Wild Roses! The local market. A place that is, most notably, safe to travel to. As far as venues in the Hedge goes, 'safe' is at a high commodity and is not to be overlooked. It's said that, here, Badb Catha is the one to seek when it comes to weapons. She's an old, old hob. Withered, with bony, spindly limbs, and a beak-like nose, with black feathers in her wild green-white hair. Not exactly the 'pixie' quality of the rest of the marketeers. An old, haggard pixie, maybe! Her booth is just down the way...
Paige has strapped on her knives, since she's wandered out of the 'safety' of Stoneheart and into the Hedge. And look! She's found a friend! Just before leaving Stoneheart she spotted a familiar face and invited Eden to join her on her trip to Market. "So there's this person here I heard could probably help. Name's Badb Catha," she says, butchering the name a little. "Hopefully she's got what I'm looking for," she says, beaming as she looks around like a kid in a candy store. The weirdo.
Eden has her rifle, it's not just any ordinary rifle, but one made of twisted, stylish wood, not all that unlike Barbarella's space rifle. She has a backpack, and her magic chef's knife tucked into her belt as well, and a scarf made out of fire draped about her neck. What she doesn't have, anymore, is her shirt, the shirt that has a big rose colored flower on it, as stylized as it is, that shirt is in her backpack, leaving her with a black lacey bra. She has draped one of the fiery trails of her scarf kinda give some modesty, but not really. "Well, I'm happy to help any way I can, maybe I can find some good goblin fruit here too while we're at it." She says with a big smile, "I'm sure you can find whatever you want, it's just the price you might have to pay."
As the pair approaches, they are stopped countless times. A hob with a million glass beads for sale. Another with flowers that smell positively offensive. Want to be a living cat? Asks the man. He repeats living. Special price just for you!
Eventually, through the winding avenues, they find themselves at Badb Catha's stand. There's no one there, but there is a bell, with a sign next to it, that reads, "Ring for service." Beneath that, in much finer print, it reads out "By ringing this bell the ringee agrees to engage in fruitful transaction with the proprieter of this shop, and agrees under laws of the Wild Roses to abide by the rules of the Wild Roses, and that any summoning of the proprieter of this business will result in the completion of a formal agreement between proprieter and ringee." ... It's not meant to be rang by window shoppers.
Paige has a hard time making her way through the market. Those beads look pretty! And so many other things catch her attention, but somehow she keeps moving forward. "You can keep me from offering something supremely dumb in exchange for something," she tells Eden with a quick grin. "I tend to be a little...impulsive about most things. And we can absolutely look at fruit! Oooh, look at those!" she says brightly, looking at a display of fans. Why she needs a hand fan, who knows, but she likes them. She does make it to the stall though and frowns at the sigh. "That...hmm. Fruitful transaction, does that mean I /have/ to buy something if I ring the bell? Or just that I have to be serious about wanting something if a good deal can be met?" she muses, looking to Eden.
"I dunno, the rules we read on the way in said that the letter of the bragain is paramount, so you might have to offer fruit in exchange for ringing the bell.." Eden says, arms crossing over her chest as they come to stand infront of the stand, "I have some, if you don't have any one you. I found a lot more then I needed for my last recipe."
There is no response from the bell. It's just a bell.
Paige beams at Eden. "You do? Thanks! I'll totally buy you a beer or whatever you drink when we get back to the mortal world," she promises before pushing the button. "And recipe...you cook?" she asks, glancing to Eden before watching for signs of someone showing up to make deals.
"I'm a Knight of the Knowledge of the Tongue, a Knight de Cuisine." Eden says in response to Paige with a nod of her head, "Mostly with hedge ingredients though, but those are harder to get sometimes." She explains with a little grin and a shrug before her attention shifts towards the stall as the bell is rang.
The bell is rang, and as soon as it is... well. Nothing happens. Not for a while. Thirty seconds... a minute... two... It might seem like this sign is a joke? Or maybe she's not in? Or maybe...
