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File: tegaki.png (23 KB, 400x400)
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Dear Penpal,

I know that it has been a few days since I last wrote to you, but I suppose you wouldn’t have received the last two, anyway, given the distance which we correspond from. I have been thinking for a long time, and decided that things change, today. I fear the day I wrote to you about last time. My time at the Alchemists’ Guild will render me unable to pursue my goals, and if I wait any longer, I won’t have much proof of concept to demonstrate why it’s worth anyone’s time. Please, when you read this, be quick in your response. I will hope that your judgment falls in line with my own, lest you find yourself sorely disappointed in me.

-Lynn

P.S.,
Feel free to tell me all about yourself, in a separate, less urgent letter. I apologize for being so one-sided, all the time. It’s just so hectic, lately. I hope you don’t find me rude.


Then I closed my diary, locked it up with the little key I always keep on hand, and put the book away in my satchel as I stood up from the tree stump right in front of my family’s house. Letters I'll never send to a pen pal I'll never meet. I just like imagining that I have one. It’s romantic, and interesting, in a way that village life just, isn’t.

I'm Lynnette Alintine, a commoner living on the outskirts of a prosperous city, and I have but one goal above all the others: I want to be a merchant. Not your run-of-the-mill item shop salesman, but something far bigger, and more importantly, more profitable. If I could give myself a title, it’d be the Merchant Supreme, or something lofty like that. But for now, I have my sights set on a smaller goal, and that goal is finding a way to make a successful living peddling wares with a more immediate return before my family pushes me off on the Alchemists' Guild when I turn eighteen. They don't send letters of invitation to just anyone, after all, and I would be able to make a living off of an education from there for myself and my family. It’s just, not what I want to do, even if I am pretty good at it.

Now the question is, how should I start? I don't have to worry about food and lodgings, for the time being, but I don't have the space to work out of, either. Or the wares to sell, for that matter.
>>
It reset my name when I forgot to include a file, but this will be my handle
>>
>>2066326
Buy reagents and stuff, use your alchemical knowledge to make potions, you are sure you can find a niche in the market
>>
>>2066334
That's it! What was I even thinking? Was I seriously going to try and peddle pot-lid shields to hapless heroes? I could be making a name for myself as a potion seller.

And so I scurried right off to the local market, preparing my meager coin purse to take a hit. I knew that I couldn't make any curatives on my current budget, but it was highly unlikely that I would be able to find someone genuinely willing to ingest my product so soon, as is, anyway. So then the question was, what should I buy ingredients to try and make, and for what purpose?

>plant growth assistance serum
>coloring/dye
>protective varnish
>write-in
>>
>>2066345
>plant growth assistance serum
There are plenty of farmers to market our product to
>>
>>2066351
There really was only one market I could appeal to with absolute certainty, in this part of town, and that would be the farmers. Not everyone was as blessed as I with intellect, after all, and someone would always have to labor in the fields if the rest of us were to make money providing other goods and services. If ever I had a stable market at this stage, the farmers would be it. The Spring is fresh, and so is the harvest, and so the farmers are inevitably going to prepare for their next planting. Maybe the farmers, or their wives for some of the busier ones, would like to invest in my product. The product I was thinking of, in particular, was a serum that would accelerate a plant's growth toward a a healthy harvest. And so I bought all the ingredients: Mushrooms from a part of the forest I am not confident enough to enter; securely-contained 'organic compound', which I am fairly certain is rotten flesh from a small creature, such as a squirrel, which I could have prepared myself, were I not in such a hurry to get started; and last but not least, salt. That bit was the worst part. I got half of what I wanted to acquire for what I expected to pay, and a half.

Being able to acquire salt for myself and sell it back off as it is, could sustain a decent living with generally minimal effort, done right. That is, a platform from which I could really rise into something bigger, now that I think about it.

But for the time being, I put all that out of my mind, and hurried back home. I was already thinking through the production of this compound. I distilled the water, accelerated the fermentation of the rotten compound in my alembic set, and added the salt to the putrid mixture whilst crushing up the mushrooms and extracting their oils for use in the final mixture. While I allowed it all to slowly simmer, I pushed my window open for a breath of less-than-hazardous air and preserved the remaining crushed mushroom in a jar.

