Throughout the United Chiefdoms, it was known that Everlive was the city of opportunity. Exotic items and delicacies were to be found that were not available anywhere else. Merchant caravans ventured to Everlive hoping to sell cheap items the city needed, and also buy the quite expensive items the city offered. Back in other towns, they could make very high profits on the select items that they invested in. There also was a reason that the items brought such high investment returns. Only about one out of ten caravans, that entered Everlive, ever exited the city...
The lands around Everlive were very hostile. Making the conditions worse was that the sole fresh water source had twenty foot high walls, with archers stationed on them to stop anyone from reaching the river. It was known as The Walled River. It was walled for over thirty miles, starting at Everlive Mountain, all the way to its mouth, at the ocean. Even at the mouth, archers and pikemen prevented access.
The poorest and most numerous people lived from two to ten miles from Everlive. They offered cheap items. Food caravans could make a little profit from selling food to them. It was almost guaranteed. Water caravans could make more profit, but they were often targeted by desert bandits. The poor people were known as the Low Merchants.
The people living closer to, but not in, Everlive were known as Mid Merchants. The soil was better than the Low Merchants area. Simple gardens could supply their food. Some specialized in growing plants that had very deep roots reaching an aquifer that ended about two miles from the city. The Mid Merchants tended better protection. They could afford better weapons. Those closest to the city’s gate could even afford a guard or two. To different caravans, a little more profit could be made trading with the Mid Merchants.
The High Merchants lived in the walled city of Everlive. Little was known about them. It seemed as the few caravans, that exited the city, were sworn to some sort of secrecy. Everlive, itself, was near the top of the mountain sharing its name. One known fact was that very high profits could be made. Another fact was that food caravans were not allowed to enter the city.
About two miles northeast of the furthest area of the Low Merchants, away from Everlive, was The Mount. To get to it, there was a path that forked away from the main road. Like everything else pf value, it was walled in. It was controlled by The Miner’s Guild.
You needed to make some easy coinage, so you decided to be an escort for a food caravan heading to the Low Merchants of Everlive. It has been about two days journey across the desert, following the coastline. You hear camels grunt their complaints. Ahead, you see a cloud of sand, getting larger, coming closer. It’s desert bandits...