On establishing Elven Trade negotiations, a journal entry by Rilya
A group of adventurers and myself were recruited by Gordad Treasureborn of the Cubrews Trading Alliance to establish some trade relations with the newly found elvan kaer of Avon. Myself, Robert (a Human Wizard), Ursula Knucklebreaker (a Dwarven Beastmaster) and his monkey Zimbu, and Pethrytholilanista (an Elven Nethermancer) set out after some small bit of shennanigans with horses at the Cubrews warehouse. There were some problems with the sextant I was using (I think I was sold defective gear, it said the direction we wanted to go was into the mountains. I'm sure I lined everything up correctly and performed all the calculations right, and it's just the sextant. I'll have to get it replaced when I make it back to Throal. I can't believe they would give me defective merchandise). Our goal was to sell some goods at the new Kaer and establish trade negotiations with the people there. Gordad was particularly interested in elven made items and luxuries for Throal. Fortunately, Pethrytholilanista (also called Nista) knew where we were going, as she was from Kaer Avon, and was able to point us in the right direction.
A few days after setting out (and having some very interesting conversations with Robert and Pethrytholilanista), we encountered a group of bandits posing as members of some Protectorate, trying to extort travelers to pay them to protect them from bandits. We did determine they were trying to extort us, but they did that themselves, mostly, by threatening and then drawing their weapons. I did notice a couple off to either side of the path, hiding in the bushes. When the horses were left, they ran off with one of the bags. We were able to recover the bag, but he did get away with a small pouch of gems. Most of the others fled after being handily dispatched by the group of us. Also, it seems the horses are very different in personality. One likes me, letting me ride on him and give Ixran a bit of a break every once in a while, and the other has a better bond with Ursula. Ursula seems a bit surprised they both don't like her, but truthfully, the animals are just like Namegivers in some respects, each with their own quirks. Ixran, for example, has quite taken to his colorful flowers, and I have to make him a new necklace every week or so, each one with different sets. I may have to learn to grow some of my own and see which he likes best.
A few more days into our journey (and yet another encounter with the defective sextant that has no idea how to tell directions!!) we ran into a couple of hungry wolves. Once again, no match for my companions and me. I do hope they found something to eat, and not hapless travelers. Pethrytholilanista displayed quite the proficiency with scaring one off without even drawing a weapon. Soon after, we arrived in the currently being established surface settlement for Kaer Avon.
I saw they had a blacksmith, so stepped forward and introduced myself, and tried to make a good trade with the goods we brought. Sadly, the blacksmith was not confident in his wares and their quality, feeling it necessary to try and cloud our judgement with honeyed words and Adept magic. Such a disappointment. I thought they at least would be better than some of the merchants of Throal. A craftsman should be confident enough in his work to not need to resort to such petty tricks. Fortunately, Pethrytholilanista was able to step in and make a better deal with him. I refuse to deal with such people. Lareth does not resort to such underhanded tactics, at least. I understand they are establishing themselves, but that is no reason to try those things. As Pethrytholilanista went to make more trades, I decided that my talents would be better put to use helping out the rest of the community in their construction efforts. They, at least, were more honest than that merchant, welcoming my assistance with open arms, and talking freely about their community. The work was tiring, but good.
Robert made himself a friend with an Elementalist, who decided she would accompany us back to Throal, as she must see this city. It was good to have a new face to journey with, and another person to talk to and learn about magic (so many different types out there). I believe Pethrytholilanista went to visit family to let them know she was ok (no bandits laid a hand on her, luckily for them). And then we set out the following day, with a whole new set of goods to bring back to Throal, and some potentially very lucrative contracts as well, enough to make Gordad happy.
On our return journey, we once again encountered bandits (and that defective sextant, oh it makes me so mad!! Trying to lead me in the wrong direction. It is definitely getting replaced as soon as we return to Throal. I tried there in the settlement, but no one had one they were willing to trade). This time, they did no approach. Instead, they were firing arrows, trying to spook the horses into startling and fleeing, making them easy pickings to rob. But with soothing words and calm reassurances, my charm and Ursula's skill were able to keep them from being too bothered, and eventually, realizing it was fruitless, the bandits gave up and retreated. Funny they are so close. I wonder where they are stationed out of.
Returning to Gordad in Throal, we presented him with our trade contracts and new goods. He did notice the missing bag of gems unaccounted for. The exchange with the bandits was pointed out, which seemed to mollify him, but not a lot. Fortunately, Pethrytholilanista made some really really good deals with the leader of the settlement (she seemed to know everyone there, it was a delight to watch), and those made him forget about the gems in short order. Overall, it was a great success, and I look forward to returning and seeing how the settlement is coming along. Maybe after they get set up and get established, they can find a real blacksmith to do the work, instead of that merchant they have now. Still, the pay was nice, and I did get a large Pot of Grumbah, for storing alchemical reagents and other time sensitive items out of the goods we brought back. Overall, a needed success. But those bandits worry me. Something must be done about them. Hmmm......