She was thirty-two, her name was Aurelia, and she had been married eleven years. One Saturday afternoon, she looked through the kitchen window at the garden and saw the four horsemen of the Apocalypse. Men of the world, those four horsemen of the Apocalypse. And good-looking. The first from the left was riding a sorrel horse with a dark mane. He was wearing white breeches, black boots, a crimson jacket, and a yellow fez with black pompoms. The second one had a sleeveless tunic overlaid with gold and violet and was barefoot. He was riding on the back of a plump dolphin. The third one had a respectable, black beard, trimmed at right angles. He had donned a gray Prince of Wales suit, white shirt, blue tie and carried a black leather portfolio. He was seated on a folding chair belted to the back of white-haired dromedary. The fourth one made Aurelia smile and realize that they were smiling at her. He was riding a black and gold Harley-Davidson 1200 and was wearing a white helmet and dark goggles and had long, straight, blond hair flying in the wind behind him. The four were riding in the garden without moving from the spot. They rode and smiled at her and she watched them through the kitchen window.
In that manner, she finished washing the two teacups, took off her apron, arranged her hair and went to the living room.
"I saw the four horsemen of the Apocalypse in the garden," she told her husband.
"I'll bet," he said without raising his eyes from his paper.
"What are you reading?" Aurelia asked.
"I said they were given a crown and a sword and a balance and power."
"Oh, right," said her husband.
And after that a week went by as all weeks do--very slowly at first and very quickly toward the end--and on Sunday morning, while she made the coffee, she again saw the four horsemen of the Apocalypse in the garden, but when she went back to the bedroom she didn't say anything to her husband.
The third time she saw them, one Wednesday, alone, in the afternoon, she stood looking at them for a half hour and finally, since she had always wanted to fly in a yellow and red dirigible; and since she had dreamed about being an opera singer, an emperor's lover, a co-pilot to Icarus; since she would have liked to scale black cliffs, laugh at cannibals, traverse the jungles on elephants with purple trappings, seize with her hands the diamonds that lay hidden in mines, preside in the nude over a parade of nocturnal monsters, live under water, domesticate spiders, torture the powerful of the earth, rob trains in the tunnels of the Alps, set palaces on fire, lie in the dark with beggars, climb on the bridges of all the ships in the world; finally--since it was sadly sterile to be a rational and healthy adult--finally, that Wednesday afternoon alone, she put on the long dress she had worn at the last New Year's party given by the company where her husband was assistant sales manager and went out to the garden. The four horsemen of the Apocalypse called her, the blond one on the Harley-Davidson gave her his hand and helped her up onto the seat behind him, and there they went, all five, raging into the storm and singing.
Two days later her husband gave in to family pressure and reported the disappearance of his wife.
"Moral: madness is a flower aflame," said the narrator. Or in other words, it's impossible to inflame the dead, cold, viscous, useless, and sinful ashes of common sense.
If you meet her on the street, cross quickly to the other side and quicken your pace. She’s a dangerous lady. She’s about forty or forty-five, has one married daughter and a son working in San Nicolas; her husband’s a sheet-metal worker. She rises very early, sweeps the sidewalk, sees her husband off, cleans, does the wash, shops, cooks. After lunch she watches television, sews or knits, irons twice a week, and at night goes to bed late. On Saturdays she does a general cleaning and washes windows and waxes the floors. On Sunday mornings she washes the clothes her son brings home—his name is Nestor Eduardo—she kneads dough for noodles or ravioli, and in the afternoon either her sister-inlaw comes to visit or she goes to her daughter’s house. It’s been a long time since she’s been to the movies, but she reads TV Guide and the police report in the newspaper. Her eyes are dark and her hands are rough and her hair is starting to go gray. She catches cold frequently and keeps a photo album in a dresser drawer along with a black crepe dress with lace collar and cuffs.
Her mother never hit her. But when she was six, she got a spanking for coloring on a door, and she had to wash it off with a wet rag. While she was doing it, she thought about doors, all doors, and decided that they were very dumb because they always led to the same places. And the one she was cleaning was definitely the dumbest of all, the one that led to her parents’ bedroom. She opened the door and then it didn’t go to her parents’ bedroom but to the Gobi desert. She wasn’t surprised that she knew it was the Gobi desert even though they hadn’t even taught her in school where Mongolia was and neither she nor her mother nor her grandmother had ever heard of Nan Shan or Khangai Nuru.
She stepped through the door, bent over to scratch the yellowish grit and saw that there was no one, nothing, and the hot wind tousled her hair, so she went back through the open door, closed it and kept on cleaning. And when she finished, her mother grumbled a little more and told her to wash the rag and take the broom to sweep up that sand and clean her shoes. That day she modified her hasty judgment about doors, though not completely, at least not until she understood what was going on.
What had been going on all her life and up until today was that from time to time doors behaved satisfactorily, though in general they were still acting dumb and leading to dining rooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, bedrooms and offices even in the best of circumstances. But two months after the desert, for example, the door that every day led to the bath opened onto the workshop of a bearded man dressed in a long uniform, pointed shoes, and a cap that tilted on one side of his head. The old man’s back was turned as he took something out of a highboy with many small drawers behind a very strange, large wooden machine with a giant steering wheel and screw, in the midst of cold air and an acrid smell. When he turned around and saw her he began to shout at her in a language she didn’t understand.
She stuck out her tongue, dashed out the door, closed it, opened it again, went into the bathroom and washed her hands for lunch.
Again, after lunch, many years later, she opened the door of her room and walked into a battlefield. She dipped her hands in the blood of the wounded and dead and pulled from the neck of a cadaver a crucifix that she wore for a long time under high-necked blouses or dresses without plunging necklines. She now keeps it in a tin box underneath the nightgowns with a brooch, a pair of earrings and a broken wristwatch that used to belong to her mother-in-law. In the same way, involuntarily and by chance, she visited three monasteries, seven libraries, and the highest mountains in the world, and who knows how many theaters, cathedrals, jungles, refrigeration plants, dens of vice, universities, brothels, forests, stores, submarines, hotels, trenches, islands, factories, palaces, hovels, towers and hell.
She’s lost count and doesn’t care; any door could lead anywhere and that has the same value as the thickness of the ravioli dough, her mother’s death, and the life crises that she sees on TV and reads about in TV Guide.
Not long ago she took her daughter to the doctor, and seeing the closed door of a bathroom in the clinic, she smiled. She wasn’t sure because she can never be sure, but she got up and went to the bathroom. However, it was a bathroom; at least there was a nude man in a bathtub full of water. It was all very large, with a high ceiling, marble floor and decorations hanging from the closed windows. The man seemed to be asleep in his white bathtub, short but deep, and she saw a razor on a wrought iron table with feet decorated with iron flowers and leaves and ending in lion’s paws, a razor, a mirror, a curling iron, towels, a box of talcum powder and an earthen bowl with water. She approached on tiptoe, retrieved the razor, tiptoed over to the sleeping man in the tub and beheaded him. She threw the razor on the floor and rinsed her hands in the lukewarm bathtub water. She turned around when she reached the clinic corridor and spied a girl going into the bathroom through the other door. Her daughter looked at her.
“That was quick.”
“The toilet was broken,” she answered.
A few days afterward, she beheaded another man in a blue tent at night. That man and a woman were sleeping mostly uncovered by the blankets of a low, king-size bed, and the wind beat around the tent and slanted the flames of the oil lamps. Beyond it there would be another camp, soldiers, animals, sweat, manure, orders and weapons. But inside there was a sword by the leather and metal uniforms, and with it she cut off the head of the bearded man. The woman stirred and opened her eyes as she went out the door on her way back to the patio that she had been mopping.
