From above, the great river suddenly appeared from the forests, its tributaries were so shaded by overgrowth. Few from the outside had dared track its true source. One way or another, none had returned.
There was a village in among the trees, fugitives from the war which raged further south and wild men they had befriended. It was hard to spot, and impossible to approach undetected. The Lang made his arrival known well in advance. Coming from upstream on his three log raft his provenance was obvious. None of his observers raised a weapon.
A waterfall roared ahead, but there were landing stages well before the rapids began. Figures began to crowd the nearest stage. With careful strokes, the Lang headed for it.
The crowd drew back, leaving only one figure, a tall bearded man in a grey one-piece outfit with more pockets than seemed necessary. The Lang sprang up to the stage, converting his landing to a deep bow. Five young dockers leapt down and had his raft tied to before he spoke. “Sir, I request your permission to pass.” It was one of the Plains dialects, he hoped he had judged the chieftain correctly.
The bearded man bowed deeply in reply, “Sir, it would be our honour to help you on your way. I am Morn, could I presume to ask your name?”
“I have yet to take one. It would be an honour to assume yours for my travels.”
The crowd whooped and the chieftain could not contain his grin. Such recognition from a holy man was more than any could hope for. “It is more than I deserve. Our pathetic village is yours for as long as you wish to stay.”