- Markshire PCs:
One oâ€™ my favorite things to do in Markshire, is shop! Yup, shoppinâ€™! Fer clothes, mainly.I really likes shoppinâ€™ fer clothes!
There ainâ€™t no stores back in my old village where you can buy nice garments. Oh, we have a tailor oâ€™ sorts whoâ€™ll sew up a simple outfit for you if you hand him a coin or two. Nothinâ€™ fancy, mind you. Barely more than a big cloak with a hole cut into the middle soâ€™s you can poke yer head up through and two smaller holes fer your arms. Mayhap three smaller holes if you happen to have three arms, although I ainâ€™t never seen nobody what has three arms.
And heâ€™ll include a piece oâ€™ rope soâ€™s yuh can snug up the whole business â€˜round yer waist. Heâ€™ll waterproof â€˜em too. Yup! Ainâ€™t one drop oâ€™ rain ever gonna find itâ€™s way inside oâ€™ one oâ€™ those cloaks he makes, but whatever the hel he rubs into them garments to make them water tight, also makes â€˜em smell somethinâ€™ awful!
Iâ€™m thinkinâ€™ it might be animal fat or somethinâ€™ close to that. He only has one choice oâ€™ material and itâ€™s all the same color! Brown! Now I ainâ€™t got the slightest idea where he gets this cloth, but he has yards and yards oâ€™ this stuff layinâ€™ â€˜round his shop! Well . . . you guessed it! Everyone in my village is walkinâ€™ around wearinâ€™ one oâ€™ them stinky garments and from a distance, with everyone clad in brown, itâ€™s hard to tell folks apart from one another!
Yup! The whole village reeks from them damn cloaks and it looks like its filled up full oâ€™ a bunch of foul smellinâ€™ monks what escaped from a monastery or somethinâ€™! When a stranger visits our little hamlet and sees all those people strollinâ€™ â€˜round in those garments Iâ€™d be willinâ€™ to bet theyâ€™re thinkinâ€™ the same thing!
When they gets a little closer and that atrocious odor oâ€™ all them cloaks begins to offend their nose, for sure they turn right around and start headinâ€™ back the way they came! I ainâ€™t lyin! Iâ€™m tellinâ€™ yuh the truth! We donâ€™t get too many visitors cominâ€™ into our little village â€˜cause oâ€™ those damn cloaks!
Oâ€™ course it would help some, if folks bathed more frequently, you know? But from where I come from, people only takes a bath once a year. Yup! Tradition they calls it! Come June, weâ€™ll all hop into a tub or even a stream if the water ainâ€™t too cold, scrubbinâ€™ ourselves all over, even behind our ears, sometimes even usinâ€™ a bit oâ€™ soap if we happen to have any, and really doinâ€™ a thorough job oâ€™ it, not missinâ€™ a thing! Well . . . a bathâ€™s gotta last us for a whole year, you know?
Thing is, nobody seems to care â€˜bout all oâ€™ this one way or the other, and I ainâ€™t cared either till the day I found a nice shop in Stonemark, smack in the middle oâ€™ the Beroe District, a few doors down from Berrickâ€™s Blacksmith shoppe, called â€œAnastasiaâ€™s Fine Apparelâ€.
Oh geez! What a charming store it is! A huge place, and sheâ€™s got mannaq . . . . uh, dummies propped up with sticks stuck into their backs to keep â€˜em straight, and theyâ€™s just about everywhere you look! And sheâ€™s got the most beautiful fineries hanginâ€™ off oâ€™ them! Oh geez! Silks and satins, the finest linins, even wool what was sheared right off oâ€™ Stone Giantâ€™s backs!
She told me she boils the Stone Giant wool, stirrinâ€™ it for hours in a big iron cook pot filled with spring water what she has sittinâ€™ out behind her shop. When she decides itâ€™s had enough cookinâ€™ sheâ€™ll fish it out, let it air dry than sheâ€™ll comb out all the knots along with any dead bugs and stuff what might be still clinginâ€™ to it. Then sheâ€™ll dye it up in a rainbow oâ€™ different colors! She knits the nicest sweaters outta that wool! Those sweatersâ€™ll keep you warm as toast too!
Yup! Stone Giant wool! It sure as hel keeps those giants warm! Thatâ€™s why they can get away beinâ€™ so scantily clad, wearin only those loin cloths while theyâ€™re runninâ€™ about in Thrymâ€™s pass!
And her shoppe always smells so good! I ainâ€™t sure, but I think she spritzes everything with perfume each morninâ€™ before she opens the doors!
Well, Iâ€™ll tell ya, Iâ€™m a lady oâ€™ means now and I got enough gold saved up to buy just about any damn thing Iâ€™m wantinâ€™ and over the last few months I did just that! I purchased every dress and gown Anastasia had fer sale in that shop oâ€™ hers and I ainâ€™t cared an inch â€˜bout how much it cost me!
Anastasia told me I was one oâ€™ her best customers, aside from that dippy lady Paladin, Aels-witch! Oh geez! Well, a girlâ€™s gotta always look her best, you know? Now my magic box is so full oâ€™ dresses and gowns, I canâ€™t close it proper even when I sit on the lid and bounce around on top of it! I even popped one oâ€™ the hinges the last time I tried to squeeze it shut!
Anyways, I wanted somethinâ€™ special made, just for me. It had to be unique, not an â€œoff the shelfâ€ item. A one of a kind outfit what no one else had. So, after some hagglinâ€™ back and forth with her â€˜bout the cost, Anastasia agreed to design an outfit for me!
She asked me what my favorite colors was and I writ out a list a list oâ€™ â€˜em for her. Well . . . because I got a whole bunch oâ€™ favorite colors, you know?
