The people of Helix are benevolent, wise, and technologically advanced. But the inhospitable wastes, crags, and hills surrounding their domed city are home to any number of strange creatures, like the savage piglin, the strangely erudite goatfolk, and the reclusive sorcerers and sorceresses. Further afield, other clusters of humanity cling onto half-forgotten luxuries and evaporating wealth, on their dying planet, Sonnos. Sonnos, the place that all but the smallest of gods have abandoned.
As a place of general enlightenment, the markets of Helix eschew monetary values. Instead, all trade is conducted through bartering, largely one for one object exchanges, but sometimes also favors.
These are the sorts of things you might see upon walking the markets.
|1||A group of Labaster officials arguing over which paint to use on their dining room, all of which look indistinguishable to your eyes.|
|2||A flower shop sells bouquets of writhing plants with mouths. The planst are intelligent and friendly, but desperately want to be eaten.|
|3||A huckster is selling moods. If you buy joy, he tells you a joke, if you go for fear, he yells “Boo” very loudly. You may be able to get your money back.|
|4||Fortune tellers grabbing your hands and seeing dire portents that they will tell you how to avoid—for a fee.|
|5||A woman wrinkles her nose at a piece of scorched flesh on a stick that’s being offered to her by a one-eyes man. “Them piglin’s harpy grief, but none’s making demon kebab like ‘em.”|
Magnis, the Paint Seller
His colorful turban sets him apart from the market crowd.
|1||Warpaint. Slap on the faces of a sizeable posse and someone will inevitably declare war on them.|
|2||Undercoat. Paint all over the body for a protective layer equal to light armor, for a few hours or until washed off.|
|3||Paintranks. Thick, putty-like paint you press into wounds to seal them up.|
|4||Tartanite. Comes out as tartan patterns. No two tubs create the same pattern.|
|5||Galaxine. Mirror paint.|
|6||Magwoo. This pigment has an eerie tendency to attract sorcerers to whatever it’s painted on.|
|7||Piercer. Lets you paint functional holes onto things. Only the very end of a tube left.|
|8||Nutridye. Edible paint, to make your insides as beautiful as your outsides.|
|9||Stain stealer. Parasitic paint that steals the color from whatever you dip into it.|
|10||Spry cover. Living paint, just a dab’ll do ya, and it’ll grow all over the wall. (Warning: Paint may migrate during the rainy season)|
Effluvion, Birdmaster & Purveyor of Fabulous Fauna
Given his garish outfits, Effluvion could almost pass for a piece of fabulous fauna himself.
|1||Terror bird youngling. Recently hatched. Unless kept in captivity, will grow into one of the terrifying pterodactyl-like demon birds terrorizing the wastes.|
|2||Warchicken. Featherless, flightless bird, bred for its plain but nutritious meat, and its suprising combat prowess in broods.|
|3||Birdcrime. Less an animal itself but rather a repugnant amalgam of avifauna excreta that has acquired a form a basic sentience and modest locomotion. Sorcerers speculate it’s due to the exposure to the moon winds. Nasty stuff though.|
|4||Nestly everberate. Strangely beautiful svelte-necked mammal, like a dog cat.|
Taque’s Emporium for Explorers and Fortune Hunters
Don’t let her youthful looks fool you—no one knows their explorer’s gear like Taque.
|1||Basic breathing bowl helmet. All glass, with a comfortable neck seal, and attached air tank.|
|2||Advanced breathing bowl helmet. With active filter instead of air tank. Charged by atmospheric muons.|
|3||Ultimate breathing bowl helmet. As the advanced model, but additionally comes with propellant backpack, for short bursts of ballistic or vertical jumps.|
|4||Wastes racer. This decommisioned vehicle resembles a wheeled canoe with a gossamer sail, and was lovingly restored by Taque herself. Up to 4 people can comfortably speed on the moon winds.|
|5||Labaster travel syringe. Injects compressed, slow-release, vital humors to survive the inhospitable atmosphere of the wastes.|
|6||Corelian strider. Tall, slender mount, capable of fast travel through the wastes and hills.|
Lomarc’s Fashionistas of Tomorrow
Yes, he sets up shop in the markets, but he is frequented by the city’s elite.
