“Aye! O’er there! Krakous! A Krakous!” Shouted one of the men down from the tower. The noble blue sea stretched outwards, extending for miles outwards. The mainland was at least five hundred leagues away, and most citizens of Sardan Latit enjoyed it that way. Seperated from the main world, allowed to develop on their own, the Latites preferred life that way. They thought of the Krakii, or the Mainlanders, as barbaric. Their ships clunky and slow, their weapons crude and music stung the ears of the Latites as if it was glass cutting across their skin. Philosophies and Gods were weak and impotent. The Krakii still lived in huts and tribes. The city was a foriegn concept to them.
Thus, when a ship of Karkii origin pulled into their port, every Latite rushed to meet them, to see the barbaric people and mock them and laugh. Trade was acceptable, as a Krakite "relic" was by far one of the rarest items upon the island. It was a sign of stature.
Fal'than was no exception. A warrior should not be interested in trinkets, true, and he was known for his military history in a war against the Krakites (in which the offending tribe was obliterated), he still found their simple culture fascinating. He was enraptured by the simple items that the Krakites brought.
He pushed his way through the crowd of brilliant greens and dull yellows, men and women of every social class and state of being, the drunkards and the queens, coming around to see.
He looked at one of the relics and was interested almost instantly. It was unlike anything he had ever seen before.
A blade, about ten inches long. Barely pushing out of "dagger" status, the blade was a single, solid piece of metal. The handgaurd had been twisted while in the forging process, producing a stange looking spiral. The blade was slim, and thin. Unlike any other Krakite weapon he had seen. It was a new metal, not copper. Had they learned the secrets to iron crafting? He shouted at the Krakite men unloading the goods.
"How much for that dagger?" The men looked at him. They talked in their strange language, primitive and gutteral. They pointed at Fal'than.
"Korr-tak zveit. Ya?" One of them said to him, hoping he understood. Then one of them had a "brilliant" idea. They grabbed one of the coins they had gotten in a trade (alongside the barter they normally had) and held up four fingers.
Four Janns? Only four Janns? He almost jumped for joy, pulling out the copper-silver alloy coins and placing ten on the table, pulling six away from them. The Krakii would use the coins to barter with the other Latites and get items. Coins were of no use to them. Fal'than took the dagger, and one of the Krakii stopped him from leaving immediently to give him the leather scabbard. The scabbard was crude, leather binding and leather skin. Copper encircled it, thick copper wire. In the wire were written runes. Totally alien to Fal'than. While his alphabet was based in the shapes of squares, crosses, and lines, this alphabet was based in the shapes of rough ovals and circles. The alien nature only further delighted Fal'than, who rushed home.
He greeted his wife and son, Caelia and Jerras respectively. Caelia greeted him with a kiss and his young son greeted him by embracing Fal'than, though the small child's stature meant he simply wrapped his arms around his father's knees.
Caelia was a tall woman, in fact, slightly taller than her husband. Raven black hair reached to the middle of her back. She had emerald eyes and fair skin. Wearing a white tunic with golden thread stitched into it, she looked like a woman of her social status. Her son, on the other hand, looked more akin to a begger than the son of Sardan Latit's greatest living military commander. Covered in dirt and with a torn tunic, the boy's blue eyes and brown hair (taking more after his father, it seemed), the boy was still recovering from a rather intense game of tag with his friends.
"Caelia, the Krakous are in the harbour." Fal'than spoke hurriedly and excitedly. "They are selling cloths and furs and weapons for almost nothing!" He held up the dagger that he had purchased. "Four Janns! Four Janns, my love, for a dagger!" Caelia smiled and picked up Jarras.
"May I go to the harbour then?" She asked, knowing full well no woman was permitted to leave home without the consent of father or husband. Fal'than laughed.
"Must you even ask? Of course you may go! Here, take these." Fal'than handed her twenty Janns and five Tells. "That should be enough for you to not only get the Krakite goods, but purchase some meat and fish for later. The general of Kra-ntall is coming here tonight, so be sure to get the fattest meats you can."
"He's coming tonight? I thought that he was coming tomorrow!" Caelia said, shocked and caught unprepared. The coming of a man so high in the military ranking was not a state of affairs to be treated lightly.
"Worry not, love. We've slaves enough to clean the entire damned island and the mainland in a week! The house here is nothing to them." As he spoke, one of the slaves, wearing a black robe and with his family's sigil, a man with fishing spear in hand, branded across his face, walked by.
"Hel-tran, get the other slaves and tell them to start making this estate fit for a king." Caelia left to go to the harbour, and Fal'than looked around his estate, wandering the marble and granite halls, the statues of silver, electrum, and copper lining the halls. Vases of wine or water, holding either the key to a temporary bliss or a bouquet of flowers lined many halls too. The walls only were in the places where privacy was required, such as bedrooms. Otherwise his home was pillars holding a roof, to allow the breezes through.
None would accuse Sardan Latit's clime of being cold, and the buildings reflected that. Fal'than walked out to his courtyards, amidst the vines of grapes and the cherry trees, the citrus plants and berry bushes.