Arcadia, Bem, Envoy and Vielanika visit Little Babel. 8/3/97
(Arcadia) (Rephidim Bazaar) (Envoy) (Leeta) (Rephidim)
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Little Babel
This part of the Bazaar caters especially to the Eeee population found in Rephidim, though as of late the troubles with Babel have reduced its size with fewer wares to offer, at higher prices. Still, it's no less busy, and is one of the very few parts of the Bazaar still active even at night – without benefit of Temple Guard patrols to keep the peace.

Arcadia whistles softly as she lights a candle, cupping gently her hand about the wick she blows a tiny flame upon it… how strange to see one do that and be lighting it. The light as she places it on a tiny table glints upon a recently made glass sculpture of strange reptiles who seem to be racing down a track. Accompaning that are other wares that surround the tables about the little waggon.

"Sweetworms! Get your sweetworms! Crunchy on the outside, gooey on the outside, and still wiggly!" squeaks one of the proprietors of a booth set up with cages and cases full of all sorts of insects and arachnids and multipods of various colors and sizes.

Arcadia's booth is made sure to be FAR FAR away from the icky yucki creepy spiders and other un-fun bugs.

Envoy seems more interested in the Eeee instead of what's being bought and sold around her.

Arcadia smiles as she sets out a few more candles, letting the lovely twinkling of the multicolored glasses do her calling to the crowds for her.

An elderly Eeee seamstress leans out from a booth that is not on the ground level, but is instead suspended on a wooden platform from the second level of an abandoned building, built from a crumbling balcony. "Hello! Down there! You with the lovely gilded wings! I have the best dresses for fliers! Some that would just be LOVELY on you!"

Envoy blinks and looks up, a wider grin than usual breaking out on her face. She flaps up to the platform.

A brown bat dressed in clothes of black and cobalt blue walks along beside Envoy, looking at the various wares, and licking her lips when she sees some sugared spiders. "Hmm," says she at the seamstress' call, and flaps up after Envoy.

Meanwhile, a couple of bats wander up to Arcadia's wagon. "Lovely, positively lovely," says the lady bat. Her husband just scowls, and grumps, "Yes, but look for the prices."

Arcadia ignores as best she can the thought of folks eating any thing bug lick… she lights another ivory candle and places it into a sculpture of a wigged beauty. She jumps at a pice of dust rolling over her foot… she makes a little tiny sound of startlement.

Envoy smiles to the seamstress, "Hello, I'm Envoy, and this is my friend Veilanika."

Arcadia gryns to the couple "Hallo sir and madam, might there be anything I can do for you? " She curls her tail about her feet protectively as her ears perk up like banners.

Up at the platform above Arcadia's wagon, the seamstress smiles to Envoy, and tries to direct her attention to racks of clothes, and some bolts of fabric. "The latest in fashions, accommodating your needs as a flier for appearance as well as convenience and functionality… " she says, launching into a well-rehearsed sales pitch about the wonders of her wares.

Arcadia's customers browse through all the glass-wares, the wife "ooo"-ing and "ah"-ing at the more delicate and intricate workings, while the husband seems intent on directing her attention more toward the simpler (and cheaper) pieces.

Arcadia cannot help but over heard the seamstress above… as she's been pitching all day… she smiles lightly planning to go talk to her soon… she might have something nice for her dragon sized self to look into.

Envoy asks the ancient bat if she has any outfits that come with big hats.

At last, the bat couple wanders along, apparently merely browsing, without so much as asking prices on any items.

The seamstress hmms. "No, no, I'm sorry, dear, but I don't have anything in the way of headwear. Hats are fairly … " she gives a glance at Vielanika's wide-brimmed hat, "… UNUSUAL for most of my customers."

Arcadia tries to persuade the couple to look at her mid-range items… a bit fancy but very usable… a few items specially designed to hang during storage.

Try as Arcadia might, the couple still heads off. Even though business has been brisk for most of the day, still there are slack times … and this seems to be one of them.

Arcadia hummms *sigh* but with a forced smile she waves to them and begins to put things up… She'd like to do a bit of shopping herself before things come to an end.

