Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Past Midnight, Near Zagora

Friday, June 6, 1650

The olive grove where the party had laid down is not far from the sea (the mountain comes to the sea, so nowhere to either the north or south of Zagora is far from the sea).  A distant sound first, unrecognizable, but after quite a few minutes, more and more familiar, particularly to Nasira.  It is the sound of oars, and it is moving closer.  It will awake both of you, and bring you to the edge of a low rise, to where you can look down at the beach.

The galley is perhaps eighty feet in length, and manned by twenty rowers; they are bringing the boat towards the narrow shore, where the sand is no more than a dozen yards wide.

Then, to the party's left, the sound of others moving down the slope, a fair distance away, too far to hear their voices clearly, just enough to know that they are there.  You would guess four, perhaps five, not necessarily all men.  After watching for several minutes, you see them come onto the beach - four men and a woman - just prior to the galley getting there.  Those on shore and those on the boat wave to one another.

22 comments:

Symeon Kokolas said...

I will whisper "careful and quiet; I will try to get closer". If Nasira has no contradictory suggestions, I will attempt to get close enough to hear any conversation, without being seen.

Nasira said...

"Be careful, good sir."

I will try to get to a place where I can keep an eye on Symeon without being seen. I won't go too far from camp.

Alexis said...

The ground is thick with moss, and although your Symeon cannot "move silently," it is fairly reasonable to think that he can make his way down carefully towards the beach. The galley will make a great deal of noise just as it runs upon the sand, and during this Symeon can get quite close. However, the full moon has risen, and will reach full zenith in only three hours, so any adverse actions will be noticed by the men … Symeon must remain quite close to the ground.

Symeon Kokolas said...

I will do so, and will listen carefully.

Alexis said...

A man leaps from the prow of the boat and walks up the beach; he is met by one of the party on shore. They embrace, clasping arms together, then hugging, and kissing cheeks. You cannot be sure which one is speaking:

“Relius - my friend - it has been too long!”
“Stavros. It is good to see that you are still alive.”
“Oh, do not fear, my friend; these Turks are fat fools, comfortably sitting in their courts - they have no taste for chasing villians.”
“And you are that. What news do you have to tell.”
“The way has been made. Even now, the caster has arrived and he waits. He eats far too much.”
“It is the way of that kind.”
“I have not always found it so. But this one is fat and he eats constantly. But never mind him. I insisted on this meeting to say that you must bring your men to Ossa in three days. The box is in Spilia - though no one knows this ... except -“ and here there is laughter. “... for us.”
“Is it heavily guarded?”
“Five dozen men. That is all. The caster shall manage them.”
“That is good.”
“And now you will go?”
“Yes. I cannot remain here - I have one last service to perform. And you must not linger here on the shore.”
“I have told you, there are no patrols, none such as those my father once spoke of. We are safe. But, as you say, I will go. In the morning, I, too, have business to see to.”

And that is the thrust of the conversation. The two men separate, and the groups with them ... the galley backwaters into the bay.

Symeon Kokolas said...

Once the way is clear, I will return to the campsite and relate their words to Nasira.

Nasira said...

"Hmm, they must be a pretty tough bunch. They are comfortable taking on 60 guards, lead by a caster whom I would presume is smart. At best they are rebels. At worst they are bandits. Judging by where they are going, where would they likly start? Where would they get supplies?"

Alexis said...

Point in fact: north of Mt. Pelion, along the coast there are two significant mountains: larger than Mt. Pelion is Mt. Ossa ... and north of that, Mt. Olympus.

Symeon Kokolas said...

"This man Stavros is wanted, there is a bounty of 5 gp for his location. Supposedly he is in the mountains around here, Ossa or Olympus. He speaks of the Turks as his enemy, so I would bet rebel over bandit. Sounds interesting, and dangerous.
If you are interested, I would like to try to find this man and talk to him. I want to hear his goals and how he hopes to accomplish them. It will be very dangerous; if you would rather continue on your way I will still accompany you as promised."

Nasira said...

"Of course. However I am very interested in justice - stopping people that cause suffering to innocent people. Do you know why this Stavros is wanted? I do not think we should tell anyone of our intentions, as I have no reason to trust anyone as yet. If it takes three days to get to Ossa then we are going to need to stock up. If possible I would like to be in an advantageous position before we talked to him. Any ideas about that?"

"How tired are you? I am not too bad myself."

Alexis said...

In fact, you would both be fairly tired ... your minds may be active, but your bodies still need sleep.

Symeon Kokolas said...

"Let's sleep on it. We know roughly where they will be, and you are correct that we need to prepare. We should head for Golos in the morning, get what we need, and get going. I don't know what we can use for leverage; there is nobody I would trust to leave in Golos with a message. Perhaps we will think of something along the way."

Nasira said...

"Right... That is wise counsel. Okay then, I will see you in the morning."

Alexis said...

Rather than start a new post here, I will say instead simply that it is morning, Saturday June 7; if you will please descrie your course of action as something you are doing, as opposed to something you wish to do, we can move forward.

Nasira said...

I will wake early and pack my stuff upon Motaz. I will eat some leftovers, still avoiding the meat. I am ready to go before it before it is fully bright.

Symeon Kokolas said...

I will wake and pack, and should be ready by the time Nasira is ready. We will head for Golos.

Alexis said...

It is no more trouble to return to Golos than it was to come to Zagora; the day is very much the same weather - quite typical for this part of the world. You pass again the grave marker and the hanging iron tube; I will pause at that point.

Nasira said...

"Give me an ancient monument or city ruins and I am interested. Graves...em, I avoid. Back home places of death are considered haunted from the start."

Alexis said...

Then you move on?

Nasira said...

Yes.

Symeon Kokolas said...

(apologies for the delay)

I will continue on as well.

Alexis said...

I've made a small error; it should still be Friday, when the sun rises.

See the next post.