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Legends of Taltos:Nefsokar

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As she listens to the man speak she begins to feel the hot sun beating down upon her She moves a piece of her flowing robe to drape over her head instead of just her shoulder.

 

"You can speak with animals? What a lovely gift that must be. I'd love to be able to talk to them. I had a small monkey once, we were inseparable; well until he ran away that is..." Seeing that the man's eyes do not move from his view, she too turns to look in the same direction. "The sea is most enchanting today, don't you?" She turns to look at his face then adds, "I am Masika, by the way."

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The Northerner turns his hard gaze on Hennet at the man's words. "How you learned our greetings I won't ask, but since you gave you name, I will give mine. It is Helt of the Ghost Bear people." he takes the proffered cloth and puts it on his head. "Thank you. I hope to repay you someday."

 

"Well, that's a little harsh, don't you think?" chimes the dancing girl, meaning his words to the sea-lady.

"You want harsh? Try being naked on a glacier for a day and a half. That's harsh," he replies, but she doesn't hear him as she has discovered the bird who is disgustingly trying to get her attention. The big man grunts in distaste and turns to look at the ocean.

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After a while, Salma gives up on any attempts at conversation with the other passengers. To her they all seem to be preoccupied with their own business... almsot as preoccupied as the ship's crew. At least there is something fascinating about watching the sailors wrestling with the rigging and sails trying to better catch the wind. It is a very precise art that most people who aren't familiar with ships would mistake for utter chaos. But to Salma, there is something almost mystical about how an experienced seaman can learn to react to every whim of the wind and navigate through the turmoil to any chosen destination.

 

I wonder how many of these sailors chose their livelyhood, thought Salma to herself. They all seemed fairly experienced except for the rather scary disfigured one swabbing the larbard deck. It seemed ironic to her that most sailors seemed to be running from something rather than to the seafaring life. It was no wonder that so many of the young sailors had to be dragged forceably back to their ships when it was time to leave port. Salma assumed that most of the old sailors, far fewer in number but much wiser, were just like the young rebellious ones at one time; and that they had simply eventually grown to love ships and the seas.

 

As agonising as the other passengers could be at times with their vomiting and complaining, Salma was not in any particular hurry to reach land at this moment. The sounds of the ship's hull creaking and the steady rising and falling of the sea was about as close to the feeling of being at home as Salma could imagine.

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THE DESERT:

Sulemain profers a small purse to Iman, and answers, "We have ridden some of the finest horses from the royal stables. Ready your things, and we leve now."

 

THE DHOW:

A calmness settles over the ship, and sails slacken, despite the efforts of the crew to keep the wind... all motion ceases, except the rolling on the waves.......

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"Anybody else see that?" the barbarian asks anyone who is listening. Those that turn to look will see him staring at the ocean, head tilted like a dog who has heard a strange noise.

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Salma hears Helt's question and turns to take a look, supposing maybe he has seen another ship. Not seeing any ship herself, she then assumes that maybe the sun has already begun taking its toll on the Northerner.

 

"See what?", she asks him while scanning the horizon for anything that might have caught his eye.

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Still staring out at the sea, Asim replies to the nosy young girl "I can speak with Gahiji as he is my familiar." Asim replies in an all knowing way. Masika has obviously hit an area of much interest for the man. "I am a Sorcerer. Well, not officially yet, that is the purpose of this voyage for me. A Sorcerer can obtain a familiar when he reaches a certain level of power." He continues sagely. "A familiar is a magical beast that resembles a small animal and is unusually tough and intelligent. In this case, the intelligence can sometimes be in question. The creature serves as a companion and servent. Summoning a familiar is a very complicated process..."

 

As the dhow ceases in it's journey, so does Asim cease in his diatribe. Looking around questioningly at the calmness of the sea around him he mumbles to Masika almost unconsciously. "My name is Asim. It means protector. I am to be protector of my people one day. This calmness is very strange don't you think?"

 

 

 

"Anybody else see that?"

 

"What is it that you have seen, savage?" Asim asks as he and Masika join the others.

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Iman hefts the small bag, judging the coin in it by weight. Shrugging her shoulders she secures it to her belt pouch. Looking back up at Sulemain she says, "I will help you, but while we are tracking you will follow my lead, if you wish to retreive those stolen in the Ghazu" She turns and quickly finishes her packing, then turn and whistle for her own horse. A dainty chestnut mare sporting a flaxen mane and tail, comes from around the tent. Every inch of her impecable desert breeding shows, clearly this is one of the Prophet's oft mentioned daughter's of the wind. She is decked out in traditional bedouin attire

Jordaniancostume.jpg

Quickly setting her gear, she swings into the saddle, another whistle brings her hunting hound to her. She turns the horse towards Sulemain and the others and says. "Let's be off. I take it you were able to follow the thieves this far, or do we need to double back to where the ghazu was carried off?"

LT

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THE DESERT:

With a curt nod of his head Sulemain signals the others to mount up, even as he does so. "We must double back a short way to the spot where the tracks became less noticable" He points westward....the sun is below its high point, only six hours of daylight left......

 

THE DHOW:

As various crew members and pasengers look out to sea, wondering at the strange calm that has settled over the water and wind, other observe what the Northron had first noticed: a beautiful vision of a sunken city, populated now by schools of fish...Asim is given a start as he sees something "manlike" moving among the ruins.....

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Masika would have asked more questions of Asim but her attention was diverted back to the savage. As she looks out to sea, she notices what looks to be a sunken city. She blinks as if not believing her eyes, then once she's certain the sight she sees it really there, her bright smile returns to her face again.

 

"Oh look!" she exclaims in awe pointing and moving closer. "It looks like there is a city down there! Oh how interesting!" Those that view her face see a look of adolescent fascination with no trace of worry. It was obvious that she does not view the sight as a threat.

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"Captain, prepare your crew." Asim yells to the ship's captain in a commanding tone. "This sudden calm is not natural and I have just spotted what I believe to be a foul Slithe beneath the surface. I believe that we are about to be boarded!!!"

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"Huh? Where? I don't see anything." Masika says still not seeming to worry about the current situation. She leans over as much as she can trying to see what Asim saw.

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Semra mounts her horse and rides along with the party. After a bit, she rides up next to Iman, and watches the tracker do the tracking thing.

 

"You seem to know your trade rather well," she says after watching intently for some time. "What else shoudl we know about you? I'm Semra, of the Khamsin," she adds almost as an afterthought.

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"Slithe? You see Water-Demons?", Salma exclaims in disbelief over what the man with the hawk says he has just seen below the waves.

 

She had heard of them all her life, manlike-fishlike creatures who make their homes underwater, but she was a cynical person and always regarded those tales as old lore meant to scare children and other less adventurous people away from the sailing-life. She never believed they were real, and still did not.

 

"Prepare to be boarded? Have you gone sun-crazy also? There's no such thing as Sea-Demons."

 

She leaned over the railing looking down at the sunken city below, seeing only schools of fish. "You're scaring the other passengers now with your foolishness."

 

She felt rather sorry for Masika, who was now peering into the sea looking for mythical creatures.

 

"He's telling stories, Masika. Don't let him scare you."

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"You would be wise to shut your mouth and listen on this one." Asim sneers. "The Slithe are reputed to be powerful magic users and this sudden calm is nothing created by nature."

 

"I merely make a suggestion, do with it what you will. However, I personally don't want to die because of this woman's refusal to believe!"

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