One upon a time there lived on the shores of the sea a man named Thollur. He had but a simple shack, with a boat and several goats, but it provided him his food and his wife goods for market. He would harvest the weeds of the sea or the fish of the deep, and bring them home, cleaning with his snicker-snack knife and hanging to dry. It was a simple life, and the only worry in his day to day was his neighbor Batherno, a man of wealth and status. Always the one to thumb his nose at those poorer then himself, Batherno had done naught but made himself a nuciance. Thollurs beach and dock were easy to use, while Batherno had a steep shore, and hated the stairs attached with a vengance.
One day while Thollur was out placing his lines, a dark fog came in from the sea, leaving him out on the waves. Even the sun disappeared behind the gray. The waves kicked up, and soon it was the only thing Thollur could do to keep his boat rowing towards the shore. But the fog had left him a spin and the waves a rocking, and he no longer knew his port from stern. Panicked, he continued to row towards where he believed the shore was from. For hours he rowed, untill exaustion overtook him. The waves calmed but the fog would not let.
Far away, he could hear a sound through the mist. The sounds chilled him to the bone but drew him forward, as even mermaids and wights would need land to stand on. Fear crept into his heart, and he uttered a prayer to the Pirate King.
“I have but one refrain,
To sail the seas of pain,
To bring glory to my master three.
Generous and strong,
To lift us up.
Keen and sharp,
To see all our wrongs.
Neat and safe,
To make our future reward.
Heed these wee
While you’re at sea,
And you’re spirit will be free,
Blessed by the mighty three.
Or may his blackest of hearts take me.”
The sounds, however, died away. He did not know how long he drifted on those waters - hunger and thirst set in, and the gray fog sunk into darkness. He rowed in shifts, then slept a time, with the rudder tied to the seat. Thollur was woke with a start as the boat dug into a sandy beach, and as his eyes opened he could see that the fog had lifted. The island he had landed was bright, with rolling fields of lush grass, towering trees, and white buildings towering in behind. On the beach sat a small cottage with a man in a brown robe and smoking a long black pipe sitting in front. Seeing Thollur, he stood and waved his arm.
"Welcome! Welcome to the Court, Thollur!" said the man.
"Good day! You have me at a disadvantage sir. Do you know me?" Thollur asked.
"That I do! The court is familiar will all the ferriers of the sea." said the man. "You look a state. Would you like to rest here a spell?"
"That I would, sir. The sea is a harsh mistress."
The man laughed. "That she is! The only thing I ask is that you tell no lies while in my house. My family has a nose for such things."
"I shall be truthful." The oath was automatic, but Thallor still felt it was true.
"Good! Then come - we shall get you some food and rest."
When the door opened it was nothing like Thallor expected. Beautiful white wood lined the inside, and the furniature was both ornate and expensive. He had never seen anything like it, even in the manors of the city. The table was covered in the finest silverware, plates, and glasses - each would fetch a years wages for Thallor. The plates were covered in piles of baked goods, with jugs of fresh milk for drinking. The man bode him forward and he sat, breaking into the bread and eating. The flavor, however, was not as he expected - the bread was filled with Sphig, a stew for the poor, not even flavored with the salt of the sea. Thallor could not help but cough at the flavor, and the mans eyebrow raised.
"My... is there something wrong with the food?"
"This... there is no flavor to this Sphig. I find it hard to eat. Do you have Salt of the Sea, or fruit brine?"
The man smiled, and pulled a small bowl of salt from a side table. Thallor sprinked some on the food, and soon it was palatable, and he had eaten his fill. The man ate one and smiled, his eyes never leaving Thallor.
"I thank you sir - I feel as if I have not eaten in a week. You have filled me! However, I still do not know your name."
"Sir, you may call me many names, but I prefer Reagent. Has an air of authority. I am the right hand man of the lord of this island. I am impressed with your appetite - you seem as a man who has suffered." The Reagent said.
"Yes sir, that I have. The desert or the sea, both press in on the land I live. Both bring death, but both bring opertunity. I am blessed, and I work the lands that I have been given, and the seas I have leased. I work honest and hard, even if others do not."