When the mixture was done, it certainly smelled a lot better, but I'd depleted my salt in making the batch. I definitely had to sell all sixteen liters of the growth serum I'd created, or face coming up negative, already. If that happened, I doubted I would find another way to make the money to acquire more salt.

How should I go about selling this product?
>door-to-door to the families, themselves, later in the evening
>speaking to the families during the day, while the men and capable boys are out working in the fields
>approaching the farmers, directly
>write-in

Sorry that I have to stop posting so soon, but I have to wake up early-ish tomorrow, and I need to be prepared. I will post again then, so keep up with the thread. Thanks for playing along.
>>
>>2066383
Sixteen fluid ounces, not liters! HALF a liter. Shoot. That'd be a mountain of everything.
>>
I'm back. Time for round 2
>>
>>2066385
>speaking to the families during the day, while the men and capable boys are out working in the fields
>>
>>2066738
Bothering the farmers could turn out to be a bit annoying. Nobody wants to be stopped from their work to listen to someone rattle on about some stupid plant juice. I'd have much better luck with the wives and families.

And so I went around to the homes, and began pitching my wares. Or, ware, as it was in a single bottle. Most people who know me understand that I am a generally talented alchemist for a girl my age, but I'm not so sure that'll sell them entirely on a product like this one, which is a pretty substantial investment in the farm.

So I approached the Leith family household. They've known me all my life, but I couldn't be certain that'd help me at all with the prices I was fetching. In order to make a profit, I needed to make more than 27 Gold pieces, which I had to spend on the ingredients to produce this serum (The salt alone cost me 20 for five pinches, and only after I haggled it down!) That's no small order, especially from farming families. But if ever there was a season I could expect to try and make it back, it would be this Spring.

So I knocked on the door, and the door opened to Mrs. Samantha Leith, the farmer's wife, and a kind woman.

"Oh, Lynn! What a lovely surprise? How's your mother doing?"

"She's fine, thank you! She reminded me of the time we all came over for your apple pies last night over supper, and then I remembered about last year's harvest. So I came up with a solution for it..."

>Roll 1d100
>20 or below: No sale
>40 or below: Break even
>60 or below: 30% profit
>80 or below: 60% profit
>81+: ???
>>
Rolled 63 (1d100)

>>2066821
>>
>>2066857
As I explained the way it works, and provided her the easy-to-follow instructions of application of a drop to each plant at the base, as close to the roots as possible. She seemed interested and patient in equal measure; it actually encouraged me, somewhat. I definitely showed how much of a novice I am in trying to sell it, but fortunately, it turned out alright.

"Alright, darling," She replied with a small chuckle. "I understand how this could help us with our next harvest. I'll trust you. How's thirty-eight gold sound? And if it works like you said, I'm sure I can convince my husband to buy more for next season." Her smile as she said it warmed my heart. Or maybe it was the coins she placed into my palm. Either way, I was satisfied. My first sale gave me a certain rush, and reminded me that even though it had already required a lot of legwork, it would all be worth it in the end.

As I thanked her for her patronage once more, I looked up at the sky, and saw that I still had a good amount of daylight left to act. I counted my money for a quick check on how much gold I had after that sale. I started the day with 40, and am currently at 48, with some dehydrated mushroom chunks for some future recipe preserved in a jar in my room.

I took this time to ponder what I would do next.

>Repeat the process and try for another sale to make more money
>Look into finding easier ways to acquire an ingredient
>Walk around my part of town to clear my head
>Write-in
>>
>Repeat the process to try and make more money

Also how much does each item cost? Do you have prices written down?
>>
>>2069135

Yes I do! I have a spreadsheet detailing her inventory and everything. The recipe for the growth serum is the oil of two mushroom pouches, the "organic compound," and five pinches of salt.
>Shroom Pouch: 2G
>Organic Compound: 5G
>Pinch of Salt: 4G

Also, I made a clerical error: Lynn has 49G right now. She started with 40 and made 9 in profits.
>>
>>2069135

I walked to the market to acquire the materials for another batch of my specially-made plant growth serum, in the hope that I could convince someone else to purchase my product. If I keep selling like this, though, my growth will be painfully slow. Maybe I could try negotiating it down further? It could be risky, though. I might lose favor with one of the traders, if I mess up.

