Cloak of a Khtsoyis [17 Thory 4262]
As I flew down Morleyfuck Street, I realized the first odd thing. Vheshrame is, what, a couple thousand years old? And I'll bet that I'm the first one of my species in all that time to visit Morleyfuck Street.
At least, if it's been the Khtsoyis district for all that time. Which I think it has been. It certainly smells that way.
To be fair, I don't think that the trash collectors visit Morleyfuck Street very often. Probably because it's a Khtsoyis ghetto.
It's a pretty scary place for a small Zi Ri to go, even in the daytime. I've been in bad neighborhoods before -- Thestra and Denaist live in one, and around Across Saga isn't the best either. But I'm usually comforted by the thought that, if the locals get very bad, I can fly away. I can't do that here in the Khtsoyis ghetto. Khtsoyis fly too.
I checked my magerium to see that The Quick Escape was still grafted. Not that a spell can break off of your psyche without your noticing.
Anyways, imagine a grotty neighborhood, all battered houses with holes in the walls, trash all over, bloodstains or something on the boardwalk. Now extend it upwards. That tenement has a balcony with a nasty table on it, covered with two-days-ago breakfast, and roaches eating it. A Khtsoyis sprawled in midair over the street, dead drunk I suppose, but three tentacles curled around clubs.
It's only two blocks long. But I didn't know where Delframber and Ysgwyd live. And you can pack a lot of Khtsoyis into two blocks of tall tenement buildings.
So, I looked around for the most harmless looking Khtsoyis. That was fair enough, since there were plenty of Khtsoyis eyestalks pointed at me. I picked a woman washing clothes in the public fountain. The small, sluggishly-gurgling, mossy-tubbed, slimy-tubbed public fountain.
Me:"Excuse me, but could you tell me where Delframber lives?"
Washerwoman:"Your pardon, toff. No Delframbers around here."
Me:"Really? He told me he did."
Washerwoman::"Wouldn't dream of disagreein' all over you, toff. I'm just an old bootmaker 'n mother, newly come to the neighborhood, don't know a single eyestalk nor tentacle here. But sure as shite there's no Delframber here."
Which seemed to be the cue for two well-armed Khtsoyis gentlefolk to float over. When I say 'gentle', I ... um ... hoped they would be. They were pretty well-armed, with metal maces.
Gentleman:"'Less you're meaning Delframber the Blove. You here to get a blove, maybe?"
Gentlewoman:"Even the wizard likes a good tharpin' once in a while, maybe? Nobody does that like Delframber the Blove."
Gentleman:"'Course if he died last month, you c'n go to Sheenwhackett. Got a fine strong tentacle with a prando, does Sheenwhackett."
Gentlewoman:"And how would you be knowing that, Bastarflep?"
Gentleman (Bastarflep):"I give good recommendations, Murba my love. Not that I've ever been ruckled with a prando 'til I cried for corn, the way our fine toffer here is asking about."
I had no idea what he was saying, but it didn't sound good.
Me:"I didn't ask about that... I'm just looking for my friend Delframber."
Murba:"Oh, and so sorry for the mistake. It's only natural if a fine-feathered nob comes flying in here, tail up in the air, asking for Delframber, that we might guess zie's after Delframber the Blove and would appreciate hearin' about another chance for a bit of the old yatzy-fatzy."
Bastarflep:"And with all respect, m'lord, you don't look so much like a lumpdog with a chilly willy."
Washerwoman:"Ripe romantical, zie looks to me!"
Bastarflep:"'n if it's not the blove you're looking for, maybe a few drams of Old Varsty?"
Washerwoman:"Delframber the Snepps can tweet you up with that right proper!"
I did not ask her to reconcile that opinion with her earlier lack of Delframbers.
Bastarflep:"That he can, larkey-Ri, that he can, quicker'n you can bollop out a poonah."
Me:"I'm not here for that either. I'm just trying to find Delframber. The one who lives with Ysgwyd."
Murba:"Oh, that Delframber." Her voice got a good bit darker.
Bastarflep:"So it's not just a bit of the blove you're after. You want the whole shepp!"
Murba:"With a lark and a half, and a tent on zir prong, I'll bet!"
Washerwoman:"Afterwards a few romes of parsley 'n perfume so the Duke's nose doesn't know where you've been, eh, toff?"
Bastarflep:"Or maybe you like all your prasties pottled?"
Murba:"I'll bet there's a spot of the muffo in our toff's future. And maybe zie'll be Delframber's sweet little bazoon."
Bastarflep:"Hey, or maybe zie'll be Delframber's sweet little gacklepot. That what you're after, Your Nibs?"
Me:"No, he's a friend of mine."
Bastarflep:"Oh, a friend of Delframber. Why, right away, Your Nibs. Serving you up one whonfy little traff Khtsoyis on a big oak platter, quick as the dashitzie. Lift your tail right up, he will."
Murba:"Or should I lift it for him?"
Quick Escape. Straight up. Giving me hundreds of feet head start in case they were following, which, when I looked down, they weren't.
They were just laughing.
(And no, I have no idea what most of those words mean.)