23 Feb 1998. Francisco's Guy Fox Booth faces some competition.
(Bambridge) (Rephidim Bazaar) (Buran) (Envoy) (Francisco) (Ophelia) (Rephidim)
Francisco's Guy Fox Booth
This fairly well-constructed booth in the Bazaar sports a big, colorful banner that features a friendly-looking vulpine exhorting the viewer to buy, buy, buy! And the thing to buy would be one of the many gray-furred, five-tailed, garishly-dressed Kitsune dolls (available in exploding and non-exploding models) for low LOW prices!

A white Khatta kitten bounds up to the booth. "Guy Fox! Guy Foooooox! … You were going to teach me a trick!"

The kitsune behind the booth looks up, or rather down, to see the kitten. "Why, hello there again. I was going to, yes, but you ran off," he says.

Francisco walks around to the front of his stand. "However, I did appreciate your help yesterday, so I will still show you that trick. Okay?"

The kitten looks timidly up to Francisco. "Well … fire mages are … not good to get angry," she mews. But then she smiles. "But I want to learn a trick!" She claps her hands together and bounces twice.

The five-tailed fox nods in agreement. "Yeah, that one does have a little bit of a temper," he chuckles. "Anyway – to that trick. First, what's your name?"

The kitten mews, "Eve. Eve Kurai. My papa is Dominic Kurai."

"Eve," the fox repeats softly. He pulls out a shekel and holds it in his left hand. "Okay, Eve. Now, just watch this… "

Eve's eyes lock onto the shekel.

A winged alien pauses at a nearby booth to watch the Kitsune's trick as well.

"Watch carefully now," Francisco says, and makes a quick grabbing motion at his left hand with his right, then pulls it away closing his hands up tight. "Which hand is the coin in?"

Eve squints her eyes, pondering. And then she's distracted as she looks down at the ground. "Oooo!"

Francisco holds out his closed fists, trying to attract the kitten's attention again. "Which one then?"

"Here!" the kitten squeals, stooping down and picking up an iron shekel from the ground, right in front of Francisco's toe. It's smudged with dirt, which camouflages it against the cobbles … until it's pointed out, of course, and brushed off by kitten paws.

"Thank you!" the kitten mews.

An audible whine can be heard from the foppish Fox, who is spying over the counter.

Envoy's ears perk up and home in on the whine, and she heads for the Guy Fox booth…

The kitsune blinks. That's not the shekel he was using. Hearing his 'assistant', he glances over at him. With a slight sigh, he asks, "What's wrong now?"

Eve mews, "I think I'll give it to Daddy! He needs it to replace all those pots that Jynxie broke… "

The foppish Fox says, "What? Wrong? Oh … oh nothing. Nothing." He looks up to Envoy. "Buy your Guy Fox do – yeep!"

The fop blinks, then smiles. "Oh! It's you! Why, hello there, mademoiselle!"

"You missed rehearsal again," Envoy says to the Fox.

The Fox whines, "Missed? But … I know my part perfectly! Besides, I have to help Francisco here." He reaches over to pat the Kitsune on the back.

Envoy says, "You need to work on your landings though. You keep hitting things when you swing in on the rope."

The fop rubs his head in remembrance. "Well, yes … but I keep hitting things when I PRACTICE, too… "

Francisco looks back to smile at the kitten. "Well, uh, sure," he says, not sure exactly where to go with his demonstration now. "Huh?" He turns back to his stall to see Envoy there. "Oh, haiya there, Envoy, was it?"

Eve mews, "So … how did you turn a shekel into an iron? You said you'd teach me!"

"Yes, hello again Francisco!" Envoy smiles, "And you too, Eve. How's your brother doing? Has he gotten his voice back yet?"

The kitsune's attention seems to be wandering back and forth. Turning it to Eve again, he quickly comes up with an explanation. "Well, you see you don't really turn a shekel into iron. You get two, one ceramic like this one." He produces the original coin from somewhere. "And the other one that you found there, and drop it onto the floor beforehand. Then you find it and think it's magic."

