Documents of Tabat: The Markets of Tabat

abstract image

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 Instructive Listing of the Notable Markets of Tabat, being Pamphlet #4 of the first series of “A Visitor’s Guide to Tabat,” Spinner Press, author unknown.

The Rain Market: To the north and east of Tabat lie the great marshes, half salt water, half fresh water. While the struggle to drain them and transform them into cropland presses on each year. The vast marshlands, a mix of salt and fresh water, seem unthreatened. The grasses that grow here are colored, like most of the marsh’s vegetation, by the purplish and green clays and minerals that underlie the marsh. Their pliant grasses colored lavender to dark purple and shades of olive, grow in abundance and are harvested for the purpose of making the tight-woven rain-gear that fills the Tabatian square known as the Rain Market.

Open come rain or sunshine, the Market sells, beyond its hats and shell-shaped overcoats of woven grass, baskets and other containers in whatever size or shape you might need. Bring the object there and they will weave a basket to hold it, from spiky pine-fruit to a glove shaped case from a wooden prosthetic hand of the sort the 12th Duke wore. Clatter chimes, lengths of hollow reed string on cording and meant to be hung from windowsills or bank tills to scare away sea-ghosts are sold here exclusively in this market in the shadow of the Slumpers.

Also near the Slumpers are the shops that sell its wares: tiles and china and porcelain goods. At the very edge of Rose Way is the complex of shops devoted to brownie wares: miniature dishes many use to coax brownies into their houses as well as other wares designed for smaller Beasts and animals.

Spice and Fish Square, only a block away from the main dock, supplies goods just unloaded from fishing and merchant ships,. The freshest sea fare can be found here and many vendors are prepared to cook your dinner on the spot. The air smells of brine and rot and smoke, and the nearby alleys are scattered with fragments of scales like silver spangles underfoot.

The Stable Markets are housed in what were once the city stables, since relocated to the northern edge of Tabat. Sitting on the fourth terrace, the building is filled with swarms of tiny shops selling this, that, and the other thing. Some stalls have existed here for generations while others are new traders, come with merchandise they want to dispose of quickly, if sometimes not cheaply.

The Midnight Market, located on the lowest terrace within sound of the sea, operates only from dusk to dawn, in the spaces that will be occupied by traders, merchants, and sailors during the day’s daylight hours. Anything and everything can be purchased here, and many of the vendors, as in the Stable Markets, are Beasts acting as representatives for Human masters.


Love the world of Tabat and want to spend longer in it? Check out Hearts of Tabat, the latest Tabat novel! Or get sneak peeks, behind the scenes looks, snippets of work in progres, and more via Cat’s Patreon.


Facebook Twitter Email

Related Posts:

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).
This entry was posted in Tabat and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.