A Tour Of Neebo's Landing
My name is Smithers--G.T. Smithers. Some people say G.T. sands for "gone to", but my mother, may the lords keep her, named me Grodon Thosman after my grandfather and father. I'm the dustman here at Neebo's Landing. Twice a week I take my cart up and down the streets of the village calling "Dustman! Dustman!" and people bring out their rubbish for me to cart to the dump. They usually give me a copper so's I don't forget to stop by their house next time. If they don't, well, one trip to the dump what with the giant rats, wild dogs and the occasional boggart usually reminds them.
I haven't always been a dustman. I've had to survive by my wits. That don't mean I've ever been a thief--that's not what I'm saying, but I've been a lot of other things. I've been an adventurer and a merchant trader. I've been a wandering boojo man and a bard. I still make a few bits o' copper or a tankard of ale telling stories to children and travelers--that is when the bard Arglossa isn't in town.
Speaking of which, why don't we begin our tour of this town with a stop in the River Rat's tavern. Mind your head as the lintel isn't as high as it ought to be. I know this place looks as if it was made of driftwood, and to tell the truth, its been patched a bit with whatever the captain had at hand, but it's sturdy enough.
That fellow behind the bar, the one with the wooden leg, is Captain Powers. He captained a boat on the river for many years until the big storm in '96 (that's 996 mind you) when he lost his boat. For the last 20 years he's piloted the River Raft tavern--only folks have been calling it the River Rat tavern so long no one remembers any other name. One of the regulars even painted a large rat on the tavern sign. Capt. Powers has given up replacing the sign and trying to change its name.
If you wouldn't mind handing me that pint of ale...ah! That's the stuff. Not too bitter and not too sweet. If you buy anything here, stay with the local drink. Capt. Powers has a collection of bottles from cities all up and down the river. He's quite proud of his collection. Only some of his bottles have things in em what you wouldn't want near your mouth. From strange water weeds, to bugs, to gobolyn ears.
The Captain is a taciturn fellow. The best way to get him talking is to ask him to suggest one of his tobacco blends. The captain is a genius at mixing tobacco and free with the samples to any appreciative audience. You can trust his judgement in most things, but especially tobacco. If you buy one of his special blends, you may get him talking about his past adventures. Many of them are too strange to believe, yet I've never known the captain to lie. Speaking of lying, never try to pull a fast one over the captain. He's a sharp one and been around a bit. He "knows the lay of the land" if you catch my meaning. I think a word is sufficient to the wise.
How many taverns are there in Neebo's Landing? Three, and that doesn't include two inns where a thirsty man may find a pint of something. I'm sure we'll visit each before our tour is through.
As we go north on the River Road, we'll pass a rope maker, a sailmaker, a shoemaker and a potter before we come to Quinn the Alchemist's place. It's that large two-storied barn-like structure. The front room is two stories tall. The back has a lab on the first floor and rooms for Quinn's two apprentices on the upper floor. Quinn, or more appropriately his apprentices, make a plant vivifyer that is supposed to be better than manure for making plants grow. In truth, some farmers claim they can get an extra crop before the end of the autumn and fall seasons. All I know is that he stinks up the place to the highest sphere. I should know. I live between Quinn's and Tandy the tanner at the end of the road. Between the two of them, River Road has quite a reputation. I think that's why Quinn lives on Castle. He only visits the shop in the back to cook up a batch or two of love phylters and potency potions, which he sells to the wealthier citizens. The leftovers get sold at the weekly market, usually after they've lost some of their potency.
My place is next door and between me and Tandy's is Veth the mystic. Veth is an older heavy-set woman with iron gray hair generously streaked with white--or is it the other way around? Unlike many mystics, she's an opinionated woman who is always into everyone else's business. She's not just nosey, but free with advice and would be happy to run your life for you if you don't stop her quick like. She claims to have been an acolyte for a steward of Malak. But the sacred implements look somewhat improvised and I've heard her understanding of the rites are imperfect. Her husband is a shriveled, meek, little, bald man who never complains--even in private--though I see the suffering in his eyes. All I know is she and my wife are friends and she's always putting thoughts in Padti's head.
Tandy, next door, has a small but steady business tanning hides and working leather. Not a lot of cattle are raised around Neebo's Landing--you have to go north to the six cities and the plains by the burning wastes for that. But Starhaven imports a lot of beef, mostly by barge, and some of it ends up here. So Tandy is never busy, but never lacks work. He's happy enough in his quiet way.
Turning south, on the corner of Market and River, is Hob Masterson the boatwrite. Hob's father was t'howmyn and his mother was hrtryn. He is of average height with a stocky build, well-tanned skin and auburn hair. His grandfather was a master shipwrite in Starhaven, but the business passed to his eldest son, Hob's uncle. Not wanting to compete with all his cousins, he moved to Neebo's Landing where he mostly builds rafts and small watercraft. If a large craft is needed, he can broker a deal with his cousins down south.
Further south, just past the lumberer is Geoff Maoer's outfitters. Geoff is a tall lanky t'howmyn fellow with shoulder length light brown hair and a goat's bear tuft on his chin. Geoff has a mind for details. He remembers everyone he's ever met as well as all sorts of historical trivia. He can't, however, remember where anything is in his store. Being an avid collector of everything, he often trades--rather than sells-- his wares and can sometimes turn up some amazing items entirely by accident.
Next to Geoff is Dwfyd Longbow. He is a master bowyer and fletcher. He claims to be half-elven and he almost looks as he may be, but it's well known that he's a rahiydn and tzorvyn mix. He has the large rahidyn eyes, the blond tzorvyn hair and the height that is common to both. In the six cities such mixing is frowned upon, but out here in the wilds, only those looking to cause trouble take much note of it. He makes bows and arrows for Whitehawk and the occasional hunter or traveler. He does not make crossbows, but occasionally makes bolts. He doesn't make polearms, but sometimes makes those short heavy spears called darts.
Sid Deros, next door, is the local weapons smith. A tzorvyn with a mysterious past, he is a quiet man who works hard for lord Whitehawk. Some say he's an escaped peasant from the north and that his anvil and tools are stolen. But lord Whitehawk doesn't seem to care and I says if he don't ask questions, neither should anyone else.
Next to him is Armand the armorer, a large burly t'howmyn but a friendly sort. He gets nervous around the site of exposed weapons though. He makes all the armor for lord Whitehawk's men. A lot of chain and piece metal type. He can do plate, but doesn't have call to do much.