Pa'ashe: Favor Merchant Species in Qet | World Anvil

Pa'ashe: Favor Merchant



After days alone hunting within Cipou Canyon,? I was startled to find a figure beneath a knotted old tree. Sat on a rug with a dizzying pattern, they appeared to be a merchant selling their wares— as upon the rug were three neatly arranged boxes that seemed to be made of shadows. Before I could step away, the cloaked figure beckoned for me to step forward.   "You want a favor, yes?"
— A lone hunter

Extra Info

Isolated areas, near sapient beings
Average Size
Approximate to the average human
  A pa'ashe, also known as a favor merchant, is a reclusive eldritch being that is encountered far from other people— typically in wilderness, or urban spaces devoid of occupants, such as old buildings or dank alleyways. In every instance, it offers its wares to those who encounter it— shadowy boxes that, when opened, grant a "favor" for whoever opened them.  


A pa'ashe appears as a humanoid figure covered in a dark, tattered cloak. One cannot see beneath the cloak without purposefully removing it, or positioning themselves directly beneath the creature's lowered head in order to see into its hood. If one were to see beneath the cloak, they would find a strange, amorphous shadow— with myriad eyes of differing sizes and colors floating within.   Each is always encountered sitting upon a worn grey rug, which bears a white fractline pattern that shifts subtly— just slowly enough to make one question whether or not it is truly moving. The number of favors it presents can differ depending on how many people approach it, typically it sells one per potential customer. These shadowy favor-boxes are square in shape, with a simple lid fasted to the body with a large latch. All one needs to do in order to open the box is to undo the latch, and lift the lid. Inside, one will find nothing but shadows, which will spill out upon the opening of the box— taking the box that it once called home into the ether with it.  


Pa'ashe tend to appear near those that are likely to purchase their favors. When approached, they ask for the customer to make an offer. While they typically take human currencies, they can be bargained with— allowing for trade and barter. The creatures have little use for either the currencies or goods their customers pay with, rather, the act of purchasing their favors it meant to make its visitors more likely to accept them. After all, who in their right mind would accept such strange gifts?   Once a purchase has been made, and the customer has left, the pa'ashe will disappear. In cases where nothing is purchased, a pa'ashe may remain for days before disappearing— but may still leave as soon as their customer is gone. It is rare for one to encounter another pa'ashe once they have a favor in their possession, though they may find another once they have used their previous purchase.  
"What...are they?" I asked, hesitantly.   "Favors. For you, for you!" Its voice spilled out from beneath its tattered hood and trickled around us, dark and cloudy. Like dark smoke.   I picked up one of the shadowy boxes, looking it over cautiously. I had never seen anything like it, and it fascinated me. Just what was it made of? "Favors?"   "Should you find yourself in need of a favor— any favor— simply open the box. It will help, yes." The figure remained hunched over as they spoke, I was unsure if they could even see me from beneath their cloak.   "I don't have any money— I planned to sell feathers in the nearby town." I gestured to the bundle slung over my shoulder, which held the bodies of a few wild contuil birds? I had yet to pluck.   "They will do, yes, yes!"
— A lone hunter

Fraught Favors

When a favor is opened, a great shadow is unleashed, which can change the situation of the opener for better or for worse. While well intentioned, the favors given by a pa'ashe come from an alien perspective— and it may not understand what, exactly, will actually help in any given situation. The strength of the favor also depends on how much was paid, as well.   Whatever the favor, it is always a single action enacted by the shadow-form.   For example, a cheap favor opened in a fight could cloud the opener in shadow momentarily— while an expensive favor could choke their enemies. That is, of course, only if the pa'ashe correctly assumes that the opener wished to escape or win the fight. If it assumed, instead, that the opener wanted to be challenged— a cheap favor might cause shadowy roots to slow down the opener, while an expensive favor could break one of their limbs or blind them for the duration of the battle.   In another example, if an opener were to be trapped due to a cave-in, a cheap favor might open enough of a hole in the rubble to allow light to spill in— while an expensive one could open the collapsed entrance entirely. However, if the pa'ashe thought that the opener wanted the cave-in to happen, a cheap favor could extinguish their torch— while an expensive favor might open a passage into a yet deeper cavern. In this way, opening a pa'ashe's favor is a gamble— it may save one's life, or end it.   If one distrusts a pa'ashe, they may convince someone else to open the box instead— in which case the favor will be granted to them. A few clever occultists have used pa'ashe favors to get rid of their enemies in this manner— while others accidentally empowered their foes, instead.  
On my way back into town, I was attacked by a pack of cichetet?— I narrowly managed to escape, sustaining only minor injuries, but fell into a ravine in my panicked flight. Lacking the strength to climb out, I feared that I would die there— and remembered the strange merchant I had met the day before, as well as the shadowy box I had purchased from them.   When I opened it, the box disintegrated into a shadowy smoke, taking my hopes into the air with it. Useless.   Or so I thought— until the shadow continued to move, and formed a rough ladder along the wall beside me. I would live!
— A lone hunter


Cautious travellers may be keen on attacking mysterious cloaked figures on sight, though they will find that any harm brought upon a pa'ashe merely damages its cloak— and passes through its body without harm. This is something that pa'ashe are used to, it seems, as they will offer to ignore the attack, and sell their favors peacefully. Should their attacker try yet again to harm them, however, the pa'ashe will simply disappear— taking its favors along with it.

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Author's Notes

Feedback is very much welcome! Whether on the content, or the formatting! Please, point out typos if you spot any!   In my head they sound like Variks, the Loyal. Look— Variks has a really cool voice that'd be perfect for a creepy eldritch merchant, yes?

Please Login in order to comment!
18 Dec, 2022 23:57

This one is probably my favorite creature so far. Though honestly, they're all close contenders. I have a thing for creepy little tricksters like this. I also am in love with their design. I just love it, is the summary hahaha

Sage Timepool
Garrett Grace Lewis
19 Dec, 2022 07:37

Thank you! I hope they'll be fun in-game too!

Starfarer Theta
24 Dec, 2022 15:11

That was unexpected. I had intended to just pass through this meadow when a strange cloaked figure caught my attention. The robe and rug appearance seemed ominous, yet I had a curiosity I could not ignore. While approaching, I noticed the array of shadowy boxes. The figure seemed glad to see me and offered one of the boxes. I asked what it wanted in return, and it said anything would do.   I had only recently crossed into this world so my belongings were light. It seemed to work out better the less I try to hold on to. I had this strange fruit I carried from- somewhere. I think I haven't eaten it yet as an experiment to see how long it would last. I gave the strange merchant that apparently nonperishable fruit, and it then gave me one shadowy box. I asked what it was, and the figure only said it was a "favor". I looked up to ask a follow up question but the figure and its wares had vanished.   Now I have this box. One day I may open it, but for now it seems best if it kept its lid. I only later had the thought that the merchant may have been some manner of eldritch being. I wonder what it knew? Why did it offer me this favor? - Nemo, World Traveler

Sage Timepool
Garrett Grace Lewis
24 Dec, 2022 19:28

Let's hope the favor comes in handy, yes?

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