On Monday and Thursday afternoons, when she irons shirt collars, she thinks of the slit necks and the blood, and she waits. If it’s summer she goes out to sweep a little after putting away the clothing and until her husband arrives. If it’s windy she sits in the kitchen and knits. But she doesn’t always find sleeping men or staring cadavers. One rainy morning, when she was twenty, she was at a prison, and she made fun of the chained prisoners; one night when the kids were kids and were all living at home, she saw in a square a disheveled woman looking at a gun but not daring to take it out of her open purse. She walked up to her, put the gun in the woman’s hand and stayed there until a car parked at the corner, until the woman saw a man in gray get out and look for his keys in his pocket, until the woman aimed and fired. And another night while she was doing her sixth grade geography homework, she went to look for crayons in her room and stood next to a man who was crying on a balcony. The balcony was so high, so far above the street, that she had an urge to push him to hear the thud down below, but she remembered the orographic map of South America and was about to leave. Anyhow, since the man hadn’t seen her, she did push him and saw him disappear and ran to color in the map so she didn’t hear the thud, only the scream. And in an empty theater, she made a fire underneath the velvet curtain; in a riot she opened the cover to a basement hatchway; in a house, sitting on top of a desk, she shredded a two-thousand-page manuscript; in a clearing of a forest she buried the weapons of the sleeping men; in a river she opened the floodgates of a dike.
Her daughter’s name is Laura Inés, her son has a fiancée in San Nicolás and he’s promised to bring her over on Sunday so she and her husband can meet her. She has to remind herself to ask her sister-in-law for the recipe for orange cake, and Friday on TV is the first episode of a new soap opera. Again, she runs the iron over the front of the shirt and remembers the other side of the doors that are always carefully closed in her house, that other side where the things that happen are much less abominable than the ones we experience on this side, as you can easily understand.
The news spread fast. It would be correct to say that the news moved like a flaming trail of gunpowder, if it weren't for the fact that at this point in our civilization gunpowder was archaeology, ashes in time, the stuff of legend, nothingness. However, it was because of the magic of our new civilization that the news was known all over the world, practically instantaneously.
"Oooh!" the tsarina said.
You have to take into account that Her Gracious and Most Illustrious Virgin Majesty Ekaterina V, Empress of Holy Russia, had been carefully educated in the proper decorum befitting the throne, which meant that she would never have even raised an eyebrow or curved the corner of her lip, far less would she have made an interjection of that rude and vulgar kind. But not only did she say "Oooh!," she also got up and walked through the room until she reached the glass doors of the great balcony. She stopped there. Down below, covered by snow, Saint Leninburg was indifferent and unchanged, the city's eyes squinting under the weight of winter. At the palace, ministers and advisers were excited, on edge.
"And where is this place?" the tsarina asked.
And that is what happened in Russia, which is such a distant and atypical country. In the central states of the continent, there was real commotion. In Bolivia, in Paraguay, in Madagascar, in all the great powers, and in the countries that aspired to be great powers, such as High Peru, Iceland, or Morocco, hasty conversations took place at the highest possible level with knitted brows and hired experts. The strongest currencies became unstable: the guarani rose, the Bolivian peso went down half a point, the crown was discreetly removed from the exchange rates for two long hours, long queues formed in front of the exchanges in front of all the great capitals of the world. President Morillo spoke from the Oruro Palace and used the opportunity to make a concealed warning (some would call it a threat) to the two Peruvian republics and the Minas Gerais secessionist area. Morillo had handed over the presidency of Minas to his nephew, Pepe Morillo, who had proved to be a wet blanket whom everybody could manipulate, and now Morillo bitterly regretted his decision. Morocco and Iceland did little more than give their diplomats a gentle nudge in the ribs, anything to shake them into action, as they imagined them all to be sipping grenadine and mango juice in the deep south while servants in shiny black uniforms stood over them with fans.
The picturesque note came from the Independent States of North America. It could not have been otherwise. Nobody knew that all the states were now once again under the control of a single president, but that's how it was: some guy called Jack Jackson-Franklin, who had been a bit-part actor in videos, and who, aged eighty-seven, had discovered his extremely patriotic vocation of statesman. Aided by his singular and inexplicable charisma, and by his suspect family tree, according to which he was the descendent of two presidents who had ruled over the states during their glory days, he had managed to unify, at least for now, the seventy-nine northern states. Anyway, Mr. Jackson-Franklin said to the world that the Independent States would not permit such a thing to take place. No more, just that they would not permit such a thing to take place. The world laughed uproariously at this.
Over there, in the Saint Leninburg palace, ministers cleared their throats, advisers swallowed saliva, trying to find out if, by bobbing their Adam's apples up and down enough, they might be able to loosen their stiff official shirts.
"Ahem. Ahem. It's in the south. A long way to the south. In the west, Your Majesty."
"It is. Humph. Ahem. It is, Your Majesty, a tiny country in a tiny territory."
"It says that it is in Argentina," the tsarina said, still staring through the window but without paying any attention to the night as it fell over the snow-covered roofs and the frozen shores of the Baltic.
"Ah, yes, that's right, that's right, Your Majesty, a pocket republic."
Sergei Vasilievich Kustkarov, some kind of councilor and, what is more, an educated and sensible man, broke into the conversation.
"Several, Your Majesty, it is several."
And at last the tsarina turned around. Who cared a fig for the Baltic night, the snow-covered rooftops, the roofs themselves, and the city of which they were a part? Heavy silk crackled, starched petticoats, lace.
"Several of what, Councilor Kustkarov, several of what? Don't come to me with your ambiguities."
"I must say, Your Majesty, I had not the slightest intention--"
"Several of what?"
The tsarina looked directly at him, her lips held tightly together, her hands moving unceasingly, and Kustkarov panicked, as well he might.
"Rep-rep-republics, Your Majesty," he blurted out. "Several of them. Apparently, a long time ago, a very long time, it used to be a single territory, and now it is several, several republics, but their inhabitants, the people who live in all of them, all of the republics, are called, they call themselves, the people, that is, Argentinians."
The tsarina turned her gaze away. Kustkarov felt so relieved that he was encouraged to carry on speaking:
"There are seven of them, Your Majesty: Rosario, Entre dos Rios, Ladocta, Ona, Riachuelo, Yujujuy, and Labodegga."
The tsarina sat down.
"We must do something," she said.
Silence. Outside it was not snowing, but inside it appeared to be. The tsarina looked at the transport minister.
"This enters into your portfolio," she said.
Kustkarov sat down, magnificently. How lucky he was to be a councilor, a councilor with no specific duties. The transport minister, on the other hand, turned pale.
"I think, Your Majesty...," he dared to say.
"Don't think! Do something!"
"Yes, Your Majesty," the minister said, and, bowing, started to make his way to the door.
"Where do you think you're going?" the tsarina said, without moving her mouth or twitching an eyelid.
"I'm just, I'm going, I'm just going to see what can be done, Your Majesty."
There's nothing that can be done, Sergei Vasilievich thought in delight, nothing. He realized that he was not upset, but instead he felt happy. And on top of everything else a woman, he thought. Kustkarov was married to Irina Waldoska-Urtiansk, a real beauty, perhaps the most beautiful woman in all of Holy Russia. Perhaps he was being cuckolded; it would have been all too easy for him to find that out, but he did not want to. His thoughts turned in a circle: and on top of everything else a woman. He looked at the tsarina and was struck, not for the first time, by her beauty. She was not so beautiful as Irina, but she was magnificent.
In Rosario it was not snowing, not because it was summer, although it was, but because it never snowed in Rosario. And there weren't any palm trees: the Moroccans would have been extremely disappointed had they known, but their diplomats said nothing about the Rosario flora in their reports, partly because the flora of Rosario was now practically nonexistent, and partly because diplomats are supposed to be above that kind of thing.
