26 Dohála 2371
We continued along the coast, noting the ruins that sailors use for landmarks.
We sighted a bay with a shallow stream. Tékuna and a Shén went ashore. The water there was safe and plentiful. We refilled the barrels as the Shén basked in the sun.
Along the shore we saw ruined farms, and in the distance we could see groups of vaguely humanoid creatures that appeared to shine and glitter. They rode on six-legged beasts. I was told that these were Hokún riding on mutated versions of their own race. We kept well away from the shore.
Earlier we saw a long, flat, black creature that made for the ship. It looked like a large sheet of glossy black fabric. A sailor told me it was a nró and that it was actually composed of hundreds of tiny creatures. We did our best to avoid it.
Today we reached a rather large river. The slave Aramísh said that the Hokún avoid the area because of the Ssú that live there. Needless to say, we did not put in there. We continued on past dunes and scrubby palms. At night we anchored and kept a special watch for anything unusual. There was no sign of the seven lights from the night before.
Our water retrieval operation was nearly complete when a column of dust was seen in the desert. We decided to pack up in a hurry and continue up the coast.
Davé had found a dagger in the water up at the tower that he now felt was inhabited or cursed. When he went to his cabin he found his slave Mridóbu changed to a dripping, pulsing mass, almost as if he had been turned inside out. Davé attempted to leave the ship in one of dinghies, but Mridék persuaded him to stay. Davé reluctantly agreed, but he moved his quarters onto the deck and said that he would only drink water that was older, or that he had magically produced himself.
That evening Mridék called a meeting. We learned from Chatán’s slave Oténeb that the dagger wasn’t cursed, but instead would protect Davé. Mridék asked to see the dagger, and when he touched it the symbols on the blade glowed blue. Mridék then went to Mridóbu’s body and touched it with the dagger. Mridóbu was immediately restored and whole.
That night we saw seven unusual lights in the sky. Towards the shore we saw translucent green glowing rocks.
We continued to fill our water barrels. Chatán spent his time fishing and pulled out some great, flat fish that tasted very good. The landscape here had little to offer. Up near the tower one could see a desert stretching inland. Looking along the shore in both directions there are beaches that receded into scrubby forest that went on until it reached the base of low hills. Beyond the hills was desert.
We reached the point that juts out north of Linyaró. From here we will travel west again. There is a huge, perhaps 40 dháiba high rock that is painted white with a ruined tower on top. Tékuna, Davé, and a Shén went ashore. They returned to tell us that there was water available, but it would be difficult to retrieve. Also the white rock wasn’t painted. The water was up in the ruined tower and seemed untainted. The crew set up a crane-like structure to lift our barrels to the empty tower and then lift them out again.
We continued along the coast in search of fresh water. This morning another ship approached us. We made to manoeuvre around them, but they hailed us. We slowed down and lowered a dinghy manned by Chatán, Tékuna, and one of the Shén. When they returned they said that the captain looked to be a Livyáni trader. We had little interest in trading, but he did tell them that there was a river ahead, but to watch out for dangerous creatures. From his descriptions it sounded like the Ssú.
We approached Linyaró. It looked like a pretty town with houses painted in bright blues, greens, and yellows. A crowd gathered on the dock as we grew near. They called out in Livyáni that we should leave immediately. They said that they were afraid of the plague (even though we’d heard that it had been years since the plague had visited that city). They also called out saying that the Mu’ugalavyáni were there, but would not come to the dock. So many excuses, and they were so vehement. Mridék called out that we were in need of water and supplies, but they would have none of it. We were told to continue along the coast and forage in the abandoned orchards. We may never know the reason for their strange behaviour as we pulled out to search for supplies along the coast.
About 25 tsán north of Linyaró we found a small landing with a ruined rowboat tied to it. A fortified house stood near some woods with firewood stacked outside. Everything was very dry. Vakúlaz pulled the ship in as close as he could. Then Tékuna and one of the Shén rowed ashore. They later reported seeing bodies long dead in the house, but nothing more. We anchored here for the night.
We sighted Nuroáb. We didn’t know what to expect. The docks are empty. Perhaps the town has been devastated by the plague. As soon as we sailed up to the dock the Shén scrambled over the sides of the ship like huge lizards, and then lashed the ship in place. Mridék told the Shén to investigate the town, but they adamantly refused. Mridék prepared to go along with Chatán, Davé, and several marines, but Saíb talked them out of it. Instead we made plans to sail northwest along the coast for Linyaró.