Jawix

Standard

“Welcome to Jawix.  It’s a rather small city but it has its own charms.”

“Like the random barrels of fish?”

“Exactly like the random barrels of fish.”

Rui and I finally reached Jawix after a week of nonstop hiking.  After entering the main gates the main feature grasping my attention is the overpowering smell of fish.  The roads are clogged with market stalls; selling everything from fish, to paper weights.  “Jawix has little land for farming so they have to make up for the lack of farmers with fishermen.  There are two settlements on either side of lake Wodd.  These borderline shanty towns are used as makeshift ports for the cities Jawix and Wodd.  Although ramshackle the small settlements are often used by fishermen and travelers.”

“Thanks for the lecture.  Now why did we enter the city if we are just going to leave immediately.”

“Because we’ll need a ferryman of course.  Who’ll be providing a boat to cross the lake?  I highly doubt that you’ve come prepared with one.”

Without waiting for my nonexistent response Rui left the main road and started wandering through the back alleys.  Even though I could keep up with his speed I wasn’t prepared for the random obstacles filling the alleys.  We kept walking between the garbage, crates, and the odd homeless man, until we found an unassuming door buried between a mixture of rotted fish, and old nets.  “Hey Psari!  You in there!”

From behind the door came loud noises and cursing in some strange dialect of the common tongue.  When the door finally opened a sleepy looking dark elf greeted us.  “Oh it’s you again Rui.  You’ll be needing a ride across the lake I’m guessing?”

“You’re as quick on the uptake as always Psari.  I’ll need passage for two this time around though.”

“Huh?  Since when did you get a partner in crime?”

“Apprentice actually.  This is Randir.  He’ll be trying it out for a while.”

“Rui you’re getting ahead of yourself.  I don’t even know what I’m supposed to be trying out.”

“Still going for the mysterious rogue persona I see.  Rui you really need to stop being so secretive.  I’m guessing poor Randir doesn’t even know who you actually are.”

“Psari.”

“yep?”

“Please shut up.”

“Ok.  Shutting up.”

The conversation just made a full turn in the opposite direction.  “Psari we’ll meet you at the docks.”

“Whatever you say boss.  Just so you know the price will be double with a second person.”

Sighing as if he expected it Rui tossed a bag of clinking coins past Psari’s head, and through the open door.  “Hey!  Watch where you’re throwing things!  I’m a fishermen not a street juggler.”

Still grumbling, Psari picked up the coins and started counting them.  “Come on kid, we can save the conversations for later.  We’ll be stuck on the same boat for a while anyway.”

“Who is that guy anyway?”

“Since I always take this same route to Senphos I tend to run into the same people.  Psari is good about getting me quick transportation over the lake.  Due to my continued patronage we’ve gotten to know one another, and he’s helped me with a couple close calls when I needed to cross the lake without being noticed.”

“I’m getting the feeling that you’re a criminal.”

“You’d be an idiot if you didn’t.”

“You’re not answering the question.”

“What question? The only question you’ve actually asked is about Psari”

“You know what I mean.”

“Do I?”

Rui’s continuous dodging is getting annoying.  “Fine.  Let’s just finish this traveling as soon as possible.”

“Our work only increases when we arrive.”

“Do you enjoy mocking me?”

“Very much so.”

Rui refused to continue the conversation, and continued walking through the city.  Other than the occasional street urchin or pickpocket we dodge all human interaction until we reach the western gate.  Passing through the gate I breath a sigh of relief at leaving the fish stained cobble streets.  “I hate fish.”

“Well you’ll love our ride then.”

“Fishing boat?”

“yep”

I groan and begin bracing myself for a long ride.  It didn’t take long for us to reach the the small port on the edge of the lake.  It wouldn’t be hard to mistake it as the ruin of an old port village.  In fact most of the structures look like lopsided work sheds barely holding together.  The builders must have spent most of their effort in building the docks that spread out for several miles in all directions.  Rui just walked past the ramshackle huts and confidently traversed the docks picking out one boat in particular.  The boat in question is a small fishing vessel. “It’s more like an oversized dinghy.”

“What’s wrong with that!”

“Good timing Psari.  Help me get the boat ready.”

“Of course.  I’d like to get going before the dock master tries to-.”

“Psari where do you think you’re going!”

“-Stop us.  Hey Kenneth, how’s the fishing been?”

As we started boarding a stocky man bustled towards us shouting at Psari.  “This is the last time I’ll allow you to dock on my wharf!  Pay the fine or I’ll seize your boat!”

“This is the last time I’ll remind you that this wharf belongs to the city.  The dock master only has the power to check permits and merchant manifests.  I have my city fishing permit which means you can only whine about me to your boss.”

The dock master Kenneth gives us a pompous smile “But your permit has been revoked by the power of said boss!”

“On what grounds!”

“Illegally transporting personal over the lake!  Whose your friends there?”

Rui walked over, and calmly punched Kenneth in the face knocking him off the dock.  “Greedy pig.  Let’s get going.”

“I’m going to have to deal with this later you know?”

“I know.  By the way, there are guards coming.”

Hurrying we jumped onto the boat and started unfastening it from the dock.  The whole time we are working; Psari is shouting commands in his strange language.  “Shut up Psari, no one can speak under-common!”

Although we’ve managed to disembark from the dock the guards can easily catch up with our slow moving boat.  Every time a guard manages to jump onto the ship he either falls off in the attempt or gets hit over the head with an oar by Psari.  Rui and I are on either side of the small boat rowing in the attempt to leave the maze of docks.  Although there aren’t many of them, the guards are swarming the docks.  “Kenneth must have set up an ambush!”

Although Psari doesn’t have an easy job he’s enjoying his game of whack the guard.  Now and then I hear a the satisfying crack of the oar knocking the guards off the docks, and into the water.  It didn’t take long before we exit the oppressive labyrinthine docks and escape onto the open water.  “Let’s get the sail open and take a rest once we get a good tailwind.”

It doesn’t take long before we see a group of vessels following us.

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