Day 014: Bartering And Gossip
Summary: In which several Grounders barter their work, and discuss current events
Date: 23 5 2016
Related: None
Que Chesa Elian Kiera 

Village Center
The village of Coesbur is a middling-sized settlement of the Trikru clan. It has two major entry points, both of which funnel into the village center. The first entry point is from the west, and is across the Cioesbur Bridge which stretches over one of the branches of the divided Potomac. The other entry point is from the east, and provides a direct route to the road to Polis. The village center is really nothing more than a large dirt courtyard surrounded by a variety of structures. While most of these are Grounder-built, there is one that survived the apocalypse. It is a tall, octagon-shaped stone building made of brown and red brick. It's roof is domed, and made of tarnished, greened copper with inlays of colored glass. Broad, white steps lead up to the two-door-wide entrance to the building.
Day 14

It's day 14, early in the evening. Word was that Que and others visited the skaigeda, but they returned within one day. Everyone knows Que, since he's been living in this very village all of his 35 years, and one of his many habits is to not always work in his workshop. Instead, he will take a stool, a box with a rope attached to it to help carrying, and go plop himself in the village center and there make a thing. Or, parts of a thing. He is not as efficient without a nice, sturdy table and his better tools, but this means Que's in a socialable mood, even if he's a quiet sort. He likes being quiet around people, his people, watching them, smiling and nodding at them, sometimes having conversations for them. Right now, its anyone's guess what he's making, but he has a foot and a half square chunk of wood that he's cutting down to size. There's some wood shavings all about him.

End of May means that some vegetables are starting to come in, and for that reason, Chesa finds her way into the village. She's got one of the smaller horses with a few bags and packs loaded on. With reins in hand, the tall farmer walks into town, enjoying the day, taking in those that might be found. If she's heard the rumors of Que's recent trip, it might not show, for instead, when she sees him, she lifts a hand to wave, "Hey there, Que.. got some things to drop off to you.." Likely farming tools that could use some fixing.

Elian has grown up in the village and been there his entire life. The Archer generally spends a lot of time patrolling the wilderness and hunting, and so he's been out of the camp a lot of the time the Skaikru have been around and has, thus far, not met any of them. He comes riding back into the village from his latest foray out, coming to a stop and sliding down off of the back of his horse with a thud of boots to earth, bow over one shoulder.

Que pulls out a short stub of a pencil, makes a mark on the wood, and then pulls out a long thin metal bar from his toolbelt. Aligning it, three more marks are done before tool and pencil are put away. Then he's looking up, turning a small smile towards Chesa, "Chesa." He lays the wood bar on his legs, and gestures for her to come to him, "Come, leave them here, I'll take them back to the workshop when I head back in. How's the crop?" he asks, and then his eyes are drawn over to Elian and he gives a similar smile and a nod to him in greeting.

Watching as he measures something, Chesa guides her own horse closer to where the crafter sits and works. "Things are good.. and I can drop them by your shop if you'd rather? Less you'd have to carry." But, she pets the horse, following his gaze to Elian, offering the hunter a nod of her head before turning back to Que, "Got some vegetables to trade for your work, if you'd like? Let you take first pick of what I got?"

Elian strolls on over toward the pair and without so much as a by your leave, peers over Chesa's shoulder to see what it is that she might have, a look of pure mischief and a broad smile. He's more than likely pilfered a few of her crops here and there, to see if she can catch him. But never without some fresh caught game to turn up in exchange later. "I wouldn't say first pick.." he says with a teasing tone, insinuating that maybe he's already been past the fields. Though from the fact he can't say it with a straight face might indicate that he's not being wholly truthful.

Rising, Que sets the wood aside, and brushes his hands off together, "Oh, unless its something too awkward to carry, I don't mind making a few trips. Keeps the mind clear, and after the last couple days, I could use some mind clearing. What do you need fixing?" Since he's not going to know what's a fair trade until he looks closer at what work is needed. He does turn a grin for Elian, "Have a good day hunting?" There's something wistful in his voice, almost longing: Que's known to be a hobbyist hunter, sometimes going out for more then one day. Not the most skilled, but not terrible, either. "

Chesa snorts at Elian, narrowing her gaze upon the hunter, though it's easy to see, she's being playful. "Best you leave my vegetables alone!" Anyone knows, she wouldn't really be upset if people help themselves here and there, as long as they do so moderately, and protectively of the plants. Turning to Que, she chuckles, "Well…" From the other side of the horse, she removes a few things, "Broke a shovel and a hoe.. and I'll have to bring in the plow later - it needs some serious sharpening, if you can do that?" The ends of said shovel and hoe are offered to him, both with what is left of their handles broken and splintered above the metal work. "I have lots of greens - lettuce, cabbage, turnips. Some first tomatoes.. peppers.. cauliflower. "

