He was 20 years old the first time he saw her… it was like seeing his own reflection staring right back at him from the shore. ‘Who am I to behold such beauty?’ the lonely sailor thought to himself. Looking up, the youthful woman gazed back. How couldn’t she though, a massive ship was settling itself into the sand right in front of their eyes.

“Alright lads! This is it,” yelled a dashing young fellow as he slid down a rope onto the soft ground below. Waves came in and washed around his legs.

“I promised beforehand…”

“The journey you seek!”

Upholstering both his pistol and his sword, he walked toward the tribe who were hastening, it seemed, to make peace visible. “We come in peace,” he said in a friendly manner. The tribe then replied in a language unknown, as if to ask, ‘why have you come?’

Looking back at his mates, he couldn’t find words to explain himself. Then at this moment in time, the men of the tribe presented themselves from the forest, and feeling the need to protect their women and children, hit the poor fellow upside on his head. Behind him, the crew were being put to sleep by the muscular arms of stealthy hunters as they had somehow escaped anyone’s notice. So it was thus that the journey had ensued and was off to anything but a perfect start.

Two hours later… the sailor awakens hanging while tied onto logs and is being carried toward fires into a camp area where the other men were.

“Hey! Let me down from here,” a crew member yelled. Turning around, a native spit on the man and spoke.
“What, what did he say?” One of the mates asked the translator.
“He said that they have seen your kind before and did not leave as friends.”
“Hey, you tell him that we are no danger. We are only here to observe,” the man said, and began crying as voraciously as the raging fires.

Grabbing their torches and stomping out the flames, the natives took one last unenthusiastic look at the people they had hung and then walked away. It seemed that the endeavor had created an easygoing feeling amongst them and that they now believed a sense of hope may yet still exist.

Soon night fell, and everyone, still tied to the logs, fell asleep helplessly under the stars. Early the next morning, after an enormous ruckus, some women from the camp ran over to the crew mates.
“What are they saying?” one of the men asked the interpreter.

“They’re saying their village is under attack and that if we are who we say you are, then we must help them.”
The natives began returning all belongings necessary for the moment, such as pistols, ammo, and swords – though the crew had no clue as to what was going on in the strange world they’d mustered themselves into.
“Come save us” one of the girls said in her own tongue.

They were sprinting and hurrying their way to the main camp set ablaze by raiders from another clan, when it took but a second before the sailors were made, and then the battle was waged. It would be the becoming of who they were and were meant to be. Fighting through the night, their true selves, their dreams, and good memories persisted as they tried to save this little village and what they had. It was sad to see such a vile force attempting to destroy those they’d just come to know as forgiving people. Once daylight had reached the villages, the losses were too devastating. ‘Why these people?’ one might ask themselves. Many good men died in the assault and there was still a good amount left. Though the losses were too great to be real. It was to come, however, that this fanout tribe would soon trust and rely upon those whom they’d met during this time. It was the blossoming of a great friendship… a story that would be told of for generations. It was also a tale of love…

The woman whom he had seen when they first arrived reached out to the lonely sailor in the still and quietness of daylight and tended to his wounds. They did, after all, help save everyone, and she approached him with great gratitude for the well-fought battle. Looking into the wondrous blueish color of her eyes, he asked, “how could you be so beautiful?”
She shook her head, not comprehending him.
“I think she likes you,” one of his friends said.
“You must help us,” the woman was saying. “We know of a safe place,” she went on. “You must help us reach the great temples of Azar before the last of my people die or worse.”
“You have my word,” the young lad replied.

“You have our word,” the men said.

In deciding to help the indigenous people with safe passage, the white men didn’t have a clue that they would be the first of their kind ever to set foot into the lands of Azar and that they would also be the last…

Written by: Tristan Stanley

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