by Stephane Adamiak
As the sun rays began to reflect on the harbor's waters, the dance started.
Prepared for weeks before the gathering, Daughters of the waves had designed a dance that would depict the storms Ka'Shari fleets endured when entering midsea.
Gathered on the deck of the Father Ship, selected members of the families were delighted by this magnificent show. Rocking its head following the rhythm of the dance, the Guide was lost in thoughts surrounded by the captains who explored midsea during this year. Watching Daughters dancing was an honor, and they could not tear they eyes out from the hypnotic movements of the girls. Fascinated bythe complex choreography and the swirling veils, they were amazed to see their own memories coming to life in the dance. Wind, waves, ships andclouds were all part of the dance...
Later, as the moon rose in the sky, it was the captains' turn to delight their entourage with their travels' account. One after the other,captains told about the shores they skirted, the cities they visited or just observed and, for some of them, strange foreigners they met.Though expedition spokesmen praised the marvels of cities like those in Milakanur, in Taltheran, or the remote Corryn, hostility from Aixelsydan was a problem which was long debated.
Sitting besides the Guide, Kiri'Le'Anh, captain leader of theUnfathomable Wave fleet asked if he could speak. "I'm furious after listening about these Aixelsydani ! Sea does not belong to anyone ! What if they try to block the strait that opens on the midsea ? We should teach them a lesson to demonstrate that we are not some drifters lost at sea !"
The Guide calmed down his steadfast captain with a slow gesture."Don't worry, my Brother... If Aixelsydan was to harm us, we would answer with naval tactics that proved efficient against pirates. The fleets did not suffer any new attack. Just one pirate flotilla was spotted ; a chase was engaged but enemy fled as they understood the trap... If these traders want to break their teeth on Ka'Shari, we'll sharpen our claws on their frail boats. Don't forget that our first goal is to repair our ships...According to the expedition, there is an island not so far fromTaltheran that would be an ideal location to shelter the fleets and repair. We will head toward this area, but we will have to be cautious since pirates were spotted in these waters. The neighboring Thalteran could also be annoyed by our presence and we will have to deal with them."
Meanwhile, as captains were discussing future moves, several shemaini were meeting in lower decks. Led by major Talatemke'Shylni members, the meeting was aimed at discussing the failure of the magical study in Anorrur area. Nonetheless, despite the lack of any interesting element,the secret society was excited about the news of a marvelous city builton an island. Fascinated by this discovery, sages and shemaini began to plan an expedition in order to find who was dwelling there. Reminding their ancestral city, these Ka'Shari were hoping to meet highly civilized beings there. Perhaps this city's inhabitants could help them understand the mysterious phenomena which caused their exile.
As shemaini members were sharing contradictory opinions, captains werelistening to the last expedition's spokesman. The festival was finished,but leaders had so much to discuss before sunset.
"We were resting on a harbor's shores far away from our predicted route. Because of bad weather, we had lost track of our fellows. But the area seemed fine and we decided a stay a while. Gathered around campfire, the beach lit by magical orbs, we were listening to one of our favorite tale when we were approached by a foreigner's company. Military in appearance, they nonetheless looked friendly and eager to meet us. One of them who seeming to be some sort of officer began to talk about matters we did not care about and we invited him and his fellows to join the circle. They agreed and we were proud to allow themto hear our storyteller's performance. During the tale, I watched them. I don't know exactly why but they seemed ill at ease among us, as if they were making efforts to smile.These guys must certainly face problems of their own : that was my thought.Once the telling was finished, the foreigner began to praise our tradition, but his goal was obviously to meet you, captains. As far as I remember, Videssian republic wants to develop a navy to benefit from our expertise. I told I would report to you his leader's wish. It is your duty, captains, to decide if we meet them again."
Muttering with counselors, the Guide waited a few minutes, before leaning back in his carved ivory throne."Our opinion is that we don't know them enough to agree on anything quickly... Videssia seem to be a mighty society. They are our first contact in the south, and we should answer their hospitality to know them better. I don't want Ka'Shari to be involved in a regional problem or be manipulated... We will send an embassy toward Videssia..."
As Ka'shari leaders were discussing, the clans enjoyed the gathering. Happy to meet again, cousins, friends, and mates danced and drunk until the sun rose. When stars began to vanish in the skies, only few were wandering on ship decks, walking between friends asleep and enjoying fresh wind.