Part 6: Vox Nihili: Update 4
Excerpt from the Official Journal of the Caravan of the Mountainhome
Today we came upon the settlement of Syrupleaf, hoping to take on great loads of food and drink from this settlement. My initial impression of the landscape is that of a blighted arctic wasteland. Though the undead tread not here, thankfully, there are mighty creatures that even our sturdy guards dare not face. We were fortunate, though, and were confronted by but a single batman, whom we dispatched with ease:
We reach the depot, but no dwarves come forth to trade. The Liaison fearfully heads inside the simple, yet solid doors of the place to seek out the expedition leader. It seems he is too confused by thirst to make meaningful convsersation, and fails to give us any sort of import orders. The Liaison warns him that this is very unusual and counterproductive:
It seems that their Leader Pro tem had withdrawn from society, demanding an anvil with which to complete some sacred metalwork of his god. Fortunately, some peasant or other was cognizant enough to bring out piles of trade goods. It seems this place is not the paradise we hoped for, but the massive hoard of stone and bone baubles and mechanisms they offer will go for many times their price in nearby human towns, so we trade. They purchase every drop of drink we brought with us, and the vast majority of our food stocks as well. It's all we can do to keep enough to survive on for the journey back. What happens next will be burned into my mind forever. Some two dozen desperately thirsty dwarves swarm out of the front gate to the depot, leaping upon the barrels of purchased booze and consuming them with great gusto.
They also purchase some steel armor and 2 iron anvils, in addition to some other odds and ends. We make an excellent profit and quickly pack up. I look forward to making this trip again, if only for the profits. The dwarves here are hardly a friendly and welcoming bunch.
As we left, I heard shouts from within the settlement. The afflicted dwarf had completed his project, pounding out a gold bar purchased from our caravan against an anvil with his bare hands:
Apparently the dwarf's depression and dehydration had led him to visions of his god. This "desertvision" allowed him to craft a great work indeed, a gold boot worth 92,400 coin. Perhaps next year this place will have even more to offer us, if their success doesn't bring unwelcome attention from the resident frost giants and those that will not be spoken of first.
As we leave, I notice that the solid ice on the surface of their natural spring had turned to liquid water. An oasis in a desert of ice.