Dec 02, 2022 1:13 AM
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"I gave away half my woundweal and I'd like to restock. I have the coin for it, but you might also want a jar - I have magic ones, much sturdier."

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Prota is speaking to the vendor. By "jar", Prota presumably means either a large jug, urn, or one of the bowls. 

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"I gave away half my woundweal and I'd like to restock," you say to the vendor. "I have the coin for it, but you might also want a jar - I have magic ones, much sturdier."

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Step 86

The notion of giving away woundweal might elicit some snark from the vendor, but she is interested in the trade. She asks to see the magic jars. 

The Player should be informed that the larger vessels are worth a bit more than half a container of woundweal. Individual plates and bowls from the set are worth less. 

The vendor looks for ways to de-emphasize the value of the jars, so she can offer less in trade. Not recognizing Prota as a repeat customer, she applies the "foreign traveler discount" and bargains hard. To what extent would Prota notice this behavior? Prota should know the approximate value of the goods they carry, and of the woundweal because it is part of their own supplies. Prota will not necessarily catch the exact behavior, but they will notice if the final deal seems one-sided. (The Player, who may or may not recognize shenanigans when they see it, should be informed of everything relevant that Prota knows.) The Player may also be reminded that Beldry and the cart are nearby. 

Where is Glint during this exchange? Likely browsing and watching for thieves. 

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"Well, I'm happy to profit from your generosity," she remarks. "Magic jars, you say? Mind if I take a look?" 

You estimate that based on size alone, the two jugs and the urn are worth a fair bit more than half a container of woundweal, and might fetch additional supplies in barter if you so choose. Plates and bowls from the set are worth less than that per piece, but much more for all of them. Of course, barter is an uncertain art. 

Behind you, still hitched to the cart, Beldry flicks an ear. Your uncle is browsing the stalls nearby; he promised to keep an eye out for thieves, as well. 

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None. 

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I produce a jug. "It'd probably want a little something extra on top of the woundweal," I remark.

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Prota shows off one of the jugs for the vendor. Prota begins to bargain. 

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You show the vendor one of the larger water jugs, and start bargaining. "It'd probably want a little something extra on top of the woundweal."

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Step 87

Prota is not an accomplished haggler, but they have lived among migrants for some time and can be assumed to have at least a working experience. The main barrier may be uncertainty of the value of various items within the Pratchworks, since Prota has not been here before. The vendor will try to conceal her interest in the magic container, pointing out that woundweal is valuable and there's been more demand for it since the weirdness in Adwell and the south started. This is partly true, but the supply has also increased as well. (The Player does not need to be reminded of the list of available wares, since it was recently described, but the Player should be prompted to specify what Prota might want.)

As an alternative, the vendor might offer Prota a smuggling job. (Is that a realistic offer given the assumptions?) No - if the vendor is treating Prota as a one-time customer, she has little reason to trust them with smuggling. Most smuggling relationships would be with trusted repeat customers with good reputation among the Pratch. In addition, specific commissions across towns are uncommon. It is easier for smugglers to bring goods into town, then find a buyer afterwards. That state of affairs does assume some kind of established black market exists, with a means of gathering and/or communicating between buyers and sellers. [Most large towns and cities have at least one meeting place for black market deals.] 

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"I dunno," she replies shrewdly, looking over the jug. "I got some decent storage already, and with what's been going on at Adwell and the Llerwood, woundweal is a mighty good seller these days. I could offer a slight discount if you see anything else you like...?" She gestures at the neat array of medicines and concoctions in the stall. 

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None. 

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"Well, I'm going to the Blue and could use the state of the art in treatments for Blue injuries, for pain and bleeding," I say. "At only a slight discount maybe I should just pay in coin, though, I think the pottery will sell really well somewhere."

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Prota asks about treatments for body parts severed by the Blue, particularly to stop bleeding and dull pain. They also haggle indirectly by offering coin instead. 

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"Well, I'm going to the Blue and could use the state of the art in treatments for Blue injuries, for pain and bleeding," you say. "At only a slight discount maybe I should just pay in coin, though, I think the pottery will sell really well somewhere."

