Rorschach knew about the hole. Hell he warned them about smothering man eating darkness. Yay maneating darkness. On the upshot there was no sunlight and it's amazing how well that can be undersold by a happy cockroach. Amazing that. He was armed, and he was lucid. Banner day. All he really cared about was finding the quickest way out possible, and was most worried for his tiny Cricket who was kept stuffed into his jacket to protect him as best as he could while picking a path that the others could follow. He signed in teh darkness. No one saw. He wanted to know why they had to live where the air hurt their face. Why was the air always hurting faces?! His hand found ZIllah's as to not let go letting his subterranian eyes pik through the nuissance of darkness. There was eavesdropping on the other critters, the tiny things that were indigenous, tostay apprised of what their interests in them might be.
Chester, was not happy.
Zillah ...doesn't seem to mind the darkness as much as some might. Maybe because she carries her own shadows with her, that slither around her form. The only thing not cloaked in it, is the hand that holds onto Rorschach. Serpentine thing that she is, she slinks along behind the bug, glancing over to make sure that Damion isn't getting lost, either. A bit guilty, as she can't exactly share her ability with the others. But, well. Them's the dice.
Damion is coming along because...well. He doesn't like Rorschach or Zillah going into the Hedge alone. Rorschach in particular seems prone to being eaten by things while there. So, best to try to avoid that. Of course, being slowly beat up by invisible worms isn't really that fun. But, to be fair, it's less punishing than an average session in the ring. So there's that. He's wearing his armor and weapons, because you don't go into the Deep Hedge without being prepared. Ideally you go into any part of the Hedge without being prepared, but definetly not the Deep Hedge. He keeps close behind the other two, trying to watch the darkness as best he can. Which is not very well at all. The things are probably attracted to his faintly glowing, molten orange eyes. Which is probably a little annoying.
Rorschach could not help being a bug of exceptional taste. Maybe it was because he tended to keep food stashed in his pockets. Whatever it was the paranoid buggo has vowed never to take granola anywheres near the hedge again. There were hellchitters that were from teh Darkling which were lovingly made stranger from teh odd shapes in teh cavern to bounce the sound, and if you spoke insect, was a polite greeting of: if you come near me directly I will swallow you and your larve whole. How's it going?' You know, standard greetings.
It hurt, btu the pain was good and kept them focused and weirdly alive. Once out in teh hedg e it was... a very different experience. It reacted to them and that htye knew. It was hotter, and drier for certain, and while the shadows were thick in grabbing nature, the ground also didn't seem to be caked red with dried blood, and still puddling on occasion. That was an added feature. There was a pause though and while the trip was draiing it was the tiny cricket that was hungry and tired that Rorsch was msot concerned about. He promised next time he might jsut stuff the cricket in his mouth to protect him better. This might not be that much of an upgrade. Stillbetween them it took no time to get a bearing on where the market was and only a little longer to figure trods that would get them there without cutting too many corners. The Roach's fingers plaed with the scenery trying to pick out the edges of where the trod stopped and noted to them in sign, <<We shouldn't stand still for too long. Not us. Not like this>>
When it comes to transversing the Deep Hedge, Zillah left the details up to the more experienced. It makes her extra glad that they've got a dragon along, and not just because his eyes are glowy and she loves shiny things. Quietly doing damage to any of the little worms that try to invade her own personal space, she trudges along through the caves with the pair. Not as touched by the Wyrd as her companions, the world did not bend to her will - such a pity. Still in a shadowed place, she keeps the darkness swarmed around her, holding to it like a nice, comfy jacket.
Once they're out in the Hedge at large, Damion takes the time to check out the bug and snake. Zillah seems fine. But since Chester is already exhausted, he'll heal Rorschach himself. As they move along, there are of course signs of his Wyrd in the surrounding area. Hedge Critters look slightly more draconic, whether their features becoming a little more reptillian or scales appearing here and there. Things also seem...slightly bigger. Not a lot, but enough to be noticeable at times. When they pass puddles of water, at times they seem to steam and bubble a little. He nods to Rorschach, "No we don't." He loosens his sword in its sheath, trying ot keep a close eye out for anything that might cause them trouble on the way to the market.
