The Birth of the Blackmarket

Date: 12/2/2013 at 4:46
From: Anonymous
To : Everyone
Subj: The Birth of the Blackmarket

A thick mist hangs low over the docks of Port Natal in the early hours before sunrise. The slight yellow glow from a single, swaying lantern illuminates the mists and the four odd little creatures walking away from the docks. Gnomes, they were, small and easily missed if you didn't look straight at them. The gnome leading the other three spoke in a soft whisper, the sound hushed to silence by the mist. "And that's why we are special in this case. We are no longer bound by -their- restrictions, brothers. We no longer answer to the Crafting Guild."

As the four odd creatures make their way to the merchant's quarter, the leader says, "We know we can trust each other, and we know that even if we're not with the others working for the stupid Guild, we still can think over distances to one another - so we know we'll never cheat and always have the info on new goods - it's perfect!" As they turn the corner onto Merchant Street, one of the four asks, "Yes, but why does it have to be string?"

The leader stops dead in his tracks, the followers almost bumping into him. "Why are we stuck with you, Jook," he almost says to himself. "The strings are just a 'front', a way for us to speak with our customers, remember?"

Turning to walk again, they soon reach the cul-de-sac, coming to stand in front of the shop. "No, we will sell and buy things no other shop will sell. We will provide a service only to those people with a great need to quickly get rid of certain items, people with no other choice than to let us have a cut for selling their 'hot' items. We will start a blackmarket," the little gnome says as he looks up at the shop.

Another of the gnomes turns to the leader and comments, "We would never have been in the position in the first place if you just kept your hands to yourself, Ephran. Now we have to turn to shady deals and play middleman. I don't like it. Not one bit." With a laugh and a tap on his shoulder, Ephran says, "Come now Mephran, there are worse jobs in this world to have. At lease we are no longer slaves under those who run the Guild."

Excitedly ripping his fedora off his head and twisting it in his hands, it is Jook who pipes up to add, "Slaves who no longer have to get scolded for putting the blue socks in the with reds! Or get beaten because we didn't remember our commas!"

"Actually Jook, we are free men now who no longer have to do those things, not slaves," murmurs the quieter brother called Zephran.

With a smile on his face and his thoughts turned to the future, Ephran turns to his brothers. "Jook will take this shop, while Mephran goes and finds a suitable place in Elvandar. Zephran, you will go north, to the city of Sar-Sargoth, and find a few goblins to make your shop presentable. I will go to Krondor. With our skills, our network will be set in stone, and soon we shall be rich. Then we shall BUY the Guild from under them!"

Penned by my hand on the 30th of Dzanin, in the year 53.