I walked through the ring going alongside a smaller canal through winding pathways and roads before into a small loop of buildings and walked over to a very run down and ratty looking bookstore, it was squished between nicer looking stores, a china store to the left and a glass blower to the right, no windows on the bottom floor and about two stories, the roof was covered in ratty tar shingles, a lop-sided sign of wood showing an emblem of a carved in ink pot and quill. Purple painted lettering across the front read, The Ink Pot: Arcane books and Artifacts. It’s notable for very strange and weird magics leading to more shady characters being around, however because nothing is really that powerful, it doesn’t see much traffic leading to it being so rundown. I live in the apartment upstairs. I softly pushed the front door open with a loud whine and screech,
“Customer!” A chipper voice said, inside was just…endless piles of stuff, anything and everything someone could see some kind of value in littered the entire room, a massive fat tabby cat was currently asleep on top of the helmet of a half suit of armor,
“It’s just me, Dimarkis.” I said, the owner, he…doesn’t know I’m technically a princess. He just things I’m a very good mercenary that pays rent on time, sometimes will help him with a dangerous artifact, doesn’t get into trouble, isn’t loud and doesn’t bring shady people around.
“Aram!” he said chipperly as he rushed over, he’s an extremely elderly gnome man, barely the height of my hip, pale skin covered in freckles, age spots and liver spots, a massive shock of white hair, but none on top of his head, bulbous nose with a rather tiny pair of glasses perched on them, massive walrus like mustache, tiny beady brown eyes that are made buggy and huge by his glasses, dressed in a wrinkly half-tucked green tunic tucked into brown trousers, a black vest, brown soft hide boots and miss-matched socks. “How was your latest trip!? Tea?”
“It was all fine and good, Dima and please, I’d love some tea, my legs are…exhausted.” I said, he softly nodded as he softly grabbed my wrist and walked me towards the back as I brushed my hood back and took my mask down.
In Revial, and more so all Lodor, you’re seen as more attractive the paler you are, the paler you are the less time you spend outside having to work. Sigia is tropical so my natural skin tone is this rich caramel tone. Dimarkis walked me around the counter and through the small door on the back wall into a small living room kitchen combo, all over stuffed and miss-matched furniture, I sat down on the couch with a heavy plop and a deep sigh of relief as I finally got off me feet as he rushed over to the pot belly stove, there was a small door leading to the back alley to my right, a door to the left leading to Dimarkis’ room and a stairwell on the far right wall between the potbelly stove and arcane cold box leading up to my apartment.
“How long have you been on your feet?”
“I got on the road at let’s see…five this morning.”
“My dear, you need to not walk for twenty hours straight, you’ll pull or tear something.” He said as he hopped up a many stepped stepladder to grab a box of tea from a high shelf before shakily moving down,
“I’m fine, I’m a lot stronger than I look.”
“Doubt.” He said with a short nod, I laughed softly.
“I’m gonna head up to my room and…change out of this armor and stuff.”
“Go ahead, afterwards you sit down, have a cup of tea and if you could, I have some things I may want you to look at.”
“Of course.” I said nodding softly, the guy treats me well, looking at some possibly cursed things, least I could do.
I walked up the stairs with a soft jangle of my armor, swords and the stuff on my person as I took a key out of my shirt and opened the door to my apartment, it’s less of an apartment and more so that I’m renting out the room of his home, however it has its own little kitchen-ette, half sized arcane cold box, smaller stove with maybe two burners unlike the custom pumpkin shaped one he had with six, the apartment was smooth polished dark wood like the rest of the home, dark wooden walls, a small bathroom beside the door, I’m so glad this place is in a ring with a proper sewage system, there was that small kitchen to the left with dark wood cabinets and a pale stone counter top, a tiny table of dark wood with two chairs on it, everything was freshly dusted and clean, he doesn’t invade my privacy or anything, but he’ll send up the invisible helper he has that straightens up the shop to just dust and keep things ordered when I’m out. Opposite of the kitchen was the merged bedroom/living space, currently occupied by my single sized bed along the back wall covered in pristine freshly laundered black bedding, a dark wood nightstand behind the headboard in the corner and another at the foot, a wardrobe and dresser to the right of the door and a dark red over-stuffed loveseat facing one of the windows with a small ovate coffee table. I sighed deeply as I dropped my bag of holding on the couch as I sat on my bed, the smell of the shop and my room was very pleasant to me, but strong to others; thick and heavy with the smell of incense, herbs and spices denotating this place as abundant with magic.
Knowledge of magic is very restrictive in Lodor, only the noble children freely learn it, children are sometimes sold to the military from lower rings are taught magic or if a child is born in the slums with a strange gift for the arcane, they are pulled from their home and put in special military orphanages where they’re raised as soldiers from as young as three. Knowledge of the arcane is separated from the regular populace, The Ink Pot is considered the bottom of the barrel for the arcane because Dimarkis is so old and he never has anything very powerful, he has lots of strange and interesting thing, but because nothing is powerful, he’s not seen as one to go to, however because gnomes live up to a few centuries old, he is extremely knowledgeable in the world of the arcane and is one of the best curse breakers I’ve ever known. Yet because he can’t get powerful things, nobody comes here. If the nobles are alerted that someone in a lower ring knew magic or was studying something magical in nature, they are punished, they either have their magic removed and locked away, their mind wiped of the knowledge, sometimes they’re killed or they’re put into forced military service till death.
Because Calastina was a spellcaster, when she was forced into marrying the Lodorite prince, her magic was sealed away. I cannot stand that…I want to fight that prince, face to face and personally watch the life drain from his eyes as I dig my thumbs into his windpipe, use my talons to pop out his eye without breaking the nerve so I can turn it around and make him watch me strangle him till the life is gone from his body.