Coghill General Goods
Coghill — Southeastern Archenland
This shop has a bright, cheerful look about it. It is made up of just one room. The stone walls and floor are well kept, but show enough signs of wear to indicate that they’ve been here for generations. There is a wide door in one wall and a shuttered window in each of the others, large enough to let in plenty of light and air on pleasant days. All four walls are lined with shelves, and every surface, it seems, is piled with the sorts of goods one might need to go about life in Coghill. The air carries any number of nice smells–peppermint and leather and lumber and spices. Neighborly chatter can be heard from the townspeople as they go about their business.
Opposite the door, a sturdy wooden counter runs the entire width of the room. A pricelist is nailed to the front, and a portly, jolly looking Son of Adam presides behind it. Nearby rests the foot of a stone staircase leading up to the floor above.
A daughter of eve with a red streak in her brown hair (Abrielle) looks around at the shelves of goods. Her hair is pulled up into a messy up-do and some parts are falling into her face which is dotted here and there with flour. She seems really happy as she asks the shopkeeper questions. “Forst, do you have any mutton or will I have to go somewhere else?” He comes closer and they begin their conversation about mutton.
Lanisen steps into the shop, casting a quick glance around to get the lay of the place and a feel for the clientele. He approaches the counter, and studies the pricelist for a minute, then turns away to do some quick counting of the contents of his money pouch.
Abrielle nods and smiles to Forst. “Thank you, Forst.” As he walks away, she looks up and spots the new man. She looks at him for a bit before turning back to the shelf, deciding not to bother him.
Lanisen nods to himself, then returns to the counter. He waits a moment for Forst to notice him, then asks quietly to see the store’s selection of daggers. As the shopkeeper steps away to retrieve them, Lanisen glances around the store again.
Abrielle looks at the man again as he mentions daggers and asks, in a clear voice, “You a hunter?”
Lanisen starts a little on being addressed. He glances at the girl, brief and careful, and answers with a deferential dip of his head, “No, miss.”
Abrielle nods and looks back the shelf, moving around the room.
Lanisen relaxes a little as her attention seems to leave him and turns back to the counter. Forst returns with the daggers, four in a cloth bundle, and Lanisen turns his attention to the weapons.
Abrielle moves closer to the counter and examines the daggers. “I prefer ones with seratted edges. They cut better…but you knew that.” She smiles at him and holds out her hand. “I am Abrielle. I don’t think we have met before…are you new here?”
Lanisen is in the middle of inspecting one with a decidedly un-serrated blade. He looks a little confused by her assertion, but shrugs it off. “No, miss,” he answers again, without quite meeting her eye. “Only passing through.” He hesitates before taking her hand. “Lanisen.”
Abrielle nods and pulls her hand back. “Nice to meet you Lanisen.” She shoots him a smile and then turns to Forst. “Do you have any har ribbons? My yellow one is starting to fade.”
Lanisen looks uncertain, but turns away and picks up the next dagger in line, drawing it from its little sheath. He hefts it in his hand, reverses the grip a couple times to get a feel for its balance, and makes an unsatisfied face.
Forst nods and goes to the back. At this point, Abrielle tries to focus on the door, instead of on the man.
Lanisen picks up the next dagger and frowns at it. He unsheathes it and looks closely at the blade, then tries a few cautious moves. After a moment, he nods to himself and resheathes it, waiting patiently for Forst.
Forst comes back, empty handed. “I am sorry Miss Abrielle but we don’t have any ribbons at the moment but I will place an order. What color?” She thinks about this for a moment. “Green.” They chat for another moment about pick up and he moves off and she moves to the door, not leaving quite yet.
Lanisen, once Forst’s attention has returned to him, says, “This one, please.” Forst humms and names a price, and Lanisen winces almost imperceptibly, then starts to haggle like a pro. “It’s old,” he points out, indicating grime embedded in the hilt. “There’s rust spots on the blade, here and here. It’s not been looked after, it needs sharpened and oiled. This sheath is worthless.” Within a few minutes, they have settled on a price significantly lower than Forst’s initial quote, and money changes hands. Lanisen backs away from the counter, looking satisfied.
Abrielle watches from the door and raises an eyebrow, looking impressed.
Lanisen walks faster the farther he gets from the counter and clutches the dagger as if he’s not quite sure he just actually managed that. He seems oddly short of breath, but he remembers to stop at the door and ask, “Is there a smithy in town?”
Abrielle comes off the door and nods. “Of course. Perhaps I can take you to him?” She gives him a small, encouraging, smile.
Lanisen gives her a quick, searching look. “Thank you,” he says after a minute, sounding surprised. “I’d… be obliged.”
Abrielle nods and calls over his shoulder. “Thank you, Forst. Have a nice day.” She then turns on her heel and opens the door, allowing the sunlight to stream in.
Lanisen hesitates, then trails after her.
A cobbled path connects the inn proper with the stables outside. In opposition to the more formal stables closer to the center of town, the accommodations here are rather basic, though the horses don’t seem to be complaining. Some of the beams overhead have been blackened by a fire, though the damage does not seem to be recent and, with the restorations that have obviously taken place, the stables are sound enough to the eye. Adjacent to the main stable door, there is a smaller wicket gate, which creaks back and forth at the provocation of the slightest breeze. A variety of apparatus,
some of it rusted with disuse, hangs from hooks on the ceiling and the wall. Presiding over this is the ostler, Noyes, though disturbing him would probably not be a wise suggestion.
Abrielle walks in front of Lanisen and points to a man sitting beside the wall. “There you go. Noyes.”
Lanisen follows her into the stable, glancing behind them occasionally. “Ah,” he says. “Er. Thanks.” He approaches the ostler, coin pouch in hand, and shows him the dagger. They hold a brief conversation, in which Lanisen explains what he wants done and Noyes adds numbers until he reaches a suitable price. Lanisen doesn’t attempt to haggle him down, but does disagree when he demands payment in advance. Noyes wins this argument, and Lanisen hands over the coins meekly. He backs away awkwardly when Noyes tells him to come back in the evening.
Abrielle walks up to Lanisen. “Do you need anything else?”
Lanisen says, “What? Uh, no. No, thank you, miss.”
Abrielle waves a dismissive hand. “No worries….where are you from?”
Lanisen actually has to think about this. “Anvard, lately,” he finally says.
Abrielle nods. “That is the next town over right? I train there with the targets….there aren’t any targets here.”
Lanisen says, “N-no, that’s Andale. The town, I mean. Anvard’s the castle.”
Abrielle shake her head. “Of course…you are right. I am sorry. Anvard is just a castle?” She examines him one more time, checking for fine clothes, hiding under the others garments.
Lanisen says, “Um. Sure, if you like? It’s, you know, where the king lives?” He blinks at her, alarmed by the scrutiny.
Abrielle stops, seeing nothing and folds her arms. “I have never been there. Please excse my ignorance. What is it like?”
Lanisen rubs the back of his neck. “Um. Big? Guards, walls, knights?”
Abrielle thinks about this and nods. “Sounds a bit frightening….”
Abrielle smiles at Lanisen. “Well…I am sure I am boring you…I will let you get back to what you were doing.”
Lanisen says, “Right. Sure. Sorry.” He rubs his elbow and shifts. “Thanks for… showing me around.”
Abrielle smiles and shrugs. “No problem. Have a good day.”