Merchants

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Merchant
Mechant2.gif
Typical merchant, Ultima IV
First appearance: Ultima I
Last appearance: Ultima IX

Merchants are the middle-class vendors of Sosaria and Britannia, bringing to market a variety of goods and services which may be of use to an enterprising adventurer and his or her companions.

Description[edit]

Merchants and tradesmen come from numerous backgrounds and walks of life, although those aiming for success often work to cultivate a temperament conductive to doing business. Ranging from simple peddlers to wealthy entrepreneurs, merchants have often proved crucial in furnishing the Avatar with the equipment necessary for a hero's journey.

In earlier days, when dealing with Sosarian merchants, the Stranger could often cut a better price should they have had an enticing demeanor and high level of personal Charisma. Strangely, during the Age of Enlightenment and beyond, most merchants began to fix their prices, although haggling still proved popular in the "New Sosarian" settlement that became known as the Serpent Isle.

As men and women whose livelihoods depend on their stock, merchants are quick to alert the authorities of theft and vandalism, and especially in earlier ages, an incautious thief could quickly attract the wrath of an entire town guard by crossing the wrong shop keep.

Lore[edit]

Citizen-merchant.gif
Unarmed and mild, the grassroots of Ultima II, merchants rarely fight.
The mainstay of Sosaria's prosperity. They operate the shops in town to the benefit of all. Some are not very clever, and if a sharp Thief is in thy Party, then a chest or two might be stolen from under the Merchant's nose. If thy Thief is caught stealing, the entire town guard will assault thee.
The merchants of Britannia survive by one basic rule—buy for less and then sell for more. However, most merchants truly desire to please their customers, and any merchant who engages in unfair business practices is sure to lose out to his competition in the end.
The true proponents of our currency-based economy, merchants seek to buy products in great quantities at discounted prices. Then they sell smaller amounts to the public at greater prices. While bartering rarely prevents the same practice, it does help standardize values. After all, any educated man can determine the value of another good or service based on his need for it.

Trivia[edit]

  • In Ultima II, the default dialogue for the majority of merchants was "Will you buy my apples?" potentially leaving the player to wonder precisely how saturated the Earth's produce market had become.[1]

See Also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. MerchantUnderworld Dragon's Ultima II TranscriptUltima II.