The door opened and Thallor looked with a start - three women in leather gear with the reddest hair he had ever seen stood in the doorway, looking in. "My daughters!" The Reagent exclaimed. "Come! Drink with us!" The three entered and then took their father aside, speaking in hushed tones. Then, the three retrieved a cask from a deeper room and the five of them began to drink. The beer was excellent - strong as a Dwarven brew, and fresh. They spoke and drank deep into the night becoming fast friends - The daughters suggesting Thallor join them fishing, and Thallor agreeing, as this would allow him to bring a catch home.
In the morning the Daughters took Thallor to the sea, heading out into a deep storm. One of them took the rudder, one manning the bow, and the third sitting in the middle. Thallor elected to work the bailing-can, untill his arms became loose and he dripped with effort. Then, as it started, the sea calmed, and the water below flashed with thousands of fish. Excited, Thallor grabbed his gear and nets and began scooping fish from the sea, as the daughters did the same. In minutes, the floor of the boat was full, and they bound the caught into several nets, and the happy crew sailed towards the island again. Thallor helped them haul the fish to the house and then his share to his boat, and the group cleaned and prepped each share togethor.
However, Thallor began to feel homesick, and the Reagent and his daughters helped him to his boat. The Reagent supplied him with many gifts - ornate tackle, shimmering nets, and fantastic oars. He thanked his host repeatedly, but the Reagent chidded him "Your thanks is not needed - put these to good use, but do not sell them. They will only work for you! You are welcome to our island any time. You have honored the rules of hospitality and our house. Keep to those and good things will come to you."
"How will I find you again?" Thallor asked.
"Sail into the fog, and when you hear the siren call, say prayer to the Pirate King and our island will find you. If you find trouble, my Daughters will assist."
Thallor gave final thanks, and begun to row. His boat skimmed the water faster than he had ever sailed, and in moments the island had faded away. He rowed, and rowed, but the seas were easy, and he felt that it was only minutes before he emerged from the fog in front of his house. His wife met him with a cry, and the two of them hauled the fish to town, making several hundred silver. The two celebrated their luck, but still managed their money frugally, buying fine wine and fine salts and spices, intending to make better fish to take to market. Both purchased new clothes, and came home looking better than ever before. On the way back, however, trouble struck.
"Thallor!" Batherno yelled as the two drove the cart by. "What success has become of you? Your clothes are new, your cart is full. What have you done?"
Remembering what the Reagent had told him, Thallor remained honest, and told Batherno all that had transpired. Batherno refuted it, so he took the man down to the beach to see. Batherno tried the oars and they would not work, the nets would not cast, and he could not tie the gear - however, when Thallor rowed, the ship was fast; when he cast, it was flawless; when he knotted, it was set. Batherno was furious, and demanded to be taken home. Thallor complied, and the neighbor stormed off in a furry.
For several days, Thallor and his wife caught and processed more fish than they had caught in years. They planned, they saved, and soon they had built themselves a beautiful cabin on the beach, with a herd of goats on the hill behind. On the first foggy day Thallor saw Batherno rowing out in his boat into the fog, and several days later he returned, extremely dishevelled. Days later, a messanger arrived with a letter and key:
I now understand the humility you live. I have coveted your land, your livestock and your family, and that greed has caught up with me. I have spoken to your friend, and I was a fool. I thought someone who would have pity on you would be an easy hustle. I can no longer bear to be close to the sea after what I saw. I have deeded my land to you - here is the key. May you put it to better use than I did.
From that point fortune was Thallors friend. He gave honor to the sea, never told a lie, and opened his hospitality to all, as he had always done. Several times a year he would disappear into the mist, and the ghostly sounds of celebration could be heard up and down the Dead Coast.
The world of Raul is forgotten by the gods, left to fall to ruins after a great magical catastrophe. The Arat-Tsat empire created the perfect conditions for the rip in the magical weave that is the center of the Daedlands, and the heart of a dead god. Journey through a desert where death is never the end, and find out what happened to the creators and the empire that never fell. En savoir plus The World of Raul - The Daedlands.
Merci pour la lecture!
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