[RP Episode] Tales of the Town: The Coup


Pál Ács had been stall master on the freedom square ever since he left Roklavia in 2374 r.r. He had then, along with wife and kids, taken the opportunity to take his leave when the pirate guild began hiring deck hands in their village. Smuggling the family members onto the ship, he dislodged a longboat once they approximated maruban territory and fled for the mainland with them. Arriving in the capital by autumn, he was lucky enough to be titled market caretaker, upon which he quickly moved up to being the stall master as his predecessor succumbed to Ebon Flu, and as he had a good head for economics. There he had remained since, collecting the tariffs of merchants, keeping the stalls in order, and managing the protection of the goods at night time.

Pál stood in the relative shadow beneath the arch, leaning against a pillar on the square, rolling a thin copper coin in between his fingers. This day looked to be as good as any on the market. The stalls were busy, and almost all were occupied already, despite it being before 11 am. In fact, only a single stall still stood empty, dark and barren just right of the Statue of Valor. Next to it, a kaldarossi man stood gaping enthusiastically at the crowd while attempting to sell clothing of seemingly fine quality.

As he looked westwards he spotted a carriage drawn by a chestnut horse approaching the nearest bridge of the Dunír. Steering the animals were a man who Pál had difficulty making out over the heads of the busy square. However, the horse turned right after the bridge and came towards him. Pál went ahead to meet the figure and as he went, he noticed the queer garments he wore. He had never seen patterns like that in the north before.



Rukh Hormozd shook his bald-shaven head. He had no idea what he was doing up here, in the frozen north, freezing his Ahrmazed-blessed bottom off. Even the thick garment he wore, a long coat made of polyesters and other fabrics, barely managed to keep the chill out. Supply synth-leather boots on his feet crunched on the gravel of the northern city, as he led his horses north.

Horses, he thought, of all things! Like we’re in some sort of fairytale from the Golden Ages. Ridiculous! Still, it was the law. Shahanshah Gilgamesh had passed decrees strongly limiting the exposure of the other nations to Kavehan technology, both to not unnerve them too much and to preserve the secrets that went into their making. Either way, the cart had been piled high with his trade - rugs, fabrics, clothes of all sorts. His family had a long history as rugweavers and clothesmakers, and he was proud to continue that line and ply his trade. Of course, rather than the wool of his ancestors, the modern goods were made of synthetic fabrics - warmer, and more resistant to wear and tear. New chemical dyes also produced a dazzling array of colours, enabling the Kavehan artisanal weavers to create patterns more garish and outlandish than ever before.

He looked up to see a local man, apparently of some import, approaching. Clearly this was some kind of official, a market master or something of the sort. Well, Rukh had best be polite then. As the man approached, he bowed - forgetting for a moment about the warm fake fur hat he’d been wearing. The cold wind carressed his bald pate, and he shivered, frantically picking the thing up and putting it back on his head. Once again secure in his bodily temperature, he looked up to see the figure regard him with a lifted eyebrow.


As Pál got nearer, he couldn’t help but notice how very odd this man behaved. Not only were his coat of a strange kind of wool, but his behavior added further to the illusion of outlandishness. As the man bowed in greeting, his fur cap dropped to his feet. He stooped down and picked it up, revealing an almost bald head. He raised his eyebrows, as the man replaced it with a shiver. “I greet you to Maruba, stranger,” he croaked to him, “have you come to set stand in the square?


Jumping at the voice, the foreigner spoke haltingly, his language deeply accented and his choice of words hesitant. “Yes… I am merchant, I am to sell carpets.” He picked an embroidered silk handkerchief from his cart, showing it to the officer. “Look, ancient family craftsmanship. Very pretty, yes?”


Pál’s eyes widened in surprise. It truly was very finely crafted for a handkerchief. Maybe a wealthy merchant would find fancy for something like this? Or else his wife might? Anyway, it seemed solid business to place this man in the empty stall. “Seems to be in order!” Pál croaked, suppressing his excitement, “you’ll be in stall 12, if you mind,” he pointed at the shadowy wooden construction behind the man. “A stall here is three silvers a day, but it’s worth it mind!” He gestured in the direction of the sea of heads around them. “I doubt you’ll be here for more than three noons at most, especially with goods the likes of yours. They are attractive to the purchasers!