Black Plantain Skins

The art of reading the skins of tradesfolk

Sweet black plantains may seem like a common sight across Anvil and the Enchanted Isles, but that’s what makes it the perfect method of secret communication hidden in plain sight among traders in the know.   Next time you’re in the bustling markets of Anvil, take a look around for a black plantain by the trader’s coin scales, these secret signs might land you a better deal:   Plantain skin displayed upwards, splayed out like a starfish This is an easy sign to spot as you’ll likely smell the plantain before you see it. It’s an indicator that the merchant’s stock is about to spoil in the next few days, so be sure to ask for a discounted price and consume your goods quickly rather than store them.   Plantain skin rolled into a neat coil on its side
This is a message that says that the merchant is willing to sell bundles to you in bulk for a better price. Ask for extra goods thrown in or ask them what they’d like to sell today.   Plantain skin weaved into a plait or braid
This symbol is telling you that the merchant is well connected, and can supply you with other wares (some more valuable, some maybe not so legal) that are not visible on the table. Ask them where they buy their favourite plantains and point to the skin for more information.   Plantain skin separated into strips and laid down in horizontal lines
The horizontal lines (sometimes three, sometimes four, depending on how the plantain is peeled) indicate that the goods here came through from scarfolk traders. Some people want to avoid deals with the scarfolk due to their reputation, whereas others want to actively support them without being called out in public.   Plantain skin stabbed through with a blade
This is a rare sight among traders, but if you see it then it means that the merchant has some dirty work that they need help with. This could be anything from smuggling, to taking revenge on bandits, to even more personal vendettas.

Cover image: by Hitoshi Namura on Unsplash


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