There are persistent rumors that a mad scientist is kidnapping bosuns from the docks, and forcing them to run into each other at high speed.
The most popular theatre in Teleleli, and therefore in the known world. Many come to Teleleli hoping to make a career on the stage. Successful examples include the troll Hugh Granite and the genie I. Dreamov.
The Telelelene stage is divided into three rows. In the back row stand the gods and ancestor-spirits. They are represented by stylised paintings, with the actors offstage and unseen. The actors speak in verse. Plays always begin with an introduction from the gods. The middle row is for heroic characters. The actors stand onstage and, like the gods, speak in verse. They stand elevated from the front row, which is for comic characters who speak in everyday speech.
The gods are understood to be able to see the action in the front and middle rows, whereas the front and middle rows can’t see them or each other. The middle and front row are understood to represent scenes happening at different times or places. Often the dialogue in the two rows alternates, with the front row characters comically or tragically undermining the middle row.
Plays usually take place ‘in the time of the Great Race’. However virtually nothing is known about the Great Race, and plays often comment on current events.
Apprentices begin as comic characters, then become journeymen and portray heroic characters, and finally masters of their craft and play the gods. This has caused some resentment and conflict when comic or heroic actors become popular, or when an actor finds themself better suited to a role from which they have been promoted.
Since the place is as much devoted to social gatherings as to the arts the more expensive tickets are boxes, elevated so that the entire audience can see one, and the very prizest seats are on the stage itself.
The theatre is a centre of prostitution. Well-known prostitutes include the gigilos Michael Morecock, Onan the Barbarian and Lance Dragon.
Stage-hand is a traditional occupation for out of work or retired ninjas. This is why stagehands dress in black ninja garb.
One play, The King In Yellow, was closed down after it drove all who saw it mad. The critics raved.
It is sometimes whispered that the ‘goat’s dance’ refers to the twisting of one who is hanged as a sacrifice; a human sacrifice being called a ‘goat without horns’. Whether this is coincidence, or points to a sinister connection, I do not know.
Some scholars speculate that Dreamtime Octopuses are merely octopuses that have been given intelligence by magic or technology (or the descendants of such), and that the Dreamtime is their confused memory of life in the sea before they gained intelligence.
Many have entered this magical library and never returned. They are believed to have become lost in a good book.
Just as our universe is said to be finite yet unbounded, I believe that Teleleli is bounded (by the city walls), but infinite. This seems the best explanation for its apparently inexhaustible variety.
This tall, ruined tower stands on the outskirts of Teleleli. It is abandoned, and indeed has stood abandoned for so long that no one knows what it was used for, or who Dunn may have been.
It is said that ghosts are allowed to climb Dunn’s Tower for one last look at the city. Thus it is believed that anyone who enters the tower at night will find it easy to contact the recently dead. It is believed, however, that many who try fall to their deaths; whether from falling, suicide or being pushed none can say.
Despite the lack of any evidence, rumours persist that this shop is somehow involved with the occult.
>These barbarian treats are common in Panelvania, but in Teleleli are only sold at Sonja’s.
>Teleleli’s premier school for the teaching of armed and unarmed self-defence. Its fees will be, for the most part, out of the reach of the traveler. Generally its students will be guards or thugs in the service of a wealthy patron who finds it cheaper to hire the unskilled and train them than to pay more for already skilled operators (an option only open to those sufficiently well-supplied with servants that they are able to wait). At times wealthy merchants, eager to imitate the landed aristocracy, have sent their scions to the school to gain skill at arms.
>These creatures, as their name would imply, look like the octopus familiar to us. However they possess a human-like intelligence, and are not sea creatures. They float a few inches above the ground, and move in a fashion suggestive of swimming. Their only known community is a small suburb in Teleleli.
The language of the creatures is visual: they do not speak, but convey meaning by causing their bodies to display various symbols and colors. While they can understand speech, and have learned to ‘write’ the trade-pidgin of Teleleli on their skins, it is clear that some shades of meaning are lost. Certain artists have learned their language, which they paint on canvases. Likewise some wizards have learned to communicate with them by means of casting illusions. They report that the creatures’ language is like that of art or magic, in that feelings, symbolism and metaphor are easier to get across than are concrete facts. Thus there are many things that are unknown about the creatures.
For example, they are native to a place called the Dreamtime. However it is unclear whether the Dreamtime is literally connected to the world encountered in dreams. Likewise it is unknown whether they have travelled from another time. The place may, indeed, be merely a far land in the same world as Teleleli. In any case, the means by which they come here is also unclear.
In Teleleli many of the creatures have, unfortunately, fallen into burglary as a profession. Their tentacles make them skilled in climbing and in the manipulation of small objects, as is needful in lock-picking. Further, the fact that they float above the ground means that falling does not injure them as much as it would a human or similar creature. Traps such as concealed pits and blades triggered by pressure-plates, likely to be used by the wealthy and security-conscious, are quite useless against them. The creatures place no pressure upon the ground unless they have fallen from a height, and thus they will glide over such traps without setting them off.
It should not be thought that Dreamtime octopuses would make perfect adventurers. While they have the advantages detailed above, they also have handicaps. They are far more delicate than humans, somewhat weaker, and quite slow (though not as slow as the inhabitants of Slowtown). They can only wear armour that has been made to a special design, quite different to that used by humans.
Popular sentiment has connected them to the Seventh-Day Inventists, since they appear to have no religion. The octopuses, however, state that the gods of the Dreamtime are not present in Teleleli. As with many such statements, it is debated whether they are speaking literally.
Dreamtime octopuses are excellent swimmers, but will drown in water just as humans will.
(My thanks to The Society of Torch, Pole and Rope, upon whose research I have drawn in preparing this entry)