With the affairs of the two new quarters settled, the dungeon town soon became a hotbed of new activity. Because of their preference, both the elf and clergy delegations only hired the local builders and artisans to work on their portion of the palisade, while the two factions brought their own workers to set up their buildings. The local working class grudgingly accepted the elves policy, as the elves grew their buildings from plants, but were quite snubbed over the church’s decision. Many felt that it was a slap to their faces, as if to say their quality was inferior work.
Naturally, this was indeed true, but no one likes to be reminded of such things. In response, local merchants began to hike their prices toward the clergy, while the craftsmen began to toil harder than ever to create works worthy of the church’s envy. Even the miners began to work harder, and refused to sell their spoils to the church.
In the midst of this growing tension, more people began to come to the town. New miners came from all around the country, looking forward to mining in a place that was overflowing with wealth. The majority of the country was flatland, so what few mines there were severely lacked any substantial amount of ore. Some of the nobles of Duran paid great coin to have splendid mansions built near the town, prompting the development of a third new quarter that catered to the wealthy. Most of these nobles had no real interest in living in the dirty and under-developed dungeon town, but instead made their houses available to wealthy merchants and relatives who desired to fight the dungeon.
Most importantly, apprentice enchanters, witches, and apothecaries all came to market their craft and gain the necessary experience to improve themselves. All three magic specialists could grant weapons and armor the magic they needed in order to fight the hordes of slimes in the dungeon, but each one was slightly different.
Enchanters directly cast their magic into an object to make a permanent rune, creating a magic object. They practiced a type of magic that was very similar to jewelry crafting, and many did in fact sell jewels as a side-craft. When an enchanter was presented with, say, a sword, the magister would create a magic flame to heat up the weapon in a certain spot. While casting the appropriate enchant magic, he would then use a silver stick to carve out a rune in the heated spot on the sword. When finished, the enchanter would then take a special, secret powder and cover the newly carved rune. He would then finish the incantation and blow mana directly into the sword. When the sword was picked up and shaken, the excess powder would fall off as the need powder was absorbed into the weapon. A glowing rune signaled the success of an enchantment. The downside to this was that the material used in the object being enchanted limited the amount of enchanting it would take before breaking. The stronger the material, the more or better enchantments could be put into the weapon. Also, the enchantment was permanent and could not be removed without destroying the weapon. Because the highest available ore was copper, adventurers could only hope for a minor enchantment on their copper weapons. Apprentice enchanters, who didn’t know higher enchantments anyway, took the opportunity to promote their trade through affordable enchanting for the adventurers.
Witches were a specialized group of female only magisters who practiced an item dependent form of magic. Relying on their skills and ingredients, a witch created specialized items through which she could cast her own magic on anything she had a physical connection with. The most infamous witches were known to be able to curse a man three countries away using only a single hair from his head and a straw doll. Ignoring their tendency to curse, witches knew their way around item enchantments as well. They also could enchantment weapons and armor, but these were temporary enchantments good for only a period of time before disappearing. The upside was that any number of enchantments could be cast on the weapon, but the more enchantments, the shorter the time they could be used. Witches were a very secretive group, and kept many of their powers a secret to others. Their magic, however, was very dependent on what ingredients they had to work with. For instance, a witch could create a wand of fire if she had herbs and monster parts related to the element, from which she could cast a variety of fire spells and enchantments. If she wanted to cast another form of magic, she would need new ingredients to create a new wand or similar object of power. A witch could only make a certain number of items per level of strength as well, so they carefully decided what they would create as it would determine their path of magic.
Apothecaries were the third from of magisters that could enchant weapons. Strictly speaking, being an apothecary did not mean one had to be a magister of magic, it simply meant they could create potions through the use of ingredients. Anyone could be an apothecary, including other mages. Those that specialized in apothecary, however, were well known to create power potions of numerous effects. An apothecary enchanted a weapon by pouring a suitable potion onto the weapon or armor in question. This created an effect stronger than a witch, but less so then an enchanter. The enchantment also lasted for a number of attacks, rather than a certain amount of time. Also, so long as one had the potion, one could easily re-enchant the weapon. The downside to this, however, was that the potion making process was very expensive compared to the other two. After all, creating a bottle of “liquid fire” required many uncommon ingredients that would be more easily found in a desert environment.
With each branch of enchanting having such high business, the call for merchants rose and merchant caravans began to make their way to the dungeon town in search of wealth and opportunity.
About a week after the labor for the new quarters began, a merchant caravan pulled up to the palisade gate outside the iron quarter. One of the gate guards walked up to the first wagon and nodded to the wagon driver, “Welcome to Dungeon Town. Is the owner of this caravan present?”
The driver smiled and said, “Good morning to you sir. Yes, I will get him if you will give me a moment of your time.”
Seeing the guard nod, the driver dismounted and walked past his wagon to the carriage behind it. He knocked on the door once, “Excuse me sir, we have arrived at the dungeon town and the guards are requesting your presence.”
The door opened quickly as a large, round man with a pleasant smile exited the carriage.
“Thank you for telling me Arnold; you may return to your station.” The man said happily.
