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Hulean Correspondence 3: Western Tradeby Christian Constantin
Slagovich, Thaumont 7, AC 1010
Dear old friend,
I just write you to help you keep track of our progression. I have been on the western coast of the Gulf of Hule for a week by now. Ciudad Real is still a very agreeable place to be. While my guide was preparing the caravan I have had the time to go to the city's university library. Unfortunately, there was nothing of great help there. The librarian told me that, sometimes, a group of adventurer comes by to sell books written in indecipherable languages. The library usually buys them but they normally are not able to keep them more than a month: people are stealing them. He also told me that they've once bought a magnificent work of illuminated drawings from a distant land, they kept it in a safe, but, even there, someone has been able to set fire to it. I definitely suspect the action of the Holy Men. I hope that they haven't learned about our expedition.
If I haven't been able to inform myself in books, a little chat with my guide was somewhat more constructive. He told me about what he knows the most: trade. And things about trade he had to tell me... He taught me that he was one of the rare Gargoņan to be involved in overland trade. The market seems to be cornered by the LB trading company of Cimmaron in the south and by the Sardjik caravans in the North.
Interestingly, he told me what seems quite strange given Hule's central position: there is few Hulean traders and they normally stay within the Empire's border, and much of the trade within and outside Hule is conducted by the Sardjiks. The reason he gave was that the Holy Men strongly discourage Hule's people to go out of the country's limits (in fear of "wrong thoughts" corruption, I figured). Also, it seems that trade in Hule is a difficult industry since humanoids are allowed to move freely inside the Hagiarchy's borders.
Thus, Sardjik traders are free to do business inside Hule as long as they accept not to propagate "wrong thoughts" or speak about religious issues. They do their business at their own risk for Hule's military don't protect them from raids. Since they were trading along the Savage Coast long before the LB company they are recognised as the region leading merchants. They are also respected for their legendary bargaining skills.
However, my guide also told me that if, according to stories his grandfather told him when he was young, Sardjik traders were common sights some times ago, the Master has severely restricted trade within his domain in the last five or six decades. That explains why I've forgot about those strange merchants that I'd seen once or twice in my childhood
We have the chance of being escorted by a group of Guadalantan gauchos; they are going toward their cattle's summer pasturelands. This way, we are supposed to be protected from the goblins since they probably won't attack a caravan this big. The trip normally takes 10 days, I hope that there won't be too many disagreements along the road.
For more information about trade in the Western Lands, ask a Sardjik merchant!