There is no end to the number of odd things that a traveller or adventurer may find in need of, and the one place where nearly all of these might be found for sale is the local Provisioner's Shop
These shops provide professional adventurers with many of the things they need for journeys into the wilderness and deep dungeons. May it be the backpack for carrying items, the torches to light the darkness or even a powder keg in order to blow up things - the provisioner has them in store for the right price. Or mundane things like a shovel, a fishing rod, a bucket or other things. The provisioner is a hardware store that leaves out only little.
In old times, only the guilds sold such items as lockpicks, various kinds of glasses for seeing what the naked eye cannot ( peer gems), equipment for working clandestinely in the dark, and the like. Those times are now long past however, and the market is now liberated and open for everyone.
Age of Darkness
During the earliest Age of Darkness in Ultima I and Ultima II, getting such provisions was impossible through trade, as such shops did not exist, leaving only battle to gain them as spoils of war.
Starting with Ultima III, the guild offered from their secret shops purchase of these items for the right price.
Age of Enlightenment
Little changed at first in the Age of Enlightenment and the guild remained the sole provider for these items. Yet shops could only be found in Vesper and Buccaneer's Den in Ultima IV, and by Ultima V, the guild was only found in the latter place, although thankfully all items by then were plentifully found as loot as well. Only starting with Ultima VI was the market for provisions liberated and regular provisioners started to appear in the cities, offering their goods freely, making shady dealings with the guild no longer needed.
Age of Armageddon
By the time of the Age of Armageddon in Ultima VII, provisioners were a common sight in the cities of Britannia, having a vast catalogue of items for sale that the adventurer could use or need. This did not change in Ultima IX, although the hardships the land had went through had severely limited the selection at the shops.
While on the Serpent Isle normal provisioner shops existed, these were virtually unknown in Pagan, where no such shop existed.
|| The Thieves' Guild has been essentially driven out of Britannia, but rumors persist of its existence somewhere in the ocean, perhaps on one of the uncharted islands. Somehow the Guild maintains contact with the mainland, perhaps through the brazen pirates. The goods once offered by the Guild were quite expensive, but invaluable to the traveller who sought to stray off the beaten path in search of novel experiences.|
|| Guilds carry the ancient symbol of the thieves' trade, though many a good adventurer oft has need of their goods. In olden times, guilds sold such items as lockpicks, various kinds of glasses for seeing what the naked eye cannot, equipment for working clandestinely in the dark, and the like.|
|| It is not uncommon for members of certain professions to organize themselves into guilds which cater to the specific needs of their membership. Such guilds have been set up in a number of towns. The guilds provide professional adventurers with many of the things they need for journeys into the wilderness and deep dungeons.|
|| There is no end to the number of odd things that a traveller or adventurer may find himself in need of, and the one place where nearly all of these might be found for sale is the local Provisioner's Shop.|
|| As any experienced explorer will tell thee, preparation is the primary step to success. And the first step in making preparations is choosing the proper equipment. One wouldst not try to scale a wall without climbing equipment or enter a darkened cave without a lantern and oil. But where canst one acquire such items, I hear thee ask. Why, thou must search no farther than thy local merchant, my good friend. At any of these convenient stores (which I happen to supply), thou canst find a great variety of gear for camping, fishing, exploring or whatever thy heart dost desire! Of course, not every shopkeeper will have all of the equipment necessary to satisfy thee for, after all, there is a great demand for such items, and thy local merchant may be temporarily our of stock.|
|| Provisioners are, perhaps, the only true merchant class of quality. They supply necessities, not luxuries. When we first arrived on the continent, it became apparent that we would have a great need for supplies and equipment. A small group chose to become the providers of such items, initially in exchange for shelter and food. When I find myself short on candles or vellum, it is to the provisioner that I go.|