Goggles were down, coat was on, and all needful things had a pocket. Rorschach put the tired cricket into a matchbox and let him chill out there letting him know to pipe up if he piced up ambush. He looked around and noted <<The Hedge gets more depressing everytime I see it. This can't be healthy>> He looked to Zillah and something struck him as funny. Scarred lips pulled into a grin and he pointed. <It's that way right now.>> A hand reached out to Damion's shoulder giving the Dragon a squeeze of genuine thanks. Still on those trips he kept an eye out and noted <>
Zillah is, admittedly, not nearly as geared up as the bug or the dragon. The shadowsnake at least had sensible shoes on, and jeans rather than the usual layers upon layers of velvets and lace. But there's the swarm of shadow about her, too, which likely counted as something. She grins back to the Roach, before looking towards where he points. "Sounds a good plan," she murmurs, as she tilts her head slightly, waiting for one of them to lead on.
Damion takes the lead, ready to tank any trouble that might pop out. He probably still takes direction advice from Rorschach though, since the roach is a better navigator than him. "The Hedge is always bad, Ror. What about it seems worse to you?" He is fairly new to the area. Maybe that's why he's not seeing whatever it is that Robbie is talking about right now.
Rorschach was on a mission and walked, head hig an antennae alert to the myriad dangers around them. All of them. Even the ones that didn't know they were dangerous. See and people say Paranoia doesn't keep you in one piece. The question though brought his feet up short and he turned to look at teh Dragona nd tilted his head. Faceted eyes blinked and hands went out to gesture at the blood stained earth and the wilting vegitation that seemed to be what he was broadly gesturing at. As if to make a point the preoccupied Darkling marched right voer to- uhhh where was he going?
Zillah watches the world around them with a quiet sort of fascination. And, admittedly, the bug that moves about like he's ready to attack the very atmosphere at any moment. Admiration, with a healthy dash of worry. Plus an extra pinch, just to be sure. But when Damion and Rorschach seem to be possibly going in slightly different ways, the shadowsnek pauses. And waits. Hopefully one of them actually knew the way.
Damion is paying more attention, glancing behind him as Robbie gestures at the things in question. "Hmm...are you sure that's not from your Wyrd affecting things? I mean...red, the wilting could be from the radioactivity..." He notes towards other things, like a hedge-rabbit peeking out at them with reptillian slitted eyes, or how some of the un-wilted leaves look slightly gilded. Some of the wilted plants start to perk up and look similarly golden, though some of the gilded ones begin to wilt and fade as well. And back and forth they go with both of them standing there. Then the bug starts to wander off the path, and he reaches out a hand to his shoulder, turning him the right direction. "This way, buggo." He raises a hand, and lightly rubs one of his sniff-wigglers with a fingertip. "You might need to give these a tuneup when we get back." Then he resumes walking.
Rorschach paused and... okay the big guy could have a point. it might be... When his antenna was poked there was a squinted look at the Dragon. That was...well not wrong. He chewed on his antennae and turned back to...where were they going? His brow furrowed and he looked to Zillaha nd took her hand. Oh yeah, market. Answers.
The market, when they arrive, is as it always is: sunny, bright, the sweet scent of wild roses on the air. Queer spices, too, and beasts, leather, stranger things, almost all visitors hobs of some variety, though there is a handful of changelings there. None of them are Thudlump, mind, but they are there.
Zillah's fingers twine with Rorschach's, and she blows the bug a little kiss. Watching the effects of their Wyrds, as things go from gilded to wilted, draconic to sanguine. There's a twitch of fingers, like she wants to pick and prod at all of it, but they're in motion, with a goal. Market. Yes, that's it. When they reach it, the darkness around her slinks away, not that she is without shadows because of what she is, at her core. She doesn't sniff the air, so much as flicker her tongue out. Close her eyes. Mm.
Hmmm. Damion begins the search for the merchant, stopping here and there to ask various Hobs and Lost whether or not they had seen Thudlump. Maybe keeping an eye out for any interesting wares. Not that he's sure what he'd buy them with if he did see something he liked. He also makes sure that the roach and snake stay with him.
