Jan. 25. Various persons run into each other in the Bazaar.
(New Character Arrival) (Rephidim Bazaar) (Envoy) (Jarik) (Rephidim) (Spheres of Magic) (Wynona)
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The Bazaar
In the bright mid-day, the air is cool and crisp and full of the sounds – and smells – of a bustling street lined on each side with booths, vendors and customers – some loudly haggling over prices of the displayed wares. Occasionally a Zelak patrol wanders by to keep the peace and to keep a lookout for those with sticky fingers … and, to be sure, there are plenty shady sorts lurking in the shadows, regarding the passersby with hungry eyes. Or perhaps that's just a peddler over there, begging for a scrap of bread. In any case, it's a barrage on the senses – exciting and exhilirating, full of life and action.

Through the bustling crowds, a white bat in sky-blue trousers and tunic makes her way, accompanied by a muscular cheetah.

"Ooo – Ramid, look over there. Aren't those beautiful? I have no idea what they are, but I'm certain I could really use one," she nods.

Ramid turns, whiskers twitching. He glances about curiously, then nods in the direction the bat points.

Following the direction the bat indicates, one can see a booth set up with all sorts of odd items carved from ivory. They do indeed looking pleasing to the eye … and it is indeed a bit obscure what purpose they serve. A big burly white wolf – with a patch over one eye – stands at the booth, barking and waving to passersby, trying to get their attention toward his booth.

Near the booth, in a cleared space, another bat stands – this one brown-furred with black hair – accompanied by a brown-shelled Vykarin: a strange sort of creature who looks like a combination of wolf, horse, armadillo and kangaroo.

The cheetah eyes the wolf briefly, as if sizing him up. He keeps his guard up, but lets the bat lady lead. This is nothing new to him; he knows his manners as an escort.

The white bat makes her way through the crowd, over toward the booth. "Come along, Ramid!" she urges, and happily presses on.

Ramid lets a breath escape with a soft 'fff' as the bat leads him on.

Envoy sits quietly near the Vykarin, wide eyes trying to absorb all the glitter and chaos of the bazaar.

Meanwhile, the brown bat continues playing on her flute, an odd instrument that plays with the sound of two "voices" at once, to the accompaniment of some primitive drums played by her Vykarin assistant. A few coins are tossed into her hat, but in all the activity and bustle – over which her music can barely even be heard – business is slim today.

A fox is scouting out the various stands. He's looking about at… various travel gear? He comes close to the ivory stand without his realizing it.

Ramid briefly glances at the bard, ears flicking towards the beat of the music. He lets some of his practiced guard down, feeling a bit more relaxed.

"Step right up, and get a prize you can't do without! A Morscoop! Each one a hand-crafted work of art! Made from ivory imported direct from the Savan!" the wolf barks.

A raise of the eyebrow, and the cheetah makes a few more appraisals of the wares. For the life of him, he cannot discern what the use of a 'Morscoop' could be – but again, it's nothing new to his eyes.

Vielanika the brown bat bard finishes her melody, and puts down her flute. She frowns at the meager collection of shekels in the hat. A slow day. At least the weather is nice. She sighs. She turns toward Envoy, and smiles.

Ramid thinks, . o O { The most useless things often get the most shekels. }

Envoy smiles back at the bat. "That was very nice, but I think the wolf was singing at the wrong parts." She points to the ivory vendor.

The white wolf turns toward the equally white bat. "Aha! Well, m'lady, I can see that you have an eye for quality. A Morscoop! Can't do without one! Which one pleases you the most?"

Jarik's ears catch the music as he's looking through various items. He gets a couple shekels and tosses them into the hat.

Vielanika mulls over this for a moment, then makes a grim expression and nods. "Yes, that is a problem." She looks up to smile at the donor … then blinks as she recognizes the face. "Sir Jarik!"

Envoy waves to the familiar fox!

Ramid's gaze immediately snaps to the wolf, which he watches carefully, eyes ready to make sure the deal is fair.

Jarik blinkblinks from where he's looking. He never bothered to see who was playing.

The white bat hmms, looking over the various ivory implements, obviously enamored of the designs. "Uhm … how much for this one? And … I hope you don't mind my asking, but … er … what is this, anyway?"

The fox smiles, "Why… hello Lady Vielanika… and Lady Envoy!" He waves to them.

Ramid sighs internally. . o O { This buyer isn't being ware… }

The wolf follows the white bat's gaze to a carved ivory covered with swirling cloud-like patterns. He grins, noticing similar cloud-like patterning on the trim of the white bat's clothing. "For you? A mere four silvers and one iron. A bargain, I assure you!"

The cheetah squints at the wolf as the price is called. He steps back and crosses his arms, his pose demanding attention.

