(1310-07-11) Getting to know each other
Summary: A Tsingani and a Novice meet in the Market
RL Date: 11th of July, 1310
Related: None
annais abraham 

Market Promenade — Marsilikos

Two massive promenades, separated by a narrow row of alternating planters and plinths supporting marble statues from all over the known world, make up a marketplace that extends in a narrow space far to the north of the grand plaza to the south. Each walkway is two two-meter marble slabs wide, one gleaming white, the other greyish-blue, and they alternate to and fro in coloration all the way down each promenade, their intersections marked with a series of equal-armed crosses in shimmering black stone. While there is plenty of space for vendors to set up ad-hoc establishments to hawk their wares, to each side of the double promenade are stoa of fluted marble, holding up a terra-cotta tiled roof over a shady, cool walkway, punctuated here and there with doorways and windows open to a long series of indoor shops, each marked with a hanging sign outside the door.

Every twenty meters or so, five stairs lift the level of the promenade as the marketplace works its way uphill, to a smaller plaza at the northern end where all the most exclusive and expensive shops are established. This smaller plaza also has an obelisk of red granite in the middle; it's shorter, and more slender, but when the change in elevation is taken into account, its tip is at the exact same height as the massive obelisk in the town square to the south.

It is a glorious day in the city of Marsilikos. The sun is high in the sky, not a cloud to be seen, and the streets of the Market Promenade is alive with merchants, customers and people merely out for a Sunday stroll in the delightful weather.

Amidst the mostly calm flow of people in the streets, the fast paced and obviously excited movements of a young woman wearing a pale yellow gown stand out, a few people turning their heads as she passes by shops, eagerly looking at and touching wares for a brief moment before she is off to the next. When she reaches a small stall with several colorful flasks on display on a table in front of the older, male shopkeeper, she pauses for a longer moment, inspecting several of the small glass containers. Her face suddenly lights up as she smells the scent of the contents of one of the flasks. She looks back to a tall, spindly man with blonde hair that seems to be following her around, his gaze remaining watchfully on the young woman even amongst the bustle of the busy street and the many distractions therein. Her excited expression quickly turns into a small pleading pout as he sighs deeply and shakes his head with a mildly annoyed expression, as if this might be the tenth time today he has had to disappoint her.

Abraham has his hands full of various different trinkets such as leather pendants and leather bracelets. Each of them has a different type of decorations which are gems, metal pieces, silver, even more leather and a bit of embroidery. Those works are hanging down from his fingers and sway in the air when the young Tsingani appears in front of the potential customers and wiggles his hands in front of his eyes suggesting, "Monsieur, one accessory is enough to leave your woman craving to please you. Just get her one of these and she will repay you with mor-…" But the man just pushes the Tsingani away and is obviously displeased as is the majority of the passersby. Some who has been approached by him even double-check their pockets. Just to be sure that nothing has been missing as if Abraham could still steal even if his hands are full.

The man himself is obviously looking like a Tsingani. He has a bit darker skin and quite curly short black hair. He wears leather pants and very colorful linen shirt. He seems to be the biggest fan of his own art since more than five pendants are dangling on his neck and he himself wears bracelets and shiny rings. He is also carrying a large shoulder bag which may hide even more examples of his work.

"There is no need to pout, young lady! The day is beautiful," suddenly a man appears between Annais and her escort. He has a large smile, his teeth glint in the sun almost like the jewelry he wears, and his eyes glimmer with excitement. "but do you know what can brighten it up even more? A small trinket to adorn yourself with!" He shows all those precious accessories he has in his hands to Annais, "I have even more if you don't like any of these."

Annais' body jumps a little and an almost inaudible "uh" escapes her lips as the young Tsingani merchant suddenly appears in front of her. Evidently she had been so taken in by the sights and sounds around here that she had not noticed him approaching. She doesn't look scared however, more excited and curious, her face changing from a pout to a bright smile.

The tall man escorting her takes a quick step in the direction of the man with the leather wares hanging from his hands, clearly ready to intervene at a moments notice. Seeing this, Annais merely throws up a hand, gesturing softly to him that everything is alright as she addressed him with a small sigh and a roll of the eyes. "Relax Gaétan! It's just a merchant wanting to display his wares." She looks back to Abraham, studying him for a moment before turning her eyes back to her chapérone "I don't think he's dangerous" she says, matter of fact, before her gaze slips back to the Tsingani and the multitude of pendants, bracers and other wares he is presenting" She reaches for one, a thin leather bracelet with a small pendant hanging from a short strap.

