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In With the Black Market

The Travelers Guide to Aqualon

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The Travelers Guide to Aqualon continues. However, I caution you to take the following few entries with a grain of salt. As a fearless explorer, your trusty Thadeus Fletcher is trying himself at a bit of investigative reporting. Following the tip of a blighter den mother in West Arkatrash, the home of the so-called Sullied Ones, I am meeting with a dubious man who belongs to the Yamato Black Market to join them on their travels back to their homeland as a scribe.   In a shabby bar at the northern outskirts of western Arkatrash, I find him and several of his men sitting around a large table. I must say, my expectations have been subverted: The group is well-groomed and looks quite serious despite clearly having a good time. I introduce myself without any falsehoods. The man I was looking for is called Shen, though he asks me not to publish his clan name, a promise I intend to keep. He and his men are moth dust smugglers. Moth dust is a drug made in the Yamato Mountain Range from the narcotic dust of yarenma moths, a terrifying species of Yamato moths that is bigger than a grown man, can lick flesh clean from the bone, and scatters its dust everywhere, forcing unsuspecting wanderers into an irrevocable coma. Black Market workers refine the illegal substance into an opium-like drug also called moth dust.   I am a bit worried about getting tied up in illegal activities, but Shen alleviates my concerns with a smile: the product has been sold already; they are now returning to their homeland with expensive exotic wares purchased with the money they made from their venture; selling moth dust abroad. They need someone to write up ware registers and handle customs documents in Aquaris and Aerialis as well as compose and check receipts for future trades in those two great cities. I tell them I am their man. Being on good standing with the notorious Black Market of the Yamato Kingdom should open some interesting doors once I am there.   The deal is struck, and I even write up a contract for both parties to sign, making it official.   T.F.

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The Gates to Aqualon
Generic article | May 18, 2018

In a world of strange design, a cold, brittle peace keeps the three great powers of old away from each other's throat. They are the great mages of the Middle Lands, the Old Gods, and the twin cities of the High Technocrats.

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Comments

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4 Jul, 2018 02:33

The description of the encounter is awesome. This newspaper continues to have well-written reports. Makes me feel informed! Those moths sound very mean

4 Jul, 2018 02:38

Well, if you aren't up for that 15k word article on them and their related kind I linked in the related reading, don't fret, I'm sure there will be a column dealing with yarenma moths in the future, or at least with the production of moth dust ^-^

4 Jul, 2018 02:39

woops, and please remember to like the article, if you enjoyed it :P

4 Jul, 2018 02:47

o.o holy crap, I have no words. Just... A+ !!

4 Jul, 2018 02:51

no ++? jk xD thank you ^-^ If you really did enjoy it, I would really appreciate a like <3 also, the other articles I am doing for this challenge are all in this style and liked at the bottom :3

4 Jul, 2018 04:38

I like the idea of describing a illicit profession from the viewpoint of one just steeping intonthe dark underbelly!

4 Jul, 2018 04:44

Investigative reporting is an underutilized trope imo ^-^

4 Jul, 2018 04:46

I do agree there. No good place for it in my world, but it is fun.

7 Jul, 2018 15:56

Again, wonderful structure of the column! As for the encounter, in your own previously said words "Investigative reporting is an underutilized trope imo", and I could not agree more. I think this is the first time in a very long time I've seen something like this and I must say, it does grab attention. Also, the character of Fletcher is just great, it really is someone you'd expect to get a column like this in a gazette. Good work!

7 Jul, 2018 17:52

Thank you again! As an artist (which I consider to encompass writing, sue me :P), I am someone that really likes to explore boundaries, and put "concepts" into focus. Instead of just writing down more and more lore, I try to think about what ways that lore would be accessible in a real, living world with real people on it, and I do believe the medium too can spark the imagination as it becomes an extension of the story.