To Be a Merchant, By Makenvis
Mirasia walked into the markets, gold coins jingling in her hand as she strode past stores. She eyed each of the shop keepers, determined to barter down the price as far as she could. Finally she stopped at the stall of Namia the Tailor, “How goes the business today Mistress Namia?” Mirasia asked as she looked at the finely sewn garments on the table.
“It is quiet, little Mir. How is your Father?” Namia asked her, taking in the jingling coins in her hand as she watched Mirasia, waiting for the moment when the bartering would begin, for it was well known in the small little village that Mirasia wanted to be a renowned merchant once she stepped through the Portal of Fate.
“He is the same as always, insisting I should seek out the Portal and become a Merchant.” Mirasia replied non-committedly. Picking out a pair of leather boots that came up to her knee’s she handed them to Namia, “how much for these?”
Namia looked at Mirasia, “what was your answer to your Father? And those boots will be 5 gold.” Namia looked at the boots, “quite a nice pair of boots those.”
“Same answer as always, I said I wouldn’t leave him alone here, especially when he is sick like he is.” Mirasia quickly opened her hand and counted the coins, though she already knew how much gold she had, she wanted to give the illusion of not having enough. “I have 4 gold coins, and I still need to buy bread and medicine for Father, how about 2 for the boots?” She even tried her best puppy dog eyes.
Namia laughed at her, “come on kid, I’m a Loboshigaru, I have seen puppy eyes and then I have seen puppy eyes, and yours are nowhere near puppy eyes. But I’ll be willing to sell for 4 gold.”
“I can’t spend all my gold, How about 3 gold coins and a spool of thread? I ran out making a shirt for father.”
The canine Loboshigaru considered the offer before she nodded, “any type of thread you wanted?”
“Just plain thread is fine; I don’t plan on making any majestic garments just yet.” Mir said, flashing Namia a quick smile as she handed the 3 golden coins over, taking the leather boots in the other hand. She waited patiently as the Middle aged Loboshigaru searched around in a chest located in a locked space at the bottom of the stall for some thread. “Aha!” She cried out triumphantly and popped up above the stall again, the spool of thread held in her hand. “Good doing business with you Mir, hope your Father gets better soon.”
Mirasia thanked her profusely as she took the spool, before she hurried off to the baker’s stall to buy some bread. There was a bit of a line at the bakers stall however, so she hurried past it and went to the Apothecaries house to get a vial of healing and some herbs for her father.
As she opened the door to the familiar smell of herbs, salves and purgatives, she was greeted by the old Lucidian Alchemist and Village Apothecary. “Just the usual for you today Mir? Reishi and Health for your Father? How is he going, any better or worse?”
“He seems to be getting better; it’s hard to tell though he is just so slow. How much is it going to cost?” Mirasia looked despairingly at the 2 remains gold coins in her hand. She had gotten the boots and the thread cheaper than she had been expecting, her tactic of getting the thread to justify the cost had paid off.
“How much do you have dearie?” The kind Lucidian asked.
Everyone in the small village knew her father and his condition and everyone hoped he would get better so that he could go out and bring in some fresh meat. Ever since he had contracted Aeon halfway through the past year hunting a bear, his hunting trips had decreased until he barely went out hunting at all.
“I only have 2 gold pieces left and I still need to buy some supplies from the baker for the week.” She looked at the last two coins she had for this trip and reflected upon the finical situation they were in, her Father hadn’t been out hunting this month which meant that there was nothing to sell, for she needed hides and pelts from the animals he hunted to make clothes for them and also to sell and her father would often trade away the extra meat he got for other necessities of their lives. Her mother had died when she was young from an illness so they didn’t have much of a garden either, though Mirasia tried to garden, she just wasn’t as good at it as her Mother was.
“You can take these for 1 gold coin,” holding up his finger to silence her objections “and when your Father is better or you have enough gold, you can pay me back. How does that sound?” The Old Lucidian’s eyes had turned a caring orange colour and Mirasia smiled and thanked him, “I’ll pay you back I promise.” She headed for the door, waving goodbye before she left for the Baker’s once again.
The Baker’s stall wasn’t busy this time so she approached a bit more slowly, browsing his wares before she even got there. “Hello Akoa, I saw business was booming earlier” she greeted the large human as she finally got to the large stall.
“Indeed it was, nearly sold all of my Nut Bread to those people, paid good gold for it though, so it’s alright.” Akoa said, he was a tall human, with large, muscled arms and an even larger belly, he had sandy blond hair, which despite his 50 odd years still wasn’t greying and made the best Berry cookies.
“I hope you have some left over?” Mirasia asked with, what she hoped was, a charming smile.
“Of Course I do, I always have some spare for you and your family. Your Mother is the reason I was able to open this shop, if not for her and her druid abilities I wouldn’t have been able to grow many plants.” Akoa chatted away casually as he produced two loaves of Nut Bread and a Berry cookie for Mirasia, only as he handed it to her did he realize he had said too much.
