Sea People

by Ruwen Rouhs

Chapter 9

Early in the morning Tsemo was conning the dugout loaded to the brim with supplies given to the Sun Seekers by the guardians of the Kirketin the Kahin of Ecinli. "Hope to see you again!" Dincer had been cat-calling again and again when the boat left the island. His brothers Hami, Kadir and Kadem had repeated the cat-calls and the sound of "Again! Again! Again!" was following the four like seagulls, till Ecinli was just rugged piece of bark swimming in the width of the Wadj-ur.

Orco's boat was much faster than the big dugout of the Sun Seekers. The reason was not only because it was a slim war canoe but also because it was manned with four athletically well trained pirates at the oars. Already at the beach while they embarked, Orco had offered the Sun Seekers the help of two of his crew. Aegir and Buri however, had refused vigorously to accept the offer. "We can follow you without help! We have made it to Ecinli from far in the Northwest of the earth without help, down the big Bred Ström, straight across the Black Sea and through the gorge connecting the Black Sea to the Sea of Mamora." "Do what you want, but we discuss this again tonight." was Orco's answer. By midday the Sun Seekers boat was far behind the pirates and both, Aegir and Buri regretted their hurried decision. On the other hand, going slow did allow the four to study the fishes following the boat, the birds circling above and the coastline slowly coming closer.

Kirketin, the Kahin, was the last to appear on the beach to say fare-well. Dressed in a fog colored shirt he had planted himself like a statue on top of the large boulder on the beach, the one Sejan had announced his right to the kingdom of Rhaydeston. Like the grey prince of the mountain he was standing there, tears streaming down his cheeks, waving his love fare well, waving Tsemo, the son of the moon, fare-well. He was silent like a statue, Kirketin never uttered a word.

All of sudden the reminiscence of the time on the island of the oracle and especially the memory of the oracle himself, of Kirkie, let Tsemo turn his head around to take a last look at Ecinli. The novice of the Druid became frightened. A big bird was circling the sky above the Kirkie's island. From the distance the bird looked bigger than the island itself. The birds yellow eyes seem to shoot forth rays at Tsemo. These golden rays were piercing Tsemo's heart. Doing an other turn the big bird seem to crash down onto the island, its big wing folded back, its feet with the needle sharp claws thrust forward. Just before the bird hit the ground it opened his wing, slowed his descent and pick up something from the ground. Immediately Tsemo knew the big bird's target. He knew it was Kirketin, the Kahin, the grey Prince.

"Look!" Tsemo cried out in despair, "Look god's messenger has collected the Kahin. The messenger of the Holy Trinity has taken my Kirk away from the earth. He will bring our friend to the top of the misty mountain." The frightened shouts of Tsemo alarmed the other Sun Seekers. "What did you see, Tsemo? Why are you so awestruck? What the matter?" Aegir wanted to know. "Look over there; look the big eagle is carrying the Kahin away, look the bird is already high up in the sky!" Tsemo pointing into the sky, said crying. "Yes there is a bird up in the blue, an eagle. But I can't tell what's in his claws. The bird is too far away!" Aegir confirmed Tsemo's observation, "Maybe you are right and the bird is carrying the Kahin up unto the sky." Remembering his roots in the far north he added, "We, the men from the northern world call this bird Hraesvelgr. It is sitting at the rim of the disc of the earth lashing the air with its wings evoking storms and sinking ships. But it also carries the bodies of heroes into the otherworld."

After he regained his composure, Tsemo brought comfort to his companions. "Kirketin is not dead! Kirketin is living. He will be living for ever! The grey prince will care for us where ever we are going. He will be sitting besides the Holy Trinity, besides Adad, Atar'ata and Simios guarding our ways!"

