Oleg was definitely grateful for the help, although he let Emi sit down and steer instead of providing the necessary speed. Now, with three people propelling the ferry along instead of one, more progress was made! As the city of Paryer burned to the ground, Gold District and slums alike, the ones who weren't unconscious or asleep began to shudder. Per'dra surely did.
"I can't believe it," she said softly. "This city's been home for my whole life! Now the Purge--" The Bard could barely finish. "How many have their evil soldiers slaughtered? How many did they take prisoner? My old friends..." All of a sudden, she heard a loud cough and a groan:
"Meara!" Per'dra engulfed the barmaid in her arms. "Thanks be to the Ultimate that you're alive!" Together the two women wept for a bit, until Oleg cried:
"Hold fast there, ladies! I need someone to tell me where to go from here, because we're going to have to choose which of the Seven Snakes to follow. The Riault is a wild and watery wench, unpredictable in her courses. If no one gives me any direction, I'm going to have to pick the way myself. I don't know where the Purge is, and where it isn't. Have they sent any spies downriver?"
"I--don't know," the Bard responded. "Are the Seven Snakes really so close?"
"You bet your beautiful little bum they are, lass. Better start deciding..."
The Seven Snakes were the seven branches of the Riault River, clear as crystal but containing mightily different waters. Each of the "Snakes" wound its way into vastly different territories, harboring different peoples and dangers at their ends:
The Green Snake, Esmeralde, led eventually to the Forest Elves' pines.
The White Snake, Belayya, wound its way into Northman territory.
The Golden Snake, Auris, ended underground in the Dwarves' home.
The Blue Snake, Zulanderin, hissed until it reached Umberman lands.
The Red Snake, Rogozha, slithered until it wet Lizardmen's tongues.
The Amber Snake, Uthlu, was nearly silent. Mighty Ogres patrolled it.
Last but not least, Cherna, the Black Snake, nourished the Dark Elves.
Per'dra closed her eyes and waited for a certain dragon to speak to her: Where are you, V'toryv?
Last edited by MsFicwriter; 02-02-2012 at 08:43 PM.