The yard held a few lifetimes worth of salvage and trade goods, five generations worth, or so she had learned the last time she was here. Much of it was junk or broken, waiting to be repaired or re-purposed. Barrels of all shapes, sizes and ages, many made from mismatched wood or warped with age, contained much of the smaller oddities. Less contained piles of old wood, metal and stone were also evident.
Dresmend approached with minimal greeting and looked over the items Tipper had pulled out of the ruins. She watched as he tried to seem casual about the small fortune of metal. The tools were too much for him though, he whistled in appreciation, eyeing files, chisels, planes, a few small hammers and saws. All of which were in unusually good shape, seeming unmarred by the passage of a century or more, they had laid amongst the ruins until Tipper had discovered them.
Dresmend gave Tipper a serious look, “That’s the best haul I’ve seen come out of Kaymere in my lifetime. So you survived a winter alone out there and uncovered these. Very nice.”
“It wasn’t what I was looking for though, but I thought you might be interested.”
“Oh, to be sure. And I’d guess the wife would be interested in a couple of the goats, if you’re trading them?”
He looked at the tools again, “Not really sure what the metal is, but there are some others like them in the village. They get passed from one generation to the next, rarely even wear down, hardly ever break. Work of the ancients I’d guess.”
“Well, I’m glad you’re interested, my friend here, and I, are headed to GreensBridge and need to equip.”
“Well, you take your time and I’ll let the wife know you’ll be here for lunch.” He walked away after one more longing glance at the tools.
Tipper summoned Adwin with a tilt of her head, then started moving around the yard looking at the various piles of junk. “Alright, I have things he really wants, they’re worth a fair bit. If you see anything useful for the road or something you’d like to add to your kit, put it over by the well. The best stuff is in that whitewashed shed over there. The best deals are from anything you find in the yard.”
Tipper left Adwin looking through scrap wood. She went to the shed she had pointed out to him, two of Dresmend’s daughters quietly cleaned the shelves and straightened the goods for better display. They smiled at her but kept to their task.
When she had been here last autumn she had noticed some interesting gear along the main shelf at the back of the shed. Dresmend had claimed he had traded with a pair of Maldorn soldiers a few years back; Two sets of reinforced leather armour, a harness, belt pouches, small lantern, compass, a number of small metal bottles, a shaving kit and other equipment, including a small assortment of weapons. It was all very well crafted, the metal a high quality steel, the style unlike anything available in the FreeHolds.
Tipper was primarily interested in the harness and pouches with all their clips and buckles. She also though the armour was a very good design; leather and some type of fish skin, reinforced with bone and brass. Neither set was complete, but one was designed for a woman near her own size and included a binder. She gathered up both sets, hoping that between the two she’d get a full set. Whatever was left from the second set could be used to provide Adwin with some protection, and the helmet was much better protection than the silly floppy hat he wore. She also took the compass, she found its compact design pleasing.
She took the leather down to the well, no sign of Adwin nor of anything he’d found. She made a pile not too far from where the tools were laid out and shooed the nanny goat away who seemed to be eyeing the tools as if they would be a good snack. She returned to the whitewashed shed and gathered needles, thread, strips of leather, cord, a small pile of bone buttons and a well made haversack. She took it back down to the well.
Adwin walked up with a dirt crusted staff or stick, “This has a nice weight to it, figured it’d make a good walking stick.”
She looked at it then scraped some dirt away with a nail, “Nice find, looks like iron wood. Any more?”
“Nah, nothing this size, just some smaller sticks, found it at the bottom of one of the piles.”
“Oh,” She was intent and her enthusiasm took him a bit aback. “Show me.”
“Over here, the pile was kind of a mess, so I started straightening it out and found this near the bottom.” He took her over to the pile of wood and pointed, there was a few smaller branches, straight and true as iron wood grew. As well, a small trunk piece with a few smaller sticks still attached. She gathered it all, knocking away some of the clumped, dried earth. “Very Nice.”