Eve ooooos! "All I have to do is find an iron shekel, then, right? That's easy!"

Envoy blinks at the kitten, "It is? Where's a good place to find them?"

Eve says, "Wherever I look! I'm very lucky. Papa says I have all of Jynxie's luck … so much that he has negative luck instead. So good things happen to me … and Jynxie … well, he's special."

Francisco looks from Eve to Envoy, and back again. He would like to know where to find them as well, actually.

Envoy hmms. "That would explain much."

The winged Exile turns back to the fox and asks, "I bet you have a little sister too then?"

The foppish Fox says, "Well … would you like to buy a Guy Fox?"

Envoy nods and smiles, "Yes, I'd like to buy one of the non-exploding ones. But I really can't spare the money right now."

"Only forty shekels for the non-exploding Guy Fox dolls. A bargain!" the foppish Fox happily proclaims.

Envoy rubs the side of her muzzle and considers it. "No haggling? Are there any dolls of yourself?"

"Forty sssshekelssss?" hisses a nearby merchant. "That issss excsssesssssive! Why, I have thesssse far more adorable dollssss for only thirty!" The little garter merchant is almost hidden amongst the dark bat dolls at his booth. Dark bats with long cloaks, pronounced (but cute) fangs, and expressive red eyes.

From across the market, there arises a small commotion. The heads of Ophelia's Rhian Guard can be seen as they progress toward the booth…

Envoy blinks and looks over towards the Naga's booth, then asks Eve, "Do you think those dolls over there are adorable?"

The kitsune wanders over to the stall, and looks them over. He looks at the garter and shakes his head before turning on his heel and walking off 'tut-tut'ing.

Envoy goes over to examine one of the Eeee dolls. "These look like Fenter's arch-nemesis, Wyckyd. Is this part of his plot to take over the world?"

The garter ponders this, then hisses, "Would that make you more likely to purchasssse one, Madame?"

Francisco whispers to his assistant, chuckling slightly, "I really doubt he sells many of those. We're pretty safe."

The foppish Fox is regarding one of the Guy Fox dolls. "Hmm … you know … that Aeolun might have a point there. I think, if we made these in red fur, gave them just one tail – cutting costs! – and gave them more fashionable attire … and a little wooden lute … they just might sell!"

Ophelia approaches in the midst of her Rhians, a cape of flame coloured silk rippling behind her. Two of the Rhians are carrying a large box between them. They carry it as though it were light, but considering the bearers, who's to say?…

Envoy blinks three times at the Naga, then answers, "I don't think so. Do they attract vermites?"

Eve hugs Francisco's leg. "Thank you for teaching me a trick! I think I'll go now and stop bothering you. I've got to find Jynxie! I think he's gone and died again."

(As long as they don't sing) the Kitsune muses to himself. He perks an ear at the kitten currently attached to his leg. "Died?" he asks.

The garter says, "Well then, thissss isss ssssimply an adorable Eeee, well worth a mere thirty sssshekels. And they csssertainly don't attract vermitesssss. In fact, ssssome sssssay they repel them! But that issss not guaranteed."

Eve nods, letting go of Francisco. "Uh-huh! Jynxie goes and gets himself killed every once in a while, but then he shows up again, just fine. But Papa keeps renting off his room while he's gone. Waste not, want not, you know."

Ophelia waves, beaming. "Francisco – good day! How goes the business? Have you sold many of the Guy Foxes?"

"Ah, well. I see," says Francisco, a little confused. "I hope your father's prudent in who he rents to. Some of the people around here can be kinda unsavory, I've noticed."

Envoy reaches into her coinpouch and counts out thirty shekels. "I'll take one for my Zelak then."

The kitten nods. "Once he rented to a big slobbery Titanian! And the latest tenant used to destroy entire civilizations between meals!"

