The Tékumel Foundation

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

Archive for the tag “Jakalla”

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.

Journey to the Naqsái Lands

18 Fésru 2371

The captain decided that every  morning at dawn he will meet with Arogái and me.

We were still in the delta area of the river. By mid-afternoon we finally caught sight of the open sea. The sky is a beautiful blue, so much brighter than in Jakálla. We turned starboard and headed along the coast. At dusk we turned to the west. As the moons rose, the captain showed me how to use them for navigating at night.

19 Fésru 2371

At dawn we had our meeting and a lesson from the captain. Today we learned how to turn the ship by trimming and moving the sails. During his lecture, the captain noticed Chatán, the first mate fishing off the stern. There was some commotion because he’d caught something. The captain ordered him to cut his line because it had snagged a type of algae that would climb the line and dissolve any human that it contacted. The captain warned us all that any fish in these waters were dangerous and that all the edible fish schooled closer to the shore. Chatán was very disappointed.

Later in the day there was discussion as to whether we should stop in Penóm. The captain wanted to avoid it, but Chatán had a reason that he wanted to put in there. By all accounts it is a dreadful place full of stench and insects and disease. It was decided to pass Penóm and head on to Ngéshtu Head where we will take on fresh water and supplies.

Journey to the Naqsái Lands

17 Fésru 2371

I returned to the ship early and was called in to a meeting. There was some commotion last night and a crew member was murdered. It was not known who did it or why. Our commander feels that the ship needs a proper blessing before we head out and so an effort was made to secure the services of a priest of Chegárra. As we waited I met with the navigator and the captain, Vakuláz, a Livyáni who knows these waters well. We will go out the channel and around Point Kuné and then head towards Penóm. From there we will make for Ngéshtu Head and on to Ssámris We arranged for more meetings to discuss navigation.

We continued to wait for the blessing. I offered my services, but the blessings of Lord Thúmis are apparently not appropriate for this situation. Finally around mid-morning an elderly gentleman appeared. He was an uncle of the first mate.

While the ritual was underway an officer of the Omnipotent Azure Legion approached. We were all interviewed about last night’s murder. He was also looking for a dangerous Livyáni woman who is a famous thief.

Just before mid-day we finally cast off. By late afternoon we were into the channel. Small boats came up beside us to sell last minute goods, foodstuffs, and water. Our navigator, Arogái, was disappointed when he could not find a vendor selling his favourite type of melon.

We continued down the channel. There are dredging barges cleaning the harbour and channel of all the silt brought down from the river, keeping this clear was an endless task. We also saw the black Shén ships and many small boats that guide and tow the larger ships in and out of the harbour. We sailed on through the night.

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