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The rhythmic sound of low waves crashing onto the sand was a relaxing melody to the ears of Jorunhaal. He was a great and mighty warrior; legends of his triumph over an entire clan of Medsai, though exaggerated, stuck to him like his own shadow. He was young yet, twenty-six, and taught the various weapons of Ilteriel by the finest warriors. King Eidon placed him in charge of the team of eighteen men and women. His sole purpose was to keep the expedition safe.

A few weeks at sea brought the ship of warriors and workers to golden sands. They had arrived on the island as their king had wished. Jorunhaal methodically scanned his surroundings. The broad-shouldered and burly man saw hills in the distance; mountains stood beyond.

Sotha, unpack the furs and linens first,” Jorunhaal ordered.

Having only just anchored the ship, he knew his fellow party members were weary and erecting camp was of the utmost importance. Sotha, a lithe woman who bore her age well, was charged with inventory, logging discovery, and sound planning. She was tasked with returning accurate information to Eidon’s hands.

Aye,” she replied while shielding her eyes from the bright sun.

She wore traditional clothes, heavy linens. Her hair was thick and dark. Her eyes sparkled with a keen intelligence.

A warm wind caressed the backs of the party as they worked to erect tents, unload crates of supplies, and finally relax. During the few hours that passed, Jorunhaal took stock of the immediate surroundings. About what I would expect, he thought. Blue waves continued crashing against golden sand. The beach before him was pristine and the wind heavy with salt. A few trees grew about. They had tall, straight trunks, light brown in color with a tuft of short, squat, green leaves at their tops.

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