P is for Platypus

Platypus show - exotic or heretic?

Travelling circus is an old tradition in the Old World. Oldest ones are century old institutions, still roaming the routes and rivers of the Empire. Circus origin is almost as ancient as Empire itself. It started in the rich city states of Tilea and moved north. Usually forced by disgrace, debts and other artistic issues.

Spectacles offered matche several categories like satirical plays, illusion, animal performance, acrobatics and so on. Animal performance include riding horses while juggling or having trained dogs racing around. But there is a sub category monstrous and freak animals performing or being exposed for curious visitors to observe. From exotic animals to mutated ones. Witch hunters tried to burns mutant animals but they are so easy to replace, that they change tactics. They force circus showing mutated animals to use them educational shows to warn about the mutant threat. Only the most innocuous animals and mutations are allowed. Like three legged snotlings, two head snakes, two tailed cats and so on.

The latest attraction from “Die außergewöhnliche Zirkus Giocchi und Spiele” is dozens of exotic animals. They have the body of beavers, the beak of duck, lay egg but are mammals. The feeding and hatching specimen are shown in cage so that visitors can admire how exotic platypus are. Another part of the show involve one or two specimen swimming in a pool. When the ringmaster throws in the pool fresh fish, platypus clumsy race toward them and miss the fast fishes. Suddenly some sparkles are seen and the fish are like stunned and float, a strange odor fill the area. Few seconds later, platypus start to devour their prey using their teethed duck like mouth. The audience scream their horror, surprise and admiration.

Zealous witch hunters questioned the innocuous aspect of platypus but they quickly backed off. After investigating, some ruled that several certificates from Nuln and Altdorf authorities were proper evidence. Others promptly claimed that as specimen bear no signs of chaos everything was fine. Finally, some hot headed situation immediately stopped when the ringmaster show his official decorations. He posses a badge offered by the magister ludis of Middelheim and the medal from the Imperial zoo of Altdorf. Both have the heraldry of their city and a drawing of platypus. How and why these gifts were received aren't clear, especially as platypus never appeared in the zoo or in the stadium. Nevertheless, witch hunters leave the circus alone and never investigate it twice. The exact reason is left to game masters.

-JMT

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