December 13, 2008
The Snickerdoodle Trade Run
Recently, finding myself a little low on cash, I decided to embark on a quick, or so I thought, trade run. Calling a dragon, I prepared myself with stamina equipment, as I solo trade without an Appaloosa. Why? Because as lovely a horse as the Appaloosa is, it has the lung capacity of a small rodent, and it is easier for me to walk rather than cast mass quickness and mass refresh every three seconds. This is a personal preference, and should in no way be interpreted as a sweeping condemnation of horses. My dragon landed, glaring at me.
"Let me guess-you're going to fly me all over the place, getting values, then abandon me in some awful wilderness, only to call me again, if an evil dragon decides to eat you, RIGHT?"
I grinned sheepishly.
"I have cookies", I said.
The dragon's eyes lit up.
"Well then," he said, "Let's get going."
By the way? Dragons love snickerdoodles.
Several trade posts later, I had my values, my route laid out and a plan. And as we all know, here in Medievia, plans go awry. Twitch. I purchased a covered wagon, loaded it down with silks and quilts from E'nat, and away I went, gulping ade of gator from my jug to boost my stamina even higher. I wore my Eye of Foresight, a wonderful little hat that allows the wearer to cast Wizard Eye without using one smidgen of mana. So far, I was clear for miles. Then I heard it. A snapping of a twig, and it suddenly became too quiet. Way too quiet. Oh no, I thought. Rogues. Rogues are awful. They take your freight, and appear without warning, intent on murder and theft. Using my Eye of Foresight, I spotted them a few yards up the road. Fine. I shielded the rooms south and north of my wagon, shielded my wagon, and ran straight into the angry bandits. Acid blasts, plagues and showckwaves later, I was triumphant, and still had freight. Always a nice ending to the first mob factions. A little bloody, I wandered back to the wagon, and proceeded along the road.
It was a lovely day, sunny and bright, and the forecast called for more of the same. Firestorms are always unwelcome, but especially on a trade run. Imagine you are a Mage, and you run into, oh I don't know, a Haunted Forest. And a firestorm. Bad bad bad. And Haunted Forests eat your freight. It's happened, more often than I like to remember. I ran along the road, swigging ade of gator, using the Eye, and BAM. Red specks a mile or so away. A lot of red specks. Like forty. Plus a den of some sort. Lions, I thought, and I was right. So many lions. So many claws. Ow. It took a bit longer, as the risk had increased to about three hundred, but I was successful. Thank Vryce for the power to heal, or I would still be missing a few fingers. I wish lions liked snickerdoodles. Running through the lair, I snatched up piles of gold, and killed the whole mess of them, amassing a few hero points and even more gold. I loved making the trade run imp work!
I found my way back to my wagon, and took a brief rest, convincing myself the the two million gold I would make was worth this. Clambering to me feet, I grabbed the wagon, and away we went. Suddenly I had the feeling I was being followed. Cursing, I called a dragon, and within seconds, I saw it fly into view and pounce down upon an evil red beast.
"HA!!" I shouted, and the bronze dragon bellowed back,
" YOU BETTER HAVE THOSE COOKIES!"
I placed about a dozen cookies on a large fern leaf, with a note reading "Thank you, Love Loreis". Hopefully, after eating the head of the red dragon, those would be enough snickerdoodles.
My wagon and I walked along the peaceful road, and I marvelled at the beauty of Medievia. The birds chirping, the distant roar of many seas, the wind dancing through my.....a deep sense of evil overwhelmed me. Wha...? I grinned. Hello Hell. I kept walking, and suddenly, I was sucked, sans wagon, down into a burning inferno, surrounded by fire demons. I threw my hands in the air, shouting "Whee!" See, you can't die in Hell, and you get fire orbs, sanctuary orbs, fire potions and healing potions, plus gold and hero points for defeating all the little beasties. Luckily, there was a trading form along for the ride, or it would have taken forever: you can't leave until every last demon is dead. Solo, that can take some time. As the final demon was sucked further into the depths, Hell disappeared, and I was tranported back to my wagon. Clutching five fire orbs, three sanctuary orbs and a plethora of potions, my wagon and I continued on our trade run. I used my Eye from time to time, just to try and stay ahead of whatever might be bent on my destruction.
As I neared my final destination, I got a sinking feeling in my gut. The risk factor had gone from three hundred to five hundred, and that was usually when Centaur bandits attacked. Ok, they attack me. I inhaled deeply, used the Eye of Foresight, and there they were. Oh goody. I switched modes, wearing all my mana equipment for the final battle ( I really needed it to be the final battle). As I approached, sneaking and invisible, I wondered for one brief, shining moment, could I make it past without them seeing OWOWOWOWOW...there was an arrow in my foot. So that was a no on my query then! I yanked it out, healing myself, and casting acid blast like a crazy woman. One by one they fell, and oh thank you for kickback, because without it, I would have perished. Drenched in blood, wounded, panting and smelly, I searched each corpse, finding more potions, a few sanctuary orbs and a dragon lair map! I tucked the map away for safe keeping, grabbed the wagon, and began the short walk to the final trading post. More like the shuffle of a very old and tired mage, but whatever-I was almost there! I literally fell into the post, and lay there for a few seconds, just trying to regroup. I sold the freight, making a tidy 1.7 million gold. Combined with the gold I had received for killing mobfactions, and the gold from the lion's den, I had netted a little over 2 million gold, and received 14 hero points. Not bad for an hour's work! I sold my wagon, recouping that expense, and was about to call another dragon, when over clan, I heard values and a trade run being organized. This one would be close to 3 million gold, trade run values alone, and coupled with mobfaction gold.....hmmmm....
As long as I did not have to lead!
Note-trading is a lot of fun, and very profitable. Before you attempt it for the first time, read the many help files on Trading, Stamina, and pick up a copy of the Mudslinger for recent catastrophes and values at posts all over Medievia. There are nice articles in the Mudslinger as well. Yeah I know, subtle... And stock up on snickerdoodles-you're going to need them.