Elian stops poking his nose over Chesa's shoulder long enough to grin at Que and says, "Good enough. Some stew meat, at least. You should come with me next time. When you've finished with your fixing." He nods towards the items that he has to work on. When Chesa narrows her eyes on him he feigns a look of innocence, badly. He may be a thief, but he's an honest thief, or at least one who doesn't tromp on the plants, and leaves gifts in return. Though he holds up a hand to his mouth so Chesa can't see and mouths to Que «The tomatos are the best»

Que looks over each tool in turn, then sets it aside by his box, and then he's nodding along. The exchange about Elian pilfering has him turning an amused smile between the pair of them, and he can't help but chuckle, "Yeah, I can sharpen, and have these fixed. Fixing the handles is easy, I have some ready made, just need fitting cutting down to fit, so give me a few tomatoes' and for a handful of peppers I'll get your plow ground sharp. I'll throw together a nice stew. Rabbit, maybe. See what I catch." He then turns a grin to Elian, "There's never really a /finished/ fixing, especially when I have a project going on. But I don't mind working later into the night to take off for a few hours in the morning for a good hunt." Que's projects are mechanical hodge-podges that mix salvaged items with parts he's either forged or grinded, and they can be quite useful.

Hearing his request, Chesa turns and digs into the packs, pulling out the vegetables requested, and adding in a few extra - she can't do her work witout those tools, and he's the only one who can fix them! Always pays to keep your fixer happy! "Brother has been out a hunting a little now that things are in the lull of growing season.." And the occasionally left gift for the theifed veges by some unknown hunter, helps out! To Elian, she finally asks, "Things going well in the woods?"

"Well I will give you one of the ones that I caught tonight, and we can see if we can replace it tomorrow.. if you want to make a stew," Elian says and then he grins at Chesa and says, "Lots of noise. These sky people, they are noisy. They frighten the animals. I haven't seen them, but you can hear them. Have to go out farther," he nods in the direction he'd come from. "But otherwise, the forest is generous if you are patient."

Que accepts the vegetables, including the extra, with an appreciative smile; reaching into his box of supplies comes out a sack, and he carefully drops them down in. "I'll get on your tools tonight, and will have ready for you tomorrow. It'll take longer to sharpen the plow, so you might have to leave it at the shop for a day or so. I'll keep you informed. Luckily, I don't have anything else pressing right now." Then he smiles at Elian, "No, no, keep your catch. These will keep until I get my own. Consider it motivation. But I wouldn't mind being company while hunting tomorrow." Talk of the skaikru, he wrinkles his nose, "They are— crazy. Dangerous. Can you believe they were afraid of /me/? The steheda sent a maker as lead of the mission to observe them, and they would barely let me take a step into their little camp for fear I would peek into their sleeping quarters and kill them in their sleep. Me! A maker." He huffs softly, looking mildly offended. As if a maker would fight except in defense of home or village.

It would seem the afternoon is a good one - Que has set up his stool with a bit of work in the village center, Chesa has come from her farm with some fresh spring vegetables, and Elian has returned from a hunt. The last two each have a horse standing by. The trio are talking with one another about this and that.

Chesa nods, "Don't worry. I'm good with leaving the plow for a few days. No need for it for a little while yet, thankfully. I made do with it on the last field I had to get done. I'll be sure and bring it tomorrow when I come and pick up these tools?" She gestures to the broken shovel and hoe that's been handed over to him. Listening to the pair discuss hunting, she smiles a little, though mention of the skaikru has her shaking her head, only to peer back to Que, "You went to their camp?" Somehow, she missed that bit ofnews out at the farm!

Elian's lips curl up at the edges in amusement at Que's story and his eyebrows lift, "They were frightened of you? I wonder what they would think if I shot into their camp from where they couldn't see me. Perhaps knock over their things, remind their watch keepers to keep close watch." Oh that look can't mean anything good at all, the glitter of pure troublemaking. "They would think that death itself had come to rain terror from above." He then asks Que, "How badly do you think Oxfor would thump me for it?"

"The steheda tasked me to lead a mission to observe them, as they have been observing us since their healers came to help cure the sky sickness." explains Que to Chesa, sounding a little bit strained about the situation. "I believe Oxfor thought they would react better if an old maker were to go, instead of a young warrior. The sky people did not see much of a distinction. They scurried around like squirrels trying to keepsafe their nuts from me." That said, Elian's idea for fun has Que looking decidedly interested and decidedly like its something he would want to do— but he halts, and grows more serious, even grave, "You must not. They will soon have guns, when their warriors come down from the sky. They have been warned of the Mountain and are not wise enough to fear. I told them what happens when the Mountain is defied."