Her eyes widen a bit as she studies it intently, turning it around and flipping it over in her hands. "Did you make this? It's very pretty." The words are spoken while still inspecting the bracelet but she looks up to him after speaking, her lips again forming a curious smile that matches the look in her eyes."

Abraham immediately looks back when the young lady in front of him speaks to someone. Just then he notices that she is with an escort. Though, instead of apologizing, the Tsingani is quick to nod at Annais remark, "Not dangerous at all. In fact, I was a kid who has been beaten up many times by his larger family members and friends. Most likely because I devoted myself to the arts instead of violence…" He makes a very short pause and then adds, "By the way, I have a couple of bugs living in my waggon and I can not kill even them. No. They are lifes that matters and I couldn't spill their blood. Not dangerous!"

Then the young man looks back at the potential customer, "Yes, m'lady. I made all of these myself. I also make shoes, and I can make great scabbards, and belts, and gloves… Well, anything what is made out of leather. These hands," He shakes them dangling all those pendants in front of Annais, "Have been working for over a decade. Illness took away the life of my parents and I had to take care of my younger siblings. One pendant sold sometimes earned us a whole day's meal. Now we are doing better, but… one day you are up," he looks at the sky and then immediately down at Annais feet, "the other you are down. Life is so unpredictable! So, what would interest you, m'lady?"

When the man starts speaking of his childhood, the excitement disappears from Annais' face and she looks at him with sad eyes full of compassion. "That sounds awful. I do not know much about Tsingano culture but I did not think that they…." There is a short pause as she corrects herself"..you..were an inherently violent people. Were you really abused because you chose the path of an artisan? I can't imagine why anyone would do that, especially to their own family." Her eyes drop to the ground and her head dips slightly for a short moment as she shakes her head softly.

As she returns her gaze to the merchant, the look of worry and sadness fades somewhat and a faint smile forms on her lips. "You are very brave to have come out of it with such high spirit. I can not imagine what it must have been like". Her hand moves to touch his cheek but she catches herself halfway through the motion and instead the hand goes to catch the side of her gown as she turns her head and sends a worried look the way of her Coquelicot chapérone before turning back to face the young Tsingani. "We all have our own problems and battles to fight but in the light of yours, I must say my own appear small and insignificant." When he speaks of how life goes up and down, she nods faintly in agreement. "I am glad to hear that you and your siblings are doing better now, I hope that it continues to be so for you." The smile on her face widens slightly more as she speaks the words.

When he leads her attention back to his wares and a potential sale, her eyes glance over the many objects hanging from his hands with a sense longing before answering, her soft voice and brown eyes both holding a hint of apology. "As much as I would like to purchase one or more of your finely crafted items monsieur, and I really would, I wouldn't have any way to pay for it. I didn't mean to take up your time trying to provide for your family with idle chatter."

The man nods slowly furrowing his brows into somewhat sad expression when the young woman tries to comfort him about his past. Though, he is quick to dismiss this with a shake of his head which brings back a broad smile to his features, “We shall not worry about the past and we shall look into the future.” He doesn’t seem to be upset that Annais is not able to afford his work, “Aaaa… You might be one of those courtesans before their debut. No worries, then. Once you will earn your debut, you will have many coins flowing into your hands. Then just remember me! I have a waggon standing at the Tsingano camp close to the city. However, we might not stay there for long. Maybe this summer… But then we will have to leave. It would be a pity if you would lose a chance to get something unique. Majority of my works are done inspired by all those different cultures I had a pleasure to visit…” He explains putting some of the accessories back to his shoulder bag.

Annais sighs deeply, as if in relief that she did not offend the man by fidgeting with several of his wares without the coin to actually purchase something from him as the look of apology leaves her face. “I’m afraid that it will be a while yet before I will have much coin to spend. My debut is not far off but every gift will go towards my marque until it is completed.” Her head tilts to the side a little and she looks up into the sky. “Maybe I’ll be lucky enough that you will still be around, or have come back, once that time comes. What name would I ask for if I wanted to find you but I could not?”

