Short Story: A higher Price

EPISODE 1

HELP WANTED

Hello, we are searching for sellswords, who are willing to worka s a guard for our daughters wedding celebration.

Easy Work – Good Pay! 

Gera exhaled audibly as she read the job offer on the Willows End taverns notice board. If employers had to specify it was easy, well paid work, it’s as good as guaranteed that there was a hidden catch and you would have to negotiate to get even a copper over the minimum of what a poor peasant would pay for work.
But low times meant low possibilities to be picky.

 

 

Even though she hadn’t worked her profession for long, she knew a couple coins wouldn’t sound so bad when the stomach was empty and the pouring rain of this region made the roads so muddy, carriages would avoid passing through town.

The house where the family lived in sounded busy although the sun was yet to rise and no rooster in town had started to sing. Reluctant and annoyed, Gera approached the barn door and knocked, loud enough so the cows mooing wouldn’t drown the noise.

‘Aye come on in’, a rough voice yelled from within.

The smell that opening the door had set free made Gera shudder. She disliked the way peasants lived in the shit of their cattle, all under the same roof.

‘You here for the job?’

The peasant with the rough voice was facing away from Gera, fiddling with the end of a pitch fork, but she already knew he probably looked as unpleasant as he smelled. She tried breathing through her mouth.

‘Yes, and try to at least speak in full sentences with me, peasant.’

She didn’t spare him her most condescending tone, everything this job pissed her off by now.

‘Oh ‘aight, you a smart one’, the peasant said, forcing Gera to suspect that not only he was working early but also drinking early. She sighed. The peasant laid down the pitchfork and turned around to face Gera, who was fully aware that the way she looked was underwhelming at best for someone looking to hire some guards.
She was small, only reaching up to the peasants hefty biceps, her sharp face littered with displeasure, her long silver locks were knotted together into a loose, dirty braid. The peasant took a few moments to take in who the one was who talked so condescendingly to him, a hard worker, a family man willing to do dirty work to feed his children, to provide them with a better life or so he told himself.

‘And what makes you think you protect me family better than I’, he said, sounding aggressive, trying to take the dominance in this conversation. Gera was prepared.

‘Recognize this?’

She held up her hand to show a ring on her middle finger with a dark red sigil, encrusted with rubies. Sometimes people had thought it was a gesture from her to wear the ring on that finger and Gera never actively opposed that theory but in fact all other fingers were too thin for the Orders Ring to fit.
The peasant knew what the sigil meant. He deemed it unnecessary to further evaluate Geras worthiness in depth and she spotted fear in his eyes.

‘Okay, you’re hired. Pay is 50 coppers for the evening nothin’ more!’, he said, trying to still sound confident but his voice started to show cracks.

‘Glad you came to your senses, I will be there.’

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