There's a hint of a brow raised when Que speaks of being old, her gaze to linger on the man for a moment before listening to his comments about the Sky people. "Hmmph." She finally mutters, only to snort at Elian's idea, "That might be amusing for a little while… until Oxfor got to you." Still, such seriousness from the maker has her sighing slightly, "Indeed, they'd do well to listen to you about the Mountain. Here is hoping that they listen. And if they don't.. that the Mountain doesn't blame us for them."

"It might even be amusing if he managed to catch me," Elian says, because Que's interest only adds fuel to the fire, and one can almost see the wheels turning as he tries to think of ways to get away with it. Though the mention of them soon having guns pulls some of the mirth from his expression and he says, "We should tell them that they cannot have guns. Leave their guns in the sky. Or go back to it and stay there."

At the bit of a raised brow, Que turns an inquisitive look and raises one of his brows right back to Chesa. That said, he sighs, looking between both Chesa and Elian"I told them what the Mountain does to those who touch a gun; that the mountain does not punish just one, but everyone that knows him, and everyone who knows them. I told them that they throw their missiles at the village in retaliation, having no mercy for even the children. The look he gave me resembled pity, as if he thinks I am afraid of my own shadow or jumping at the barking of dogs. They may claim to want to learn from us, but they do not *respect* our knowledge and experience." He sounds annoyed, at that. That said, he does say: "They can not return even if they wanted to, and any who stay in the sky will die. Their city is dying, or so they claim. Their desperation seems real enough."

Kiera walks into the town, a bladder of something, the smell will soon cancel any thought of water, or even wine. There is virtually no sound to her motions, save wiping the back hand against her mouth. The blue eyes squint, "Perhaps, they will kill the mountain. They have weapons and live in the Sky, among the stars." She says and lets her gaze move over the gathering as she strikes a lazy stance. "As long as the Mountain does not blame us, perhaps they will erase our enemy. Or, perhaps they will band together. Who can say of a people that send their children while they yet hide." She lifts her drink again, swallowing a heavy swig.

Chesa but offers Que a smile in return when he looks at her in such a way, though with the topic at hand, the smile doesn't last long upon her lips. Shaking her head quietly, she begins to speak, only to have Kiera appear somewhere's behind her, leaving the tall farmer toturn and glance her way, "We could hope that they would erase our problem. Better yet, perhaps they might erase each other and leave us out of it. But then, that might be too much to hope for, hmm?"

Elian hasn't seen the sky people and so he has little to go on but what the others say, the smile eventually fading entirely from his expression and a slightly more grim line coming to rest there. "I would prefer they erase each other and leave us out of it.. but.. if they are children, then.." He shakes his head. "Why would they send their children first? That would make as much sense as us sending our babes to another clan for talks. They must be crazy."

Que sits back down on his stool, and crosses his arms for a moment, thoughtful, "The risk is too great." he says to Kiera and Chesa, before shaking his head, "I speak out of place. This will be a matter the Commander will have to decide, surely, but I think the risk is too great that they anger the Mountain and the Mountain Men blame us. We have never been a serious challenge to them, but if the sky people come down with their many guns, can you imagine the trouble they might cause? The Mountain Men may decide that a village is not enough. They may decide that the Woods Clan can no more be tolerated." He looks to Kiera, "Remember, though they live in the sky, their machines in the sky that gave them power there are dying. They come to us nearly begging for peace and for us to teach them our lores. They are not as great a power as their origin would suggest." He looks to Elian and says, "They may be young— but most are adult grown— but they are /criminals/. The sky people sent their /criminals/ first. The sky people did not know if the land could sustain life."

Kiera turns her gaze in the direction of the 'Star fall,' "So they say, or so rumors say they say. Children, criminals. If they are criminals, sent here to be disposable, can you believe anything they say?" The blonde shakes her head, closing off the container. "We have no choice but to see how they prove themselves.. Well, we have one choice. The Mountain and the Northerners show that strangers are dangerous. Still.. I would rather wait than destroy." The scout looks about once and settles to sit on the ground with a bit of a plop. "The Commander will decide."

Hearing this new bit of information has Chesa frowning further, soon to nod in agreement with Kiera, "How do we trust criminals? Even if they are but children, they obviously did things bad enough for the Sky People to label them as criminals." At least, that is how she sees it. "Maybe.. we should keep our distance completely. And hope even more that they do nothing to piss off the Mountain Men."

The longer the conversation goes on, the more troubled Elian seems by what he learns, and he nods a little bit in agreement with Chesa. "Perhaps if they are crazy and criminals, we should wait for their own people to deal with them when they come from the sky. Though, who knows. Maybe they are all crazy from living up there for so long."