Rorschach noted that it was still awful. Check. The Roach though had very strict personal ethics where hospitality was concerned. The hobs had enforced ethics on how thier hospitality was respected. The good news was that these were compatible, which might almost be odd for the Moon Court, but it was what it was.
Fingers tightened around Zillah's hand, and he let Damion walk in frint keeping at the big guy's shoulder. True the market had rules on violence but being taken advantage of was skirting a law there and almost jsut as bad. People have been forced into deals they didn't want in the past and he wasn't keen on being one of them. He signed with his free hand after making certain he know jsut where he knife was and where the mirror in his pocket shifted to. Check and check. <<Might even want to find a guard or a scuttlebutt peddler>>
The distinctive pink guards of the Market are posted in several places, keeping an eye on the proceedings, as well as being prominently present at the entrance to the Market Hollow itself.
Hand in hand, and Dragon at the front, Zillah looks around with a casual sort of paranoia. Blame it on not spending a lot of time in the Market, or just general outlook on anything to do with everything. With it being so damned sunny, she lifts the hood of her hoodie, and digs around with her free hand until she can find the sunglasses in her pocket, cat-eyed and oversized. It doesn't stop the hiss that comes from between her lips. "Didn't...bring my parasol," she mutters.
The suggestion from Rorschach makes Damion nod to the roach. "Good idea." He begins keeping an eye out for guards. And whatever a scuttlebutt peddler would look like. He approaches one of the pink guards... pink. That was a weird color choice for guards, but whatever. "Excuse me. I was wondering if you could help me. I'm looking for a merchant. He by the name of Thudlump. A Lost."
Rorschach signed <Pretty certain they'd look like Enid Schmitt...shorter...and brighter-greener hair if that can happen>>:at Damion's question the roach jsut facepalmed and signed <<He's a wanted man. Please don't make it sound like we are on speaking terms here. Bear that in mind.>> The roach took a deep breath and held up a note trying to assist the effort for the Hob to read though he didn't hand the note over. Too much could be done with one's own handwriting. 'We're looking for information, not the guy. We're concerned about an incident a while back?'
Zillah, despite her glasses, the hoodie...does not look like the happiest of snakes. There's that low hiss coming from between her lips, and her fingers twitch quickly. She untwines her hand from Ror's, so that she can fidget properly. She doesn't tense up, not fully, but she doesn't seem to comfortable with the market. Maybe that's why she never comes here. Watching the Hob that they speak to, all so keenly. Squinty eye.
The guard, pixie-like in general appearance, is clearly among the same family as the rest of the Wild Roses. His shock of tufty hair is dyed a pale rose pink, and on Damion, well, he comes up to just a bit above the changeling's knees.
"Keep looking," is the fellow's melodious, but curt, reply, the implication obvious: no Thudlump here.
When Rorschach holds up the note, the hob reads it, narrows his eyes, and tilts his head back, small quiver of rose-fletched arrows rattling a bit between his shoulders. "What information?"
Damion glances at Rorschach, then looks back to the Guard. Hmm. On second thought...he'll let Rorschach do the asking here. He steps back behind the bug. He also rests a hand on the the back of the snake, gently scritching through her clothes. He watches to see what Ror does.
Rorschach looked to Zillah and took a deep breath pushing his shadows away from himself and hugging her like a tiny column. He scribbled to the hob guard. The note read, 'We know he has wronged the distinguished House and Market of the honourable and reverent Lady Day. He was fleeing and I wanted to know what offense was given to her and if there was bounty on he or his name.' The Roach's antennae twitched patiently. Also, it never hurt to pay liberal compliment to teh guardian of the terrain.
Zillah seems soothed, at least somewhat, by the contact that she's being given. Letting Rorschach be the one to do the communicating with the hob, under her watchful, wincing eye. "So much sun," she whispers, hisses, towards the dragon. How could anyone like for things to be so /bright/?
Damion isn't a Darkling, and he doesn't have any Darkling Kiths. So he's not particularly bothered by the sun. He shrugs at the shadowsnek when she hisses out her question. "It takes all kinds, darlin. Some people are afraid of the dark." He leans over, and kisses her atop the hoodie-covered head. "Just put up with it for now. We'll get our info and head back soon." He probably can't actually see what Rorschach is writing, but watches curiously anyway.