“Yes sir.” The wagon driver nodded and left, taking a moment to nod to the carrage driver, who nodded back.
The round man made his way over to the gate guard and bowed his body in a oddly graceful manner, “Thank-you for your patience my good sirs, and allow me the courtesy to introduce myself. I am Polaris, the owner of this merchant caravan and bringer of wonders and trinkets alike.”
The gate guard nodded his head, “It’s always a blessing to see new merchants arrive. As this is your first time, shall I explain the rules of the town?”
Polaris laughed and nodded his head, “My good man, I would appreciate nothing more.”
The guard, slightly taken to the man’s good humor, smiled and said, “Merchants can set up camp on the plains side of the town, near the entrance to the tent quarter. You may sell your wares there for a small tax, or rent a shop in the iron quarter to sell from there for a slightly larger tax. If you sell directly to the adventurer guild, you will receive a higher price for any of your wares. Beyond that, no fighting, stealing, selling illegal goods, or messing with the dungeon entrance. If you wish to set up shop inside the mines, you must make an appointment with the guild master to discuss terms.”
“Now,” The guard continued, “If you would allow us to check your cargo for contraband?”
Polaris laughed loudly and folded his arms across his chest, “You have my utmost permission sir, for I, the great Polaris, have no secrets to hide. I only bring items of wonder and useful equipment with me, and have never dealt in such heinous activities.”
Hearing Polaris's name, the other gate guard perked up. “You are the famous Polaris, the traveling merchant? I thought you traveled to the other side of the country this time of year.”
“Of course,” Polaris declared loudly, his body naturally posing in a heroic fashion, “My caravan always follows its routes, but how could I let such an interesting business opportunity escape me? I heard of this new dungeon and the town that popped up around it and decided it was time to see it for myself. My normal caravan went on its way, and I formed this new one to explore the riches of the area. Though,” He raised an eyebrow at the guard, “I hadn’t heard that the name had been decided. ‘Dungeon Town’ is the name of this place?”
The first guard coughed awkwardly into his fist, “The matter of name has yet to be decided, but the guards have taken to calling it ‘Dungeon Town’ for the sake of reference. Anyway, once your cargo checks out, we will have someone lead you and your cargo to the merchant grounds.” The guard turned to his companion, “Did I forget anything this time?”
“Just forgot to explain how we were going to check the cargo.” The second reminded him.
“Oh right.” The first guard turned back to Polaris, “We will have an enchanter examine your cargo for any magical traces, while an item appraiser will check for anything hidden. Have you understood the rules as I explained them?”
“Yes sir. Please, call your men I will see to it that they see everything I brought without fail.” Polaris nodded in agreement, “I also have some passengers who served as guards in return for transportation here. May they enter the town from here?”
The first guard nodded, “As long as they are not criminals, they may enter and leave as they please so long as they have identification.”
“Boys, this is your stop!” Polaris cupped his hands and shouted toward the back.
At his shout, three large figures exited one of the wagons and walked to the front. The guard’s mouth dropped open as he took in the sight before him.
Being a country within the human and elf domain, few residents had ever seen the other races, especially a beast-man. It was not surprising that the guard would lose his cool after seeing three, seven foot tall bear beast-men in front of him.
The first wore a massive hammer on his back, its size comical by human proportions. His fur was black as the night with golden eyes that stared into the soul. However, his serious aura conflicted with the honest and friendly smile on his face.
The second was a little taller than his brethren, with brown fur and several claw scars on his rugged face. He had a longbow on his back and several long knives on his chest and side. His continence was more serious, but he also wore an amused grin on his face.
The third beast-man was of a strange red color and possessed a ringed, bushy tail. He didn’t have a weapon on him, but instead carried several pouches on his belt and a tomb in a bag over his shoulder. His face was one of youthful exuberance and excitement, possessing several white spots on his face that outlined his smile.
“No need to fear us little man.” The black bear laughed deeply, “We only come to test ourselves in the dungeon. We are registered by the adventurer guild,” He gave the guard his registration plate, “And are here to provide additional security to the any important guests who come to visit the area.”
The guard raised an eyebrow in surprise as he read the bear’s status. According to it, the bear was a rank B adventurer! With the disappearance of Sir Koran, only rank C adventurers remained in the area. The guild had sent out a request for a new rank B adventurer after the incident involving Princess Diana, so the arrival of these new adventurers was not totally unexpected.
“May I have your names to include in my report to the adventurer guild?” The guard asked politely.
The black bear beastman laughed and nodded, “Of course my friend! I am Jare of the Maltherpus Clan! These are my brothers William and Anhel, also of the Maltherpus Clan!” The other two nodded their greetings.
The guard bowed his head to them, “Understood; I shall deliver my report after verifying Mr. Polaris’s wares. Feel free to enter the town and dungeon.”
They nodded and walked through the gate, ignoring the shocked looks on people’s faces as they made their way down the road.
Polaris slapped the guard on the back cheerfully, “No need to fret my good man. I’ve worked a few times with those boys before; they’re good people. Well, figuratively speaking anyway.” He waved his hand dismissively, “Shall we get going my good man? I have wares to sell and happiness to bring!”