A Night at the Market

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A mystical street market that appears nightly in the Night Canton, populated by local merchants specializing in the magical, the mystical, and the uncanny.

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As the sun sets over the City, the Night Market appears once again.  Today the first eager merchants find theirs booths set and waiting for them in a large brick-paved plaza, centered around a large wishing fountain in the Night Canton.  Four stone statues watch in silence as the vendors set out their wares, and the first early customers start rolling in to explore the mystic market.  As dusk turns to twilight turns to night, the Market comes alive.  Dozens of booths occupied by happy vendors, selling everything from magic wands to roast duck sandwiches.  Entertainers cavort and juggle and sing under a starry sky, illuminated by blazing torches and the soft blue light of twin moons.

The Night Market is open once again.

The Night Market is a traveling marketplace specializing in magical items and trinkets, but with something for everyone.  Good food, fun times, and cheap entertainment for anyone who happens by.
This is a casual social RP.  There is no set plot and it will not be heavily GMed, so players are expected to entertain themselves and each other.  There is no posting schedule or approvals.  Any character is welcome to join the thread as they please, no permissions are necessary.
Edited by: Bob the Outcast on 02/16/2015 - 23:17

It was probably not the grandest of entrances, but maybe one of the more unusual ones, that the visitors of the Night Market could witness, if they happened to look at the right place in the right second.
Completely out of the blue, but without any flash or bang, two people stumble, or rather tumble, upon the streets of the City.
A closer inspection would reveal that they're pretty young, and obviously unprepared for whatever happened to them. They look similar enough to each other to be closely related, are apparently from a hybrid race with fox-like features, and both wearing a kind of sleeveless one-piece clothing that could be described as a shortall at best. Their fur looks blue in the moonlight, except for the few black parts. Apart from that, they look pretty confused.

"Ouch. Why is it suddenly so dark here? Cassie, are you hurt?" "Ouch, too. Not much, I guess. What kind of foul trick was that, Al? This time you've overdone it."
However, in the meantime Alan, the slightly smaller one of the two, caught a glimpse of the two moons in the sky while brushing himself down. "Oh...my... God... We're not in Kansas anymore." His twin sister, after getting up, replied: "Where is your mind, brother, we haven't ever been to Kansas before." Then she looks up to the sky, following her brother's gaze. "We're screwed. Seriously."

"Make way!  Make way!"  The twins are nearly bowled over by a passing merchant, over his shoulder a long pole from which hang numerous bottles of strange glowing liquids and pickled horrors.  A squid-faced man passes going the other way, hauling a wheeled cage behind him and gibbering wildly for the children to get out of the way.  The tiger-striped dragon in the squid-man's cage snarls at Cassandra as it passes.  A group of six-inch tall bearded gentlmen scurry past the twins' feet, squeaking "Pardon me, pardon me, pardon me..."

No one seems to have paid any special notice to the kits' arrival.  Though one passerby does stop briefly, a thing that looks like a polaroid camera walking on a set of seven-foot-long spider legs.  It pauses briefly, leans down close, and clicks a picture with a bright flash of light before turning and going about its business.

Almost instinctively, the kits jump aside (hoping not to hurt the small bearded gentlemen in doing so), look around quickly, and try to hide between two random market booths. From a hopefully safer position, they should be able to get a better impression of their surroundings.
Of course, compared to the horror of possibly being trapped worlds away from home, the pickled horrors in bottles may lose a bit of their effect on them. Still, Cassandra twitches at the dragon's snarl and moves further backwards, hoping that she wouldn't knock over anything behind her. Alan looks at the squid-man's face, feeling suddenly reminded of a certain fictional entity, and pushes the thought as far away as possible.

The walking polaroid camera may have caught a wide-eyed impression of two, clinging to each other, somewhere between utter disbelief and mild shock.   
However, it's not as if they wouldn't adjust in time. If their actions didn't trigger any immediate event, they'll soon calm down and check their environment for potential threats.

It's difficult to say what isn't a threat.  While the kits are less likely to be stepped on now, there is very little familiar or even sane on display.  There's a man on fire across the square, though he doesn't seem concerned, and in fact is receiving applause from a small crowd.  It's a busy night at the Night Market, and all manner of alien and inexplicable things are coming and going, though none of them pay any particular attention to the kits.

