• Solo • King of the Bazaar

It could have gone a little better

Almund is a thriving township with a dark side. With houses made from the wooden bodies of decommissioned ships, there are many opportunities here, coupled with many dangers.

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Posts: 361
Joined: Thu Feb 22, 2018 6:28 pm
Race: Biqaj
Profession: Merchant
Renown: 210
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Wealth Tier: Tier 1




King of the Bazaar

Arc 718, 26th of Cylus

For a while, the two of them sat in silence. Rynata laced her fingers in her lap, undid them, and laced them once more. The cold outside had made them stiff and clammy. However, being in the office for a while had allowed most of the feeling to return to her hands. The room itself was simple but tastefully furnished with a strong fire going in the central hearth. Choice pieces of furniture were scattered around the room and although the decorations were a bit muted for Rynata's liking, it seemed to be a pleasant place to work. She was waiting unhurriedly for the man opposite her across the desk to finish looking through a sheaf of paper that he shuffled around occasionally. The Master of the Bazaar himself was in no rush to accommodate his guest as he frowned at the documents. Rynata had a funny feeling the man was making her wait on purpose. Perhaps this was some sort of play at power. After all, he gave off the air of someone who had navigated countless negotiations and was knowledgeable in the delicate subtleties of human interaction. Judging from his current position and power, no doubt the scales often tipped in his favor.

At last, filing the papers away, the man looked up to face her properly. Rynata noted his sharp eyes and that though he remained polite, his mannerism suggested that they were not friends. His intentions were no nonsense business negotiations. In her time in Scalvoris, she had come across plenty of crotchety old vendors, but Rynata could tell that this man was not quite the type. There was less ill-humor in his expression than cunning and cold sternness.

"Welcome to my bazaar, Miss. I am Jacien Raque. Better known as Master of the Bazaar, perhaps. Now, is it a sales permit you want?" As he spoke, he produced a slip of paper from a drawer and made a point of straightening it out on the table.

Rynata nodded and smiled at the unimpressed wall that was Jacien. "A permit, yes," she said. "I hope there aren't too many restrictions?" She had been taught that negotiations were a game. A dangerous one, but that didn't mean that interactions had to lose their fun. Right now however, she questioned if the ruthless man in front of her would even allow for such a thing.

"Restrictions? No, there aren't many restrictions." Jacien appeared somewhat thoughtful before he spoke. "Anyone can sell their wares however they wish." He pushed the piece of paper forward for Rynata to examine. "If," he emphasized, his tone turning meaningful, "they agree to do as I say. The only thing you need ever concern yourself about in this bazaar, is me. Should you forget my authority, your permit will be revoked and I should mention that I have effective methods for dealing with trouble makers. I hope that what's expected of us both is clear?" He leaned forward slightly, catching her gaze and holding it as if trying to read her thoughts.

If Rynata hadn't been too keen to register at the bazaar before, she was certainly having her doubts now. The bazaar had seemed like a useful location and something that could provide a healthy boost to initial sales. It was undoubtedly a better business strategy and would attract more buyers than if she had opened shop at some deserted street corner. As she had walked to the office, even in Cylus there was a steady traffic of people doing their shopping. However, she had suspected that this would come with its limitations. Already, it felt too much like the older administrator was trying to put his foot down on her and she was probably right about that. While she could respect someone trying to maintain control over their domain, it was hard not to try and slip out of his imposed authority. Still, right now it might be wiser to keep her head down. She accepted that going against him would get her less than nowhere and came to the conclusion that her best bet was to win him over, however slowly. Or perhaps, one day she would no longer have to. The only bright side in all of this was that Jacien didn't play complicated games. Everything was on the table. Even the potential threats.

"I can't imagine you'll have any reason to uh, dispose of me." Her laughter and attempt at lightening the mood faltered at the expression on his face. Ouch. "But really," she continued, admirably powering through his stormy reception, "I'm not here to cause trouble. You should save those threats of yours for those who really need to hear them." Maybe that last bit was too much, Rynata wondered as a beat passed between them. Ah, bogs. She really should have followed her own advice to lay low, but it was true and at the moment it felt like the only way to avoid being utterly crushed underfoot. She had tried to hammer out a sort of ledge in the sliding scale of power that was already not in her favor from the get go. She had been polite and indicative of her cooperation, but had shown just enough disregard to compensate for her own pride.

