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Hulean Correspondence 4: the Ksars People

by Christian Constantin

Slagovich, Thaumont 20, AC 1010

Dear old friend,

At least we arrived to the edge of the Great Escarpment. The journey was so long... But, since I don't know the region very well and I prefer to travel without being remarked, I didn't wanted to use my magic to accelerate it. We had some problems, in the past weeks, two groups of goblin have had the great idea of attacking us (the gauchos left us about two weeks ago). Unfortunately, they were met with some magic and the fierce resistance of the convoy escorting mercenaries. We got through without much damage, but the loss of two men and the repairs the carts needed had slowed us down.

But, at least we now are to our first stop: the Ksars of Amirzzim. First, some words about this word: "ksars" means "fortified cave". This is where the people of the Great Escarpment are living. What I you can see from the outside is a huge door carved in the rock and decorated with a multitude of sculptures and designs. When we arrived, two big wooden doors protected by sheets of steel closed the door. Our guide shouted at the door and somebody's voice resounded in the entire valley, asking for our names and purpose. After we had declined our identities and after they recognised our guide, they waited a little and opened the door. Inside was a great hallway that looked more like a small marketplace than a cave, even though it was underground. I had the time to give a look at the products sold and was amazed to see that these people were selling almost anything you can find in any fair marketplace. I found that strange since those people, my guide told me, never go out of their strongholds.

Even stranger was the fact that they did had almost any kind of food the region's markets have. I found out later that large expenses of the Great Escarpment slopes are dotted with small terraces that you can't see from the cliff's bottom. Most of what I've seen from the ksars is like a small city with it's shops, households and some official buildings, but strangers are not allowed to go deep in the caves for the security of the people lies somewhat in the secret of their caves. Nevertheless, I have been able to see an intricate system of pumps and irrigation reaching every single building of the ksars. Also, I noticed that the women here wear the same kind of scarf as the Ylaris do, I also have seen that they are wearing a lot of jewellery much of it made of gold and other precious ores. I wanted to talk with the people about their history, culture and the way they live, but they all seem to be very afraid by strangers and apart from some merchant and the guards, nobody was willing to talk with me.

We are supposed to stay here for two more days, as my guide wants to sell them some of his cargo. After that, the caravan crew is supposed to transfer the rest of the merchandises into some small launches which will bring us deep into the Hulean territory on an underground river. It is planned that we will get out of the caves somewhere at the southeast of Kulnovo. I hope everything will be okay, as this river really seems to be small and full of rapids.

Your friend,

Zoran Dragovic