Bear Market Economics - RPLOG
The two merchants in question both wear heavy folk seals, and they are large. One is a bear, the other, a rhino, and neither is pleased at all. "You call this ink!" the bear bellows, knocking a set of bottles over. Thankfully, well stoppered, "I could produce better myself after a drink!"
The rhino slams a hand down on his poor countertop, splintering the wood, "You dare! You've been buying my ink for years without complaint, you fatherless child of a vagrant."
Wandering the market, looking for some good brass for sale, Monique hears the argument and makes her way over. Still wearing her smithing apron and her forge hammer on her belt, she makes quite the sight as she nears, her amulet is hidden, however, under the thick apron (to prevent any accidents with it in the forge) so she is not immediately identifiable as a Soulless.
Bite approaches the two slowly, seeing a problem but not knowing enough to comfortably dive in. "Hey there sssweethearts, what seems to be the problem?"
As he hears quite a bit of bellowing, Tarvek makes his way to the marketplace, the tall auroch turned out nicely in clothes of blue and black, both the Heavy seal, and the Strongheart one shown on his chest. "Is there a problem?" His resonant bass rumbles as he watches the two.
Peril had been browsing for parchments and inks herself for her work as a scribe and found herself rather well positioned to catch the conversation not that that was hard as the arguing pair raised their voices to a level that could attract attention from the entire market. folding her ears back and tucking her tail up out of the way the little cat moved in alongside a neighboring stall to remain out of the way as she watch the goings on with a curious interest
The bear wheels on those that approach, hefting one of the small bottles and thrusting it right in Tarvek's face before noticing who they are and withdrawing it to a more polite distance. Noble privilege. "Sorry sir. This crazed squirkik just doubled the price on the ink I depend on to make ends meet!" he complains, "It's unforgivable!"
The Rhino scowls and grits his teeth, but does not immediately leap into countering.
Just listening for now, relying on Tarvek's status to defend them from any reprisals, Monique follows the conversation without butting in, until her assistance is needed.
Derya had hoped to come to the market to purchase all manner of meats for his meal tonight, instead he hears a commotion while standing at a stall, looking back and he grins, rubbing the back of his head. "Looks like someone's having fun over there..." He pays for his package and turns to head over. He's not much for fancy words and social issues, but perhaps he could stand to see how this is resolved. Perhaps there's a socialite hero that'll step in and use their amazing tongue to solve the issue.
Tarvek nods slowly, listening first to the bear. "I see." Turning to the Rhino, "I assume you had a reason to increase your price. What was that reason?" So far calm, collected, not seeming to favor one side or the other.
Peril drew her hands up to her hips, fingers running along her belt to the pocket that held her purse. checking all was in order she pushed her hand down over the little pouch that held what little coin she had left while her eyes turned to the surrounding crowd, scanning for the potential pickpockets or other miscreants that could seize upon this opportunity to lighten someone's load
"Shadow threat," replies the Rhino, "As I was trying to explain to this unschooled brat. The trade ways to the Holy Nation of the Desert are perilous due to shadow. The caravans have raised their prices, so my price? It must raise. There is no, equal quality, substance to produce black ink, locally," explains the ink merchant, "He'd know that if he didn't hide his head in the sand and pretend there's no world outside the city gates."
Bite tilts her head. "Can you simply not raise the cost of your services as well?" she hisses to the bear, understanding his plight but also seeing a valid reason for the price increase.
Ictus hmms? as he wanders into the marketplace and blinks at the crowd, he approaches curiously as he listens to the conversation
Monique, having to deal with similar merchants for various metals, can't help but nod at this, knowing that not only is it something she can't do much about, personally, but that even with all the soulless in the city patrolling it might not be possible to keep ALL the shadow-touched at bay.
Tarvek nods slowly. "Shadow-beasts are more prevalent, and coming even close to us here in Firmament, let alone the travel-ways. However, I have, perhaps an idea. Do you," he asks the Rhino, "Sell ink to others, and not just him?"
Peril glanced back over a shoulder not wanting to seem out of place and turning to whatever display was nearby she began examining the goods on offer.
Derya crosses his arms as he listens. He had pretty much been under a rock forever now, so he's learning a bit. He takes a moment to adjust his collar, his water tank gurgling behind him as he does.
The bear snorts at Bite, "I do calligraphy. They do not want to pay more for it. I will be run out of business!"
The Rhino merchant keeps his eyes on Tarvek, "Of course. I provide ink for a number of loyal customers, and no small number of impulse buyers. Everyone needs ink."
Ictus blinks at the problem and tilts his head as he thinks of solution, looking between the bear and the rhino curiously
"Charge more then..." Monique rumbles, "If this is a problem for everyone, your competition will have to charge more for their calligraphy too. Be honest with your customers." she adds, finally pitching in her crown worth to the argument.