>Buy everything at the same price as last time
>Negotiate for shrooms (1d2)
>Negotiate for O. Compound (1d3)
>Negotiate for Salt (1d4)
>>
Rolled 2 (1d3)

>>2069236
>Negotiate for O. Compound (1d3)
>>
Rolled 1 (1d3)

>>2069236
>Negotiate for O. Compound (1d3)
>>
>>2069274
>>2069292
(I'll take the higher roll)

I spent a few minutes negotiating with the merchant, but he apologized and told me that he couldn't go any lower, if he wished to feed his family. I almost felt bad for him, before I realized he was selling decomposing animal flesh in a vial. I seemed to break even with him, this time, but I doubt the organic compound merchant will want to hear more negotiation in the near future.

I spent 29 gold in total, again, and returned to my neck of the woods to get to the kit in my house. After finishing the serum, I decided to sell to a household I wasn't as familiar with, a few minutes' walk from my house. A hardy-looking woman with dirty sleeves answered the door.

"Allo, ye lass. 'Ow ken I 'alp ye?" She asked in an accent that reeked of 'foreigner'. Judging by the small, fresh dirt patch fenced off on the side of the house, I had assumed that a farmer lived here, and so, I decided to try my hand selling in the hopes that this household did practice agriculture.

>Try to capitalize on the foreigner's newness to the area (1d6)

>Try to sell normally (1d100)
>20 or below: No sale
>40 or below: Break even
>60 or below: 30% profit
>80 or below: 60% profit
>81+: ???
>>
Rolled 2 (1d6)

>>2069334
>Try to capitalize on the foreigner's newness to the area (1d6)
>>
>>2069339

I might have gotten a bit greedy with my attempted pricing. It turns out, asking for 100 Gold is clearly highway robbery no matter where you are. "You think I'm bloodeh stuped, don't you, ye li'l red boot? A hunnerd gawld?! Don'tche come back, now, or I'll grow the fooken potatoes off yer 'ide!"

As the door slammed in my face, I felt a pang of regret. That was a customer I may never get back. I placed the half-liter of formula into my bag and started walking away, feeling tired and dejected as a result of my utter failure to pace myself.

>Attempt another sale somewhere else
>Attempt another sale at the same house
>Go home for some rest
>Write-in
>>
>>2069396
>Attempt another sale somewhere else
I pity the dumb goy who doesn't want to buy my shit
>>
>>2069404
Seconded. Oy vey
>>
>>2069404
>>2069408

I may have felt bad at the time, but I knew that I couldn't let it keep me down. I quickly made for another home with farmland, nearby. An old man with a leathery tan answered the door. "Ahhh, good afternoon, young missy. How can I help you on this day?" He asked with a soft smile.

>Sell normally (d100)
>Write-in
>>
Rolled 59 (1d100)

>>2069420
>Sell normally (d100)
>>
>>2069430

"Well, you know, I don't have the time or flexibility to put a single dab of this juice on every one of my crops... But my granddaughter is a florist, and I'm sure she would love this. Is it safe for flowers?" The old man asked.

"It will lead to faster, healthier growth for all normal plants. Just warn her that that includes weeds, so she'd need to be careful." As I spoke, the old man handed me 46 gold coins in exchange for the serum, and I quickly thanked him for his patronage before he shut the door. I now had 66 gold, a substantial raise from my original 40, this morning. If I wanted, I could buy enough ingredients for two batches of the serum, now, or I could try making something entirely new! The sky's the limit. Or, 66 gold.

>Come up with a new item to sell
>Repeat the process and try for more sales
>Look into finding easier ways to acquire an ingredient
>Walk around this part of town
>Write-in
>>
>>2069445
>Look into finding easier ways to acquire an ingredient
Look into displacing water in sea water or boiling it
>>
>>2069451

What if I used the buoyancy differential between fresh water and seawater to extract the salt from it, thus drastically reducing my need for any sort of middleman? Perhaps if I boiled it, I could acquire salt, as well. Truly, a foolproof plan! Except for the fact that I live a pretty long way away from the sea. The nearest port town is a day's ride in a horse-drawn wagon, so I've heard. That said, if I collected enough salt while I was there, it could be more than worth it.

