Abah's Landing is like most cities. The poor and witless cannot survive long. Luckily, this one is not witless. Many days I scouted the city, searching for means to rebuild my fortunes. An inattentive, overconfident merchant would serve nicely. I, Zabia-ko, found one at the Spotless Goods Shipping Concern.
Through hard work, soon this one could afford a cart, a guar (named Little Bazrag, for his stubbornness), passage to the Gold Coast, and some crates of exotics to trade. Zabia-ko's promise to her father would be met! She would return to her childhood village, pockets fat with gold, sacks of coffee, and bags of Mistral moon-sugar, prized for its fruity aftertaste.
But tragedy befell Zabia-ko on the road from Anvil to Kvatch. After selling a sleeve of horker summer sausage to workers at a dig site, they invited her to rest for the night at the edge of their camp.
Sleep could not have held this one long when the ground shook, followed by much shouting. The workers scattered, running every direction like field mice during a game of This One Caught Many. Little Bazrag refused to wake, so Zabia-ko hid.
That's when we saw them. Tiny creatures, no taller than the lip of this one's boot, with buzzing wings. As they chased one of the workers from his bedroll, he shrieked "nixad!" before plummeting over the lip and breaking his leg. The little beasts giggled and taunted him as he moaned in pain.
Nearby, Zabia-ko heard high-pitched grunting. She spotted one with a pouch of gold hanging from its sharp claws. It did not seem that it should fly under such weight, but its wings flapped furiously, successfully fleeing with its prize. The other raised its arms over its head, ready to strike at a bag of the Mistral moon-sugar. It dove in headfirst, legs and wings protruding from the bag, as it happily ate its weight.
This one grabbed the thief by the legs and pulled it from the sack. It thumped my head and giggled wickedly. As it buzzed away, it left a trail of sugar in its wake. This one gave chase, but lost it in the darkness. During the struggle, Zabia-ko failed to notice the other nixad plunge face-first in the moon-sugar bags.
By the time she returned, Zabia-ko found empty sacks. All that remained were three dead nixad inside, overstuffed with moon-sugar. Even Little Bazrag had wandered off.
Once more I lost my goods! Prized Mistral moon-sugar—such a loss, wasted on filthy, wicked creatures. As for the coffee? Completely untouched.
Zabia-ko learned much that night. First: should you lose your Mistral moon-sugar to nixad, roast them afterward. Their sweetened meat leaves a tingling, fruity aftertaste on the tongue.
Second: When traveling through nixad-infested lands, surround your moon-sugar with bags of coffee. The bitter scent should drive them away, making your journey all the sweeter.