Jacien made a sort of dismissive noise and simply motioned again toward the form, smartly offering an ink pen as he did so. It appeared that the man didn't consider her worth the trouble of an unexplained disappearance. Which was just as well because expalined or not, at the moment, she didn't have anyone that might be notified of that sort of thing. Rynata supposed this meant celebratory drinks and going by their usual schedule, O'Rourke's tavern should already have opened. The paper that Jacien drew her attention to was the official contract and permit. There wasn't much to fill out. Though it repeated twice, it simply required a name and one or two other essential details. Lastly, there were two spaces for signatures. One for the administrator, which was of course Jacien and one for the potential permit owner. In this case, it was Rynata. Accepting the pen and going over the sheet, she carefully printed out her full name and filled in everything else, dutifully signing on both halves. Sliding the form back to Jacien, Rynata watched as he scanned it over for any errors. Appearing not to find any faults in the document, he waved his hand over to a pair of scales.

"You'll be required to join the Merchants' Guild. The initial registration will cost you 100 gold nels."

Another reason why official decisions and rules were a hassle. Still, this was business and sometimes a little indirect investment was required. Even if it pained her to count out the coins in tens onto the scale. Meanwhile, Jacien was eyeing the scale's needle like a hawk, watching as it slowly balanced out against the set weights. There were slight whining creaks from the instrument as the plates bobbed up and down and for her own sake, Rynata hoped that the coins added up.

"Very well," he said with finality as the needle finally ceased wobbling at dead center. After scooping away her gleaming coins into a safe box, Jacien confirmed the permit with a flourishing sign of his own. Neatly folding the sheet in half, the Master of the Bazaar took out a paper knife, slitting the form with a practiced hand. Rynata, who had unconsciously performed a mental check of the nearest exit when the thin blade made its way into the man's hands was relieved when it was promptly put away.

Handing one half of the slip to Rynata, he filed away the second half according to some unknown organizing system. Sliding over her half of the form, he also placed a delicate looking glass token onto the table. Intricate designs were worked into the colored glass and its worth of 100 gold coins and the benefit of the Merchants' Guild glinted back at her.

"Any questions, and the Guild can help you," he said shortly, evidently not having anything more to say on the matter. Rolling out a chart of the bazaar, Jacien quickly scanned the various symbols and numbering littered across it. He pointed in quick succession at a few alleyways spider webbing away from the central building saying, "Should you wish to bid for one of the more popular locations in the market, you'll find the relevant information posted regularly. Other than that, these locations should have seen some recent openings."

Wondering why the previous stall owners had vacated the spots but not entirely prepared to ask, Rynata managed to make a quick mental note of the alley as Jacien swept away the map. Holding the rolled up parchment in his hands, he raised a brow, perhaps a little eager to get back to other matters. "That takes care of everything, I believe. Good day." Even so, he wore a strange half smile that she didn't know what to make of. Disconcerting to say the least.

Rynata slipped out of her chair and nodded, managing to throw out a more genuine smile of her own. "Thank you, then! Until next time, Mr. Raque."

Back outside the building it was colder than ever. Still, it was somehow much more preferable to be out here than in there. The next time she did that, she'd prefer to have the entire Scalveen naval fleet between them. Even so, she had managed to return in one piece with almost everything she had set out for. Now all that was left was to find herself a decent stand.

1610 words
word count: 1647
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Tristan Venora
Approved Character
Posts: 1316
Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2016 11:47 am
Race: Human
Profession: Mad Scientist Socialite
Renown: 844
Character Sheet
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Plot Notes
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Wealth Tier: Tier 10

King of the Bazaar

Name: Rynata

Detection: Recognizing a shrewd negotiator
Psychology: The implications of making someone wait
Negotiation: The nature of negotiation is a game
Negotiation: Disperse tension
Tactics: Know when to keep quiet
Business Management: Taking advantage of what is provided

Location: Almund, Almund Bazaar
Location: Almund, O'Rourke's
Jacien Raque: Master of the Bazaar
Factions: The Merchants' Guild

Permit for operating in the bazaar
Merchants' Guild token/membership
Injuries: N/A
Renown: 5
Magic XP: N/A

Points: 10
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Comments: I’ve never read one of your threads before and didn’t know what to expect. I have to admit, I was pleasantly surprised. This thread was well written and enjoyable. I gave you 5 Renown rather than 10 as you requested as that seemed the more appropriate reward for starting her new job to me. Let me know if you have any issues with that!
word count: 155
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