The Phoenix of Llael

Bodger: The Junkyard Swap

The Rhydden scrap yards are filled with old wagon wheels, busted jack parts, and discarded metal, wood and stone construction debris. With the war ongoing, the amount of junk making its way into the scrap yard has actually increased, although the number of scavengers have as well. There is a tidy profit to be made in finding spare parts for the armies fighting across Immoren.

Bodger has come to know some of the regulars by sight — a young boy with grease-streaked blond hair, who always looks like he’s short a few meals; a older woman with grey hair and a hard face, who pushes a wooden cart that you can tell was once painted a bright red, but now has faded and chipped to grey wood almost the color of her hair; and a middle-aged man with dark hair and a healthy build, who always nods and smiles at Bodger, and greets him with a pleasant “Hello, and good hunting.”

One day, Bodger is approaching the middle-aged man and expecting his customary greeting of “Hello, and good hunting,” when he smiles at Bodger, but instead stops, and says: “Hello. Say, you mostly look for laborjack parts, don’t you?”

“Yes I do,” Bodger replies, “have you found something interesting?”

“Oh, I wouldn’t know,” he replies. “Jack parts aren’t really my thing. But I do know that a large wagon pulled up just an hour ago and dumped a bunch of them by the eastern fence. I thought you might find it of interest.” He points over to the corner of the lot.

“Why thank you.” Bodger flips the man a coin and heads over to see what’s in the pile.

The man catches the coin, but quickly says: “Before you go… perhaps you could keep an eye out for something for me?” Bodger turns and the man says, “I’m in need of a silver wagon wheel spike. I know that’s very specific, but… it comes from a specific wagon. I keep hoping it will turn up here.” He pauses. “There’s a nice reward for it.”

“I’ll see what I find and let you know if I find it.” And Bodger heads off through the pile.

Bodger sifts through the pile of scrap and doesn’t find anything really special. But he does find a number of working replacement parts for a labor jack, which Bodger thinks he could sell for about 75 gc.

Three days later, Bodger is following his normal routine of shifting through the newest deposits to the scrap yard when a peculiar glint off something catches his eye. He pushes aside a busted gear assembly and sees a large silver spike, the sort that might be used to fix a wagon wheel to its axle. Despite having been buried in debris, it maintains a polished shine, and is engraved with the letters D.F.

Bodger extricates the spike from the pile bad and starts to head out to find the scrapper. While he walks, he wonders what DF stands for. He tries to think of whose initials they may be.

Bodger knows that it is common for mechaniks and other craftsmen to put their initials in specialty products, but in his time in Rhydden, he does not recall meeting any person with the initials D.F. But then, if it was a silversmith instead of a mechanik, he wouldn’t have necessarily had cause to hear of them.

Bodger finds the middle-aged man sorting through a pile of lumber, and approaches him. He smiles at Bodger and says “Hello! How’s been the hunting?”

“Greetings” replies Bodger, “I think I may have something that interests you.” He produces the silver spike.

“Ahhh…” the man smiles, taking it from Bodger and looking it over. Bodger notes that the man glimpses at the letters and nods. “Mr. Davos will be so pleased.” The man starts to put it in an old leather satchel, and then pauses, and looks at Bodger.

“No, this wouldn’t be right. You found it,” he extends it back to Bodger. He looks around and says in a low voice, “Mr. Davos has a way of knowing things, and I don’t dare claim the finders fee.” He glances around again, and leans closer to Bodger. “Take it to the Red Bearded Dwarf on Merchants Street. He’s a generous man, I’m sure he can make it worth your while.” He puts his hand on Bodger’s shoulder. “He told me he would next be in town on the 2nd of the month. One hour past sunrise is when he meets me.” Bodger knows that is in 3 days time. “Don’t be late. He doesn’t wait around,” he grimaces. “I lost some good money that way one time.”

The man stands up and smiles. “Good hunting,” and he makes to return to his lumber pile.

Bodger starts to walk away then pauses. Turns to the man and says, “Why don’t you meet me there and we can split the bounty since you were the one who told me to watch out for it? After all, I wouldn’t have known about it if you hadn’t said anything.”

The man nods at Bodger. “Oh, you are much too kind. But I was sure I could count on you.” He smiles. “I accept, friend.” He extends his hand for Bodger’s. “It’s a deal, then. I’ll see you on the 2nd.”

“The 2nd it is.” and Bodger heads out of the scrap yard to find some food and get back to his room to unload and stash his goods.



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