Jan. 9, 1997. Tirro pawns off Jarik's sword.
(Rephidim) (Sword Gone Missing) (Tirro)
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Achimed the Glove's shop is squeezed in uncomfortably between a coffeeshop and a two-story boarding house, so much so that even the interior space appears to squeak, with wooden buttresses going up at odd angles to support the loft store space. Glass display cases line two sides and shelves carefully placed to be easy to knock over (you break it, you buy it) support a multitude of what might charitably be called 'knicknacks'… This is certainly not the sort of place one would expect to buy or sell expensive art, relics, and other valuables that can only be handled by a specialized dealer with his specialized contacts. But here it is, and here is Achimed behind the counter, scowling with little rat eyes, in silks too expensive for his seedy demeanor.

Carousel stops outside the store and gestures in. "That's it, kid. Achimed's." The black equine in pink stays conspicuously outside the door, her eyes flicking over toward Tirro and the filthy cloth-wrapped bundle he carries.

Tirro walks in, overawed. He's never seen a shop like this before. Very carefully, he walks up to the main counter. "Are… are you Achimed?"

A few passersby glance at the strangers to the Scholar's Quarters but pay them little heed.

The rat's beady eyes shift in Tirro's direction. "Am I Achimed? Can you READ?" He points at a sign. "Of COURSE I'm Achimed."

Tirro looks up at the sign, uncomprehending. "Uhmm… no, I can't read."

Carousel waits outside, according to S'Lezan's instructions. Let's see how the little squirt handles wheeling and dealing.

Tirro says, "I have something that S'Lezan said you might be interested in," he says uncertainly as he unwraps the package."

Achimed looks Tirro up and down. "Oh, so you can't read, eh? Well, little kid, you've obviously wandered into the wrong story. The candy store is that way, two blocks ov – "

Carousel smacks herself on the forehead. She looks around to make sure no one's looking inside.

Achimed looks both ways, waving one hand as if to shush the ferret. "Don't say that name so LOUDLY in here. What are you, a jokester?"

Tirro pulls out what appears to be the handle of a sword. An antique, in exceptional condition.

The rat blinks. This MUST be a joke. A cruel joke. He glances toward the door.

Tirro looks around. He and Achimed are the only two in the store.

Carousel flicks Achimed a high sign for 'All clear'.

Tirro continues unwrapping it. The sword itself is steel, and sharp. Though no gems are on the hilt, the blade is as well-preserved as the hilt.

Achimed hurriedly reaches over, fumbling with one hand at the cloth. "Cover that thing UP! What – were you born yesterday?" He hmphs, spotting Carousel, and breathes only slightly more easily. "In back." He thumbs toward a hanging bead curtain around and behind the counter.

Tirro quickly covers up the sword and follows Achimed into the back.

The black equine leans against the door and looks nonchalant.

Tirro looks about the darkened room, seeing antiques – mostly in good condition. He idly picks up three bone dice. "Wow… "

The rat peeks over his shoulder frequently, as he makes his way into the darker back area. He shuffles over toward the table and takes a seat. "Now, let's see what sort of trinket you have here," he grumbles.

The rat glowers. "Yeah, wow. I'd better see those dice still sitting there when we leave this room, hear?"

Tirro remembers himself, and puts down both dice. "Certainly," he says, as he places the sword on the table. He once more carefully unwraps it from the black cloth he had it in, until it lies, shining in the dull light.

Achimed lights an oil lamp which feebly pushes away at the clinging shadows as he examines the blade.

Tirro looks up to him. "I was told that it was worth five golds."

The rat snorts. "Ah. Once upon a time, this would have been a fine treasure indeed, given the right buyer. But it has seen too much use. Five gold? Five GOLD?!?"

The lamp may catch Tirro's eyes… It is made from a high-temperature ceramic with mythological scenes of starships flying over a world and people landing on the surface, and the handle looks visibly worn… Antique indeed. Or else a cheap forgery, but then again, Tirro wouldn't have the slightest idea how to spot one.

Tirro nods. "It… well… it feels right, in your hand, like an extension of it. I've never seen such purity."

Achimed laughs. "Five SILVER would be too generous. Four silver I will offer you. As a sword, this will be of little use. Yes, it looks pretty, but it is battered – and look at the wear. So subtle – can you see it? It must have been bent once, then bent back. A good job of hammering, but not good enough to escape Achimed's eyes. It would break for sure if used to parry a strong blow."

Achimed nods. "The steel, it is good. I may get a good price for scrap. But as a sword – Who would carry it and use it? It cries out to everyone, 'Look! Steal this from me, please!' It is not jewelry, so of no use for ladies."