Everyone who was not a diplomat, that is to say, everyone, the population of the entire republic that in the last ten years had multiplied vertiginously and had now reached almost two hundred thousand souls, was euphoric, happy, triumphant. They surrounded her house, watched over her as she slept, left expensive imported fruits outside her door, followed her down the street. Some potentate allowed her the use of a Ford 99, which was one of the five cars in the whole country, and a madman who lived in the Espinillos cemetery hauled water all the way up from the Pará lagoon and grew a flower for her which he then gave her.
"How nice," she said, then went on, dreamily, "Will there be flowers where I'm going?"
They assured her that there would be.
She trained every day. As they did not know exactly what it was she had to do to train herself, she got up at dawn, ran around the Independence crater, skipped, did some gymnastic exercises, ate little, learned how to hold her breath, and spent hours and hours sitting or curled into strange positions. She also danced the waltz. She was almost positive that the waltz was not likely to come in handy, but she enjoyed it very much.
Meanwhile, farther away, the trail of gunpowder had become a barrel of dynamite, although dynamite was also a legendary substance and didn't exist. The infoscreens in every country, whether poor or rich, central or peripheral, developed or not, blazed forth with extremely large headlines suggesting dates, inventing biographical details, trying to hide, without much success, their envy and confusion. No one was fooled:
"We have been wretchedly beaten," the citizens of Bolivia said.
"Who would have thought it," pondered the man on the Reykjavík omnibus.
The former transport minister of Holy Russia was off breaking stones in Siberia. Councilor Sergei Vasilievich Kustkarov was sleeping with the tsarina, but that was only a piece of low, yet spicy, gossip that has nothing to do with this story.
"We will not allow this to happen!" Mr. Jackson-Franklin blustered, tugging nervously at his hairpiece. "It is our own glorious history that has set aside for us this brilliant destiny! It is we, we and not this despicable banana republic, who are marked for this glory!"
Mr. Jackson-Franklin also did not know that there were no palm trees or bananas in Rosario, but this was due not to a lack of reports from his diplomats but rather a lack of diplomats. Diplomats are a luxury that a poor country cannot afford, and so poor countries often go to great pains to take offense and recall all the knights commanders and lawyers and doctors and even eventually the generals working overseas, in order to save money on rent and electricity and gas and salaries, not to mention the cost of the banquets and all the money in brown paper envelopes.
But the headlines kept on appearing on the infoscreens: "Argentinian Astronaut Claims She Will Reach Edge of Universe," "Sources Claim Ship Is Spaceworthy in Spite of or Because of Centuries-Long Interment," "Science or Catastrophe?," "Astronaut Not a Woman but a Transsexual" (this in the Imperialskaya Gazeta, the most puritan of the infoscreens, even more so than the Papal Piccolo Osservatore Lombardo), "Ship Launches," "First Intergalactic Journey in Centuries," "We Will Not Allow This to Happen!" (Portland Times).
She was dancing the waltz. She woke up with her heart thumping, tried out various practical hairstyles, ran, skipped, drank only filtered water, ate only olives, avoided spies and journalists, went to see the ship every day, just to touch it. The mechanics all adored her.
"It'll work, they'll see, it'll work," the chief engineer said defiantly.
Nobody contradicted him. No one dared say that it wouldn't.
It would make it, of course it would make it. Not without going through many incredible adventures on its lengthy journey. Lengthy? No one knew who Langevin was anymore, so no one was shocked to discover that his theory contradicted itself, ended up biting its own tail, and that however long the journey took, the observers would only perceive it as having lasted minutes. Someone called Cervantes, a very famous personage back in the early years of human civilization--it was still debated whether he had been a physicist, a poet, or a musician--had suggested a similar theory in one of his lost works.
One autumn dawn the ship took off from the Independence crater, the most deserted part of the whole desert republic of Rosario, at five forty-five in the morning. The exact time is recorded because the inhabitants of the country had all pitched in together to buy a clock, which they thought the occasion deserved (there was one other clock, in the Enclosed Convent of the Servants of Santa Rita de Casino, but because the convent was home to an enclosed order nothing ever went in or out of it, no news, no requests, no answers, no nothing). Unfortunately, they had not had enough money. But then someone had had the brilliant idea which had brought in the money they needed, and Rosario had hired out its army for parades in friendly countries: there weren't that many of them and the ones there were weren't very rich, but they managed to get the cash together. Anyone who was inspired by patriotism and by the proximity of glory had to see those dashing officers, those disciplined soldiers dressed in gold and crimson, protected by shining breastplates, capped off with plumed helmets, their catapults and pouches of stones at their waists, goose-stepping through the capital of Entre Dos Rios or the Padrone Giol vineyards in Labodegga, at the foot of the majestic Andes.
The ship blasted off. It got lost against the sky. Before the inhabitants of Rosario, their hearts in their throats and their eyes clouded by emotion, had time to catch their breath, a little dot appeared up there, getting bigger and bigger, and it was the ship coming back down. It landed at 06:11 on the same morning of that same autumn day. The clock that recorded this is preserved in the Rosario Historical Museum. It no longer works, but anyone can go and see it in its display cabinet in Room A of the Museum. In Room B, in another display case, is the so-called Carballensis Indentic Axe, the fatal tool that cut down all the vegetation of Rosario and turned the whole country into a featureless plain. Good and evil, side by side, shoulder to shoulder.
Twenty-six minutes on Earth, many years on board the ship. Obviously, she did not have a watch or a calendar with her: the republic of Rosario would not have been able to afford either of them. But it was many years, she knew that much.
Leaving the galaxy was a piece of cake. You can do it in a couple of jumps, everyone knows that, following the instructions that Albert Einsteinstein, the multifaceted violin virtuoso, director of sci-fi movies, and student of space-time, gave us a few hundred years back. But the ship did not set sail to the very center of the universe, as its predecessors had done in the great era of colonization and discovery; no, the ship went right to the edge of the universe.
Everyone also knows that there is nothing in the universe, not even the universe itself, which does not grow weaker as you reach its edge. From pancakes to arteries, via love, rubbers, photographs, revenge, bridal gowns, and power. Everything tends to imperceptible changes at the beginning, rapid change afterward; everything at the edge is softer and more blurred, as the threads start to fray from the center to the outskirts.
In the time it took her to take a couple of breaths, a breath and a half, over the course of many years, she passed through habitable and uninhabitable places, worlds which had once been classified as existent, worlds which did not appear and had never appeared and probably would never appear in any cartographical survey. Planets of exiles, singing sands, minutes and seconds in tatters, whirlpools of nothingness, space junk, and that's without even mentioning those beings and things, all of which stood completely outside any possibility of description, so much so that we tend not to perceive them when we look at them; all of this, and shock, and fear more than anything else, and loneliness. The hair grew gray at her temples, her flesh lost its firmness, wrinkles appeared around her eyes and her mouth, her knees and ankles started to act up, she slept less than before and had to half close her eyes and lean backward in order to make out the numbers on the consoles. And she was so tired that it was almost unbearable. She did not waltz any longer: she put an old tape into an old machine and listened and moved her gray head in time with the orchestra.
She reached the edge of the universe. Here was where everything came to an end, so completely that even her tiredness disappeared and she felt once again as full of enthusiasm as she had when she was younger. There were hints, of course: salt storms, apparitions, little brushstrokes of white against the black of space, large gaps made of sound, echoes of long-dead voices that had died giving sinister orders, ash, drums; but when she reached the edge itself, these indications gave way to space signage: "End," "You Are Reaching the Universe Limits," "The Cosmos General Insurance Company, YOUR Company, Says: GO NO FURTHER," "End of Protected Cosmonaut Space," etc., as well as the scarlet polygon that the OMUU had adopted to use as a sign for that's it, abandon all hope, the end.
All right, so she was here. The next thing to do was go back. But the idea of going back never occurred to her. Women are capricious creatures, just like little boys: as soon as they get what they want, then they want something else. She carried on.
