To Three Stones
The Enclave > Known Roads > Journeys

I'll not be leaving this bed it seems, so it comes to this: you'll be leaving your fisher girl and boats for a time, my boy. Not so long in the face now! I'm not for dying yet, but there's coin in the balance and the days are slipping away. I have thirty barrels in Menas' storehouse by the Berths, and not much time to see them to the Grand Market in Three Stones. I owe the old miser Menas nothing, but you'll never convince him of that - easier to have you pay a few coins.

Young Toerel here knows the way, though it might not look like it. Followed in my footsteps these past few years, might make a good merchant of him yet. None of that foolishness with the sea in this one, eh? I recall that taking council comes hard to you, doesn't it, my boy? You'll take it from Toerel - let him help you pick the workers and the mules, and none of your friends from the dockside, eh? Too many thieves hereabouts, my boy, and you need more than just a sharp eye. You'll need a few spearmen too, all the better to keep the guilds happy. You should pay your respects to Geren's daughter at the forge by the riverside, you know the one. She's rough red iron, but the toughs sniffing around her breeches are trustworthy enough. She'll be happy to be rid of a few suitors, but not so happy as Geren, eh? Better to travel with those you know, my boy. I wouldn't want you taken in by the pretty talkers with their pretty armor and pretty spears at the Guild Bridge or the Wayward Visitor.

The Stone Road is an easy journey until you cross the Lothar. The council of Two Springs have got it into their heads to be taxing merchant folk again; the guild is having none of it, but don't go putting yourself between two thieves and a purse just to make your point, my boy. Spearmen are for looks in Two Springs, not for making the guildmaster angry. You mind yourself after the springs, now. The Whisperwood is not a place to be near after dark. I could tell you some stories - but better you just set out early and travel fast and far that day.

You be respectful to traders on the road, eh? I know them all, and don't want to hear all about my unpleasant replacement. If you meet the Sage at Two Stones, be very polite - none of your seafarer's ways. Give him whatever he asks for, and say your uncle sends his regrets.

You'll see spearmen on the Road when the Three Stones watchtowers are in sight. Some of them are fine, upstanding fellows - Toerel knows a few by sight, don't you? Like as not you'll meet toughs no better than the thugs on the dockside here. Pay them a few coins anyway, eh? They do their job, stopping honest travelers from coming too close at dusk or when the Neth come down from the hills. Best you camp further back down the Road, though, or who knows what you'll find rummaging through your packs and my barrels.

There's a bag of coin on the table; whatever you don't spend on merchanting is yours. A ruinous waste from what I know of your tastes, my boy, but needs must, eh? Here, you should take this, my old Seafarers' Needle. She points to the Road come hail, fog or Farthest. I doubt you'll need her, but I don't want to be explaining to your fisher girl that you couldn't do a simple job of trading for your old uncle. Eh? Eh? Now off with you! Time is wasting!

[ Posted by Reason on February 6, 2005 ]