Envoy walks over to Jarik. "Isn't this place amazing? I've never seen so many people together. And they all seem to be arguing, but nobody is fighting. Is it some sort of game?"

Vielanika raises her eyebrows at Makah's loud assertion of a "bargain", then nods to Jarik. "I am showing Envoy around Rephidim … and trying to earn a few shekels, as you see."

The white bat gasps, and covers her mouth, taking a step back. She's evidently not quite so convinced of the bargain.

Ramid thinks, . o O { Just a little high, Makah. Hope you don't mind me "saying" so… }

Envoy drifts a little closer to Makah's booth, still staying near Vielanika, Rowry, and Jarik though.

Makah frowns. "Now, please, before you make any assumptions, you must realize these for the treasures they are – Why … " He looks both ways, before leaning forward conspiratorially and adding, "They're magical."

Jarik nods, "So I see. I'm just browsing for some new travel gear myself. I'm to be leaving on an airship soon." He keeps smiling, "It's good to see you two." With a chuckle he answers Envoy, "Yes… in a way it is. Whoever is more clever gets the better deal of an exchange."

Envoy says, "I see. So the person with the most items is the winner?"

Ramid gently nudges Wynona, and turns to the wolf again. He smiles genially, meaningfully.

Vielanika frowns. "Not precisely, Envoy. It is just that we never have as many shekels as we like. So if we need something to buy with those shekels, we'd rather give away as few shekels as possible … and the one doing the selling would prefer to get as MANY shekels as possible."

Envoy thinks. "Shekels are how you keep score?"

Wynona hmphs at Ramid. Her expression is almost insulted, as if she's just been accused of not having proper judgement. She turns back toward the wolf. "Magical, you say? And just what sort of dweomers do these possess?"

Makah raises an eyebrow. "Domers? I assure you, these have no domers or any other flaws whatsoever! They're completely hand-crafted!"

Envoy looks closer at the exchange between Makah and the white bat.

Jarik hears the exhange and speaks up to Makah, "Well, they certainly aren't magically unbreakable are they?" He smirks.

The brown bat beside Envoy frowns. "I think that some training in economics will be in order… "

Envoy smiles to the wolf and holds out her hand, "May I see one of those?"

Makah notices Jarik, and suddenly sucks in his breath, before shouting, "Back! Back! Don't break anything!" He quickly recovers his composure, and smiles to Envoy. "Why, of course. Here, perhaps you would like to take a closer look at this one… "

The cheetah lowers his head and puts his hand over his eyes, just briefly. . o O { Should I just let her spend more than she's got? }

Wynona hmphs as the wolf's attention is shifted from her to the pretty winged alien.

Jarik turns back to the brown bat, "Good luck there… Envoy is unique. You'll have to treat her… well, almost like a four year old child. Social interactions are at times beyond her understanding."

Ramid's tail flickers, and he glances at the others crowding around the booth. . o O { Strange characters. }

Envoy looks at the tiny carving. "It must take a long time to carve wood like this."

Makah grins proudly. "Ah yes. Honest Makah puts a great deal of effort into each and every one of those beauties. And they are endowed with magical properties by a very skilled practitioner of the ancient arts! Go ahead – look inside! See? The hole on the end… " The object is semi-cylindrical, though with odd protrusions from the end opposite the hole.

The white bat hmphs again, and picks up the one she was eyeing, and peers into one end. She squints, then holds it up to the light. "Ohhh!" she exclaims.

Envoy says, "It looks like a whistle."

Makah grins proudly. "That it is … and more! There is nothing so useful as a Morscoop!"

Envoy blinks at Makah. "Not even a knife?"

Jarik smiles back at Makah, "Does it have it's own power then… or does the user have to supply it with mana?"

Ramid sets his jaw, and does nothing. . o O { I'm here to protect her, not her pocketbook. } The assertion tugs at the back of his mind, but he assures himself.

Makah exclaims, "Not even a knife! Why, behold – this end is sharp enough to do as well as a knife, but it is far more versatile. Yes, you have everything you need to catch the elusive Mor!"

Wynona squints, setting down the curio. "Uhm. What's a … Mor?"

Envoy says, "Why would I want to catch one?"

Makah nods. "Ah, you do not travel as much as Honest Makah has. Yes, there are few delicacies more worthwhile than a freshly caught Mor. And, by using a Morscoop, you can dip it into a Morpond and bring out scoop after scoop of distracted Mors. After, that is, you use the haunting melody of the Morscoop whistle. They will be mesmerized, especially by the magical colors of the Morscoop!"

Ramid thinks, . o O { Mor. Hmf. } He turns his gaze to the crowd again. . o O { Makah's just as likely to take her purse without me watching. }

Envoy holds the widget out to the wolf, "Please demonstrate this?"