Francisco turns his head to greet the Ophelia. "Good afternoon, Countess. Business is doing well. About average for a normal day, certainly. We've not quite had sales to match New Years yet," he grins.

The garter gladly takes the shekels, and gives Envoy a cutely menacing (?) toy Eeee.

Envoy ties the little stuffed bat to her belt, and heads back over to Francisco's booth.

A familiarity nags at the Kitsune with what the kitten said, but he doesn't say anything for the moment since he should being paying attention to his employer.

The Aeolun kneels down to show Eve the doll while Francisco talks with the fancy-dressed unicorn.

Ophelia halts before the booth, her Rhians flanking her. The two in back set their box down with a quiet fwumph. "That's reassuring to hear, then." She gestures toward the box. "I've brought you some more stock to sell."

"Ooooo!" says Eve. She tweaks the toy Eeee's noise, prompting a squeak.

Actually, the noise sounds more like "thweak," somehow.

Envoy blinks at the sound, and start thweaking the doll's nose herself. "That's neat!" *thweakthweakthweak*

Francisco says, "More stock? Okay, that's fine."

Francisco gestures to his foppish assistant to go and deal with the new supplies.

Ophelia flicks an ear, surprised, and turns to watch the two playing with the doll. "How interesting… " she says quietly.

Eve giggles, clapping her hands together!

The foppish Fox hmms. "Maybe our Guy Foxes need sound effects. Hmmmmm."

Envoy looks back towards the Guy Fox booth, and asks, "What sort of sound effects?"

The foppish Fox hmms. "Well … maybe if we made something that made a *PBBBBBT* sound… "

The Kitsune frowns at the fop-fox. "Perhaps not. Besides, the exploding ones already make a 'whizz-bang' noise."

Ophelia indicates the foppish Fox to Francisco. "Is this a colleague of yours, then? I'm afraid I've yet to meet him… "

Envoy listens closely, curious to see if this Reynard uses the same long-winded title as the one she knew before.

Francisco nods to the Countess. "In a manner of speaking, yes. He's working off a little 'debt' to me at the moment," he explains.

Ophelia ahs, obviously trying to hide her curiosity. "I've seen him before, I'm quite sure… "

The foppish Fox whines faintly.

The foppish Fox looks up over the building at the clock tower. "Well! I think my … uh … shift is up. Time to get to rehearsal! I think I'll practice rope swinging. Good day!" The fop zips out of the booth!

Envoy blinks again, amazed out how FAST the little fox can move when he wants to.

… and, in his mad dash to escape, nearly bowls over a winged snow leopard carrying a tiny airship, exquisitely crafted from wood and fabric.

Ophelia blinks, non-plussed. "I'll have to have you introduce me sometime, Francisco. He seems an unusual sort of Fox."

Francisco looks up at the clock tower to check the time. It certainly was not the end of the fox's shift.

The kitsune scratches behind his right ear a little, nodding to the unicorn. "He certainly is at that, yes."

Ophelia gestures toward the box. "At any rate, you'll want to unpack your new stock."

Buran yells after the departing fop, "In the name of the Star and Anchor, watch where you're GOING!!" She surveys the Bazaar; perhaps someone will be interested in her latest project. Maybe that well-dressed unicorn by the Guy Fox booth… The Sphynx wanders in that direction.

Taking a look at the container that the countess' guards brought with them, Francisco sees that his 'assistant' really didn't unpack anything. Sighing, he nods to Ophelia and begins to unpack the merchandise.

Standing up again, Envoy spots Buran and waves!

Eve tires of looking at the plush bat and, having such a short attention span, bounds away. "Just wait 'til I show Papa! He'll be so happy… "

Envoy says, "G'bye Eve! Say hello to Feli for me!"

"Good afternoon, ma'am." Buran greets Envoy as she inspects some of the hanging Guy Fox dolls, the model cradled gently in the crook of her right arm.

Ophelia tags along after Francisco and busies herself supervising him as he unpacks.

The Aeolun eyes the tiny airship. "Did you build that yourself, Technopriest Buran?"

