‘Yes, yes, a horse” Bulvan waved the idea off as trivial, “Now the masks, you may have one in exchange but I do not think a jeweled-knife needs be thrown in.” Bulvan the cobra was out of his trance.
Again interrupted, but this time the negotiator had at least added an admonishment to his companion...
“Yes, lots have been through Canagadi recently, before the winter…” he trailed off, studying Nisher briefly but intently. “You’ll have to be more specific.”“My love…he wears a ward. This is why our minds have been clouded. Your’s more so than mine Saano. It is Selpando Bulvan, he-of-a-thousand-meaningless-names, and one true one. It is the Soul-Merchant, do you remember now? We heard of him in Zola-Garsa once, after the last war… it was said the poor of the city had lined up behind his wagon, eager for coin…queues a half-mile long. They lined up for him in Odelot too, until the authorities and a few of your brethren chased him out….. Do you remember, my love? He buys souls, he is not human.”
Now Bulvan gestured to one of his guards, and the man went to the back of the wagon, where moments ago Nisher had pilfered a sack. The man returned moments later with another sack and handed it to Bulvan.
Bulvan looked inside and removed what looked like a rectangular wooden case, in which one might find a musical instrument perhaps, and laid out the mahogany receptacle in front of Zuan, not too close to the fire. After a suitable dramatic pause, he opened the lid, and sat back smiling.
Inside, each placed on its own protruding pedestal, were four silken Masks from Zamorza, the first bone-white, the second the color of jasmine flowers, the third brick-red, and the fourth, jet-black. The history of the Zamorzan masks was known to Zuan in passing. They were rumored to originally belong to Zamorza’s long-extinct assassin’s guild, but over the centuries have come to be owned and used by the celebrated troubadours and actors of Zamorza’s famed theatres. Others rumors claimed, that the masks were manufactured by a mythical tribe of mystics who wore the masks for nefarious purposes known only to them. When donned, Zuan knew, a Zamorzan Mask disappeared into the skin, and allowed its wearer to look exactly the same, yet become completely unrecognizable to those that know the individual. A mother would not recognize her son, though the mask was invisible and did not alter the wearer’s appearance an iota.
Bulvan sat back, stifled a yawn and waited for Zuan to examine the rare treasures. It was almost midnight now, and Bulvan’s men seemed ready to retire for the night. One remained vigilant by the wagons and tethered mounts, while the other four put up tents for them and their master.
“Are they to your liking?” Bulvan inquired, looking at Zuan. “One mask for the Rashuli carpet, a fair exchange, no? There are less than a hundred in existence. And I will give you one of my fine steeds for that nag to seal the transaction.” Bulvan exposed his smallish teeth--a smile.
Somewhere in the wastelands, red-wolves howled once more with delight.
(ooc: Scras, Echo you're almost with us, patience I implore you