The Other Side
It had been quite a long few days for Alania, she had been obligated by her superiors to follow a petty criminal. He had been accused of murder and was to be shot on sight. Alania honestly didn’t believe him to be guilty but that didn’t matter at this point. Then, when she finally found the boat, it was empty and far away from home.
When she went to investigate, she was attacked by what seemed to be the natives of the land. All was almost lost until a band of what seemed to be raiders came and relieved her forces. At first, she was worried they were just going to finish them off. But after one of their men saved her from a beheading, she was a bit more trusting of them. She saw however that he was probably the only reason their forces weren’t fighting.
She then ordered her men to heal the wounded and to get back into the ship. As a precaution, she asked her second in command to stay in the boat and ready to escape if anything went wrong.
Afterward, she started a dialogue with the same warrior who saved her. She understood almost nothing of what he was saying, though a couple of sentences seemed familiar. His demeanor indicated he was at the head of this group.
During her time at the academy, she was quite good with languages and knew most of the languages of the foreign empires near her home country, Patriala. With this study of languages, she came to know a lot of the similarities between them. Alania found that some words in the language of these raiders were quite close to her own, as if their language may have a common ancestral tongue to hers.
“Are you sure this is a good idea?” questioned her second in command with doubt in his voice.
“It seems only natural, they saved our lives and now they seem to want a dialogue. They could also be used later if we can convince them to help us.” Alania responded though she was not fully confident that this would end up as successful as she’d hope.
The dialogue with the raiders went better than anticipated, though the language barrier was still a huge problem. She had brought her notebook to try and write down what she could. She later got a name to put to the leader of the raiders: Aren.
She also caught the names of what seemed to be his closest advisors. Aren didn’t seem to present them to her but it was good for her to at least have a name. The male seemed to be named Calum and was the most unpredictable of the two. He always seems to either make people uncomfortable or make them laugh. He also sometimes stares at her, which didn’t help his case. The other seemed to be called Astrid and was way calmer. She seemed to be the most mature of the group.
After a night’s rest, she was determined to at least be able to get a picture of their organization and if she may be able to get an audience with their leader, though that was more of a pipe dream than anything else. She prepared a couple of sentences she believed would be useful to her and invited Aren to her ship. She then learned the name of their nation: the Wicings. From what she understood, it seemed more like multiple city-states than an actual empire.
They also spoke about what they were doing on this island. Alania explained, to the best of her abilities that she followed a criminal to the island. For their part, they seemed to have ended up here because there was a disagreement at home. She didn’t really understand why they would leave over a dispute but it seemed to be something that may be common in their society.
It was also intriguing to her that they were still using only swords, axes, bows and shields. It had been quite a couple of years that Patriala and their rivals used firearms. The Wicings seemed to be much more fit than anyone Alania had ever met, though that could be easily be explained as their lives probably took a lot more manual labor than hers.
After their lengthy dialogue, they bid each other farewell and the Wicingers left to return to their ship. Alania’s crew were still in shock at what had occurred. She assured her second in command that she got what she wanted. It may not be a dialogue with their leader but she was content with what she got.
“Are you going to inform the southern governor of their existence?” one of her commanders asked with hesitation.
“I plan on keeping most of what happened in the last few days a secret. Neither he nor Patriala should be informed of their existence, the Wicings sake.” Alania retorted knowing full well that lying in her report may come and screw her over later. Though if Patriala would be informed of the existence of a more primitive nation to their north, they would undoubtedly send an armada to take them by force.
“The crew will stand behind your decision” informed her second in command.
“You’re gonna be in command for the rest of the journey home, I have business to do in my quarters” disclosed Alania before leaving the deck of the ship.
Alania then went to her room where she laid down the book she had written everything in. She went over the content and compared it to the language books she brought with her everywhere. The language seemed quite distant to her native tongue but similarities were definitely there. The sentence structure seemed untouched by time though pronunciations seemed quite different. She spent the rest of the day writing a second copy of her book as she wanted to preserve the little knowledge she had obtained and planned on practicing the language so that later on if the occasion presented itself, she may be able to actually get something more concrete with these mysterious raiders.