Imagine the hostile lands around the Silk Route, a road that connected many countries. There was work to be obtained along that route, because the route sustained trade, which made money. There were caravan makers, and camel traders, and silk merchants of course, but also cooks, and washermen and clothiers. There were bandits and protectors who worked the long caravans that traveled together for safety. The terrain was often harsh, icy deserts, sharp climbs and immense flat sands, the only consolation coming in the cities that were far flung. Villages could feed but a part of the caravan, the steppes were good for hunting sometimes but not always.
The people of the silk road were often hungry and very tired. There was fortune to be made on the road, both good and bad. Some days were good, and workers got paid their wages, and traders sold their wares. Other days were bad, if the wind swept away your cargo, or it fell down a hill side. A desert storm could destroy much, as could the robbers – there was plenty of the bad as well as the good. There were days of hunger and becalm.
But in the middle of it all, was the relief of the story teller. The story teller turned up uninvited, for who would not want to hear a story. A small coin from each and some food and drink, the storyteller was always welcome.
He would tell tales of great kings, and their brave deeds. Of princesses and their beauty. Of ministers and their magic. Of traders and their adventures. He soared above what was real, and his audience soared with him. The aches and pains of the journey, the sorrows of loss melted away in the hearing, the joy of gains was raised manifold. The night passed in ease, with the comfort of the fire and the company, the storyteller lulling us all to dream of a better time and place.
When the fires dimmed, and the embers remained, the story teller was satisfied. He was paid, and fed. He had enough drink to warm his belly. He had spread some joy, eased some pain and helped them all to another day.
The storyteller was always welcome, as he went on his way.