Some of you are horrified by the results of the kezdin. I warned you that you may not like the final rounds. And you have something most of the other spectators don’t. You have the competitors’ backstories. Most people never know why the suitors are there other than to win a bride. That’s how it goes. We aren’t here to judge other cultures’ practices.
We stay in Sa Dunas one more day, so you can explore the city before we leave. When we board the transporter, I take it across the ocean to the southern continent. Perhaps you’ll find Lekra’s inhabitants more to your liking.
As we travel across the sea, I tell you stories from the northern continent to pass the time.
* * * * *
Rajyr was a young boy who lived in Sa Manekar, the capital of Zazunar. It was a large city between Lake Kai Zazunar and the ocean. It was near the Da Shairvo Mountains.
Rajyr’s family members were merchants. His parents ran a general store in the city, and his unmarried brothers and uncles travelled up the Vai Zor River; down the Vai Zin, Vai Zal, and Vai Zan Rivers; across the Hes Kwanar Prairie; and across the Wai Akwol Ocean.
Rajyr was too young to join them on their journeys, so he settled for playing on the beach in the warmer months while they were away.
One day an object washed on shore, and Rajyr picked it up. It was a flute made of gray wood. Rajyr brought it home and let it dry out. The next day he returned to the beach with the flute and played it.
At first, Rajyr sounded terrible. He had never played a flute before, but he quickly learned how to manipulate the sounds that came from the instrument. As he improved, Rajyr noticed strange things happening. Certain sequences of notes elicited responses from the ocean. One melody caused the sea to calm. Another caused it to froth with violent waves. A third caused a storm to gather on the horizon.
When the storm hit Sa Manekar, Rajyr played his flute; and the storm went from a violent one with lots of wind to a calm rainstorm to nothing.
When Rajyr’s brothers returned from sea, Rajyr showed them the flute and what it could do. His brothers told their parents and suggested Rajyr accompany them on their next voyage. If Rajyr could control the ocean and the weather, he could ensure their merchant ships travelled safely. Rajyr’s parents were reluctant at first; but after seeing Rajyr’s flute in action, they agreed to let him sail.
Rajyr was ecstatic at being allowed to go on a sea voyage. His brothers and the other sailors accompanied him. Rajyr spent most of his time on deck, playing to the ocean. The ship made it to Lekra without encountering any turbulent waters or stormy skies.
Rajyr was sent on every sea voyage from then on, and his family prospered. They quickly became one of the wealthiest families in the city, and his brothers received countless invitations to costume balls. One-by-one his brothers married and started families, but Rajyr was in love with the sea. He continued travelling on his family’s merchant ships, even after they passed away and left the business to him.
No one knows what happened to the magic flute when Rajyr died. Some say the night before he died, he tossed it into the sea; so someone could find it and use its powers to bring them happiness and prosperity, just as he had used it for his family’s success.