Francisco wanders back and forth from the container to the stall, rather conscious of the unicorn hovering behind him as he works.

Ophelia trails the Kitsune closely, micro-managing and making a general nuisance of herself as she 'supervises'.

Buran's voice carries more than a hint of pride. "Yes, I did. Do you like it? I'm hoping to sell it today." She holds the model out for inspection but doesn't quite relinquish control of it.

Envoy blinks, "Sell it? Does it fly? Do you use trained bugs to pilot it?"

The five-tailed fox finishes putting a batch of dolls under his stall and backs up a little, backing into Ophelia who is right behind him. He looks around to face her. "Er. Oops. Pardon me."

This time, the Sphynx shakes her head, though she's laughing. "No, it can't fly. It's just to hang, or to put on a shelf." She produces a small display stand from a pocket and shows how the stand holds the model upright.

Envoy blinks, and then asks, "Is it a model for building a full-sized airship from then?"

Ophelia erfs, somewhat disconcerted at being bumped into. "Quite alright… " She stops trailing the Kitsune, however.

"Oh, no," comes the answer. "It's a trading ship that docked fourteen days ago. I admired the design." She pauses, glancing in Ophelia's direction.

Ophelia stands by the booth, watching Francisco carry Guy Foxes to and fro. She confines herself to the occasional helpful comment.

Envoy blinks. "It took you two weeks to build? It must be worth hundreds of shekels then!"

Now that Francisco can carry on finishing his restocking with a little bit more personal space, he quickly finishes the stocking.

"You probably used all sorts of secret Technopriest equipment that normal artists can't even imagine," the Aeolun continues. "Are you sure it's legal to sell something like that?"

Buran says, "Oh, no, ma'am. These are handmade with simple tools. It's more challenging that way."

Buran quietly walks toward the booth, stopping near Ophelia. After a few moments of watching Francisco work, she addresses the unicorn. "Good afternoon, ma'am."

Envoy says, "But you're still a Technopriest, Buran. Doesn't that make a difference?"

Ophelia turns gracefully to smile at the Sphynx. "Good afternoon. Have you come to buy a Guy Fox doll?"

Buran shifts the airship model a little, flicking some dust off a sail. "Do they explode?" she inquires.

Ophelia looks delighted. "Yes, they certainly do! They're modelled after my associate here – perhaps you've seen him explode?" She indicates Francisco, smiling brightly.

The Technopriestess' bright blue eyes take in Francisco. "Ah… no."

Envoy whispers to Francisco, "You can explode? I thought you couldn't do magic anymore?"

A ornate wheeled carriage, bedecked with temple insignia and driven by a nervous-looking Jupani guard pulls up closely to the front of the booth. It's amazing that the carriage has managed to make it through the crowded bazaar streets… it's certainly not too much narrower than the street-front.

Ophelia sort of sweeps Buran toward the Kitsune. "Francisco? You have a customer of discernment. She's interested in your exploding dolls."

Envoy pauses to look over the carriage.

Francisco whispers back to Envoy. "Er, not at the moment. But I'm looking to rectify that in the near future."

The Jupani from on top calls down into the carriage, (which as Envoy notes must be among the Temple's most extravagant models), "This is the shop, Officer."

Turning his attention to the winged snow leopard pointed out to him by Ophelia, Francisco says, "Ah. You are interested in buying one perhaps? Exploding or non?"

Ophelia turns, suddenly more interested in the carriage than in selling Zerda dolls.

From inside the carriage, a creaky, slightly irritated female voice says "Venerable Officer, you ninny."

One of Buran's whiskers twitches slightly. "Exploding," she says. Mentally, she can't wait to find out how the explosive mechanism works, but she doesn't relate this to Francisco. "I will offer you this in trade." The airship model is set on the countertop.

Envoy whispers to Buran, "He's only asking 60 shekels for the exploding ones, though."

