The Caravan of Adventuring Merchants
It always felt like fire was dancing in the air when The Caravan of Adventuring Merchants arrived in town, like little sparks of pure excitement following the two dozen teetering wagons filing in one behind the other. Each wagon filled to the brim with rare and once long lost artifacts found amongst the junk piles and hidden tombs of the northern deserts. Within a few short hours, a bustling party will have formed around the caravan.
The adventuring merchants of the caravan would put on wild displays and show off their amazing finds in outdoor museums. Joyous children would point and gasp at the marvels displayed on the folding shelves and extended racks affixed to flamboyantly painted wagons. While wealthy collectors bartered and traded for items they had patiently awaited the arrival of. For all, it is a wonderful time of brevity, trade, and celebration.
What is The Caravan of Adventuring Merchants?
The Caravan of Adventuring Merchants is a loose collection of two or so dozen wagons, that visit various towns and communities, primarily in the nation of Baïzair, to display and occasionally trade magnificent artifacts they have found in their journeys across the northern deserts above Baïzair. For the majority of the year, the caravans travel separately or in much smaller groups or pairs, roaming vast deserts of junk and sand seeking out lost treasures and artifacts. Most of the merchants are well-seasoned adventurers and often find these items in hidden and often dangerous tombs.
After months of searching the now treasure-laden wagons meet up and travel together in a long caravan, spending the next few months of the year travelling through the communities in Baïzair to show off and trade their wares. Often large festivals and celebrations gather around the parked wagons, and exuberant parties go on for days. The adventuring merchants are happy to share the stories of each item and treasure they have discovered, often they make them more elaborate and fanciful to further entertain children.
Often the sale of only a handful of extremely rare items occur during each of these tours, but the prices often cover the costs of their travels for the entire next season and then some. While the adventures make the majority of their money off of the sale of these items they are happy just telling their stories and sharing the excitement of the people that visit their caravan.
The caravan first began when a small collection of merchants, who were also close friends, became sick of haggling and bartering with traders to get their wares. With rarer, more profitable, wares and trinkets costing an arm and leg to attain, creating meagre profits for the much of the market merchants. These friends and fellow merchants spent many nights at the local bar speaking of their trade frustrations, often this spun into comments on how each of them were finding themselves becoming bored and restless at their stalls each day. So, one night they decided that enough was enough, and they would scratch two itches simultaneously. They would each pitch in to buy a few wagons worthy of travelling the sands of junk and debris to the north and set off into the dunes to seek their own adventure and treasures to sell. At first, there were only four wagons and six friends in the caravan, but over the numerous seasons that The Caravan of Adventuring Merchants has toured the dunes, their numbers have grown. Now over two dozen carts happily traverse the dunes and share their wares and stories with the excited crowds that gather to see them when they enter the town.
Each wagon in the caravan is unique, some are tall and have teetering towers of chests, cabinets and shelving. Others are squat and wide, folding out into long and flamboyant displays. Each of the wagons is painted with a wide assortment of colours and artwork that depicts all of the owning merchant's adventures. Most of the wagons are old, having travelled the deserts for numerous decades, including the original four founding members and their wagons. Many of the original owners of the wagon still travel with the caravan despite their advancing age, most having brought on their sons and daughters in the hopes that they will take over the cart fully when they are gone. Most of the wagons are pulled by creatures such as horses and camels, but some are pulled by more exotic and ferocious beasts. One wagon seemingly doesn't have an animal pulling at its reigns, instead, being pulled by some sort of invisible force.
The Missing WagonThe Merchant's Caravan has recently met for their annual pre-tour meeting, this is a weeks-long process as this is where the caravan meets after spending months apart or in pairs searching for treasure. It lasts this long in part to ensure that all wagons have enough time to arrive and settle down, conducting any important business affairs between each other and doing any repairs to their wagons. However, this current season, one of the wagons hasn't shown up, and it is the last day of the meeting. The caravan do not want to carry on without their compatriot and worry about their safety. Worse yet, it is one of the founding wagons that is missing, including the original merchant and their two children!