Paying homage to one of my most favorite roleplayers in all of Gor - Kait.
Gaia: “No, you can’t bother her. And especially not when you smell the way you do”, Karjuck folded his burly arms over his equally massive chest and stared at the slave girl who asked to see the lady chemist. “Master, I merely wish to offer her some sausages. The finest ones in all of Ar, for that matter! Truly, they are!”, the fervent statement was followed by her head bobbing enthusiastically. Her pitch wasn’t supposed to sound desperate but the unsmiling warrior was not an easy one to convince. “And I’m quite sure the lady physician has smelled something a hundred times worse than I do”, her voice sounded almost petulant but she was hellbent on peddling her ware, “I smell like steak, I think. I just haven’t been cooked yet. Is that so bad, Master?”, she cajoled and even flashed the man one of her charming smiles.
Kait secured the scarf tightly ensuring it covered every inch of pale skin and ebony hair. She intended to find out for herself if the news about the city was accurate. Hearing voices below she grimaced hoping it was not another customer intent on insisting she perform some service or sell some concoction. Heading down the stairs she pulled up short as she took in the scene. Her guard not attempting to hide his study of the tall girl and her offering pleas to what purpose she had no idea. She chuckled as the familiar scent penetrated even the thick fabric of her layers of veils and the scarf bound tightly. “I see it is you girl, and if the smell is any indication, it seems you have managed to not be sold for a copper bit. Does your owner really expect customers to receive you well smelling as you do? There is not much that causes Karjuk not to risk a tap and feel and even he seems to be maintaining his distance.”
Gaia: “Good morning, Mistress!”, she chirped when Kait appeared as if conjured by her sheer tenacity to see the lady. Karjuk grunted and muttered something that wasn’t meant to flatter the slave girl. Something to do about attracting fruit flies to the usually pristine establishment. Gaia wasn’t hampered by the remarks about her perceived stench, “It’s the smell of hard work, Mistress. So the city could have their delectable meals, I have to endure the sound of cleaver whacking at some freshly killed animal, oftentimes too stunned to move away from the shower of tidbits flying off some animal’s gut”, she proclaimed while looking at Karjuk more than she was at Kait. “Not that I’m complaining, because the sound of blade thumping so ominously over the butcher’s block reminds me to always be pleasing. Hence, the reason why I am here!”, and that was her segway. “My Master would find it pleasing to gain customers with impeccable taste”, and that was when she gave the lady chemist a smile, turning away from the warrior as if he wasn’t included in the roster of people with fine taste.
Kait: Karjuk took the moment that girl turned away to avail himself of her charms patting her ample ass appreciatively before stating in a low and amused voice meant to not be overheard by his employer, “I have no idea how your owner can stand to mount you with such a stench but one never stops learning new things. When you finish with your offering perhaps I will learn to like not only the taste of well-done steak but also the smell of it raw in my nostrils while you demonstrate your services beyond those of meat carrier”. With that said he avoided the clearly annoyed gaze of the Physician and headed out to stand guard outside the door on the busy street.
Kait wasn’t the least bit swayed by the girls compliment and as usual the attention paid by Karjuk only seemed to make her even more irritated. She had no idea what he was saying but she could guess so she barked at the girl, “It seems men will consider taking anything to the furs. Your owner would likely earn more coin from selling your services than sausages but come let me have a look. They do seem to indeed be fresh and with his close proximity you would save the slaves some steps stocking the kitchen of the House of Bernard”
Gaia: “Ooooof!”, the slave girl wasn’t frail by any means but Karjuk’s hand landed on her ass and she was propelled forward as the man’s low rumble of taunting laughter left her cheeks flushed. From the knowledge that she could still lure men despite how much she reeked. But her face immediate turned somber when Kait’s eyes glistened with barely suppressed annoyance. It’s all she could see of the lady and one hand came up to lightly scratch the side of her neck when she replied, “My owner said I’m …. “, she squinted towards the ceiling as if trying to recall the words, “… I’m enough to sap a man’s strength and leave them edging closer to the brink of deadly exhaustion”, she said and then shrugged. “I have no idea what it means, tho”. An index finger came up, “However, what I have here is something that would make anyone’s mouth water, Mistress”, and as if on cue, she lifted the sack filled with the fattest, the juiciest and the tastiest sausages in the entire city. “5 coppers for a full dozen, Mistress. Every bite of choking goodness worth your money. Yes, indeedy!”.
Kait eyes the sack at first seeming to ignore the girls words but then spewing pure jealous spite she offered a response in turn hoping to take the girl down a peg or two, “I suppose it means you could kill a man if you smelled just a bit worse. Your owner should go in on a partnership with the manager of the baths. The longer I stand here the more I am tempted to visit them and bask in hours of attention with oils and a fine edged strigil.” Never one to pass up a good deal or an opportunity to barter she returned her focus to the meat and had to admit that they did indeed look to be large by comparison to the offering of the other butcher. “What say you to 4 copper per dozen if I take 3 dozen today and make a standing order for the same amount for next hand? If the quality is good and you can show up with a more pleasant scent I might also be tempted to add some tarsk and verr to my frequent purchases.”
Gaia: She did appear stalwart despite the constant barrage of insults and not so subtle reference to her stinky carcass. But Gaia has a trick. Some people count verrs to court blissful oblivion when they could not sleep but she does it to curtail the blossoming resentment of the Free. One verr. Two verrs. Her lips remained pleasantly uplifted on both sides as Kait went on about how welcome a bath sounded at that moment. “As I have served at the Capacian, Mistress, I would highly recommend the scent of lilac and ylang-ylang. Perhaps, verminium although you don’t strike me as someone who prefers the generics so I would humbly suggest the former”. Oh, how she missed the good, clean smelling marble tiles of the bath house. But the cloying scent of heavily spiced meat reminded her she was no longer the same girl and her sorry lot in life would worsen if she doesn’t make this sale. “Four and a half coppers, Mistress. I’m really going out on a stretch here but I can understand being frugal is an admirable quality on anyone. It’s just that these type of delicacy can’t be found anywhere else and as much as I’d love to lower the price some more, alas, that’s like me deciding a tube of your medicine could be had for less than what it’s really worth”, her eyes have softened along with her well-practiced spiel. “But I will stake my life on the freshness and quality of my Master’s meat. That much I can tell you, Mistress”.
Kait considered the goodwill that might be gained if she gave in to the girls stated price but her love of coin had her tossing out one more price to be picked up or discarded. Only she knew if this was her final acquiescence to her normal frugal nature. “Well girl it seems we are at an impasse. You wished initially 15 copper for the 3 dozen I desire and I suggested what I considered a very fair 12 for same. Why don’t we meet at a point in the middle where I am not tempted to forgo your owners product in the future…lets say 13 copper, rather than the 13 and a half you desire? You go home smelly and happy and I have sausages that hopefully will taste as good as they look. Woe unto you if they are rancid. It will be your owners ear that I bend with my displeasure but it will also be your hide that wears the scars….it does seem to be the frequent thing of late…slaves sporting an abundance of bruises…so who am I not to conform to the norm. Perhaps I will whisper a word in your owners’ ear so that he might be made aware of this new trend as well. Of course it would be masked in my displeasure at some created slight but all would be the same.”