There are a few problems, however: First, the roads are dangerous, especially for a beautiful young woman such as myself. Second, I have no way to carry all my supplies and the necessary parts of my alembics kit to take the salt in the first place. And third, I have never left Archduke Rufus Hangover's domain, before. Who knows what the rest of the kingdom is like? I should set about finding transport, a guide, and a way to protect myself, if I really am going to do this. How should I even start?

>Acquire transport
>Find a willing guide
>Attain some means of protection
>"Is it really worth it?"
>Write-in
>>
>>2069473
>Write in
Maybe there are adventurers or mercenaries heading out as well, hopping along with them would make things easier
>>
>>2069486
Adventurers! Of course! Impassioned wanderers who enjoy the spirit of the unknown and let the idea of adventure whisk them away to wherever the road goes. Maybe, if I can find a trustworthy-ish group, they won't knife me and steal my gold. People go in and out of town every day. Surely, I can do the same. I was so excited by the very thought of traveling as an adventurer does that I took to the road to observe wagon traffic, to see how my prospects looked for tomorrow. And that's when I saw it: A wagon broken down on the side of the road, missing a wheel. There was a lone hooded figure, sitting there with their elbows on their knees. I couldn't tell much about them from where I was: behind them, and at a distance.

>Approach
>Ignore it
>Go home
>Write-in
>>
>>2069503
>Approach
>>
Rolled 1 (1d2)

>>
File: Stranger.jpg (275 KB, 736x981)
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>>2069505
>>2069509

As I approached the wagon, I let the hooded person know of my presence. "Uhh..." But before I could say anything of substance, they jumped with a feminine shriek, and fell off the wagon, right onto their face. While I stood there in some muted shock, the woman scrambled to her feet and straightened up, clutching her cheek all the while. She was a bit taller than me, but I'm not short.

"Hiya! Did they send you to fix the wagon?" The woman asked after a few awkward seconds of hissing and pressing down on her bruised cheek. I could see a bow on the seat next to where she was, and I knew that she had to be an archer.

>"Yes."
>"No, but I can help."
>"No."
>Write-in
>>
>>2069516
>"No, but I can help."
>>
>>2069519
As I offered to help, the woman grinned She took one of my hands in both of hers, and gazed at me with the sort of admiration typically reserved for someone's role model. "Wow! You must be a really good person. Thank you, kind stranger. The wheel keeps falling off, and we couldn't make it stick. If you ask me, I think the thing that keeps the wheel from falling off... Fell off." She gently kicked the wheel with her impractically-heeled boot. "Any idea how we can keep the wheel on? We can't afford a proper craftsman to take care of the thing, so any solution you can think of is better than what we currently have."

>"Who's this 'we' you keep mentioning?"
>Propose a solution
>"Why are you holding my hand?"
>Write-in
>>
>>2069532
>Propose a solution
Ask what tools they have on them to come up with an improvised solution
>>
>>2069543
"Tools? Uhhh... Should we have tools?" The woman asked, pacing around and tapping at her chin. "...I think I had some glue, somewhere. I think." I watched her flounder about helplessly, thinking about how I should set about fixing this wheel. I was never talented at building or repairing things. Or fighting. Or jury-rigging things. I started to remember why I never left home before. And maybe she shouldn't have, either. "Oh! Here it is. It's not the strongest glue but maybe it could help? I also have some string and rope. They're not tools, but... You know."

>Make do with what she's provided
>Go acquire something else
>Write-in
>>
>>2069562
>Write-in
Show off a bit by using alchemy to make the glue stronger
>>
>>2069566
I'll get back to this tomorrow, but it's that time again. Thanks for playing, and have a good night
>>
>>2069516
Suppress the temptation to say something punny about fixing wagons and actually say
>"No, but I can help."
>>
>>2069588
Woah, slow update, nevermind.

