|First published||11 January 2008|
|Era||Succession Wars era|
|Timeline||30 May-12 October 2972|
|“||The JarnFolk carry intricately carved pistols as a mark of station, but combat is not the only trade in which they prosper... it takes a man learn the warcraft of trade in the Periphery, and a man Olaf must become.||”|
JàrnFòlk trader Bjørn Jespersen has taken his son Olaf along to learn the trade. On the unaffiliated periphery planet Botany Bay Olaf is distracted by the local black sand—obsidian glass particles—that he is told will weather down the starport's ferroglass domes in a year or so.
A few weeks later Olaf and his father arrive on the Oberon Confederation's capital world Oberon VI, where they encounter Hansa competitors. Although the Jespersen clan has good trade relations with Oberon going back over a century, it turns out the Hansa can undercut the JàrnFòlk prices for machinery and service contracts. Olaf's father puts this down to them using slave labor, and contrasts it against the superiority of the JàrnFòlk technology versus the Hansa's shoddy and ill-maintained JumpShip and DropShip.
Yet later on nearby Sigurd, the Jespersens learn that the inhabitants of the ice moon are mining ores from asteroid impacts in the ice for a living, which they sell to Oberon VI. To separate the ore from the dross, they have recently created a new type of simple, low-technology extractor device. Olaf also witnesses how the ore in the ice is being mined from the underground tunnels, a delicate process that must not create too much heat or apply too much force so as to not create cracks in the ice.
Remembering the obsidian sand on Botany Bay, Olaf brokers a deal where Botany Bay receives Sigurd's simple extractors as a water purification technology, while Sigurd imports sand from Botany Bay for a more efficient sandblaster-mining than they ever had. In exchange, the Jespersens can get heavy ores from Sigurd at a fraction of the market price (Oberon VI is not buying them from Sigurd anymore after upgrading their own extraction industry with help from the Hansa). Thus Olaf has opened up a great revenue trade that will last for a long time, until the Sigurders find out the real value of the ores.