Faeressar - the cordwainter's tent and the hammams

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Faeressar - the cordwainter's tent and the hammams

Post  Custer Thickett on Mon Mar 14, 2016 1:44 pm

The reflection of the sun off the crystal blue water of the fountains cast thousands of dancing lights into the colored tents and stalls off the marketplace that surrounded them.  The splash of their tumbling water a whisper behind traders shouting in Alzhedo and heavily accented common.  Some shouting their way, either offering blessings to Sim or advertising their goods to the rest.  

Cuss could see the diverse offerings of goods and services from their open display.  The custom of trade here would make easy pickings for even a novice footpad back in Amn.  Yet, as Cuss watched the locals go about their business, he could not spot any that looked to casing marks for thievery.  

As if sensing what Cuss was thinking, the outrider that had spoken outside the gates said, "Careful to pay coin or fair trade for what you take here.  In Calimshan, we remove hands from those caught stealing, and guest or no, your punishment would be no different."

Cuss expressed offense, "Oiy, I doan know what ya've been told of me kind, but I be a honest merchant, not a common thief."  

He cut a glance to Brahm, raising a brow at the boy when they shared look so as to suggest he take the man's words to heart.  

"Brahm and I have need of re-sizing and refitting our leathers, and I've need of buying a few things here.  Are we to meet at dusk?" Taking his leave of the others, Cuss waves Brahm forward to walk the tents with him.  

The variety of goods and sounds of traders haggling were a welcoming retreat from the wilds of their recent travels.  Custer stopped at nearly every display, looking over the inventory of offerings.  The markets of Esmeltaran brought many of these same goods for the vacationing well-to-do that loved the posh resorts of the scimitar, a peninsula stretching into lake Esmel just outside the city gates. 

Yet many of these goods puzzled Cuss.  Undoubtedly some of them came from the South and East by way of the Shinning Sea.  Lands he'd often fantasized about when dreaming of the reaches of his family's enterprise once he'd taken over from his father.  Something he now realized he hadn't thought of in a long while.

He reached into a crate of citrus and choose a vibrant fruit from the bunch.  The scarf wrapped merchant behind him rattling lines of Alzhedo past his ears, probably trying to tell him the variety of the produce and its price.  Cuss just smiled and offered the man an open palm of three copper.  He frowned and tried to slap the fruit out of Custer's hand and replace it with a heavier, dull, brown thing.

Three silver bought him two of his choice and the brown ball.  He shared the colored fruit with Brhamn, which covered both their faces with tart juice as they peeled and sucked into their meat.  The activity excited the boy, who chattered about his home between bites, the thick Tethryian accent a stark contrast to that of the locals around them.  

Cuss smiled as he tried to keep up with the tales as he finished and turned to brown one.  He knocked at it with his knuckles.  It was far too hard to peel with his fingers or teeth.  His puzzled inspection brought laughter from the vendor, who held out his hands, motioning to strike the fruit on a sharp stone he had sitting near the crate. 

Cuss handed the man the fruit, and watched as he beat a circle cut all the way around the thing, then pulled it open into two pieces.  The wafting smell was poignant and made the inside of his nose tingle.  Inside the hard shell were hundreds of tiny bright red fleshy fruits.  He scooped up a handful and tried one.  The sour sweet taste made his face pucker, but he was already reaching for more as his eyes started to water.

Further up the row, Cuss bought fresh new clothing from a merchant that held her nose and waved at the air when he approached.  He choose one of the thin white robes that he saw several of the locals wearing, along with some silk small clothes.  He also bought Brahm a new shirt to wear.  

Looking for a leatherworker to adjust their armor, Custer settled for a cordwainer that had two brown sets of leather armors hanging on display behind rows of the long boots that Sim's riders all wore.  The man working on binding the sole of a new boot had a long beard that he'd died half yellow and half purple.  He looked up meeting their stare with a glance, then swatted at them as he said something they didn't understand.  

He turned back to his boot while a younger man with a small black beard stepped forward to lean over their display and smile at them as he said, "He say that if you want boots you bring parents here."

Cuss and Brahm looked at each other, the human boy breaking into a smile as he realized the man had just called the Halfling a child.  No smile crossed Cuss's face.

