We’re in the wrong place, at the wrong time said Zy’an. Look around you, but don’t look like you’re looking around you!
He was right of course! The underground tunnelsand reconverted basements below Silvershore’s market area had indeed been turned into a thriving black market. The urchins roamed the “shops”, most of which were nothing more than an item or two located on a blanket, presided over by a merchant claiming loudly it’s unique qualities and special price.
Iricah noticed, as she always did roaming shops like this, that much of these things were knock offs of very real items she had seen, or heard about. The exceptions of course were the magical potions and scrolls, scattered widely amongst the vendors that cured everything, and gave powers the likes of which the buyer would be glad to have.
“The real action is over there from what I have heard,” whispered Hojo. He was pointing to an area where a rare door seemed to lead into a chamber, here deep underground. Only a few people had entered there, and they all had looked like high rollers.
Zy’an and the others walked closer, and a young human boy, slid out amongst the crowd and stopped them. Areia, and the others were no fools. Many of them had lived on the streets of Far Realm and they knew how these things worked. He smiled, and Areia felt a sense of deja-vu rise and fall along her spinal cord. “This area will cost you a gold, my friends,” said the boy sweetly but quickly and in a hushed tone, “But it’s worth it.” He then winked, and looked around. One hand was ushering them in, the other was held out for payment.
Each paid, and entered. And that’s when they saw that he was right.
And he was also so, so wrong.
“This is a shopper’sss paradissse,” said Thrak to himself.
Earlier that day, they had docked in Silvershore. Only Iricah and Frank had been to Silvershore before, and as The Spinnaker came into the small harbor, the differences to when they had been there last were glaring. The harbor itself was proportioned strangely, as though it had changed shape. They wouldn’t learn until later that this was due to such a bombardment by the Sarasin forces, that the bay itself was blasted into something new, something resembling a big hole into which the ocean had leaked into. Guards were everywhere, and they looked serious. There wasn’t a single structure not destroyed, construction was everywhere, roofs were half thatched. Only the temple mount, looked functional. Silvershore had been an example, a shining light upon a hill for the other colonies to follow. Now, it looked as though it were a place, that would be hard to bring back to any semblance of it’s former glory.
Thrak wasn’t allowed to be amongst his colleagues. He would have called them friends, but lizardfolk didn’t consider friends in the same way as humans. Besides, he figured the fact that he would have a hard time eating their fingers, should they die in battle, had put them at least on a different level, at least with him. And that would be good enough. He was starting to wonder where he would end up after this nonsense that began in Far Realm. It was the first time, he had ever considered what the humans called a “future”. A strange concept for a member of a race of humanoids that did not even have the word in their own language.
Besides, he wasn’t sure yet though if they would eat his fingers, they certainly didn’t seem to mind that he slept outside. The Celns looked down upon his kind, and on a finger snack. Which made no sense to him. He remembered once, Lord Haryk had been disgusted by his trophies. Thrak tried to explain that it was the perfect snack, the right crunch. Just the right chew. Haryk wasn’t having any and told him he never would.
But it had been a while since he had seen Lord Haryk, or the ancient old mage. And now he was here in Silvershore, a new group, the same treatment. This was the first time since docking, Thrak was allowed to stroll along and be his scaly self. After Tabraxon and the other Order of Crimson had left, Thrak had found his way into the underground wares market with a few others waiting in the wings. Although he had seen the others, he decided to spend some time looking on his own. It was nice to not have to answer to every humans needs, once in a while.
Thrak walked among the stalls.
“This is a shopper’s paradise,” said a wicked voice.
Things happened so quickly.
Zy’an and Iricah remembered Hojo’s stunned face as the magical incantation reverberated off the stones of the magical market around them. It was a perfect trap indeed. The wares here were infinitely better, and the prices were just right. A small give away came at the end, when Areia noticed several merchants not looking at one another. She knew better. Merchants in a space this small, weren’t just interested in the buyers, they were interested in the buyers not buying from other sellers. She tried to alert the others, but she was having the hardest time putting two fingers to her temple. She figured the 13 Dying God knock-off ales she had had that night, might be having something to do with it.
“Smrufffing’samutter” she garbled nonsensically.
A green glow enveloped the entire room, as magical items and objects glowed brightly, blinding them with brilliant light. None, though, shone more than the lanthorn Areia carried. It was like a miniature sun, and for a brief moment, all eyes took it in. Mouths agape. Then, a woman, a tiefling in fact, revealed by a hood that dropped instantly, barked commands. And from all directions, the brigands sprung their trap!
Zy’an groaned inwardly, and took a defensive stance as one of the enemy spat out a spell which sent spiderwebs growing outward from in between the rocks of the chamber. Soon the entire place was covered and several of them, and the other attackers were stuck!
“Welljunosometimejujustgottaplayalittletuneand,” garbled Areia, and withdrawing her flute, she played a couple of notes, and vanished. The tieflings’ eyes narrowed and grew deeper red.
“The other prizes!” she raged to the attackers. They were a ragtag assortment, some of them even dressed like members of the order of the Flame. Whoever this group was, they were quite the collective.
A small halfling sat at The Dragon’s Fall Bar and Inn. It had been “closed” for some time, but that didn’t stop this particularly inebriated fellow from ordering. He knew with Tabraxon and the clergy gone, and the market begun below, no one was going to ask him to go anywhere, if he just kept to his drink.
Next to him appeared a very drunk elven woman. It was rather sudden, he thought, but he wasn’t complaining. She had a flute to her lips which he found odd, since he didn’t hear any music. And his eyes were hurting. He looked around, his head moving before his eyes could, and found there was a lanthorn glowing brightly clipped to her belt buckle.
“…Saybyebye,” said the elf.
“Byebye,” said the halfling, smiling brightly.