If they think to use their special awareness, they'll detect a powerful aura of unfamiliar "energy" across the whole market.  And if they dare to look deeper, they may sense an almost incomprehensible power lurking somewhere far beneath their feet, an energy that permeates the very stone of the City.

An actually vaguely familiar sight appears when a normal human being stops near the kits' hiding place, pausing to adjust the satchel he carries.

Caden Bennett came to the Night Market to do some shopping, and he hasn't had much luck tonight.  "You'd think it would be easy to find dragonscale," he mutters to himself.  "Blasted mage faction must be hoarding again..."

He pauses to adjust the satchel he carries, the strap cutting into his shoulder uncomfortably.  He hasn't noticed the two young foxes lurking between booths nearby, but he's probably the most familiar thing they've seen tonight.  A brown-haired human, of normal size and build, dressed like he'd heading to a Ren Faire but otherwise not looking like anything from a surreal dream or nightmare.

In an unclear stuation, and even more so in an unfamiliar environment, it makes some sense to sort threats into "immediate" and  "possible". Having apparently evaded the former, Cassandra and Alan have at least a litte bit of time to reflect on what happened and check their options.

"It could have been worse", Cassandra dryly remarks to Alan, who, still a bit shakily, immediately replies: "Yup, sure, we could have landed in a desert, deep sea, lava, solid rock, generally hostile environment, something like that". But the fox-girl shakes her head. "No, dear brother, that's not what I meant. Did it occur to you that they speak our language? Lucky coincidence, isn't it? Let me check something..." Producing a device from her pocket that looks rather similar to a mobile phone, she briefly looks at the screen. "Nope, seems like our luck ends here. Yours?" Hesitantly, Alan takes a look a similar object from his own pocket and shrugs, with a disappointed expression. "Disconnected. As expected. Can't even tell Mom that we'll be late for supper."
Intentionally not commenting on his last remark, Cassandra inquires further, even though having checked for the same already: "And you're absolutely sure that there is nothing on this side, no trace of an anomaly, fissure or anything?" Slightly flustered, her brother admits: "Can't feel it, sis. This whole place is kind of charged and full of noise, but the background texture seems smooth as usual." Cassie just nods. "I would feel more comfortable asking for help if I knew whom I'm dealing with." The two silently look at each other for a moment. "Care to look around?"

They might have taken a closer look at the burning man, and judged either from his own unconcerned-ness, or from the energy distribution within his fiery aura, that this impressive stunt wouldn't hurt him much, if at all, but by now satchel-carrying human must have arrived at their hiding place.

Overhearing the stranger's remark, and remembering the caged dragon his sister shied away from, Alan can't resist commenting on it, and even if his words where ment for Cassandra, he might have said them too loudly: "...could have asked the guy with the dragon who just came by..."

"Hm?  What's that?"  He glances around briefly, then notices the kits.  "Oh, you mean the tentaclor?  Technically that should be the dragon with the guy, not the guy with the dragon.  The tentaclor is just a servant, the dragon's the one in charge.  Duke Morlguen."  His face darkens.  "Big jerk.  He wouldn't deign to speak to my sort, much less sell me something."

Caden jumps out of the way of something that looks like a mix between a yeti and a centipede, pressing his back against one of the booths while he continues to search through his bag.  "No, it's no use finding dragonscale tonight.  There's a shop over in Stone that might get a shipment next week.  I'll just focus on the elemental salts I need."  He seems satisfied with his rummaging, suddenly leaving the satchel alone and glancing from one kit to the other.  "...Sorry, were you hiding?"  He glances around, worried he's given away the game to some pursuer.

The news about the dragon and his servant immediately put a surprised expression on both of the twin's faces, complete with cocked ears. That and maybe the fact that the knowledgeable stranger is willing to talk to them so easily, makes them both move out of their semi-hidden position. They may well be too trusting, after growing up in a relatively safe place, but still, this guy might their best bet right now if it comes to gathering the knowledge necessary to get by, and eventually away from this place.

"No, we were just trying not to get knocked over", the fox-boy replies before his sister could interfere, "and we're a little bit lost. Could we please tag along for a while to get familiar with this place?"
Normally, he wouldn't have made such a request without a proper introduction, or checking for Cassandra's approval. Right now, however, he just didn't want this chance to slip away.
 