But then, out of the building behind the stall comes the old pixie. She's all limbs, covered in what might well be a burlap sack. Her feathers are ruffled and out of place. Her hair is a bit oily. She does not look happy. "Well!" comes the voice, a touch shrill. "Who rang my bell? Which one of you?" she asks, staring up, way up, at the pair. She's a short thing, of course. Maybe three or four feet.
"Oooh. Definitely have something to talk to you about later," Paige says cheerfully while she waits for someone to show up. When the woman does she smiles. "It was me," she says, looking mildly delighted. Could be the prospect of getting a Really Big Weapon...or the novelty of someone shorter than she is. "I'm looking for a hammer, the weapon kind, and I was told you might be able to help me."
Eden's arms leave her chest to come rest on her hips, looking down at the hob merchant that emerges, "Heya there." She says in her lyrical attractive siren's song of a voice, a big smile offered. She glances across towards Paige briefly, then back towards the old Pixie.
Badb stares at the two women for a long, long moment. She squints. "A hammer," she finally echoes out. Then she lifts a long-fingered hand to her face, and rubs at it. Her skin stretches and puddles under her hands. "What is your names? Both of you?" she asks.
Paige nods happily. "Mmhmm. A big one. I'm not talking about the little ones that people use for hammering in nails, you know? And I'm Paige," she says with a smile, but doesn't introduce Eden. Things like that, especially in the market? Should be done individually.
"And I'm Eden." Eden says to the Pixie as she's squinted at, "A pleasure to meet an esteemed businessperson such as yourself." she adds with a bright smile offered.
Badb sneers at Eden. Her attention shifts back to Paige. "I don't sell those kinds of hammers," she says. Beat. "The kind of hammering nails. Not that you couldn't use the kind I do sell for that. They're very good hammers, Paige! I won't have you telling anyone my hammers cannot hammer nails! They can hammer anything," she grouches out. Then sucks in a breath, and looks between the two of them. "This is what I have on display," she says, and makes a little gestures. Yes, there they are. Various weapons of all kinds. Not more than a dozen, maybe. But there's no hammers there. Neither the 'and nail' kind, nor the 'war' kind.
"Oh, I have no doubt your hammers can hammer nails perfectly!" Paige says, beaming at the woman. "That's just not what I'm looking for." When the weapons are displayed she looks at them, studying each one carefully before she looks up at Badb. "What about the hammers you don't have on display?" she asks curiously.
Eden keeps her mouth shut for the moment as the pixie and the ogre have their discussion about hammers, and wether or not there are any for sale from the Pixie's shop.
Badb seems keen on just turning and walking away. Likely to let the two browse, since, well, she doesn't get out of bed to not make a sale. But then comes the follow up question from Paige. She halts her retreat, considers a moment, then turns back. She eyes the pair, and rubs at her face again for a moment. "Have some more," she says. Then there's a squint, as she looks between the two. "Own a very, very nice hammer," she adds. "One nail clipping. From each of you. I'll show you," she says, and then lifts up an eyebrow.
Paige glances to Eden with a hopeful look on her face, even as she's pulling out one of her knives. She has claws, or talons, more than nails, but she's game, and works on getting a sliver of it off to offer the woman. "It's not the hammer nails into a wall sort of hammer, right, but the weapon kind?" she asks as she offers it over.
The backpack on Eden's shoulders is unslung, and she opens it up, turning her back to shield the contents from the goblin merchant as she reaches into the bag, rooting around, and coming out with a little wooden jewelry box. She zips up the bag, shoulders it, and turns back towards the merchant, opening the box, plucking out one single nail clipping and offering it over towards Badb. "One Nail clipping."
