Astian smiled to himself as he watched the young elf at the other side of the market. He was a young magister by the looks of him, with lavish robes and a sophisticated look about him. His long dark red hair flowed down his back. His robes made him appear larger than he was. While tall, he was thin. His face and hands showed that well. He was much thinner than most elves of his standing, but his color was good and he looked healthy. He watched as the young magister flipped through some robes hanging on a rack while eyeing the fabrics lain out on the table. The tailor was busy with another customer, leaving the magister to browse. Astian thought it a foolish move on the tailor’s part. It was clear just by looking who would spend more money on his robes.
Astian moved a few feet forward to keep an eye on the young elf as he walked around the rack full of hanging robes. He glanced back at his own stall. Only a few of his wares were transportable to the market everyday, and today was quiet. His knick knacks and some of his smaller, lighter works that were on display would be fine if he stepped away for a moment. He had drawings of some of the others, and those were his preferred work. The massive statues and fountains that adorned the estates of Silvermoon’s upper crust were displayed here in the market only as drawings posted on a board behind one of the tables. He had learned from experience that most people didn’t look at them. He had to draw them in.
The magister’s ear twitched as he glanced at the tailor and then looked up at the sun. Astian wouldn’t have long to make his pitch if the other elf was in a hurry. Perhaps he was just disgusted with the amount of time he had already waited. Many of the wealthy elves were impatient, so it would be no surprise if he was. The magister frowned as he looked at the robes one last time before beginning to walk away.
As luck would have it, he was coming Astian’s way, though not directly. Astian took another glance back at his own stall. It would be fine. He walked over to intercept the magister’s path.
“Excuse me, magister?” Astian still wasn’t completely sure that the young elf was a magister, and this close, the elf appeared to be even younger. He couldn’t be much more than 90 years old. Most hadn’t passed their mage testing by then.
He figured he must have guessed right, despite the elf’s youth, when the impeccably dressed elf turned his head sharply and looked at him. “Yes?”
Astian smiled, pleased that he was able to get the elf’s attention so easily. “Greetings, Magister. I couldn’t help but notice the tailor was too busy to make time for you, and I know you must be in a rush to get where you’re going, but I have things that may be of interest to an elf of your standing at my stall over here.” He gestured towards it as he took a couple of steps back the direction he had come in hopes that the magister would follow.
He didn’t. Still standing in the same spot, the young magister asked, “What do you have?”
“Come, I’ll show you.” he said while gesturing for the magister to follow him.
This time, he did follow. The magister looked over the knick knacks and small statues as Astian walked to the other side of the table. “I’m not really looking for things to put on my shelves, except books. I’ve really no need for any of these.” He looked up, his gaze resting on Astian’s face.
He’s staring at my wart. He no more than thought it, when the other elf’s nose scrunched up ever so slightly. Astian turned, keeping his mind on his task. He pointed at the board with the drawings. “Magister, if I may direct your attention to this board, I’d like to show you what I can really do.” The magister began to look over the drawings as Astian continued, “I am in the statue-making business. It’s an art. A place with a well-crafted statue adorning the site speaks volumes to visitors. Whether placed at a home site, or place of business, a statue or fountain will add a distinguished air and class that I’m sure an elf like you is deserving of. It is one thing to hang a painting on a wall inside, but placing one of these works of art outside is–”
“Wait, what’s this supposed to be?” The magister pointed at one of the drawings, interrupting Astian’s pitch.
Astian looked at the one the magister pointed at. “That is a fountain that I created for a family here in Silvermoon. The cone in the center is solid, the spiral running around it to the top carries the water. I personally think it’s one of my finer pieces of work. Would you be interested in something similar?”
“Oh, I thought it was a dragon tail wrapped around a mountain, but I was going to ask where the rest of the dragon was because that wouldn’t make sense just to do the tail. I thought maybe the rest was at the bottom of the fountain in tile work or something.”
Astian blinked. That wasn’t a bad idea. “No, magister, it is just a decorative spiral, I’m afraid. However, if you would like something like that, I would be happy to do that for you.”
“Well, it wouldn’t really make sense to have a dragon under the water either, would it?”
“No, it wouldn’t. You are absolutely right about that, magister. Do you like dragons then? I’m certain I can design something to your liking. Would you like something for your home or business.” He grabbed his sketching paper as he spoke.
“Oh, my home is my business. I’m the headmaster of a school in the Ghostlands.” he said as Astian began to sketch a dragon sitting on a stone. “Can it be bronze?”
Astian’s brow went up at mention of the Ghostlands. “Of course it can be bronze. Do you get many students there? I haven’t been to the Ghostlands in years.”
“I have a few.” The magister watched as Astian sketched a quick drawing of a fountain. “Can it be tall? Oh, and it needs lots of water at the base in case people want to throw coins in to make wishes.”
Astian quickly made the adjustments to the drawing and held it up. “Would you like something like this, magister?”
The young elf nodded, but didn’t look too sure. “How much will that cost?”
“That will depend on the materials you want me to use and the detail. Come sit, and we’ll discuss the options.” He gestured to two chairs at the other end of the table. If the magister was in a hurry to get anywhere, he had forgotten it for now. Astian smiled as he sat to discuss the details with his latest customer.