Envoy looks to her companion for advice, "What do you think, Veilanika?"

Vielanika looks at the dresses. "Well, Envoy, you already have a hat that should suit you well for its purpose. But as for attire … Well … hmm … These ARE nice." She leans over to whisper to Envoy, "… and not badly priced!"

A green-and-black Zelak stands nearby, its wedge-shaped head glancing left and right.

Envoy whispers her shopping budget to Veilanika. "I need something practical but still good for working in. Maybe in black?"

The Zelak rasps, rather close to Arcadia's wagon. It pauses to examine the dragon's wares, or perhaps the proprietor herself.

Vielanika nods. "Black goes with EVERYTHING." She smiles, touching the brim of her black hat. "But then, so does gold. Alas … gold is harder to come by."

Envoy says, "I already have the gold gown… "

Arcadia soon is satisfied with how she's cleaned up… She closes up her wagon so after she's finished she an sell directly out of it should she feel up to it. She blinks noticing she's left one table out… the one the Zelak looks upon… She smiles to it and asks, "Hi! Anything I can do for you? "

Vielanika nods. "So, you have gold. Now some black would be nice. It should contrast nicely with your wings. Now then… " She starts looking through the dresses and other outfits, occasionally taking one off the rack and holding it against Envoy. "Hmmmm."

The Zelak rasps. "Nothing is required at this time," it clacks in that faintly accented Rephidim standard that brings many shopkeepers' heads swiveling around to see if someone is being arrested. Most Zelaks are guards… And only speak when they've discerned something Against Their Orders.

Vielanika's ears perk up at the sound of the Zelak's voice, and she looks over the balcony. "Oh dear. Envoy, your Zelak appears to be interacting with … oh my! A very large dragon!"

Arcadia smiles to him lightly, "Very well… Have a nice night then… " She begins to pick up the glasses and a few bowls.

Envoy blinks, "It must be Arcadia. Is the dragon sort of an amethyst purple?"

Bem rasps.

Vielanika raises an eyebrow. "Why … yes … That describes her perfectly."

Arcadia Begins to hum lightly, a not too unpleasant thrumming melody as she unlocks the door to her wagon and places in the last of her glossy wares. Her tail closes the door.

Envoy clacks out something in her pidgin-Zelak to the affect of, "Don't cause trouble, Bem."

Envoy says, "She was at the Kujakus' party with us, Veilanika."

Several small Kavi children sneak about the nighttime Bazaar at ground level, one wearing a blanket as if it were an Inquisitor's cloak and chasing after the others, who are clad in just loincloths and waving sticks and stones around as if to suggest they had just stolen something important. "Come back here with the priceless artifacts," the 'Inquisitor' yells. "You'll regret it if I have to chase you down all the way to the Old City!"

Bem rasps back to Envoy in the Warrior's tongue. "This warrior continues to observe no hostile behavior. No action has been initiated." The strange clicks and scrapes of mandibles do little to reassure the nearby shopkeepers.

Vielanika says, "Oh! Oh, silly me. Well … I'm looking at her sort of upside down… " Her ears blush.

Arcadia glances back at the Zelak and begins to inch away from it… she looks sky ward and is glad she'd begun to put up her wares…

Envoy smiles, "Well, Bem won't cause any trouble unless something attacks him… or tries to paint him."

Vielanika says, "Well … if you're certain… But what if the dragon sneezed? Would that be considered an attack?"

Arcadia grits her teeth… her thoughts of 'it's not a spider don't worry over it' rolling over and over in her mind as she searches for a way 'up' into the other booths… Bright eyes glance from the Zelak to the old structures the city is build upon…

One of the Kavi 'master thieves' stops and points over at the Zelak and dragon. The other Kavi 'thieves' gather nearby, along with the 'Inquisitor', and they begin chattering in rapid-fire Kavi.

Envoy thinks a moment, and then whispers to Veilanika, "None of the shopkeepers here would try to cut Bem up and sell him as snacks, would they? I don't know if Arcadia sneezes."