Ramid can bear the strain no longer. . o O { If she's buying this… }

Makah frowns. "Well, I cannot demonstrate in full without a Morpond to scoop from, but … " He puts his mouth on one of a tube-like protrusion, and blows. *PHRWWWWWWWEEEEEEE!* A shrill whistle warbles and then wanes.

Wynona covers her ears. "EEeeeeee!"

Vielanika makes an identical gesture. "Ack!"

The cheetah winces at the sound, moreso at the bat's shriek. He gestures for Makah to stop blowing.

Envoy blinks. "If there are no Morponds here, why do you sell the Morscoops? Wouldn't it be easier to just use them to capture the Mors, and sell those here instead?"

Jarik's ears flatten against his head and he covers them!

Ramid snorts, and turns to cross between Wynona and Makah. . o O { We're done here… }

Makah puts down the device, frowning. "Well, it may not sound pleasant HERE, but you must understand, the Mor are underwater. It sounds differently under there… "

Jarik turns back to Vielanika, "I hope things were settled with the temple regarding Lady Envoy?"

Ramid turns to Makah in a flash, and crosses a large spotted arm across Wynona's front, nudging her. With authority. . o O { Sotted trash-peddler… should've known this would happen. } He sighs to himself, and prepares to lead the bat towards another booth. One whose owner understands the real concept of 'honest.'

Vielanika frowns. "Yes. Settled. But not without cost."

Envoy says, "Whistles don't work underwater. It will just make bubbles. The wood will deform if immersed in water too often."

Wynona frowns at Ramid's intervention. "I am not some child," she protests, sounding like she's regressed in age a few years.

Jarik nods again, "I have a favor to ask of you, Vielanika."

Unfortunately, Vielanika is distracted by the argument nearby.

Ramid chuckles, hearing the white alien's simple logic

Makah protests, "This is NOT wood. And, how silly – you do not put it underwater. Rather, you see, just because you play it above water does not mean that the Mor cannot … " He sighs and shakes his head.

The cheetah lets Wynona go briefly, facing her. He puts his arms wide, smiles, and nods. Then jerks his chin forward. . o O { Then you won't mind being corrected. }

Wynona crosses her arms, and tries to push her way around the much stronger cheetah. "Let me go! I can handle this."

Envoy says, "The whistles are made of wood. The mass and grain are wrong for ivory."

Jarik has a flashback of a certain poodle he had to escort and chuckles to himself. He feels sorry for the cheetah.

Ramid sighs, and lets Wynona push by him, not willing to be overly physical. . o O { She's gotta learn somehow. }

Makah glowers. "I assure you, this is ivory. Honest Makah carves IVORY, not wood!"

Envoy says, "May I see some of your raw ivory then?"

Wynona tries to edge in front of Envoy to demand the wolf's attention. "Sir, I must protest. These are not magical in the least."

Envoy says, "What creature do you harvest it from?"

The cheetah silently hopes the bat listens to … whatever that other winged gold/white thing is. . o O { Talk. Well, if it means she actually listens }

Makah's attention bounces back and forth between the white alien and the white bat. "Bromthen forest-hogs, of course. And as for magic … hmph. Now, how do you go about making such a claim? Are you some sort of wizard?"

Wynona crosses her arms. "As a matter of fact … yes!"

The bat sniffles, but maintains a stern gaze at the wolf.

Ramid's tail flickers a bit. . o O { There you go now… } He looks on, amused by Wynona's sudden assertion.

Jarik stands and decides he'd like to examine these whistles.

Jarik smiles, "Sir, may I see one of those whistles?"

Envoy smiles, "I will take one of the wooden whistles for three shekels." She holds out her hand for the coins.

Makah looks taken aback. "Well, well! Then a rather young wizard at that. I'm impressed," he lies. He looks to Jarik, and smiles. "Ah yes, certainly!"

Wynona frowns. Her ears begin to blush. She begins muttering some sort of gobbledygook.

Jarik picks up a whistle and looks at it intently. He then decides he'd better not try to probe the object with any form of magic.

Jarik taps it with a claw, "I believe Lady Envoy is right. This is wood."

Ramid looks down at the alien's empty hand. . o O { Hmm. Maybe it was a good idea to stay here. } He stares onward at Makah, eyes alight.

Makah rolls his eyes. "Then you believe wrong, sir!"

"Vrxalaq nosqria vintularx… " the bat intones, her eyes closed. A light breeze tousles her wispy white-grey hair.

Jarik says, "Sir… this material is much softer than ivory."

"Soft?!? SOFT?!? Softer than iron, perhaps! Blackheart! You try to cheat Honest Makah of his livelihood!" the wolf throws his hands up.

