The monks were chanting morning offices and had not yet set out for work so that Smoke, Iamerge he had to remind himself, was free to grab a few bites off of the table in the guest house and head for town.
The yellow sun was tinting the thin veil of clouds in morning colors and the air was fresh and clean as he walked out from the beehives and stacked stone oratories. Iamerge whistled as he walked toward docks and people and noise of the little port. He was penniless and in borrowed clothes, but he had planned for nearly this condition though loosing his boat and the things he had aboard was a blow.
Still, he was alive, despite the odds. He had made a friend, he felt, that would reward him personally and perhaps with the sort of information that had helped him in the past when it had become necessary to shed a life, like a snake sheds his skin, and begin anew.
“Iamerge,” He tasted the new name in his mind and laughed, “odd how chance brings about a path, like this one. Iamerge. Iamerge. Iamerge the Merchant? Maybe. Iamerge the scribe? Iamerge dressed like a monk today.” he thought.
“I am Iamerge” and saying it made it so.
Iamerge’s beginnings, it appeared as he approached the small port, would be humble. He had grown up in the stinking narrow streets of a port city, perhaps the largest in the world. This was far from that in more ways than one on the face of it.
There were a few boats drawn up to the quay. None of them looked like a trader to Iamerge. Fishing seemed the mainstay of the harbor though the quay was a little larger than what fishing boats would need. There were a few large buildings near the stone and wooden artificial spit that reached out into the calm waters.
As Iamerge approached the town, nodding to the occasional farmer on his way out to his fields, he saw that the fishing fleet mostly used the beach and not the quay at all. The town ran along the beach so that from the end as Iamerge had approached it had looked much smaller than it truly was. Much of the town was hidden behind the large quayside warehouses. The farmers he was passing turned out to be from a community, of sorts, before the town proper, a small attached farm village.
He was somewhat surprised by the lack of interest in a stranger, as he passed, until an old woman heading for the well bid him, “Good morn’ brother,” and he remembered he was dressed in the borrowed habit. Beyond the well there was a low palisade of logs atop a slight bank. The gates were actually movable parts of the wall rather than true working gates with hinges and bolts. It looked to Iamerge that they were never closed and stood wide as he walked through into the town.
The yellow sun was a good hour passed dawn and the town, as towns tended to be, was behind the farm village, but was beginning to shake itself from slumber. Immediately within the gate was a larger than normal house that Iamerge guessed was an inn. Likely it was cheap and shoddy, relying on its position not its service. Then too it was away from the quay, which he expected would, anchor a trade district or market square along with the warehouses. Traders and the moneyed would look for lodging there. Iamerge walked on.