>>2069562
>Write-in
Examine the axle. It's probably not that difficult to jury-rig the thing so they can get to a proper wheelwright.
>>
>>2069595
Seconded
While it would be a good idea to show off your talents, gluing the wheel on will literally make it not move
>>
>>2069566
>>2069595
>>2070032

I considered showing off by strengthening the glue with the power of alchemy, but promptly decided against it. Depending on the type of axle, it could possibly break the wagon even further if I glued the wheel on tight. My best bet would be to try my best and jury-rig the wheel back on, with this stranger's help.

I examined the axle, and noticed it was somewhat bent. The wood was still sturdy, but one of the metallic fittings had bent. Perhaps we could pry it back into shape and fit the wheel back on, that way.

>roll 1d100
>>
Rolled 56 (1d100)

>>2070404
What could go wrong?
>>
Rolled 61 (1d100)

>>2070404
Throwing my hat in the ring as well
>>
>>2070598
>>2070612
I'm sorry for today, you two. It's been a super busy day and I may have the same issue tomorrow. I'll do my best, though, so I'll keep posting when I can until the end of the thread. I will generate a sequel thread as well so stay tuned for that. Now for the post:

I had the stranger find a rock on the side of the road, and, in a moment of characteristic ingenuity, I started whacking at the fitting with it. At one point, I nearly cut my hand open, but got away with a bruise. Eventually, I set it into something of a generally good fit, and, with the stranger's help, we managed to get the wheel back on. That said, it didn't seem like it would stay for very long, as that was just getting it on. That didn't stop the hooded woman from being impressed.

"That was really clever of you. Thank you so much. My companion should be back any moment with some things to try and fix the wagon with. If you would stay until then, I would be very grateful. The sun will go down, soon, after all.

>Stay with the woman
>Offer to have her come to your house
>Decline her
>Write-in (or any variation of the above options)
>>
>>2072108
It's okay, everyone has things they need to do

>Stay with her, ask her name, and be generally sociable. She could be useful with that bow, if we make a good enough impression
>>
>>2072149
second, it ain't /qst/ without waifuing the first girl you find
>>
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>>2072149

I decided to take a seat next to this stranger, on the wagon, so she knew that I was going to stick around. She was clearly pleased by the result, as when I asked for her name, she quickly replied, "I'm Elsey! Pleased to meetcha, miss..."

"Lynn," I interjected before the silence hung in the air for very long. "Lynnette Alintine. Nice meeting you." I smiled at her. She seemed kind of ditzy, but she was earnest, and I couldn't help but enjoy how genuine her apparent respect for me was. In retrospect, maybe that was exactly why I liked her from the very beginning.

I was quick to ask her questions about her journey. All she told me was that she came from further inland, and was headed toward Port Pumpy, which everyone historically silently agreed to call it, when its real name is actually Port Pumprulusp. I wasn't outwardly fazed by the lucky break; the wagon did seem to be headed on the path towards the coast when it broke down. I told her that I was looking to head that way, myself, but before she could express her clear and very evident acceptance of my veiled request, I heard a man shout from back up the path, in the direction from which I came: "Elsey, wake up! I'm going to need your help to fit this thing on. You're not weaseling your lazy arse out of this one!"

As he approached, I saw him: Another adventurer type, definitely more capable-looking than even this hooded archer. The scale armor mounted upon one of his shoulders, and the large, bizarre item belted to his waist made it all the more convincing.

I felt I had found myself lovingly cradled in fortune's bosom, finding these two. That was, until he spoke again. "Who even is this, Elsey? Bringing your gal pals wasn't part of the arrangement. You're dead weight enough!"

She only pouted in response. It seemed this was a regular thing, but, for better or for worse, it also didn't seem like he was actively setting out to hurt her feelings, and that instead it was a side effect of his own personality.

I considered how I should act around this man, who clearly wore the pants in this duo.

>Stand up for Elsey
>Nonchalantly introduce myself and/or ask his name
>Offer to help with the fitting for Elsey
>Try to sell him the rock I beat the fitting into place with as a useful tool
>Write-in (or any variation of the above)
>>
>>2072202
Also, for any sale: 1d100
>>
>>2072202
>Nonchalantly introduce myself and/or ask his name
>Offer to help with the fitting for Elsey
>>
>>2072211

"Lynnette Alintine," I introduced myself, hopping from the seat like some sort of, charismatic stallion. "That's my name."

