Shopping, he concluded, was not his strong suite. The town was filled with the shouts of shopkeepers and the tang of the heavy,greyish smoke drifting out of the crumbling chimney pots. Every inch of Market block was filled with barrels of fish and children ogling at snarling horned creatures rattling their cages angrily. As he sidled through the market barrows stacked high with sacks of potatoes and carrots, he cursed the morning he agreed to do this himself. Abraham Colby was the Minister of tax in the city of Kedwarn and usually had people for this sort of thing. He wrinkled his nose as he pushed aside a large, dusty tapestry, receiving a very unsavory face from the salesmen.
He was on his way to a meeting with the Consentus at the Midnight Tower, and his wife had suggested that he picked up a few things on the way. He possessed no real diplomatic tact, and was much better suited to nodding his empty head at whatever the more important politicians were saying. Being far to wealthy for his own good, Mr. Colby was a short, roundish man who was used to the finer things in life, giving him the appearance of a dumpling in a waistcoat.
A sorry looking raven with a missing eye,perched itself on a barrel and eyed him as he slowly weaved through the growing crowds, and nodded its head forward in an attempt to pick at the contents of his bag.
"Be off with you, feather-rat" he snapped, taking a swing at the bird, almost losing his his balance.
The raven dropped the stolen orange chunk and clicked his thin claws on the wood before taking of in the direction of the tower. The assaulted orange was going a strange shade of purple. He wrinkled his nose and poked it experimentally,before pushing out of sight, and continuing on his way.
With great difficulty, he squeezed through the hundreds of market stands lining the wooden houses on either side of the cobble street, dodging the Lug fruits that were juggling themselves, followed closely by a chortling warlock. Colby muttered irritably about tricksters and reports to the council.
He rounded a corner, and the midnight tower came into sight. It was many stories higher than any of the buildings in the city, and built of bricks the darkest shade of grey. It twisted upwards, spiraling to the left and right as if it was once a tornado, now frozen in stone. Mr. Colby grumbled at the thought all those stairs to the meeting room. He grumbled at a lot of things.
A silhouette watched him silently from the up-most window of the tower, turning a coin over in long fingers. When Colby reached the bottom of the tower, he came to a large wall of ornate carvings , made of the same dark stone as the rest of the tower. In its center was a silver door-knocker, only there was no ring, just the little model gargoyle with an empty mouth.
This was his least favorite part of the day. As he approached, the gargoyle grinned happily.
"Morning, Abe" said the Gargoyle, in a (quite unsurprisingly) silvery voice.
Reluctantly, he inserted a pudgy finger into the Gargoyle's mouth, who munched thoughtfully.
"Do I have to do this every morning?" he complained.
"Jush prosheja, sir. Can hab any maw brey-kins, now cam I?"
"No, I suppose not"
"Alright, its definitely you" Roger concluded
"go right in, sir"
Roger knocked on the wall with a minuscule silver finger and it slowly began to slide open.
The bottom of the tower was decorated lavishly with old, mournful paintings of famous people, and strange artifacts that hummed and whirred, the echoes traveling up the silent columns to the distant roof. In the eyes of a potential thief, the statues and contraptions that lined the walls would have been prime targets, but they were all in fact fakes, the real treasures kept much more securely.
If you were to touch any of these shiny traps, you would be inflicted with any number of awful hexes. More than a few would be thieves have emerged from the tower with extra ears, or even worse, fewer ears.