Tarvek hmmms. "Do tyour clients require the highest grade ink for their calligraphy on everything? A wedding invitation, certainly, but you might be able to have lesser ink for lesser import. But both of you know...if prices go up, fewer people will buy what you provide."
Peril rolls her eyes and shakes her head before looking to Monique. 'This is not an essential service. if times are hard and prices go up people cut things like this from their budget. if you slash costs you slash quality and when times improve you loose your custom to others. It is a delicate balance'
Ictus hmms? and nods to Bite in agreement, "Yes, it's a very delicate balance..." he looks at the rhino and hmms
Bite shakes her head and thinks this situation over. "Where are the caravans having troubles? I'm sure I can aid in the long term solution but there needs to be a reasonable solution to this problem. "How much profit are you going to be making off of the current price increase?" she hisses curiously.
The bear points at Peril, "That is exactly it. I raise prices, less customers. He raises prices, creator forsaken thief, and everyone is still here." Someone picked a more reliable product to sell. The ink merchant certainly looks smugly pleased with himself. "Fine, I will buy cheaper ink, somewhere else!" he bellows, clearly furious.
The Rhino lifts his shoulders, "The monsters are more fierce everywhere out of the gates. I have put my days of caravan driving behind me, now I sell ink. It is a good business." He reaches to lightly right the bottles that were knocked over earlier, putting them back in place. Black, blue, red, yellow, and one bottle that seems to be a rainbow of swirling shades.
Peril raised her hand, half closing her fingers as she rested her chin upon her knuckles a faint lopsided grin lifting one corner of her lips as she looked to the bear 'Yes. I know the feeling well. Still, perhaps you can buy your ink direct from the caravans and get a better price'
Monique sighs, shrugging her shoulders, the merchants seemed to have found a solution, if not a less than optimal one. Turning to leave, she notices the small rainbow bottle and her eyes narrow, trying to identify the substance.
Ictus sighs at the outcome and hmms at the ink, he shakes his head at the rhino and thinks a bit, "You know... One unsatisfied customer leads to two, and so on... Right?"
Derya had taken to eating the meat he had just bought, even forgetting to unwrap it as he chews at the steak like one would an apple. This was simply fascinating... Such an adverse outcome to such a simple situation! "'Tis the perils of customer service! That's why I'd make a terrible salesman.... Well, that and most people think I'd try to eat them when I smile." He gives a hearty laugh at that, his own little joke.
"Oh, he would love to do that," says the Rhino, "But I only buy the materials, and I am the best ink mixer in the city," he states as fact. Spying Monique eyeballing the rainbow bottle, he reaches to lift it up towards her, "Isn't it fantastic? Distilled gop and lantern oil with a few secret ingredients for just so long and you get this. No one else sells it. Your writing will really stand out," he says, making his sales pitch unashamedly. "I sell quality product at a fair price. I don't compromise, and I expect to be respected for remaining top shelf."
The bear abandons the fight, moving to find cheaper ink elsewhere in the market. Tough times.
Peril shrugs her shoulders, eyes falling to the ground as she spoke not really directing her words to anyone in particular 'You only make losses selling to those that can't afford your wares.' breathing a sigh she raised her head again, smiling more broadly as she again looked toward the rhino 'Still. Ink keeps well and what you don't sell today you can sell tomorrow no?' she continued though her attention was also drawn to the unusual bottle as the merchant drew attention to it
Tarvek snorts and nods. "Of course, since your prices are rising so much, you're going to get others who will provide a quality product--not quite as good as yours, of course--but for less. Who knows where the market will end up?"
Bite gets a glint in her eyes as she decides to try and help out the caravans, at least locally. That will come at a price but it will work. She watches the rainbow ink with a curious look, wondering who it could possibly be for. It seems impractical for writing.
Chuckling, Monique holds up one hand, palm out to the ink merchant, showing off the hard calluses, burns and cuts from fighting and work in the forge, "I may be a priest in training, but writing is something, thankfully, they don't require of me." she says, "Looks lovely though, I wonder, could it be made into a metal sheen?" she ponders to the merchant.
Ictus nods in agreement with Tarvek and looks to the rhino, "He's right you know..."
Derya finishes the steak and he looks to the remainder of the paper wrapping in his hand and he smacks his forehead with his other hand. "Gah... I need to pay attention to my eating..." He crumples the paper up and licks the blood from his hand before wiping his mouth. He walks over to the ink stall and checks the rainbow ink that had entranced a few of the others, hands on his hips and leaning in as he squints at it. He then gasps and grins. "Such marvel! I could use this ink to do the line art on a painting I was working on!"
The rhino gives a soft gesture for Tarvek to come closer, a conspiratorial gesture of secret telling, "Allow me to share something with you, sir," he says, setting the rainbow bottle down. He does answer Monique, "I haven't much practice with sheens," he admits, and then, oh boy, someone wants to buy, "I knew an artist would understand the value. Just fifty crown an ounce." He taps the large bottle, "I have smaller bottles, but this one is fifty ounces. Twenty Five hundred if you want the whole thing. It'll keep for six months in the bottle, on my family's honor."
