Finesse and Culture (Alija)

Alija finds some interesting items among the merchants

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A city floating in the center of a lake, Ravok is a place of dark beauty, romance and culture. Behind it all though is the presence of Rhysol, God of Evil and Betrayal. The city is controlled by The Black Sun, a religious organization devoted to Rhysol. [Lore]

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Finesse and Culture (Alija)

Postby Crow on September 22nd, 2016, 2:20 am

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13th of Fall 516 AV
(Please view This before posting. Self Moderated Event.

Deep within the Merchant’s Ring a caravan worked on setting up stalls to sell new goods to the people of Ravok. It wasn’t a usual occurrence for travelers to be granted passage to sell their wares within the city, but this particular group of merchants was persistent. Perhaps a good bit more persistent than what they should be. When gaining entrance to the city like every other traveler they were questioned. Using some of their exotic goods as gifts, their bribery is what bought their way into the city. Though, they had no intention of staying within the confines of the lake.

Across from Café Fleurs were their stalls. They attracted the few curious sorts to look at their goods. Among them were strange artifacts that many of the city had never seen before. Armors which clearly weren’t meant for humans, strange glass items and gadgets, instruments of all sorts, paintings, and various miscellaneous goods. They were mostly welcomed by the non-citizens which were quick to try and find various items which weren’t easily found in Ravok.

The citizens, however, shared both interest and speculations in the usefulness of such items. The merchants were a shady group. They always seemed to conspire amongst each other and talk to one another until a possible customer would come to view their wares. They would occasionally be seen arguing with one another and seemed to fester a great deal of anxiety. It was clear that they had been through quite a bit with their journey to Ravok. As such they were very eager to get rid of their wares.

Most of the merchants wore long robes or coats and had crystal shades of frost blue and green eyes. Mostly polite in their approach to others, these strange merchants would be very vague over the knowledge of their wares. Only stating various facts of the wares that would aid in the sale of such items.

Their shops would open fairly early in the morning and remain open until very late into the night. However, these merchants were the traveling sort and would not remain in the city but for one day. Their vibrant and determined attitude kept their stalls lively.

They were fairly well organized with wares assorted in such a manner that one could walk through the stalls as if it were an aisle. On either side one could see the various wares out in the open, and they allowed passing people to touch the items on display, save for the more exotic ones. All it would take is the slight interest before a merchant would approach and attempt to sale the item to the interested party.

~Thanks to Aladari Coolwater for the template
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Finesse and Culture (Alija)

Postby Alija on November 27th, 2016, 3:32 pm

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There were rumours, of course. Most things like this started with them. After all, a shady group of merchants that had managed to find their way into Ravok to sell the strangest goods couldn't go long without some story about them cropping up. The smithy was buzzing with whispered information, finding its way like smoke through the shop. There were rumours that the merchants were all Syliran knights in disguise, using it as a way to sneak into the city. There were others that claimed they were rich beyond belief and had bought the city. Most were ridiculous, far fetched claims that couldn't be true. Others had been fabricated there on the spot, by a speculator waiting for a pan to be made or by a blacksmith with an overactive imagination.

Only one of the rumours stood out to Alija - the one about the cursed goods. Her mind immediately flickered to the piano, the one that had been so hard to transport and bring with her, but she had done it all the same. That had been cursed, whatever way that was done. And she could help feeling curious about these new items popping up. She dedicated that afternoon to some investigating.

The market wasn't hard to spot. Half of Ravok flocked to it, fuelled by the same curiosity she possessed. The other half stayed far away, not wanting to get mixed up with this strange group. People moved around, most observing the curious wares. They were constantly attacked by the merchants, eager to sell their goods. Their organisation startled her too. The stalls were arranged so neatly, surprising for the short time they must have spent for the market to have appeared so suddenly. Alija could walk through the middle of aisles, arms outstretched and brush each stall, no matter where she went. Of course, she didn't, for there were far too many people.