That settled, she gathered up all the material sheâ€™d be needinâ€™ and took some measurements oâ€™ different parts oâ€™ me with a long string she pulled outta her pocket that looked just like the one Sun-Ok uses, what had little white markings all along the length oâ€™ it.
Then she gave Kareena, her counter girl, a quick smile along with a little wink and the both oâ€™ them set about snippinâ€™ and sewinâ€™, hemminâ€™ and hawinâ€™, toilinâ€™ away on my special new one oâ€™ a kind clothing.
Well Iâ€™ll tell you, when I walked outta that fittinâ€™ room sportinâ€™ my new outfit, I felt like Cleo . . . uh, Cleopa . . . uh, that lady queen what lived ages ago far south oâ€™ here by the banks oâ€™ that big river!
Anastasia had crafted me a yellow, wide brimmed hat what was decorated with a dazzlinâ€™ red ribbon and it had a huge pink feather stickinâ€™ outta the back oâ€™ it! My blouse was satin and the same color as my new hat! It was sleeveless too! To show off my arms, you know?
And sheâ€™d sewed up an elegant vest fer me what was a brilliant red, matchinâ€™ the ribbon in my hat! The vest had a lovely weave oâ€™ darker red throughout and was roomy enough soâ€™s I was able to wear it over the new blouse. Sheâ€™d sewn on fourteen little gray buttons, each one shaped like a tiny skull, in two rows runninâ€™ down the front oâ€™ it.
Sheâ€™d even crafted gloves for me from an old fishinâ€™ net she found layinâ€™ around somewhere and dyed it pink to go with the feather in my hat! The gloves stretched up far above my elbows, makinâ€™ me look so dig . . . digna . . . uh, like very much a lady!
And oh geez, black trousers made up o’ her softest silk, what stopped at my knees, ending there with a little frilly band o’ material! She’d sewn really deep pockets on either side of ’em too, soâ€™s Iâ€™d have a place to store all oâ€™ my chewinâ€™ tobacco! Black patent leather shoes and, ohh, how they sparkled so! You could even see your face in ’em! And Anastaisa dyed the tips a bright color pink, to go perfect with that feather! And to top it off, a fancy umbrella, a light grey color with an exquisite black design embroidered into the top oâ€™ it! Waterproof oâ€™ course!
I stood there outside the fittinâ€™ room all gussied up in my new finery, fish net gloves and all, proud as a peacock, twrlin’ my new umbrella over my shoulder, givinâ€™ Anastasia and her counter girl a chance to gaze a bit on their creation, you know? Well . . . they looked at me, than at each other . . . and than the both oâ€™ them started roarinâ€™ with laughter!!
Oh geez! What was so damn funny? Was they laughinâ€™ at me for some reason? I hates it when folks is laughinâ€™ at me! Especially if I ainâ€™t told no joke or nothinâ€™.
So . . . I quick reached fer my Falchion thinkinâ€™ Iâ€™d lop off both their heads and swiftly put a stop to their jollity! But Iâ€™d put the damn weapon down, along with my pack, while I was changinâ€™ into my new clothes! And . . .Iâ€™d forgotten exactly where Iâ€™d placed it! Well . . . I was excited â€˜bout the new special clothes, you know?
Anastasia could easily see I was gettingâ€™ steamed and right quick stopped her laughinâ€™, backed up a step and started wavinâ€™ her arms at me!
â€œNo, no Keli! Itâ€™s the buttons girl! Weâ€™ve . . . uh, um, enchanted the buttons on your new vest!â€
She glanced at Kareena and Iâ€™m sure I seen her wink again.
â€œYes! Thatâ€™s it lass! Those . . . uh, buttons have a powerful magic in them!â€
I noticed Karennaâ€™s eyes openinâ€™ up wider and wider as Anastasia went on.
â€œIâ€™ve a mage who works for me part time! He comes in after four, stays an hour or two, and only comes in two days a week!â€ she said.
“He does the enchanting for me! I thought it would be a nice touch Keli! You know, happy buttons? Theyâ€™ll bring good cheer and wipe the frown off any face that happens to gaze upon them! Some folks will double over in laughter even!â€
Kareena now had both hands covering her mouth and with her eyes as wide as saucers, was staring intently at Anastasia. Her mistress realizing I’d misplaced my weapon and feeling a tad safer because of it had stepped a bit closer to me and she spoke again.
â€œThink girl! Why would you not want to spread a bit of happiness around this miserable god awful place? We certainly could use more happiness in Stonemark, and everywhere else, for that matter!â€
Well . . . I thought â€˜bout that fer a moment or two and I decided Anastasia was right. I mean, why not be puttinâ€™ a grin or a big smile on everyonesâ€™ face what glanced at those buttons and I decided right then, not to be loppinâ€™ off their heads.
Instead, I thanked the both oâ€™ them for the fine work they done, paid Anastasia a full two handfuls more oâ€™ gold than sheâ€™d asked for, gave Kareena a big smile and an even bigger tip, and off I went, into the night.
I wearâ€™s this outfit often. Sometimes folksâ€™ll laugh, sometimes they just stare, but Iâ€™m sure those buttons is bringinâ€™ good cheer to all who gaze upon them!
I was wearinâ€™ these very clothes a few days ago when I met Jon, Iathouz, and Celadur Maâ€™fer in that cave what connects the dwarf city with Thrymâ€™s pass. Tâ€™was not too long after that, we run into a very brassy dragon! Oh geez! I must tell you â€˜bout that encounter!
But wait! Iâ€™ve run outta ink again!
She grabs a ladle off the table and runs outside to the spittoon full of her tobacco juice ink which she keeps on the porch.