City of Gold, Chapter 1

A few years ago I had this fun idea for a story in which a fisherman joins up with an adventuring party to besiege the city of gold and plunder its riches. Now progress on this has been rather terrible for I feel as though I re-write it every few months. But now i've decided that I'm actually going to put in the work to finish this thing (Because my mom demands I show my progress for what I've done this summer). So I'll publish the story on my site in chapters. This first post will be chapter one. I'll likely change it a bit, but since this site allows me to edit my posts, It'll work out fine.

Chapter One: The fisherman of Coasthaven

There was once a fisherman named Samuel, he lived in a house of modest size near the docks of Coasthaven. One morning Samuel woke to find the sun beaming upon him from the window, he left his bed and began with his morning. a kettle of water was put to boil, he dressed himself in casual clothes (he had errands to run), and he buttered a quarter-loaf of bread. Once the kettle had began to whistle, Samuel poured boiling water into one of his mugs, and then added various spices in the water (for water is rather bland).

after finishing his breakfast of buttered-bread and spiced water, Samuel left his home to run some errands. upon opening his door he found an envelope nailed to it, bearing a wax seal depicting crossed blades. he would deal with it later, for he had errands to run.

Samuel walked up the gravel road and was greeted by his neighbor:

“Howdy Sam, never expected to see you out on a Saturday afternoon” said Mark, the butcher.

“Well, I’ve got errands to run, and if i leave them then they are just bound to pile up” replied Samuel.

“Ah well, I’ll leave you to it then. As a word of advice, stay out of the sea; There have been many reports of attacks recently.” said Mark.

“Well, i’ll try to keep safe, thanks.” said Samuel before walking off to continue his errands. Samuel continued to walk along the road past some inactive street lamps and various homes and stores, until he reached “the general supply” (which was a general store). he then entered the store and greeted the shop-keeper:

“Afternoon Sloane, how goes it?” asked Samuel.

“Rather well, though fall is nearly through and restocking in winter can prove to be difficult, for supplies in baytown may move slowly.” answered Sloane.

“I’ve nearly forgotten about winter, thanks for the reminder” said Samuel.

“Yep, anyways what can I do for you?” Sloane queried.

“I’ll need some supplies to take care of my short-sword” Said Samuel

“What sort of care need ye do?” Said Sloane

“Polishing and sharpening, The blade is dull and dirty” Answered Samuel

“If you need to do that much work, I’d recommend getting a new weapon altogether; I’ve heard longswords and spears are rather popular” Declared Sloane

“No, I think I’ll stick with my old reliable short sword; anything larger would be a mere hassle” Argued Samuel

“You call I guess, you’ll find what you’re looking for in the third aisle down, just past the sheath lubricant but before the red powder.” Claimed Sloane

“Thanks” Said Samuel

Samuel walked down three aisles past the counter, went past the jars with paper labels claiming to be “Sheath lubricant”. He then continued on down until he found a jar on a shelf labeled “Polishing grease”. Directly under it was a sharpening stone. Samuel grabbed both and made his way back towards the counter. Samuel deposited the items on the counter.

“That’ll be ten credits and twenty-five bits.” said Sloane. Samuel rifled through his wallet for the currency.

“So Sam, Can I expect to see you at the winter festival?” Samuel put the credits upon the counter yet continued to search for the bits.

“Yes, most likely” answered Samuel.

“Alright, I wasn’t sure if I was to attend; But if you shall go then I’ll follow suite.” Said Sloane. Samuel put the bits on the counter.

“Alright, Looks good; you’re free to go” Said Sloane

Samuel walked back home upon the gravel road, and as usual it made a crunching sound for it was gravel. Samuel then got back to his home, opened the door and closed it behind himself.