He laid his linens across some boots to free his hands to point at the leather armor, then to his own.  "We need our armor refitted.  Can you do that here?"  

The man turned and spoke with the Cordwainer, who looked up to inspect the two from where he sat on the stool.  After a full minute of exchanged Alzhedo with the younger, the man stood up to set his boot aside and step forward out of the tent.  

Without pause or permission, the large man grabbed Brahms arm and lifted it to mark the length of his torso.  Surprised,  the boy struggled to pull away, but the man wasn't having it.  He nearly lifted him off the ground to hold him still as he kept talking over the younger man who struggled to keep up in translation.

"He say your leather is very old, worn, and smell bad for him do cheap.  He say he will do if you have gold and promise to wash your skin and burn the clothes you wear.  He say boy should not move.  Boy not move.  Boy not move."

Cuss laid a hand on Brahms shoulder to catch his look.  A nod was all it took for him to calm and resign to the man's rough measuring.  

Cuss reached into the inside of his cloak and armor to retrieve one of his coin pouches from its hiding place, and showed that he had the coin.  This brought about a difficult negotiation on the price that ended in agreement and with directions to the Hammams, which he hoped was a nice tavern with a cold tub and fresh soap.

While disrobing the plain black studded leather armor for the leather worker's bench, Cuss laid his belts and pouches out on a table inside the tent.  The large pile the load made was surprising even to him.  Pouches, cases, rolled tool sets, holstered hand crossbows, dirks, daggers, rags, oils, waterskins, and vials of various vicious liquids mixed from Nahzgul's pots of poisons.  

As he carefully tried to conceal the pendant of Cyric wrapped up in his pouch, his harp cloak clasp fell free, tumbling on the wood of the table to rest in full display.  The young man's eyes widened as he asked, "You Harp man?"

Cuss shook his head, "No, no.  This was a gift.  I'm but a traveling merchant."

The young man said something in Alzhedo to the bearded one, who pointed at Cuss's weapons as he replied.  Custer didn't need a translator to understand.

Some time later, after both their armor had been laid out, the young man said, "He say it be ready tonight since you pay well and before work like fool."

Cuss laughed, wondering if the man even understood that he was being insulting.  His ignorant smile suggested he did not.

When they left for the Hammams, he noticed the young man also leave the tent and disappearing into the crowd of the bazaar.  Dismissing his suspicion as being paranoid, Cuss thought of a half dozen reasons one would do so.

As his mind wondered with his exhaustion as a guide, Cuss lead them to lost in the streets.  Remembering the word Hammams, he made several attempts to ask for directions.  Every time the outstretched arms pointed at what looked to be a large domed temple.  He'd motion to wash himself to suggest he wasn't looking to pray, and every time he'd earn nods and smiles.

Finally, they joined the crowd entering the building.  The humidity from the steam baths inside hit them hard as soon as they stepped inside, and sweat beaded to streak down their faces.  

The interior of the building seemed even larger than the exterior.  It was completely open, with no walls to close off rooms, though several lined the perimeter of the dome.  Each stuffed with plants, couches, and pillows that supported hundreds of mostly naked locals smoking from large billowing pipes with long pipes that made them resemble the Octopus he'd once eaten at a fancy feast back home.  

In the center of the building was a large steaming pool with some sputtering fountains and tumbling water pouring out of several stone pipes surrounding it.  People stood in groups in the pool, either talking or bathing in the fresh water pouring out of the pipes.  

This was the type of bath house he had only heard stories of.  They did little to prepare him for the sight.  The culture of open bathing made him uncomfortable.  

In the wild, he washed in front of others out of necessity.  In the city, he had always been able to sink into a tub of warmed water alone or with one welcomed guest.  Though he'd seen the small steam baths of wealthy estates, this was far different.  The entire space of the building was larger than that of the Golden temple he'd visited in Imnescar, and it was all dedicated to the bath.  

Half turning to leave, Cuss considered the place for a moment, and after a shrug, he stepped further in to seek out an open cubby along the wall.  He passed several people that open stared at him, even though one group had a large red dragonborn sitting with them.  

Custer tried to get Brahms attention away from a group of naked ladies in the pool to tell him, "Might be best that ya wait outside, no?"


