The more I study about the Gypsies, the more fascinated I become. It's one of the reasons I chose to live among them. Direct brothers to the Iskari, they separated from the main body of the people in a desire to remain on Elämä and not walk in the sky with those who retreated to Sanctuary. Instead, this band of people, wise both in lore and magic, established a home deep underground, away from the prying eyes and hateful hands of the world. Deep in the caverns beneath, shut off from the sweet spring air and the soft touch of a dawning sun, they have prospered. What was once deemed a cursed slum, the ‘Black Market’ is now known as the greatest marketplace for rare goods in the world. The only way into this wondrous place is by using a rare amulet, commonly called a ‘port key’.
Portiäväin [por-tee-AH-vahyn]Limited in number, those who possess one of these rare treasures can, at will, speak a simple phrase and instantly find themselves standing within the Black Market Port. As much as I have scoured the Great Library for information on these devices, I’ve yet to discover their origin, other than being created specifically for the Gypsies. Whether the keys were crafted by the Gypsies themselves is a mystery. There doesn’t seem to be any mention of such port keys being made elsewhere. At least not in the books I have found. The following description was discovered in Brilliance & Beauty vol.2 by the magical historian, Röhä Piedäd: I have searched diligently for more information on this subject, but have come up empty thus far.
“Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
Take us three and take us far—
Up above the world so high,
To the Market so we can buy!”
# in Circulation:unknown
Port keys are crafted out of gold and silver, mixed with Thildine, allowing the key to accepting a 'magical charge', specific to an unknown spell upon it. Each port key is attached to a 15" golden chain, allowing for easy wear and even concealment under most garments.
Port keys are hard to come by, and though the Gypsies are unlikely to share how many have been made, their distribution and ownership can be a painful and even dangerous process. Do NOT, and I repeat--NOT--let anyone but those you trust, know you possess a port key. Such knowledge, should it be common, will place a target on your back. I know many individuals who will go to any length, including murder, to get their hands on a key into The Black Market. On the other hand, I've found that owning two or more keys is quite handly when you're in a jam. Enough on that subject.
The magic of a port key is a well-guarded secret and has not been revealed to outsiders, including the University of Magic. What we do know are the key core functions. Each port key contains two single-use charges: The first charge is to take the holder from wherever they happen to be at the time of activation, to The Black Market. Upon arrival, the key is surrendered to the port authorities for recharging. The second charge is to take the holder back to the exact spot where the port key was first activated...saving that first charge to return to its magical home.
One of the most simple and powerful magics I have ever beheld is my family Port Key to the market. Passed down for generations, it has no regard for magical blood or capacity from its master. I know this because my canine Betsy has more magical blood than I do, but the Key works each and every time I use it. ...good thing too, or I'd never get my weekly pint of Black Seed Rum from the Roadkill TavernPort Keys were first introduced in the book Race to Til-Thorin.
It’s available in both digital ($4.99) and print through your favorite online sellers:
• Try Amazon (digital & print)
• UNIVERSAL LINK (digital)
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