Around noon an island emerged out of the calm Wadj-ur., Orco steered the boat into a small cove and he and his crew got ashore at a small strip of sandy beach. In the cool shade of an overhanging cliff Jangi started to lay out the leftovers of last night's the feast for a meal. Orco, tired from the night before, took a nap. In the meantime Kenk was waiting impatiently for the Sun Seekers to arrive and after a while scrambled up the steep cliff to look out for the Sun Seekers. Recognizing the boat still pretty far out in the Wadj-ur he called down, "They need at least half an hour more to arrive, for the rest of our day's trip we have to take their heavy dugout in tow. To morrow we have to rearrange the crews otherwise we will never make to Tyruus before midsummer." Waking up from his catnap Orco suggested other options. "Either we exchange the old dugout for a sleek boat better fit for traveling the wide Wadj-ur or they reinforce their crew with a strong man. Remember only Aegir and Buri can take it up with you boys, because Tsemo and Laong are still weak kids." "You are right Orco," Hale agreed, "Laong may grow up to a strong man, and Tsemo however will always stay the wimpy son of the moon. We better help them to find them an additional crew member."

When the Sun Seekers finally arrived at the beach exhausted and hungry they accepted the suggestion to look for an additional crew member without protesting, but rejected the option to get a sleeker and faster boat. "That boat was made of the tree the three Norns bestowed to us, its made of the same wood than the mighty ash tree, the Yggdrasil!" Declared Buri and Aegir confirmed the statement, "If we abandon the boat, we may as well abandon our lives."

In tow of the pirate's boat the Sun Seekers reached the rocky coast just before the sun was setting and entered a narrow fjord. A gulch between high cliffs was leading to a square harbor basin, surrounded by small houses climbing up the steep slopes to the Mediterranean forest on the hilly back country. Of the houses one stood out because of its size and the arcade structure of its front. "Here we are!" Orco announced pointing at it, "It is the place we stay for the night. The owner is my lovely friend Kamrushepa." Winking at his crew slyly he added, "Kamrusha is special. She is not only an experienced healer and witch, but also a cunning innkeeper and her cathouse is well known to all seafaring people." When Jangi looked surprised, Orco grinned, "Yes she does! She has not only beautiful virgins on the menu but also beautiful boys for rent." Now even the sexually experienced Kenk turned red. Pointing at Orco, he shook with laughter, "Orco you are the one, who suggested this stop. Who would we be to decline this opportunity! I like pretty girls!" Turning to his companion, "Does anyone of you object?"

Lady Kamrushepa, for short Kamrusha, was really an impressive woman, tall, well build. The magnificent head of hair decorated with flowers, she was wearing a nearly translucent white flowing gown. Orco looked like a dwarf in her presents. She obviously liked him, even adore him, because she didn't hesitate to pick him up and press to her voluptuous bosom.

The same fate awaited Laong and Tsemo. Calling them cute Kamrusha cuddled and kissed first Laong then Tsemo, who seemed to be her favorite, as she didn't put him down for quite a while. Unexpected to the former novice she not only hugged and fondled him, shower him with smacks, in fact Lady Kamrushepa began to sputter words sweet like honey in a strange language. Not one of the Sun Seekers did understand a single word she excitedly was breathing to Tsemo in a low voice. Later on Orco revealed her surprise meeting Tsemo, "Pressing you to her heart, my dear Tsemo, Lady Kamrushepa fell back into her native language, into Hittite speech. She was repeating over and over again how overwhelmed she was being honored by the visit of a being of unearthly descent. You are in her good favor; don't forget to push home your advantage!"

As already told, Kamrusha was a shrewd business woman. While Tsemo nearly suffocated at her bosom four young maidens squeezed out of the entrance of the house eager in anticipation offering her smiles foremost to the four young pirates, however also eyeing Buri and Aegir attentively. Three of the heavily made up maidens, obviously zonahs by trade, were immediately monopolized by Kenk, Hale and Imsu, while the youngest of the four pirates, Jangi, timidly awaited the decision of the fourth. When neither Buri nor Aegir made advances to the harlots, she turned her courtesy to youngest of the pirates, took him into her arms, kissed him and claimed him thus as her possession for the night. Leaving the Sun Seekers behind, she dragged the willing youngster into the house like the others had done with the other young pirates before. Now it was the task of Lady Kamrusha to entertain the other. With a sweeping gesture she invited the Sun Seekers and Orco into the house and to the banquet hall.

Before Aegir had even able accustomed his eyes to the dim light in the cool room he realized they had entered a wide dining hall with mUhraals decorating the wall. Still absorbed by the naked intertwined men and women shown in the mUhraals his mouth began to water by the delicious smell of hot flatbread and of baked fish drifting into the room from the yard outside. Spotlighted by light emitted by oil lamps hanging down from the low ceiling he could discern Kenk, Hale, Imsu and Jangi sprawled on low-rising couches besides the beautiful harlots. The fancy girls were caressing and groping the young pirates at their most sensitive spots while the young men were answering the attacks with the appropriate means.

