I'm still working on the transition scene that closes out chapter eight. At the moment, it's a single sentence and a note saying that I need to come back and write an actual scene that ties up the loose ends. That will have to wait for my first revision, later this year. So, with that out of the way, here's the beginning of chapter nine...
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Their arrival at Castor, seven days later, could not have come soon enough for Balfrith. Though they departed Hightower with smooth waters through the bay and out into the sea for the first few days, by the fourth day a northerly wind sprang up that whipped the seas and left Balfrith horribly sick for the remainder of the journey. It was only in the last few hours of the last day, as they came within sight of land near Castor, that the seas calmed. Balfrith and Eldamir departed the ship along with a few other passengers, many of whom had shared in Balfrith’s suffering, and upon touching solid ground Balfrith breathed a sigh of relief: the ground no longer swayed under his feet, for which he was extremely thankful.
“I tell you this, Eldamir,” he said. “I would kiss the ground right here, if I weren’t afraid that I might not be able to stand up again. Well, that and the fact that I’m not sure what exactly my lips would be touching…” he added ironically.
Eldamir laughed. “It will probably take you a day or two to get your land legs back - at least it always does for me. But now, we should find ourselves room and board, get settled in, and then we can start looking for work.”
Balfrith nodded. “Agreed. After being sick for so long, my appetite, and my thirst, has returned with a vengeance.” He looked around a bit at the street they were on, lined with all manner of shops, inns and the occasional narrow house. “I don’t suppose you’ve been to Castor before?” he asked, without much hope, but remembering the inn at Graystone.
“Alas, my friend, though I have wandered some small part of the West, I’ve never visited this city before. We will just have to explore a bit, and see what we find.”
“I can live with that,” Balfrith said, finding himself excited at the prospect. This was the first time he’d ever been off his home island of Nûmidëa, and though he had studied the cultures of the other nations in the West, he knew that the living experience was likely to be far more interesting than the book reading had been.