Hello ladies & gentleman, outsiders & inbetweeners, and all wonderful beings of Abrait!
Take a seat please, maybe grab a beverage, but don’t get too comfortable because we are about to enter the city of Orden, an old and dirty place, it is an ordinary morning right now. In fact it was as ordinary of a morning as they get in Orden, the cold, cruel breeze that is always just a little bit colder than you expected it to be sending a shiver down your spine and biting you nose and fingertips mocking you that you didn’t wear something longer. The floor is laid with a thick layer of trash and seagull feces and the air is filled with a constant stink and a war of noises of merchants fighting on every sliver of attention you have. It was such an ordinary morning that when a kid walked down the street the kid got a strong feeling that in fact, they had already been in this exact morning before, they were wrong, as most mortals are, this morning was so revolutionary and unique that days would envy it for weeks to come, and yesterday was furious on the missed chance to be as important of a day. Let us now go to one that heavily miscalculated the importance of today.
“Yes” they said to themselves, today is the perfect day to commit crimes. On a day like that, Arson thought, it is impossible not to be overcome with nostalgia and a fake feeling of security, a perfect time to pickpocket a few wealthy citizens. Arson had a knack for seeing things that weren’t there, seeing a lack of attention from a merchant, hearing the words that are not being said, and sometimes seeing things that just couldn’t be there. Now they saw a crimson crown floating around a crow’s head, this particular crow had followed them all day, what a strange little creature they thought. Arson was currently running short, very short, on food, it was near the Sunless Solstice and people were more careful and overall less stealable. Then Arson saw him, the perfect customer, A large black hat, stinking from booze and walking straight, too straight, the sortoff walk only people desperately trying to convince the world ‘’look at me, I’m not drunk!’’ will walk. And he had money. You could almost hear the heavy clinking from the small purse on his waist. He had an unkempt beard that almost managed to hide a cheerful smile. Arson knew this sort of smile very well. It was the smile of someone who gambled everything, and won. They almost felt bad for stealing from such a miserable creature, but only almost, so they sighed and went to work.
They would just search for an opening take the purse and run, after a few boring hours of following, the man went to a fruit stall and asked with a raspy voice, ‘’Oi lad, how much for an apple?’’ There it was a slight second but Arson needed nothing more. They snached the purse out of his waist and ran, jumped on the stand on their way to the roof and disappeared. Or at least that’s what should have happened, instead the stranger caught their hand so fast they thought it would break, spinned them three times until they landed on the floor, too dizzy to understand what’s going on and too surprised to ask.
‘’Oh, sorry lassie, old habits didnae die young’’
Arson blinked twice. They were wrong. It wasn’t a cheerful smile but a cunning one, hard to put the difference but from a closer perspective it was definitely more on the mischievous side. Above the smile rested two golden eyes shining like a vast treasure grippin Arson with wander, this certain wander gripped them like the most luxurious of chains, way stronger than the man’s hands. through that heavy gaze they squished a few words to say
Arson mind started to recover managing to put the words “I’m not a girl, sir” out of their mouth
‘’Oi, sorry my boy’’
Now it was the stranger’s turn to blink in confusion.
‘’He tried to steal yar purse, filthy thing’’ Said the bloke at the apple stall moving the stare from Arson’s shoulder.
‘’And?’’ a heavy silence has fallen, Arson considered rynning, they’ve seen their fair share of failed thieving ending in a beating and worse and weren’t a fan of the concept but something about this stranger deeply intrigued them. Curiosity killed the cat, they thought. And yet they stayed
‘’Nothin’’’ mumbled the shopkeeper and broke the silence ‘’So you want this apple?’’ ‘’Why o’course I dae, gimme two tidy apples, will ye?’’ and the man wore his annoying smile again.
And he thrown Arson the apples, ‘’So, what’s ye name, kid?’’
‘’Arson, just Arson, sir’’
‘’Good name, chose it yerself?’’
‘’Yes, and yours, sir?’’
His golden eyes glinted in the fishlight ‘’Droch Cllife’’ he said, ‘’and I was looking for ye, kid, for tae long o’ a time’’
‘’Ah, there it is, dropped ye’r draft accent when surprised, aye?’’ Droch laghed
‘’It’s better than your stupid attempt at a fake accent!’’ They found themself saying the words that were running too fast to stop.