There was a violent judder as she crossed the limit. Then there was silence, peace, calm. All very alarming, to tell the truth. The needles did not move, the lights did not flash, the ventilation system did not hiss, her alveoli did not vibrate, her chair did not swivel, the screens were blank. She got up, went to the portholes, looked out, saw nothing. It was logical enough:
"Of course," she said to herself, "when the universe comes to an end, then there's nothing."
She looked out through the portholes a little more, just in case. She still could see nothing, but she had an idea.
"But I'm here," she said. "Me and the ship."
She put on a space suit and walked out into the nothing.
When the ship landed in the Independence crater in the republic of Rosario, twenty-six minutes after it had taken off, when the hatch opened and she appeared on the ramp, the spirit of Paul Langevin flew over the crater, laughing fit to burst. The only people who heard him were the madman who had grown the flower for her in the Espinillos cemetery and a woman who was to die that day. No one else had ears or fingers or tongue or feet, far less did they have eyes to see him.
It was the same woman who had left, the very same, and this calmed the crowds down at the same time as it disappointed them, all the inhabitants of the country, the diplomats, the spies, and the journalists. It was only when she came down the gangplank and they came closer to her that they saw the network of fine wrinkles around her eyes. All other signs of her old age had vanished, and had she wished, she could have waltzed tirelessly, for days and nights on end, from dusk till dawn till dusk.
The journalists all leaned forward; the diplomats made signals, which they thought were subtle and unseen, to the bearers of their sedan chairs to be ready to take them back to their residences as soon as they had heard what she had to say; the spies took photographs with the little cameras hidden away in their shirt buttons or their wisdom teeth; all the old people put their hands together; the men raised their fists to their heart; the little boys pranced; the young girls smiled.
And then she told them what she had seen:
"I took off my suit and my helmet," she said, "and walked along the invisible avenues that smelled of violets."
She did not know that the whole world was waiting to hear what she said; that Ekaterina V had made Sergei Vasilievich get up at five o'clock in the morning so that he could accompany her to the grand salon and wait there for the news; that one of the seventy-nine Northern States had declared its independence because the president had not stopped anything from happening or obtained any glory, and this had lit the spark of rebellion in the other seventy-eight states, and this had made Mr. Jackson-Franklin leave the White House without his wig, in pajamas, freezing and furious; that Bolivia, Paraguay, and Iceland had allowed the two Peruvian republics to join their new alliance and defense treaty set up against a possible attack from space; that the high command of the Paraguayan aeronautical engineers had promised to build a ship that could travel beyond the limits of the universe, always assuming that they could be granted legal immunity and a higher budget, a declaration that made the guarani fall back the two points that it had recently risen and then another one as well; that Don Schicchino Giol, the new padrone of the Republic of Labodegga at the foot of the majestic Andes had been woken from his most recent drinking bout to be told that he had now to sign a declaration of war against the Republic of Rosario, now that they knew the strength of the enemy's forces.
"Eh? What? Hunh?" Don Schicchino said.
"I saw the nothingness of everything," she said, "and it was all infused with the unmistakable smell of wood violets. The nothingness of the world is like the inside of a stomach throbbing above your head. The nothingness of people is like the back of a painting, black, with glasses and wires that release dreams of order and imperfect destinies. The nothingness of creatures with leathery wings is a crack in the air and the rustle of tiny feet. The nothingness of history is the massacre of the innocents. The nothingness of words, which is a throat and a hand that break whatever they touch on perforated paper; the nothingness of music, which is music. The nothingness of precincts, of crystal glasses, of seams, of hair, of liquids, of lights, of keys, of food."
When she had finished her list, the potentate who owned the Ford 99 said that he would give it to her, and that in the afternoon he would send one of his servants with a liter of naphtha so that she could take the car out for a spin.
"Thank you," she said. "You are very generous."
The madman went away, looking up to the skies; who knows what he was searching for. The woman who was going to die that day asked herself what she should eat on Sunday, when her sons and their wives came to lunch. The president of the Republic of Rosario gave a speech.
And everything in the world carried on the same, apart from the fact that Ekaterina V named Kustkarov her interior minister, which terrified the poor man but which was welcomed with open arms by Irina as an opportunity for her to refresh her wardrobe and her stock of lovers. And Jack Jackson-Franklin sold his memoirs to one of Paraguay's more sophisticated magazines for a stellar amount of money, which allowed him to retire to live in Imerina. And six spaceships from six major world powers set off to the edges of the universe and were never seen again.
She married a good man who had a house with a balcony, a white bicycle, and a radio which, on clear days, could pick up the radio plays that LLL1 Radio Magnum transmitted from Entre Dos Rios, and she waltzed in white satin shoes. The day that her first son was born a very pale green shoot grew out of the ground on the banks of the great lagoon.
|1||Bottlejaw’s Barbershop (and Dentistry)||The spinning helix of the barber pole atop the shingle of criss-crossing razors and shears placemarks Bottlejaws Barbershop. Edmund Bottlejaw, an always-smiling halfling whose pleasant demeanor might be a professional front has a ramshackle building with very expensive touches. Perhaps the centerpiece is a shiny leather-upholstered hydraulic chair that adjusts not just for the variety of heights of his customers, but also comes with restraints when his work involves the occasional tooth extraction. Busts of humanoids showcase different styling and services, including a dwarf sporting beard-wigs intricately plaited and an orc with a hairpiece dramatically adorned and dyed. He is assisted by a silent and brooding young aasimar, Rajar, who mainly sweeps and appears to be able to provide the muscle.|
|2||Erastil’s Blessings: Seed bank and lending Library||An elderly human and a baby-nursing half-elf woman came into town on an elk-drawn tarp-covered carriage. Most of their belongings were stacks and stacks of practical books, almanacs, manuals, plants guides and many copies of Parables of Erastil, the holy text of the elder god for a traditional way of life. Molthuse and Nirmal are a fount of practical knowledge. They set up quiet places to read and reference their library in a simple wooden structure, allowing visitors to copy information on paper available for purchase. Nirmal is also in charge of a thriving garden, often pressing cuttings and seedling to visitors. Near the entrance of the library, stands pots of seedballs for sale, seeds of useful plantlife and nutrient packed in mud.|
|3||The Central Prospect||A small shed with a stable door, operated by Able, an elderly dwarven fellow with a bald head and long grey scraggley beard. The "store" provides basic tools for prospecting, crow bars, shovels, pick axes, gold pans, etc. Able also has well documented maps of the area showing points of interest.|
|4||Riverbottom Candleshop||Wendy Riverbottom was one of the first inhabitants of area, in fact only the oldest explorers can even remember her moving in. One question always comes up when they see her shop, “Why a Chandler in the middle of nowhere?” to which she gleefully replies that everyone enjoys the light aroma of a candle or a well-crafted bar of soap. She’s open to share her history about the world but strictly adamant against anyone going downstairs to the workshop and seeing the crafting process.|
|5||The Loose Stool||A tavern run by a dwarf named Kirgan. The interior looks nearly as rundown as the exterior of the building. Creaky floors, tables with uneven legs, and to top it off, the bar top is only 3 feet high to cater to Kirgan's shortness. He is old, even for a dwarf, sporting long gray unkempt hair. He is rather grumpy, always having something to complain about. Don't you dare ask him about the scar on the side of his face or you'll regret it. All that aside he sells great ale by the barrel to travelers interested in taking the party to go|
|6||Aegert’s Breads||The small cart parked in the center of the settlement has become a familiar sight to the residents. The cart serves as the shop for Joarr Aegert, the resident half-orc baker, to sell his breads. While his rolls and loaves are nothing fancy, they are tasty and filling. Joarr is saving up to buy a small home so that his wife and children can come join him. He misses them dearly, and they him.|
