At a Glance
Between two larger and more prominent buildings lay a small edifice of brick only two stories in height. Plain and simple in appearance, this place must have been built well before the surrounding edifices that boast marble, large windows, and fine stonework. Put simply, the building is certainly past its prime, yet the owners clearly do their best to keep it clean and modest despite the strange clientele coming and going from the place. The most prominent feature of this building, of course, is the glamorous and animated sign reading "Bleeding Ink". Twisting in swirls of darkness, anyone in the South Market would have to be blind or a fool to not have noticed its unusual arcane nature. Two large and simple windows flank the simple wooden door, allowing one to the two rows of seats sitting nearby alongside a slew of strange and rather macabre-looking equipment.
Stepping inside, you are greeted with an unusually plain atmosphere. The walls, white plaster, make the black and white checkered floor seem even brighter. A strange fellow, lithe and devoid of hair, boasted long, sharp ears of great length as he smiles at you.
"Welcome, my friend," he greets with a thin-lipped smile, "how might I be of service to you this day?"
His attire was rather strange, for he wore a loose-fitting blouse of white sans sleeves that allowed a look at his strangely muscular arms covered with a strange depiction of a ritualistic scene that you don't quite recognize: a woman in a large and prominent dress outstretches her long, dark arms as carrion birds seem to eclipse the world about her. Below his waist were dark hose tucked into boots that rode just below the knee before cuffing off. Ink circled the outskirts of his face in sharp and elegant patterns that appeared to almost slither in a serpentine shape.
Another elven person bearing resemblance to him sits in a chair nearby filing her long fingernails of ebony. Her hair was blonde in contrast to the pallid skin each of them bore, twisted tightly in a series of braids all held taught with small metal rings. Her outfit, rather similar, is also sleeveless to showcase a very similar scene of ravens flooding the sky. She wears a violet tie that protrudes some from beneath her gray vest that matches her white hose that are also tucked into a pair of knee-high boots.
Opening a sizable leather portfolio, he allows you to flip through and view all of the sibling's colorful and exotic designs that are so catching on the eye you can't help but want one of everything.
Bleeding Ink has been regarded by many as the best tattoo parlor in the entire city. If you are seeking more striking, that is. Often referred to as the Ink Skin Twins, Atel and Erri are brother and sister that are said to have set up shop quite a few decades ago. Over that time, their styles and techniques have evolved as more coin began to come their way. What sets these two apart from other tattooists is the arcane properties that they often imbue their ink with. From tattoos that gradually shift across the body as the sun rises and sets to ink that hovers and spins just above the skin, one would be a fool to come to the siblings for just a simple tattoo.
While both Atel and Erri are well-known artists, Atel is often seen as the face of the business. Known for his unusual and outlandish forms of advertising, his patrons are always waiting with bated breath for his next endeavor. His most recent display involved gathering men and woman of all races and creeds to wear only their underwear whilst walking through the street covered in the Ink-Skin Twin's latest animated creation called, "The Darkest Dragon".
"He is perhaps one of the strangest fellows I have ever met. I suppose I just don't understand what he and that sister of his are trying to do."
- Malcom Desand, Traditional Painter
The elf is often seen wearing nothing on his torso so that he might display the brilliance of his and Erri's creative minds. While many believe that he is beyond strange and ahead of his time, others look upon his pride with envy and desire.
Quiet and reserved, Erri is by far the more exceptional artist between the two. While some might mistake her humbleness for pride, she often allows her brother to be the mouth of the business while she is the eyes and ears, always looking to improve and change her style in new and contemporary ways. To certain wealthier patrons, Erri is also a seamstress that works only by commission. She uses these skills to design new and striking outfits for the two of them to wear.
Secrets & Rumors
The Ink-Skin Twins are said to be several centuries old although they would never admit such a thing, as remaining mysterious and elusive draws more attention than being forthright. Many suspect them to be rather eccentric elves while others believe that they are not from the material plane at all.
A new rumor seems to circulate and fizzle at least once a month between the siblings. The latest is that the tattoos upon their arms are actually a religious ritual from beyond this plane involving some strange figure known only as the Raven Queen.