Thursday, July 14, 2011
In the last post, Eric questioned my results and thanks to him, the results were corrected. I can't express how much I appreciate that a few gentle readers are really looking at the tables and helping me edit my work. If any of you out there have worked with code, you know what I'm up against. I may program in excel, but at the moment I estimate I have about 13,000 calculations in amidst 80,000 pieces of data. Some of them are going to be wrong.
If there is one thing I hope from this table, it's that some reader will say, "In a million years, I would never have thought of including a yule bough on an equipment list."
In the last few posts there's been a few questions about some items being found on the shelves next to other items, and with this in mind I'd like to explain a bit about how the shops work using the above table.
Medieval cities were generally organized so that artisans of a similar nature tended to populate certain quarters or certain streets in a given town. If the reader would imagine, you come upon the start of such a street, and turn into the first 'shop' on the way, looking for a wood axe. A shingled roof with a hole in the roof is attached to the front of his house, with coal burning upon a large stone brazier. He is patiently hammering the head of an axe on his hearth, but you see that it isn't the axe you want. "I don't make those," he says, "It's been five years, I work steady for the mount'n corps now. What you want's further down the road. Look for a man called Hengist."
You ask about an ice axe, and he quotes 25 g.p. as a price. That seems high, so you move along.
Next to that shop is a shop selling pitchforks, and beyond that is a large lot with a pile of firewood as large as a gatehouse. There are three boys throwing logs into the back of a wagon, and a man's holding the bridle of a horse harnessed to the front. The man waves at you as you pass, asks about whether or not you want any wood this fall. "Winter's comin', you know," he reminds you, though its only late August. You note that there's a massive bough, weighing more than a ton and a half, resting beside the woodpile, and you ask if it isn't early for winter. "Dryin' it out," he says. "Be ready for the festival when it comes." You reply that you're not looking for wood, that you are looking for an axemaker named Hengist and the woodseller sends you further along the road.
That's how it would be; not just one shop, but several specialized workers and such strung along a road, possibly mixed in a bit with others who might be selling coal or wood oil or what have you. The collection of shops that wouldn't be 'general stores' would make buying everything a real hassle, the kind that would take you all day, but if you lived in the environment you'd know already where Hengist was, and Hengist would know you. You'd wave to Branden the woodseller and he'd nod and say that he'd have your wood for you before the snow flew.
And as such, truffles and confectionary would never be in the same shop together. The shops selling each would be side by side on the same street ... or groups of shops upon adjoining lanes in a larger city.