Kamrusha ushered the one eyed pirate to the most splendid couch in the circle- After Orco was seated he asked the Sun Seekers to take seat on the empty couches, smiling like a proud father.

Aegir and Buri choose the one left to Orco and Kamrusha and Tsemo and Laong took the one to the right. In front of the couches on small tables plates, dishes and cups were arranged. In this moment the cook entered the room followed by young boys carrying serving trays loaded with backed fish, platters heaped with seafood, baskets with aromatic flat bread, bowls with vegetables and other green stuff. They all bowed. The last to enter the a cup-bearer opening the festivity filling the cup of Orco, the guest of honor with sweet-sour ale and thereafter offering the drink to the others guests. The cook himself offered the baked fishes, while the scullions served the other dishes. There was a surplus of seafood, of mussels, lobsters and sea-urchins, so everybody could get enough of these delicious treats. The chef himself however cared for the Sun Seekers, as the young pirates were greedy as pigs. Tsemo missed the cheese patties and looked back at the sweet days just gone by. When Orco saluted the Sun Seekers and his crew with the strong brew, Tsemo did without the ale and resorted to spring water.

Soon the young pirates were sated and turned their attention to the charming harlots. Kenk especially took advantage the sweet girl alongside, first nuzzling her still immature boobs but soon daring to fondle her crotch. At first Jangi were watching his companions self-consciously bur curious like a cat. Soon however he knew what to do. From this moment on the young pirate had hardly time to eat because his fingers were anxious to roam the so far unknown continent and the fancy girl embarked on to nibble his stiff member.

A short time later all four young pirates and the fancy girls left the dinning room to continue the games in another part of the cathouse. Kamrusha observing the amazed looks of the Sun Seekers smiled, "Today I just have four zonahs on active service however I can offer you an even more exquisite kind of entertainment," bowing to Tsemo, "an entertainment especially geared for an envoy of the celestials and his friends." Clapping her hands she called, "Kaa, Seb, come on in! Don't dawdle, the Sun Seekers need to be entertained, don't dare to serve the envoys of the Holy Trinity poorly." Turning to Orco she explained. "I just bought the two lads two days before from traveling merchants passing by on their way from the kingdom of Tyruus to the one of Rhaydeston. They intended to sell them to Kotys, the new king together with the finest cotton and the most delicate pottery available in the kingdom at the big river, the Iteru-Aa. The two are new to the job, especially the younger one, he is still a virgin, I guess. They still have not completed the education as qdeshim, as fancy boys. However, I know I have been successful in teaching all they need to spoil the young travellers on their way to the Land of the Sun."

"Ah, my dear lady Kamrusha," Orco updated her, "You are right about a new king Rhaydeston, but his name certainly will be not Kotys, his name will be Sejan, the son of the late king and his rightful successor." While Kamrusha still contemplated the news, the door to the dining hall swung open and a slim young man in a white gown appeared in the dark door way holding hands with a split image of about half its height.

Aegir squinted into the dark by the doorway. He could clearly discern the two brightly dressed boys entering, however he did not see their heads or their hands. These seemed to have melted with the dark background. Suddenly in the flickering light of the oil lamps four eyes reflected the rays of the oil lamps illuminating the room. Aegir looked at his friend and on the spur of the moment the red-hair realized that Buri's eyes reflected the light of the lamps in the same way as the eyes of the two young men waiting in the doorway. By intuition he realized they had to be dark skinned like his love Buri, his half-blooded love!

The same instant Buri seemed to wake up from a daze. He jolted up like bitten by a snake and the next moment he was eye to eye with the larger of the strangers. "Brother!" Buri stammered out, "Brother!" then he embraced the stranger nearly knocking him to the ground. "My Brother!" he repeated. The he bend down and picked up the small body clinging the big one. Picking the small boy up and whirling him around he shouted at the top of his lung, "Aegir, Tsemo, Laong, here are my brothers, your brothers! Come embrace my kind, say welcome to my kind of people, the black-skinned people, the kind I missed since ever!"

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