The boy nodded but kept walking.  Cuss didn't move to stop him.  

"Oiy, well, I spect ya can watch me things while I go, then I'll watch them while ya do it.  Doan look like most of these others brought packs of gear in, an I doan trust any of them to keep out of mine while me heads under water, yeah?"

Setting his pack, pouches, and belts on a table, he headed for the pool.

Some time later, after dressing in the new white robe he'd bought in the bazaar, and as they gathered their other items; a group of four similarly robed men with falchions hanging from sashes tied around their waists stepped across the Hammams toward them.  Brahm tapped Cuss's shoulder to alert him as they neared.  

He turned and watched as they slowed and spread out to flank the ends of the cubby's exits, the one in the middle opening his arms to turn his palms up.  A gesture Cuss took to mean that he came in peace, but one that made him hold his breath as he looked for an arcane whisper upon the man's lips. 

The clean shaven man spoke, "Ahlan Wa Sahlan to Faeressar.  I am told that you are a merchant of Amn that has just arrived to our beautiful city.  May I sit?"


Custer motions to the open cushion.  "Of course, uh, me lord?" 

The man turns his hands up to wave as he shakes his head, "Oh, no, no, forgive me, I am Naeema ibn Ur'ni," the man spins his right hand in a small whipping motion as he punctuates, "al-Sutani.  I am but a fellow simple trader like yourself."  The pats his robe flat with one hand and cradles his falchion with the other as he sits, then crosses them across his lap.  

"Tell me?" He asks.  

Cuss brings an arm across his waist as he politely bows, "I'm Custer Thickett, of Esmeltaran.  This is Brahm, of Tethyr."  

"Esmeltaran!  Yes, I know this place.  A city of rare decadence, no?"  

The man's mocking of his native accent made Cuss smile.  He nods.

"Tell me, Custer Tickett of Esmeltaran, what business would bring a Harper to this city?" Naeema cross his legs and rest his hands on his raised knee as he waits for Cuss to answer.

He sits as he sighs, then says, "I'm no more a Harp than ya are a simple trader, no?  Ya must of been told of me Harp pin.  Do ya like stories?  Iffen ya do, I can tell ya how I saved the life of the Harp that gave that to me saying I could use it to have the favor repaid."

Naeema shaked his head as he clicked through his teeth, "Tisk Tisk, why would anyone save a Harper's life?  Tell me?"

Cuss held his hands up, "Oiy, iffen ya doan like that story, then I'm sure ya'll like the one about how I'm a guest of Sim and the Janessar."

Naeema smiled and leaned as he replied, "Oh, guest you say?  Is it that you are guest or that he plucked you from dying in the sands, crawling, begging Sune or some other god for the mercy of water?" 

"Waukeen," Cuss corrects him.  

"Waukeen?" says, nodding and smiling.  He quickly turns the smile to a frown as he rises, flatting his robe.  
"I'll be seeing you, Custer Thickett of Esmeltaran."  Then he turned and they left as quickly as they had come.  Cuss just sat there, and wondered what in the hells he'd gotten into.

Brahm asked, "Where is the privy?"


.....


Custer refits armor for him and Brahm.
Buys new clothes of the local style.
Buys fruits.
Buys some chewing leaves, or Khat.
Buys some dried hashish.
Replaces some broken tools from his kits
Restocks his basic poisons.
Refills his crossbow bolt cases.
Bathes.
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Custer Thickett
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Re: Faeressar - the cordwainter's tent and the hammams

Post  Ao on Mon Mar 14, 2016 5:38 pm

Fantastic Cuss! Approved!
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Re: Faeressar - the cordwainter's tent and the hammams

Post  Custer Thickett on Thu Mar 17, 2016 3:27 am

8gp armor refits 
15gp clothes
4 silver on fruit
4gp 1 lb of each khat and hashish (trade and use)
4 gp tools restock
4 gp bolts
250 poison; malice


385.4 gp total
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Re: Faeressar - the cordwainter's tent and the hammams

Post  Ao on Thu Mar 17, 2016 9:59 am

Approved cuss!
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Re: Faeressar - the cordwainter's tent and the hammams

Post  Ao on Thu Mar 17, 2016 10:06 am

Approved cuss!
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