“My Mother was a Druid?” Mirasia said quietly, she hadn’t heard much about her Mother’s past life before she had met her Father, in fact the more she thought about it the more she realized she hadn’t heard much about either of her Parent’s past lives.
“She was, quite a well-known Druid as well, helped many people who lived in or near a forest like we do. She would go around and talk to the plants, encouraging them to grow, it was said she could make a field of wheat grow in even the worst conditions. Tell you what, if you come back tomorrow I will tell you all about your Mother and you can help me sell some of this bread?”
Mirasia gave Akoa an eager nod and was about to rush off when he called out one last thing, “oh and since you are returning tomorrow, take this backpack with you to hold your stuff and then you can give it to me tomorrow when you return.”
“Sure thing!” Mirasia said as she caught the plain grey backpack he threw her, putting all her stuff into it, carefully making sure the vial of health and the herbs were safe and sound. “Thank you, Akoa.” She called out as she ran back towards the outskirts of the village and closer towards the forest where she and her Father lived.
“Dad, I’m home.” She said as she burst through the door, grey backpack in hand she strode through the house until she came to where her Father was lying on his bed in his bedroom. He looked like he was asleep, except for the painfully slow raising of his chest that was him inhaling.
“You’ve gotten worse.” She said all joy fallen from her in an instant.
Her Dad moved to nod; a movement Mirasia recognised easily “don’t, just save your strength.” Aeon slowed the body down, meaning it took him minutes to move his head up and down in a nod instead of mere seconds. Her Father had been affect by it pretty badly, it slowed down his entire system, his heart didn’t beat faster than five beats per minute, barely able to move the blood around his large Viscanti body.
“Please just hold on” Mir said, putting small cuttings Reishi herb in his mouth and watching as he chewed and washed it down with some health potion. The process took all afternoon and sometime into the night before they could start on dinner.
Fortunately with his body slowed down so much his metabolism didn’t work fast enough for her Father to have to eat much else. So much of the food he ate could last him a full day if they stretched it, which he did to save food for Mirasia.
They spent the rest of the night together, Mirasia just talking to her Father about life, about how her day went and about her Mother and eventually she fell asleep in the chair beside his bed.
3 Months later, Mirasia turned 18; she spent the day with her friends from the Village, while some of the Villagers looked after her Father, Akoa had even baked a cake to share with the Village.
“Mirasia, Come quick! It’s your Father.” Came the cry from one of the younger boys in the Village. Mirasia was off and running with all the strength her Viscanti body could produce, what would have been a Ten minute journey took her Two. She burst through the door to see Akoa comforting Namia, the Apothecary was standing next to her Father’s bed, his eyes a dull grey of grief.
“No,” She said as she stared at her Father’s body, “raise, raise, Raise!” She screamed the word at her Father, as if shouting it would make him come back to life. She tried to run to him but found Akoa’s massive arms surrounding her, “let me go Akoa.” She growled at him, trying to slip out of his arms. Even being deceptively strong she still couldn’t get out of his grasp, a testament to his warrior past.
Finally with no anger to support her she broke down, bursting into tears in the protective embrace of Akoa.
“It’s alright Mir, it’s alright.” Akoa said to her reassuringly as he walked her back into town. “We’ll stay at mine tonight, if you don’t mind?”
“It’s fine; I don’t care where I stay tonight.” Mirasia said her world a blur.
She had just lost the last family member she knew about. Then the realization struck her: She could go through the Portal of Fate. Her final reason for not going had gone, she was free. Then she felt guilty for rejoicing in her Father’s death before even a single day had passed.
“I’m going through the Portal of Fate tomorrow.” She said resolutely to Akoa before she went to bed that night.
“Good on you, now have a good night’s rest and I’ll see you tomorrow for your big day.”
She slept soundly that night and was woken up by the sounds of people talking; she lay in the comfortable bed for a little longer as her started to fully wake up.
Slowly she got out of the bed and walked towards the main room of the medium sized house, there she found Akoa and Namia talking, with a backpack on the table between them.
“Hello Kid.” Namia said warmly, quickly stashing the bundle she was carrying in the backpack without even looking at it. “How was your sleep?”
“I slept well, thank you.” Mirasia was cautious now, the apparent secrecy of Namia, who normally never hid anything from her was putting her on edge. “Is this about my Father?”
“No, not at all, this is a much happier topic.” Akoa replied, holding out half a loaf of bread with some honey slathered on it. Realising how hungry she was Mirasia took it and ate as she listened to Namia and Akoa talk to her.
“Eat up; you have a full day ahead of you if you want to reach the Portal of Fate before Sun Down.” Namia said as she packed various items into the pack, storing some more carefully than others.
