Plans where indeed made but little to nothing about what had been discovered about the bandits, plan to expand the lodge and change it into a fort residence. This was to overcome the developing coolants in the villagers, the cramped living quarters and the treat of more attacks meant that getting individual houses was unlikely as they were not as defendable. The plans called for a massive increase in size, a second floor, a inner court yard with a well and plans for enough to have one room per two people.
The large amount of wood needed was gathered in the first half week of the project and set to dry as there was a small stock pile already to work with. Work preceded uninterrupted for only a few days when one of the Familiars spotted sails on the ocean to the south west. This was the first chance for trade and contact from outside the valley that had been seen. The party decided that this opportunity was too good to pass up, and immediately sent people to try intercept and communicate.
A Rupert’s familiar was sent ahead to start the contact as if the ship continued at speed it would pass the river mouth before they got there. It discovered that it was a ogre ship with goblin crew, but knowledge of ogres and their culture was well documented and most of the party knew how to deal with these simple and aggressive creatures. With a sample of the drugs Quara had produced the Imp with Rupert controlling was able to setup a proper trade meeting.
A proper ogre trade meeting meant two armies meet and only if they equally matched was there a trade, else the weaker side was destroyed and their goods taken. The party sent for reinforcements are the five that had been sent ahead would not intimidate an ogre army. Gathering most of the warriors and the hunters the rest of the party with horse carts and a few tools headed south to the meeting site. A small area was quickly fortified to help increase the defence and add to the intimidation factors.
Fortifying the area was definitely a good idea as the ogres returned with over fifty goblins and a dozen ogres. The ogres marched right up to the fort, this was the first sign that they might trade as if they thought the party was too weak from a long distance they would have attack with ranged weapons. Outnumbers but not out classed the party held their ground as the army approached, it was a large disadvantage to allow them so close without a fight but this wasn’t a fight it was business and business has risks.
Once the ogres were in near charging distance they stopped and started the second phase, intimidation. The ogres and the goblins roared insults, made threatening gestures and other actions to intimidate and demoralize the party. The party in return did the same back to the ogres, few ogre or goblins words were know and the ogre army knew little common so the match was over rather fast due to confusion but with a one on one scuffle ending in victory for the party a successful round ended. The two most intelligent and cunning members for each side then moved forward to discuss the trades. The ogres had brought a huge pile of ores, gold, silver, iron and copper. The party had only brought a handful of drugs, but such was the rarity and desire that they were given massively inflated prices that netted nine thousand pounds of ores.
With the trade complete and the goods exchanged the fourth and final phase of ogre trading could begin, me no leave first. Similar to the intimidation phase but this time a clear winner is needed, only the loser can turn his back to leave first. The party had chosen a defensive position overlooking the bay couldn’t leave without abandoning the goods. But once more the lack of communication brought confusion and frustration creating an unending draw. After three hours of this Gepav lost her patience and stepped in to the middle challenging like the ogres had done in the second phase.
But unlike the second phase this was a death match not a challenge of strength, Erky and Quara broke protocol and gave Gepav a few magic buffs to ensure victory. Skilfully and with the ogre mages distracted by the fight they got the spells off without being noticed. Gepav quickly and brutally slaughtered the ogre challenger, ending the trade meeting. The ogres nodded a respectful acceptance and turned their army away and heading back to their ship. Once the ogre had finished loading and shipped off the party got together their goods and headed home.
While away the Villager had managed the finish the ground floor foundations and outer wall, making a small fort but with an opening where a gate or portcullis was to go. Work on the interior and the development of furniture was starting as the return with the huge pile of ores. Everyone getting back to building, planning and developing, so much to do and an unknown amount of time to do it in.
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