(121-01-30) The Law of Undercity
The Law of Undercity
Summary: Isador visits the Thieves Market, and talks about Undercity culture with Xhabo.
Date: 121-01-30

Thieves' Market, Oldtown

A dingy, dirty little market square, packed nearly from wall to wall with people. The din of shouting and screaming and chatter is nearly deafening, along with the scramble and rush of people. Here one can get the sorts of things the well-to-do, law-abiding shops would not ordinarily stock.

Poisons, potions, philtres, smuggling items such as extra long boots, cloaks, rings with hidden compartments, and the things that were smuggled inside them. Exotic drugs, spices, wines from Across The Narrow Sea, jewelry, and stranger things besides. Whores of all kinds patrol the tight litle market, scantily dressed or not at all, the better to sell what they have to offer the good people of the Undercity.

The archway to the West allows one to escape the dingy little market.

The late afternoon sun has begun to disappear behind the taller buildings around Thieves' Market, casting longer and deeper shadows — just the way the locals like it. As night gets nearer, more people begin to fill the streets, peddling their wares, their steel, and their bodies. Among the growing throngs, one tall figure strolls along casually, head held high like the underworld prince that he is. Xhabo Duna is well known in these parts, and it shows. Those that favor him greet him with warmth, or at least respect. Those that do not simply get out of his path. Though he seems to walk alone, nobody here would imagine for a second that his men are not on hand and ready to come to his aid at a moment's notice.

And from the other direction another signature citizen comes - atavistically people avoid her path and her gaze. Isador is rumored to be a Blood Witch — being attractive in a slightly unnatural way - her flame red hair contrasting with her alabaster skin — she looks the part depending upon what you think a witch might look like. She stops at a stall — perhaps she seems like a newcomer to the enforcer — perhaps he has heard of her - perhaps not. In any event she stands out — her black and red brambles dress and shawl mark her as much as anything else as atypical of this crowd. She appears to be purchasing some imported toxic compounds — the sorrt the guards (though not outright banning) might frown upon one having. (repose)

Xhabo steps lightly for a man of his size, though makes no effort to visibly hide his presence when he approaches Isador from behind. He moves up beside her, fingering a sprig of some exotic dried plant. "They say that you have true power," he says in a deep, resonant voice. "But I have seen many charlatans who claim the same. I often wonder whether you truly are what they say you are."

"A Blood Maegi? I am that amongst other things," Isador says inspecting the herbs for a moment before turning around. "It is a rare skill but merely something that takes time to learn. But my adopted father Gascoign the Magnificent trained me in the arts in Braavos many years ago. Not as mystical as some make it out to be. I am Isador…" She introduces herself politely though Xhabo might already know her name.

Xhabo chuckles through a close-lipped smile. "You seem eager to tell your tale." He turns to face her, offering a slight, gentlemanly bow and offering his hand, palm up. "I am Xhabo Duna. I am pleased that we meet at last, Isador."

Isador smiles and returns the bow, "A pleasure to meet you Master Duna. I choose to live openly and without shame. Others warn me against such candor but secrecy can only breed suspicion in the end. Besides I can help many with what I know. I ask only that their cause is just." Looking around, "You stride the markets as if you own them?"

Xhabo turns to gaze over the market, as if it were, indeed, his domain. "I do not own them. If anybody owns them, it is Loraquo. I am merely a presence. A generous one in the eyes of many, I hope."

"A guardsmen for the underclasses? I suppose an orderkeeper is necessary everywhere. Apart from north of the wall - where I harken from," Isador says - her accent marking her by way of contrast as from Essos somewhere. Braavos apparently. She's been around.

Xhabo laughs, shaking his head. "I would not go so far as to say I am a guardsman. Our kind would not take well to anything so strict. But, I suppose it can be said that we maintain a certain order. There are rules that must be followed to see that we can all remain free of molestation from the Hightower. In a sense, I do see to it that such rules are respected."

"And what are these rules that I may better follow them?" Isador asks canting her head.

"It is fairly simple," Xhabo says. "Do not draw unnecessary attention to the Undercity. Do not betray a fellow underman to the authorities, even if he is your enemy. Finally, do not engage in blood feuds, as an endless cycle of revenge is bad business for everybody. For this reason, I offer myself as an adjudicator when two parties have a grievance. But my judgement must be final, or he who violates it will suffer Loraquo's displeasure."

"So you are a justicar as well? Quite the set of responsibilities. A shadow government beneath the real one in Oldtown. Who would have thought?" Isador puts her hands on her hips, "So do I count as an underman simply by virtue of being here?"

"I suppose that you do," Xhabo confirms. "You would held to these standards, after all. So be careful about the attention you draw, maegi. Bring no trouble here, and no trouble will find you. But I think we both know that Westeros is one of those places that finds a blood witch…troublesome."

"So I am told - though I have few detractors. Only one has proved particularly burdensome. And feign few would follow me — a witch has eyes in the back of her head," she finishes her business at the stand. "Well it was nice meeting you — I suppose I will see you again when we cooccur."

"Eyes in the back of your head? Another myth, I wonder?" Xhabo smirks, offering another polite bow, making no great effort to disguise how his eyes drift down her form. "It was a pleasure. I hope to see you grace our market with you beauty again soon."

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