By Alan Burt Akers
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I have, as I have said, seen many cities, and I was looking forward to the view of the chief city of the followers of Zair. I expected — looking back, it is foolish, I can see, to expect anything until the reality is there before you, living and real. Sanurkazz had been sited on the narrow neck of land stretching between the inner sea and the smaller dependent sea, the Sea of Marshes, which formed a kind of blunt arrowhead, the two sharp faces washed by the waters and the base walled off by a girdling wall of six curtains.
Even as they reached the poop the galley rolled and squiggled in her snakelike fashion. To a groaning of timbers and sheets of spray flying inboard the starboard rudder snapped across. Lilac Birdlurched to starboard, her larboard rudder almost out of the water. She spun around and water and wind smote her without mercy. Zenkiren had been standing near me, shouting to his men. As his ship lurched it caught him unexpectedly so that he staggered, tottered across the deck, and hit his head hard against the break of the poop.
He hunched his shoulders as we walked toward the brick works, surrounded by slaves and workers. I was aware that I knew little of the inner conspiracies that must fester continually in a situation like this. There must be gangs, clans, sects, mobsters and criminals, perverts and blackmailers, by the thousand in these sinks. The person who wished to lead this latest revolt was a Fristle, one called Follon. I had no love for Fristles. They were not true men. They had two arms and two legs, true; but their faces were like those of cats, bewhiskered, furred, slit-eyed, and fang-mouthed.