Misfortunes
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Xanadu Weyr - Shore of Lake Caspian

The cliffs that run along the shore come and go, various weyrs nestled along the tops of them or dug into the walls, but eventually they recede enough to expose a beach. The white sand echoes the rise and fall of the cliffs with a multitude of sandy dunes, endlessly creating tiny valleys that are constantly demolished and rebuilt by the frequent arrival or departure of dragons. The dunes smooth out as the gentle slope approaches the edge of the deep blue water. The sand darkens, and a shell here and there stands out for children to collect.

The beach narrows to the southwest, leaving a path barely wide enough for dragons in single file before cutting in to a smaller, more sheltered cove. The sands are the same white, the waters the same blue, but they're calmer and more tranquil, more protected from the winds that ruffle Lake Caspian and the currents that tug beneath the surface.

Rough, wide stairs lead up to the meadow above and the road that runs along the top of the cliffs, passing through the fields and heading for the river mouth that can be just barely seen from here. The largest of the staircases up the cliff is located near the docks that jut out onto the peaceful blue waters.


When a veritable cardboard village of questionable origins appears, of course there are a few others of questionable origins that come along with it. Somewhere in the shadow of the cardboard ferris wheel (HOW DOES IT WORK???) and the fried dough vendor (HOW IS IT NOT ON FIRE???), Wilko has managed to find a little corner of cardboard to claim as his own. Or rather, the Great Wilkino's Stall of Fortune and Mystery! Despite the summer heat, the man has found a robe of dark blue and wrapped a silky purple and gold sheet as a make-shift turban. He sits behind a slightly-singed booth, waving long skinny fingers dramatically around the large crystal sphere in front of him. "Do you dare find out what your future holds? The Great Wilkino can find out! Come one, come all! Seek your fortune!"

It doesn't matter how old you are. When someone erects an amusement park made entirely of cardboard of questionable origins, you go there! Naturally Percival is wandering around, eyes scanning the structures around him with curiosity. Is there curiosities? Is he going to see that old Half Moon fabled taxidermy? Only time will tell, so the Butcher will continue taking one slow leisurely step after another, enjoying his meat skewer while taking it all in. One specific structure claims those amber eyes, drawing his footsteps in The Great Wilkino's direction. "Alright," Percival drawls on approach, finishing off the last bit of meat off the skewer before discarding the stick. "So what do you have to tell me that I don't know already?"

Business has been sadly slow for the Great Wilkino this afternoon, but the man does his best to hide the surprise as his pitch finally reeled in a fish. No ordinary fish. Normally it's been the old aunties or giggling groups of preteen girls. Wilko raises a ginger eyebrow at the butcher, evaluating. "Not quite so quickly… nothing comes without a cost. There's surely much that you don't know and might wish to know? A girl? Location for hidden treasure? What may lay in an egg? Wilkino knows not, but the spirits do. I am merely a humble conduit. What price would you be willing to pay to know such things?" You know, the humble sort of conduit that also names himself The Great.

"A price, hrm?" Percival reaches into his pocket and glances at his marks. He sends a sidelong glance over to THE GREAT WIKINSO and then glances over to some confection stand. Back and forth he looks before he merely shrugs and places his marks back into his pocket. "I guess I'll have to think about it, sounds like a very big decision. I'd hate to make it lightly… and on an empty stomach." All the Butcher does is offer a rather large shrug and he turns around, but doesn't walk away. With his back turned, he's smirking hard, eyes glancing up to the sky. Percival knows damn well his life is fairly boring but has been a comfortable boring. What could a cardboard land fortune person know? Then again, how often does mostly stable cardboard anything goes up? He sighs, admitting defeat to his curiosity and he turns back around. "Quarter-mark?"

The Great Wilkino has a sign and everything. Very Official even if it is officially written in crayon. As the man turns his back, Wilko lets out a light tsk. "It's a shame. The spirits have no stomachs, but they can be fickle. They're talkative now, but who knows if they'll still be when you return from…" He gives a look up and down the butcher. "Grabbing a sausage on a stick?" The battered and fried ones, clearly, because who doesn't need a corndog? When Percival does turn around and actually mention a price, Wilko's turbaned head gives a nod. "A modest price for a modest query. As long as the quarter-mark is smith, not beast." Maybe the spirits have an ongoing beef with the beastcraft?

