Behold! A perfectly ordinary wetland. Grass, trees, boggy knee-deep water, pond scum, mud, fog, everything a person could possibly want in their swamp.
Durante would like to know how to be polite to the Lord. Is there anything else important he should know about Wuld before he goes there?
The Lord doesn't normally just walk around talking to random people but if you do run into him you call him Lord, and you bow like so, and you do whatever he tells you to. You have to pay a fee to enter Wuld but usually they pay it in whatever goods they're bringing to market; he could probably collect enough firewood along the trip for the entry if he wanted.
... Is the lord hiring soldiers for the militia? That's sort of the job Durante used to have.
He expects he can collect the required firewood. He's used to managing.
Great. To the city, then, setting a brisk pace.
The firewood availability thins out near the town, perhaps because people in the town gather firewood too sometimes. Assuming he planned for that, he'll have an armload and the gate guards will take it as passage. Here's Wuld! It's full of dung and clay buildings. There's an elemental over there, one with metal feathers, but he's meekly following a teenager who wears nicer clothes than everyone else.
And now he's back to being broke! He'll manage. He's curious how the gate guards are equipped and organized and if they have any discipline. And he's curious about the teenager, are people treating whoever it is the way the villagers said the lord would be treated?
Fascinating. What kind of magic does the metal elemental do?
Interesting. He's very curious about that tool-mending. How complex are the things it can build?
(He's wondering if it can duplicate his air-gun, specifically. Because if so, with six metal-mages and a couple dozen men he might well be able to take over the city, at least if those guards are state-of-the-art.)
In that case, his top priorities are getting money, getting a place to stay, and getting a job.
Anyone know where he should go if he's interested in signing up with the guard?
"I'm a foreign mercenary looking for work," he announces, (which is completely true if his name is, in fact, Adrien Durante.) "What're the hours and pay like?"
Apparently they do watch for ten hours, and if they get antsy they can do a patrol shift for a couple of those hours. They don't have precise timekeeping so it's fuzzy, but that's the ballpark. They get two free meals of bread and beans and half a preserved lemon per day as part of the wage; the rest is paid in salt, a sack yea heavy. If there's some kind of shortage of something the food can be substituted and the salt can be delayed or replaced with a similar value in shells but that hasn't happened in awhile.
Is the job long-term or can he quit if he gets a better offer, does it come with equipment or do you need to buy your own, same for lodging and for both what are the standard prices, do they pay extra for people with extra skills like the ability to outwrestle anyone here (this is spoken in the tone of someone who is absolutely willing to show this off), and is this the same thing as the militia or a different thing and if so how does the pay compare.
He's not allowed to quit if they need him but if everything's basically normal he can quit the day after any festival (these occur roughly once every thirty or forty days but it's not very regular). You're supposed to buy your own equipment and your own place to live. If he can outwrestle everyone here they can give him a signing bonus. The guard is automatically part of the militia but people can be part of the militia without being part of the guard, which mostly takes the place of a portion of taxes rather than being directly paid.
Understood, thanks. (Unless the signing bonus is quite high he doubts this is his comparative advantage, but he'd rather not say it.) Do they know when the next festival is, do they know about how much housing and panoply costs, and he assumes there's no war on right now?
Understood, thanks. He's best with a dagger or his bare hands, quite good with a bow or spear (Xian actually did consider that the succession contest might be on a primitive world), and a very quick study with everything else. He'll be back if he decides to take them up on the job.
Next priority: Check lodging prices, check weapon prices, check other employment options to see if they pay better. Ten days is an acceptable period to learn a city, if he needs it.
They have not invented hotels. Or apartments. He can get a spot in a barn or on a hearth in a house outside the city walls, even one that comes with food, if he's willing to do farm labor; inside the city there's a leatherworker who can use him in exchange for a spot of floor and dinner, and a potter whose apprentice just died of a fever.