3rd of Ashan 721
There was an excitement about the village, as Rakvald strode into the coastal area of the town of Desnind. He was wearing his Ithecal totem, the magnificent pale-gray scaled creature. He only wore the remnants of his old robe from the House of Rivers, yet having discarded the shirt and fur mantle, as he no longer needed them to ward off the biting cold of the season. He only wore the lower-robes of that outfit, which didn't necessarily give away his former affiliation with that school. Not that he expected much ill-will to travel from that remote sanctuary all the way to the village of Desnind. While Master Long's students were a mix of local humans and Sev'ryn, many more of his students came from abroad, seeking the wisdom of the foremost master of Da'riya. Rakvald scoffed at the idea. He could brawl with that old man any day of the week. Why Long had refused to spar him directly, he wouldn't understand. He rather suspected the man feared him, but deep down knew there was something else to it. A grandmaster of hand-to-hand combat, however old, was still a formidable foe.
At any rate, the mage had long decided to try and found his own style of fighting. It would be a long road, and he'd certainly take some of the lessons learned from the House of Rivers. But in all, he expected a much different style by the time he was a master, having developed an entire discipline. It was another dream, for another time. Right now, the Market lie ahead of him.
Rakvald's blackened left arm, in the form of a mass of tentacle flesh, hung as it did, moving from time to time as any limb would as he walked along. Many people, mostly tourists who didn't know the mage gave him odd looks, staring at the tentacle mutation. There were other mutations besides that one, of course, but they didn't stand out as much - to his mind - while he was wearing the form of an Ithecal. Rakvald had not yet begun to grasp Ithecal beauty standards, but then he presumed that Ash-Claw’s totem was probably about the sexiest lizard alive. Rakvald only chose the best flesh to emulate.
Heedless of oddities in his mutations and appearance, Rakvald ignored their leering glances and approached a few stalls that had been set up with foreign goods for trade and barter. Rakvald had little in the way of material goods on him. Just his trusty pair of knives - one of them in fairness being larger than most swords - and the nels he carried in his purse. He could of course sell or barter those knives. They were still of good quality, masterwork, and bearing the mark of a fairly well-regarded smith in Quacia. Yet he didn't think it'd come to a point where he'd sell those blades. Nels was still regarded as a good trade, especially to the foreign merchants now populating the coastal village.
Rakvald spent a few breaks, looking for things he might want, or need. He saw clothing of various kinds. And he certainly could do with an update in wardrobe, not having done so since his time in Quacia. He'd largely just thrown whatever skins he could cobble together from salvage between then and now. It was time he started dressing to suit his impressive wealth.
He was browsing the fabrics, trying to find something that would greatly suit his current form, which was fast becoming a favorite. Then he saw something in the corner of his eye in a stall filled with decorative metalwork. He turned to face it, to see what he'd caught sight of.
It was a large, solid embersteel girdle, with a socket in the front that was large enough to contain a buckle, such as the Swine King's Buckle. On it was carved a masterful vignette of patterns of wildlife, all morphing one into the other. The centerpiece was a large monitor-like reptile, whose maw comprised of the socket in which the buckle could be placed. The eyes of this reptilian figure were socketed with a pair of small onyxes. Throughout the girdle, it bore the details of gold filigree in dramatic fashion around its more detailed moldings. There were a few bars for the back of the girdle, that allowed it to be adjusted as needed for several sizes of humanoid.
It was a very grand piece, and instantly on seeing the socket for a buckle, he knew he wanted it. Yet, he maintained a level of decorum as he approached the merchant, calling upon what self-control he had to curb his surface enthusiasm. He nodded in greeting to the man, and before he could even say a word the man began talking to Rakvald in a dozen tongues, confusing Rakvald momentarily until the man settled on common. "Greetings sir! Could I interest you in some fine jewelry? Perhaps a body chain, or a torc?" He babbled on for about a bit about this or that item which he had on offer until Rakvald pointed at the girdle on display. "I want that."
The man's eyes flew wide, and then he smiled and shook his head, "Oh no, friend. That is a showcase of what I have to offer, without that I..."
He wrung his hands, wondering if the large reptile before him might decide he looked like lunch. Rakvald glowered as well as he could with the Ithecal features but probably ended up looking either silly or grotesquely amusing.
"Do you not have anything else to impress folk with? Is that the best you have to offer?"
Rakvald felt this a very clever tactic, and crossed his arm for added effect, causing his tentacled arm to bulge slightly from the pressure. The man licked his lips, looking from Rakvald's mutated arm to his reptilian eyes. "I... Of course! But how about a trade, nels, and trade for the girdle?"
He dodged the question, but Rakvald was feeling magnanimous anyways. He shrugged. From the back of his linen belt, Rakvald undid and presented the two kukris he owned, which were masterwork items of the finest quality. Masterwork, and made by a well regarded smith. Presenting these to the merchant, his eyes beheld the two well-crafted items. "Well, I could certainly take these against the total, but do you have any nels to..."
Rakvald stopped, and took the weapons away. He shook his large reptilian head, and placed the knives back on his belt with a huff, ”You’ll take nels. Golden nels, many of them.”
reached into his belt-satchel for a dozen golden nels. These, it appeared, after the Merchant had a bite of the nels, would suffice. The merchant placed the two kukri on the shelf, and then gestured for Rakvald to take the girdle. Once the sale was done, he couldn't get rid of Rakvald fast enough, it seemed.
The mage was satisfied with the purchase of the decorative, metal girdle. So he wrapped it around his waist, adjusting the back bars, and cinching it to the lower robes he wore. Once all that was done, he placed the Swine King's buckle on the empty socket in the front of the girdle. Thus was the new look complete.
He wanted to show off his new acquisition to Ash-Flaw, but for now, he still had some more shopping to do. The fabric and clothing stalls still bore some articles he wished to peruse, and so he turned his attention to them.
He saw a few things that stood out to him. A great leather cloak that was cut in such a way as to cover the front and the back of the torso, pale green and dark, with inner lining of charcoal gray wool. along with that, he purchased a sleeve-less tabard of the same material and composition. Then, some lower robes, also of similar material.
He felt this was enough, and so paid the merchant quickly, probably losing more coin than he needed to in the process. Thus his wardrobe was updated as reasonably well as he could manage. He left the coastal area, where the merchants were gathered, to find his way back to Karshe.
By the time that he got back to the Inn, he was exhausted, and feeling much better now that he was fully clothed. Although the Paltharnum body was handsome as any form he'd worn in his days, that didn't mean it couldn't use a bit of decor to take it up a notch!
Rakvald swung his tail as he sauntered back toward his rooms, knocking on the walls with his tail as he went. Well, he'd still to get used to that appendage. Learning to have and mind one's tail wasn't a lesson someone learned overnight, afterall!