As it looks like Paige means to comply, Badb steps forward, holding one long hand out, palm up. "Yes, yes, your war hammer. I'm old, I'm not deaf and dumb," she grouches. Then Eden goes for a backpack, and Badb's eyes light up. She leans to the side, trying to steal a glance of whatever is there. She won't succeed, of course. But when Eden turns back, and produces the finger nail clipping, she eyes the woman anew. "Mmmmm..." she says. She eyes the clippings. "One moment," she says. Then she turns, and shuffles back inside.
There's a few moments of banging around and shifting items before there's any sign of her returning. When she finally does get back out, she's carrying... a stick. It's about as tall as she is, maybe a bit taller. She walks right over, and drops it onto the counter. "There it is. Best hammer you can buy. Legends say that one strike is enough to open up the ground itself!" she exclaims. Then a pause. "Not sure it does that. But it does shake things up a whole lot. Best hammer you can buy," she repeats.
Only... it's a stick.
Paige smiles at the woman. "I don't think you're deaf or dumb, I just know that it's good to be clear at the market," she explains. Eden passing over a clipping gets a bright smile, and a mouthed 'thank you' from the harpy. Then there's...a stick, and her head cocks, birdlike, while her expression goes confused. "I'm not sure I understand," she says, reaching out then pausing, giving Badb a questioning look. "I mean, don't get me wrong, something that opens up the ground would be /awesome/, but this looks like...well...a stick," she says as politely as she can.
Eden watches the stick be revealed with a slightly bemused look crossing her face and a little shrug of her shoulders is offered to Paige as the merits of the stick are discussed between the buyer and seller.
"A stick?!" Badb exclaims. "It's not a stick, you dolt!" she says, as she glares at Paige. "It's a handle," she says, with a huff. "How you made it this far in life..." she grumbles out. Then there's a huff, and she reaches into the pocket on the front of her 'dress'. From it, she pulls a folded sheet of paper. She carefully unfolds it and then lays it onto the counter, next to the stick. There it is, a hammer! Or, well, it's a stick with a rock fixed to the stop. not exactly elegantly forged metal, but it is, objectively, a hammer. "Got the handle, just need the head," she says, tapping it. "Told you I own it. Just don't currently have it," she says, with agitation.
"Oops," Paige says, looking sheepish. She shifts a little closer and peers at the paper, brow furrowing. "So if I want this...I buy the handle from you then have to go find the head of the hammer myself? Do you know where it is?" she asks, studying both drawing and handle before she looks backt o Eden. "What do you think?"
Eden shrugs her shoulders ever so slightly, "Well, I think if you can get an idea on where the matching head of the hammer is it wouldn't be a bad idea. She has to be forthright in advertising with you, afterall."
"No!" Badb blurts, her agitation boiling over. "It's my hammer. The handle and the head. They're both mine!" she says. "Just because I haven't got them both..." she trails off into grumbling. It takes her a minute to refocus. Big eyes shift back to Paige, then Eden, then Paige. "I will sell it to you. The whole thing," she says. "If you go fetch the head," she says. Then a pause. "And I'll put it back together for you, too, if you bring back evidence that you've properly harried the miscreant that attempted to steal it from me!" she says. One more pause, then a look to Eden. She stares for a moment. Then back to Paige. "And I'll tell you where the head is for a fee," she adds.
Paige frowns. "So you want to sell me a hammer, but I have to get half of it, deal with a thief /and/ you're going to charge me to tell me where to go to get the hammer head? This better go for a really good price then, because it's not sounding like much of a deal right now. For all I know the head of the hammer's on the other side of the world or in the hands of one of Them." She's impulsive but not completely dumb!
"Yeah, I dunno really.." Eden says with a hrm, "It seems like you're doing most of the work for this bargain, doesn't it.. maybe our friend here is open to a little bit of negotiation on the matter though. I'd think that would be the case anyway.."
"Good price?!" Badb blurts out again. Both hands are thrown up into the air. "Free! I'm giving it to you for free! How is that not a good price," she grumbles out. "Ungrateful children..." Mutter mutter. "You don't have to give me anything for the hammer," she insists. Then a pause. "Just a fee for the location of the head. Different transaction," she insists.
