The last few years had been good for Dolfis Vherinsdorf. His regular business of making a circuit through the kingdom of Kiefelwald selling dwarvish iron, nails and tools from Stalshen had turned up more coin than usual and did so more quickly, allowing him to make more runs. Some of which he'd invested in a new sack cloth factory in Schiegart, which did quite well. He put in 300 marks for his share of it, which he sold for 873 marks after it was up and running. Others he'd put down in other investments which had yielded a respectable net return. As such he'd decided to move onto bigger things. He'd also made a few more investments. He had his son Yorin do the Kiefelwald circuit while he took 84 tonnes of iron ingots that he'd been stockpiling, chartered a barge and sailed it north to Norgensport. What an amateur would have done was flogged it to the Infrastructurals first chance he got. That was a reasonable option and a good fallback position, but Dolfis had other plans. As such he rented out a corner of a warehouse, spent some time in the taverns, asked some questions and sent a few Viertals to freshen memories. After a week he found what who he was looking for and a meeting was made.
The merchant captain that came was a beast of a man, six feet tall, broadly built and clad in a leather vest. He also carried a sword. Carrying a blade was hardly unusual in the Empire, nor was this unexpected, but it did send a message. He also came with a pair of sailors who stood outside. Dolfis doubted that worst would come to worst, but he did pay a couple of goons to wait in the shadows in case anything might happen.
"I'm here to see what you've got." The captain said briskly.
"Of course." He showed them to a crate, opened it up, extracted an ingot and handed it over. "Stalshen Dwarves pride themselves on their purification processes."
The merchant regarded it, judged it's weight and gave it a tap. "Indeed." He continued inspecting the ingot, before setting it back down and looked a the crates. "This will do. I'll take the lot."
"Excellent my friend!" Dolfis said cheerfully as he extracted a piece of paper. "Now here's the bill."
The merchant read it and scowled. "Is this a joke? I'm not amused."
"No, I'm quite serious." Dolfis in a light tone. "100 Marks a Ton. Take it or leave it."
He raised his finger "Don't think I'm some ignorant bumpkin blacksmith. I know what the Dwarves charge for this and what the foundries pay. Even the Infras would pay a half of this!" There was a slight sneer with the mention of the Coldlanders, which was enough to confirm the rumors in his Dolfis' book to any relevant degree.
"And if your ship could sail overland you'd be in Stalshen right now paying those rates. The Eisengrenze Mountains are a long way from the sea, leaving aside transportation, storage, stevedoring and crates. They also routinely do business in hundreds if not thousands of tons. My store here is a modest affair by comparison, a small reserve of iron set aside for those in need for it right now while the Coldlanders and Naval Foundries are gobbling up everything they can get their hands on."
"You're not the only game in town."
"Maybe I'm not. But I have a significant load of pig iron ready to go right now that can be in your hold in less than a day. If you decline my offer that's your business, but if you are still interested in iron that will mean weeks of haggling with merchants, blacksmiths, peddlers, scrap dealers, mudlarks and other less savory characters to get the same thing. If not for the same price then for less. Your time is valuable, Captain."
The captain stood motionless for a few seconds then responded. "Ninety Marks a ton."
Dolfis waited for a few more seconds. "Very well. Ninety marks a ton it is." They shook, an amended bill of sales was signed before a lawyer he'd brought in and the load was soon emptied. The Gold was transferred to his account at Johrensson and Kivi a few hours latter. In total he'd paid 1,891 Marks for that load (which he'd been stockpiling), transportation, crates and storage. In return he'd gotten 7,560 Marks. Three of which he splurged on a round of drinks for everyone at one of the better taverns as he boasted on his deal as he bragged. It was an enjoyable night and moreover it served his purposes quite well. There would be some fellows that would try to recreate his success, making the Kiefelwalders desperate for the stuff. As for the merchant captain who was willing to pay that obscene bill, Dolfis felt that it was his duty as a loyal subject of the Allergonian Empire to gouge the shit out of him. He was the plucky honest trader who used his wits to recover the ill gotten plunder of the Dark Elves via their proxies.
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