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Step 88

The vendor does want the pottery and knows they underbid at first. One counteroffer should not end the haggling process. (In particular, showing a seeming delight in haggling helps add character to the Pratchworks and its vendors. However, there is no need to tie down the Player with an extended haggling sequence.) After the initial exchange, the next post can summarize the process and its end results. For a large magical jug, it is reasonable that Prota receive a few doses each of painkiller and wound-staunching paste. (The semi-magical concoctions should have names and descriptions that make them interesting and memorable.) The wound glue can be "severstaunch", a red-grey paste in a small wooden box. The painkiller can be "syrup of Khelo", a clear liquid in a tiny glass vial. The syrup may have side effects, as many painkillers do. What sort of side effects might attach to a semi-magical or alchemical painkiller? Drowsiness, addiction, dulling of senses, numbness from excess potency. Go with dulling of senses and numbness - they seem the most unusual, yet are natural consequences of magically potent painkillers. [Severstaunch seals bleeding wounds of any size. Syrup of Khelo is a painkiller.]

Since it is unlikely that the jug's value exactly balances the three purchased medicines, a small quantity of coin might be needed as well. Prota should receive an opportunity to approve the final deal. (Rather than make the Player waste an action on just approving an agreed-upon deal, it may also help to hint that the Player may choose their next step as well.) Prota has already looked at the items that explicitly interested them, so their next step is unclear. (Glint's character can be used as a reminder of the broader market and the rest of the camp.) What might Glint be browsing for? Herd animals - not his immediate concern. Small items to smuggle. A gift for Nell, perhaps perfume, in which he feels awkward and out of his depth. Smuggling can wait for the visit with Matiar, if it occurs; Glint is browsing for a gift. Regardless, he keeps alert, and keeps Prota in sight. 

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"I suppose I could throw in some syrup of Khelo..." the vendor counters, sensing a challenge. After a considerable back-and-forth that puts your clan-taught haggling skills to the test, you reach what seems to be a reasonable trade: one water jug and a small quantity of silver in exchange for the woundweal, a small wooden box of red-grey severstaunch paste, and a tiny glass vial filled with syrup of Khelo. "Careful with that last," warns the vendor cheerily, pointing at the vial of clear liquid. "One drop will dull most pain. Two drops dulls the senses too. Three drops and you won't be able to feel anything for half a day." There are only a few doses of each, but it's enough for the Blue and a bit extra. "Whaddaya say?" 

Behind you, never out of sight, your uncle browses the stalls. Over the bleating of sheep and vendors, you hear him arguing with a perfumer, of all things. 

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[Syrup of Khelo can numb senses to an extreme if overdosed.] 

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"Sounds good to me," I say. "Pleasure doing business with you."

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Prota agrees to the trade. 

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"Sounds good to me," you agree. "Pleasure doing business with you."

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Step 89

Prota completes the trade. [Prota loses one magic water jug. Prota now has a full stock of woundweal, a few doses of severstaunch, and a small vial of syrup of Khelo.] Where might Prota go from here? Purchase livestock, visit another of Glint's friends, continue browsing the market, or another action of the Player's choice. These options can arise naturally in conversation with Glint. 

Glint has been haggling with a perfumer to get something for Nell. If he is to converse with Prota, he must first conclude his business. His demeanor indicates agitation, but Prota may not know the difference between an embarrassed Glint and an upset one. (Properly phrased, Glint's actions could seem suspicious, as though purchasing something to smuggle. This could pose an interesting side mystery for the Player if they wish to investigate, and set up a reversal when Glint's actual smuggling side jobs come up later. Glint's prompting should not be framed as a dilemma, but as an open-ended question that hints at possible options.) 

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You make the trade, lightening your cart a bit in the process. 

Not far away, Glint seems to be concluding a trade of his own. He passes over some coin to a vendor and pockets a vial of something, then knuckles over to join you, red-faced and grumbling. "...ah, I see you've made your first trade at the Pratchworks. Congratulations. Where to next, greenjay? I've still got some folks to meet, but there's no rush if you'd like to see more of the market." 

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[Glint bought a perfume for Nell.]

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"Well, I admit I'm very tempted by the kabobs, but I think I've spent enough money for now," I say. "Who're you meeting?"

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