They took us south, past the green coasts of home, the port of Saradon, and the sea light at Arthon's Horn. From my cage on deck, I watched the tapering pillar of granite grow smaller, its great fire shrinking to a red star before it disappeared.
(more) We did not see land again for days. When we did, it was as alien as the sea. This strange coast was not green, but tan. No rain washed this alien place. No rivers broke its coast. No life had made its mark.
Finally, after a week at sea, we reached port, which I would later know as Takar-Ishat. The sandstone quay seemed to rise and fall beneath my feet.
The line of slaves moved quickly. Soon I could hear the auctioneer's voice clearly, calling out in a foreign tongue. Before him, a man stood next to a fire. When he struck the podium the line moved forward, and there was a strange hissing sound, and sometimes a cry.
A score of men looked on, some bidding. Most were overseers, bare-chested and rough, shouting their bids. A few were commoners, dressed according to their trades, walking the line questioning slaves. But that day, there was also a man in a long, rich robe. A short stick with a spike at one end hung from his belt. He was silent, fixing each slave in turn with an intense gaze. Silent, until I stood before the podium.
He spoke quietly. One bid, unopposed. The man next to the fire grabbed my arm, picked up a metal block, and pressed.
I cried out at the searing heat. The man in the robe took me firmly by the shoulders, and led me away. A brand, new to my skin, declared that I belonged to Keol the Bloodletter.