Renegade Project #2 The Contract

The merchant eyes you up and down, dubiously and then scowls at Taz.   “I assume you’re talking about caravan guards.”  He shifts through the parchments and pulls out a sheet about a hand’s length long and wide, then slaps it down on the desk in front of you.  “This is a six month contract that you will follow my rules and provide the list of services.  Follow it and room, food, suitable clothing, drink and 10 gold coins a day will be paid to you.  Break this contract and I’ll have you thrown into jail for at least a year.

“Your duties are to guard any caravan I assign you to, particularly protecting the merchandise as well as my people and any family members traveling with you.  While traveling with a caravan, you are never to leave sight of it, drink more than one pint of ale a day, give any information to other travelers not with the caravan or allow any strangers – particularly females – near the wagons after sunset.  While not with a caravan, you are to protect my possessions, my family and my land.  You are not to enter the main house without an invitation.  You are never to enter the private living quarters of any member of my family or ever threaten them with a drawn weapon – drunk or sober.  Any guest you bring on to the estate, you are responsible for them knowing and following the same rules.  If you ever steal, endanger – directly or indirectly – my family or servants, or give information about my person, business or household to any person other than my family and I alone, then you will be held in breach of contract.”

The man then holds out a stick of charcoal to you.

You eye him, then the paper.

The merchant rolls his eyes with a groan.  “I assume that you can write at least your name.”

Taz shrugs.  “I’m in.” He takes the offered charcoal and scribbles a “TZ” on the parchment beneath the tight ink writing that filled most of the pale surface.


Everything seems clear enough, so you sign your name and get started


Ask questions and insist on reading the contract yourself



Voting is closed.


For those who missed the rules for this game check them out here!

And if you missed last week’s section, find it here.

About Ren Black

Part-time novelist. Weekend artist. Full-time Mother. Ex-poet. Perfectionist by training. Compulsive researcher sporadically. Prone to fits of linguistic commentary Unorthodox Renegade occasionally. Sarcastic by habit... Dreamer Always... Consider Yourself Warned

17 comments on “Renegade Project #2 The Contract

  1. Yeah, I don’t trust this guy. I want to ask questions and look for any fine print that he might have hidden in that contract.

  2. That’s an awful lot of rules and a big chunk of my time. Maybe I can rob him now? Heh. Just kidding.

    I seem pretty smart from the earlier segment. I also want to know more. Is 10 gold per day standard price for a guard? We know this country is at war. Who does he trade with? (i.e., how likely am I to get killed anyway protecting some bolts of cloth?).

    On the other hand, he’s the boss. He doesn’t have to tell me anything except “get lost.”
    So, I’ll read it and ask some careful questions. Any chance I have some magic capabilities that would tell me if this contract is spelled (don’t know if we have magic in this world, but if we do, I’d like to play that card, please)?

    • Read the fine print. Always read the small print. Something smells suspiciously of the Mafia, especially the part of telling people about his business.

  3. […] “We’re looking for work and heard you were hiring.” […]

  4. Wow, we definitely have a bunch of skeptics. lol

    I’d say that 10 gold per day is a pretty high pay for the area. However, I think I will abstain from the magic discussion at this point. Okay, I will say that magic is not banned in the realm, simply an agreement between the siblings battling for the throne, in order to lower the death toll/destruction of their civil war, and also to try and “level the playing field”.

  5. “Ask questions and insist on reading the contract yourself.”

    Without question. Ten gold pieces per DAY??? Something’s rotten in the state of Denmark.

  6. Read the thing and ask a few questions. I do like Robynn’s idea of some kind of magic or power for me. Maybe, I can read his mind or feel his spirit vibe.
    P.S. Sorry I missed the last round of voting.

  7. Ren,
    10 gold pieces per day is hazard pay. One might even say that at that rate, a guard should be unbribable.

    One gold piece a day would be outrageously excellent pay in most regular locales, and maybe the guards might be paid in silver, copper pieces, cowry shells, or even salt instead. How is this merchant is making his money, that he can afford to pay these wages to his guards?

    • I stand corrected/amended. Yes, it’s a little outrageous. It is indeed hazard pay. Whether his intentions or business ventures are good or bad, honest or ethical is yours to debate. Whether he finances the pay with reserves or current money is also a good question – but not necessarily for me. For would it not be a bit unfair for me to enter such debate, under the circumstances?

      I can see I’ve got my work cut out for me… having such a creative bunch means if I am lax with character depth, motivation or plot holes, I fear you all would march me to the stocks for public literary shredding.

      @Diane, at this point I have set up the hero (you) without any known magical gifts. I would definitely not go for reading minds. Too many complications, especially for a story like this. Besides, I’d like a break from such sensitivities. Writing from Diana’s POV and trying to deal with Ezra in Hall of Masters is bad enough.

  8. As far as voting goes, I was already thinking about being suspicious and asking questions and reading the contract before I read the first comment. It just makes good business sense to do so.

    One thing I would like to say is that even though it was pretty obvious what the choice would be from the previous round of voting this time, and it wasn’t too hard to pick up on as one went forward in this entry, I’d recommend starting each future entry by writing in at the beginning what the character of the reader has chosen to do and have them “act it out” through story text and then continue the rest of the entry after that as you normally would. That way, it would be like flipping the page of a book and continuing on as before. If you have this practice, then in the future if the voting gets very tight and debate gets up there it won’t be very hard for the reader to know right away upon reading the next entry what the decision was. : )

  9. We have already shown the character not to be careless (selective in showing colors, limiting alcohol in unknown territory, holding his tongue with a new crowd, and not simply robbing him). Besides, you’ve just be insulted with the insinuation that you might not be able to write your name. Ask to read it to show you have some self respect and brains in your head.

  10. lol. True, it’s good business sense to read anything before you sign it, but do keep in mind that in a medieval setting, most people would not be able to read. So although it may be a “no duh” for us, it was pretty rare under the given setting. Now this character has been pretty canny but you can learn caution without literacy. Just because someone was never taught to read does not mean that they are stupid or foolish.

    I do not say these things to sway the vote, but merely to make note of the context. The merchant may have been a bit gruff, but he’s not used to the average mercenary to be literate – a few words here and there to get by, but not enough to actually read a full page document. Perhaps I should have allowed the option of ask questions even if you can’t actually read the text – that might be more realistic. However, if we want to be an odd man out by being educated, I’m totally fine with that.

  11. The voting is closed, the decision unanimous for reading the contract and asking questions. So I posted the new section. Enjoy!

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