The diminutive guard eyes the note, eyes Rorschach, and sniffs, once. "Maybe I know somethin'." He flutters his tattered wings, too small to possibly carry him anywhere. Looking to all three of them, he points at Damion and Zillah, stating, "They want to hear it, they gotta pay me too. What've you got to trade?"
Rorschach considered this and signed to Zillah and Damion <<I'm going to guess you'll be interested>>> Finally he considered and made a list of offerable things; one of this he was loathe to put on the table but had weight to it. The note listed:
-A stolen song gifted and written in the blood of a heartbroken man.
-An Incubi, trapped, who peddles emotions of avarice and what it feels like to be successful.
-The exchange of one sorrow which he will accept and take from the guard to protect.
Robbie had a strange way of negotiating.
Headkisses are fantastic thing. And it certainly doesn't hurt that Damion's much larger form shadows Zillah's for a moment. Ahh, sweet relief from the sunny sky. She looks to the guard as he speaks, and quirks her brow. Nodding to what Rorsch signs, before pursing her lips. "The half-gone memory of a friend. A handcrafted necklace, for a sweetheart." Cautious, and a little uncertain.
Damion nods to the roach, "Yeah. It's what we came for after all." Though...now he's wondering if him coming along did nothing but ensure that this costs more. He glances at the other two, rubbing at his neck. "I'm...not sure what to offer." This is one aspect of Lost existence he's never been particularly good at.
Rorschach turned and considered the Dragon <<Eh, offer your boot laces? THose are HELLA useful. Story of victory that he can use to impress someone. Tears of your enemies in a hankerchief?>> As if, ya know, people just have that on hand.
The little hob evidently has a thing for hearts. "The song," he points at Rorschach, "the necklace," points at Zillah. He then lifts his bow, sturdy for its size, and thwacks the side of Damion's leg with it to get his attention, then points back along the path which leads out of the Market. "Go."
He watches the far taller Changeling until he moves, and doesn't say a thing until he is out of the Market or produces something worthwhile.
Damion thinks, then eventually shrugs. "Well...you don't particularly need me right now anyway. I can meet up with you guys later after you do your stuff." He eyes the Guard, then heads for the road out of the Market.
Rorschach reached out and made for Damion's arm looking up to him and signed <<Trade him a feeling. A heartbreak, a defeat. Story is valuable and manifest as things are. Of if you're packing a granola bar or some chicken noodle soup? Weirdly that too. Also some of them love tupperwear. I think because they can make tiny boats out of it or keep moisture out. THat I dunno.>>
Damion stops when Rorschach stops him, then looks at him. He thinks about it for a time. Well. He is an athlete. He opens one of the pouches on his armor, and produces a couple of energy bars. He holds them up towards the guard, raising a brow inquisitively.
There's a bit of digging around in the pockets of her hoodie, by Zillah. And what she produces is as advertised. A necklace, woven of brightly colored strings. Like it was made on a loom, a long while ago. Maybe in the 90s. But it has a little heartshape woven into it, and there's enough wear to it to suggest that whomever it belonged to, was once very fond of it.
Rorschach wrote a note, 'Those will travel. Will not go stale anytime soon. High in fiber, good for digestion. Also can lure squirrels if you need a squirrel lure.' He would see. Sometimes it was a matter of which attributes one was interested in. In the meantime he pulled out what was a page folded in quarters in teh back of one of his army of notebooks. It was a heavier cardstock but on it, in blood, was the sheet music that the damn necklace sang over and over again. He didn't speak Lithuanian so the words were not on it.
The guard considers the energy bars with a dubious air, but reads Rorschach's note when it is presented. With a put-upon sigh, he flicks his wings and reaches up to accept the offerings, sending them...somewhere..? Somewhere not visible. "No one sells here without permission. He did. He fought. He is banned from Where the Wild Roses Grow." The words are quick, explanation succinct. Busy guard needs to guard, after all. "He escaped before he could be taken to the slave pens." A sour twist of his lips marks his displeasure about -that-.
Damion smiles a little when the guard takes the bars, then listens carefully to his words. One brow quirks a bit at the explanation. "Hmm. That seems fairly simple. I take it that he didn't get permission because he would have had to give up a share of the profits or the like?" He glances at Rorschach. "If so, I guess he was primarily greedy."
