Gotha date; RH

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Östvallen. capital city
11-26-2018, 10:39 PM
Post: #1
Östvallen. capital city
Somewhere in late 7578 or early 79...

Iosse entered Fjällsta Hotel's lobby through the entrance at the back street.
"Morning, Veda. Is Yuma in?"
"She is. The doll helped me with breakfast. I told her she did not have to..."
"Still adjusting, I see."
"Well, there is always a reason for her to adjust. Up until a month ago, she was an undercover schoolgirl, sitting at the same table as 12 and 13 year olds, now she is a member of parliament. That is a ridiculous change for anyone, but especially for a young woman who hasn't been in the city for more than half a year."

The subject of discussion entered the lobby. She gave Iosse a quick hug, which in itself was an unusual gesture for Kakuri people. Not that Yuma had adapted to the Orkanan culture of hugging as a way of greeting, Iosse was an exception.

"Would you care to follow along on a little excursion? I want to show one of the more bizar places in town."
"Bizar?" Veda interrupted. "Is that a wise..."
"I'm talking about Kungsängen," Iosse replied.
"Ah right. Yeah, that's bizar. Haven't been there in a while. Is it OK if I follow along?"
"Of course," Iosse replied.

All the time, Yuma had not said a single word. In her opinion, the Vittmarkers talked way too much, used too many words to say something simple.

Kungsängen was not too far away, a large building complex on the border of Huge and Anders socken in the New Town. It had been abandoned during the Three Ways Conflicts and since no one had claimed it, it had been taken in use by squatters. It was not one building, but a building quarter with individual building that had been refurbished, built out and built higher in an ongoing process. It had become a free haven for all sorts of people not belonging to any of the established stifts and sockens.

No wonder the freethinkers from Fjällsta Stift were present here. Salesmen had found a way to sell surplus wooden utensils from small workshops in the south. But there was cheese and beer as well. And the freethinkers were not alone.

"Welcome to the world," Iosse introduced Kungsängen to Yuma.
"I have walked passed this building often. What's inside?"
"You name it, it's there."
Iosse opened one of the doors leading inside. The corridors were lined with small shops, workshops, bars, café's, restaurants. There was a weird smell present, a mixture of exotic spices, grilled food and sweat from men walking around with large packages. Iosse started pointing out while walking through the corridors.

"Saucages from Västerhagen. That's one of the least exotic things here. Smoked fish... this is from a smokery in Beröring. Rainbow trout, salmon..."
He took a right turn, with a complete change in scenery.

"This is one of my favorites." Iosse picked up a screwdriver. "From The Bind... Excellent tools. Not cheap, but in the end it is more efficient to work with quality tools. Fisks brings it here. In fact, a lot of the goods here makes its way through Fisks merchant fleet. Here..."
He handed Yuma a yellow silk scarf.
"Straight from Kamura."
Yuma looked at the material. It was very much like the silk the Kakuri were manufacturing themselves. She looked up, into the eyes of an older Sriaav woman, who started talking to her in a language unknown to her.

"I am sorry... I might look a bit like 'suriyawa', but I am Kakuri, citizen of Vittmark."
The woman grabbed Yuma's face, gently squeezing her cheeks.
"You... like us... You like? You need. Twenty crowns... just for you."
Yuma started laughing. "Crowns? For a dyed piece of caterpillar produce?"

The woman grabbed the scarf angrily and looked the other way.
"Did I do... something wrong?" Yuma asked Iosse.
"No, you did it absolutely right. 20 crowns is a ridiculous price. But that's how the Kamurans work over here, start high and see how much they can get. Are you interested?"
"It's... not my color."
The woman jumped up and handed over something so dark blue that it looked black.

"I am not sure I want to buy today," Yuma replied, "it is beautiful, but... I don't know if I need it."
Iosse started to laugh. "You are a natural. Or is this usual among the Kakuri?"
"What is..."
"Hasseling! Bargaining for the best deal..."
"We don't do that. We trade. The Nokumo keeps track. They see to it that it's fair."
"There's no Nokumo here, no one keeping track. The only fair deal is the one you're happy with. Come, we can always return later."

Veda had already found her own traders to hassle wih, so Yuma and Iosse continued.
"Musk from Ithrien..." Iosse continued explaining.
"Musk? What is musk..."
"It's some sort of fragrance, a smelly substance."
"Ah... good smell?"
"No, horrible. Here, this is something we might try som time. Wine... from Anisora. Usually the best there is, but if it's for sale here, it's not really that good."
"Grape juice... juice from fruits, but then fermented... Like beer, but then from fruit."

Yuma looked surprised.
"There is a lot of Anisoran goods sold here, it comes by train from Talpå, salesmen buy it cheap in the harbors there and try to flog it here. Same goes for Amberian goods. Like their fashion... not the latest fashion of course, but clothes that are mass manufactured."

Yuma had stopped asking. Her sheltered upbringing in a secluded society on a tropical island had given her some challenges when it came to concepts like fragrance, export, fashion and especially technical equipment. Iosse was staring at a box.

"Also Kamuran, I guess, even if the box says it's from Karolinas in Fisks. A motion picture projector. I wonder what the frame rate..."
"24," the man behind the table said, "so hardly any difference from our 25. It runs on our electricity as well."
"It's a bit above my budget, but it's a fascinating machine. It's changing the way we see the world."

In the mean time, Yuma was wondering what the women further down the corridor were selling. There was quite a large group of men standing there, while nothing seemed on display there. Just a couple of sparsely dressed women, many of the pale and freckled.

"Iosse, what's..."
"Ah, yes. The Aldsay. Wondering what they are selling?"
Yuma nodded.
"Themselves. You can rent them."
"For what?"
"They are called women of pleasure."
"They don't seem happy."
"They're probably not. But they bring joy. To men. By, uhm..."
"Ah, right... I get it..."
"You're not... shocked?"
"No, no... Lin Ya told me about this. It is a filthy habit, both for the women end the men... I was shocked when she told me, could not believe... Was just a matter of time until I bumped into some. Come, let's have a look at the poor sobs."

VITTMARK:"This mess is a place." --- FISKS:"Fisk you!"

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