|7||Illia's Rug Shack||The hunch-backed, plump-faced woman who runs this decrepit store out of what was once a large tool shed doesn't have a set price on a single one out of the dozens of crude rugs she sells out of the dusty shack, but despite her condescending demeanor she is usually willing to let potential customers haggle for them. Illia is almost never seen outside of her store and nobody is quite sure how she gets her rugs. Secretly, Illia is a hag who uses the store as a front for her child peddling business. If you go to the back door at night and knock in a specific pattern, then mention her secret passcode: "worm food," she will sell you any of the children she keeps locked in the back bound and gagged, for the right price. Illia has an orc bodyguard who can usually be seen standing outside the front of the store smoking a pipe.|
|8||Pete’s Pelts||Pete mostly mumbles, but he is an excellent hunter. Pete sells pelts and dried animal meat. He also sells assorted hunting supplies. He has a small shack he lives in. His furs and other wears are hanging in a barn just outside guarded by his old dog, Grungy . Pete is also a master fletcher and will build specialty arrows for you for the right price.|
|9||Mat’s Maps||A man named Mathew who sells maps next to his twin brother.|
|10||Map’s Mats||A man named Mapthew who sells mats and rugs next to his twin brother.|
|11||Coinz4Shineez||A small stall operated by a group of Goblins. They exchange gems, gold, anything of value for coins. They offer a favourable rate, but will not haggle. Loot is placed on a set of scales, and the appropriate coins appear in a small chest. The loot then goes in the chest and disappears. They are underwritten by a noble wizard in the capital.|
|12||B'Rody's General Store||This recently widowed Dragonborn has packed up her wagon caravan in the South and set up shop in the North where her remaining family can be found. She's made her fortune dealing in exotic goods and just wants a bit of peace and quiet. Caution: She is known to breath fire at shoplifters. (pro. Bah' Rudy)|
|13||M'uhctek's Market||Ash M'uhctek, a half-elf moon druid and initiate wizard that leans heavily towards the teachings of Solonor Thelandira, owns the largest produce stall in town. Carries a bit of everything in his wagon and loves to trade. He struck a deal with the local council for a farm and the large swath of forest behind it to remain untouched. In return he uses Plant Growth to bolster harvests in the province. Oddly enough he does this in every town he visits and has set up quite a few franchises and private wildlife preserves.|
|14||Black Books:||Bernard Black is the owner of this small, dusty and very disorganized book shop. He is a disheveled misanthrope, cynical alcoholic, and a proud chain smoker. He has a strong disdain for people and avoids interaction with his few customers as much as possible. On occasions where he is forced into interaction with customers his response is snarky and mocking. The shop has an incredible collection of books, but almost all of them are in terrible condition — Bernard has read them all.|
|15||Laif and Kheem's Frontier Furnishing||Laif is a viking as he is pictured in books and on the embossments of viking shields. His majestic beard is always waxed and his posture is proud and loyal to the gods of order and justice. Kheem is a mounted archer as is portrayed by legends and frightened battle reports of the tribes of the tundra. His beard is like that of a mighty dragon and his shoulders are guarded by the heads of beasts whom he hath' slain.The two are united only by honor and their great adventure, of which they are the only survivors. Having done their share, they traded in the one or other limb for experience and settled to construct the settlements of your oncoming NPCs. (They are actually still pretty badass, but Laif can't speak common!)|
|16||Ar-Og's very good tools||Ar-Og is a troll or possibly orc, or a half-breed of some sort. We don't know. His temper is as slow as dripping tar, and nothing seems to get him into anything related to the bloodrush of those whom he possibly is related to. Except if you question the quality of his tools. Which, as he proclaims, are very good.If you need a hammer, or perhaps a bizarre axe to chop trees which grow in nooks of some stone canyon, just barely out of reach from a regular axe, he is your man! Or possibly troll.|
|17||Questionable Ehrnard's Questionable Products!||Look, there's nobody for miles - the last shepherd you saw was literally just an unsupervised dog. Really, that there's any store at all is a small miracle. Thinking anything about the economics of running this store would have clued you in on the questionable nature of its owner and products. But what you see is what you get and some of the products don't seem terrible. Plus, it's not like you can be picky, just watch your pack while you're inside.|
|18||Infernal Delights Diner||This seemingly quaint diner has a charming and flirty red teifling cook by the name of Pot and a demure and empathetic server aasimar by the name of Cake. These two are always playfully arguing with one another and always seem to know just a bit more than they should about their customers. They are in fact an angel and a devil who have abandoned their posts and now reward or punish customers in mysteriously karmic ways. Locals don't know exactly what goes on in the dinner but they know its a good way to test whether visitors are trouble makers or future friends so often will send any new visitors to the dinner.|
|19||Gregarious Gnome Gebby's Quality Used Golems!||Gebby is a fast talking, slick haired, and sharply dressed salesman with a bevy of used golems of all types. He provides them to rent or own but if you to fail return the golem in time he will charge a generous interest rate and if it comes back too damaged? Well you break it you buy it! The golems are useful for protecting the town and building houses and Gebby makes a good deal of coin providing their services but he might be willing to give a discount if you can help repair some of his damaged golems or help retrieve a late payment or two.|
|20||Keara's Bar & Barbershop||Keara Blackblade is a retired dwarf soldier who has opened up her dream business. She serves fine drink and will trim your hair and beard into fine styles. She loves her job and she assures you she cuts hair best when drunk. Her husband Nug Blackblade a cigar chomping grump runs the bar while she cuts hair and is less pleased about the work than his wife if only because his supply of drink is constantly running low.|
|21||The Spit||A tavern housed in a small two storey building. The tables are placed around the walls, and a staircase rises to the next floor at the back of the room. In the centre of the room is a fire pit, with meat of unknown varieties cooking on spits over the flames. The proprieter is a friendly Orc-ish fellow (he's part Orc, so he's Orc-ish) by the name of Grub. The upper floor is a mezzanine that circles the inside of the building. There is a hole in the centre of the roof that the smoke billows from. In bad weather, Grub will hoist a canvas sheet over the outside of the hole, filling the building with smoke.|
|22||Watery Fowls||A tavern on the main trade road with a short-tempered and incompetent Elven owner Basil, his wife Sybil, a Dwarven chef called Munnuel, and an Aasimar receptionist called Polly. Basil is spectacularly racist, and tries to micromanage everything, to hilarious consequence.|
|23||Poe and Shaun's Potion Shop||There they were, two Halflings with a dream. They wanted a store where they could test their experimental potions and make a little money on the side. Their potion shop is covered in bottles, hanging down so people must brush them aside to even make their way to the counter. A constant bubbling and hissing from mixtures can be heard throughout. Poe handles the social interactions while Shaun can be found in the back, wearing thick goggles and testing out their experiments. Sure they have some of the boring regular potions one might find at any store, but where's the fun in that when you could have a gander at Potion Experiment #626?|
|24||Prickly's Fortunes||Within a large cactus resides an equally prickly dryad. This sarcastic and snarky dryad is willing to trade fortunes and, for major deeds, resurrections in exchange for environmental activities. She is tuned to the frontier and can sense any potential threat to the wilderness of these lands and request a task capable of her visitors, so a farmer will get their fortunes told by planting some bushes but an adventurer? Well, she will likely expect more.|
|25||Hunters and Slayers||Triplet Catfolk Rangers running a beast and monster slaying company. Prrrr favors monstrosities, Grrrr favors beasts, and Hsss favors staying at the office selling the hides, meat, teeth, and other goods his siblings harvest from their hunts. They are always willing to share the profits for an especially dangerous hunt.|
