Thraxas and the Ice Dragon / Траксас и леденият дракон: Първа глава

Английски оригинал Перевод на български

Chapter One


Първа глава

Вилорп 21.08.19 в 11:55

We've been stuck on this tiny boat for eight days. We haven't seen land since we drifted away from the shores of Turai. It's rained almost continually and the waves keep threatening to overwhelm us. I'm cold, wet, and fed up with everything.


If you have to be stuck on a small boat in the middle of the ocean, Lisutaris, Mistress of the Sky, is not a bad companion. Her sorcery has at least kept us supplied with food. When Lisutaris snaps her fingers, fish just surrender. It saves a lot of messing around with fishing lines. She can purify water with another minor spell, so we won't die of thirst. Unfortunately, Lisutaris has no mastery over the ocean currents, and not enough power over the wind to be able to guide us back to the shore. We're drifting along, not knowing where, if anywhere, we're going to land.


The City of Turai was under siege. We'd hoped to hold out till help arrived, but we failed. Turai fell to the Orcs. Their Sorcerers nullified our defences and Lord Rezaz the Butcher smashed through the north wall with his Orcish army. I escaped in the chaos, bringing Lisutaris and Makri with me. Lisutaris has been depressed from the moment she got on board. She's head of the Sorcerers Guild and one of the strongest users of magic in the West. It was her responsibility to protect the city from Orcish sorcery and she failed. In her defence, she was struck down by illness; even so, she blames herself.


Makri, ex-gladiator and part-time barmaid, is an even less equitable companion. She's furious that she left the city without a fight. I think she actually blames me for rescuing her. The fact that Makri was so ill with the winter malady she was unable to walk, let along fight, doesn't prevent her from cursing herself for leaving Turai without striking a blow in its defence.


The boat's tiny cabins give scant protection from the cold winter rain, and we've been lurching alarmingly in the heavy swell. These seas are notoriously bad during the winter months and it's something of a miracle that we haven't been swallowed up by a storm. Our single sail is torn and ragged, making steering almost impossible, something which Makri has found occasion to complain about.


"Couldn't you have found a boat that was properly equipped?"


"You think I had time to hunt around for a better boat? If I hadn't got us out of there quickly we'd have been dead on the beach with a dragon picking our bones."


"Your bones maybe," says Makri. "I'd have gutted any dragon that came near me."


"You couldn't even walk."


"Well I can walk now," Makri retorts, and strides around the deck. "Can't you take us back?" she demands, turning to Lisutaris. "Work a spell or something?"


Lisutaris shrugs. She's already explained that while she can manipulate the weather to some degree, she doesn't have enough power over the wind to carry us back to land. None of us are much good as sailors. I've travelled the oceans in my time, but always as a soldier, never as a crewman. Makri has only ever made one voyage, to the Elvish Islands, and she was constantly sea-sick. As for Lisutaris, she's far more comfortable in the city. None of us have any bright ideas for escaping our predicament.