With the turn of another season the covenants financials are called into focus. Aside the abundant stone the covenant has an untapped stream of silver if the fae toy maker can be persuaded to assist and regular buyers sourced.
In what season are we doing this? I'm not sure it matters that much, but it's good to know. If we do it at the very beginning of Autumn, and it doesn't take long (at least, the negotiation bit), we won't have to worry about some loose ends, in particular the putative apprentice.
At any rate, Viola will gather up anyone who wants to go, and set out for the regio.
[Are you waiting on a response from me for this? I was largely planning to leave it to the two of you (and/or new players), although I can play a grog if needed.]
[OOC: I'm not fussed by the choice of season, whereever it fits. There will be some travel involved to get it all arranged though, but also can happen happen in split up parts][Yep, I was waiting, all good]
The regio entrance is still as it was last left, a small glowing opening in a coffin on the inside one of the burial mounds. The entrance activates the same way spreading it's light across the inside of the mound and drawing Viola inside the regio propper. The sprinkle of laughter and multi-coloured light dance across a small clearing with hills spotted with trees in the distance, as small clouds above move across the pale sunlight. It is bright but not warm here.
Toddler though teen children play all around a small marketplace, left and right they run playing and yelling to each other. While mostly natural looking sometimes one or other appears to be unusually coloured, or have a smile just too wide or eyes too large. Many stalls with adult vendors are bantering amongst themselves, giving a casual unhurried air to the morning. One is fast asleep while a few children make off with some nickknacks. The stage, grove of trees, playing field, and vendors all seem to be in the same places as they were described.
Up to you if you watch for a bit or carry on. Nobody appears to be alert to Viola arrival yet.
Viola will not disguise her presence. She'll stroll around the fair, checking out the offerings at each stall--in addition to making her familiar to the inhabitants, this will let her take inventory of the toys that can be had. She'll exchange polite conversation with the toy-sellers whenever possible, though right now, she's just trying to get the lay of the land, and figure out if the fair is organized at all, rather than attempting to make deals.
As Viola moves from vendor to vendor the children play around her, some are braver than others who approach closely, or even lean into touch her but jump away at the last minute - apparently that is hilarious. A small cohort trail her as she walks. The vendors sell a variety of foodstuff ranging from breads which might pass casual inspection in a normal market through to multi-hued monsters skewered on sticks shaped like longspears. All the vendors are polite enough and leave you to browse rather than forcefully bather about their wares, but they are all aware of you as you pass by - the polite nods perhaps uncharacteristic of a typical market vendor.
Viola completes a circuit of the market, and notices a small balancing game stall has popped up where a few children were roughhousing in the grass minutes ago. The stall appears well established and hammered firmly into the ground.
(edit) there is only a few toy vendors in the marketplace, one small stall with the balancing games and small push-pull carts and animals Viola just noted, one with a larger tent toward the center of the market who has wooden dolls and figurines in a very wide variety of shapes, and the last who sells puzzle boxes and intricate ornaments made with coloured glass highlights.
What's being sold other than toys? The food is right out--aside from perishability concerns, God only knows what it would do to someone who ate it, and we don't want those people coming back to us with their complaints....
What's interesting about the balancing games and the push-pull carts? Or for that matter, the monsters on sticks?
The balancing game is one type of physical coordination toy. Also at the same vendor is juggling balls and sticks, brightly colored hoops and ropes, torches, an assortment of kites, stilts, and may types of batons. Some of the stalls also have a few items of clothing, mainly outerwear like tunics, scarves, hoods and caps to pretty up normal dress.
If by interesting you mean unusual - the central toy stall has a short figure standing aside a table of carved wooden animals who is playing with some, on second look this figure is itself made from wood, hard to initially spot as it is clothed as a normal child and fantastically detailed.
We need to buy samples of the toys and try them out, then come back later to trade for them in bulk. Viola will bargain with the toymakers--what do they want for their wares, anyway?
When Viola asks about payment, the first vendor selling clothes mutters, "I'd be happy to trade for something good and shiny; or find best to be a finger or tooth if you can spare them. Yeah, teeth" he says with a crooked smile. Most of the other vendors are similar in that they want trinkets, personal items, or bits of Viola.
"I'll trade you an old scarf for the ball & cup", from one.
"lets say a cut and handshake, plus a few coins?" replies another.
The wood worker replies, "Well I need some materials first. Good wood that'll last. No this ponker", as he drops a small trinket and it evaporates before it hits the grass. "Then you do me a favour if you like?"
OOC: Can you please make a Bargain check, and a separate Faerie Lore check?
No body parts, but the rest are doable (though I'm not sure what the "cut" is). Viola is particularly intrigued at the idea of providing raw materials--will any of the others go for that?