|26||Grilled Bears||A wilderness survival store with a focus on the essentials like rope, knives, tinderboxes, etc. They sell a proprietary magical canteen that refills to full whenever it is emptied. Sadly, the contents only refills with water, and it always tastes like urine. The owner, known as BG, has a habit of overstating his knowledge and lies constantly about his past in the elite guard.|
|27||Meer Ray||A kind Tabaxi fellow offering lessons in surviving the wilderness. Starting with the basics of building a fire and making camp, patrons can progress to more advanced skills like tracking, hunting and herbalism. Ray also has a selection of survival tools available, but they tend to be more advanced than his competitor GB's wares.|
|28||Rocky Rambler's Rolling Canyons!||"Hi, I'm Rocky Rambler! Have you recently moved onto a new property in a sparse frontier and need to remodel your landscape? Then boy, do I have the product for you! Get new Landscape Rolls TM! Ever bought rolls of sod? The cheap dead grass rolled up in bundles? Well now you can buy rolls of just about anything! Want a green meadow filled with blooming wildflowers? Slap it down, roll it out! Want bumpy landscape with rocks and cactus? Unroll it like a rug! Or even a babbling brook for relaxing white noise? They may leak, but they're loaded with fish! You want a heavenly cloudscape? Well, it'll likely float off once you lay it down, but we've got 7 left over from a refunded order! For the next week and a half, buy any two landscapes and get a roll of Clouds absolutely FREE (with purchase of any two outdoor landscapes, offer invalid with wooden floor rolls and interiors, limit one cloud roll per person per day, offer not valid on Thursdays, taxes and fees may apply, offer not valid to Cloud Giants, Cloud Dragons, or Air Elementals. No Refunds, all sales are final). So Come on down to Rocky Rambler's Rolling Canyons! Located adjacent to Rocky Rambler's Animal in a Bottle Warehouse and Enchanted Boot Emporium!"|
|29||Cold River Shipping Company||Running up in the northern frontier near the Frozen Pines, the Company consists of a fleet of canoes, rafts, and barges along the rivers. Mainly shipping smaller goods or individuals across the rivers and streams, it is a loose outfit put together by four half-orc brothers with native help. They plan to gather enough funds to buy a ship good for breaking ice flows and make their business legitimate.|
|30||The Silver Sledge||This mining corporation was formed earlier on during the beginning of the frontier by a prominent dwarf miner, Fuaser Robishau. Earning his fortune early on through a large silver payload, which he and his family defended savagely, he has now sponsored several other mines under his new corporation. He mainly favors fellow dwarves who come to work for him, setting them up as work crew bosses and foremen. He does not mind the cheating of common workers, but any who undercut him, even fellow dwarves, are often found outside of town with a pickaxe lodged in their skull.|
|31||Hedge Mage Headquarters||The frontier proved a great opportunity for up and coming wizards wishing to establish a name for themselves after completing their apprenticeships. Founded by the gnome Fullbery "School Marm" Washup, the headquarters functions as a secondary academy, lodging, and work area, but also as contact for services requiring magic. While the work is not nearly as precise or as epic as from master wizards, it provides affordable and regular services.|
|32||The Stoor||"Come on up, don't be shy. Sure it's not much but—oh pardon me, let me pull that carpet back down o'er the box, er, shop here. But we got just what you need this far out. What things? Oh you know, lots of things. Many things. I keep them tucked behind this box for safety is all. It's one of them bags o' holdin'... but a box. Oh these? These rocks? Oh these are, uh, rocks... the finest rocks in the land. No better rocks out there, I got 'em all righ' here. And I spent a fair bit o' time searching for them, no need to thank me. Now are you buyin' a rock or not?"|
|33||Graves Lost & Found||An unusual partnership with an greedy female Ratfolk Ranger named Rugel and a noble female Centaur Cleric name Clover. The two seek out the frontier for unmarked graves of fallen travelers. Clover performs rights upon the corpse, speak with dead to find out who they are, burns the body, and recovers the ashes. Rugel tracks the bodies down, steals anything of value off the body, investigates for any clues regarding the identity of the person, and gets info when Clover speaks with dead about any other treasures the dead may know of. They are hired to find the graves of lost travelers and return the ashes or they will try to return the ashes if they get the name of the family of the perished traveler. They also have a shed of unidentified ashes they hold on to. The information they get from the dead can also be purchased from this odd pair.|
|34||Belix's Obelisks and Menhir Workshop and Delivery||Belix appears to be human in most respects, if one of prodigious dimensions. What might give an observer pause is his incredible strength, evident as he works his trade, literally carving out a natural wall-face to produce oblong menhirs that tower over most people and easily hefting the pure rock sculptures as if it were no heavier than a sack of feathers. It is rumored that the menhirs might be the source of his strength, but none of his customers appear any more vital. However no one can deny the charm of his simple but impressive handiwork, the Founders Stone a simple giant obelisk that towers in the town square, being an excellent example. He is always working on a few extra obelisks and menhirs just in case despite the limited market, but in his many hours of downtime he hunts boars, with one or two always on a spit roast at his quarry. He’ll accept coin, but some have discovered he will barter nearly any task or item for a potion, any potion. He appears to be looking a particular potion, but he’s willing to try any in his maniacal quest.|
|35||The Outlook||A small tavern with a few spare rooms for any travelers making their way through. It's a nice place to stop at if you need to rest up and take stock before heading out. The main draw though are the scouts that like to hang around and guide any newcomers. There's a bit of competition among the scouts as business isn't exactly thriving this far out. The unspoken agreement among them is they each have a specialized area of what they know and they stick with it. Know ahead of time where you're going if you want a guide from here or else there's sure to be a bar fight among the guides. As troublesome as it sounds, these guides are certainly experts of their area.|
|36||Eastwood's Stables||This gruff cowboy is a literal cow-boy. A Minotaur that gave up the life of a bounty hunter to raise and sell horses to those in need. A loner who prefers the company of horses he known to be fair if rude. One would be wise not to cross Eastwood, he is as dangerous as he looks.|
|37||Ranch and Menagerie Grove||This Druid Grove is home to a Druid Collective that both protects and sells the creatures kept within the grove. They provide some of the animals within the grove for hunting or labor, for a price, as long as excessive damage is not done to the frontier. They have also been know to go out to hunt down poachers that threaten the wildlife of the frontier. They are willing to provide services if one brings them rare beasts of the frontier to be protected within the grove.|
|38||Big Dog's Casino||Run by Big Dog, an awakened bulldog, this high-end casino is where those who have earned their riches in the frontier can socialize and gamble in safety and fun. Big Dog is a mysterious dog seeming to have lived through several major events in history and is far more clever than he appears at first glance. He has somehow convinced a cyclops, Snake Eye, to man the door and a pair of bugbear brothers, Blackjack and Roulette, acting as muscle within the casino itself. His employees are remarkably loyal and protective of Big Dog, which is good because he has far more enemies than any dog should.|
|39||The Holy Church||An aged Cleric Elf runs a church of the town known only as Father and rumored to have come from the Fey realm. A child that was possessed by a demon was visited by the Father and it is said that when he walked into the room the Demon-possessed child went silent, then screamed, and the demon banished itself. The grounds of the church is truly hollowed ground as one can feel the divine energy radiating from it to the point that it glows ever so slightly at night.|
|40||The Public Library||Run by a Kitsune Bard Loremaster, named Shu, and her adopted daughter, a Changeling, named Frell. These two shapshifters gather knowledge from the frontier and record them into the books of the library, making magical copies to send to other libraries around the world. They are willing to pay for any unique knowledge you may offer and the library is free to use for anybody though there is a donation box. Usually only one will be in the library as the other would be searching the frontier for unique plants, creatures, or lore to add to their books.|
