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Pirates #8 [Quest: Vyra]

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Pirates #8 [Quest: Vyra] Empty Thu Apr 07, 2022 9:14 am

The soft sand, it contrasted against the rough pavement upon the docks. It left an undesirable feeling, a sense that something was off. Not just the texture, which by itself would have been enough to render someone unfamiliar or uneasy towards, but more than that, it was something that was subtle enough to completely distract someone from their usual affairs, the constant reminder of things that would have otherwise pulled someone out of their perpetual state of repeating the same action over and over again, expecting and hoping for the same result each time. It was frustrating, but was something that perhaps more than anything else, those who worked within the Hargeon Docks had to have been mindful of, and wary for. Routine was key to success, and it helped ensure that the docks functioned without issue. If there were something that potentially stood in the way of it, it could have spelt out serious problems for everyone involved.



Pirates #8 [Quest: Vyra] Empty Thu Apr 07, 2022 9:17 am

That was the risk that sand posed, as foolishly as it may have sounded to those on the outside. But, especially with those who worked the docks, moving from one point to another, making sure that whatever contents they were carrying or otherwise moving out of ships, the risk of sand had quietly become one of the greatest risks associated with how well they stood to be able to do their jobs. It was a multi-faceted thing really. Sand, despite being so innocent by itself, if it happened to get within one of the heavy, thick sets of boots that the dock workers wore, the same sort of boots that would have been used to prevent any water or byproducts of the sea, be it fish remains, rocks, whatever, if something as fine as sand could get in, and enough of it to the point that the worker would notice it, it stood to effectively throw them off to the point of causing problems.



Pirates #8 [Quest: Vyra] Empty Thu Apr 07, 2022 9:26 am

What would be the impact? Perhaps an employee, a worker who was handling something of particular value losing their focus, even just for a moment. The impact of that would be potentially catastrophic. Something breaking, a box that they had been holding onto falling, maybe their grip waivering, if only for a moment. What if someone were moving contraband and needed it stowed away safely? What if that contraband was found out by the authorities? Since the changes the Hargeon politicians had made towards the security within the docks, they no longer had the freedom to just employ their own people, instead being reliant upon whether or not those that were employed by the city were going to carry out their jobs or not. Often times, it seldom was the case, as the reception received by the private companies towards the docks were often poor, if not even hostile, but even for as much as they may have hated their jobs, if some forms of contraband got through, even they knew the impact that they would stand to have.



Pirates #8 [Quest: Vyra] Empty Thu Apr 07, 2022 9:44 am

Those times were seldom that serious contraband had gone through the port, but it was hardly unheard of. Some of the earliest profits for the trading companies had been using their businesses to help launder items and things of value to rich and powerful people under the guise of being something that was legitimately for sale. Rare Magical items, stolen items from kings and royals in far away lands, it was a very risky business, but for those who were going to go the distance to get out the goods that were worth dying for, they were taking every necessary precaution. But, that was at a time when they had more freedom, when there was less attention towards the docks. Not even considering what is presently going on, the people who operate the docks now had seemed to find themselves moving further and further away from such a practice. Deeming it too dangerous for the collective livelihood, they regarded it as.



Pirates #8 [Quest: Vyra] Empty Thu Apr 07, 2022 10:29 am

Nowadays, the risk that came with moving contraband as critically dangerous as what it had been within the earliest examples, but the risk still remained. With greater aims to improve relationships and establish trading arrangements between Fiore and other nations, efforts to crack down on smuggling operations grew more and more extensive, albeit not quite with the same level of success as the investment in efforts would have indicated. Though the occurrences were seldom at this point, at least within the Hargeon Docks, it did not mean that the inherent smuggling of contraband ended. If anything, it had become easier for them to smuggle items like drugs and other weapons through as the focus had more shifted towards things which were far more apparent like livestock, slaves, and Magical items. Bringing a bunch of swords for the purposes of trying to arm a rebellion was easy compared to trying to bring in a pair of exotic beasts from Desierto or even a group of slaves from Bosco.



Pirates #8 [Quest: Vyra] Empty Thu Apr 07, 2022 10:46 am

But, even the most effective smuggling operation, one that was as fleshed out, as perfected as any that had come before, they all were subject to fail eventually. Whether it were something deliberate, maybe just a series of unfortunate events playing out in a way that resulted in it being undermined, it was always a risk that was taken. And that was what sand was. A risk. To have an entire plan overturned because a worker became anxious due to some sand in their boot, causing them to possibly knock down a carefully packaged item that would draw attention towards it and its contents, it was all risks that did not need to exist, but did none the less. And for those who did not engage in the more nefarious actions at the docks, they were as much at risk themselves. What was to stop something like that from simply derailing the machine that they had helped build up, causing everything to be backed up or worse even?



