Meanwhile in the Longhouse

April 5, 2021, 6:48 pm

The past two weeks have been very eventful here on Harthheim.

Our recent adventures: -Tool quality matters and will increase resource output with higher quality/tier tools. -The archer Sythos Deadeye proved himself and was inducted. -The town guardsman Artuym proved himself and was inducted. -The Nomadic Merchants Guild requests entrance to the clan. -The raid on the Elder codenamed Operation: WICKER MAN was executed almost pitch-perfectly by the following raiders: Gambit ; Sythos ; Syvonea (RIP) ; Billy ; Necksus. It was fruitful and we have many swamp keys. -The town of Genesis has widely expanded its borders and influence and continues to do so at an accelerated pace.

The Jarl's mania ended with the Elder tree. The growing guild of Wayfinders was managing most of the town. The guardsmen patrol the streets and borders at night, protecting Harthheim's assets from interloper and troll alike. The Guild of Shamen approach the throne.

"Your Highness, I request an audience with thee about your forthcoming debate regarding... the merchants..." The shaman begins.

The Jarl, deep in thought and dreaming of iron axe blueprints, snaps back to reality. "THE MERCHANTS!? Confound the merchants. We have enough to worry about without the nomads in tow. We can't reach all of their settlements even if we tried. Keep the deal the same. I don't want a change in relations. I like things the way they are."

*"But, my liege, that's precisely the problem," the shaman continued as the galleria above grew bold with hushed voices expressing their disapproval. "The Merchant's proposal doesn't change anything, and as the keepers of the faith, this cannot be permitted. The change in affiliation must come at a bold price, and the bounty must be paid to Harthheim to satisfy the gods."

*"I don't disagree, but the merchant provides invaluable services. How do you think we ought to conduct this business if not by allowing them a significant amount of leniency?" The Jarl growls. "I don't need petty squabbles with the guild to cloud my busy schedule. There's TECHNOLOGY to be researched..."

"Again, precisely the point," the shaman raises a finger dutifully. "The merchant's guild would gain our protection, but we wouldn't get enough out of the deal. The clan has to demand at least three conditions to satisfy the gods: the collectivization and consolidation of the mead-production effort along with a guild hall built within Genesis proper; a complete end to guild standardized secrecy pacts along with an info-sharing agreement to receive regular guild updates posted in the tavern alongside your own; and the end to warding of collectivized settlements. If a settlement is not collectivized, and remains wholely Merchant property in its entirety, it could remain warded, but Harthheim needs no active wards; Harthheim HAS no active wards. Wards imply distrust, and distrust is toxic to the community. Loki lives in the wards, he SPEAKS from the wards... and we don't listen to Loki; we listen to Thor and Odin, whose wisdom is timeless and infinite. The whispers of chaotic sprites and distrustworthy draugr are anathema, they are insidious, and they are deceitful. But they can be ignored, and they are never to be heeded."

The Jarl strokes his magnificently long beard. "It seems that a consensus has not been reached on the first draft of the agreement, then?"

The shaman looks up at the gallery. Silly Billy and Gambit look down with disapproving looks. They shake their heads gently, eyes closed in reverence and prayer. The shaman looks back at the Jarl. "No, my liege. We did not. The agreement cannot go forward as-written and a new draft is required to satisfy the demands of the gods, so say we, the Shaman's Guild of Harthheim. However, we are not alone in this; the rangers, too, agree with our ruling in this matter."

The Jarl rises from the throne and walks in a circle around the table. "Whelp... looks like it's time to go back to the drawing board... but how to satisfy the gods and the men... I have much work to do."

The door to the Jarl's chamber slams shut with a heavy thud. The shaman on the floor looks up at the gallery, whose eyes are open and watched the Jarl depart.

"Heavy is the head that wears the crown..." Silly Billy groused. "Yeah, the least he could have said was 'have a good evening in Odin's name'... sheesh..." Gambit agreed tersely.

"Whatever we do, Billy..." Gambit starts. "I know what you're about to say," Billy interrupts. The two finish in unison: "Whatever we do, we must tread carefully, for Loki lurks behind every shadow..."