|41||Normal Carpentry||This place is completely normal. It does carpentry. There is no sinister basement. There is no evil cult. Its just a normal carpentry shop. We are not aberrations.|
|42||Under Well Shop||A well has appeared though its waters seem toxic and its seems a shop is attached to it underground. It's keeper, a cloaked in Drow, possess goods only found within the underdark. The shop owner will tell you a creature is within the waters of the well polluting it and it needs to be slain to purify the water.|
|43||Lake Town||A nearby lake has had a settlement of aquatic races move in. A gillman named Ted runs the trading post between the town and the lake. He holds a bevy of goods created and harvested by the citizens of the lake.|
|44||Tim Tim Tom's Cobbler Store||Tim Tim Tom is a true master cobbler. A halfling who makes the highest quality shoes in the frontier, perhaps the world. His shoes are incredibly comfortable and near indestructible as his skill is so polished it seems divinely touched. Nearly everybody in town has a custom pair make for them despite the incredible prices he charges as he is willing to take payments over the course of years for permanent residents. But if adventures want a pair of his shoes you will need to gather some of his rare material.|
|45||Jackdaw's Discount Weapons||Jackdaw is a weaponsmith who gets about half of his stock from adventurers passing through with weapons they looted off of fallen foes. As a result, much of his loot is eclectic and unique in its style and material.|
|46||Fangjaw's Proteccy Clothez||A lizardfolk armorer who doesn't speak great common, but makes damn good armor, whether it be metal or hide. He moved out here because in the bigger cities, his accent proved more of a deterrent than out here.|
|47||Athena's Aegis||A female former gladiator who specializes in making magical protective shields. Especially those that can be thrown into the enemies' faces. (Captain America style)|
|48||Lone Star Courier||A courier service that gives zero regard for the safety of their deliverymen and as a result, will rarely refuse a contract. However, they are also always looking for new couriers.|
|49||Goldie's Bank and Storage Services:||This bank (one of many) is run by gold tinted Kobolds serving a particularly organized and neurotic Gold Dragon, Goldie, who uses the holdings as their hoard. The bank holds onto goods and money allowing it to accrue interest as long as the holder checks in once a year. If the holder does not show during a year the treasure is held but no interest is gained. Treasure can be retrieved if proof of ownership or holder returns and a holding fee is paid. If the holder is found dead and the initial insurance is not paid the treasure becomes the property of the bank. The bank will often set up bounties to determine if the holders are alive or dead and request proof of either. Killing a holder during a bounty mission has serious consequences and those who kill holders or those who have not paid off their loans have especially high bounties put up by the bank.|
|50||Gible Gom's Circus||A strange circus that seems to pop in and out of existence within the town. Run primarily by Goblins and Hobgoblins they put on exciting acrobatic and athletic feats, enchanting performances, and spectacular magical tricks. The people are a bit wary but those who go seem to truly enjoy the show and miraculously the only money lost is that willingly spent. Some very angry looking elves from the Fey have been seen staring at the circus but they vanish before anybody gets close. Gible, the circus master Hobgoblin, seems nervous and is seeking help regarding the elves.|
|51||Helding’s Hardware||Helding's Hardware is a small tool shop run by the owner and sole employee Javis Helding. The store is a small but well-kept building situated between two larger buildings on either side, making the clay brick shop appear even smaller. Multiple racks line the walls and form aisles in an orderly fashion, each one holding his collection of a certain tool. Hammers, shovels, saws. Javis almost always has something that fits the bill, and if he doesn’t, he’ll make sure the blacksmith starts working on something that does. Javis himself is a burly halfling, an uncommon combination of words that nonetheless describes the 4-foot high bundle of good humor and masculinity. Nothing matters more to him than his tiny shop and the people he meets there. Those that know him know that when they walk through his door, they will get the best help he can provide.|
|52||Fettlepox's Studio||Mauxi Fettlepox is a lanky figure who while known to be temperamental exercises the best manners. His business is not so much a storefront as a narrow alcove where he stacks the canvases he paints. On the sidewalk he places a few easels displaying of his most recent work—typically a maelstrom of frenzied brushstrokes that coalesce to an enthralling simulacrum of his subject. When the easels change, it is a minor event, with even critics pausing to update their opinions. It has become a habit to drop a coin in a tin bowl beneath the work, the clinking announcing each viewer. There’s often an unsettling quality to the work even as they are undeniably captivating, much like the man himself. His ethnicity, heck, even his race, is difficult to place—human might be the best guess going by his ears and dun pigmentation. But there’s something other about him. There’s some talk that he might seal a part of his subject’s soul in his paintings—that’s surely hogwash… But why can’t he never be found in his room at the tavern he rents out? And how does outdrink the stoutest dwarf with none the worse for wear?|
|53||Cold Justice Law House||Judge Jaws, a lizardfolk Inquisitor, judges the criminal of the frontier with his lawmen. Deputy Chill a Water Suli and Sheriff Scorch a Fire Suli. Chill is a Ranger and Scorch is a Monk. Chill finds and Scorch runs down and beats them senseless. Recently they found a bandit camp and need some help taking them down.|
|54||Frenti Chartered Architect & Assoc.||In a display of her skills, the entrance to Aleski Frenti’s offices are accessible via a mechanical contraption she calls “the elevator.” A balcony encircles her office allowing visitors to circumambulate and observe the vista of the growing outpost. The office itself is busy with workspaces covered with blueprints and designs. Tableaus with maps and plans can be wheeled around the space; a number of draftstables have active building designs underway; and a giant table allows for papers to be spread widely with many half-drunk cups of a some brown syrupy liquid scatter upon it, sometimes apparently serving as paperweights. A narrow winding staircase apparently leads to Aleski’s quarters. She is often found bent over a blueprint, scribbling notes with her sleeves folded to her elbows. Her assistant, a young gnome, Jerfery often follows behind her collecting the scraps of paper in her wake. While she is retained by the Council, she can be hired by private individuals either to design or consult.|
|55||Cool Winds' ButcheAnita's Fight Club||An androgynous undine named Jacky (isn’t too hung up on pronouns) and a half-orc who goes by Anita run the cold store and butchery. Jacky is undoubtedly the face of the establishment, and apparently responsible for the cool temperature generally and the arctic chill in the meat room. Jacky does the more traditional butchery, trapping game, quartering and dressing carcasses, and preparing and preserving meats. They have become a regular supplier to a few homes and businesses but they will handle meats on request. Anita is reticent and gruff. However, she hosts a “secret” fight club after hours once a week in the meat room with Jacky’s reluctant consent. Victors, and scrappy losers, even, can expect eye contact, discounts and even a smile from Anita. The fraternity of brawlers is becoming a real thing in the outpost.|
|56||Sir Calleb Dallas's Home for Orphans and Wayward Children||Sir Calleb Dallas, a human, was from a high ranking noble family who tried to become more selfless and charitable by opening an Orphanage in the frontier. Unfortunately his noble upbringing has left him ill-suited to frontier life and dealing with rambunctious children. To make matters worse his family has cut off funding to his orphanage! This desperate situation has caused the eldest and most dedicated orphan, Red an 60 year old Elf (technically still a child), to run off into the frontier for some treasure to save the orphanage. If you can go find and rescue Red, Calleb is willing to give up a treasured family heirloom as a reward.|
|57||Expose Inc.||Expose Inc. is a trio of mystery-solving reporters. The blond male trap master Aasimar named Ascot is the leader of the group. The clumsy attractive redhead half-elf sorceress in purple robes is named Dnger Pronee is the interviewer, and the female bespectacled gnome loremaster, Jinkies, is the head researcher and writer. A monster is scaring off the new owners of the Belfast Manor, will you help them capture the creature and get the story?|