It dawned on Mirasia that she had told Akoa she was going to the Portal today and her jaw hung open mid-bite for a moment before Akoa laughed at her and she closed her mouth.
“Did you forget Mir? Well we certainly won’t let you forget about it, you will miss your chance if you don’t go on your way shortly, 18 is the age limit remember.” Akoa said gently to her, putting some bread in the pack for her.
“It’s fine, thank you for your help.” Mirasia said, her eyes filling with tears at the generosity of these two villagers.
“It’s the least we owe you; now finish eating that so we can be off on the journey.” Mirasia looked at Akoa and Namia and noticed for the first time that morning that Akoa had a sword strapped to his belt and that Namia was dressed in Mage’s robes. Both had Backpack slung over their backs.
“Haha! Didn’t think we’d let you travel the open roads all by yourself did you? But enough talking, let’s go.” And with that the company of three left their village and started Mirasia’s Journey to the Portal of Fate.
It took them most of the day to get to the Portal by they finally made it, and standing there before it Mirasia found herself excited by the prospect of finally stepping through it and truly beginning her Journey to be a Famous Merchant.
“Come on kid, time for you to finally take that step.” Akoa said warmly as he gave her a gentle push towards the glowing Portal.
“We’ll be waiting to hear the news of Mirasia, the Merchant Queen.” Mir turned around as Namia spoke and was embraced in a hug by her. “Now go and have fun.”
Mirasia hugged Namia back before she disengaged and turned to Akoa, “I will have fun, and thank you both so much. If I come back to find that your bread isn’t as good I will be disappointed Akoa.” She said as the tears started to build up, hiding the tears she embraced Akoa in a bear hug.
“The bread will always be the same, and there will always be a loaf for you.” Akoa replied, patting her on the back.
Mirasia disengaged from Akoa and turned to face the Portal, confidentially she approached it, one step from it she stopped and turned back, “make sure you bury Father next to Mother, it’s what he’d want.” And with that she strode through the glowing Portal.
A day later, Mirasia stepped out from the Portal as Air Neophyte Mirasia, she was greeted by her fellow Guild mates and novices and said a quick greeting in reply before she left to try and learn a few things about Tailoring and being a merchant for her time within the Portal had only increased her dreams of becoming a merchant.
With only the words of an older guild mate to guide her she travelled around Hallifax finding the local shops and sussing them out. Eventually with enough lessons she sought out a tutor and learnt some Tailoring before she headed out to the land to think about designs and think Merchant thoughts.
While out and wandering she came to rest in the Newton Caves, feeling safe in the presence of Morrund the Dwarf she sat down and waited there, thinking about Merchants and about the Aeromancers.
Upon awaking from her meditation she noticed a young Trill standing there having a discussion with Morrund, as she watched Morrund took pity on the young Trill and handed some gold coins over to him, the young man then smiled broadly and walked off further into Newton Caverns.
“Wait!” Mirasia cried out, she had found a delivery boy and someone who could bring in the customers for her new business.
After a short run she caught up to the young Trill as he was begging money off a friendly Gnome, “ah hello there.” He said
“Hi, I…have…a…offer.” Mirasia said while trying to catch her breath
“Sure thing, oh and I’m Carte by the way.” The Trill said, sticking out his hand, a friendly smile on his face.
Finally Mirasia caught her breathe and shook his hand, “Mirasia, now about this offer. I’m in the Tailoring business and I need someone who can help me get customers, I saw you influence Morrund back there and this Gnome again now and I think you’d be prefect for the job.” Then Mirasia looked down at his feet and saw he wasn’t wearing shoes.
“That sounds alright; will I get to travel around much? I want to explore you see.” Carte said, noticing Mirasia looking at his feet.
“You will indeed, and to travel you will need a pair of shoes, as a sign of my goodwill let me make you some.” And so the beginning of her Merchant Journey was started, she had her first customer and her first business partner.
Carte nodded and began to follow Mirasia as she beckoned, “first I will have to get some material then I can make you some.” They portaled through to Hallifax, where a quick run around the city and a small amount of being lost found them in the commodities shop buying enough leather to make a pair of boots.
After making the boots for Carte they portaled back to Newton Caverns and she handed the boots over to Carte. As she handed the boots over to Carte, Makenvis, the tiny Faeling (and yours truly) appeared.
“Oh nice boots.” He said in his high pitched little voice.
“Who said that?” Mirasia demanded.
“I Did.” Replied Makenvis as he flew up and alighted on her shoulder, she looked at him in surprise for he was easily the shortest Faeling she had ever seen, standing at only a foot tall.
“Did you want a pair little Faeling?” Carte asked, engaging in his diplomatic skills and trying to earn some business for Mir.
“I most certainly would.” Makenvis replied, wriggling his dirty little toes, “but make sure you make them to size.” He added quickly.
Mirasia beamed a second customer and her business was booming; she would be famous in no time.