A lot had changed since Doran had arrived in Etzos the season before. He no longer had to hide his true intentions and his dislike of the Immortal of Hope and those that served him. In Rynmere they would likely have arrested him immediately and executed him, but here they admired him and respected him, and he could talk about what he had done openly. There were other things he had to be careful about now though. Nobody could ever know that he too was of Immortal blood and that he still served one of them.
A mark upon his skin was easy to hide though. Besides, he had already spent large parts of his life pretending to be human and hiding the fact that he didn’t age. There had rarely been a time when he had been completely honest about who and what he was.
Vuda, a man who he still did not trust entirely in spite of the fact that he was likely his most important ally at the moment, had recently put him in charge of his new alchemy lab. He had spent much of Ashan familiarizing himself with it and trying to identify the potions his predecessor had left to him, but he was finally ready to start working on new projects now.
For that reason he was on his way to the Market of Wonders, an event where people showed off their achievements. He hoped to acquire a few items that he would be able to use for his research there. What he found instead was a most suspicious looking fellow with a mustache and questionable dental hygiene that had erected a stall at the side of the road and that claimed to sell the sword that “Sir Doran” had stabbed Xiur with.
It was an overly long and rather gaudy looking blade that was covered with gems in a couple of different colors and that even had a bit of a red substance on it, fake blood, some sort of paint most likely.
The Mortalborn stopped and inspected the weapon more closely before remarked in a somewhat dry tone, “I would never have used such a sword. It looks unbalanced and impractical. Besides, I always clean my weapons after I’ve used them.” The merchant looked at him angrily at first, and then his eyes suddenly widened in recognition. Before he could say something the Mortalborn disappeared into the crowd though and continued his inspection of the Market of Wonders.
For every useful item that he found there were another two or three that only made him shake his head. And then there were the theatre performances, people that retold the story of how he had attacked an Immortal. He had no problem with being admired and worshipped. In fact, it was something that he strived for. In his opinion he was at least as deserving of worship as his father Ziell, the Immortal of Winter, perhaps even more so.
Most of those stories were intolerably exaggerated and incorrect though. Some of those actors portrayed him as some sort of dark knight with a big sword, wearing shimmering plate armor, and others made him out to be almost an Immortal himself. The former only made him furrow his brow – he had never worn plate armor, he was at present garbed in a fine, dark suit – the latter made him worry slightly though. They were too close to the truth.
In spite of the fact that those performances irked and worried him, he remained and carefully watched everything that was going on. He needed to know what the common citizens of Etzos thought of him so that he could perhaps influence how he was perceived in the future.