Documents of Tabat: The Statues of Tabat

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What are the documents of Tabat? In an early version of the book, I had a number of interstitial pieces, each a document produced by the city: playbills, advertisements, guide book entries. They had to be cut but I kept them for web-use. I hope you enjoy this installment, but you’ll have to read Beasts of Tabat to get the full significance. -Cat

“An Educational and Instructive Listing of Notable Statues of Salt Way,” being Pamphlet #17 of the third series of A Visitor’s Guide to Tabat, Spinner Press, author unknown.

Lining the incline of Salt Way as it runs uphill towards the College of Mages at its terminus are ninety-nine white marble statues, each depicting a major citizen during the reign of the 3rd Duke. At the time of their creation, sculptors vied to be among the thirty-three artists chosen to handle three statues each, and one former worker in oils, Brynit Firaubo, converted his medium to stone specifically for the event.

Visitors lacking time for a leisurely perusal of each statue (supplied in Adelina Nettlepurse’s complete guide to the statues, A Complete Guide to the Statues of Salt Way, also available from Spinner Press) can, by using this list, obtain a representative sampling of the tour sufficient for conversational purposes.

Beginning at the foot of Spray at the very entrance to the street, are the Duke’s husband and daughter. The statue of Eryk Kanto holds sword and lantern, signifying his status as an Explorer, while his daughter Alba holds a crown in her hands, foretelling her coming reign.

Three blocks up is Figgis Doughmaster, the fattest man of his time in Tabat and a renowned chef who served the Duke before opening a chal shop, the Fuchsia and Heron, and a series of bakery carts that now service the entire city. His bulk makes the statue a favorite for the birds that cluster here, including flocks of parrots and Fairies escaped from the gardens on the College of Mages grounds.

Notable singer Vyra Serena, another two blocks up, has become a patron saint for those who seek success on the stage or in love. Floral garlands can often be found hung around her neck, and superstition promises the lover who makes such an offering only the best of luck.

Merchant Fisia Nettlepurse watches over the road a half block up. She founded many of the businesses around the docks, such as the chal shop the Salty Purse, and civic improvements such as the Sea Gardens. Touching her toe is regarded as good luck for those down on theirs, and her appendage has been worn away over the years until she is clubfooted, but also considered a surefire method of revealing those with evil intentions.

The statue of Jack Buttertouch, also known as Sparkfinger Jack, is considered ill luck to visit. Visitors will know the statue quickly; its features were defaced and removed six months after its installation after his horrific crimes were discovered.

At the very top of Spray Road, the 3rd Duke and the head of the College of Mages, Elora Two Sails, face each other. She was responsible for some of the basic magics that shaped Tabat: smoothing of the harbor and the creation of the Sea Gardens, and the implementation of the sewer and underground farm system that yields what is euphemistically called “Elora’s fruit.”

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About Cat Rambo

I am a science fiction and fantasy writer and editor. My three collections of short stories are THE SURGEON'S TALE AND OTHER STORIES (with Jeff VanderMeer), EYES LIKE SKY AND COAL AND MOONLIGHT, and NEAR + FAR (forthcoming this September).
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