"Hey, look." A youngman nudged his oder brother and pointed at a wagon. "A shop shingle." "They're all snake oil hawkers." The brother spat on the ground and turned to continue on. "Oh, c'mon, Walter, we were paid well from that last run." Walter spat again, grunted something or other, but turned to the wagon. One side hung open on hinges and a middle-aged woman smiled out of it as they approached. "What's your wares?" The youngman asked. "Anything useful for a riverman?" "I do have this." The woman reached behind her and lay a leather strand on the wagon sill. A pfennig, set into a tiny brass frame with a sturdy loop where the strand threaded through it, glistened in the sunlight. "It will bring you luck should you find yourself in the water." "How much?" The youngman asked, his eyes as wide as his eager grin. "Two hunded tens." "More than half my pay?" The youngman eyed the glistening pfennig. "One hundred tens." Walter yawned three times before his brother and the woman came to an agreement of one hundred sixty ten-pfennigs. "That was a waste of pay." "But I have magic now, Walter." "Cheap magic is never good."
Who Are the Peddlers?
The Peddlers are not people of a single tribe or race, but a people of magical culture. With rise and spread of the Catholic Church, tolerance for other ways and beliefs in Europe so these magical folks turned to traveling under the guise of simple peddlers, tinkerers, and the like. They often take on menial jobs as well, hiding under the guise of simple laborers. Most folks look down on them and rarely peer deeper, never knowing the full depth of magic the Peddlers are capable of. The selling of simple trinkets and charms provides a modest income and the reason others sometimes see them as hucksters. Peddlers do travel alone on occassion but most travel together in family wagon trains where they provide entertainment as well as peddle their wares. Some even make and sell festive foods from their wagons which has gone a long way in reducing bigotry and resentment to their presence.
The Peddlers travel about in arch-roofed wagons that are far roomier on the inside than seems possible when looking at the outside. This is possible as they are crafted by magic. These wagons are deeply valued by the Peddlers. So valued, that they as passed down through inheritances. It is not to the eldest, per se, but to the one who has learned magic the best in the eyes of the family. This is because magic is required to attune with the wagon., other wise it is just a basic wagon inside and out. When a peddler dies without an heir, it is often given to another peddler in the family who finds. Sometimes such wagons are sold. A rare few fall into the hands of people who have no magic and no idea of what it really is. Retrieval of such wagons can lead to crimes and conflicts. One major, and very secret, ability these wagons have is that they can cross the entrance of Mount Olympus even when not near a shore. How this is possible is a tighly guarded secret.
Peddler Wagons are crafted by magic. Even so, the inside is still limited to being no bigger than a cottage. The wagons are very sturdy. The wood is strong like stone while still weighing no more than a typical wooden wagon should. On the outside, the roofed part of the wagon seems five feet wide by ten feet long. The rounded roof peaks at seven feet. A stovepipe chimney rises out of the roof on one side or the other. It is buld onto a sturdy frame with four strong wooden wagon wheels banded with steel on the outer edge. A pair of Noriker horses pull the wagons. Noriker are mostly white with spots and patches of black and have become the breed of horse most associated with Peddlers. Inside, the wagon is twenty feet to a side with a ladder up to half a loft. How its designed inside changes from peddler to peddler but all will have one cast iron stove inside connected to the stove pipe chimney.