Tirro shakes his head. "I may be young… but I often see things that you see not. A chitin sword would break on it, not it on the sword. Any of the Guards would be proud to call it his own. Three gold."

Achimed frowns. "Gold? You still count in gold? Little one, you have too little sense for money. For such money to pass through my hands so easily? I would have a much larger shop!"

Tirro says, "What difference does it matter? Rich folks would proudly own such a sword, for nothing more than a show of their vast wealth." He smirks. "If you have not three gold, I gladly accept fifteen sivler."

Tirro seems to be enjoying himself, talking about sums that he could never have dreamed of, just weeks ago.

Achimed shakes his head. "Very funny. Listen, shorty – Let's just say that you wanted to BUY this sword… "

"So, you think, someone says that someone would pay – oh, five gold, to use your original claim, though it'd be nowhere near that unless you were terribly cheated," the rat leans back in his chair.

"First of all, whoever got it isn't going to have paid that much in the first place, or he's not making any money. He has to have something for his trouble of running the store, reaching the customers … making 'donations' to Temple officials… " the rat goes on.

Tirro says, "I am sure that it would sell for that price. Have you not rich buyers? Indeed – I tell you this. Give me just five silver. I'll come back in a month. For every gold over three that it actually sold for, you give me another silver. That will give you plenty of profit, right?"

"And then there's the matter of cleaning it up, having it certified … certain procedures to, ah, well, let's just say that items that come from questionable sources have to pass a few hands, right? And so does some silver… " The rat pauses, listening to Tirro.

Tirro says, "Ye'll make about two gold from that exchange – and maybe more. A lot more."

The rat says, "Ha. I will be more than glad to pay you a silver for each gold over three, if it can fetch that much! That will be a fine day at the scrapyard, to be sure. Five silver, then, plus a silver later for each gold I get over three. Gehnoh?"

Tirro grins. It's the deal that he made. "Gehnoh, yah."

Tirro offers his paw to shake.

The rat offers his ungloved hand, sealing the deal.

When the rat pulls his hand away, he's holding… a bone die.

Outside the shop, Carousel's familiar voice begins haranguing some passerby. It seems she's accusing him of being a Free Jupani supporter… A bit of a political discussion ensues, but for now, Carousel is keeping the curious visitor outside the shop.

The rat raises an eyebrow, glancing back up to the shelf. He glowers, but his temper is restricted by his interest in the young Kavi's bargaining skills.

"Out," he mutters, as he slaps five silvers onto the table. "And don't let anyone see you carrying that when you leave."

Tirro says, "Here; give me the money. I think you have a customer."

Tirro takes the money gratefully into his pocket, and strolls out, whistling a tune.

The rat does a quick double-take on all the inventory within arm's reach.

Once outside, in the fresher air, Tirro smiles and waves to Carousel. He gives the all-clear sign to her.

"An' you wear your sleeves inna your gloves, you must be some kind of pooftah," Carousel says heatedly to the young cocker spaniel outside the shop. "Next thing y'know, y'll be tellin' me that Jupanis're regular models of morality!"

Carousel glances aside to Tirro, then adds as if it were a final putdown, "Hmmf. Tail-sniffer." The cocker spaniel gapes.

Tirro walks out, grinning to Carousel. "Achimed has a fine, fine shop."

"Dear me! Such language! I begin to wonder what sort of neighborhood it is that this dealer lives in, and whether it has somehow moved to Darkside when I had not noticed," the spaniel sniffs haughtily. He pushes past Tirro and begins to head toward a display of carefully stacked vases.

Carousel looks at Tirro.

"Done 'looking', kid?" she asks.

Tirro links arms with the black horse. "Such language!", he says, trying to adopt Lady Alyssa's mode of speech. "Shall we return? My father's a noble, you know… "

Carousel laughs. "Noble beggar, y'mean." She swats Tirro's arm away and leads the way down the street and back to Darkside. "So… How much?"

Tirro holds up five fingers on two hands.

Carousel raises an eyebrow. She shapes an O that stands for 'gold' and looks at Tirro.

Tirro says, "An' a little extra, if sells well."

Tirro curves his hand in the undercurve of an s, for silver.

Carousel smacks herself in the forehead again.

"C'mon, kid. We're gonna hafta give you some lessons in valuta, one of the days, but today's not it." She heads jauntily back to the Open Arms, regardless, leading Tirro.

Tirro looks disappointed. He's richer beyond his wildest dreams… and Carousel's upset with him? He sighs. Some day, he'll learn.

---

GMed by Lynx

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