Night Market

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The Night Market is a traveling street market that appears only at night, specializing in the magical, the mystical, and the strange.  It is found in the Night Canton every night, but never in the same place twice.

A Magical Market

The Night Market consists of several dozen to several hundred sales booths, small stands or tents that display and sell any variety of wares.  The Night Market's reputation is for items of a magical nature, such as enchanted items and potions, spell ingredients, magical books, wands and staves, or charms and talismans.  That said, there are also many other things on sale at the Night Market, including basic mundane items like (non-haunted) kitchen appliances and hand-made quilts.  The sort of people attracted to the Night Market does tend to favour more bizarre and strange booths than not, however.  But there are no restrictions on having a booth at the Night Market, and anyone who wants one is welcome.

Perhaps most notably, there are a great number of food and drink booths at the Night Market, enough to form their own little subculture of Night Market Foodies.  Favourite standbys like mini-donuts and gourmet hotdogs are easy to find, but one might also discover more exotic and unusual treats, like pickled spider kebobs or a glass of drown'd sorrows.

Entertainers are also popular at the Night Market.  In the avenues between the sales stalls there are a variety of jugglers, magicians, musicians, acrobats, and street poets busking for change.  One might even find a puppet show or an animal act.  There are caricature artists, face-painters, tattooists, and of course fortune tellers.  There are more fortune tellers per square foot at any given Night Market than in any other place in the known Multiverse.

The Night Market has no known master.  If there is someone who plans and organizes the Night Market, they have remained well-hidden, and no amount of detective work or scrying has been able to find them, or even confirm whether they exist.

The Wandering Bazaar

The Night Market only appears at night, and only in the Night Canton, but it is never in precisely the same place twice.  The Night Market is not a physical building or a specific square, so it may just be that the Market's organizers (whoever they might be) choose a different place each night to set up.  Most suspect something supernatural at work, however.

The Night Market might appear anywhere there is room for its booths.  It has been known to appear inside large open hangars or warehouses, in parks and public squares, and right across what would otherwise be busy streets.  On at least one occasion the Night Market has set up on the flat, open roof of a large building.

No one ever sees the Night Market set up, and no one ever sees it tear down.  By the time the first visitor shows up, the booths and tents are already in place, put there by some unseen hand.  It seems to be impossible to predict where the Night Market will appear before it has been set up, though no sign of it is ever seen before twilight.  By dawn the Market is always gone, the booths and setup vanishing only after the last vendor or shopper has gone home to rest.  There is some debate over whether the sun will rise before the Night Market is abandoned, as strangely it seems to have never been tested.  On a few occasions people have tried to stand watch to see what happens to the Night Market, but invariably they fall asleep on the job!

Finding the Night Market

Given that it appears in a different place every night, with no way to accurately predict just where it will appear, one might assume it is difficult to find the Night Market.  The truth is exactly the opposite.  As soon as someone wants to visit the Night Market, they instinctively know precisely where to find it and how to get there.  Usually it just appears as information in their mind, as if they had simply remembered something.  Other times the Night Market might use props, dropping a notice through the mail slot or posting a map where the seeker will see it.

Getting a Booth

There is nothing easier than getting a booth at the Night Market.  There is no (apparent) approvals process, no forms to fill out.  One simply decides that one wants a booth, and they will find it all prepped and waiting for them when they arrive at the Market.  The Night Market seems to know when a booth will be needed even before a vendor does, as someone simply visiting the Night Market who suddenly decides he'd like a booth of his own will discover the next booth empty and signed to his name.

The Night Sisters

The mysterious Night Market has one constant feature it carries with it.  Wherever the Night Market appears, its outer boundary will be marked by four statues forming the corners of a quadrilateral polygon (never a perfect square or rectangle).  No booth will ever appear outside the territory marked by these statues, and they seemingly cannot be moved, damaged, or stolen, some circumstance or coincidence always interrupting any effort to try.

The statues are ancient and worn grey stone, each depicting a humanoid female with feathered wings, usually identified as angels.  Each is subtly different from the others, but obviously are meant to be part of a set.  As the Night Market has no known master or organization, and is basically entirely unexplained, the people of the City have developed their own elaborate and contradictory mythologies about the statues, which they call the Night Sisters.  Each statue has a name, though there is always disagreement about which is which.  They are Grace, Charity, Temperance, and Patience.  In some versions of the story, they are the guardians of the Night Market, in others they are its prisoners.  Like the Night Market itself, the statues resist any attempts to divine any actual information about them.