The seas became dark and choppy and the wind, still abeam, picked up into a wild and furious series of gusts and puffs. The Horn, as Tully called it, could be seen far to the north, marking the end of the Amedio. As night closed in the terrain along the coast got decidedly steeper and rockier. Soon, only sheer black cliffs with thousands of sea birds could be seen, whirling white and grey in the night sky, their constant shrieking mixing with the howls of wind and crash of surf.
Once again, Derg kept himself locked in his cabin. Galdar, Kate and Gorbi took turns sitting in the tiny walkway outside his cabin door, making sure no harm came to their employer. At one point that evening, while she sat in the cramped, dark walkway staring at the wooden door of Derg’s cabin and feeling the constant rhythm of the boat as it plied the crests and troughs of each wave, Kate’s wondered just who their actual employer was? Back in Sasserine it was Derg who actually paid them their twenty gold admirals apiece, but clearly the simpering nobleman worked, in some fashion, for the strange beastman ringleader of that circus.
And it was Shag Solomon who promised them each an additional twenty gold upon their return. Up to this point, the job had been pretty simple, if not a bit exciting. Kate had never dreamed of traveling as far as she had in the past several days. She had seen more of the world in the past week than she had her entire life. But, now she wondered for the first time since accepting the job, just where they were actually headed? And, what was it that Mr. Solomon wanted Derg to deliver, and to whom?
Kate knew there must be other towns, maybe even magnificent cities out beyond the sea, but she really didn’t know of any. Her father was elven, but even though he mentioned once or twice that his people lived far away and across the sea he refused to speak more about them. Once, when Kate was very little, she told him she wanted to visit her elven family across the sea, but her father replied in a soft and caring voice, that those elves were not her family. Her mother, a human, had lived her whole life in Sasserine and if she knew anything more about the outside world, she never spoke of it.
Kate sat in the darkness and wished only to hug her parents.