"Tag along?  Oh, uh... I guess that wouldn't be any trouble."  He watches for a gap in the traffic, then starts along his way again, beckoning the twin foxes to follow.  "Lost, you say?  Easy enough in this city.  Where were you trying to get to?"

"Home", Cassandra replies quickly, not wanting to have her brother do all the talking, "but that may be a long way."

The kits follow the human rather nimbly through the traffic. It should be noted that they are fooled by his life-like aura, at least at first sight, having no special sense for the kind of magic he uses, or for spiritual entities.

Not wanting to be enitrely impolite, she adds: "By the way, thanks. I'm Cassie, and you've already talked to my twin brother Al. Nice to meet you."

"Oh aren't we all, aren't we all."  Precisely what the augmented aura is for, he'd be quite pleased to hear it's working so well.  Of course if he knew what the kits were capable of he wouldn't let them anywhere near him.

"Oh!  Caden.  Caden Bennett."  He stops to shake their hands.  His skin is frightfully cold to the touch, though it isn't a particularly chilly night.  "Pleasure to meet you, Cassie.  And you, Al.  You were going home, you say?  Where would that be precisely?  Which canton do you...?  Oh!  Do you mean you're new to the City?"

Maybe the kits are still to young to fully understand Caden's first statement, otherwise they would have nodded in appreciation.

While they can't help but notice his cold hands, considering the possibility that this apparently healthy human talking to them could be dead was probably the last thing the twins wanted to do. Usually, at least one of them would have recommended having his blood circulation checked by a doctor, but Mr. Bennett's further inquiries incidentially save him from such invasive remarks. "Yes", the two reply almost in unison, "we're... new to the City".

"That's quite the meaningful pause," he says with a sudden grin.  He steps aside briefly to let a man-sized spider pass.  She thanks him in a thick southern accent and flutters six sets of eyelashes flirtatiously.  "Am I right to assume you didn't come here entirely on purpose?  That you are, in fact, not entirely certain where you are at all?" 

Caden's initial comment makes Alan laugh briefly, but not entirely with happiness. His sister is already looking at the passing spider, which is most certainly a distracting sight. Of course, being able to talk makes a man-sized spider even more distracting, though, on the other hand, at least less threatening.

"Yes, on both accounts", Cassandra replies this time, seeing no real reason to hide the obvious from their new acquaintance, and feeling secretly accomplished for being quicker than her brother for once. "Is it that easy to tell?"

He chuckles.  "Well, you're far from the first to get here by accident."  The human comes to a tall stone edifice, a sort of stone lamp post on a high pedestal.  After checking that it will take his weight, he clambers onto the pedestal, craning his neck to see something in the distance.  "Yes, I thought so... Come on up here."  He reaches a hand down to help the kits up.  "You should probably see this sooner rather than later."
 

Unfortunately for the human, he appears to have attracted the attention of another market go-er. This one is grey furred, robust, and, for reasons that no one save Caden can understand, is completely flipping her lid, snarling and growling at the human from the other side of the lamp post.

In fact, Ashes would probably have outright attacked the human already, were it not for the fact that she was traveling with her sister. Her much smaller and frailer sister.

Verde is currently restraining Ashes by the arm, although that doesn't look like it would be enough to stop her if she does decide to try and shred Caden. "Stop it! Ashes, pleeeease...." She manages a brief and incredily embarrassed wave to Caden and the two foxy-people. "She's harmless...Ashes, stop that. It's not polite."

Kind of relieved about such a lot of understanding, the kits easily follow Caden, curious about what sights he might be talking about. They are rather lightweight, so the pedestral should carry them all - if they are not prevented from reaching the top by unforseen events.

"Eep!" It's not entirely clear which one of the twins said that, but in fact, both recoil from the growling whatkin. Alan waves back to Verde, shyly, while Cassandra tries to keep her head low, not entirely sure what to think of the situation.

