Wolves at the Door (part 14)

“What type of errands are you talking about?”

“Oh, I suppose you could call me a trader of sorts. There are some items produced here that are very rare and sought-after in the world we both came from. On the other hand, some of the mundane goods of that world are always in demand here. Food in particular, and building materials. You must have noticed the basic nature of the local architecture. Partly that’s because the elements are milder here, so the primary concern is privacy, rather than protection from cold and rain. But it’s also partly a result of the difficulty in transporting large quantities of wood or stone from the outside world.

“Most people here consider crossing through the doorways to be dangerous and inconvenient. They prefer not to travel, especially the more well-to-do classes. There’s a decent living to be made as a go-between, if you’re willing to spend your time that way.”

Gil considered this, alongside what Alfvin have already told him.

“How do you manage as a trader if you only travel by night? People must find that pretty suspicious.”

“I admit it is challenging, but there is always a way. Sometimes I am forced to wait until morning and do business while I am at a disadvantage. But the goods I bring are in such demand, that there is usually someone willing to overlook their reservations. I can be quite persuasive, when the need arises.”

“And the nature of those goods is…?”

“Oh, trinkets, good-luck charms and the like. The craftsmanship you can find here surpasses anything they are used to back in their villages.”

As always, Alfvin had surrounded the salient point with irrelevant detail, but this time at least, Gil was alert to which was which. He had suspected something of the sort.

“I see. so when you said earlier that you had yet to encounter genuine magic before you came here…”

“That was absolutely true. It was only after I came here that my eyes were opened. It is ironic that those ill-fated bumpkins who called me a sorcerer ended up driving me here, where magic has become my stock-in-trade.”


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