Adwin looked a bit confused but smiled. They walked back to the well, she added the sticks to the other items she had gathered. Adwin stood near the well and was smiling at her.
She frowned, “Anything you need for the road, even if we have to repair or modify a few things, just add it to the pile.” He nodded, she wandered off again, wondering if he had been dropped on his head as a child, sometimes he seemed completely oblivious.
Tipper had to get one of Dresmend’s girls to help her locate glue, wood slats, bone scraps, horse hair and feathers. She would be making some arrows and getting the supplies here would save her the time of making and gathering herself.
The next time she returned to the well Adwin had placed his stick near her pile and added a palm-sized whetstone as well as a couple hemp sacks. She sighed, looked around the yard, spotted him talking to one of the girls by the entrance to the whitewashed shed, she walked over.
Adwin was saying,”…I understand that, you don’t have to give an exact value, just I was wondering about the approximate value.” The girl looked a bit annoyed or flustered, gave a quick smile to Tipper, and happily retreated back into the shed.
“Look Adwin, seriously, you can get pretty much anything you want to carry,” She took the felt-lined oilskin poncho he had been inquiring about, it was well crafted with nice needlework along the hemlines. “This is great. What about another knife? There’s good Maldorn steel on the back shelf.” She gestured into the shed.
He hesitated, Tipper felt something between frustration and befuddlement, “What’s the problem?” She tried to keep any hardness out of her voice, but she suspected the problem and she was not going to take offence at his ignorance.
“Uh, well… I don’t have many coins and I’d thought to keep them for GreensBridge, nor much to trade with either.”
She rolled her eyes, she’d been right, she laughed, he looked hurt and even more confused. “It’s alright Adwin, we our bound by my traditions, so I’m covering this expense. We’re going to be a minimum of a month on the road, travelling upwards of fifty yat a day.”
He looked surprised, “You mean we’ll be in GreensBridge in a month?”
She shook her head, “More like two, we’ll need a couple eight-days to prepare and another couple eight-days for delays. But if all goes well, no later than summer’s end. So get what you need for a month of hard travel. The tools I’m trading are likely worth more than what we could carry out of here.”
He nodded and looked a bit abashed, “Alright, I broke my bow and most of my arrows fighting the goblins. I saw some inside.”
She laughed again and threw an arm around his shoulder, “As to that, I was planning on making you a new one.”
“Really, like yours?”
“Close but each bow is slightly different.” They went back into the shed, “About that knife though, these blades are way better than the one you have.”
Over the next couple hours they gathered three substantial piles by the well. Dresmend’s wife served an outdoor meal and shooed the children away leaving her husband to deal with their guests. After they had eaten, Dresmend took a look through the piles. When he noticed the iron wood he chuckled.
“I’ll get tools to finally be able to work this wood and you’ve gathered up what little I have.” His comment was a bit bit rueful, but it was said with a smile.
She smiled back, “Yeah, about that. I was hoping you’d allow the use of your new tools to cut the wood?”
He made a show of looking hurt, but said, “Not a problem, I had no plans for the iron wood anyway. Truth is I forgot it was even there. I’d be happy to loan you the tools and a bench to work on, should you need.” He paused a moment, considering his next words, “Truth to tell, the balance of weight is too heavy in my favour to let the trade stand as is.”
“Well, we’d be hard pressed to use much more than what we have here, but some coin would be useful, especially once we get to GreensBridge. What would balance the trade to your comfort?”
He considered a moment, “If you can give me a day I’d have a bar of copper and a quarter bar of silver for you, that’d be as best I could do.”
Tipper was a bit surprised by the offer, she may have under estimated the value of the tools, she countered, “Why not two, quarter bars of copper and a half bar in coin of any sort. The silver I’d like to leave as a standing balance with you, for my return, and the expedition to follow. Adwin here, being entitled to that credit should he arrive and I am gone.”
The offer pleased Dresmend and they shook on the terms. Adwin and Tipper gathered their goods and the remaining goats and headed over to Town Hall.