Instead, she snaked around the stalls, moving up and down either side and sticking close to the curious wares, examining it carefully. She hadn't seen half these things, and others she had only glimpsed occasionally in the port of Zeltiva, shipped around by strange collectors or races. These were things normal people didn't have, didn't know about, didn't want, half the time. But the merchants wanted to sell. Although they appeared separated, arguing and muttering in their own closed circles, they leapt onto any curious customer, almost forcing them to buy something.

She watched them closely. Then she watched them closer. Focusing closely on her djed, she felt it bubble inside her, letting it shift before she began to direct it, channelling it to her eyes. As the magic shifted through her, she ignored the pain in her forehead, signs that she had been using it too much recently. Closing in on the merchants, she focused on the shifting smoke around them.

It was dark, but also bleached, in a way, light and very wispy. Tired, then. She was pretty certain that they were tired, weak and drained from a long journey. And frustrated - she could taste it, although she wasn't certain how. It tasted like frustration. She herself was frustrated, at the magic and how little it revealed. She could have guessed all that. There was nothing wrong with these merchants.

It was the goods they sold that would be more interesting.


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Finesse and Culture (Alija)

Postby Alija on March 26th, 2017, 4:03 pm

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There was anything to everything. One stall seemed to sell old oil lamps, another had jewellery that caught and cast the light in ways that couldn't have been real. A sharp noise - an instrument - caught her attention, and she turned towards the stall that was covered in them, wondering if there would be a link to her piano from Nyka.

The instrument that had been played was a simple flute on the first look, but on the second, it was clearly more than that. The person who had picked it up dropped it instantly on noticing it, and Alija swooped in, quickly taking the pieces in her hands and wondering how they fit together. They had strange markings covering them, and even more curiously, they were made from bone. There were magics, she knew that much, that worked with bones - were the markings the remains of one?

Looking up towards the merchant manning this stall, she gestured towards the flute, "Is this magic?" came her question, trying to show interest rather than distrust. The merchant shook his head - although she couldn't tell whether it was an answer or dismissal of her question - and began to speak himself, shouting out prices quickly at her in a constant plummet, despite her not agreeing nor disagreeing to any of them.

Closing her eyes, she blocked him out, taking a deep breath and letting the djed inside her tremble to match the aura of the flute. Bone - it was white to her sight, and she knew it anyway. Were they human? The aura had claw marks on it, almost resembling the markings on the flute, but not quite. Like animal claw marks - was this animal bone? Not just any animal, a large predator. Was it that that gave it such a strong aura?

It was definitely something that seemed interesting. "I'll take it," she said quickly, emptying her purse and placing the correct amount in his hand. He smiled, and she could sense his relief of making a sale. "What other interesting things do you have?"

As he rummaged through items, her eyes landed on one that interested her a little more than the rest, and pointed sharply at it with one finger. A violin, carved in wood darker than she had seen before, with fresh strings and a strange shape to it. A skull, that was what it resembled. The whole thing chilled her, and she focused her auristics on that too, trying to see if it had anything interesting to tell.

The aura was incredibly light, flickering in and out of her sight. It was too faint to make out clearly - age, this violin was old despite its appearance. The aura wasn't what interested her. There was something else there. Residual, although she couldn't make it out properly. A strong, residual aura.

Before the headache came, she stopped, deciding she would have all the time to investigate it at home. "And the violin?" she asked, and the merchant's face lit up even more.

"50 - no, 49 - no, 45 gold, for you, for you!"

That was why. It was a lot more expensive than the flute had been.

But she had spent a lot more on the piano, and it wasn't like she didn't have the money. "Sold," she smiled, taking the instrument from him with the money exchanged. She didn't even have hands left. And there was still a whole market to explore.


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Finesse and Culture (Alija)

Postby Alija on March 26th, 2017, 4:19 pm

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Once she managed to hold the flute and the violin, and have a spare hand for any more purchases, she thanked the instrument merchant, deciding nothing else interested her enough to excuse a purchase. Besides, the people squabbling at a stall near by seemed to be fighting over something that seemed a lot more interesting.

Cutlery.

Not just any cutlery though. A fork, spoon and knife. Created from what looked like pure silver, in the shape of a skeleton.

It was certainly interesting. The fork was a hand, the spoon a skull and the knife... the spine, perhaps? She couldn't tell with that one, but a spine would fit the theme.

