Tall Wall. Those are the two most common words found on postcards sent to loved ones from by people visiting Flockboast City. Formed from the red brick imported from Nose Island, the wall stands higher than even the most aerodynamically sound catapults could chuck. None enter Flockboast but by the gates (one of which is currently unguarded).
The city was an inevitability. The two main roads of Head Island: The Great Western Road and The Eyebrow Road meet at its nucleus. Originally, the land was a small fishing town where squid was ever on the menu. After some entrepreneurial traders with a vision arrived the fate of that sleepy town would change forever. The large trading market that sprouted there was known as Flock. This was not due to the fact that droves of people flocked there from the forests, deserts, mountains and wherever else the author plans to foreshadow. Nay, it got its name from a flock of reticent ducks that frequented the place. As time passed the market grew to a port city and ultimately the trading capital of the Gnome Archipelago. Maximillions Doshforthewin, the leader of Flock at the time, decided to pay homage to the city’s humble cephalopod harvesting origins by renaming the place Flock Boats. A well-meaning but dyslecix scribe wrote it down as Flockboast. Fortunately, there were more than enough people prone to over-anaylsing who could extract meaning from a hollow name like an untrained nurse extracts blood. Doshforthewin was venerated and is responsible for a long-weekend. Cheers to him!
Peddlers of everything imaginable littered the streets, posters advertising everything imaginable covered the walls and graffiti conveying messages of everything imaginable was everywhere else. Tonics, potions and brews for any illness, ailment or desire. Food from all corners of the Gnome Arhipelago ranging from tastes too subtle for the human tongue to tastes so rich they owned their own super yacht. Clothes chic and clothes shocking but nonetheless suiting to all fashions. Books, tomes and grimoires and other such papyrus products that chronicled the most mundane facts and fantastic fables. The one thing the many traders had in common was the desperate look in their eyes, the look of one in dire need of some currency.
FAT49 were swallowed by the busy street and were immediately accosted by zealous traders. They wordlessly decided to split up and search for clues pertaining to Valiant’s location. Felix hopped on the shoulder of Beardface the Brash who was quickly tailed by Jean the Youthful.
“This place is chaotic as a raging river.” Beardface yelled as he palmed off an approaching trader.
“You haven’t been here before, Beardface? I first came her as a stowaway aboard the wagon of a troupe of traveling musicians.” Felix said. “I know of some friends that could aid us in our quest.” Jean said nothing. The sheer colour and vibrancy of everything was hypnotising her. Beardface slipped her scarf over her left ear. Jean blinked and snapped out of her trance immediately. She followed after Beardface and Felix.
Note: Desert dwellers of the E’ni tribe all (usually) wear their own personal scarf (also called E’ni, which is were they got their name). In the sand storm prone deserts of the North they are invaluable. When the desert dwellers feel safe and comfortable or are in the presence of trusted or loved ones they remove their scarves and let them lie on their necks.Otherwise, their E’ni always covers at least an ear. This allows them to resist temptation and dispel illusion by reminding them of the cruel mirages that claimed the lives of their pioneering ancestors. The magix of these scarves has never been successfully studied by PSAM.
The path of a cat is its own. By that I mean it is not easy for anything but a cat to go where cats go. Nevertheless, Beardface and Jean squeezed, squished and squirmed thru the tight trail Felix led.
“Is there no less treacherous path?” Beardface cried as a branch kissed him in the face.
“It’s just around the next bend!” Felix said for the fourth time, twelve final bends after the original final bend. But, like all incessantly repeated lies they eventually become the truth. Felix stood in front of a dilapidated building.
Elsewhere, Dali the Impressive exited the crashing waves of the nearby beach, a recently caught squid in hand, and wondered where everyone had gone.