Paige blinks and glances to Eden again, arching a brow. A sort of "is she being serious?!" look before she turns back to Badb and smiles. "Now that's a different story. Retrieving the hammer, harassing the thief, bringing it to you to assemble so I can take it home for free? That does sound like a deal. But what's the fee for the location of the hammer's head?"
Eden shrugs a little at Paige then nods her head, "I suppose that's not a bad bargain, of course, depending on what the esteemed merchant wants for the information of course!"
Badb doesn't look much less annoyed when it seems the women finally 'get' it. She hasn't left, though. So that's something! Her squints at Paige. Then she looks to Eden. She steps a little closer, and leans in, as she stares. Eden. Paige. Paige. Eden. Finally, it's back to Paige. "Your eyes," she decides.
Paige takes half a step back, blinking those eyes at Badb. "Well now, I can see how eyes would be a useful thing to have, but they're useful where they are, too. I can hardly get the head if I can't see where I'm going. And I certainly can't hassle the thief if I can't see him," she points out, giving another look to Eden, this one a little wide-eyed.
"She has a good point." Eden says towards Badb, "She really needs her eyes, and before you ask, so do I. But perhaps there's something else that you'd be interested in maybe?"
"Your eyes!" Badb repeats. "Oh, come now! They're not even very good eyes! Look at them... do they see in the dark? Do they see heat? I bet they cannot even see grizzelte. Let alone krornt!" she mutters out. "Fine, fine, what about-" Her eyes are on Eden, but Eden is already defending her own eyes. Badb sighs. "Fine!" she blurts. "Do you have a... what's it called. A..." She waves her hand. "Wife? Do you have a wife? Her eyes? Or a brother... Or..." She squints at Paige, then Eden. "Have any pets?"
Paige shakes her head slowly. "No wife, no husband, no boyfriend, and my family is all dead. I can't give you anyone's eyes, I'm afraid. Surely there's something beyond eyes that you'd be interested in?" she asks, trying to hide the hope in her voice, but it's there.
Eden shakes her head as well, "No wife, no brother, no pets." she says apologetically, "I don't know that I could bring their eyes either if I did though." She adds, "It's really not good to take people's eyes, or pet's eyes.."
Badb looks wholly incredulous now, as she stares at both of them. "You cannot get two eyes between the two of you?!" she says. "Kids these days... children... so pampered!" she curses out, full of tiny old pixie indignation. "So useless..." she grumbles. Her eyes go down to the counter, where the stick lays. She thinks. She thinks. "Ah!" she says, then she looks back up. She eyes Eden, then Paige. "I will take your sight!" she says. Then a pause. "Not all of it, stop crying," she mutters out, then lifts a hand to rub at her face again. She thinks a few more moments, then lowers that hand, and snaps. "The most beautiful thing you've ever seen," she decides.
Paige starts to protest until that mutter occurs and she stops and looks like she's seriously considering the offer. Or maybe trying to think of the most beautiful thing she's ever seen. After a moment her lips curve, apparently once it occurs to her what it is. "Just the most beautiful thing I've seen, right? Because I can agree to that, so long as the location you give me is fairly precise. I don't expect you to give me an address and tell me it's in the trunk at the food of the bed in the spare bedroom or anything, but as close as possible, you know? So we can all get what we want."
Eden watches as the dealmeaking continues between Paige and Goblin, smiling faintly when it appears that the bargain may be coming to a conclusion with regards to the hammer Paige is after.
"The most beautiful thing you've ever seen," Badb echoes. "Give it to me," she says, and holds out a hand. Now, of course, how Paige plans to give that up to her... well. She makes a 'gimme' motion with that hand, then pauses, and huffs. "I have a map!" she growls out. She reaches into that same pocket, the one that pulled out the sketch of the hammer, and from it comes another paper. She lays it on the counter. "You may have the map, as part of this transaction, with no additional fees," she says. Then she motions again. "Gimme."
