Keegan’s Journal

The Polpethtira

The Polpethtiran traders are easy to like, although their silence and hand gestures can be disconcerting. Burlon speaks well of them. I gather that we do not trade with them, but he says that they frequently purchase items from us — fruit and vegetables, mostly, and occasionally pottery. The goods the Polpethtira bring to Tradepoint are all one sort of griimoni or another, and we have no use for their machines.

Still, they are gentle people, and the baskets they weave, as well as the delicate patterns they paint on their bodies, is proof enough that there is more to them than just their machines.

Baskets

At the reception given by the Vennan delegation, the Polpethtiran traders presented us with a trio of hand-woven baskets they had made. Gredin admired them on our first trip to the Traders’ Market, where these broad, shallow baskets were used by the Polpethtira to display their wares. What they were selling was of no use or interest to us, but the craftsmanship of the baskets themselves caught Gredin’s eye.

It is always a pleasure to see usefulness and beauty mixed together. Baskets are meant to be filled, and yet the flower design at the basket’s bottom is as skillfully wrought as the sides. It pleases me to know that the shy Polpethtirans have an artistic eye and, quite possibly, a playful spirit.

Nitikikani

The Hesch are taller than we are, and all of them that I have seen have black skin and feathers, and long, thick bills which they clack loudly when they are displeased – which seems to be often. Their clothing is formed from broad strips of gauze – sometimes black, sometimes dark green, sometimes a combination of the two. Their long legs and clawed feet go bare.  Gredin had an unfortunate encounter with their head trader, Nitikikani, at the Traders’ Market, and we are facing stiff consequences as a result.

Wyve

The Prett are a tall, broad, solid people, and the Director of Tradepoint is no exception. Their skin is rough in texture, but I lack the skill to convey that adequately in this rendering of Wyve, the current Director, who has been kind and patient with us in the face of our disaster. Our continued presence here has doubtless made his job far more difficult, but he has proven to be a true friend.

Shamkalak Urmo Memelo

This is Shamkalak Urmo Memelo, known as Shamka. He is a Shodekekeen trader, offering fabrics and items used for needlecraft. Our Traders have long bartered with the Shodekekeen, who are kind and honest. Their thick fur is deep blue, with a curved, irregular band of paler blue fur at the base of their throats. (No two bands are shaped quite alike, which is handy for telling them apart.) Shodekekeen have six legs. They can move swiftly on all six or walk upright on the back pair, freeing their upper appendages for use as arms and hands.