Ramid bristles, realizing what Wynona is doing. He steps back and to the side, feeling the breezes churn up.

Jarik says, "Then again, this world may have different forms of ivory. I could be wrong."

Jarik sets the whistle back down.

Wynona's nose twitches momentarily, but she continues, "Lquosa vintala vinqro… " The meaningless phrases continue. They repeat themselves as well.

Jarik smiles at Makah, "The ivory on Crydon is very hard and dense… Yours is lighter."

The black mink next to Makah, in the booth selling scarves and silks, looks surprised at the going-ons. "Honest Makah, when did you start using wood? I've never seen you use anything but Bromthen ivory for years!" She looks at the piece, then over at the fox and the alien criticizing the work. "It certainly looks like ivory to me, dearie."

Jarik shrugs, "I could be wrong."

Jarik now watches the white bat with interest.

The Savanite bodyguard is more focused on Wynona's chanting. . o O { What is she doing… ? }

Vielanika eyes the white bat suspiciously, then listens to the mutterings. She mouths an "uh oh", and looks around. She spots Rawri, and motions him to get scarce.

Envoy begins to lose interest, and drops the whistle back onto the counter so she can focus on the bat wizard's incantation.

The bat has been chanting for over a minute now … the breeze starts to whip about … and then…

The black mink looks over at Wynona. "And whatever is she talking about?" she inquires of Ramid. "I can't quite make it out."

All the whistles start tweeting at once!

Makah covers his ears. "AIEEEE!"

Envoy blinks, then grins! "Is this the magic part?"

The black mink yelps and flattens her ears, putting her paws over them!

Ramid ducks down, holding his ears.

Vielanika cringes and turns away. "Ow! Ow, ow ow, ow OW!"

Jarik gahs and covers his ears again!

Envoy blinks three times at the odd reactions. Maybe the people are getting into Mor-grabbing positions?

Ramid reaches up with one hand and grabs Wynona's hand, hoping to break her concentration.

Wynona, eyes still closed, continues chanting, her sky-blue garments billowing and dancing about, as does her grayed-white hair. As Ramid grabs her hand, one eye snaps open. "Vrtaqro visaq rtaaa – aaa … AH … AHHHHHH"

"AHHH-**CHOOOOO**!"

Ramid thinks, . o O { Oh no. }

Envoy finally realizes it's the bat making the whistles blow.

The whistles screech all the more discordantly, and then let out a single loud cacophonous sympathetic *HOOONK*, along with a noxious cloud of dust.

Wynona staggers to the ground, holding her nose. "Ohhhh. That was a bad one."

There are cries of surprise and dismay from around the area. Everyone is looking and pointing, and trying to figure out just what is going on.

The black mink starts to cough. "Oh by the merciful Sifras! What a stench!" She takes a scarf and starts to wave away the smoke from her booth (and incidentally toward the gathered customers) while holding her nose.

Ramid straightens up, obviously with some degree of pain. He hauls Wynona up to standing, hefts one arm over his shoulder, and half-carries her away. . o O { All right. Now we're done… }

Envoy bounces on her heels! "That was great! Can you make other things play themselves? What about trumpets or flutes?"

Jarik covers his nose, phew.

Wynona's feet kick as she protests, but she's a very light burden, and easily whisked away by the determined cheetah.

Envoy frowns as the magic bat is hauled away…

Makah shakes his head, staggering, and then looks to the crowd. "Morscoops! Everybody needs one – everybody WANTS one! Magical, you see?"

Mindali gives Makah a dazed look as she fanfanfans at the air.

The one-eyed wolf coughs, trying to wave away the remnants of the noxious cloud. "Phew!"

Ramid sighs gruffly, and hauls Wynona along, out of the Bazaar area.

Envoy says, "I still think you should have some Mors here."

Vielanika staggers to her feet again, still holding her ears. "Ow. Ow ow ow." She clears her throat, and tentatively takes her hands away from her ears, looking around, and eyeing the whistles warily. "Uhm … Envoy … what say you give back the wolf his whistle and we'll be going along? I don't think wolf whistles are appropriate for you."

Envoy smiles and goes back to Vielanika.

Jarik sighs and decides he needs to get back to the temple, "Goodbye, Vielanika and Envoy." He waves.

Envoy says, "Good luck finding your equipment, Jarik!"

Vielanika shakes her head and leads Envoy along. "Off to the Guild, now. I don't think that whistle is the sort of instrument is what they have in mind for teaching you the use of… " She nods to Jarik and waves. "And goodbye to you, Sir Jarik!"

Jarik waves again, "Thanks!" The fox disappears back into the crowd.

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GMed by Greywolf

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Today is 12 days after Harvest Tide, Year 25 of the Reign of Archelaus the First (6124)