he wants to subtly check the colour and purity of the drink.

You take a sip of the mead. Obviously, it's sweet, and lacks the sharpness of the cider the barman served you, but it has a delicate floral flavour. Its taste is familiar to you; mead was one of the main alcoholic drinks of The Cliff and you spent pleasant times drinking it in cafes in small chalk caves at the base of the cliff looking out onto the white pebble beach, or sitting outside at home surrounded by wildflower meadows blowing in a cool breeze.

"Do you have any rooms?" you ask.
"That I don't, I have to say. Some other travellers have stopped here for a night or two until this storm subsides, and a group o' miners 'ave come down from the mines in the north. This's the best business we've 'ad all this year. Oh! I haven't introduced you t' my lovely wife, Irina. This is Natalie."

"Hello." she says.

"Natalie, this is.."

>What's our name?
What the hell am I writing.

Serves me right for never being able to decide on women's names. What do you want to be her name, Irina or Natalie?
Our name.... Ummm I guess we'll be HiLad Z. Keenan, son of sailors, man of the sea. Said with a sense of pride and honour.
Helena, I didn't know were a woman. Daughter of sailors, Las if the tides.
Ask the barman if he has any need for some of this fine Mead, if not see if he could use some honey. I'm sure the miners or travellers could also use some of our goods, at a lower price than the inn of course. After we've done our best too sell all we can I say we head back to the young boys house and see if his offer is still open.
Sorry for speaking unclearly. We're male; I couldn't decide on the barwoman's name. I'll just call her Irina, I think.
Barwomam/ Irina sounds good. Since we're male >>313602
"My name is Hilad Keenan," you say. Little does he know that your middle name is Helena, and you're not about to inform him.

"I'm pleased to make your acquaintance, Irina."
"I'm pleased to meet you too," she replies.
"Now then," you say, "you've been sampling this beautiful mead I've risked life and limb to get here. Do you like it?"

"I do," says the barman. "It's good."
"May I try a glass?" asks Irina.
"A sweet drink for a sweet-mannered lady," you say. "Please, help yourself."
"I think this keg would fit in quite nicely behind my bar," says the barman. "But how much will it cost?"
"I offer it to you for only the modest price of ______"

[You bought this mead half price, for 17 coppers]

>17 coppers, what I paid for it
>30 coppers, a price reasonable at The Cliff. Most would probably consider it cheap here.
>50 coppers, a reasonable price, you think, considering the risks you took to transport the mead here and the wear and tear on your raft.
>70 coppers, a price that might still be considered reasonable here if their supply of mead is scarce. You need to make a profit, after all.
Seems like we're coming up to autosage 35 posts in.

Is the quest too boring? Because I'm considering throwing in more action and excitement.
I literally just found /qst/ yesterday and this is one of the only quests I've enjoyed. The title says travelling merchant but I could see a transformation into hero, maybe mercenary/assassin.
That being said 70copper seems reasonable enough especially considering this unusual weather and a full inn.
70 coppers."

"70 coppers? That's a bit steep. Things more expensive down south?"

"I consider 70 coppers to be a reasonable price," you say. "I have sailed two weeks or more to get to your town, along a largely desolate coast, in dangerous weather that at one time prevented me from hoisting sail and making any progress north or, for that matter, in any other direction. I have risked my raft, my cargo, my belongings and my life to bring to The Pinecone inn a delicious, delicate, sophisticated mead that is the mead that is the best that all the wide meadowland of my hometown, The Cliff, has to offer. I have journeyed through lands unknown to me, risking shipwreck and shark and have brought one - only one - precious keg of golden Southern mead to this town and I would be happy to sell it to your inn and enjoy it with you, your wife and your customers."

The barman wipes his eyes quickly.
"You're a brave lad with a good heart. I'm sorry for being such a miser - that's what business does to y'. I'll buy yer mead, and if you want, you can sleep in the storeroom free o' charge."

>Thank him warmly and:
>drink together into the night
>share a drink and then chat to another customer
>try to sell him the barrel of honey
>leave the bar and check on your raft
Thank him warmly
Share a drink and chat with another customer
nah, him living a simple life makes it nice, very refreshing from all the seemingly unworthy chosen ones.
"Thank you very much," you say, "I'm happy that I could supply The Pinecone and, through doing so, raise some appreciation for the produce of my hometown. Pour me another drink, take four coppers of the price and we'll count that as my bill. I'll take your kind offer of free sleep in your store-room as well."

The barman nods, ducks under the bar and you hear him pulling open a draw. He resurfaces with a couple of small cloth bags fastened with string and passes one to you over the bar.

