The Tékumel Foundation

News about the World of Tékumel® – the creation of Prof. M.A.R. Barker

Journey to the Naqsái Lands

23 Fésru 2371

A small boat was spotted on the horizon. It’s little more than a dinghy and much too small to be this far out. We pulled up alongside and saw that there were two people, both unconscious from lack of food and water. They were both dressed in black robes and because of that we assumed that they were both men. The first to be hauled aboard was a bearded man with sallow skin who looked to be 30. But the other was a young woman. The Keténgku priest performed a healing spell, and the two recovered slowly. They have papers in an unknown language and all the food and stores on their tiny boat were rotted. Zagár, the merchant spoke some of their language, and the captain also seemed to be able to communicate with them. The Keténgku priest had a spell of comprehension, so he could also speak with the pair. We learned that the man is named Moróch, a Naqsái, from a land far to the southwest. The Mu’ugalavyáni have been raiding their villages. The girl is Tikhá. They said that they were merchants from Dalaí.

We immediately wondered how and why the Mu’ugalavyáni would range so far, but we were unable to get much information from the two. Tikhá retrieved a pouch from their boat, but the rest of the goods were jettisoned. They offered us odd square coins as payment. I and a couple others took some as curiosities. I planned to give the ones I got to the temple when I returned to Jakálla.

After they were given their fill of food and water we discussed where to put them in the boat. The girl insisted that we be segregated according to our gender. I didn’t understand the importance of this; it must be part of their culture. It would certainly cause considerable confusion if we tried to rearrange all the personnel now. She insisted that she must be in a cabin with me, and pointed to Chatán’s slave and said that she must stay with us, too. Chatán explained that the girl was his slave and she wouldn’t be going anywhere but with his leave. Tikhá was shocked. Apparently people do not keep slaves in her country. She told him that she would buy the slave and offered what must have amounted to a great sum in her land. Chatán would have none of it and a huge row broke out. In the confusion, while everyone was shouting, I took Tikhá by the arm and led her down to my quarters. Once there I tried to tell her my name and explain where she should sleep. It wasn’t easy trying to communicate, but I understood that she was unused to sleeping mats. I rigged up a hammock for her, and that seemed satisfactory. While I did this I continued to try and explain who I was. I was curious about whether or not they have temple priests who are capable of performing spells. Apparently not. She was very shocked at my very small and simple light spell. She pointed to me and said “Tengdéme!” Which I assumed meant priestess. I then took her up to the mess where she ate a few bites and then promptly fell asleep. I managed to haul her back to my room and onto a sleeping mat.

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