Raziel Raz’Khan gazed, his haunting purplish eyes revealed a "lost" intuition, into the vast waters stretching towards strange horizons. Big nimbus clouds traced the last grip of the subsiding storm, that noon, as they slowly rolled from the Blue Mountains. The tangent formation carved like a plow and the dreamy pale green waters greeted to an expansive view… past Navage, a land which he hasn’t seen before. The farthest of clouds whitened the skies; silently, their ominous celestial columns passed away, revealing the hazy radiance of the sun.
Where am I? There was no inkling of reason. Spending six months aboard the perils of sea travels wasn’t clear enough of his long-standing drifting from Arjuna Province. Just like Evanderiel. I wonder where she’s now.
Bereft of answers in this strange place called Covenwick, he strode towards her busy wharf. He was, for mostly, unnoticed in the brisk surroundings, amid the clutter of huge wooden crates and the traffic of merchants selling their goods.
A bearded, elderly, hunchback fisherman was pulling off the remaining crabs from his baskets nearby. His sweaty, grim face caught a brief surprise at the person’s approaching shadow casting over him. He placed his baskets back to his small boat. He learned much of himself putting aside his immediate tasks to address someone asking for directions.
A deep voice, from the stranger’s face, silhouetted by the mid-afternoon sun, spoke sharply, without breaking: “The next boat to leave from this port this very hour, tell me.”
The hunchback gave a stammering, “Vessel of the Vassals,” pointing to a quick direction where the boat was, his sight lost in the flitting sun glare. He barely caught a man’s figure: in heavy, tarnished traveling cloak; his black hair unbraided, hanging loosely down his shoulders and covering part his ears. He kept an eye on the bulky pack slung from Raziel. He was about six-foot tall and olive-skinned! Travelers with strange accents and shadows… He wished the stranger didn’t hear his thoughts.
“Where is it headed?” Calm and resolute, Raziel looked sharply into the man’s eyes, putting on his hood.
“Grizz…” Teeth-clenching, but devoid of front teeth, he said with an outstretched knotty finger towards nowhere. The stammering, hunchback man quickly avoided the stranger’s eyes. They were unusual for even the darkest of pupils. His spirit is void of feelings. His purple eyes, they are….
Raziel darted off towards the man’s given direction.
When Raziel reached at the end of the zigzagging wharf, he saw the wooden boat, Vessel of the Vassals, about to disengage from the port. The fading white words were still intact on its bow from the portside. It was an ordinary, two-decked, one-mast trade boat; rigged with three, fairly large patched sails of grayish color flapping wildly about. A long jib juts out from the bow, like a knight’s charging spear.
“H-A-L-T!” Raziel called out. “I am heading for Grizz!”
“Hasten, fella! ‘Tis sloop’s row'n away.” A frenetic, sinewy man, clad in dirty trousers, shot back at him while giving quick signals to another man from the stern.
The sloop gave a slight aft-turn, towards the port, where a gangplank was laid before Raziel. He breathed a sigh of relief, as he stepped on it towards the main hatch, eyes intently on the water-logged navigable craft and its burly men. A covered portion, draped in heavy cloth and ropes, extended within, and conformed the shapes of barrels in the stern gallery.
Raziel Raz’Khan looked up. The warping clouds slanted a dash of sunlight to the main deck. With sharp winds, his traveling cloak danced uncontrollably, taking extreme care not to give the slight hint of suspicion, from the group, about his bulky pack. Raziel Raz’Khan, with chiseled features, rugged, strong chin with an ever-present stubble which he shaves occasionally with the katar knife sails off from Covenwick to the city-peninsula of Myrharp.
Ten sinewy men gathered in a huddle. They were cursing and making boisterous shouts from where he stood, not far from him. Wary at the men’s endless pushing, edging to a semi-circle, and frenzy, Raziel scraped the back of his dagger’s hilt. Their chestnut backs, dripping sweat with the sweltering heat of the afternoon sun, toward him.
Abruptly, he realized danger.
He lurched to his feet. Loosening his soiled cloak and hood, he quietly slipped out three throwing knives in one hand, extended and kept his left hand free, katar ready to pop out. Stain this deck red. He mumbled, eyeing darkly at the men – oblivious of his stance.
The stomping of their feet, in cadence, some irking with their fists on their chests, made him think twice.
“Bite! Let ‘er bite!” remarked one disgruntled fellow. He was shoving and rattling something.
Ah, some sport! I see. Raziel sighed and watched the men at a distance.
The others were slapping his back.
“I gave more than my day's meals for that daim critter!” One guy shouted.
“Move, beast! MOVE!” Another sun-exposed fellow barked.
As Raziel inched very close towards them, watching his steps, he saw two-horned lizards locked, head-on to each other. Their claws were desperately scratching on the wooden floor, blood gushing from their heads. The clamoring shouts were unbearable.