Droch however did stop his walk, Arson feared that they have stepped over boundaries as they often did but instead of a hit appeared another laugh rolling like a boulder ‘’I liked ye better when ye played like a goody-two shoes’’
‘’Most people do’’. Another laugh rolled
So why did ye tried tae steal my pooch?’’
‘’I was hungry, not many jobs for a dusty orphan like myself, and hey, coins don’t grow on trees’’ sighed Arson ‘’oh really?’’ Droch replied with a smirk, then he started to whisper, well not quite whispering more that the words fell out of his mouth, you could almost hear them as they dropped on the universe like an unwelcome guest. You have to understand Arson saw magicians, they’re tricks only required a small peak at a place that usually people overlook and boom, just sleight of hand, good sleight of hand but still only that. This wasn’t it. on a small bush beside them coins just appeared. But Arson saw it, they looked over the things that weren’t there and there was nothing not to be seen, just a wave of a hand, a few words, and money grew on trees, just like that, the coins glinted and almost shined. But Arson didn’t lose themselves, not this time, they only said, ‘’may I?’’
Drotch replied ‘’Sure have your fun’’ and thought good, they’re quick, quick witted also. remarkable self control and most importantly an okayish read. Very dumb and reckless, but I guess no one is perfec-
‘’I prefer brave, not reckless’’ Arson said, they’re mind occupied on the coins not realizing they were listening to the words that are not said. Then the realization hit them like a giant fish if giant fishes knew how to scream. uh oh they thought, people did not like it when they did it. ‘’Um I meant, nice gold, very shiny’’ they blurted out. Droch didn’t seem convinced but didn’t press the matter further.
‘’Kay kid, it’s getting late, why won’t ye go by yerself something braw and tidy to fill ye tummy. If ye wanna be a bit more than a wee kitty thieving pooches, meet me at the Orden gate, I’m leaving when Iatea rises above this ile’’.
Arson didn’t mean to go, they knew better than to go with strange men offering mysterious gold, they heard the stories about demons and monsters leading greedy people to dark places. Although from time to time they themselves pondered about selling their soul for a shiny coin or two and it honestly didn’t seem like that bad of a deal especially if some magic was involved. But, as their mother always liked to remind them, curiosity killed the cat. And he gave them so much gold, they could live like monarchs and still have enough to pass Sunless Solstice and a few months more! so they bought a nice roasted cabbage and went to sleep in their hiding spot with a full belly for the first time in too many days. Imagine their surprise being woken up by a strange crow pecking them on the nose and what greater surprise that all the coins they received were gone! their very humble supply was still present so it couldn’t be a thief…
‘’This grinning bastard!’’ The realization woke them up better than any peck on the nose. They ran to the gate as fast as they could, soaring through the morning breeze and the crow following them. The early morning streets were so different, a heavy mist choking all sounds and blinding all eyes but Arson’s, Iatea bearly shining above the land sending far rays of white tranquility deflecting on the windows, starting to wake up the city to a new day. The only people awake at these hours are those who had no choice, monks, and people who had their money stolen. While running Arson realized that they weren’t angry, not really, sure they were disappointed in the loss. But that’s not what drove them through cold streets in the first lights, they were envious, they wanted to make money grow out of trees, they wanted a gaze so heavy it could flatten mountains, but more than that they were curious, They needed to see, to know, to be the adventure.
curiosity killed the cat. Their mother’s voice echoed like an empty cave in their head, but she was dead and they were no kitten.
They finally found Droch petting two donkeys wearing the same large hat from yesterday.
“Oi, so ye decided to come?” he said, his smile just getting bigger, and more annoying.
‘’Where is my money’’
‘’Getting more distraught on yer cash mysterious disappearance than its appearance?’’
‘’Obviously, one’s a blessing and the other’s a boon, now where’s the money, sir?’’ Arson said, mirroring the same smile that Droch had taken so long to perfect
‘’Well, so lemme understa’, ye follow a stranger, possibly an’ dangerous one because the same money that ye just got has vanished? Are ye stupid?’’
‘’As I said, I prefer brave’’ Arson said and jumped on the largest of the two donkeys
‘’So, where are we going?’’
‘’Where else?’’ grinned droch
‘’Tae a new day!’’
Note: The ‘’Crow’’ that had followed Arson is not a crow at all. It is a raven, differentiating between the two is difficult to the untrained eye but in Abrait the main difference is the Ravens are way darker and much, much bigger…
See you in Transcript 2