Venturers (A to Z Challenge, V)26 April, 2016
Those that wander the Sea of Stars seeking their fortune and, occasionally, performing acts of heroism are known as venturers. They are immortalized in play, song and story and also vilified in the same mediums, how they are viewed in a local area depends greatly on how the last group of venturers treated the locals. Unfortunately for venturers, good memories fade quickly, but poor ones quickly harden into lasting prejudice.
Wise venturers, a surprisingly rare breed, try to build on the legends of successful and well regarded past venturers, creating a chain of positive associations. Paying bards and actors to spread heroic stories and even printing books of tales to present the right side of the tale. A friendly populace is useful, often vital, providing support and information, while a neutral or hostile one makes life much more difficult on almost all levels.
The stereotype of the venturer as a big talking and overconfident but ultimately barely competent and cowardly is well established and the basis of most comedic portrayals of venturers. Venturers are common stock characters in popular comedies and show up quite often. Venturers are rarely played as deliberate villains in the comedies but they often accidentally make things worse in the stories by their blundering.
While venturers are nearly universally outsiders, they are needed, they fill roles that many communities do not have people who can. Dangerous beasts, magical outbreaks, sometimes even just bandits, venturers are hired to sort these out when the locals, or their rulers, cannot.
Notes: I just like the term venturer over adventurer, perhaps because merchant-venturer has been stuck in my mind since I was young. Also, another minor way to differentiate the setting.