Bloodright : Rise of the Border Princes
Quarrytown (or The Quarry) is a thorn in the side of The Keep – a den of thieves, full of the unsavory and undesirable. Under pressure to clear the site, Lord Sandus Rainford has resisted, recognizing the community serves a valuable purpose. Besides a source of cheap labour, many residents of The Quarry provide The Keep with much needed resources, such as crops, game, leather and other cheap, but essentials. Its inhabitants even serve as a defacto militia during times of invasion or raid. Lord Rainford has also espoused that having “…all our eggs in one basket…” makes dealing with the unwelcome criminals that much easier.
Thus, The Keep currently has a “hands-off” policy regarding The Quarry, but still must maintain the proper appearance . If certain lines are crossed, the guards turn loose their dogs, and a token sweep through the community makes their point about who’s in-charge. Generally, it’s business as usual within a matter of days.
Occasionally, a new project, or repairs requires the extraction of additional stone. When this happens, the Lord announces a quota to be filled by the local masons. Fulfilling the quota yields an amount of grain and supplies in exchange. The arrangement has its issues, but it works well enough.
The entire area serves as an open-air market. Once each week, those with anything to sell make their way here. These “merchants” come as early as possible to stake out a claim to either roll out a blanket where they can display their wares, or to pitch a tent or erect a booth for the same purpose. The market sometimes extends into side areas of The Quarry, if there are enough vendors (though the central area is the choice location).
Competition for a spot among the poor traders is fierce. The market is never the same from week to week, and the players always change. Some sellers simply move on, but in their place flock newcomers, eager to make their own fortunes through quick coin. Even the handful of regulars have to constantly compete for selling space, often shuffling from one location to another.
The location is a “Thieves’ Market”. Many items found here are quite ordinary – used boots, rusty weapons, or “…barely used armor that belonged to a friend of a friend…”. As with most markets of this nature, however, the rare and unusual often turn-up. You never know when you might stumble across valuable jewelry stolen from the Crypts under The Keep, sices taken from a caravan passing through the area, or some murdered nobleman’s golden belt. Of course, oning stolen goods is its own concern, but just remember that the ancient maxim “Buyer Be Aware” is never more relevant when thrifting here.
More valuable (and often more questionable) items are usually kept out of sight and shown only once the seller is convinced the potential buyer is not a potential agent of The Keep. Patience, good haggling skills and conversation are required here.