Francisco looks over the model. "It's certainly a very impressive work. However, I'm not too certain if I may take that as payment," he says, looking to Ophelia for an answer.

The Jupani gulps. "Yes Venerable Officer," he says as he jumps down and opens the carriage door. A truly ancient-looking female Rath'ani in a gray dress and shawl steps down, using a cane for assistance.

Envoy blinks, then smiles and waves! "Hello, Venerable Officer Miriam!"

Ophelia's attention is directed toward the carriage, and its occupant. While she's never met the Raccoon, it's obvious that she's someone of consequence. The Countess directs one of her guards to assist the aged Rath'ani.

The Kitsune raises a hand a little, trying to get the unicorn's attention. "Uh, excuse me, Countess?"

Miriam adjusts her spectacles. "Who is… oh. Envoy of Lothryn. *chuckle* the one who has three of my staff tied up writing a precis of that report." She swings her cane at Ophelia's guard. "Back off, you! When I fall down and break my hip then I'll ask for someone to keep me upright."

The Rhian who was hit by the cane tries hard to look like it hurt. He retires to his previous position at a nod from Ophelia.

Envoy says, "It's nice to see you again. Did you learn anything from that giant pearl yet?"

Buran's gaze follows Francisco's … she blinks, hiding a chuckle at the Rhian's reaction.

Miriam shrugs at Envoy. "It's a pearl. It's giant. When those ninnies get around to disassembling it I might know more." She peers at Francisco. "So this is the Guy Fox that three grand-nieces of mine just *have* to have the dolls of. Hmmph. I've seen other Nohbakim with more tails and better looking ones."

Ophelia shushes Francisco absently. "In a second, dear… ". She walks over to the old Raccoon, stopping just short of her. She clears her throat, and adopts a slightly deferential posture, managing to imply respect for age only, with no hint of social inferiority as she waits to be acknowledged.

The garter merchant at the next booth over shakes a "cutely sinister" black Eeee doll with shiny red eyes and bright white fangs. "But thissss issss sssso much cuter! And it isssss harmlesssss to the kiddiesssss!"

Francisco blinks at the unicorn. "Sorry," he apologizes to Buran, and with a slight grin says, "Managers and owners, y'know."

Francisco blinks again, realizing that what the raccoon said what about him. (Better looking tails?) he mouths to no-one in particular.

Buran agrees, "Indeed." She surreptitiously monitors the scene by the carriage.

Miriam nods to the Aeonian. "Ah, Countess. I hadn't known you shopped here as well." the raccoon says, leaning on her cane. She doesn't notice the snake merchant at the next booth… whether through hardness of hearing or deliberate ignoring.

The Kitsune, unable to do much else but wait for the moment, waits with his hands on his hips doing his best not to frown at the raccoon.

The garter sighs, and adopts an 'alas, yorick' pose with the toy Eeee, looking ponderously into its vacuous red eyes, delving into the elusive mysteries of marketing children's toys…

Ophelia smiles warmly at the Raccoon. "Good afternoon. To be honest, this booth is a venture of mine. The Zerda is my associate."

Envoy whispers to Francisco, "She's very important in the Office of Review. Some of her children and grandchildren are important too."

Francisco whispers back to the Aeolun, asking, "Office of Review?"

"I don't know exactly what they Review," Envoy confesses in another whisper, "But a lot of the lights worked in that part of the Temple."

"Ah," replies Francisco. "In that case, they might review the salaries of people who repair the lights in that area?"

Buran's ears perk up. She couldn't help but to overhear, having done some of the repairs herself. Still, she affects an air of polite disinterest.

Ophelia offers her arm to Miriam. "Won't you come and see what we have, Venerable Officer? And meet my associate, of course. I'm sure he'd be overwhelmed to meet you."

The Rath'ani nods to Ophelia. "Very good then, Countess." She takes Ophelia's arm, and walks with the aid of that and her ivory cane in the other paw.

