The Tékumel Foundation

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

Archive for the tag “Livyanu”

Journey to the Naqsái Lands

2 Pardán 2371

A ship with red sails headed toward us. Mu’ugalavyáni. The marines are called up. An officer called out to us that we were to prepare for boarding from customs officials. A grappling hook was thrown over and padded logs were lowered to protect the ships as they were drawn together. We threw a rope ladder down to their ship. The Mu’ugalavyáni captain and his guard came aboard. He interviewed our captain and commander and then briefly talked to the rest of us. We learned that we were 100 Tsán north of Foshaá and could be there tomorrow. We were warned not to use magic of any sort in Livyánu. Zagár arranged for a small gift to go with the captain and after he left, the ships disengaged. We continued west and saw a range of low hills to the north. They marched straight down to the sea. As we continued, we saw small houses and lush green lands.

Journey to the Naqsái Lands

26 Fésru 2371

In all the confusion yesterday I realised that I hadn’t seen Tikhá. I looked for Zagár since he knew their language. When I found him later he told me that Moróch told him that she’d thrown herself overboard rather than travel with people who kept slaves. Curious.

I took the watch for midmorning while Arogái went below to rest. There was a strong tailwind today. We spotted heavy grey seabirds. The captain said that these birds range far out to sea and are not an indicator that we were near land. In the afternoon I went below to get some sleep. It seems as if all the excitement happens at night, so I figured I had better get some rest before my watch.

I rose at about sunset. There was still a good breeze from behind the beam. The captain told me that we were bearing for the Livyánu coast and that we could find our port once we sighted land.

The captain pointed out a huge grey ball of seaweed. Tékuna recognised it as a type of seaweed that is covered with spiders. Ships become mired in the seaweed and the spiders overrun the ship. When we looked closer we could see masses of movement scuttling all over the seaweed. He said that it was more common on the other side of Livyánu.

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

21 Fésru 2371

I’d heard there was a temple of Thúmis on this island, so I rose early and took my servants into the town. The weather was damp and cloudy. It was quite a hike since the temple was located at the top of the peak. When we got there we found that it was a simple pavilion, covered in vines and surrounded by fragrant tetél flowers. We sat on a garden bench, grateful for a rest. Presently we were met by an old woman who said she was the caretaker. I complemented her on how she maintained such a beautiful garden. It must not be easy at her age, especially since it looked as though there are few to help her in her work here. After resting and chatting for a bit, I gave her 5 káitars as a donation to the temple. She was very grateful and considered it a generous sum, although back in Jakálla it would be almost an insult.

We both heard voices and she ushered us into her little hut just beyond the pavillion. I didn’t understand the language, but I assumed that it was Mu’ugalavyáni. The men looked in the window and spoke to the old woman. The old woman understood them and said that I was a worshipper at the temple. It turned out that they were scouts watching for a ship that was supposed to arrive soon. They were on patrol and would return every kíren until the ship arrived. I was afraid of what they might do to us or the temple, but fortunately they were not as bad as I have heard the Mu’ugalavyáni can be. They tossed some of their coins in the window and left.

I needed to meet the ship’s officers back in town at the Tsolyáni commandant’s office, but I was afraid for the old woman and her beautiful little temple. She assured me that the Mu’ugalavyáni have no interest in her or vandalism. She did warn me that they do have agents in the marketplace and that even the harbourmaster is suspect.

When we got back to the town I realised that reaching the Tsolyáni commandant’s building would take far too long. Instead I headed straight to the ship and told the captain what I’d learned. He sent people off to assemble all the officers and I was sent down to the refectory to gather anyone I can find there. We had a brief meeting in the captain’s quarters where I repeated my story about the Mu’ugalavyáni and how they expected a ship any moment. The last of the fresh water had just been loaded. We made plans to sail immediately. The plan was to head south of Ssámris in order to avoid any Mu’ugalavyáni that might come from the north.

We set sail without incident.

Arogái told me that there was nothing worthwhile in the marketplace. Even the fruit was bad. So, I missed nothing.

Three kíren before sunset ships were sighted north of us. We were headed west now. Everything was tense and quiet. A couple more ships were sighted, so we turned the ship farther south to avoid any ships from Ssámris. The cook and his hands brought food up to the deck so that everyone could be on watch. It was a spiced mush, actually quite good.

Everything was intense and rather exciting. The night was clear and we were able to navigate easily by watching the planets. I took the first watch as navigator so Arogái could go below decks and get some rest. Soon we heard a peculiar hooting noise. The captain looked very worried. He spotted a Hlúss ship to the north-west. We bore to the south-west and were told not to stray from out course.

Journey to the Naqsái Lands

20 Fésru 2371

We are passing the shores of Penóm. Even from this distance it is noisome and the insects are annoying. Yellowish mud stains the sea here. It’s carried down to the sea by the rivers and is filling in the shore. There are no diligent barges and dredging here. Eventually this place will become mudflats and this awful landscape will extend even further. From here we can see a fog of insects hovering over the shore. The cook has told the captain that some of our food has begun to spoil already.

Later in the day the weather changed as we turned toward Ngéshtu Head. The sea is getting choppy. The Head rises up looking like a grey mountain in the dusk. There is much yelling and confusion, probably because the ship’s boy assigned to the crow’s nest fell asleep again. I’m sure Chatán will assign him to the marines at the next opportunity.

After dark we pulled in to the island off Ngéshtu Head. I can see trim white buildings lining the harbour. A light rain is falling. The Shén climb over the side and secure the ship so the harbourmaster can come aboard. He told us that the tide will come in at mid-morning and that he intended to spend the night on the ship.

We also have another passenger now. His name is Tikkúna, and he is a hunter in the employ of Prince Rareshqálla. He is accompanied by two servants and has much luggage and weaponry. Ssurgásh, the Shén who works as the ship’s supercargo will be busy tomorrow supervising the loading and unloading of supplies.

We learn that Laigás, Heméktu, and Ssámris are held by the Mu’ugalavyáni. There have been uprisings and their hold is tenuous.

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