As we sail more eastward than northward, our speed increases. The seemingly endless sheet of ice to our north is void of any remarkable features, and leaves one with little wonder of what strange discoveries one might find if traveling over it was possible. The ice to our south covering the nearby shore of Garna is much more interesting. Rocks jut from beneath the land’s icy covering. The terrain is varied, and one can only wonder what great wonders or hideous beasts are in that land. According to a sailor named Ervah, one can find both great gems and horrible beasts in the icy wastes of Garna.
Just yesterday, Ervah told me the story of a ship that wrecked on the northern coast of Garna in 5407, two hundred sixty eight years ago. It was the ship enroute to Etnyben with the eighth Prince Markaris, cursed forever be the name, and was dashed against the shore by a storm. The eighth Prince Markaris, cursed forever be the name, did not survive, but eight soldiers and three sailors did survive their three-week trek to the southern coast where a ship found them a year later.
The tales they told upon their return to Atalan left many in disbelief. They told of great chasms in the ice that would open up and swallow unsuspecting men. They told of a frigid desert where great gemstones of every color lay on the ground for the taking. They told of massive, semi-intelligent monsters that ravaged their camp one night and killed many, including the eighth Prince Markaris, cursed forever be the name. Gemstones the survivors brought with them as proof, but an expedition to determine the validity of their claims returned to Atalan several years later, unable to prove or disprove any of the survivors’ claims.
It would definitely be interesting to find some of the gemstones mentioned in the tales, but the risks involved are too great for all but the best-planned expedition, especially since I would expect a seaman like Ervah to exaggerate his stories for men like me who prefer to stay on land.