Samuel walked to his room, grabbed his sheathed short sword from his bedside, then he carried it to his work table. At the work table he then ran the sharpening stone along the edge of the bronze blade until it reached a sharpness comparable to that of a kitchen blade. He then grabbed a cloth from a drawer beneath his bread storage and wiped his blade of bronze shavings. after which he applied some polishing oil to the blade and rubbed the blade until is shone with a mirror finish. He then wiped the excess oil off of the blade using a bit of water.

After sharpening and polishing his sword he put it back within the sheath and opened the mysterious parcel he had disregarded before. Samuel broke the wax seal and pulled a letter out of the parcel:

My Dear Fisherman,

I hope this letter finds you in good health, for you will need it. I have decided to call upon you and your debt unto me. I will need you to get to bay town before mid-fall, Perhaps take that navigator of your town who runs the general store, I will explain more when you arrive (For I fear prying eyes may be watching). But as an incentive for arriving, There will be numerous riches in store.

-Xanthar The Eager

Samuel knew he must pack, for a wizard’s invitation and riches were not to be ignored; And mid-fall was only days away. He opened his pantry in search for supplies, and designated a basket to carry the supplies in. He grabbed three loaves of sweetbread, twelve pounds of flour, and six jars of strawberry jam. Samuel loaded the basket and carried it under his arm, he then left his home and made his way down to the docks.

The road was gravel only briefly before transitioning into a sort of board walk plated in concrete. Eventually he made it to his fishing boat and loaded the food supplies into a crate in the cargo hold of the boat. He then grabbed his bag and decided to head into town: bread, jam, and flour were not what was required for a proper-meal.

Samuel left the concrete-board-walk and went back into the shopping area of town, he entered the store of “Mark’s Meat”. The door opened easily for it was recently oiled and Samuel greeted mark:

“Hey mark, I’m looking to pick up some meat for a voyage”

“You know there are sea monsters about?”

“Yes, but they tend to stick to the north and south, I’ll be heading straight for baytown.”

“Alright, would you like some salted beef?”

“Sure, how much for five days worth?”

“Three credits, three and a bit if you want it to be delivered to your boat.” Samuel began to search his wallet.

“I’ll pay the three and a bit, the boat should be unlocked” said Samuel before placing the currency upon the counter.

“Alright thanks” said mark before grabbing the currency. “It should be there by the time you get back to your boat”

Samuel then left the store and made his way to the beverage store. The door to the beverage store was heavy and wood, the sort used in old style of houses in coast-haven. But regardless he was able to push it open and talk to the shopkeep:

“Hey John, Got anything that’ll last, preferably in a barrel?”

“Yep certainly, some preservatives the wizards have found a way to synthesize have made many drinks last far longer than they used to. But I’d recommend the strawberry juice, It’s cheap since it uses home-grown strawberries from the nearby town of meadowsville.”

“I’ll take that, could it be delivered to my boat?”

“Most certainly, my brother Jason will take care of it”

“thanks” said Samuel, he then read the listed price for a keg of strawberry juice and put the appropriate amount of credits upon the shop-keep’s counter.

Samuel then departed that store to obtain firewood. Again the gravel continued to crunch beneath him, the sound was growing to be grating. At the lumberer’s union they sold firewood, so Samuel entered to purchase that item. The door to the union was also heavy and wooden, for it had been built as a fortress for the axelord Neil, though after he was defeated by a band of heroes his fort was mostly destroyed, what was left was given to the town and repurposed as a union headquarters. Samuel greeted the sales specialist.

“Hello, I am Berach Neilson, How may I help you in your purchase today?”

“I’d like to purchase some firewood for an upcoming voyage”

“Finnegan Neilson has a surplus currently, I’ll show you the way.”

Berach sat up from his desk and ushered for Samuel to follow him. he did as such and followed down ancient halls. Various lumberers dressed in the brass of soldiers walked past them in military file. eventually they reached a door with a wooden sign placed upon it, the sign had etchings made within it and those etchings seemed to then be made more readable with charcoal paint. The sign read “F. Neilson”.