Tsingani is quite focused to lay down his work inside the bag. Each pendant has to go in one by one, carefully that the strings wouldn’t mess up and tie with each other. While he is doing so, his eyes are not looking at the companion, not even once. One could think that the man doesn’t even hear the lady. But the worry would be quickly waved off by his immediate answer, “My name is Abraham. Call me just Abraham because it would be way too hard for your tongue to tell my real name.” Then the man raises his gaze up to the woman in front of him, “And how may I call you, m’lady?”

“Abraham…hmmm…” she silently lets his name play across her tongue a few times before looking back to him with a cheerful look on her face, any sign of sadness erased from her eyes. “It suits you.” Her smile widens as she says it, making high cheekbones slightly pink from the kiss of the sun stand out even more. “I am Annais, Annais Engelise of the salon de Coquelicot. It has been a pleasure meeting you, Abraham” Her soft voice speaks the words with utmost sincerity and she dips into a small curtsy. She doesn’t, however, seem content to let the conversation end just yet, with questions still to ask. “And you are certain that you will leave Marsilikos come autumn? And if so where will you go?”

“The pleasure is mine, Mademoiselle Annais,” Abraham bows his head politely during introductions but then the young woman draws a laugh out of his lungs. “I guess you know very little of our ways. We do not stay for too long in one location, my dear. I already heard some of my family members speaking that we should leave next week. Though, some business arrangements have been done and now we have to prolong our stay here. It’s been the longest period of time how I am not moving my waggon from same spot. I worry that my horse might actually die before we proceed… It will be way more expensive to receive a new one here in the city than in a small lonely village,” the man sighs.

"Yes, I have heard that your people move around a lot, not calling any one place home. With everything you have told me it sounded like you have taken a different path in many ways, I was merely hoping that this might be one of them." A long pause then, as her gaze drifts to the city and people around them with a thoughtful expression before returning to Abraham, who is now almost done packing up his various necklaces, bracelets and other items. "Do you ever have thoughts of settling down or do you enjoy the freedom it brings to not be bound to one place? Do you have some place that you would one day like to return to? I would love to travel and see the world one day, although I do not think that is going to be part of my story.." She dismisses the thought with a shake of the head and a conceited smile before continuing. "..but I can not imagine not having a place to come home to after." She tilts her head slightly as she observes him, the thoughtful expression still lingering.

“There are advantages and disadvantages of not having home. When you have a specific location to call your home, you value it but not the people. For us, home is people. If you travel with your family it’s like your home is traveling with you. We care about people not locations and treasures,” Abraham explains and his smile grows wide at the young woman’s thought to travel, “Hey, if you want you can come with us when we leave. We could show you the awesomeness of travelling and seeing the world and getting to know new cultures!” He gives a wink, “You don’t have to answer now. Just think on it. We are not yet leaving…”

"I guess it makes it easier when the ones you love are with you on your travels, yes." Annais agrees with a small nod. At the idea of her traveling with him and his family she raises her hand to her mouth and exhales a soft giggle before the hand turns into a single finger held across her lips, pointing up, and she leans a little closer before glancing back towards her chaperone once more. "Shhh…..don't even say that. Gaétan here is already jittery enough as it is". The words are said in a hushed voice and with a wide smile on her face, like she is imagining the chaperones reaction in this hypothetical scenario. She leans back again, straightening her posture into one befitting a member of the Night Court. "But what do you do if you should get separated, by whatever circumstances? Without a home, how would you find each other again?" It seems like she is back to her questions again.

Abraham laughs taking a glance at the young woman’s chaperone, “Were you in trouble before? You definitely strike me as an adventurous personality. I could see that in your eyes. Desire to see the world and not serve to the desires of others, instead fulfill your own desires! Pity, that your people have such weird traditions…” He shakes her head but is quick to get back to the topic of his family instead, “If we separate, we separate. If parents lose children, others take care of us. But it’s very hard to get lost. We usually have specific rituals done. Everything comes back to our accessories. Have you thought why we wear so many of them? They are very special. They help us find each other, they help us to survive, they assist us in battles and on many other occasions.” He taps his chest where many pendants are dangling and smiles at the woman curiously, studying her expression.


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