We are an essential part of this world, thought Soef Fettirsson, as he cracked the reins. The pair of heavy draft horses lumbered on. They were more reliable than a vehicle in this world. Gas was for the rich. A horse was a man’s friend.

It could get sick, was less powerful and could be injured, but the companionship and versatility made the difference.

Fuel was too expensive anyways.

Soef’s purple coat held back against the wind. The wagon crawled around the mountain trail. Dense sloped forests flanked the road.

Next to Soef sat a young Skraeling man. Nice boy. For a Skraeling.

His light brown face was covered in stubble. A heavier lad, but his brown eyes were as quick and perceptive as a goblin. He wore a coat and trousers of denim. His bag and case carried electronics, a computer and a hundred odd devices and components.

One of those Technicians.

They rode in total silence.

Maybe Soef’s bias was against the boy’s profession. He was the competition. With the NewTech, Peddlers had to struggle to learn things they could never understand. The internet, phones, cellular, bandwidth… Soef shuddered. He was old and hunched at this point, with wisps of hair around his back A black cap on his bald crown.

Or was he?

Soef traded in goods, luxuries and the world’s tangible pleasures. He never touched modern tools and electronics. The world would always need hardware, salt, sugar, tobacco, goods and handmade toys.

The wagon rumbled around the curved trail.

In the distance, there was a river valley. A small village in its depths with a mill and tendrils of fireplace smoke. Above the village, overlooking like an ugly monster was the local’s Yarl’s keep. The tower of a forgotten Dwarf outpost with newer Eastlander’s expansions of stone and wood.

The Peddler in his purple coat would sell is wares to the people while the Technician set up a television for the Yarl and his sons.


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