Medievia Mudslinger
May 17, 1999

The Life of a Cheese Merchant- By Marjoran

Throughout all of Medievia, there are many different types of adventurers. There are those who seek glory. Some wish fame, others fortune, but all look for the road to power, in any way they can achieve it. Few can fathom the life of a simple peasant, a farmer, or a merchant. Too mundane, I have heard. Why would I wish to till a field, when I could rid the land of horrible evils, such as Vecna or Thanos? These same people have apparently not asked themselves, what when evil seeks out the farmer, does he not raise his pitchfork in defiance? A farmer's land is all he has, and as such it must be protected. Such is the case with merchants, and their wares.

When I was a young adventurer, still unwise to the ways of magic and totally ignorant to the arts of warfare, I too thought of glorious battles against Medievia's most wicked oppressors. Hordes of trolls would fall by my spellbook, waves of kobolds would die by my sword. The evils inflicted upon the people of Thalos would rue the day I ever stepped foot onto its deserted city streets. The inhabitants of our World would speak my name in honor, and even the mighty gods would know me by my deeds. One day, while making good on my promise to the ghosts of the people of Thalos, I happened upon a good merchant by the name of Yvel. He was much more versed in the ways of magic than I, and had started upon the path to mastery of warfare. Out of kindness, he healed my bleeding wounds with powerful spells I had never seen, and as such I began a rapport with him. He was a simple man, born to a different time in our World, yet no less determined than I. He spoke to me of the life of a petty merchant, traveling the land with wares of...cheese. Cheese? In the short time I had been among the ranks of the warriors of Medievia, I had heard of the Cheese produced by these humble people, but I had yet to actually meet one. Even the famed Merchant's Guild had no connections to these reclusive people. Why, in the name of Vryce, would someone devote their life to the creation and peddling of...uh...cheese?

Now I know.

The life of a Cheese Merchant may begin a simple one, but it has become anything but. I have traveled to far-off lands, seen and conquered the same evils others have, and, in my journeys, or possibly as a result of, have mastered the arts of sword and sorcery. For, you see, I learned the hard way that a merchant's life is anything but ordinary. Once, while carting a wagonload of our finest Cheddar from the shop at the Sea's End to the people of Derah (alas, a sad story, albeit one for another time), I was set upon by evil the likes of which I had never seen. The pits of Hell's fury unleashed upon me a Demon Lord, who had apparently also become privy to Medievia's finest Cheese. The Demon Lord proceeded to attempt to take what was not rightfully his by conjuring from his hellfires wave after wave of spectral hell- hounds, hellbent (pardon the expression) on destroying my wagon and claiming the Prize meant for the starving Derahans. It took me within an inch of my own life, but I managed to stave off the infidels, and complete my journey. Ah, the tales of battle I could tell...none more than most other Medievians have enjoyed, but none less either. Most importantly, I learned my true calling in life would never be denied by faith to our Cheese. On the contrary, it would only lead me to my destiny among Medievia's greatest Heroes (um, yet to be achieved, of course).

Many clans feel a calling to a higher power. Some feel their souls pointing to a higher being. Others lust for the kill, and the rush of battle. Likewise, our faith is in the power of Cheese. The Cheese Merchants have historically produced the finest Cheese ever tasted throughout the lands. From the streets of Trellor to the lizards of Lyryanoth, from the people of Tear to the minotaurs of Mahn-Tor, stomachs are filled with the lifeblood of my people. The Cheese sold in Medievia City, even the Cheese created by the powers of magicians holds its origins with our humble clan. For our Cheese we have died, and for our Cheese we have killed. But, for our Cheese shall we return.