Samuel opened the door and sat at a chair, across a desk from that chair was a rather short bearded man, who Samuel assumed was the titular Finnegan Neilson. Finnegan then greeted Samuel:

“Greetings, How can I help you lad?” Finnegan asked

“I need some firewood for a voyage” answered Samuel
“How long is the voyage to be?” questioned Finnegan

“Anywhere from three to six days” Samuel declared uncertainly

“I believe two bags worth will do you, would you like them delivered to your ship?” Judged Finnegan

“Yes, how much is it to cost” asked Samuel

“Five Credits” answered Finnegan. Samuel put the credits upon Finnegan’s desk.

“Excellent, There’ll be a man to deliver the wood to your ship by morning”. Said Finnegan. Samuel was then escorted out of the building by several of the armed woodsmen. down the road Samuel went, then he made a turn past the area of stores until he reached the housing of merchants. The third house down on the right side of the road was the one he was searching for, though it was hard to find for night had fallen while he was off on errands. At the home Samuel grabbed the brass knocker and knocked three times, Then he waited for the sole occupant of the home to answer.

After a few minutes Sloane answered the door in a rather disheveled state, dressed in night-clothes, and visibly confused at the late intrusion of Samuel.

“What brings you here so late Sam?” Asked Sloane.

“I’d like to ask a favor” Said Sam.

“Surely, What is the favor?” Sloane interrogated.

“I need you to come on a voyage with me, riches may be involved” answered Sam.

“Why are you off on a voyage?” asked Sloane.

“I have been sent on a quest by a wizard, and I am unfortunately indebted to that wizard and must comply to his demand; Will you aid me?” Asked Sam.

“Yes, When are we to load into the boat?” said Sloane.

“Noon tomorrow” answered Sam.

“Alright, That works. See you there” Said Sloane before closing her door once more.

Sam walked back to his home so that he would get good rest before the upcoming voyage.

Sloane had to pack. Although she was often on voyages, she had rarely attempted a voyage in the fall, for the weather was often bad, and ancient horrors of the deep often migrated toward sailing routes. Sloane locked her front door and walked toward her room. Within the room she opened her dresser and began to select what clothes she would need: Several pairs of under-shirts and under-pants, Several pairs of work-pants, Several shirts, Water-repellant coats and blankets (for death of cold was common), Towels to combat the cold water issue, and a hat for the sun. She packed all of those items into a large bag and then decided to gather useful supplies (for she knew not the survival expertise of Samuel). She grabbed a sheathed steel knife (A relic of days when men worked not only bronze but also iron), A magical fire-starter that created a spark of such high heat that even stone could be melted, and a coil of rope. Sloane loaded these items into the large bag as with the previously mentioned clothing. Feeling that she was properly packed she went to bed so that she may wake up at a good time, though she had a feeling Samuel would appear for a wake-up call.

In the morning Samuel rose with the sun and had plenty of time to spare for the voyage’s final preparations. he put on some water-resistant work clothes, enjoyed a short breakfast of strawberries, bacon, and toast. Then he closed his blinds, locked his doors, and left his home for the docks. the gravel road was wet by a late night rain, Samuel continued down the concrete docks and arrived at his boat. Down into the hull of the boat he walked until he found the supply stores, all were there that he had placed and purchased; and as a surprise he found Sloane there as well.

“It’s a bit early for you to be here Sloane” Said Samuel.

“Well, I figured I’d get on the boat in case you changed your mind; Wouldn’t want you dying out at sea” Replied Sloane.

“Have you loaded your clothing on to the boat? I’ve packed food already” Asked Samuel.

“Yes indeed, I’ve brought a large bag loaded with my clothes and other supplies, I’ve placed it in an empty cabinet by the bathroom if that is fine with you.” Answered Sloane

“That is the place I’d have suggested, So yes it is fine by me, Are you ready to depart?” asked Samuel.

“Yes let us depart.” Replied Sloane.

The ship’s sails were unfurled and the ship departed coasthaven to hopefully get to baytown unharmed.