Ophelia escorts the Venerable Officer over to where Francisco stands with the others. She gestures with her free arm. "Venerable Officer, allow me to introduce my business associate Francisco. Francisco, your booth is graced by the Venerable Officer Miriam of the Rephidim Temple."

Francisco smiles to Miriam. "Good afternoon, Venerable Officer. I don't suppose you would care to buy a Guy Fox doll?"

The little airship still rests on the counter, looking almost forlorn among many, many Guy Fox dolls.

Miriam nods, with s light smile. "Yes, yes my dear Nohbakim fellow. Three in fact… my it'un grand-neices" and here, Miriam's creaky voice turns into a whininess that almost might be an impression of a child, "have to have one! Everyone at school haaaas one!"

Envoy giggles into her palm at the imitation of little-girl voices.

The Venerable Officer mutters, "Not the exploding ones, though. Oh no. They'd find some way to slip them under my chair and light them, rascally whippersnappers."

"Um, that's Kitsune, not Nobahkim," corrects Francisco, reaching to grab three dolls from the top of the stall. He notices the airship model still sitting there, and hopes he can get rid of this customer as soon as possible so that he can deal with Buran's question. "Three dolls – that will be one hundred and twenty shekels."

A little way down one of the bazaar's roads, a green shiga merchant, tiger-striped in black, is slowly making his way toward the plush-toy booths on the back of a drokhar. The somewhat paunchy lizard wears an expensive-looking embroidered cape over a doublet and riding breeches, and is constantly hissing a cheerful stream of things like 'Excuse me! Make way! Pardon me! Look out!' His steed bears a lot of satchels and saddlepacks. Despite how slow his progress is, the shiga doesn't seem to mind.

The garter looks up at the shiga, and hisses as loudly as he can, "It'ssss adorable! It'sssss cutely ssssinissster! It'ssss … cheap!" He waves around a black toy bat doll.

Miriam mumbles "Yes, kitsune, and a Shiga with his legs cut off is a Naga." and shakes one of the toys experimentally. "It seems to be of excellent quality… I know Countess Ophelia would not go into a business of anything less. Eknulf!"

The Jupani steps forward with a moneybag, and as per Miriam's orders, hands the shekels over to Francisco (plus a five-shekel tip! Or perhaps he just miscounted… )

Ophelia stands by quietly, looking pleased.

The drokhar-rider's head turns at the garter's particularly loud hiss. He spies the doll waving about, and with a curious look on his face, urges his mount toward the garter's booth.

Francisco's not too sure what a Naga is, or even a Shiga, so he believes his correction was understood. He doesn't quibble about the money, just in case it was an error and smiles to the raccoon. "I hope your grand-neices have fun with them."

Envoy watches the Shiga merchant casually.

Buran carefully straightens a spar on the model. It didn't look out of alignment, at least not obviously so… Her ears swivel as the Drokar noisily approaches. The Templar in blue turns to look. Perhaps he will be more amenable to a trade…

The Kitsune, now having made the sale, looks to Ophelia. "Countess – that other matter I tried to ask you about?" he tries.

Ophelia politely perks her ears. "Yes, Francisco, what is it?"

Miriam smiles as her Jupani assistant collects the dolls. "Yes, I'm sure they will. Thank you for your time, it'un." She turns, heading back to the carriage.

The garter stands up more straight (making, oh, a few inches' difference in height) and flicks his tongue happily at the approach of a prospective customer. "Yessss! It issss quality you sssseek! But at a good pricssse! You have come to the right placsssse!"

"The lady here," Francisco gestures over his shoulder to Buran, "wishes to offer a model in trade for an exploding doll. I thought I had better run that by you first."

Finally breaking through the crowd, the merchant reins his drokkar next to the garter's stand, dismounting. He says something in a hissy, slushy-sounding language as he does so.

Ophelia bids the Venerable Officer goodbye, then returns her attention to Francisco. "A model? What sort of model?"

Francisco directs the unicorn to the model on the stall. "This airship here," he says.