For the Bargain, am I using Com or Pre or something else? But for the rest of the total:
Bargain 1 + 1 (specialization in faeries) + stress die 5 = 7 + whatever characteristic
For the Faerie Lore:
Fairie Lore 4 + 4 Int + stress die 6 = 14
I should have said its Per+Fae lore fro understanding more of the environment, and Pres+bargain for first impressions/deals. Both reasonable results.
Faerie Lore hints:
- That it is very likely that many of these vendors are using glamour and random things for their wares which means it will not be a lasting product. How long or what manner - well that's part of the trick. Take or leave the risks of selling faerie glamour items. Most of the vendors too are not seemingly aware (cognizant), so that might affect the context of their answers.
- Also this regio environment is very mutable, so some children, vendors, and details will change; particularly noticeable is how the people you've spoken to seem to have more gusto now. They sprook their trade a little more, smile and gesture more, and interact more than when you first arrived. Even the childrens games seem louder and happier.
- Sugr, a clothes and accessories vendor will happily negotiate and barter. He is a short thin man dressed in tightly fitting clothes, oddly wearing a surcoat of overstuffed patches and pockets. Sugr seems to get uglier as you talk with him. You learn from him that he makes seasonal outerwear as well as kites, balls, jump-ropes, stick games and other toys. He's keen to be paid in personal wares, coin, body parts, but not in raw materials. With a smile, "I cannot eat twine and sticks!"
- Felven, who is the woodworker seems to understand that Viola is interested in more than a handful of items, and will work for a lower price if Viola supplies the materials. He stands tall and is pudgy around his waist, and strong armed. "...What about you tell me how many you need, and I'll beat these others by one quarter? Two fifths if you help"
- Petehia, has mainly food stuffs, but the odd utensils and implements made of stone and wood as well. She is long nosed, heavily wrinkled, and seems to always be looking sideways and elsewhere while talking. As she is speaking she demonstrates the strength of her craft showing you a thick stone board suitable to eat from or cut upon. As far as payment she's willing to barter for personal effects, or "...it need not be your blood my darling"...
ps.the "cut" was blood, which isn't good.
Turning over arcane connections to the fae strikes Viola as a Bad Idea. She'll trade of samples of anything she can get without a body part of other AC, and politely decline to trade with anyone who won't agree to those terms. We'll take the samples home and experiment/examine/whatever them for just over a year before shipping any out, though in the meantime, Viola will figure out how she can help Felven. Viola's Free Expression might enable him to do some amazing things, but she can't spend long periods of times acting as his muse.
Viola finds most of the exchanges straight forward when it comes down to the deals themselves; far easier than first implied. She is able to collect many small bundles of trinkets, clothes and toys. When she starts the trade with Felven he makes a direct offer.
He sees you walk over with some bundles and offers you a padded stool and a courteous bow, "You've toys enough to distract a handful of families, but to speak straight like rain - that lot is mostly useless." Felven is not upset or bothered, seems to be just speaking his mind.
"You need toys and mine are excellent", he hints a nod and elbow to the three foot tall wooden doll of a girl on the other side of his benches who is absentmindedly playing with a spinning top.
"This I know, but I need a favour from an outsider and if you help me I'll craft happily for you. Yeah?"
Viola regards him curiously. "What do you need?"
Felven looks to make sure nobody can hear him clearly and speaks more softly, "there is a pale one who has ruined my practice. She's a tough old sort and seems to delight in keeping me from stretching out beyond this grove. I can't leave safely and my toys get crushed by her and her accolades. I'd sooner have her done with for a century or so." he's looking at Viola for her reaction. "If you know what I mean?"
OK, does Viola know what a "pale one" might be? I just rolled a stress die of 5 + Faerie Lore 4 + whatever characteristic.
Regardless, Viola is going to respond positively, being fairly confident she can deal with whatever it is.
Viola’s fae lore recalls that Pale Ones are a rarer type of vantoase (female wind, dust storms, weather spirits who prey primarily upon children; and sometimes everyone) who are more malign in their goals and interactions.
Seeing that Viola does not seem perturbed Felven continues, "We've done what we can to keep her from the market, but she persists. You'll know you found Ghori when everything feels like winter".
Let's go look for her, then. I don't suppose Felven could point us in the most likely direction of the moment?
Felven suggests, "Wander through the trees back there, down the goat trail" pointing toward what looks like a thick treeline about 50 paces away, "then follow the trail. If she's about her or one of her host will find you. If you get to my old house you've gone well too far." He adds, "Oh and don't go at night, the host likes to eat at night".
Assuming you at least take a look at the treeline, it is very thin close to the market and thickens quickly, except for a slight gap in the trees that's hard to spot where a trail is almost formed from twigs and debris.