Central Bazaar (Market District)
Massive archways adorned with bas relief sculptures grant access to the central bazaar from the main thoroughfares that pass through the Market District: Providence Road to the west and east, Market Road to the north, and Guild Row to the south.
The corners of the bazaar are marked by monolithic statues by artisan Harlim Nillu. The northwest corner features a forty-foot-tall rearing mongoose, the familiar of House Mikin. A snarling mudbear looms in the northeast corner, signifying House Nillu. At the southeast corner rears a stallion with an armored rider, the symbol of House Seamel. The southwestern corner is dominated by the massive form of a solid, intractable bull with curved horns, representative of House Lomasa. In the center of the bazaar rises a fifty-foot-tall snarling, rearing wildcat of House Kahar.
Conspicuously absent from the statuary homages to the noble houses of Fastheld is the raven of House Zahir. In his entire career as an artisan of Fastheld, Harlim Nillu refused to craft the visage of the raven. He considered them an ill omen, particularly given the traitorous behavior of Goram Zahir during the First Wildling War.
Although some small concessions have been made to recognizing House Zahir on Guild Row and in the market quads, the city-state has remained true to Harlim Nillu's vision for the dominant design of the bazaar - free of significant Zahir presence.
Vanamur rides Swiftstep in from Northwest Quad.
Swiftstep rides into the bazaar, a green-cloaked rider on his back. The horse begins moving Northward, hooves clattering on the cobbles.
Arturo Lomasa is leading his horse by the hand, moving towards the auction house with two retainers clad in Lomasa emblems close beside.
Swiftstep begins to angle toward Arturo, pausing briefly so that his rider can consult with someone on the ground. The rider nods slightly at the answer, spurring his horse onward with a kick of his heels. The horse and rider begin to catch up to Arturo.
One of the guards turns his attention towards the swift-moving horseman, and changes his position slightly to ensure any charge will have to pass through him. Arturo, meanwhile, stops to discuss with the auctioneer.
Swiftstep trots along at a good pace, riding almost on top of the guard before stopping sharply. This done, the rider dismounts with a flourish, landing a pace in front of the guard.
You dismount from Swiftstep.
The guard doesn't flinch as the horse bears down on him, and inclines his head to the dismounted individual, but maintains his position for the moment, hand resting lightly on his sword pommel as he remains on his own mount. "Light's greeting, my lord Seamel." The signet ring duly noted, if the green cloaks the man's armor. "Have you some urgent word for the Baron Lomasa that you approach at such speed?"
A look of derision crosses Vanamur's face, but he says only this; "I am looking for someone. I thought the Baron may know something of his whereabouts." His eyes narrow slightly as he taps his foot, impatiently.
The guard lifts an eyebrow slightly at the derisive look, then turns his horse to move towards the Baron. "I will see if his Lordship will grant you a measure of his time." Polite, but of a cold politeness that answers the derision while acknowledging the man's rank.
The sneer doesn't move as the Horselord waits, still tapping his foot. As the guard moves away, he turns back to his horse, rubbing its mane down with his gloved hands. After a moment, he turns back to where he was, straightening the line of his cloak.
Arturo Lomasa turns back from the auctioneer at the guard's approach, and murmured words are exchanged before the nobleman mounts his own horse, tapping its sides lightly to take him to meet the Seamel, dismounting with a small distance between them. "My guard says you seek some one?"
Vanamur inclines his head, his version of a greeting bow. "Indeed, Baron Lomasa, the personage I seek is you. At least, for the moment." A waspish smile flickers across his face for a moment, before disappearing just as quickly. "I have heard some rumours about the return of the Horsemaster, Serath Kahar. I was wondering if you could enlighten me." Again, the thin smile appears on his lips, giving his face a rather haunted look.
Arturo Lomasa lifts an eyebrow slightly at the first part, allowing a rather warmer smile of his own, before he nods. "I do believe that I can provide some manner of information on my own whereabouts, indeed." The latter causes blinks of surprise, and he purses his lips. "The Horsemaster returned? Truly the whole realm seems but one strange news after another. I confess, I had not heard. But my father has made me master of River Turn...I have been greatly occupied with furnishing and cleaning out the keep."
Vanamur's eyes close for a moment as he gives a rather terse nod. "Of course, Baron, I acknowledge you have been very busy." He opens his eyes again, looking straight at the Lomasa man. "I do not know if these rumours are true, of course. But it is my duty to find out whether they are or not, for I owe the Horsemaster more than my life." His hand strays to his heart without his apparent realisation. "Please, let me know if you hear of any news." Another small smile appears, this one slightly warmer. "What of this other strange news, friend? I would like to hear of it."
Arturo Lomasa allows a small smile as he notes the hand, but draws no attention to it, inclining his head once. "It would aide were you to introduce yourself, Lord Seamel, for me to deliver such news should I hear. I shall ask my uncles and see if they know. As for the other news, surely you have heard the commotion from Light's Reach? The Zahir and the Mikin are near at each other's throat, and there is word of the Mikin steward raising a secret guard of some kind and banning all Zahirs from the town. Word also of an exploding statue which nearly killed the Royal Healer and many others. A statue of Lord Orell Mikin trampling the son of the Lord Zahir to death. Surely you have heard of the constant arguments."
Vanamur laughs, a rather strange sound which reminds few people of joy or happiness. "Of course, my manners seem to have gone along with so many other things." He brushes his cloak back with a sweep of one arm, displaying the distinctive bronze armour of the Imperial Horsemen. "I am Vanamur Seamel, Second Horselord of Fastheld." He bows his head once more in greeting, this time slightly lower and seemingly more sincere. "As for your news, I-" he breaks off suddenly, a sad look softening his rather sharp features. "I have not been myself for some time, and as such have recieved little news. The news I heard, I fear I did not take in." His face regains it solid cast after a moment, and he asks "The Zahirs banned from Light's Reach? The Steward raising an army?" A shudder passes through his body. "At this time, it appears, the Light of the Horsemaster is needed more than ever. These are sad tidings you bring."
Arturo Lomasa is truly caught off guard at the glint of bronze, both of the guards gasping slightly at the unmistakable armor. The Baron inclines his head respectfully in return. "Less an army than a....secret constabulary. But still trouble. It is said they have been seizing townsfolk on the street accused of collaborating with Zahir, and answer only to him. Though, rumors are not always close to facts. Yet I know things are truly at a head between House Mikin and House Zahir. So some parts at least much be true enough to cause the matter to escalate. If I hear, Second Horselord, I will surely direct messengers to you. And, should I have ability, inform the Horsemaster that you seek him." He glances to the dark sky, and frowns a moment, then returns his gaze to the green-clad noble. "The hour grows very late, and my keep is yet a far trip. If you have no further need of me, I will ride now before the morning dawns. Should you wish to speak again, I may likely be found at River's Turn, north of East Leg. Or in Aegisport visiting my uncle. Or here, for a time, supplying the keep."
Vanamur takes the news without much outward emotion, but his eyes seem to show his reactions quite clearly. Suprise, anger, frustration. Having heard Arturo speak, he favours him with another brief smile. "My thanks, Baron Lomasa. Ride well, and may the Light keep you safe." He mounts his horse once more deftly, springing into the saddle with suprising grace, given his build, and kicks his heels into Swiftstep's flanks. He raises his hand in farewell as he passes Arturo.
Vanamur has left. You mount Swiftstep and settle into the saddle.
Arturo Lomasa inclines his head and slips onto his own mount. "Light guard your steps, Second Horselord, and guide your steed."
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