|<< TWoK Chapter 11: Droplets / TWoK Interlude 2: Nan Balat >>|
Ishikk is a fisherman of the Purelake, and the chapter begins as he is finishing a particularly unproductive day of fishing. The tides are irregular and he feels like the Purelake is in a foul mood.
He is walking to the village of Fu Abra for a meeting with some foreigners. On his way he makes small talk with Thaspic, a local fisherman, about the day's weather, and Maib. Ishikk arrives in Maib's house and briefly speaks with her. Maib has wanted to marry him for years and tries to do so by keeping him in her debt, usually with her cooking. Ishikk gives her a rare Kolgril fish, which when consumed can cure joint aches, and now she is in his debt.
Sitting at a table raised above the water in the corner of Maib's place are the three foreigners with whom he is meeting. Two of them are dark-skinned Makabaki men, one being unusually thick-limbed for his kind and bald; the other being tall and muscular with short dark hair. The third foreigner has lighter, tan skin like an Alethi, but Ishikk notes his eyes are of a different shape and that he speaks the Selay tongue worse than his two counterparts. This third, lighter-skinned man has a scar across his scalp. None of them are armed.
The three foreigners are stern and ply Ishikk with their questions. Ishikk tells them that he has searched through the villages of Fu Ralis, Fu Namir, Fu Albast, and Fu Moorin but has still not found the man they are seeking. It is revealed that Ishikk has been searching for 5 months around the Purelake for a man with white hair, a sharp tongue, and an arrow-like face, who the foreigners refer to as Hoid. One of the foreigners acknowledges that the man dyes his hair and wears disguises sometimes, and that they are displeased with the lack of new information from Ishikk. He offers the possibility of using a stumpy cort fish to help, although they are hard to find. The two Makabaki argue about this, and the lighter-skinned man reminds them to switch to another language. The three then continue their argument/discussion.
Eventually the foreigners finish their argument, hand Ishikk a pouch of spheres, and leave the house. It seems like they want Ishikk to more or less continue what he's been doing, and one of the Makabaki exclaims "Where are you, Roamer? What a fool's quest this is." He then adds in his own tongue the words Alavanta kamaloo kayana. Ishikk agrees that it is a fool's errand and follows them outside, heading away from them to check on his traps.
|Ishikk||POV||He is fishing before men come up and quiz him on Hoid's location.|
|Nu Ralik||Mentioned||Various mentions of the Purelake god are made.|
|Thaspic||Appeared||Ishikk has a brief conversation with him.|
|Vun Makak||Mentioned||Various mentions of the false Purelake god are made.|
|Maib||Appeared||Has a conversation with Ishikk during which they both suggest they may get married.|
|Temoo||Appeared||One of the people searching for Hoid. Temoo is probably not his real name; nicknamed Grump by Ishikk.|
|Vao||Appeared||One of the people searching for Hoid. Vao is probably not his real name; nicknamed Blunt by Ishikk.|
|Thinker||Appeared (unnamed)||One of the people searching for Hoid. Nicknamed Thinker by Ishikk.|
|Hoid||Mentioned (unnamed)||The person for whom the three men are looking.|