|58||Fey Pharmaceutical Delights||A skinny cowardly Drow Fey Druid in a green shirt wearing a brown mushroom hat, named Norville, runs a shop with drugs of various effects from both the Fey realm and the Underdark. His best friend is an awoken equally cowardly talking dog, named Dooby. Both act as if effected by their product but they are in truth just silly and simple. Will trade product for delicious food. They will give the very best of their product if you get the legendary God Dog Biscuits for them to snack on.|
|59||Markus the Canoe-Maker||Markus… he doesn’t make canoes. It’s a just a moniker that stuck for the meticulous way he hollows out the corpses of the departed that no one claims, making careful anatomist sketches and inks. Otherwise, he provides sombre, brief, professional funeral services, minus the homilies, demonstrating a savant-level knowledge of faiths and cultures. Those services go a long way to balance out the gaunt, sallow wizard’s macabre pursuits—that and his restraint in raising the dead. In fact, he’s probably the best person around for an exorcism or discreet consultation about the ol’ family ghost. Perhaps unsurprisingly he’s quite the expert in pathology, either coming to unerring conclusions or withholding his judgment. When in doubt, he will simply cast speak to the dead, a task that the local law have been known to require.|
|60||Quality Custom Magic Jewelry||This ant colony is a hive mind that burst out of the ground and created a house sized ant hill. No one is sure how they came to be or where they come from but they seem friendly enough. To create the jewelry a person must sacrifice an item of great sentimental importance to the customer, high quality gems, precious metals or rare bones, a cup of the customer's tears, a pint of customer's blood, and 25 pounds of sugar and/or sweets. The ants will take the items and work for 2 weeks to create unique magical jewelry usable only by the customer or their heirs with abilities that match the customer's personality. They can only make one such item for each person though they can still make high quality normal jewelry if the raw material and 10 pounds of sugar and/or sweets is provided. If the ants see you as receptive they may ask for help in stopping their former master from finding and enslaving it. Their former master is a wizard that has changed himself permanently into an ant monster that can control ants psychically.|
|61||Lydia’s Arbor||The dryad Lydia welcomes all visitors to her small arbor, maintaining a staff of workers to harvest the fruit trees she nurtures. Parents have learned that they can safely keep their children in her care. Adventurers short on coin might spend a night under the canopy of her orchards. In exchange of a favor, she might even woodshape an enchanted object. She is well-versed in the medicinal properties of her plants. That a dryad would choose to make a home in a frontier town would rightly surprise a visitor. Much like others of her kind, Lydia began her life with an aversion to civilization. It was only when her grove was met with destruction, not by the woodmen that were pushing back the forest, but by an enormous wildfire that her destiny was altered. Lydia melded herself to her oak tree, resigned to her fate when a druid compelled her to withdraw. The human druid took her back to a hamlet and kept her alive. Though weak, she wandered the hamlet drawn to its oldest tree, amazed at the care the inhabitants took to that tree in particular. She swallowed her bitterness at how this tree could survive amidst humanity who destroyed so much of nature and communed with the elder tree. That experience changed her. The druid led her back to the tree that she had bonded with. There a sapling had sprung where the giant oak once stood. She carefully uprooted the sapling and set out to find another frontier town where she could set her roots, and possibly proselytize a green way forward.|
|62||Fritz's Magic School Wagon||This small yellow wagon is larger on the inside and can house an entire class of students. It can also transform, shrink, grow, and travel between the planes. The teacher is a powerful human fey sorceress. With her iguana familiar and class in tow they take the wagon on magical educational trips. She is looking for some chaperones to help her on her next grand trip to hell!|
|63||The Doll Maker||This quaint little shop is surprisingly dark. Inside are countless dolls and stuffed animals of very high quality though some look off-putting and creepy. The shop owner is a vampire named Dex who who drinks from a heart of never ending blood. He really loves his dolls. Dex has a private collection of old, possibly haunted, dolls. If you promise to care for them, Dex will give you one of his special custom-made dolls or stuffed animals. They are very special dolls.|
Gaming Casino size: 40,000 Slot machines: 1,250 Table games: 14 tables playing all the popular games. Other: 360 seat bingo room Hotel. Restaurants Majestic Pines - Buffet Snack bar RV Parks The new RV Park has 57 full service sites and a picnic area. Call 715-787-2751 for reservations. Majestic Pines Casino Bingo & Hotel, border casino reviews, msn games roulette, usa casinos with no deposit bonus codes-449. 50. Wager-Bingo Bash-Read rewiew Platin Casino. 5. Welcome Bonus:-18+, T&C Apply,, New Customers Only. 200. January 7, 2018. Free Spins. 20-50-Czech Republic 3. Percentage -30x. BGO: 10 wager-free spins + up to £200 on first deposit . Claim 10 wager-free spins + up to ... Ho-Chunk Gaming Black River was previously named the Majestic Pines Casino. Its name changed during a 2-year rebranding project that began in early 2012 when the Ho-Chunk Nation decided to rename all their casinos to the Ho-Chunk Gaming brand. In September 2016, ground breaking took place as part of a multi million expansion project for the casino. A new 120 room hotel, expanded gaming floor ... Ho-Chunk Gaming Black River Falls offers over 600 slot machines featuring some of your favorite game themes. Take a break and enjoy an endless menu at our Buffet or grab a quick bite at our Cafe'. Be sure to check back and see what Entertainment we are offering. Ho-Chunk Gaming Black River Falls welcomes anyone 21 years and older. Visit us for yet another unique Black River Falls experience. Majestic Pines Casino is in Wisconsin, commonly known as the Gateway to the Midwest and a popular region with a diversity of things to do.The casino is also known as Black River Falls Ho Chunk Casino and is owned and operated by the Ho Chunk—or People of the Big Voice—tribe of Wisconsin, a tribe that has long been a part of Wisconsin history. ... Information, maps, photos, and reviews of overnight RV Parking available at the Majestic Pines Casino. Ho-Chunk Gaming Wisconsin is owned and operated by the Ho-Chunk Nation © 2016Ho-Chunk Nation © 2016 Majestic Pines Casino; Leave a Review. This is a FREE campsite. Address. W9010 Hwy 54 East Black River Falls, Wisconsin GPS: 44.329056, -90.767754 Get Directions. Management. Public - Casino (Unofficial) Website (715) 284-9098 Email. Been here? Rate it! (12 votes, average: 3.42 out of 5) Submitted by Pianotuna. Last update on Sep 19, 2018. Based on 2 reports. Cellular Availability. Verizon 4G ... Casino; Offers; LOYALTY; Help; 18+ players only. Deposit balance can be withdrawn at any time. General withdrawal restrictions & full T&C's apply. Find Out More. Significant Terms: Registration Offer: New players. UK players only. Register to get 10 Free Spins [FS] on Sharknado. Must be claimed by 23:59 & valid for 7 days once claimed. FS wins granted in bonus after all FS are used; wins set ... Majestic Pines Casino will provide you with a range of popular casino games and, if they are available, lodging options and additional benefits. They specialize in: Casinos. Dial 7152849036 for more information regarding this property. 54615-0000 Black River Fls. Leave a Reply Cancel reply. Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * Comment. Name * Email * Website ...
[index]          
The greatest runs by QBs in NFL history. I searched through many hours of NFL games to gather these clips. Once i had the clips, i recorded them with OBS and... BIGGEST RIO DREAMS JACKPOT in YouTube history!!!! While playing Rio Dreams at Wynn Las Vegas we hit a 4 jewel bonus game and a few re-triggers after...#SlotM... Stream on Spotify and Music: https://majestic.lnk.to/escapeeverything 🌊Follow majestic on Spotify: https://spoti.fi/352DpbIHey everyone, after almost 5 ye... 🍀 Last Spin JACKPOT! 💰 Lucky Chance @ Cosmo Las Vegas BCSlotsWatch Brian Christopher play Slot Machines from the Casino! SUBSCRIBE to Brian Christopher ... More crazy stuff: www.ShesWrinkly.Blogg.se We are adjacent to the Jackson County ATV and Snowmobile system, and are home to the "Orange Moose Bar & Grill," and are only 3 1/2 miles from Majestic Pines Casino in Black River Falls. The Door Test This video is unavailable. Watch Queue Queue. Watch Queue Queue Bankroll Gets Saved For More Casino Fun W/ SDGuy1234 - Duration: 10:11. SDGuy 1234 48,894 views. 10:11 💰Huge hand pay! 💰⚡️lightning link⚡️the biggest chip I’ve ever gotten ... Enjoy the videos and music you love, upload original content, and share it all with friends, family, and the world on YouTube.