Yes, there’s definitely a Little Shop in Pearl of Fire. You know the kind. Tucked halfway down an alley, possibly cobwebs in odd places, a door that creaks when the hero walks in, full of oddities possibly best left unseen… these are awesome in fantasy, and I knew there was going to be one in Pearl. On this editing pass I put in a bit more about that little shop, the proprietor, and why both a covert military type and a local cop know it’s there.
I don’t care if it’s a Little Shop That Wasn’t There Yesterday. (In this case it’s a more ordinary neighborhood shop, but the same principle applies.) If there’s a shop, it has to have a viable customer base. And if there are customers… eventually cops find out about it. Legal or not.
In this case, mostly legal. Mostly. Possibly some things that are looked at askance. Definitely many things that are not local.
That “not local” is a critical thing for someone possibly going to do unto others in a violent way in a far-off place. There are times when you want the target you hit to know exactly which government they’ve thoroughly ticked off. There are possibly more times when you don’t; you just want Mr. X who is a Problem to suffer a sudden, inescapable, unfortunate natural death.
(Dying from combined blood loss and burns after throwing yourself onto a stranger’s Fire-worked knife a few dozen times? Totally natural.)
In that case, you want some non-local supplies. So if someone does suspect that totally natural death, they go haring off in the wrong direction….