The Merchant's Deal
This book tells the tale of a merchant and what befell him in his quest for riches.
In the days of long ago, deep beneath the surface and far away from the land, there was a great city that prospered through trade. Many a successful merchant would live like kings, drinking the finest wines and owning the smartest thralls. For every merchant king, there would be hundreds of merchants that would die copperless and broke. T'Nax the Merchant vowed he would not be one of these failures.
T'Nax first began to sell clay bowls to visitors from far off lands. When he made no money from this, he began to deal in fine steel. Adamantium would be desired shortly thereafter, rendering his steel worthless. Insisting that he would not fail, he chose the riskiest of ventures - the sale of jewels.
Investing the last of his money in precious red rubies, he would come to find that the fickle market would change. For it was not red that the people wanted, it was blue. Having no coin left to purchase even one blue diamond, T'Nax proclaimed his vehement hatred to all of his fellow merchants. Hearing this exclamation, a mysterious shopper approached him.
"Did I hear you say that you would do anything to make more money than all of these merchant kings combined?" the stranger asked.
"To simplify it, yes, that is what I said" replied T'Nax.
The shopper smiled in a very odd way and told T'Nax that he knew of a way that he could make it happen for the merchant.
T'Nax listened intently to what the shopper had to say. The mysterious stranger told the merchant that there was an untapped market that he knew of. The stranger would offer T'Nax not only the location of where this market was, but also the merchandise that the people would be interested in. All he asked for was one half of the profits.
T'Nax readily agreed to this deal, and both parties shook hands in a contract. The stranger told T'Nax to venture to the Feerrott and set up shop amongst the marshes. The surrounding ogres would soon become very interested in purchasing all manner of materials. Once the merchant established his merchant camp, the stranger would arrive with the supplies to be sold.
Having traveled long and hard, T'Nax reached the Feerrott. Once he built his camp, the stranger arrived just as was promised. T'Nax was shocked to see an endless amount of odd materials filling his stores. The stranger reminded T'Nax that he was promised half of the profits and promised to return in one year's time.
For the next year, T'Nax would watch as his sales would increase more and more each day. Finally, as the seasons would pass a full cycle, the stranger returned. Having seen how his endless supply of merchandise had gained him near a thousand platinum coins already, T'Nax asked for more time. He promised that by the time the stranger would return, he would have increased his profit ten times over. The stranger agreed, promising to return in two years.
Two years passed, and now T'Nax had turned the one thousand into ten. T'Nax had asked the stranger for even more time, promising to turn the ten thousand into one hundred thousand. The stranger agreed once again, promising to return in five years. By the time the stranger returned one last time, T'Nax had the most ambitious request waiting for the stranger."I give you my eternal vow that I will not leave this place until I have one millon platinum coins to split between us. All I ask is that you give me all the time I need", T'Nax proclaimed, having no plans on keeping his oath. Sealing the deal with a handshake, the stranger pulled back his hood and revealed his face. Innoruuk, the god of Hatred and Spite, laughed at T'Nax and said, "I accept your eternal vow, friend, but I regret to inform you that it might be some time until I return." With that, the stranger turned and walked away, never to be seen again. And T'Nax still waits.