Have you ever been to Pacia? It is the opposite direction of Crewda, to Arden’s west. At that time the Rokuo Forest divided the two kingdoms without a clear distinction of who owned what, but for certain, the Candecent River was well within Arden’s borders. Once you crossed over that you had better be on your toes!
The people of Pacia made the Crewdans seem tame. It wasn’t that they were savages- far from it! They shared a border to the North with Mesu after all, and you might have heard there were constant battles there. The Pacians took what they could plunder from Mesu and turned nearly everything fully thing into a weapon. And while for the most part they formed war parties and attacked head-on; they were also known to send scouts ahead of them wherever they went. Those scouts were the finest in all of the land. There was no way to detect them until one of your friends hit the ground. They’d pick off the best fighters before the battle even began.
Now I only heard all of this while Bren and the rest of us were heading that way. To try to cross through the Rykuo was suicide, but the ship routes were relatively safe. We boarded a ship and set sail along the coast. The tides there were always against us, and so it took a lot longer than I expected. After hearing what was ahead, I was just as happy to keep to the ship. On the last leg of our journey, Captain orders us all out of our uniforms and into regular type clothing. That was the first time I wondered if I should have asked before then what we were doing in Pacia!
The first port we hit in Pacia is called Myrdina. It was the only safe port to stop at in Pacia as it was close to Arden’s border and it was the largest port in the kingdom. A lot of business was the secondhand merchants who would be the go-betweens for the ships and distributors as most ship captains were afraid to step foot off their boats. One could get in, drop off their goods to these middlemen, and get out before attracting too much attention. I got the feeling right away that Captain liked the attention though. He marched through that place like no one could touch him. I had never seen him brandish a sword before, so I couldn’t say yet if the bravado was warranted, but I had seen him talk himself out of that situation in Crewda.
Captain took a look around the place and it was pretty busy! There were shops and restaurants as you would expect, and chaotic foot traffic. He asks a few of the shopkeepers and they direct him to the largest purveyors of spirits that he can find and then tells the lot of us to get settled in, order a drink, and just try to blend in. I liked the sound of that!
So, Bren and I settle in. We order a drink. We wait. We order another. We are trying to take our time, but we keep getting bored. I order just one last drink. I mean, it isn’t even noon yet so I should take it easy, right? That’s when I notice that the lady serving our drinks is getting awfully touchy. I mean, not that I mind a little bit, but she wasn’t really my type. I mean, what if that girl back in Crewda found out?
Bren and I are laughing it off when the same lady comes back and she’s mad! Like madder than Captain was when we dropped his favorite… well never mind about that. It wasn’t me!
She goes, “You two are trying to swindle me! You’ve been drinking all morning and you haven’t got any money!” Then to prove it she shows us our empty wallets! Can you believe it? She pinched our purses and then claimed we were thieves!
Captain is laughing his head off at it all. The other guys are hooting at us too. Then he says, Captain that is, he says, “Perhaps we could ask Belore to settle the dispute?” The lady was mouthing off to us, telling us to be quiet, but then she was the one to go silent.
“What do you, a foreigner, know of Belore?” Though she was trying to be obstinate, you could tell she was scared. Her voice cracked a bit and her shoulders slumped.
“What is there to know?” Captain said like it meant nothing to him, and he sat back down and ordered another round of drinks. The lady sulked off to get them. I was looking forward to my next drink, but before it arrived we were interrupted…
For Part 5 click here!