"I'd hoped you weren't introducing me to an invisible friend." So he was that kind of person. Difficult, obnoxious, and confrontational. This could get a bit grating, but he did seem to know what he was doing. "And you're here because-"

"I'm here to help. As you can see..." I pointed to the wheel. Before I could even finish my explanation, he caught on.

He immediately took on a look of incredulousness that immediately reminded me of his companion which he clearly held in little esteem. "Oh...! By the gods, an actually useful person! I spent seven hours trying to puzzle out what went wrong with the wagon, and looking for this part to fix it once I corrected that, and you did half the work for me." His hard look and disdainful features softened noticeably. "Say, could I persuade you to..."

I didn't suffer him to force the rest out, nodding my head with a hum of agreement, without a second thought.

While alone, I might have struggled to wrap my head around this as I had the first time, but with this person, we managed to get the job done in a matter of minutes. It seemed he took the time to learn how to install the cap for the axle before bringing it back for installation.

As he stood up from the job, wiping his hands off on a rag he'd stored inside the wagon, he spoke up. "I'm Beckus. Beck works. That's actually a request. Please call me Beck, because I hate Beckus."

>Choose one:
>"Sure thing, Beckus."
>"Good to meet you, Beck!"
>Write-in

>Choose one:
>Inquire about his travel plans
>Explain my situation
>Write-in
>>
>>2072221
>"Sure thing, Beckus."
>Explain my situation
>>
>>2072221
>"Good to meet you, Beck!"
>Explain my situation
>>
>>2072225

I explained my situation thoroughly, and he seemed to understand, more or less, as he slowly nodded his head in understanding. "Ahhh... I see. So there's money in it..." After stroking his chin for a bit, he spoke up. "Well, I felt indebted to you after all you did for us, but old Beckus here changed his mind, somewhere down the line."

Maybe diplomacy would have been the right course of action. He had broken character to say please when asking me to use his chosen name, instead. Had I betrayed his trust, in a way? He sure did seem bitter, and more than willing to lock horns with me.

"How about this? Based on your story, I can tell there's some really good money in all this. Give me a third of what you make off of all this, and we'll be even. I'll, no, we'll, even take the time to help you. What do you say?" Elsey, as expected, seemed to have no choice in the matter.

I felt a chill run down my spine. He'd completely turned the tables on me in this process. It certainly was a lesson, even if it was cruel. I had to think fast, if I wanted to try and recover this negotiation. One third of what I could stand to make off of this salt was a lot of money. Nobody had considered boiling down seawater like I had, yet. There would never be as big of an opportunity to make money off of the salt than this first strike, and if I gave a third away to this stranger, I would be out a lot of potential profits.

>Consent to the one-third cut
>Try to recover the situation
>Write-in
>>
>>2072237
I saw your post, but only after I'd already written most of this last one out, sorry
>>
>>2072253
That's OK, making the right decision is its own reward.

>>2072250
>Try to recover the situation
"I'm sorry, Beck. I have clearly underestimated you. Obviously you're not one to let an opportunity pass you by. But are you sure that sticking me up for a third of my profits on this single venture is a better outcome for you than making a longer-term deal? It's rare that someone goes far in business unless they're working with a smart man with a strong arm."
>>
>>2072268

"Flattery will get you nowhere," The stone-faced adventurer declared, exhaling through his nose at length. "But you are driving a hard bargain. I'll let you in on a piece of information that might sway your judgment, however: Elsey and I are criminals in another region of the kingdom, with a bounty on both of our heads. I'm telling you this for two reasons." He stuck up a finger. "One: It isn't very wise for someone with lofty aspirations to associate with us in the long term. If you want to ride with us, the cut I'm asking for could end up being the sweeter deal for you, even if the prospect of stable work seems palatable to myself." The next finger came up. "Two: It'd be a bad idea to try and cheat on whatever decision you come to. Good things don't come from crossing criminals at large." While the words themselves reeked of thinly-veiled threat, I couldn't help but feel that there wasn't any real malice behind what he said.

