The Desert Dragon Pavilion had a lot more items created by crafting classes. Lavishly engraved and enchanted armors, weapons, and accessories were displayed in the store. Despite the rating being lower on average, the things looked a lot more expensive because of the difference in craftsmanship. It was almost a shame that a talented enchanter could take a mediocre armor and take the same price after performing some magic on it as a talented smith who spends an hour on engraving or inlays to give his products a similar effect.

Maybe it was just his bias as a blacksmith, though.

The first floor held no surprises when it came to materials, just like in the Emporium.

The real gain here was the knowledge he found about enchantments. From what he read in the library he knew that enchantments could be roughly split into 3 categories which were the basic or simple circuits, the more complex ones, and then there were formations.

He found many simple circuits on the first floor. Weapons that would strengthen themselves or the wearer or gain rudimentary elemental damage when supplied with magic.

Like their name ”circuits ” implied these engravings or inlays looked like the artistic version of a circuit board. They were not strictly geometrical patterns like in modern technology, but also served a decorative purpose. Their performance depended on the materials used and the execution of the skill.

Their description was something like this:

< Bow of Ice Common Damage. 80 Durability 150 1. Deal 5 additional ice-damage. Mana Cost: 10/minute A normal wooden bow, roughly enchanted.>

One could see that the enchantment was done by an experienced engraver, definitely better than his own first try. The simple enchantments on armors could be summarized as strengthening the item or the wearer by either increasing defense, attribute or resistances. Once Seth was sure which enchantments he wanted, he stepped up to the counter.

The smile of the clerk was so similar to the one from the Arcane Emporium, that it was almost scary! Especially since they were people that could not be more different. While the clerk in the Emporium resembled a prim and proper servant, this guy had more of a fighter vibe with his wild hair and robes resembling those of the Gedi from Star Battles.

”Hello Sir, how may I help you? ”, even the greeting was the SAME! The other´s business-like smile turned into a mischievous one as he read Seth´s reaction.

”Customer must have visited the Arcane Emporium before? I´m just imitating their stuck-up behavior for fun. I´m sorry if I this made you feel uncomfortable. Is this better? ”

His demeanor completely changed and he started in a familiar less formal way. Seth liked this more friendly way of speaking and nodded.

”Well then, how may I help you today? ”

Seth listed the items he wanted to buy and the clerk ’s eyes opened wide. Seth had listed almost twenty different weapons, pieces of armor, and accessories. All of it easily added up to roughly 40 gold. This was no small amount pay on just the first floor.

After such a huge purchase there was no problem with Seth entering the second floor filled with uncommon and rare equipment. The things up her were of similar quality to the ones on the second floor of the Arcane Emporium. He found some more interesting materials here.

There was a robe made of thing and flowing silk. It was almost see-through and the clerk told him the cloth was as strong as steel! But it was not the main feature. The robe had the effect to harden on impact and block attack like plate armor. The clerk explained that this was not the effect of enchantment, but a perk of the racial weaving skill of the Arachne Weavers. No one could copy this skill!

There was also an armor made of titanium? Well, not the one Seth knew.

Seth could guess what the description meant from seeing the armor. it had some unique effects like a huge increase in strength and affinity with the earth element. It even gave the option to increase the wearer ’s size for a short amount of time. THIS was what Seth called magic.

Among these armors, he found some more examples of complex circuits. They were a lot more winding and maze-like than the simple ones. It was hard to follow their flow like Celtic knots or tribal patterns. These looked also a lot more like decorative engravings or etchings Seth had imagined.

Their effects were a lot more varied and abstract. They could not only affect their immediate surrounding but inflict status anomalies like poison, paralyze or fear. He also found mana drain and life steal! A big difference to the simple ones was also that some of these were suitable for magicians and permanent effects. For example:

There were also anti-magician items with effects like silence, noise, dispel, reflect, and some rare ones that could do damage to attributes like intelligence.

Most things on this floor ranged from around 10 up to over 100 gold.

Seth only chose a few smaller things. After all, he didn ’t need the items themselves, only the patterns for the enchantments.

3 daggers, one with poison, one with health, and the last with mana drain. A ring that increased mana by a fixed amount and a small wand that increased mana in percentage. A shield that could reflect the magic and a helmet that slightly increased endurance and could change its size to fit the wearer. The last one actually had a mix of simple and complex enchantments.

Everything together he paid another 65 gold. The clerk was puzzled with Seth´s choice of items, but it also was not his business what the customers bought.

What he did not get to see were formations, but he did not really expect it either. He might have been able to find some on the third floor, but he was satisfied with what he got today. He could not even work with rare materials yet and had spent a lot of money on things he could only use in the future. Seth confronted the vast possibilities of enchantments today and actually feared how many more possibilities there came on the higher levels! He preferred the bliss of ignorance in this matter and decided to leave the Desert Dragon Pavillion for good.

”Ah! Before I leave, do you have any uncommon or rare-rated wood? ”

It came out that higher rated wood was actually quite scarce! Since these materials would need to be harvested from either very special plants and trees or plant-based monsters. Seth realized how lucky he had been when he got the wood of the hunter vine!

It didn´t mean they had none in the Pavillion. They had two kinds of special wood in store. Seth would have probably been able to find a greater variety at the Emporium, but the situation there had turned annoying and he forgot to ask.

The materials the clerk brought out were and

The first was an uncommon wood harvested from trees that grew further inland at the slopes of the great mountain range and got its name from its hardness. It was hard to log these trees, so the supply was limited.

got its name because it resembled the coal the dwarfs mined. It had a dark grey to a black color and a dull shine to it. It was rated rare and came from the roots of a kind of vine that grew in caves.

There was only a piece of each and they were barely big enough for Seth´s purposes. Seth purchased both for 10 gold and put them away in his inventory. This was all Seth needed, for now, so they decided to leave.

At the door, they were passed by two soldiers carrying a young man on a stretcher. Fins and Seth´s gaze fell on the barely recognizable face of the man on the stretcher. He might have been quite handsome before someone decided to rearrange his face and rip out much of his straight light-brown hair. Didn´t they see him somewhere before?

As they stepped out on the street-

”My son! Oh, my poor son! Who did this to you!? ”, they heard a wail from inside the pavilion. They looked back into the shop. To the side, where a door for employees led deeper into the shop stood two city guards with a terribly battered young man on a stretcher. Kneeling beside the stretcher was a middle-aged man with a thin long mustache and his hair bound in a bun. He wore the high-quality version of the clerk ’s robe. The manager?

Finally, they remembered where they had seen that young man before. Seth looked at Fin with widened eyes and spoke with looks.

Another?

No. The first!

Fin had taught the scions of both, the Arcane Emporium and the Desert Dragon Pavilion, a lesson!

The brute in question just shrugged her shoulders apologetically. They hurriedly left the shop. Although, it was unsure whether the manager´s son ever regained consciousness. If he did, they didn ’t want to be there to be recognized!

The two still spent some time visiting other shops where Seth bought cheaper more normal materials he needed in the future.

It was getting late and tomorrow was the day of departure. Seth made another tour through the restaurants of the city before finally returning to the inn.

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