Que listens to them all express distrust, and inclines his head slightly before saying, his voice a little softer then usual, "How can I believe what they say? Because I looked them in the eye and I challenged their words, and I know truth when I hear it, and lies when I hear it. I do not say I trust them, but neither do I distrust them. One swore oath to help us recover our dead from when they attacked our convey carrying their captives— and he came to us, unarmed, and did so. He mourned his dead. He allowed us to honor ours and return their ashes to the earth. And they came here, again unarmed, in the midst of our strength, and for nothing in return but the right to ask to stand Summit, they healed our sick. How many of us would have died of the sky sickness if not for their aide? Yes, they brought the sickness, but how can anyone be blamed for such a thing? Nature decides who will fall sick and who will not."

"I do not know, we cannot keep out distance. We must watch." The woman draws up some mint from a pouch, biting the green leaves and chewing. She rolls her neck as she listens to the others, "Then again, without discounting the possiblity they are telling the truth. What if they are faking, like a child promising their all powerful family will come home, or avenge them." The scout takes another bite of the greenery. "You are right, so far.. I hope we can look to them as honorable. But, the Commander will choose." She shifts a bit, "That doesn't really sound like criminals to me."

Chesa looks uncertain, but then finally sighs, "We watch and wait then.." Sure, it doesn't sound like criminals, but one just never knows, right? Nodding once to Kiera's comment, she murmurs, "The Commander will choose." They can only make do in the meantime, and hope nothing drastic happens. She does seem to change the topic, asking of the other warrior, "Do you wish any vegetables?" A gesture to the packs on her horse, "I have… lots of greens - lettuce, cabbage, turnips. Some first tomatoes.. peppers.. cauliflower. "

Elian seems to agree with the idea of watching, perhaps a lot more watching than he had been doing. "Watching is good. Watching is necessary." He then sighs a bit, clearly troubled by all this new information. He nods to the others then and turns back toward his horse, taking up the reins to head back to where his own shelter is, muttering something to himself.

"They are so close, I do not know how we can keep our distance." Que is troubled, shaking his head slightly, "Either we make peace, or Blood Must Have Blood. That is our way. We can not simply ignore them, we can not simply ignore the blood they have shed. They have asked for a Summit. If the steheda can make peace, he will make peace, if he can not, we will destroy them. Or, the kruheda or the Heda herself will intervene. I am only a maker, the weight of our people do not rest on my shoulders, so I can not guess what their decisions will be." He looks to Chesa, his head tilting to the side, "Will there be artichokes this year?" His voice is hopeful. It is, by all measures, his favorite of all vegetables. His voice makes this very clear.

The blonde pushes herself to her feet as Elian departs, nodding to him. Kiera's hands dust off her rump, "Peppers, that would be nice. I will, bring you some meat. Do you like squirrel or rabbit?" There is a squint skyward, and a frown. "Scallions or maybe some lettuce too. I will bring it to you. Good day to you both."

Chesa moves to her pack, digging out the items that Kiera wants, and hands them over to her - a little bit of all that she named. "I'll take either. Whatever you can leave at the farm?" There's several members of her family there to feed. Laughing, she does say to Que, "They're almost ready. I'd say by next week they should be good to harvest?"

"Give me the first two you have and I'll give you half a day's work to call upon anytime you want, second only to the steheda's needs, anytime you have need until its used." offers Que quickly, energetically. Oh he loves him his artichokes. That said, he smiles over to Kiera and gives her a nod, "Laidon, Kiera." in farewell.

Chesa nods to Kiera, then turns back to Que, laughing softly, "Deal. The first two that I pick are yours. I'll even bring them to you when I have them in hand." A man that likes his vegetables is a man that she likes to appease! "Otherwise, you get a hankering for more after that, you could certainly come to the farm.."

"Pick four and send word." Que smiles, his quiet voice sounding warmer, "I'll come to you and take two in trade, and the other two we will share as friends. I'll cook. My mother taught me a sauce with the hearts, and I'll trade for eggs and oil to make the sauce for the meat on the leaves. I'll bring rabbits and give them an herb-roast and if I can talk you into some peppers to add to the mix, it will be a grand adventure. I usually only have myself to cook for when I cook, I would count it a favor."

At the list of ingrdients and the trading needed that go along with the offer to cook, Chesa smiles, "I can bring the milk from home, especially if you're offering to cook?" The menu sounds delicious to her! "I can cook, but mom does it better." While her mother may help out with the farming, she's more the home keeper, especially now that her father is injured and needing help, leaving the farm in Chesa's hands overall. "Then.. sometime next week, when they're ready? I can send you word when they are.." That way, such can be readied for the cooking!

"Agreed." And with that, Que rises to his full height, stretches and smiles, "It is getting to the hour when I should make up for lost time with some night-work. Its good talking to you, Chesa. I'll see you tomorrow when you bring the plow and pick up your tools." He bends, and begins organizing his things back into packed state for movement across the village to his workshop/home.

"And I should get the vegetables on to their destination." Likely to the leader's house now, the rest is given out to others in the village who may want some. "Till then, Que. I will look forwards to the treat.. and see you tomorrow." A dip of her hand is given, "Laidon, Que."

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