"There's fifty coppers in there."

He carefully pours the other bag onto the bar and counts out 16 coppers onto the bar, emptying the rest into his pocket. You pocket the bag and the loose coppers while he fills you a large tankard from the keg. Taking the tankard and thanking him briefly, you leave the bar and walk around the pub area of the inn, looking for a free stool at one of the tables. As you walk towards a couple of men - a man with a long, brown beard and a man with a shorter beard drinking at a table with three stools, you overhear one say "I'm telling you, that was no volcano!"

He quickly shuts up as you walk closer to his table.

>Sit down at the table. This seems like an interesting conversation.
>Continue looking for unoccupied stools. You don't want to bother them.
>Approach the musician, who is now playing a fast-paced folk song about maritime salvagers.

Approach the musician, keeping an ear for any interesting tid bits from that table
The musician is a small man wearing a white cloth eyepatch embroidered with a smiling face in red thread.

You reach him as he finished his song and he lays down his guitar.

From the table, you hear (...just natural thermal stuff. All of it....)

"Good evening," the guitarist says, "come to get a better listen of the song?"

"It's a good song," you reply, "so why not?"

(...gas fields, they said. My arse...)

He laughs. "I haven't seen you here before. Are you new to this town?"

"I am. I'm here on business. I've sold the barman of this inn a keg of lovely floral mead; I recommend you try some."

(...it's just geysers, gas vents, that stuff. It's a volcanic area. Nothing else...)

"The merchant's tongue at work, eh? It's as lyrical as mine, though I expect your song brought your rather more coppers today than mine."

This time, you laugh.

(...the smoke? And what about those roars? Those were all...)

"Time for me to get back to my own business," says the musician. "Customers should be sated not just with food and drink, but with music. Thankfully, music costs me little to supply - but that doesn't mean I don't draw my wages from Pegleg over there." He gestures to the bar. "Ah... don't tell him I called him that."

He picks up his guitar and begins another song, slower-paced but richer.


>Stay where you are, listening to the musician's song
>Head over to the table where the two men are talking
>Head back to the bar
Head to the table, this could be interesting. I think being honest and saying I overheard their convo and had to learn more. Sounds like they could be debating a fact anyhow.
Leaving the musician as he begins his song, you walk over to the wooden table - looking around for pretty barmaids as you walk - where the two men are drinking and arguing. Both men are wearing grey, full-body boiler suits - they're probably two of the miners the barman mentioned.

"Listen," the bearded man insists, "it was nothing to do with 'underground magma chambers'". I've been mining those mountains for sixteen years now and I have never seen anything like it, not in my whole life."

"All it was the ignition of a natural gas deposit. Just a big cavern of gas that caught fire. Doesn't sound too unlikely, not like what you're proposing. We both know how sparks can trigger gas."

"Good evening," you say to the men as you reach them. "May I join you?"

The men glance at one another, then the more shaven man says "Alright."

"I overheard your conversation whilst walking through the pub," you confess. "I'm a travelling merchant; I've had a tiring day and I'd appreciate joining in. Do you mind?"

"It's fine," says the bearded man. "I'm Brian; this here is Jon. Nice to meet you."

"We've been debating what've been going up in the mines up north," says Jon.

"Do you know the mines in the Springstream Mountains?" he asks.

"I don't, no."

"They mostly turn out ores. But back to the point. Some unusual things have been occurring there over the last fortnight and no-one's quite sure of the cause. First there were earth tremors, which forced us to halt mining. Then there were strange loud noises heard, like short roars. Some of us noticed that there had been disturbances around some of the trails - mostly rockfalls, and some depressed vegetation."

"Trampled, I call it," comments Brian. "You make it sound like birches were sad."

"Likely this was due to the strong wind we've been experiencing lately. Then about a week ago, we saw a huge pillar of fire rising out of between two of the hills, lasting less than a minute before stopping."

"Interesting," you say, and take a gulp of mead.

"Now, it is my opinion that the phenomenon was due to the ignition of a small chamber of flammable natural gas."

"And what do you think, Brian?" you ask.

"I think it was the waking of a dragon."
Just respond however you like. It's time for some more player freedom.

Thanks for being my loyal player throughout the latter half of this quest.
>like birches

* like those birches
I think I'll stop OPing for the night here. I guess I'll archive this thread.

Feedback is always welcome.
Well I very much enjoyed myself, if you'll be back tomorrow id be more than happy to continue.
I thought the detail was very nice, I think if more people would have been spawning ideas it could evolve more.

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