Hasan fidgeted as he waited for Feldard to to explain why the horses must go to Kelvin. He wished the party had left the road behind and traveled the more secret byways of the forest.

Ludo moved his horse closer to hear what was going on. He sensed no danger from Ahiktos, and could see that he wanted to strike a bargain and do some horse trading. From Ludo’s point of view, he would be glad to get rid of them. They were on a more important mission, and these white horses were like a huge target that a blind beggar could not miss. It would have been far better to strike more inland away from the Duke’s Road and proceed onto Threshold to keep any enemies guessing as to their destination. So, as far as Ludo was concerned, the sooner the horses were sold, the better. But Stephen was the only one who could make this decision.

Feldard chuckled. “If the decision were mine, I’d have been rid of them by now. But to my knowledge they are bound to a particular market. You are however welcome to discuss the matter with my employer.” Feldard nodded towards Stephen briefly. “The right amount of money might convince him to reconsider our market.”

Mikos edged next to Stephan. He whispered quietly eying the merchant, “Stephan, I come from the House of Dostevar, a great trading house, whose name in honored and trusted. This man will not offer you what Pyotr wants for your horses, we are in the middle of a road not a trading house. These are fine steeds and would fetch a high price in Riff-” he caught himself, “Kelvin. If he is keen he might pay two hundred gold per head. But I doubt it.”

Upon seeing the gaudy merchant, Stephan immediately put on his haggling airs—chiefly manifested as a still, emotionless face. He maintained eye contact with the Ahiktos as his companions deferred to him on the matter of selling the horses. He was relieved when Maruc deftly changed the subject and although maintaining a stony countenance, he was eager to hear the man’s response.

After listening to Ahiktos’s response concerning Golthar, Stephan noted in a decisive tone, “Ah, well, regarding these mounts, you are indeed correct they are prized and we have buyers arranged. I’m not about to make any sale here on the open road.”

After hearing Stephens comments, Ludo sighed. Another day avoiding horse droppings lay in front of him.

The priest nudged his horse forward. “Apologies if I am interrupting your haggling, but could you tell us of the road ahead?” Maruc thought for a moment, it was a longshot but…“And might you have heard tell of a yellowed robed man by the name of Golthar?”
The merchant shrewdly took in all that he had heard, and then responded.

“I am disappointed that it seems that we will not be able to make terms on your fine horses, but I suspect that you have your very good reasons. It is interesting that you should ask if I had heard of such a man. I will tell you now that I have most certainly heard about the likes of you in my visit to the barony. I am certain that I have information that you will find most interesting. For a mere 90 crona, I would be pleased to share it with you.”



Filed under D&D, Dungeons & Dragons, rpg

9 responses to “Ahiktos

  1. 12:16pm, Moldain, the 1st of Flaurmont, 1001AC
    Partly cloudy, cool

    Maruc: 10xp+10xp
    Miklos: 10xp
    Feldard: 10xp
    Hasan: 10xp+5xp
    Stephan: 10xp
    Ludo: 10xp+5xp

    Maruc: 23,805/24000
    Miklos: 23,815/40000
    Feldard: 24,095/34000
    Hasan: 23,265/32000
    Stephan: 23,090/32000
    Ludo: 22,590/40,000

  2. Maruc

    Maruc laughed good naturedly, “Nintey crona indeed? Indeed you are a merchant. Very well, I have no desire to ride into the north without some idea of what is ahead.” Maruc delved into his pouch and produced the money. “This may save us much trouble of one sort or the other.” He counted the money into his hand.
    “Please, tell us how you know of us. Who has been asking and all you can of Golthar the Yellow. Where and when you came by this information. Also the dangers on the road ahead.”

  3. miklosdostevar

    Miklos paled as he watched the priest just hand over enough money to keep his church in Specularum going for a week. However he couldn’t fault his logic, merchants can be bought, but it is rare. They usually try to remain neutral in most affairs, or so his father had taught him. It is bad for buisness if your reputation for honesty suffers. His word was probably good.

    (assuing we aren’t attacked etc.)
    Taking leave of the caravan and its wiley host Miklos skirted the train helping the marshall the horses under Stephans’ direction. He pulled in beside Maruc as the northward road to Rifflian stretched before them.

  4. Hasan

    Hasan dropped all pretense of horsetrading immediately. “How long were you in Kelvin? When did you hear your story? Quickly now, man, we haven’t all the time in the world.” The rat-a-tat nature of the questions, and the elf’s lilting accect, weren’t new to Feldard, but the dwarf guffawed rather loudly none-the-less at the world’s most impatient elf.

  5. Feldard

    Feldard shook his head at the priests lack of bartering skills. The man could have easily been brought down to at 70 crona if the priest and elf had sounded less desperate. He had his doubts as to what the merchant knew and his source. The dwarf moved away from the group, sidling his mount nearer to one of the caravan guards. “Ahiktos has a rather loud mouth,” he commented quietly to the man, “Is he worth the bother to listen to? Or is he as full of himself as he seems?” It was a means to test the loyalty of the merchants retainers and a measure of the merchant himself.

  6. Stephan

    Stephan maintained his silence, listening carefully to what Ahiktos had to say. He kept his eyes on the horses and on the rest of Ahiktos’ caravan. To hear that the party is already marked was troubling.

    To Hasan he said out of Ahiktos’ earshot, “We must leave the road. Our first encounter and we learn of us being marked already. We should seek the shelter of the woods.”

  7. Ludo

    Ludo hearded the horses past the caravan, when out of earshot of Ahiktos he said “it will be difficult to move these horses through the woods, I think we have no choice but to keep to the Dukes road and make our way to Rifillian as quickly as we can”. When we approach the town, Stepehn, Maruc and I take the horses to the market – sell them and then we move straight onto Threshold meeting up with the others on the other side of Rifillian. Golthar and his cronies will be looking for seven of us, including a Dwarf and an Elf. If they are not visable, there is a chance we can move past Rifillian without being reported on or attacked and give Golthar the slip”.

  8. Stephan

    Stephan took in Ludo’s plan.
    “Aye, good plan, Ludo. If we’re to stay on the open road, perhaps some of us may ride in the woods so we don’t look like a party of seven at first glance.”

  9. Hasan

    Hasan listened admiringly to the humans’ plan. It was a sound way to disguise the group, and splitting up might be helpfully tactically if it came to combat. But first, they needed to hear from what may lie ahead. “Out with it now, Akitos. What have you heard of the fall of the great tower, or the Scourge of the Iron Ring?”

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