Two Parties

At the top of the wilderness, two villages exist very near one another, separated only by the peak of a mountain that sprawls for miles in either direction. As mountain communities, their cultures are similar, but different. They understand the dangers of exposure, the endurance required to breathe and function where air is so thin, and the beauty of living where nearly every turn presents a vista to be gazed at and appreciated.

What they did not understand was each other.

Two Languages

The Divide, as the peak was known, is hard-scrabble territory that offers plenty of stone and little soil. But it proved linguistically fertile. The massive rock between the communities caused two distinct languages to flourish.

Complimentary Needs

The name of the village on the west side of The Divide translates to Sunset. It is home to excellent basket makers. Their quality is unparalleled and has been handed down for many generations.

The village on the east side of the Divide has a name that means Daybreak. Its citizens are famous for their hand-braided ropes and for their nearby tar pits.

Messages Passing, Misunderstood

A far off valley is the intersection of these two cultures. When a Sunsetter and a Daybreaker meet in the valley, they smile and nod to one another. If they try to speak, it usually doesn’t go far. But they admire one another’s baskets and ropes.

Considering the amount of time required to braid a rope or weave a basket, crafters from both villages are understandably proud of their work. Each highly values their product and wants to market it. Each also wants what the other community has.

The proprietor of the valley pub has learned to communicate with Daybreakers as well as Sunsetters. He also understands why the goods are important to each community.

You should know that both communities still get their water from dug wells. Daybreak has beautifully braided ropes, but no containers for fetching water.

Sunset has baskets galore, but even the longest-armed person in the village has a reach far short of the goal.

Finding a Common Tongue

The publican sees and presents the value of both sides. He points out to the Daybreakers that visits to their well will be much simpler if they purchase baskets from Sunset. They can coat the baskets with tar, line them with leather or oiled cloth, attach a rope, and drop them into the well. Their daily tasks will be simpler and quicker when they have baskets to gather flowers, eggs, and produce. Their homes will be more attractive when they display a finely made basket on a shelf or mantelpiece.

He lets the Sunsetters know that a Daybreaker rope well cared for will extend their reach for years to come. Ropes can also be made into halters for leading livestock, used as tools for climbing, and are invaluable for mountain rescues. With the tar from Daybreak, the ropes can also be made waterproof. He also got a Sunsetter to show several Daybreakers special knots they tie for various uses.

Understanding the personal benefits of the products, both the Sunsetters and Daybreakers can see themselves owning these valuable objects. They are willing to pay the sums requested and are satisfied with the exchange. As commerce continues, they begin to understand each other’s language, a conversation begun by a valley publican.

Litearra. Proud publicans for discerning people.