The Swamp and the Desert
Elegolor and his party sailed south for three days before they found land again. And what awaited them this time was very unlike the Stalwart Isles. No gentle plains were found here, but crooked trees with dangling veil-like branches, and spider-shaped shrubs which sprouted from the murky water. Despite its less than ideal appearance, the Elves attempted to reach this land, but the thick reeds and mangroves prevented the ships from going forwards, forcing the Elves to wade to shore.
The ground itself seemed to give way with every step. But Elegolor was determined to make it deeper into the new world. After hours of sloshing and sinking, a member of the group, Lithoniel, said that she had spotted movement in the shadows. Elegolor dismissed this as exhaustion and fear, only to look forward find himself surrounded by strange men with spears. They wore hats that looked like wooden plates, and warpaint that looked like blood. They shouted commands at the Elves in an unfamiliar tongue, getting no response.
This seemed to annoy the warriors, and they began to herd the Elves through the swamp via spear prods. Thankfully, thick dirt and grass soon appeared, and even tiled stone roads.
A city of stilts and huts above, connected with hanging bridges and legged wood paths. A city of floating farms and boats below, busy with the bustle of rowing farmers. This place was called Binn. From the vines, a gilded Galley arrived to meet the foreign prisoners. It was here that Elegolor met his first true leader of a Regorian people, Azad Jal.
Rai Azad Jal welcomed the Elves to what he called East Turuc. "A land of jawharps and drone pipes", recorded Elegolor, "Rather unpleasant. And something should be done about these putrid insects."
The Elves were treated to fried fruits and amphibians, and sent on their way. The Elves were more than happy to hurry away from Binn. Little did they know that one hundred years later, Binn and its lands would be no more.
The Binnizei gave the Elves horses and water for their travels. Something the Elves would need desperately, for as they travelled the lush wetlands would become barren desert. They had arrived in Turuc Proper.
At the small town of Mahodeha, the Elves met the brown-skinned Turuc'i for the first time. Lithoniel, who had learned Thalsic, attempted to communicate with the villagers. They did not understand completely what she was saying, but enough to know that they were distant journeyers and needed aid. It was because of this language barrier, that Elves are now referred to as "Thalla" in the Turuc language.
The Elves journeyed a few more days to Turuc'a, the capital of the Turuc'i empire. They were almost immediately welcomed by some form of royalty, who spoke to them in Common. The royal and his entourage led them to his stables, and they were encouraged to leave their horses there. The royal then departed.
Another person of status, a woman this time, led the Elves to another room, and they were told to leave their supplies, for they weren't permitted within the temple grounds. The Elves did as they were told, and the woman left.
A man in a turban, the Vizier he called himself, then led the Elves to a coat room. They were to leave their clothing, for excessive dress was a sign of vanity to the gods. The Elves were hesitant at first, but did as the Vizier directed. They were given cheap robes in return. Lithoniel pointed out that they had yet to see the temple. But Elegolor told her not to doubt the Turuc'a'i, for they had been very hospitable thus far.
The Elves, now dressed as paupers, were led down the alley ways towards a large bazaar along a canaal. Here a boat was waiting. The royal, the woman, and the Vizier directed the Elves unto the boat, for they should not see the temple until they were inside it. Lithoniel once again voiced her concerns, but Elegolor scolded her again.
The first Elves had boarded the ship, when a group of armed men arrived from the inner city. "Djinn! Djinn!" they shouted as they ran. The royal's entourage disolved into gas, and the royal himself seemed to become one with the air. The woman and the Vizier turns into snakes and jumped upon the soldiers. However they only succeeded in being slashed and stabbed at, and they slithered away. The soldiers swiped at the floor with their scimitars, to no avail. All the fiends had escaped.
The head of the guard, now tired from combat, waved the Elves over to speak. He introduced himself as Kabtan Yusef, and asked who the Elves were. What they told Yusef was unbelievable. They were outsiders from a distant land, to the north! They had sailed down through the North Isles, and arrived in the Swamps of East Turuc! They were from another continent! Yusef's men called them liars, and drew their scimitars again.
But Kabtan Yusef merely laughed. "These are truly outsiders", he proclaimed in a language very similar to Thalsic, "Only somebody from another continent would trust a "royal" in Turuc!". The soldiers laughed as well. Curious, Elegolor asked what he meant. The Queen, he explained, was the only royalty in the whole kingdom. Aside from her, women were not permitted to hold high ranks. And Viziers were phased out of existance at least 1000 years ago. The Djinnies had played them for fools. "You should be more careful, my friend!", the Kabtan said, "In the meantime, I will try to find your stolen belonginings. Goodbye, friends."
With this, Elegolor stated that he should have listened to Lithoniel, and that skepticism isn't always rude, but sometimes neccesary. Lithoniel was promoted to Second-In-Command, a spot she held for the remainder of the Elve's journeys.