Vielanika hmms. "You know, Envoy, I've always WONDERED why anytime I see a Zelak, I feel an urge to go ea – Ah, nevermind. No, they wouldn't do that."

A Savanite comes sprinting down the street of the bazaar. Running hard, she slows to a stop and pants against a wall. The most striking thing about her, is her red hair, all Savanites have either brown or black. She is also tall, and her spots look more like large blotches. Her breath back, she stands and looks around at the shops.

Across an empty lot from Arcadia's booth is Dartuk's Delectables, filled with cages and cases of squirmy and crawly Eeee munchies. "Wiggleworms! Get your wiggleworms!"

Arcadia making sure non are too close she spreads her huuge wings… she wiggles one testingly and then the other. she goes down on all fours and coils up like a spring. 3 2 1 lift off! Boing! She sproings into the air and swoops up towards the booth above hers.

The elderly Eeee seamstress smiles at the approaching dragon. "Oh my! My my … Might I interest you in some of our fine fabrics? I can make dresses to size… "

The Kavi 'Master Thieves' come to some sort of consensus, and disappear into the shadows. Amazing! How do they do that? Meanwhile, the Kavi child who was wrapped in a blanket as if it were a cloak, begins to approach… Then stops as Arcadia takes wing. "Wow!" he yelps.

The fire-haired Savanite takes a piece of paper from her pocket, and compares it with the sign for Dartuk's Delectables. Wrinkling up her nose, she puts the note away, and heads for that booth. The dragon's launch startles her, and she leaps across the street.

Vielanika lets out a startled squeak as the large purple dragon lands on the balcony. She moves over to make more room, although there's still more than plenty.

Envoy smiles and waves, "Hello Arcadia! Remember me? We met at the party a while back."

Arcadia smiles at the elderly Eeee "Hello!" she chuckles softly… "I guess it was too much to ask for any thing ready made … " she perches carefully and looks around… blinking she turns her big eyes to Envoy. "Yes! Why indeed I do… How are you doing Envoy?!"

The brown bat bard recovers enough of her composure to say, "Oh! Hello, Lady Arcadia. So good to see you again."

The slave, also known as Leeta, approaches the shop, buying a rather unappetizing wiggleworm. Holding it in her fingers, she stands directly in front of the booth. Then she eats the worm, one bite, two bites, three bites and it's gone.

The green-and-black Zelak darts immediately out from under the balcony, frightening the little cloaked Kavi who runs screaming. "AHH! It's going to eat me! Help!" Bem swivels and then stares up at Arcadia and Envoy.

Envoy says, "Oh, I'm doing much better now that I'm not in a coma."

Vielanika seems fairly distracted – ignoring the Kavi and, for the moment, Envoy and Arcadia – as she looks across the street.

Arcadia nods as well to Vielanika… her ears sliding down as she recalls meeting her once before. Then… she blinks! Eat? Who's gonna eat what? She grabs her mouth worriedly as that's not the first time she's heard that.

Envoy looks over the edge, and waves to Bem! "It's okay Bem!"

The cloaked Kavi zips over to Leeta and points back at the now-immobile Zelak. "It's going to eat me!" the Kavi child insists.

Bem says nothing to this allegation, only nods to Envoy.

Dartuk watches the Savanite eat the wiggleworm, then asks, "Might you care for a cup of Gishyworm Juice to wash that down? No cost at all."

Arcadia whews… for once it's not her who's being accused of wishing to eat some poor fellow. She glances down briefly before smiling at Envoy and Vielanika. "Is the Zelak with you?"

Leeta's expression is not one of pleasure. However, she still stands there, and very carefully licks each finger. The index finger, little finger, then middle, then 3rd finger. Satisfied, she turns and bolts up the street again.

Vielanika's ears vibrate faintly, and her nose twitches. "Hmm."

Envoy nods to Arcadia, "Yes, Bem is my bodyguard."

The cloaked weasel-like child looks startled. Usually the 'pathetic little Kavi' routine works wonders. He tries sniffling at Dartuk… Then gets a sniff of the wares.

Envoy says, "He can be very… ahh… zealous."