Envoy steps a little closer to the two reptiles, more to listen to the language than to eavesdrop.

The garter happily hisses something back to Bambridge in something other than Rephidim Standard.

Ophelia bends gracefully from the waist to examine the little airship. "That's lovely work." she says to Buran. "Did you build this yourself then? Does it explode?"

Buran smiles. "Yes, and no."

Francisco blinks at the Countess. (What is her fascination with things that explode?) he wonders.

Miriam re-enters the carriage, and the Jupani driver climbs back up top… able to move no more than a few feet before the drokkar is unavoidably in the way. "Hey you! Move that beast immediately!"

Ophelia raises an eyebrow at Buran. "Yes and no?"

Another whisker twitches as Buran elaborates. "I did build it myself, but it does not explode. It is to display only."

The shiga rubs his jaw thoughtfully, holding out one scaly paw. "Hsst… msht al ssal'ka?"

The garter, casting a nervous glance at the Jupani, looks back to the shiga merchant and hands him the Eeee doll, nodding.

Ophelia ahs. If she's disappointed, she hides it. "It's a lovely bit of work, nonetheless. And you wish to trade, I'm told?"

Buran points out that to destroy the model would waste the time that went into its construction. "If you would accept the offer. I find your exploding dolls fascinating."

Miriam's voice comes from inside the carriage. "Is there a… problem, Eknulf?"

Envoy watches the Shiga, wondering how long it will take him to move his mount before he gets into trouble.

The merchant looks the doll over bemusedly. He squeezes the nose. *Thweak, thweak!* This prompts a laugh, and the reptile hisses, "Esho! Ali pesh'al!"

Ophelia looks intrigued. "Yet surely, by that logic, the time that goes to make any exploding item is a waste. Even the exploding Zerda dolls… "

The garter smiles happily, and hisses, "Thirty shekels!" making Naga Silent Sign of the same amount.

Envoy turns back towards the Aeonian, and comments, "The model airship is one of a kind, though. You make hundreds of Francisco dolls."

The Jupani calls down, "No problem that won't be over shortly, Off- Venerable Officer!" He glares at the Shiga. "I said move that beast! Immediately! You're blocking official Temple traffic!"

Francisco idly thinks that he must have sold hundreds of those dolls now too.

Engrossed in his purchase, the drokkar-rider misses the shouting referring to his beast of burden. Instead, he produces a money-pouch, and places three tenners on the counter. (Hee, hee! Brishen'll love this thing! Maybe it'll make up a little for scaring her before. I wonder where she got to, anyway?" His thoughts are interrupted by the Jupani's shouting, and he looks up. "Mit'ska?"

Ophelia looks at the disturbance starting at the next stall. She calls to a pair of her Rhians, "Max! Ah-Nold! Assist the Venerable Officer's driver, please."

The garter eagerly sweeps away the tenners, then ducks his head at the prospect of trouble…

The Jupani calls down, "I said move your animal! You're blocking traffic!"

Ophelia returns to her bargain, having complete faith in her guards. "Yes – as I said, it's a lovely item. In all honesty, I have to wonder that you would trade it."

Max and Ah-Nold stride toward the blockage, walking in step, frowning…

The lizard furrows his brow. "Oh, dreadfully sorry!" Taking his purchase, he puts a clawed foot in one of the drokkar's stirrups, and clambers back aboard. He then begins the painfully slow process of shooing bazaar-goers out from in front of him. "Move along! C'mon, I've got someone breathing down my neck this time."

Taking that as being likely that the model will be accepted for a doll, Francisco rummages through his stock for an exploding kitsune doll.

"It's a hobby of mine," Buran explains. "It helps to while away the little spare time I have. Some I keep, but I've no room for all of them. Why, that'd require half the Temple… "

The temple carriage creaks forward steadily, almost on the Drokkar's tail.

Several Kavis – well, a whole troop of Kavis, small and energetic and towing some carts filled with anonymously burlap-wrapped goods, come down the Bazaar way to stop just next to and behind the garter's booth. "Ahai!" "Hey! Cute bats!" "Hey, mister! Business good?"

