Apr 06, 2020 7:04 AM
Peaceful gods make peaceful places
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The temple is pretty on the inside, as well! The waterworks outside are connected to those inside, with indoor fountains and little lakes here and there. The altar is higher up, closer to the glass ceiling, and there are various offerings on it - sand, vials of water, glass pebbles and trinkets, minimalistic but very pretty jewellery. Priests have quarters near the back, and the acolyte has a bigger one.

"I think I failed to introduce myself. I am Takuma."

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Nod. "Nice to meet you."

He looks over the offerings on the altar, and then after a moment's consideration rifles briefly through his knapsack's outer pocket to retrieve what at first appears to be a wad of cloth; another moment reveals the small vial of brilliant blue powder nestled within it. "Ultramarine pigment, of the highest quality," he explains, and then waits for Takuma's approval.

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He gestures towards the altar, clear approval on his face.

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And up he goes.

"Greetings, Aarethil. I offer you this vial of ultramarine pigment, purified from lapis lazuli mined in the deserts of Daplenia, far to the north, and hope that collaboration with Kiraavi of roads brings you many more such treasures."

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There is a cool wind, and Ruel hears a soft, androgynous voice: "My thanks, and be welcome in my domain."

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He inclines his head, briefly, and then down he goes.

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"Is there anything you would like to see in particular or should I just give you a general tour?"

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"We work fairly closely with the traders, so I'll be more interested in your commercial district than you might expect. But a general tour is about right, yes."

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"That's fairly close to here." He starts leading the way out.

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Ruel follows, studying their surroundings as he does.

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The aesthetic is pretty consistent! He'll be hard-pressed to find a lot of dirt, but it looks effortless. The people are cheerful and most of them greet Takuma when he passes, with varying levels of respect and reverence. He seems to be well-liked and sometimes he stops to ask someone about their daughter or to wonder how the shop's been going or to send Gran his love.

The city is large enough that most trades are represented: there are shoemakers and cobblers and bakers and leatherworkers and smiths (of various kinds and colours) and bookbinders and more than a few people involved in various parts of the fishing trade. Everything seems very - specialised, though. There is a place that does a very specific kind of hook, leatherworkers tend to work with only a specific kind of leather, there is definitely no blacksmith that doubles as a whitesmith, and even those tend to specialise a little bit further than just that.

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He follows along, asking questions of the tradespeople as the opportunity arises - how's their supply of this or that material; are they familiar with this or that foreign technique, or would they be willing to teach theirs to apprentices; are they interested in exporting, and if so, in what kind of quantity, and so on.

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As they near the river there are more places dedicated to the fishing trade, and then to maritime transport - boatmaking is divided between transport boats and fishing boats and then further - and finally some tourism, with a few places here and there making pretty local things for the visitors that come by boat.

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He buys a few small things - fishing lures, jewelry, small artwork - asking questions and offering compliments to the shopkeepers as he goes.

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The shopkeepers are mildly surprised by his manner of dress but are very friendly!

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Friendly is nice. He lets himself be a mystery; the line between mentioning a god and proselytizing for one is very thin, after all.

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The people he interacts with don't mention Aarethil, either, even to Takuma, and he seems to be more interested in their personal lives than anything.

"So, this is the commercial district. How do you like it?"

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"Very nice. The setup is a little unusual, but we shouldn't have any trouble finding people who can work with it."

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"Unusual?"

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"Mmhmm. Traders aren't usually experts in the things they're selling; they know enough to get by, but a lot of them wouldn't know offhand which type of fisherman or smith would be interested in what they have." He shrugs. "They'll manage, with a little warning."

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"Oh, yes, people specialise a lot, here. It's a matter of cultural pride, in a sense, knowing as much as you can know about what you do and being exactly what you are."

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He nods. "It's not for everyone, I imagine, but I do see the appeal."

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"I find most people just need to find whatever they're good at. Everyone's good at something."

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"Of course."

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"Kiraavi, I seem to recall, does not really go in for settlements?"

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