So, ye need some groceries and things from the shops. But ye live in the undergrowth of Pias, so it ain’t a case of just popping to some omni-mall. What are ye going to do? Ye can’t farm cos’ the ground here ain’t gonna get enough sun, and there’s nae way in hell ye can just experiment with all the fruits of the jungle, cos’ ye value your life too much. Whatcha gonna do?
Well, good ol’ Cygno here can help ye wi’ this trusty guide! Available in all the shady places over the Kairos galaxy. This guide here’ll tell ye all about how to find the best markets in Pias and how tae not get scammed by some scoundrel.
First off, terribly sorry for ye bein’ here. I dunno if ye were forced tae run from the gangs or police in Canopy City or whatever other tragedy befell ye, but sorry. Pias ain’t a holiday site once yer under the leaves, I can tell ye that fer sure.
By the time yer readin’ this, y’ll have discovered that those Waspitai’s ‘ll kill ye if ye give them the chance and that yer best hope of living is building a treehouse in the lowermost branches of th’ Sap engine-trees.
Oh, aye, word o’ advice... don’t go stealin’ the Sap from the trunks of the trees. That powers Canopy City so it does, so they’ll have sensors an’ all that locked on to ye. The police’ll be pulse-bombing yer house before you can use the Sap for anythin’ useful. Best to not do that, ‘kay?
Yer gonna need a torch.
Even in broad daylight ye won’t be able to see the deep depths of the jungle without one. Behind ev’ry leaf a million and one things want tae rip ye to shreds and eat yer remains. Half of ‘em ‘aint even got a name ‘cause all the scientists died tryin’ to capture specim’ns, so they did.
Of course, when ye come face tae face with th’ blasphemies a simple light ‘aint gonna do shit. So ya better have a good ol’ phase weapon, makeshift armour too if ye can find it. If ye can get the bark off those trees and can model it into shields and stuff like that then ye’ll have a better chance o’ survival. Of, like, three perc’nt, but hey ho ye gotta take ‘em when they come yer way.
Oh, and take all yer belongings with ye. Ye’ll see why later.
So, yer on the ground, scared away all th’ creatures an’ now yer ready to get on yer way.
Ye better cover yer legs up well. On the jungle floor there’s a big manner o’ beasties that’ll dig into yer organs and make ‘em into cocoon hotels, bug restaurants an’ even worse things. Once saw a man whose heart had ripped its way through his body an’ had turned into a Chalchra Mother, so I did. Poor sod. Those barbed tentacles must’ve hurt when cuttin’ his skin tae ribbons.
Anyway, if that’s all sorted my next tip is tae avoid all fruit, things that look edible and definitely water. I’ve seen men melt into flesh puddles when drinkin’ from streams and burns and the like in the Pias undergrowth. And believe me, ye don’t wanna be in their shoes. Or lack of.
Th’ next step should be easy. The only way ye can be standin’ still is if yer in the Tarsia Sector. Otherwise... well mate, no one’ll ever know fer sure how ye died but anyone who goes into Von-Kumen, Farpacia or Yuondria never comes back. Well done on gettin’ my guide though.
Tarsia Sector is a relatively small part of Pias. To know if yer still in it, just look up. If ye see the hoverpads o’ Canopy City yer all right. Some people say that the transmissions o’ the city keep away the really bad things, but I dunno. I’m no scientist.
To get to a market, ya gotta look fer the stones. Y’see, long before Pias chocked itself tae death in flora, there was ‘tis city o’ ancient people. Some say they’re an obscure Descendant civilization, 3rd Gen, but what we do know is that they left a city. And they also built roads, but they’re long gone so don’t bother tryin’ to dig up the leaves for ol’ paving stones. Nah, that’s what the stones are for.
These small pyramids o’ pure white diamond. Really heavy an’ impossible to break. Well, these Ancient Piasians put ‘em here many years ago and they still stand. Some say that they’re really massive and that most of are just covered in dead leaves an’ that, leaving only these lil’ tops. No one’s ever been ballsy enough tae check, mind.
These stones’ll shine a beam o’ light to the next pyramid, and then another, and so on, so all ye gotta do is follow the light trail. Be warned, though, the light ‘aint always clear. An’ then there’s all them evil monsters tae deal with too.
If ye ain’t dead at the end o’ this all, ye should find yerself at th’ front of a big ol’ stone archway. Well, it’ll look more like a hedge ‘cos of all the plants an’ that, but it’ll be an archyway.
An’ this is th’ entrance to Lempo City.