"Err..." Paige clearly isn't used to giving abstract things. Not without instruction, anyway! So she lays her hand in Badb's and squeezes her eyes shut, thinking on that beautiful sight. The one thing she's thought was the most beautiful thing ever. This is how it works, right?
"I wonder if you could make a sauce out of a beautiful memory." Eden muses outloud, hmmning softly as she watches the exchange of 'goods' between her companion and the merchant, head tilting ever so slightly.
Badb clutches Paige's hand. This is, apparently, the correct way to hand over intangible things! Badb's hand is far stronger than it would look, but Paige likely could imagine that. What's odd is how silky smooth her skin is. Seriously, she must have some magic hand lotion or... In a moment, that's the least of Paige's concerns.
The memory is there, so very strong. Pushing through the thorns, fighting for her very life, and then the sudden realization that the nightmare has ended. That she is back on Earth. Back in the world. Back to the realm she was born in. It is, truly, the most beautiful thing she's ever seen.
And then it's gone.
The feelings remain. The pain of escape, the deep relief of freedom. But... what did she see? What did she even look like? The sight is gone. Her memory of her first moments now and forever incomplete.
"Oh, that is beautiful!" Badb explains, a smile crossing her lips, her browned teeth showing. The happiness lasts just a few seconds, then the expression is gone. She pulls away from Paige. "Business concluded for today!" she exclaims. "Bring me back my hammer, Harpy Woman," she says. Then she pauses, to eye the cat chef. "Gorge would be able to help. Gorge or... Suzy Two-Eyes. Oh, Wanda'a, of course..." She squints. "The River Roses... might know something like that..." she decides.
Then the short pixie woman grabs the stick, and leaves behind the drawing and the map. She turns to head back inside.
Paige's expression shifts to a happy one...then one of sorrow when she loses tha timage. Her eyes open and she reaches for the map, drawing it close. "Gorge, Suzy Two-Eyes, Wanda'a, River Roses. I'll keep those in mind, yes," she murmurs, turning toward Eden, looking a little bereft. "I didn't know it would feel like that, losing that. I can't remember what it was I saw," she murmurs, more sober than most people have ever seen her.
"I think she meant for the memory sauce." Eden says softly to Paige, "And I had to give up a dear dear memory to get out of this place. The Hedge I mean.. I still don't know what it was, just that it was dear to me.." She says with a little shrug of her shoulders. "So.. where to next?" she asks, glancing slightly towards the map and drawing.
And without further adieu, the woman is gone.
The map, meanwhile, doesn't really seem to make sense at first glance. But after a few moments of staring, the images seem to shift and become clear, as the map orientates to the user. Paige and Eden both might have heard of the place. Fanwood Fen. This trek will require some preparation.
"Oh. Yes, that makes sense," Paige says, looking to the map and slowly returning to her usual self. "Fanwood Fen...I think I've heard of this. The Harvestmen do a lot of exploring and stuff. It's not someplace we can go tonight." She pauses, looking up at Eden. "Assuming you want to come with, I mean," she says, grinning. "I don't want to assume."
Eden nods her head lightly towards Paige, "It's probably worth making some preperations, and doing some planning, yes.." She agrees, hrming softly, "And getting some expert advice on that part of the hedge as well! I can certaintly come along though."
Paige grins. "We can ask someone else to come with if you want, though I'm pretty good at finding my way in the Hedge," she says, starting to walk to head out of the Market. "And if any of your fruits happen to include healing fruit...well, it wouldn't be a bad thing to bring them alone."
"No, I've just got a bunch of Catseye clover at the moment, but I can go and find some of the healing sort soon, stock up on them before we go out and about on this little quest." Eden says with a laugh, following along with Paige. Once they've passed the threshold of the market, she does pull her tanktop out again and pull it on once more. "I should really pack a spare shirt in my hedge bag."
And lo, the two women do survive their trek out to Wild Roses! Their big adventure, however, will have to wait for another day.