Focusing on its aura, she waited for a few ticks for it to come into focus in her sight. Instantly, she knew it was silver - pure silver. The aura was all the same, no irregularities, no changes, and all the same in that glossy grey colour, almost shining in the light that didn't hit it. Pretty.

But also incredibly powerful. She couldn't see much else other than the aura, and her hearing had disappeared, with only the light chiming of the noise of silver and metal. Those senses weren't the worst hit. She had focused on it long enough the silver was gone. Instead, it was replaced with darkness, darkness and pain.

These weren't ordinary pieces of silverware.

Forcing it away, she looked up at the couple who were arguing about whether to buy it. Their conversation was so innocent and light compared to what she knew. Her head spun and she could still feel the darkness that brushed it.

This was not a nice set of silverware either.

She knew she wasn't going to let them get something that was so dark and possibly dangerous, especially not knowing what it was. That, and her curiosity - as much as she was wary of them, she had to figure out their story, why they were so dark.

"Give me them, now. How much?" Her demands were quick, and she was surprised with herself, shoving money in the merchant's direction quickly before the couple could do anything. They looked, a little shocked, and Alija looked straight back, eyes heavy. She didn't want to explain.

"Trust me, you would rather I have them," she said quickly, hurrying away leaving everyone confused (even the merchant, despite knowing more than he was willing to let on).

Three purchases. Was she going to go with a fourth?

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Finesse and Culture (Alija)

Postby Alija on March 26th, 2017, 4:42 pm

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Yes, yes of course came the answer, and she decided to tuck the cutlery away where their aura wouldn't bother her as she opened up her senses, letting the auras trickle in and out in the hopes of finding something else a little more powerful than expected.

One that was more than fitting pressed against her arm, and she shuddered at it, wondering whether it was an item or had to be a powerful djed user. It was much stronger than normal auras - and normally, the auras of objects couldn't be noticed if she brushed passed them. It was almost as if it was alive. And the woman had to take a good look around her, focusing on the auras of those around her. Normal. Normal. Normal. None stood out to her as the aura that had bothered her, but were auras of ordinary people going about ordinary things.

Then she focused in on that aura, and traced it back to the stall one which it lay. On a wobbly tin table, paintings were lain out, almost overlapping, some dark black and blues and others every colour that could be imagined. It didn't take long to pick out the strong aura in between the ordinary ones, Alija finding her eyes falling on a choppy scene of boats on water. The waters seemed to be in the middle of rising, the ships as if they were about to snap into two any second. That was the one. It was captivating, not because of the image, but because of something deeper.

She needed it.

"This painting," she said, capturing the attention of the merchant who nodded quickly, ready to take the painting and hand it over to her, "Tell me about it." As she waited for a response, she found its aura again, searching through the mists and watery sludge that formed it. As if it were alive, it twisted and changed, although much slower than a heartbeat, and reacted to her curious touch, shrinking back and staring straight back at her at the same time. There was something else there, hidden by the polluted waters, and she struggled to make it out. A glimmer of light, almost, behind the darkness that formed the outer aura, a glimmer of light that was a separate entity.

"...15gm, only 15gm," the merchant's words came out, breaking her concentration and the other aura slipped back behind the murky greens and browns of the other. She flickered back up to him, wondering why the price was the only thing he was willing to share.

"Where did you get it from? Who painted it?" She longed to ask about the aura, about why it was so strong, but bringing up magic wasn't the right idea.

He shook his head, "15gm, just for you, just for you." It was clear he had an accent, and was trying to use the fact that his first language wasn't common to excuse why he wasn't answering her questions.

Although what had she been expecting? None of these merchants wanted to answer anything - they wanted to sell, and sell it quick. Fishing in her pocket, she pulled out some coins and counted them. 13gm5. That was close enough - and she wasn't going to get more out and show the merchant that she could pay more. "All I've got," she lied through her teeth, but the merchant didn't really care. He took it gratefully, swapping it for the painting.

She really didn't have the hands to carry it. But it was okay - this junk seemed very interesting. That was worth it.


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