Sightseeing Among the Trader Princes

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Date: Fri, 13 Apr 2007 05:46:34 -0000

As Jeff Richard mentioned earlier, his player character Drelon led an expedition from the land of Pamaltelan storm barbarians (Umathings) to the realm of the Trader Princes described in Jeff Kyer's upcoming book Blood Over Gold. David Dunham was narrator of the game. The group arrived in 1613, about three years before the book is set, hoping to find storm worshippers who had preserved kingship magic stolen from the Umathings. Apart from Drelon, the group included Gerdar (a Malki knight who had served Umathing chiefs), Huzen (a smith and trader), and Amirin (a weather magician and sailor). Here is some of what they saw passing through.

[From Kaxtorplose to Fay Jee]

Fay Jee's impressive tower, topped by a great fire, greeted us from its island. We learned later that the city sits on the runs of an even vaster tower, whose foundation might have covered the entire area of the modern city. Dormal himself had stopped on a small island near the current tower. We passed beneath the current tower's shadow as we headed for the docks in the well-protected harbor, run by House Jhoraz. The city turned out to have some 10,000 people, with many buildings made of recycled white granite from the destroyed legendary tower.

There were many foreigners, such as an odd-looking weapon seller with slanty eyes selling equally odd-looking weapons. He turned out to be from a place called Teshnos. There were many other merchants and shops, including — amazingly — a feather market. [Most of Drelon's wealth at the time was in feathers -- BRH] Other markets included an Exchange for exotic goods, The House of the White Spring for healing, the House of Red Lotus for the company of women, Katai's House of Many Things for magic items, and the Sign of the Raven for imported wine and spirits. The main local church was for Ashara (a sort of Malkion the Trader religion), but the Navigationalists and the Rokari had digs as well. The captain commented that it looked like there were new buildings since he was last here, only a year previous.

[The group eventually headed out of Fay Jee to the north.]

Along the way, roughly three miles out of town, we encountered four mounted barbarians. They challenged us: "Who are you? Kin or enemy? Speak quickly, or die!" They didn't seem to be interested in being friends. Eventually, we convinced them that we had trade rights, but we had to give them gifts to do it.

They escorted us to the Otter Rock village. Surprisingly, they had something like longhouses, although theirs were more stoutly built than ours. This clan was in the forefront of the Wenelian league, they claimed, which was created in part to resist Graymane. The chief's name was Haran Two-Bear, and he greeted us a bit more kindly than the warriors. He was well-dressed in imported &#64257;nery including silk and a lace shirt, and had a chain of of&#64257;ce, sort of like our chiefs, not a crown or fancy hat like the sorcerers lords do. The chief was much more friendly than his people, and he was de&#64257;nitely interested in other sources of exotic &#64257;nery. Drelon made some kind of trade and gave small gifts, then we continued on.

[Some time later, the group arrives in Jubal Town]

Jubal Town is a "free" city, not under Trader Prince rule. When we arrived, the officials were shocked that we were not associated with Trader Princes and offered "half-price toll" (which turned out to ge the same toll as we paid everywhere else.) Jubal Town is ruled by a council where no member may serve more than three years. Many worship the trader saint, Caselain, but they worship Issaries (similar to Istha) as well. Drelon offered sacrifice to Istha there.

We encountered Reitalta, a sword-carrying warrior-woman. She was not bad looking and carried herself well, dressed like a Trader Prince but with hands covered by Wenelian tattoos. She showed some interest in dashing, purply-magnificent Drelon, who rewarded her with flattery. She was specifically looking for someone who would remain with her for example a week.

Drelon learned that she was a half-blood, and heard that she had already had a number of week-husbands, most of which had hoped to remain with her longer (although she once hunted down and killed one who left after two days). In the end, Drelon graciously declined her hospitality.            

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