No one knows th’ real name o’ the ruins. Them Ancient Paisians all buggered off before makin’ a comprehensible language or contact wi’ the C.U.F.P. So, all th’ people who found it named it Lempo an’ set up camp.
Nah, ye ain’t gonna get to live in any of them fancy mini-temples or ruined houses. Aye, might seem like a luxury from a treehouse, but ye don’t wanna stay in the city. Ye’ll get dragged into gang politics and before ye know it someone’ll be after yer head. Believe me, I had tae get rid of many a bounty hunter from bloody self defense alone when I lived there, aye! How was I tae know she was the daughter of the bloody boss of the richest smokepod stall, damnit.
Lempo ain’t much o’ a city. Just a bunch o’ mossy ruins with people livin’ in the husks o’ shrines. There’s one fire pit which goes on ev’ry month or so fer festivals and ceremonial stuff like that, but besides that it’s just a place fer social interaction.
Best not tae do that in the open, mind. Monsters still come an’ go outside.
Aye, fer gossip from above and safe food yer better goin’ tae The Zigg.
The Zigg. A giant ol’ ziggurat, standin’ like a brick mountain. Compared tae the trees around it, howev’r, it may as well be a lil’ mole mound. Tae be fair though, down ‘ere the moles make mounds big as spaceships,. My point is, it’s pretty damn big.
Gettin’ in is pretty easy. Well, as long as ye haven’t pissed off any of the gang leaders that is, heh. On the bottom-most level of the giant bricks, there’s a big hole which’ll be guarded. Ye’ll only be able to see two of them, but believe me, there are many more watchin’ ye from the shadows.
Unless ye cause trouble, ye’ll just be able to walk right in, no questions asked. We all got blood on our hands, no need to bring it up.
First of all, ye’ve got tae fail tae be amazed. And believe me, ye’ll be amazed.
The inside’s illuminated with millions of floatin’ nano-suns (stolen from Canopy). A thousand smells, sights, and sounds all put into this one big place. Ye’ve got stalls hanging off vines in the roof ran by Humo-bats, forest villages full of merchant Sparrawtins, scrap palaces filled tae the brim wi’ Cattiz and stalls, oh so many stalls.
‘Tis the safest place on Pias, so it is.
Mappin’ the Zigg is an impossible task, I’m afraid. Stalls rise and get raided, gangs migrate from corner tae corner, freak fires erupt from cookers and turn a thousand shopkeepers tae ash. The only way tae explore and understand ‘tis place is tae just wander.
I can still give ye some tips, though. First o’ all, don’t ask anyone where they got their stuff from. Ye won’t like the answers, believe me.
Second of all, be as nice an’ polite as possible. It still won’t be enough, ‘cause ye’ll manage to piss someone off there by doing something impossible tae not do. Like havin’ a nose, for example.
Third, don’t take any offers o’ smokepod. Massive headaches afterwards.
Oh, an’ don’t bring any money either. Barely anyone’ll accept it.
Aye, the currency here is food, weapons an’ loyalty. I wouldn’t do the last one, mind. That often ends up messy, what with all the gangs and that.
Problem with them is, ye never know who’s in a gang. Ye’ve just gotta be careful.
Spend as much time as possible in there, ‘cause it’s a helluva lot safer than outside. Ye should be able tae find makeshift inns to sleep in if gets tae evening. Barely anyone returns from the night.
What ye buy is totally up to ye, but make sure it ain’t too heavy ‘cause yer gonna have to carry it all the way back to yer tree-house-place. I wouldn’t buy materials for improvin’ it; ye’ll probably never find it ever again so there’s no point in doin’ so.
Ye want food. Worried its poisoned? Well, tough luck ‘cause you ain’t got any better chance in th’ wild. It’s safer in the Zigg anyway. ‘Specially from the Cattiz, they’re brill wi’ food and that.
So, you’ve got yer stuff an’ slept in one of the inns. Gettin’ back is pretty simple; ye just follow the light trail of those pyramids until the sun begins tae set an’ ye choose a tree taw spend th’ night in.
And there ye have it! Ye’ve successfully been tae the shops in the Pias undergrowth. Well done.
Next time ye go to the Zigg, ye should stop off at my stall. It shouldn’t be too hard tae find; it’s one of the only ones that sells books and that. There ye can buy more guides, like “How Tae Set Up A Stall In The Zigg” and “A Step-By-Step Guide Tae Stealin’ Sap In Pias”. Aye, it’ll be grand.
See ye there one day, I hope. Unless ye get ripped apart by all manner of beasts. In which case, ah well.