Elsey opened her mouth to protest, but Beckus was quick to raise a hand beside his head and gaze intensely back, the five or so feet to where she was still seated on the wagon's driver seat, as if to demand her silence. She acquiesced, and sunk a bit in her seat with a small frown.

"We're going nowhere, as-is, this evening. The sun is setting, and the night is never a good time to begin traveling. You can have until morning to think about your choice. This one sleeps in late, so you'll have time to get here, but I implore you to think about your decision. I'll be right here in the morning, but we won't be waiting around. We will certainly be gone long before noon, so if you're coming, you'd best pack before you turn in for the evening, unless you're a morning person."

Fully grasping the situation, I nodded understanding and walked back home for the night. On the way back, I couldn't think of anything but this situation. The terms were laid out quite clearly, and it seemed that I had four choices:

>Consent to the one-third cut
>Partner with them in spite of their status as criminals-at-large
>Choose one of the options and try to evade or protect myself from them after the fact
>Look for another way to get to Port Pumpy
>Write-in

As I arrived at home, I spoke with my mother, who had been waiting for my return. She expressed her worry over my absence for most of the day, and over the course of a short conversation, I told her that I could be headed to Port Pumpy in the morning for some alchemy ingredients. When I phrased it like that, she seemed generally pleased, and while still worried, just told me to be safe and come home quickly. She handed me a bowl of porridge she'd cooked not too long ago, topped it with some cinnamon, and sent me off to my room.
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>>2072311

Upon entering my room and closing the door, I set the meal down on the dresser, and gazed into the mirror at myself. My scarlet ponytail had grown messy, just short of completely disheveled. I had dark circles under my eyes from the constant work I had put in all day without any breaks. I had overworked myself, and it just now hit me. Before I could even consider touching the bed, whereupon I would immediately fall asleep, I knew that I had to come to a decision, as I subconsciously started shoveling the lukewarm porridge into my mouth.
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>>2072311
>>2072313
Mood music:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZEVAuGe5xr4

I'm going to bed but I'll be replying to whichever decision is most prevalent here, tomorrow. If any lurkers wanna get on board, now's the time to start! Goodnight
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>>2072311
>>2072313

>Partner with them in spite of their status as their criminals-at-large

You can't convince me that Elsey has committed a crime AND gotten away with it, even with Beck. Save her

Also capable party members will help with a LOT of things
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>>2073214
I'm vVFiMGXa, by the way. Posting from mobile is messing with my id
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>>2073214

While I ate, I ruminated on it once more, from the beginning. For the price of two employees, I gained their horse, their wagon, and... Them. I had friends here, even if I didn't see them as much as I could choose to, but something about the natures of Elsey and Beck compelled me. They had a dynamic that seemed open and genuine, but clearly had a certain depth to it that I could only speculate on. Beck called the shots, and yet he hadn't made Elsey lift a finger for anything. They didn't seem to be lovers, or even good friends, for that matter. It confused me, but something about it only made me want to be a part of it, that much more.

I'd made up my mind before the last spoonful went down. Once I carefully packed the necessary parts of my modular alembics kit away into a small box I could carry, I found myself renewed enough, filled with enough speculative energy to write about my hopes for the future. I pulled out my diary and sat at my desk.

Dear Penpal,

I only wrote to you this morning, and yet it feels as though it has been several months since I had the chance to jot down a word. As I always expected, I have already found myself on the cusp of a glorious emergence onto the grand mercantile stage. Tomorrow I set out with new companions, and by week's end, I will be an established merchant, proper.


I continued writing for fifteen more minutes, but before long, I began finding it hard to keep my eyes open. I locked up my diary, stumbled over to my bed, and fell asleep before I could fully wrap myself up in the blanket.

>End of Chapter

So far the thread's seen nominal support and participation: About 9 participants in 3 days, and never more than 2 at once. I'm definitely going to make a second thread, so watch out for it by the middle of next week, or add Rare#4130 if you want to talk about it. If enough people show interest I'll make a dedicated discord server for it. In the meantime, take care, and thanks for playing!
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>>2074691
Your writing is good and the scenario is interesting. Looking forward to the second thread.




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