A Day in the Night Market
This session’s market scene draws less on Gaiman’s Floating Market / Maze of the Blue Minotaur and more on Johnstone Metzger’s “A Market in the Woods” supplement for Dungeon World. And the character’s backstory, etc. We may have a couple of side-stories for the players who were not able to make it tonight, as we only had 3 players. The others were presumably off exploring other parts of the market.
In the Night Market in the extensive catacombs beneath Skagway, Chameleon, Clovis, and Talisa have gone off on their own explorations, leaving Tsafnur, Enkirash, and Rook (and Mija the Water Sphinx) to their own devices. Rook bought some wrist sheath knives for Talisa, then she and Tsafnur bought a busking license and put on a show of fireworks and music, playing requests for a coin (some paid more than one coin for more elaborate requests). This kept them busy all day and into the evening (as well as time can be tracked deep underground), but they made 240 coins in the process.
Rook took Mija to get her a nice collar and then went looking for the inner market, as they had heard that the area they’d been exploring in was only the outskirts and overflow of the real Night Market. She looked for someone who might be heading into the deeper market to follow and was startled and terrified to recognize a figure straight out of Dwarf (and Halfling) mythology stomping through the market. It was Grumblesticks, stealer of Dwarf children, and she had a captive Dwarf child in tow on a leash. She carried her bloody spiked club and stomped by in her iron boots, and Rook bravely followed her.
They passed the Lich Sorceress, in her purplish amoeba-like cloak, who whispered offers to bring back the dead, restore lost limbs, or purchase secrets. Then through a curtain of chains, Rook followed the horror she’d thought was only a legend, into the slave market. Glad that she had Mija with her, they saw the sow-headed monster settle into a chair in the bidding pit, where an Ogre, three young Dwarfs, an elvish woman, and two male elves were about to be sold. Rook noticed that Mija became very alert when they saw the slaves for auction, but wasn’t able to tell quite why.
Rook tried to bid for the Dwarf children, but didn’t have enough money to outbid Grumblesticks. She bid for the elf woman against some sketchy magickal types who were arguing amongst themselves to one side. The woman was announced as being from a local family of nobles, and Rook suspected it was Genesa, who Talisa has been trying to find all this time. After a few bids, the magickal rejects ended up fighting between each other, gave up bidding and left. As Rook’s hopes of winning the bid went up, a well-dressed, confident, relaxed woman behind her began bidding for the elf woman. She smiled and nodded at Rook when she turned to see who it was. After a couple of more bids, Mija growled and Rook jumped when she saw the woman sitting in the chair next to her. She said something to the effect of, “Good afternoon, Market etiquette prevents me from asking why you are bidding for this slave, but rest assured that my intentions for her will be highly profitable and I can easily outbid you.” She paused to let this sink in, then lowered her voice, “From your appearance, I take it that you are someone of negotiable services.” Rook nodded. “Then I can let you win the bidding, in exchange for a service you will provide me, agreed?” Rook agreed and bid. A burly man began to bid, but a glance from the woman next to Rook changed his mind, leaving Rook the only bidder. The woman introduced herself as Madame Obelis, and requested the Rook come to her premises later that day. Rook took the chained elf and they and Mija got out of the slave market. During the whole bidding process a well-dressed elvish gentleman watch the proceedings closely, noting Rook and Obelis talking.
At first, the woman refused to give her name, saying it didn’t matter. She looked crushed, despondent, exhausted, and starving. Rook took her back to the others and got them some food. After eating, the rescued elf fell asleep. When Rook woke her up, she called her by name, “Genesa, wake up.” She woke, then realized where she was and asked, “What are you going to do with me?” Rook explained that Talisa had been trying to find her, to return her to her family. Genesa, looking scared, asked, “my uncle?” Rook said, “No, your father,” and Genesa started crying. It turns out her uncle was the well-dressed elf watching the bidding, who had kidnapped her and sold her into slavery, and who is plotting against her father. She wants to leave right away to warn her father, but Rook tells her they have to finish something first, and Genessa certainly doesn’t want to travel alone. At the end of the day, when Enkirash and Tsafnur had finished their various commissions, they found a room to rent, stashed the sleepy elf in it, and left Mija to guard her while they went out to find Madame Obelis. On the way they pass a booth of
They find Madame Obelis’ Emporium, a bar and lounge filled with many scantily clad humanoids of many races and genders. Most, but not all, wear slave collars. The place is busy with many customers. Rook, after some back and forth with an Ogre bouncer, gets him to tell Obelis they have arrived. He goes upstairs to check with his boss, then sends them up. They go to the door, which is opened by another Ogre, one of two bodyguards in the room. Madame Obelis sits behind an immense mahogany desk, in a richly appointed room of bookshelves, paintings, carpets, and many dim lamps. Rook scans the room to note that several of the bookshelves are hinged, there are hiding places behind several paintings, and a trap door under the carpet they are standing on. They move off the trap door, which Obelis notes with approval.
She discusses the terms of their arrangement. The sketchy magickal types call themselves the Thaumaturgy Crew, and it has come to her attention that their leader, Winston, is trying to summon a demon. This could be very bad for business, and she wants Rook to prevent this from happening, and to bring proof that she has done so.
And Rook levelled up to level 3.