Maybe the beasts have an ongoing beef with THE GREAT WHISKINO. Just to be sure, the Butcher pauses and glances at the mark and he nods. "It's Smith." Percival slowly wanders over, handing over the mark and he stands there with arms casually crossed to see what happens next. Does he believe in this stuff? YES. There's unsolved mystery type stuff going on all the time and there definitely has to be something involved. Will he openly admit to that? NOPE. Though, best believe he makes sure he keeps his oven, freezer, and smoker extra clean OR THE FOOD WILL LAY WASTE UPON YOUR BOWELS. Nevermind that Sciencey thing. If it couldn't solve the reason behind Risali's existence, it's not gonna solve the haunted innards of mankind post haunted kitchens. "Hrm," he needs a question, right? Percival glances at THE GREAT WHOPINO, pondering. PONDERING. "Fine. Tell me… what unknown dangers should I fear in the comfort of our own barracks?" Will I impress sounded too desperate… maybe.

That's a Mystery the Spirits and the Great Wilkino will be keeping to himself! As quickly as the mark is set on the counter, the con man fortune teller inspects and whisks it away. "Sit, sit!" He waves towards the tiny cardboard stool in front of the stall, rickety as anything else in this cardboard wonderland but it might be able to hold his full weight. "Unknown dangers?" Wilko lowers his voice as he also ponders with a hmmmm and hands start to circle the ball again. "As full as the barracks are, Wilkino seems many dangers, but joys as well…" He closes his eyes and lets out a little hum. before continuing. "Beware though as the innocent will betray. But once burnt, you will find your heart's desire." He cracks an eye lid as he gives that message before slumping slightly in his seat, wiping at some non-existent sweat from his brow. "Is that an answer that you seek?"

Questionable cardboard stool? Better not anger the cardboard spirits or something so Percival carefully sits himself down, hands hesitantly raising and folding neatly in his lap. He's glances over to THE GREAT WHIPPINO, taking in the words said by this MYSTERIOUS MYSTERY PERSON, and making sure his toes are firmly on the ground in case this wonderland stool falls apart. The hand circling the ball thing and all the weird sounds has to be some legit stuff, right? His posture says 'yeah, sure' but that completely intent look on his face? EATING IT ALL UP. He glances off to the side, biting down on his lip. Who is completely innocent in the barracks? Who? Rhody? Stefyr? That strange guy that talks to his shoes before placing one on each corner of his cot legs so 'they don't walk off?' Naw, dangerous questionable shoe man can't be a threat… But one can never be too careful. The rest of the fortune is heard and tucked back for later reference, but for now, the Butcher has a serious mission. NO ONE IS PULLING ON OVER ON HIM. "Yes," he says, slowly rising to his feet. Percival begins to feel like there's something amiss, but he can't quite put his finger on it. He glances at THE GREAT WHIFFINO, narrowing his eyes suspiciously. "I think that'll do… for now."

Like most things in Leirith-Topia, the stool is sturdier than it looks. At least until the first rainfall or any real test. Wilko will certainly try his best to really sell that spewing his bovine-manure was some hard work. How does he make himself pale as he fans at his face. "If you change your mind or if you find other quandries that require supernatural assistance…" He pauses for dramatic effect. "As long as the stars align, the Great Wilkino will be here." Or until the guards catch wind and drive him out. One or the other. "Ready to conduit, at your command." As long as the marks are supplied.

Percival reaches into his pockets once more, not letting his gaze leave this MYSTERIOUS MYSTERY PERSON, and he slowly nods his head. "Yes," he says slowly, glancing over his shoulder as he looks through the cardboard wonderland with suspicion. "I'm sure we'll be crossing paths once more if all goes well." What goes well? If no one is going to STAB HIM IN THE BACK. Or smother him with a pillow while he sleeps. The barracks do get very dark at night… Before the day crawls on any further, the Butcher gives THE GREAT WAPPINO a nod in farewell and he meanders off to the rest of the wonderland, wondering wonderiously who would be out there innocent enough to worry about.


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