Rorschach noted alo to Damion not caring if the guard overheard, and in fact, may have wanted to dro that out there but sinigng was its own thing <<Yeah but how nbadly was he wanted that he bailed on his goods without even trying to haggle but for but life? AWFULLY high price to pay. He scribbled as much on the note but only after checking to see how Zillah was faring. He paused and kissed her pressing his forehead to hers a moment in a quiet promise to be quick as they could to find her reprieve. Back to the note to finish it. 'So his goods aren't stolen. We know why he was interested in getting rid of them if he was willing to pawn them off cheap? Does LAdy Day want him returned to her?' Ya know it's not like the assassin didn't take contracts, but it was always nice to keep the local hobs happy and hospitality was sacred. Also he wanted to know if there was anyhting they were going to get burned on.
Zillah listens to the guard, her lips still pressed together in a scowl. Not outright hostile, but the continued sun exposure was not sitting well with the patron snake of shadows and velvets. Forehead pressed to the bug's, kisses exchanged, she gives him a hiss that translates roughly to 'the caverns were better' or 'please let me stab someone that deserves it, like this fugitive marketer'. Taking a breath, she straightens herself back up, waiting for the hob's answer.
Observing the interaction between the two changelings with the keen eyes of one to whom any knowledge is for sale, the guard simply states, "His goods came and left with him. If he returns, he knows how he will be dealt with."
Rorschach flipped in his notebook and scribbled, 'I thank you gor the generosity of your time. May Lady Day smile and show you favourfor your gracious hospitality to us.' It was sincere enough, and the poet was flower enough to kiss a hob ass or two and mean it. He wasn't a Baron of the Lesser Ones, but manners were manners. He looked around signing to the other two and siad <<Let's see if we can't find ZIllah an umbrella that creats dar for the trip back maybe. I wish we could get your ring identified, but I don't trust unknown things around this many people>>
Damion looks at the guard. "So that's a no on there being a contract out for him then. Alright." He looks at the snake and roach, and smiles a little. "I guess that means there's not much left for us to do here." He stretches, then glances around. "Unless the two of you have something you need?" Then he nods to Rorschach. An umbrella that creates dark. Sounds good. "I imagine you could use something like that too."
"Umbrella would be nice," the shadowsnek murmured. As it was, she hovered between roach and dragon, trying to stay in the pair of shadows. They're both taller than her, after all. And the memory of her last time out in the sun is so fresh that she's still peeling from it. "Yeah, let's save that for another time," she agrees with a nod.
Rorschach looked to Zillah and signed to her looking sympathetic <<Descaler?>> He looked at teh two of them. He was squishy. He didn't even have a carapace much less real bones so he was guessing but either way they were leaving with more questions than he started with. At least the big question was evident: No one from teh Wild Roses would be interested in them for their acquisitions for purposes of being stolen goods.
Damion shakes his head at Rorschach, "The scales will keep coming back. Trust me. She just has to get through the adjustment period." He scritches soothingly at the back of the shadowsnek. Trying to be sure to have his shadow fall on her when possible. "I've not come here that often. Probably because, as you've noticed, I'm bad at bartering."
The guard, after a snort at the dragon's concluding remark, sweetly smiles up at Damion, deliberately tells -him-, "Come again," and walks off about his business without another word.
"Just lots of scritches," Zillah says, resigned to accept her fate of being itchy as hell until she got used to having scales. "I've already tried one of those cheese grater looking things that they give you a pedicure with at the fancy salons." But thne it's back to the close of business, and she gives a little smirk towards the guard. Reaching up to patpat the dragon on the shoulder. "It's okay, we'll have the bug help you learn."
Rorschach signed <<Yeah. Not just being able to demand what one wnats is a bitch. It's fair though. Can't argue that.>> He turned and cracked a wry grin laughing soundlessly at Damion's misfortune patting him on the shoulder <<I think you might make friends that way. These guys looooove winning>> He was antsy as hell. He wanted answers. He wanted more math and likly were the other two not here he might even start to get a tad reckless but he looked at Zillah. She was uncomfortable and said instead << She's hurting. We cna come back for those things if we need them.>>