Winterhaven’s Market Square is transformed!
The first thing you notice is that someone is rebuilding Wrafton’s Inn. When you left, the black skeleton of the once warm and cozy tavern were strewn about the foundation, piles of burnt debris throughout. Almost nothing of the immolated and ravaged inn remains. The charcoal beams and soot have been cleared away. The foundation has been scrubbed and repaired in spots, and sturdy new oak walls have already been framed. Even now several men clamber about on the joists of the framed ceiling, while others shuffle through the chaos of lumber, masonry, and building supplies. Peering through the lattice work of framed walls between you and the back of the building, you see more workers doing masonry work on what appears to be a wine cellar, as they rise in and out of view from down the freshly laid stairway. One of the workers spies Thunt atop the wagon and gives him a friendly wave.
But the banging cacophany of hammer falls slowly falter as all eyes turn towards the wagon and the somber crowd following it.
You also note the foreman of the site, pouring over several pieces of parchment atop a makeshift table, look up in wry amusment. You’re maybe not surprised to find that apparently the owner of the new inn is Tohnii Calandra, the Bard from Arabel. She meets your gaze with a half-smile for just a moment, and then cranes her neck past the brightly dressed human merchant standing next to her, to see over the wall of the wagon.
She raises an eyebrow and glances over at an elf leaning against the keep wall to the east. The leather clad elf brushes a lock of long black hair from his face as he peers at the back of the wagon.
Tohnii and the elf exchange a look, the elf shrugs with apparent disinterest, grabs his unstrung bow from where it leans against the wall, and walks out the gate.
Only then do you notice the wolf. The raven black wolf lying near the wall rises, and your eyes widen at the size of the thing. Three feet tall at the shoulder, nearly six feet long from nose to the end of its thick tail, its baleful pale green eyes meet yours just before it trots out the gate after the elven ranger.
The market square is a jumble of stalls, wagons, and stands, made all the more cramped by the numerous piles of lumber stacked around the construction site and the burned out Smithy to its west.
All throughout, the chatter, laughter, shouting kaleidescope of color; provide a backdrop to the busy market.
Villagers have their wagons filled with goods, doing business from the tailgate. Others (more successful?) have stalls here and there, the wares of their trade hanging from the walls or laid out on wooden countertops. Still others make do with a few boards draped across a couple barrels or boxes. Goods for sale from Villagers: corn, cornmeal, wheat, flour, barley, herbs, flowers, tomatoes, potatoes, apples, sugar beets, sorghum syrup, molasses, lettuce, eggs, jerked beef, bacon. Crafted items like candles (beeswax, tallow) and lamp oils from Brand Hurston, fine furniture made by the Arvidson’s, pottery (bowls, jugs, mugs, pitchers, plates) from Stein Monson, rugs, rope, twine, yarn, brooms Stefan White, casks, barrels, buckets by the local cooper (Belgold Cartiin), and much more.
As you look about the bustling hive of activity, you notice quite a number of new faces. Some appear to be folk from the county around Winterhaven, but many are clearly from abroad. Since making your way to the market square, you’ve noticed quite a number of armed men you can only assume are merchant guards, considering their matching tabards or clothing.
Some wear green sometimes trimmed in yellow, with a coat of arms upon their tabards of a white hart chasing a fox on a green field. Most are wearing boiled leather, and have scabbarded longswords at their hips.
Others are clad in brown, though they don’t wear tabards. Their dark brown cloaks are trimmed in green. Each has his cloak clasped with a black enameled symbol that looks like a tree.
Still others wear chainmail belted at the waist, faded and dusty white cloaks draped across their backs. Upon the cloaks; a coat of arms has been cleverly stitched and dyed. A rearing goat on a blue field, standing atop a gold scale.
And of course here and there you see one of the Winterhaven Regulars, who give you a friendly nod as you pass.
The stables are overflowing with horses. The stables themselves are full, plus the hitching post out front, and along the side of the stables is nearly packed to capacity.