Vielanika looks to Envoy, then squeaks, "I'm terribly sorry, Envoy, but I just … remembered something very important I need to do right now."

The mock-Inquisitor says, "EWWW!"

Dartuk scowls down at the Kavi. "Scaring away customers. Hmph. SHOO!" Not that Savanites would be deemed 'customers' normally…

Envoy blinks at Veilanika, "Oh… alright. Thanks for helping me pick something out."

Arcadia smiles lightly as she waves her tail-tip to Vielanika. "Bye," she offers lightly. Quietly she asks Envoy "Has there been a great need for a guard?"

Vielanika nods, faintly nervous. "Yes, of course, anytime. Take care!" With that, she snaps out her wings and dives off the balcony, winging up above the buildings and quickly out of view.

Bem moves and stands near Dartuk's stand to ensure that it has a good line of sight on Envoy and Arcadia. The Kavi child yeeps. "It's gonna eat me! It's gonna eat me!" He runs down the street.

Dartuk scowls at the Zelak. "Shoo! Go watch somewhere else, you'll scare the customers even worse than that little squirt."

Arcadia watches Envoy for her answer. "Have you been in danger? or is it just for safety's sake?" she smiles softly.

Envoy holds onto the black outfit that Veilanika picked out for her, and waits for a chance to buy it once the seamstress is done sizing up Arcadia. "Well, no, I haven't exactly been in any physical danger. Bem was just assigned to watch over me as a precaution, and possibly as a reminder. I sort of belong to Shkarkin Hive now, as a Scout."

The Zelak doesn't stir from its watching position by Dartuk's stand. The proprietor starts to look nervous.

Arcadia qurrks an eyebrow as well as an ear. "Really now… I don't believe I'm familiar with those… "

Envoy shivers a bit at the memory of the Queen biting her. Odd, it never bothered her to think about it before. "It's a Zelak hive, one of the major sources of chitin products."

Arcadia mmms slightly as she shifts her weight… ugh to be surrounded by those… critters … ugh! again! "It… must… be interesting… but I thought you were a bard?" She looks thoughtful. "I am wrong ?"

Dartuk says again, "Hey now. You ain't one o' them Temple Zelaks, are you?" He takes up a long and thin spit which he normally uses for roasting wiggleworms over the coals.

Envoy smiles, "Oh yes, I'm a Bard. But I also have a need to explore and examine the culture and races around me."

Arcadia smiles as she nods her towering head, her cresting fan waving in the wind. "Oh… I suppose that's one way to do it… do you enjoy being there?"

Envoy blinks at the question. "Well… in hindsight, no, I didn't enjoy being in the Hive exactly… but at the same time I felt very much at home."

Arcadia frowns… "Then if you dislike it, can you not leave?" she wraps her wings about her back.

Envoy says, "The Zelak way of life is closer to what I'm used to is all. I don't think I can break my ties to Shkarkin Hive until I've accomplished the task Queen Shkarkin gave me."

Arcadia nods a bit… "And what's that if I'm allowed to ask? I don't wish to get you into any trouble."

Bem says nothing as Dartuk's Eeee voice grows higher-pitched.

Envoy says, "Oh, just to represent the Queen's interests when I contact my home 'hive' again."

Arcadia arches an eyebrow, "Oh? What home is that? The one not here? But beyond the stars, to the dragons who made you?"

Envoy says, "Yes, another world. I estimate that it shouldn't be more than another 5,000 years before Sinai's sun's galactic orbit brings it back within a spiral arm, and out of the Sargasso region. Then I can reestablish contact."

Arcadia ummms blinking blankly "I see… you expect to survive that long? 5000 isn't just a drop in the bucket you know… "

Envoy says, "Or at least my chances should be better then. I suppose the time scale is a long one… "

Envoy says, "It could just as easily happen tomorrow though. The procession makes it difficult to do naked-eye astronomy."

Arcadia nods briefly. "Well ah… good luck for all it's worth… " She looks thoughtful… She'd offer her help, but what could she do? Yes, she's a dragon, but she doesn't know any thing about what or how Envoy was created. "Mm, despite all that, are you enjoying the work you know find yourself doing?