His hands are terribly cold, despite the warm night.  He must have terrible circulation.  Still, that's no reason for the other child-monster-thing to treat him like she is.  He nearly topples right off the little pillar, but manages to avoid knocking the kits off in his moment of panic.  "Whoa!  Okay... Uh..."  Getting back down seems like it would only put him in more danger.  "Alright just... Just calm down there..."  He glances upwards, wondering if he could climb up the lamp post.  And whether the critter attacking him can climb, as well.

There's a couple of moments where Verde's feet leave the ground, but after a long half minute of pleas about 'politeness' and 'being nice', she seems to have succeed in her goal of convincing her sister to stay on the ground.

There's a relieved sigh from the 5' 2" tween, as she anxiously adjusts the simple white dress she's wearing. "Sorry, sorry. Ashes, say sorry." There's a grunt in response.

"Sorry, she sometimes , she doesn't usually, sorry." After another deep breath, Verde tries to latch onto something to say that isn't an apology. "This is Ashes, I'm Verde. Um. She doesn't like some people. But she's not dangerous."

For someone 'not dangerous', Ashes is impressively intimidating, standing a full half foot higher than her sister, and already showing the first signs of having her arm and tail blades grow in. She just stands there, glowering at Caden.

While being pulled up onto the lamp post, Cassie makes a mental note to remind Caden to take care of his health later - his cold hands don't feel healthy to her. However, once again, more urgent matters prevent her from such talk - like enraged whatkin kids.

Of course, the twins are unacquainted with the whatkin race, but after Ashes' display of rage, it's a bit hard for both of them to believe in Verde's statements about her harmlessness. Besides, they know instinctively that they wouldn't stand a chance against a raging whatkin of about their own size.

On the other hand, it's not as if they weren't observant. Obviously, the larger one of the whatkin sisters was merely angry at their new acquaintance, even though why is entirely unclear to them. The younger one seems rather friendly, so now Cassandra dares to step forward, carefully and still ready to retreat. "Um, hello, nice to meet you... He's Al, I'm Cassie. Did we do anything wrong?" She mostly addresses Verde, not sure if her sister is willing to talk to them at all. Meanwhile, Alan tries to appear calm, but in his mind there is still the image of Ashes as a scary monster - which is strange, as her sister doesn't seem into hurting people at all.

Caden just watches, very closely, one hand protectively clutching his bag.  He's ready to act if the... child becomes violent again.  He keeps his free hand on Alan's shoulder protectively, perhaps sensing the boy's fear, or perhaps just to comfort himself.

Ashes

Truthfully, it might be more a matter of able rather than willing to talk,  given that the larger whatkin has yet to utter something that might reasonably be considered a word, weven when communicating with her sister. At least she's given up on the snarling, although anyone with sharp enough ears is still going to catch the occasional rumbling growl from her.

Still, after a bit more arm tugging and pleading from her sister, she settles into a comfortable crouch at the base of the pillar, occupying herself with crowd watching (and keeping a leery eye on Caden).

Verde

"No, no, no. Ashes just..." She makes a helpless guesture, before efortlessly vaulting up to join them, easily gaining purchase on the lamp with her tail and feet. "She just, it's hats or beards or I dunno. And she gets growl-y, and... I dunno. Ashes is harmless." Even she doesn't sound convinced by that, although it could just be her reedy, anxious voice.

Alan doesn't mind Caden's hand on his shoulder right now. He doesn't feel much of the unnatural cold through his fur, and to him it's kind of reassuring to have someone at his side who is an adult and probably able to handle all dangers along the way, especially when being in a strange and dark place populated with possibly dangerous creatures. He still twitches with each of Ashes' low growls.

For now, Cassandra has got a better grip on her fears. She smiles at Verde, quite aware that the smaller whatkin sister now has some issues to deal with as well, and tries to calm the green-eyed girl, even though her own voice might be slightly shaky still: "Nah, it's all good. You saved us, I guess... Thanks. By the way, impressive jump." With a little pause, she adds: "And if you say that Ashes won't bite us, I'll trust you on that, too."

Verde relaxes slightly (but only slightly) with Cassandra's reassurances, and perks up considerably when she compliments the younger child's jumping ability.

"Aunt Erica is showing me how to be a acrobat. She does shows here. That's why me and Ashes are waiting." even being talkative, her voice is terribly reedy. She may just be unfortunate that way. She blinks at the cubs and especially Caden a couple of times, gears clearly turning in her head. "Why are you climbing the lamp post?" She climbs because it's fun, but she's been learning that not everyone thinks that way. And it's an awfully silly thing for an adult to do!

