Nobody knows much about Shairkash, which is odd, seeing as how his industry is trade and he’s the richest guy around. Still, he meets the criteria for shut-in, as he is so sly and cunning and slippery. You can have a conversation with him without ever looking into his eyes. How I long to wrap my hands around his neck.
His humble home lay at the center of Merchant Town, a disheveled two story piece surrounded by a collection of things. The plant life is really above board this year. The barrelstalks that line the streets of Merchant Town are full and pulsing and looking quite odd. Some street folk were sharing wine on a hammock and busking. I took a swig. Alfengrape wine. I threw a few gold their way, but nobody even noticed. They just stared despondently up at the skies, singing a hollow tune.
” The day is coming soon
The day we all turn blue…”
Before he became a sea trader, Shairkash was renowned for his gardening skills and made some of the most potent tinctures known on the sea. Many assume he settled here because he became too old to handle travel and used his connections at sea to create his estate. Though it’s right in the middle of the Sailor’s City, it is definitely his domain. Shairkash draws in the desperate and impoverished and once they get here, they never seem to leave. Barrelstalks provide plenty of water, glowing Alfengrapes are made into wine and light the streets at night, pomow grows everywhere, stoneshrooms gather under every soarwood tree, lish nut trees also abound. You would have to be dumb and lazy to go hungry in this place. Somewhere, shrouded in protective darkness, there is a field of Arkas grass that provides the majority of Shairkash’s income, as I understand it. The rest comes from goods he takes from his pile of wares and shines up, much of it custom attuned for the buyer.
When you enter Merchant Town, the vibe changes considerably. People on the street are listless and despondent. Everyone seems drunk and not particularly interested in anything, almost as if in a trance. The Bilge Rats (Murann’s sect of the Shadow Thieves’ Guild) won’t touch Shairkash for some reason. They are reluctant to touch anything on land. Still, everyone’s avoidance of him seems odd, as he is clearly parasitic to his own people here in this microcosm of scum and villany. As a lone traveler, I could sense a pack forming behind me as I made my way toward Junk Mansion. I could feel the hostility building in my newfound followers.
Finally reaching Shairkash Manor, I opened the gate. I barely caught the scent of telltale witchweed when an entire patch of choke mold just inside the gate released spores that rendered me immediately useless. Things went white, and then black.
( Plant information provided by: