I can see that the first thing I’m going to have to build you is a small cart. If we are going to do much trading, we’re going to need something to make this easier. And, we may also need a convenient beast of burden. You know, something other than me.”
That elicited a few chuckles from The Venerable. He replied, “For the most part Alex, the traders would come by with their wares based on their knowledge of my needs and preferences. They have horse driven carts, or sometimes the wares were just on pack horses.”
Their journey was relatively uneventful as they walked from the homestead, thru the open field, thru the woods, and out to the base of the foothills. As they entered a narrow defile, Alex mused that this seemed like a defensible area. After a few minor twists and turns, the defile opened up into a valley. Alex could see what looked like an assortment of about a dozen or so clustered buildings of varying sizes and constructions. He assumed this was the central village. In the further distance, he could see additional scattered buildings throughout the valley. Od course, calling some of these buildings was being kind. Some were barely straw huts. Others seemed to be some sort of baked mud dwellings.
At the very far end of the valley, Alex spied a small lake which seemed to be feed from a small, trickling waterfall coming from the hills at the opposite end. Scattered throughout the panorama, he could see several small herds of sheep, and some horses. Horses! Alex’s heart skipped a beat. They do indeed have horses here. And, they were beautiful looking as far as he could tell.
“Venerable, they really do have horses here. I wonder if they would trade for one or two. I would love to be able to ride one.”
“You might be able to barter for one, but just remember you don’t have anything to barter with yet, do you?”
“Hmmm, no I don’t yet. Maybe I can barter on a future promise of something. What do you think?”
“I don’t know Alex. I am already stretching it by trading for some extra clothes for Kassie. I know you had a couple of extra items for yourself with your camping gear. But Kassie has only what she was wearing when she came here.”
“I’m going to take Kassie to that hut over there. I have gotten some nice wearables from them before. You can look around, but stay out of trouble. And, if you run into El Jefe, be respectful. He is my counterpart here.”
“Oh, the local ‘old timer’”, Alex quipped.
“Not at all Alex. He is their chieftain. He is anything but old. Be wary of him.”
The Venerable led Kassie away to see about getting her some supplementary clothing.