Well, at least there is an adult somewhere, though clearly this Aunt Erica is a rather negligent guardian.  "Oh, uh, I just wanted to show the other kids..."  He cranes his neck again, looking out over the tents and booths and past buildings.  "Yes, just over there, you see?"

It might be difficult to spot without a boost, but he's indicating what appears to be the horizon.  A massive stone sculpture sits at the end of a river of some sort, creating a waterfall that tumbles over some sort of cliff.  But from where they are standing, there doesn't seem to be anything beyond the cliff.  There's a lurching feeling of vertigo for anyone staring too long into that endless expanse of sky, dimly lit with the last purples of twilight.

Cassandra doesn't mind Verde's reedy voice - in fact she readily assumes that her voice might sound like that due to physical reasons. "Awesome. I'd like to see her show", she enthusiastically replies, adding in a slightly flustered tone: "...but your aunt isn't scary, is she?"
Verde's comment to Caden makes her turn to Caden and her brother.

Alan's attention, however, is now captivated by the view presented to him. "Whoa. I never thought that I might ever see... the end of the world." He tries to make out details, but even though his eyes are good, he can't really see what the statue looks like. "Do you happen to have have a pair of binoculars with you?", he asks their host, completely distracted and thus no longer scared.
 

((Sorry! Death Flu!))

Verde shakes her head slightly at Cassandra's question. "Nu-uh. Aunt Erica's really nice. She does juggling an' tumbling an' dancing an' stuff." 

She squints in the dirrection Caden is pointing, her ears swiveling forwards. "The river-thing? Um. Awk - awkqua - aquaduct thing?" It takes her a few tries, but she does eventually remember the correct term. She seems blissfully unbothered by vertigo, but then she's also gotten slightly bored (or maybe just fidgety) and is now  hanging horizontally from the lamp post with her hands free, braced by her tail and feet. "Malachi is learning about that stuff in school." She adds, apparently by way of explanation.

Cassandra nods relievedly, making a mental note to ask about Erica's show later. Following Verde, she finally realizes what has already captivated her brother's attention (who might feel uneasy by now, but still can't avert his eyes). "Aqueduct? My goodness... we're on some kind of platform and the water goes all the way down at the edge? Pinch me, I must be dreaming."
Glancing briefly at the young whatkin, as if the unusual sight might go away otherwise, she mumbles distractedly: "Malachi is your brother, I guess? If I may ask, why are you out here at this time? Or is your kind naturally nocturnal?
However, even though it's making her slightly unwell too, Cassie is almost as enraptured by the amazing view as Alan is, even though somewhere, far in the back of her mind, it also reminds her of how far away from home they are.

"All the way down," Caden confirms, already eager to get back down.  He doesn't have a problem with heights, really, but the Edge still puts him... on edge.  "However far that might be.  No one's ever seen the surface, assuming there even is a surface.  That was more or less my point.  You guys are about as far from home as you can imagine, very much on a different world."

Finally, Alan manages to pull himself away from the strange view. His voice easily gives away the lump in his throat when he replies, mostly to to Caden: "Yes, let's get down. Seems like we're trapped here anyway, for the time being." He looks kind of down, with drooping ears and tail, and seems to have forgotten that Ashes is still waiting for them, while carefully beginning to descend from the pedestral. "We might need a safe place for the night. What do you think, sister?"

"Oh, right, one moment please... nobody back home would believe us..." She quickly retrieves the electronic device that looks much like a mobile phone from her pocket, obviously takes a picture with it, and, in moving to follow her brother, checks if Verde is following them as well - because she has not forgotten about Verde's sister and is slightly afraid to face her alone. "Yes, we'll need some shelter for the night, later. On the other hand, I think we need to see and know as much about this place as we can." It's hard to say if she is genuinely concerned for their safety, or just excited about the idea of a guided tour through this entirely novel place. "By the way, I think some surveillance camera must have recorded our disappearance. They'll probably be looking for us soon." Once again, it's not merely hard, but nearly impossible to judge if she is just trying to make Alan feel less sad, or really hoping to be picked up shortly.

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