This is a thread for @Fel and Gallow.
The Grand Bazaar was bustling with people. Casper pushed his way through the crowds, past spice merchants standing in front of mountains of saffron, sticks of vanilla, and cloves. The smell was almost overpowering, yet managed to strike some sort of balance that enticed rather than repelled. Casper had never been good at haggling, so he found it fascinating to watch. No time today, though.
He had memorized the map of the bazaar. Istanbul’s networks were unstable at the best of times, and there was always a risk of attracting the attention of the wrong people even with something as benign as a simple map search. Casper’s identity was only so deep, and he couldn’t afford to have someone chip away at it.
A hand caught his arm as he pushed past a lamp store.
“Extra special price for you today, effendi!” The proprietor was a big man with a big round belly and a black beard, oiled and braided. A bronze monkey construct perched on his right shoulder, beady little eyes scanning the crowd.
“Not today,” Casper replied in Turkish and wrenched his arm loose. The vendors were getting more and more bold as night set in and the tourists became more and more drunk.
Casper walked into the jewelry quarter, where the crowd was more upscale and even more touristy, wide eyed Europeans taking pictures of the silver and gold on display. Two displays of beautiful prosthetic eyes whirred and clicked and shifted their gaze endlessly back and forth as the crowd flowed by.
Finally, he arrived at the entrance to Zincirli Han. A massive man stood in the doorway, well over six feet tall, his bare arms bulging with vat grown muscles. Behind him, Casper could see actual trees growing in the little courtyard.
“I am here to see the Kethüda,” Casper said.