1 i) It isn’t long before “here” is a rocky riverbank

It isn’t long before “here” is a rocky riverbank giving way to stony beach. The boat butts up upon it, and oarless, the gang judders to an uneasy halt.

As the last slivers of sun disappear the night’s cold moves quickly in. Shyan and Cang disembark, pull the boat ashore enough for Abia to step out. Fassn stomps and splashes a bit, soaking his boots, before following the rest.

Sharp stakes rise from the ground, head high. They’re doubly tall over Cang, who’s first to see them. He throws a hand up to signal his companions and points out a taut length of vine strung between the stakes. “A quite clever implement,” he says.

Shyan squints at the poles. “They’re here, too.”

Abia leans in to study their make as Fassn grabs a vine.

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