Endless Blue – Week 88.7 – Flotsam: Fish and Circuses   Leave a comment


Fish and Circuses

Traveling entertainers is nothing new to the pisceans of the Endless Blue.  Vexillifers have brought news of political and military upheaval across the Known World since before the First Khan.  But not all such travelers bring dour news.  Some wish only to entertain, to bring moments of awesome joy that most pisceans never get to experience during their limited lives.  Those pisceans are the performers, and together, they form the greatest entertainment for the masses: the circus.

The Greatest Order of Performance

The best known of the traveling circuses, formed of a multitude of packbreeders and other performers.  Despite its name, it is not affiliated with the Church of Trishna.  Instead they named themselves “the Greatest Order of Performance” as a jab at the Trishnan order, claiming their entertainment was far greater than any the Trishnan priests could imagine.

The circus employs a member of the College of Doctors to administer to both the crew and the animals.  Clowns, trained animals, performers such as a strongman.  Balancing acts based on dolphins (actually delphiz) swimming about, balancing items on jets of water and bubbles.  Acrobatics, wherein the acrobat uses a series of poles imbedded into the ground as fulcrums to spin around and launch to other poles.  Similar to parallel bars, but horizontally.  It is the speed at which the acrobat navigates the poles without collision that is the attention draw.  Most famous though for the Glass Bell, a massive alchemical bell that acrobats climb into and through trapezes and other hand holds cross to the other side.

The Carnival

A seedy competitor of other circuses, the Carnival is essentially a freak show.  It takes advantage of those that attend it, that work in it… if anyone can be taken advantage of, be sure the Carnival is will to do so.  Those individuals that are physically deformed, such as armless/tailless wonder, extreme body modification/tattoo, half man/half woman, midget/giants, sword swallowers, make up the core of the circus’ draw.  The circus’ master packbreeder has bred a strain of trained cuttlefish with “fry features” — features reminiscent of children, such as large eyes, pudgy tentacles, etc.  These cute cuttlefish are sent off to dart amongst the audience, and skillfully lift coins from the purses of the unwary.

The Carnival claims to have the corpse of the last Kraken on display, mummified in rare alchemical liquids.  For the right price, the workers may sometimes help smuggle illegal items across homesea borders.

The Prince’s Court

The circus known as the Prince’s Court is a contradictory affair.  There are few other members of the troupe that don’t practice the art of clowning.  You would expect the circus’ performances to be the most banal of all the shows, with crude pratfalls and stupid practical jokes.  But the clientele of the Prince’s Court are the movers and shakers of society.  This is because the circus’ performances are actually biting satire of the region’s political and religious leaders.  Despite the garish dress of the Prince’s Court, they are the very trendiest in satire fashion.

“Every homesea gets the circus it deserves:
The Sahaguin Lagoons has their shark-hunts,
The Yaun-Teel Bights have their Idolatry,
The Mer Currents, their celebrities.”
— The Prince’s address to His Court

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