The Logs of the TDFS Tindome
Chapter 14: When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Go Shopping I
Captain Finwë "Nuuru Ho Fanyarë" Ciryandil, Eric Wright, and Mandorak Craggenhilt walk to the market section of Port Rouge, while keeping an eye out for likely bits of real estate. The populace does appear skewed; fewer children and old women. The roads run every which way. They make their way up the hill, trailed by a growing number of interested people.
Mandorak spots a smithy, and veers over to address the one-eyed blacksmith. "Can I help you?"
"Certainly, sir. I'm looking for tools, wood-working tools."
"You'd be ordering these?"
"Well, I have two kits for ship's carpenters." Soon, there is a kit spread out on the ground for the dwarf to examine. There are saws of assorted sizes, some largish wood chisels, gouges, etc. Looking at the tools, it occurs to Mannie that what Bavör really should have is some throwing knives. This smith is not primarily a weapons smith, but he recommends Red Bob, who is four doors down. He does show off a cutlass and a cleaver, pointing out that the cutlass is the more general weapon. Both are too large for Mandorak. However, there is a cutlass-shaped knife which might suit. Alas, it has not been used; a new weapon does not complement Mannie's knack of tools. The smith judges that Red Bob does have some used, refurbished cutlasses and knives. He has one himself, and digs it out of the back.
Mannie examines it, and finds that it is a decent, hand-forged blade with good hardness to its edge. For Mannie, it would be a short sword, and its balance is all wrong. The smith admits that Green Gil was taller than this potential customer. Mannie thanks him for his time and effort, and asks him how he is called. "Let's leave it at Will Smith, for now."
They turn in again at Red Bob's. Red Bob has the traditional leather apron, and an enormous red beard. "Ah! There 'e are, sur."
"You must be Red Bob. I'm looking for a sword, and possibly a dirk."
"In your size, I pr'zoom. What style d'ye prefer?"
Mandorak hasn't used a sword, so he doesn't know. He needs something with experience he can tap into. He describes a straightish blade, and asks for a plain, serviceable weapon. Bob has just the thing. He found it in a treasure chest, and had to cut it down because of the hacking done on it, but it is exceptional metal. He shows it to the dwarf. It is large, but is still a one-handed blade. Bob explains that it is less angular and more leaf-shaped than it was, as a result of his working. Mannie holds the blade, and finds it of decent human workmanship. It's passed through a lot of hands, at least one of whom was an expert.
"I'm certainly interested in this weapon. How much? Oh, and I'm looking for a throwing knife." Finwë and Eric perk up. They understand throwing knives.
Red Bob asks if it should be solely a throwing knife, or can also be used for closer work. Mandorak decides that Bay's knife should be multi-purpose. Bob offers a heavy stiletto, edged part-way down, and diamond-shaped in cross-section. Mandorak thinks the steel is good, Finwë approves of its color, and Eric is happy with the balance. "Fine. How much?"
"Three for the sword, and one for that."
"Doubloons?" Mannie has doubloons.
Mannie rubs the blade with a dubious thumb. This is not the best steel he's seen, and he says so. The weaponsmith points out that there are no iron mines about; all the iron is imported. Mannie points out that the gold is imported too. "Two and a half."
Finwë succeeds at reaching Mandorak telepathically. "Mannie, I think that…" The dwarf has never been reached telepathically before. He jumps. "Stop twitching. This is your captain. Don't you think it would make a better impression if you accepted his price?" Mannie manages to reply, "Bargaining shows respect." "We are, after all, a diplomatic group," warns Finwë.
"Four, with scabbards for each." This is agreed to. Mandorak hands over two doubloons, and agrees to return the next day for the goods.
Their next stop is a chart shop. Eric asks for a map of the Open Sea. The proprietor notes that Eric cannot have been sailing long on the Open Sea, because that are no real charts of it. There are maps of various of its islands, and some simple navigation charts. "You may need a pilot or navigator."
"That could be true. Where could we find such a person?"
"Well, I don't do much of that work now. There is one fellow, but he is a bit of a jinx." It turns out that he offended Captain Irons, and everyone else is reluctant to cross Irons by taking on his forcefully rejected crewman. They may also feel he is indeed a jinx. He now lurks in a pub. We decide we should look for this "Pete."
Eric asks if there are any maps of nearby islands. Skull Island is mentioned. Finwë is intrigued, but we don't buy anything.
Our group decides to start looking for Pete in the nearest pub, which Finwë thinks must be the Lambikins. Mannie thinks it's the Black Sheep. It's some ovine designation, anyhow.
©2002, 2006 Ann Broomhead. All Rights Reserved.