Pirates #8 [Quest: Vyra] Empty Thu Apr 07, 2022 10:54 am

Being a dock built above water, there were little reason for Hargeon to be as much at risk of sand as it was, but the risk more came not from the natural surroundings, but rather instead due to what had become a more commonly used method for delivering and shipping goods; filling a crate with sand. Sand by itself was a good form of cushioning, not having the hardness that would put something at potential risk, would be easy enough to contort around whatever someone may have been able to ship, and also served as a great way to ensure that products were shipped sooner, though that was more reliant on some ships valuing heavier cargo as more worthwhile than lighter cargo. This was true even towards things like jewelry and other rare gems, which while they themselves were very small, the containers used to carry them, whether it be reinforced wooden crates or safes, were often very heavy in their own right.



Pirates #8 [Quest: Vyra] Empty Thu Apr 07, 2022 10:58 am

It was hardly something that was spoken about openly, but the fact was it was something that had become a bit more and more common. Eventually people started to take notice and eventually it turned to where everyone was attempting to do exactly the same thing, find ways to increase the weight of their own products, whether it were sand, rocks, throwing more things in at the same time, whatever they could do to artificially increase the weight of their products and by extension then increase the perceived value of their products. But eventually this practice was one that the companies that were responsible for the delivery of the products began to take notice towards too, particularly with regards to sand. It, alongside ice, were the two least preferred means of packaging that they had encountered, both of which ran risk towards the actual operations, both inside the ship and outside of it.



Pirates #8 [Quest: Vyra] Empty Thu Apr 07, 2022 11:01 am

So, after a long adjustment period, it seemed that the companies began to realize the difficulties that would come with them using sand as a packing material, especially after the trading companies began to deliberately check what each crate was stored with and not take those that had sand in it. While this caused a great deal of frustration by itself, it was a lesson that had to be taught and one that they did eventually accept, albeit with little choice or say in the matter. But it did not seem to help that every so often there would have been someone who would go ahead and use sand nonetheless, thereby throwing things into complete array when it did happen. Most of the time it was not something that was noticed, and if it were caught after the fact, typically the trading companies would impose some sort of fine upon the merchant or company, demanding that it be paid or they would either not receive their package or otherwise they would no longer deliver their goods. Seldom did this method not work.



Pirates #8 [Quest: Vyra] Empty Thu Apr 07, 2022 11:06 am

That was like what had happened here, albeit though it seemed that they had caught the sand before it was too late. Someone had expressed a crate being particularly heavy, something that wasn’t uncommon but of recent had become a little less so considering the ship that it was coming from. A vendor that at times specialized in a number of goods, not limited to but often relating to rare gems, metals, things of that sort. In the more olden days, they were one of the most aggressive in terms of using heavy locked safes to transport their goods, but they had moved onto more secure and lighter lockboxes instead. Thus, the heavy crate was a bit unusual for what they would typically carry, and unfortunately too, it seemed that the crate itself was a bit weak, as though it were either poor wood, had been exposed to the elements for too long, or something else.



Pirates #8 [Quest: Vyra] Empty Thu Apr 07, 2022 11:09 am

Vyra had not been there to watch all of it take place, but when she had arrived to the docks, hopeful to see what was coming off of the ships that had begun to dock within Hargeon, she noticed the dock workers gathered around the crate, examining it. They seemed fascinated by it, wondering out loud what might have been there to it, especially given the inconsistent nature of things, most notably the combination of the worn-out wood paired alongside the heavy weight. Someone suggested that this may have been a crate that had been long forgotten, as both would seem to at least somewhat indicate that, a crate that had long been lost upon a ship, stowed away on the back, whether deliberately or by accident. One that had not been uncovered until when this crew in particular happened to unload the ship. Would not have been the first time that they uncovered goods that ship captains were trying to keep for themselves.



Pirates #8 [Quest: Vyra] Empty Thu Apr 07, 2022 11:13 am

When they finally agreed to pull open the crate to see what was inside it, there was a joint reaction of frustration and annoyance when they saw all of the sand, some of it wet and having built a greater level of solidness to it, but much of it having been dry and by extension incredibly fine, that spilled out onto the dock. As though there had been a spill of something like oil or something equally as dangerous, it seemed that everyone scurried away, trying to find things to get rid of it, namely by pushing it out into the ocean. Though, while they were all tending to this, Vyra could not help but notice the jewelry, particularly the diamonds that were inlaid within silver chains, being partially exposed within the large mound of sand. It seemed that rather than locking anything away as most jewelers would typically do, whoever this crate belonged to just threw their jewelry there and hoped the sand would have hidden it. Unfortunately for them, Vyra was there, and though she knew that the amount of time she had was very limited, she was able to run out and grab a necklace or two embedded with diamonds and get far enough away such that the people who were to remove the sand would not have noticed her. Thus, as they started to remove the sand as quickly as possible, Vyra did the same, hoping to further remain unnoticed.


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