Ophelia says, "Well, yes, we'll be happy to trade – it seems a bargain, withal… "

The garter rolls his eyes from where he's peeking over the edge of his booth, between several of the red-eyed bat dolls. "Oh dear. Iss it that time of day already? Well, a deal iss a deal."

The rider continues to verbally prod at the crowd, and eventually makes his way to a small side alley in which he halts his mount. He looks over his shoulder, and calls, "Pass on through, Templars!"

Envoy's attention bounces from Buran's trade to the Garter's booth.

Francisco looks from Buran to Ophelia, waiting for the trade to be settled before handing over the doll.

The Temple carriage moves through the thick bazaar traffic, making its way more by presences than maneuverability, until it is lost to sight from the toy booths.

Ophelia gives her nod to Francisco.

The Templar bows formally, the same way she might salute a superior. "It is yours, then, madam. I hope you enjoy looking at it as much as I enjoyed building it."

Several of the Kavis attempt to 'help' the garter with his stock, who hisses at them. "I am perfectly adequate to take care of disssasssembling my booth, thank you!" He takes a thin wooden whistle and makes a very strange noise… Twice long, once short, and once long again. Several Gallah dogs nearby perk up their ears.

The fox nods back to the Countess, and hands over the doll with a smile to the winged snowleopard.

Ophelia says, "I'm sure that I shall. It will make an excellent addition to my bric-a-brac shelf."

A long second passes as the garter looks about expectantly… And then a swarm of vermites erupts out of the drainpipes and sewer outlets and the nearby alley! Nearby shoppers draw back in complete surprise.

Envoy blinks at the sudden surge of vermin… and holds tightly onto her Wyckyd doll!

The shiga merchant trots his steed back out… which rears suddenly as the vermite swarm flows past! The rider tries to reign in his animal, which makes a chuffling noise and paws the air.

Fortunately, if Buran looked disappointed at this, it's hidden by her involuntary shriek as a few vermites run right past her feet.

Ophelia squeals in a most undignified fashion at the sight of the vermites. Her guards race to surround her.

Francisco's eyes widen as he spies the swarm of bug-rats. He backs into the front of his stall, and on realizing he can't get back any further, fumbles himself onto the countertop where he sits, tails and self quivering, hoping they don't decide to come his way.

The vermites are strangely limited to the vicinity of the garter Naga's booth, as they lift up the stuffed black Eeee dolls, several to each one, and others grab up cloth banners and the change box, and still more sweep up the garter himself… Another blast on the whistle and then the swarm retreats away into the darkness, leaving the booth completely stripped bare.

A distant maniacal laugh echoes out of the alley.

The Kavis stare dumbstruck at the confusion of activity… Then, pragmatically, one of them says, "All right boys, let's setup!" They swarm the booth in a vermite-like frenzy of activity and soon are selling… Little stuffed Kavis.

Envoy walks over to the 'new' booth, and asks, "Do you have any stuffed mongooses?"

The Templar slips the doll into a carry-sack. She searches for a relatively clear spot and, eventually finding one, launches herself back into the air, soon vanishing from sight in the direction of the Temple.

"Whoa, there! Calm down, I'm not done with my business!" hisses the distressed looking shiga merchant. His steed kicks and jumps a few times, snorting and chuffling. With one last wistful glance at the Guy-Fox booth, the merchant departs without much choice in the matter, his drokkar tearing off down the bazaar street. A loudly hissed "Whooooaaaaa!" fades out into the distance, along with some crashing and shouting.

Dust (and a dropped feather) swirl in the wake of the Sphynx' departure.

Ophelia looks sidelong at the Kavi booth. She snorts under her breath as she notes to herself that none of their dolls explode.


GMed by Chiaroscuro & Greywolf

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Today is 19 days before Candlemass, Year 25 of the Reign of Archelaus the First (6124)