"Not worth the price of the paper it is written on!" comes an angry bear voice. He has good hearing.
Peril opened her hand, turning it up beneath her chin to bring her fingertips down through the fine fur that covered her muzzle stroking down the length of her jaw. Glancing back at the priest and then retiring her attention to the ink in time to give Derya a quizzical look 'I would have though it lend itself more to decorative writing than to art. Surely an artist would want more control that a shifting swirl of colour would provide as any piece you produce from that would surly be testament to the ink mixers skill more than your own. I on the other hand could use such a pallet of colour to get a little attention for myself and perhaps draw in better business'
Tarvek shrugs. "Possible, possibly not," he says. "For myself, I don't need ink, that much, but...would you rather work with the calligrapher to make both of your livings, or work agianst each other, and possibly suffer? For my own part, I will be going to the Freeswords' and telling them specifically of the shadow attacks on the trade routes. HOpefully, something can be done about that."
Her shoulders shrugging, Monique goes to take a step back but pauses, "I think I will take your smallest measure of it, I might have to talk to one of the master smiths, but it shouldn't be too expensive, and if it works, we may just be getting a new contract." she says.
Derya looks over to Peril and he holds up a finger, wagging it and giving a wink with that sharky grin of his. "But you underestimate just what manner of art I do! Most would consider it just random colors on a canvas, splashed about without abandon, but I place my very self into my brush! This ink would only add to the beauty and chaos that is abstract art!" He looks to the bear and holds up his hand. "I will buy from you Ten ounces, the rest if I can manage to put it to the use I intended." He looks over to Monique when she mentions she would like to buy some as well.
Ictus tilts his head at the rhino and sighs as a bidding war breaks out
Peril cupped her hand across her muzzle, brow furrowing briefly as she studied the bottle for a moment longer before seizing her opportunity to move in, stepping closer to the ink sellers counter and extending her hand to pick up the colourful bottle to be sure she could control it that much more while debating internally with herself if she actually wanted it or if her interest was only peaked by the fact it had become such a centre of attention. '2500 seems a steep price, but I find myself in need of a good supply of ink. Tell me, how is it you produced such a unique concoction of colour'
"Did I not say? Gop fat and lantern oil, mixed just so with a few other ingredients. It all renders down to this wondrous display of color." He fetches out two smaller bottles. Ten oz and two oz and gets to filling them up for his new customers, joy of joys. "Now, if you do not tell my bear friend. His coins will still be lining my pockets. Most of the stores buy my lesser ink to sell to the common people for common tasks. He will curse my name even as he writes his own with my ink." He puts new stoppers and seals the smaller bottles carefully, "Here we are."
Bite watches idly as the transactions are taking place. She shakes her head at the needless spending but guesses if they really want it, it's their money to waste. "Who normally buys this rainbow stuff you sell? Is it really in high demand?" she queries.
Derya was taking a moment to go through his pockets to find the crown, but he stops when he sees Peril pick up the bottle in its entirety. Perhaps he should have come later to make his purchase. It seems that his excitement only added to the interest. When he sees his bottle produced however, he hands over the proper amount and takes the bottle, giving a wide grin. "Excellent..."
Peril really can't fathom why she finds the ink so appealing but with money in her pocket, even if it wasn't a substantial quantity the little cat had to have what was left while there was still some to have. Clearing her through loudly and looking up to the massive trader with a broad toothy grin she inquires 'How much to buy your entire remaining stock of this substance?'
Monique smiles and hands over her crown, reaching for the wondrous bottle, "This really does look amazing." she says, big hand closing around the proffered bottle.
Quick math, fingers flexing with internal calculation before he reaches under his small sand to pull out a larger bottle of the stuff. Looks like a pint. He places it right on the scale for everyone to see, "If you want the source bottle here, it is..." The needle settles out at one hundred and sixty oz, "Eighty thousand."
Peril eyes the massive bottle in the scales with a quirted brow and a stiff jaw. Feeling just a touch embarrassed the small feeling lowered her hand to her pocket and withdrew the purse from within before reaching into her shirt to pull out another slightly more hefty pouch. Keeping her head down she didn't look to anyone as she poke in a somewhat subdued tone 'Perhaps just two 10oz bottles then to try it out first' she says if only to avoid looking foolish
Away goes the source bottle, and he produces two more ten oz bottles dutifully, "A pleasure doing business with such fine beings. You know true value when it is before you. I will raise a glass in your honor tonight." Stoppered and sealed firmly, he offers them towards Peril.
Wandering off, putting the vial into a pocket on her apron, Monique goes back to hunting for the brass she was after originally.
Peril sets the pouches on the counter, pulling them open and begining to count out coins soon ending up with far more on the merchents table than in her purses