Traders

These doughty folk are masters of secrecy and evasion. Theirs is a perpetual search for loot with which to ply the art of the deal.

They act singularly or in teams, and tend to specialize. Some are furriers, others barter with baubles they have found, and the remainder trade in what-have-you, miscellany, and sundry items.

They dress similarly, such that, to someone not in the know, they are well nigh impossible to distinguish when in groups. Nondescript cloaks and hoods hide their bodies and faces.

They arm themselves simply – a baton at the belt, a staff in the hand. Surely, they have knives, but keep these tucked away when amongst their own. To open carry is a serious faux pas when conducting their metier.

Traders do not live to fight, but they will fight to live. Their defensive skills vary from good to excellent, the latter particularly with the staff.

They equip themselves very heavily even to the point of encumbrance. Here too, they mimic each other with their gear: a backpack and a portmanteau behind, a haversack and water skins in front, and a pouch at the hip.

These accouterments are necessary for them to make their continual travels between exchanges, where they meet other traders, and work with the cooperation of guardians, the maintainers of these marts.

Traders identify themselves by their gestures and their patterned cloth and pottery. As ethnic hostility is rampant, traders often express themselves in a pidgin that betrays no accent: a simple sign language.