|1||Anvil original. Replica corelian loincloth, as seen worn by the barbarian hero Anvil. Sandy brown.|
|2||Manvil original. Replica corelian loincloth, as seen worn by the barbarian hero Manvil. Rocky brown/gray.|
|3||Pilgrim’s pride. Rough, magnolia toga, in the style of the goatfolk pilgrims. With hidden pockets for small, religious fetishes.|
|4||Helix second skin. Figure-hugging onesies, in multiple styles, with or without knee-high, high-heeled boots. Offers excellent atmospheric protection, and shrinks to fit.|
|5||Piglin horde furs. Risqué ensemble in the style of the beasts of the wastes, re-invented for the modern thinker.|
|6||Necrokecks. Trousers made from the flesh of the demon bird. Believed to bring great wealth to the wearer.|
|7||Feathered cloak. Assembled from freshly plucked harpy feathers, these cloaks are both stylish, warm, and a status symbol.|
|8||Extra teeth. In different shapes and sizes. It’s not entirely clear how that isn’t anything but a bad idea.|
|9||Liquid silver. Pour over a body and shape into the desired accoutrement, let dry, and marvel at the flowing, silver garment you’ve created. Exquisite.|
Telleranne’s Spirits of Sonnos
There are a great many beings of distinct ancentries on Sonnos, but most of them have one thing in common: they make and drink booze. Telleranne has the largest collection in stock. Your liver quivers in anticipation.
|1||Tarag arkhi. Highly alcoholic spirit, made and consumed by the goatfolk. Milky white, with lumps.|
|2||Helix air. Light, gaseous drink.|
|3||Piglin muck. As bad as it sounds and looks, but it kicks the strongest punch on Sonnos.|
|4||Orphone’s kiss number 1. If this drink doesn’t clear your mind and opens you up to new possibilities, nothing will.|
|5||Orphone’s kiss number 2. The sweetest of all spirits. It’s not good for you, but you just can’t stay mad.|
|6||Spirit of (M)anvil. Claims to be impotable by all but the strongest of constitutions, but is in actuality rather sweet.|
|7||Labaster wine. Very fine and excquisite. The people of Labaster hate to see anyone other than them trade or consume it.|
|8||Moonshine. Honeyed both in taste and looks, this slightly phosphorescent drink is sold in small vials hanging in multiples on leather strings.|
Nanny Nontyvia’s Reclaimed Relics
Since most people will tell you that the gods have abandoned Sonnos, religion isn’t common here. Yet that was not always the case, any many strange relics from older times remain, their use not always clear. And the goatfolk are staunch beings of faith. Nanny Nontyvia curates an interesting set, and adds showmanship to the mercantile endeavour by dressing in a scary, dark habit at all times.
|1||Relic-shards of the AI saints. Since the death of the gods of Sonnos, some people are trying to create their own higher beings. Relic-shards are imbued with such synthetically crafted deities, offering guidance and advice on a varity of subjects (depending on the shard), albeit in a cryptic yet soothing manner. Currently available: gluttony, ecstacy, fast travel, reflection, and light.|
|2||War of the roses. Goatfolk tradition. Thorny rose vines that are wrapped around your limbs. Wild beasts and attackers beware! Leaves and stuff stick to you easily, but you smell nice.|
|3||Suffer pulpit of the salt preachers. Imposing, though just about light enough to strap to, and carry on, a strong person’s back; as used by the church of the brack in the days of yore. Rough, sun-bleached wood.|
|4||The little things. Goatfolk religious text about spotting and worshipping the overlooked, small gods that hide in the less seen corners of Sonnos. Travel edition.|
Empusa’s Word for Word
Her days of travelling the wastes long behind her, Empusa now trades in words of power. A word so acquired requires giving up one in return, such that is physically impossible for the seller to utter it, for the agreed upon duration of the trade.
Empusa’s moon-scorched skin is regularly draped in Lomarc’s latest creations, though always accentuated with her brass boots. She avoids walking when dealing with new customers, to hide her limp.
Other words may be available for very special customers. The word giving up in return must be commensurate in importance to the one sought. She will never trade more than one word at a time per customer.
Putarr’s Punic Plethora
The only piglin merchant in the market, and one of singularly advanced age at that—at least for piglin—Putarr sells an arrayment of discarded, lost, or otherwise acquired arms and other gear of the Helix Guard. Some of it is experimental and its usage unclear, but most of it has been patched to work without Guard bonding. Putarr is a gifted tinkerer, but with these technologies there are no guarantees outside of official Guard usage.
|1||Restored partizan. Tall bladed, polearm as carried by the royal guard. The blade is fashioned from moon silver, and the haft from wood of the Senghi tree, making it light and durable. It can shoot a deadly and precise ray of light over long distances, though its operation is somewhat unreliable.|
|2||Palm burst emitter. Slender, silver wire envelops hand and secures a gem in the palm that can shoot a powerful burst. Lucky dip from a box of them. Half of them don’t work at all, and the other half only have 1 or 2 shots left in them, but there’s no way to know without trying.|
And that’s only for today.