Salin and the Saltblock
The Enclave > Powers

Aye, this'd be a place for tales. The old songs too, mind you, though like as not you'd rather someone younger carried the tune. Salin it is, eh? I would have thought you eager scriveners to have all the stories of the old Seafarer locked up tight in ink and parchment, all painted and pretty like yon mounted eel with the glass stare. Aye, it can't compare to the eel in the sea, though. Mark my words, scrivening may have its place in the world, but it draws the life right out of a tale.

A few coins, then. Aye, and that stranger's coin too - to pay Salin his due at the temple and bring me some luck besides.

Aye, then, how this alehouse got its name, the Saltblock. The block that serves as a tavern table and the statues in back, they've been there since I was a lad - since my grandfather's grandfather was a lad, like as not. Salt they may be, but may as well be stone for all the wear that the seasons and ale can muster. Wizardry! Right in front of your nose, young scrivener, and more than the greatest of your whitebeards can muster, eh? The Saltblock wasn't there when Salin sailed into Port, nor the statues, mind you well. Salin the Seafarer came from the the Unending Sea in a mighty tradeship, a rough set of hands and three Magi as crew. This was in the years when dusky, potent Magi still roamed the Sea - Iron, Wind and Salt were their names. Searching for the Vanished Isles they were, the Magi to find their way home and Salin to find a mountain of coin, secrets and wizardry.

He was a sly eel, was Salin, aye. Not one to shy from an impossible task either. Rough as the King of Thieves, voice to charm the clothes from a Lady, master with a thrown spear and butcher with a sea ax. He'd raise a crew and find a ship in the time it'd take you to write his name three times; a man known on every shore of the Unending Sea, a greater seafarer than any who ever lived.

That swarthy crew, seafarers from a harsh, hard land, snarled up and down the dockside like dogs. The Temple Guard kept them in their place, not like the militia eels dragging their spears on the cobbles. Shining red iron like the best of the old Ammand, they were, good enough to watch dogs from the Sea - but not Salin and not the Magi of Iron, Wind and Salt. The folk from the Farthest Sea soon had priests, Lords and Ladies following them like trained birds from the Fane.

Aye, they were for raising ships and crew for trade with the Vanished Isles. Enough to light up eyes and lighten purses, it was. Who's to say where it would have gone if everyone had kept their hands in plain sight? Some say Salin was too familiar with a noble daughter promised to a Lord, others that Lords were fired with greed for the wizardry and goods aboard Salin's tradeship. If you're to be putting a purse on the table, best to carry a good spear ... but both or neither, like as not, I say. One man's suspicion poisons the whole crew, aye, and then who is to know the truth of it?

So it was, afore these four walls and roof were built, that Salin, the Magi and a certain noble lady left Port in more of a hurry than they might have planned. The Lords called on the Temple Guard to seize Salin and his unseemly crew, but the wizardry of Iron parted their ranks like the tide through weed. The Lords called on Seafarers' Guildsmen to seize Salin's great tradeship, but the wizardry of Wind scattered the seafarers into the streets and water, just as though a great storm loomed over the dockside. Finally, the Lords themselves and a great retinue blocked Salin's path. The last wizardry of the Magi turned the Lords into salt statues and their followers into the Saltblock - just as you see them now.

Aye, and Salin's rough crew laughed and growled, taking what they could from docks, merchants and houses in payment for such poor hospitality. Only one ship left Port that season, just as only one ship arrived; left with a full hold too. Maybe it is that Salin searches for the Vanished Isles yet, or maybe Iron, Wind and Salt have found their home. One fine summer season Salin the Seafarer will return, mark my words, and will expect a better welcome from Ammander nobles. Aye, or there will be a worse price to pay!

[ Posted by Reason on February 23, 2005 ]