Orien: XXVI. Avren Persuades His Crew

What a joyful meeting, Avren and his men had!
How glad he was to see all his happy shipmates,
And how happy they were to look on their captain,
And see him still alive. They set to such feasting
As Pramil could afford, and they spoke with Avren,
Telling of their trials in awful slavery.
Avren reassured them, released them from their chains,
And told them their business, their new seaward venture.
“I mean to find the crown on another island,
that rightly belongs here; and if I should find it,
I plan to rule this place, and be the lord of men.
The ones who enslaved you shall all be your vassals,
And you will be barons if I meet with success.”
They fell to muttering, and disconsolate cries,
Fearing to voyage more out upon deep Ocean.

But Avren assured them, “Fear not, for Pramil here,
A great sailing master, tells me that Pendaran
Is but nine days away. The voyage is easy,
With land always in sight, and with gentle breezes.
W e can make this voyage, and make it without pain,
Becoming greater men than we could be at home.
Come with me, my shipmates: I will dare the voyage,
With Pramil as our ninth, but I need your help now,
If I am to succeed. Sign up once more, my friends,
Be my crew one last time to win lands for yourselves,
And fame and great honor. You will be barons soon,
If we should succeed now. I can’t do this alone.”
With such words did Avren convince his men to come.
One by one they agreed, until eight survivors
Rejoined his little crew, and Pramil was the ninth.

This was their sailing route, from fair-wooded Alba
To happy Pendaran, in the early autumn.
The voyage can be made across open water
North and east directly, against both wind and flood,
But Pramil chose the course, knowing the winter storms
And not trusting his life to men he did not know,
Whose skills he mistrusted without Moon to save them.
He chose the Lantern Road, which the light-houses watch
In times when peace prevails. He taught the crews the rotes,
The markers and landmarks, the rocks to watch out for,
And the dangerous reefs. They knew the chants perfect
When they pushed the boat out, all freshly assembled
By Avren’s careful hand. Each man knew his station,
And they knew their duties. Avren took the tiller,
And guided the vessel, which they called Tarven’s Joy.

4 comments

  1. The Periplus…

    The next section is in the works, but it’s going rather longer than expected, because it’s a periplus.

    A periplus is a written set of sailing directions that guide a sailor from one landmark to the next, from the point of view of what he would see from a ship’s deck. Most charts and maps have their origins in the 1800s and even early 1900s; before that, rough charts existed called portolani, but these were always supplemented by peripluses. The oldest periplus in the West is a surviving Massaliot fragment, describing the various ports of call between Marseilles, France, and what may be Brest, via the Atlantic seaboard. The evidence for this periplus is fragmentary at best, but the text surviving probably dates from 550 B.C.

    Time for me to get back to work.

  2. The Periplus…

    The next section is in the works, but it’s going rather longer than expected, because it’s a periplus.

    A periplus is a written set of sailing directions that guide a sailor from one landmark to the next, from the point of view of what he would see from a ship’s deck. Most charts and maps have their origins in the 1800s and even early 1900s; before that, rough charts existed called portolani, but these were always supplemented by peripluses. The oldest periplus in the West is a surviving Massaliot fragment, describing the various ports of call between Marseilles, France, and what may be Brest, via the Atlantic seaboard. The evidence for this periplus is fragmentary at best, but the text surviving probably dates from 550 B.C.

    Time for me to get back to work.

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