For anyone sailing the northern route to Etnyben, their first steps in that land will be at the town of Roba. The town is small, home to only a few hundred people, but after being at sea for almost four months, even the smallest port is a welcome destination. Even better, Roba is located south of the Arctic Circle. Since it is now the fourth month of the year, the climate is still cool, but the winter snow and ice is beginning to melt. This is a very welcome change from the freezing ice sheets we’ve been sailing by for so long.
Roba started long ago as a camp for soldiers on their way to fight against the Dark Magicians. It was where the soldiers came to shore at Etnyben, and eventually became a major resupply port in support of the many expeditions Great Kings have sent against the Dark Magicians. While initially just a camp, the number of permanent residents has grown until Roba is now a self-sustaining town. They trade food, water, and other supplies in exchange for goods difficult to obtain at such northern latitudes. We plan to stay in Roba for two days to resupply before we set sail and head south.
After growing accustomed to the constant rocking of the ship, I find it difficult to adjust to the motionless ground. My body expects the surface beneath my feet to be moving, and automatically adjusts itself, only to cause me to lose my balance when the ground does not move. I expect the people of Roba understand this problem, but sometimes I cannot help but wonder if I look like a drunken sailor trying to maintain his balance.
Tonight, the citizens of Roba are holding a feast for us. Apparently, it’s a tradition that takes place every time a ship arrives from Atalan. I made the mistake of asking what they would feed us. I think I will find it difficult to convince myself to eat fish eyes, no matter how they’re cooked!