A sudden cry alerts Envoy to the fact that her Zelak has gotten into trouble. Bem holds an Eeee snack-food proprietor's hand in a vise-like grip, a spit dangling uselessly from Dartuk's fingers. The Eeee yeeps. "Help! Help! Mad Zelak! It's gotten loose, I tell ya, it's gone berserk!"

Envoy smiles, "Yes, I think I'm enjoying it. I'll be more certain after a few more weeks, I think."

Arcadia mrks? as she looks over, "Oh my!"

Envoy eeps, and sets aside the black outfit before leaping over the edge of the balcony!

Envoy lands hard and runs up to the Eeee, demanding, "What did you do to my Zelak!!"

Arcadia just looks over the edge to watch.

Envoy examines Bem for any signs of abuse… or seasoning.

Dartuk is nearly white in his ears as blood drains from them. "I was just tellin' it to go away! Look, how 'm I s'posed to sell wigglyworms wit' a big squawkin' Zelak here, driving away all the customers? I ought to sue you in Temple court fer driving away business!" He pulls at his hand, trying to take it back from Bem.

Envoy says, "What's that in your hand? Did you hit Bem??"

Dartuk looks up at Arcadia for support. "You saw the whole thing, right?" he Skreeks.

Arcadia ummmms and shrugs, "Sorry… um why don't you both just um… let it go… No worries right? You're not hurt an' neither is the Zelak right? Let's just go on our own little ways hmm?"

Envoy eyes the cooking spit, and narrows her eyes as a private suspicion confirms itself. "I'll ask Bem to let you go if you promise not to try and cook him again!" She points accusingly to the spit.

"Cook it? Cook that bloody huge insect?" Dartuk considers it for a split second, then winces. "Yeah, you're on, just make it let go! I didn't do nuffin, it attacked me all by itself!"

Envoy says, "I doubt that. Bem was only defending himself. You can let him go now, Bem."

Bem rasps and then lets Dartuk go. The Eeee shakes his hand and glares at Envoy and Bem.

Arcadia meeps softly as she watches on… "'ho-boy."

Dartuk grumps. "Fine, fine. I just don't want the Zelak scaring off the customers. Go park him somewhere else."

Envoy looks over the wiggle-worms…

Envoy turns back to the balcony and asks Arcadia, "Can Bem stand on top of your wagon for awhile?"

Arcadia wrinkles her nose and shakes her head, "Umm, I don't think that'd be a good idea. "

Envoy hmms, and turns back to Bem. "I need to go back up there to buy something. Why don't you try to scare up some customers for this poor worm-monger so he won't be so upset?"

Bem rasps. "More specific directions are required."

Arcadia smirks lightly as she sits up. With a yawn she glances at the Seamstress and informs her she'll come back tomorrow.

Envoy says, "Hmmm, well, just stand over there for now then, and I'll be right back!"

Bem clacks, then moves and stands where indicated. Several Kavi children in the shadows yipe! "It's coming to eat US now!" They scatter into the depths of the Bazaar.

Envoy flies back to the balcony to pay for her purchase (without the usual haggling), bids Arcadia goodnight, and comes back to collect Bem before anything else can happen…

Arcadia does likewise and jumps off the balcony, opening her wings to float on down.

Envoy hmms at the Kavis reactions. Maybe if she got some pretty pastel scarves to decorate Bem with, he'd be less imposing…

Envoy leads the Zelak out of Little Babel, and asks him, "What's your favorite color, Bem… "

Bem says, "I have no favorite color."

Dartuk grumps, and then looks over to Arcadia. "See if I ever offer you a special on wiggly-worms again." The Eeee folds his arms.

Envoy says, "I'll ask Veilanika about what goes best with green and black then… "

Arcadia smiles as she lands with a quiet thump, dust scattering in clouds about her. Thus the purple dragon calls it a night and lumbers into her wagon, closing the door to the world and opening the one to dreamland.

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GMed by Greywolf

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Today is 11 days after Reckoning Day, Year 24 of the Reign of Archelaus the First (6123)