You continue this conversation as you head off the dock and up towards Grim Village proper to see what awaits.
At the heart of Grim Village, there are a handful of structures clustered together: the town well, a large shrine, and the great hall are all prominently placed in the center with covered market stalls and workshops sprinkled in between. The market stalls sell a variety of goods harvested and made locally, but a few stalls also sell imported wares (a likely benefit of being a trading port). You can hear a “tink, tink” coming from the blacksmiths and smell sweet smoke rising from the smokehouses, which are situated slightly further out from the center of the village for obvious reasons. Structures here are typically one or two stories and are mostly made of wood and thatch, but a few stone buildings are also sprinkled in. You can gather that these buildings are probably where food and supplies are stored to keep them from the elements. There is patchwork fortifications and earthworks surrounding the city proper made of sharpened logs and mounds of dirt to form small walls. Guards are posted around the village at intervals, but most of them are stationed at entry points into the town. The population of Grim Village is likely between one, or two thousand hardened souls, it isn't a lavish, or luxurious place by any stretch of the imagination, but it is the only thing most of the people know. Thus, you resign yourself to make due for the time being.
DMNote: When you’re finished with this conversation, please let me know what location in the village you’d like to visit first.
After Remlaug is out of earshot Angie tells her companions about the ring he was wearing and its importance. "So, even if we don't take Remlaug's mission, he is a very important man and a good friend to have in this strange new land. His ring also seems to imply that he has some connection to the merchants' guild back home. We might need to use that connection to get home. After all, that bard who magicked us here doesn't seem to have been completely forthright with us. I don't think we should completely rely on his help getting back."
As you head into the town center to visit the market stalls you begin to notice more people. Most of them are dark haired, light skinned, and have light colored eyes, such as hazel, green, and pale blue. The women mostly wear pleated, or braided hair and men with longer hair wear the same style. Some men are bald and tattooed; you notice these men also carry hatches, or very short swords with wide pommels on the end and rounded shields on their backs. The people begin to notice you too, most even stare as you walk by. A group of children point at you, whisper to themselves, and giggle. You don’t notice any elves, dwarves, or any other non-human races for that matter and surmise this area is likely predominantly human.
You arrive at the market stalls and see they are mostly displaying the summers bounty of fruit, various dark colored breads, honey and candles, wool yarn in beautiful colours, and drinking horns made from sheep, goat, and cattle. You also see dried, cured, and smoke meats, pies, and hand pastries. One stand boasts a large variety of cheeses of all shapes, sizes, and smells. And another contains nothing, but vegetables that mostly grow low too, or under the ground. Weird looking mushrooms, herbs, and bottles of small liquids adorn the stand next to this. But, there is only one stall that look like it may contain a map. This stall is displaying some furs from small animals, some odd looking tools, and other trinkets of various compositions.
DMNote: Angie, as you say this you also now realize that nobody even asked the bard his name.
Angie is looking around when she suddenly bends over and grabs some of the dirt on the ground and looks at it very closely. Under her breath she mutters. "I can't believe I forgot. It must have been due to my discombobulation." She tastes a little of the dirt before spitting it out and lets the rest of the dirt drift through her fingers and watches it closely as it falls to the ground.
Triumphantly she turns to her companions. "From what I can tell it's just normal dirt without any arcane power, but I'll take some back to the seminary school from which I matriculated and let them perform some more thorough studies." She takes a deep breath. "isn't research exciting?"
She turns back to the market place. "Now that that is over with maybe we should check out some of these shops. That one over there seems to maybe have a map. Maybe we can figure out where we are."
Angie excitedly bounces over to the shop that may have maps and inquires into whether there are any maps, and if there are then what they cost.
As you walk up to the stall and approach the merchant you see an older woman wearing a thick linen dress and a wolfskin shawl drapped close around her shoulders. She wears a thick leather belt with a cruel looking saxe afixed to it and hanging by her side, a beaded necklace and shell bracelets. She also wears large gaged earrings which are probably common among men and women in this land. She keeps a close eye on you as you look over her wares. Aside from the furs and trinkets you saw from afar, set out before you are some odd looking contraptions made of metal that have saw-toothed steel rings and heavy chains fixed to them and what looks like a small round dinner plate in the middle, a few handaxes, and a cylindrical leather case that looks like it could contain a map.
You pick up the cylindrical case and inspect it and the woman snaps at you, “Oy! Put that down! Yer not from around here, show us some gold first then ya can handle my wares!”
The merchant, who you assume is also a trapper now that you've looked over her wares, moodily responds, "Only got one map tree-man. They're ard' ta come by on account most people don't be needing em' and not many map makers in these parts neither. Price be 20 gold, plus 5 fer the leather case. Now show us ya got gold, or shove off... we don't need no more trouble than we already have."
DM Note: The shopkeeper doesn't seem to fond of your party. Angie, or Healer.. one of you make an insight check with advantage (I'm assuming one of you is helping the other) to see if you can figure out why.
The Stormlanders are heavily shaped by the somber environment that they live in. They are hard, resilient, steadfast, and deeply traditional. It is perhaps because of this that the Stormlanders are deeply wary of magic and that which they cannot understand. Combat, axe, shield, and sword are things that are easy to wrap one’s head around. Some Stormlanders might be able to fathom being given powers by nature and Stormi after a blood gifting, but magic woven and used as a weapon is deeply troubling and mysterious to this people. This has led to the Stormlanders being a superstitious folk who prefer that which is tangible and quantifiable. The merchant has been eyeing you from afar, she saw you consume the earth, and she knows you are not of the land. This has caused her to raise her guard and she is weary of your party and what you might do.
"I'm very sorry. My friends and I are new to this land and were sent here rather abruptly by a mysterious old bard while we slept. In fact, the entire thing happened so quickly that we never even got the Bard's name." Angie looks at her companions chagrined. "We just woke up on a boat out there (she points out at the water) a few minutes ago and I had to row us ashore. I did not mean to offend you. None of use did. We are just a little out of sorts."
Angie pulls one of the stones she received from the bard out of her pouch. "My gold is limited, but before he sent us here the mysterious bard gave us stones like this and told us they were each worth 50 gold. Could we use these to purchase your wares? Also, would you mind telling us where we are?"
At the sight of the black stones the merchant becomes visibly less annoyed by your presence, though she still seems suspicious of you. She moves forward, places her hands on the counter, and leans in to get a better look at the stones. “Not sure I believe yer wild story girl... don’t know how ya got to the Stormands, don’t know yer in Grim Village. But, this bard who supposedly gave ya these stones wasn’t lyin’, aye the stones be worth 50 gold pieces each.. and I can’t be particular bout who I be sellin ta in these tough times. Yer money’s good here. Everythin ya see is fer sale. Maps 25 gold, traps, and the hand axe are 5 gold each. What’ll ya have?”
Angie smiles gratefully. "Thank you so much. Today has just been so discombobulating." Angie gestures to the wares. "I will take whatever map of the area you have and one of your traps." Angie hands over one of the stones.
The merchant nods to you. She grabs one of the traps and brings it to the back of her stall. When she returns it is wrapped in a well oiled seal skin. She hands you the package and the leather case containing the map and takes the black stone from you. She unties a small pouch from her hip and drops the onyx inside, before retrieving two pink crystal looking stones. She hands you the stones and says, “Pink quartz, worth 10 gold each. Pleasure doin’ business with ya, keep yer trap in the oilskin when yer not usin it, keep it from Rustin. How bout’ the rest of ya, interested in any of my wares?”
DMNote: Uploaded the map to the Public DM notes, let me know in the OOC (private) group thread if you have any issues accessing it.