Per'dra wanted to cry out, to roar like a wounded mountain lion, but she dared not do so in front of the others. Someone needed to be strong in the midst of this sudden crisis, and it might as well be her. After all, indirectly, she was the one who had gotten the others into this mess! Purge or no Purge, the Bard had been summoned by V'toryv, and it was for this reason they were sailing down the Auris River instead of one of the other Seven Snakes of the Riault.
That reminded her of something: "Wait! We need to check Oleg's lantern," she exclaimed. "If its flame still glows golden, then we're still on the Auris." Gazing down at the dead ferryman, she whispered, "Rest in peace, Oleg. You've gotten us this far, and it's up to us to continue the journey now. Thank you for helping us escape the Purge, and may you find solace in the afterlife." Finishing her speech--and ignoring Vakarr and his comment--she lay her hand over Oleg's lifeless heart, bowed her head, and then raised his lantern:
"Oh, no!" The flame, which had once been the color of lemons, was now blue-black. "We've gone off course, and are now on the Cherna!" If Oleg would have been alive, he would have foreseen the treacherous part of the Auris called the Intertwining of the Snakes. It was highly difficult to navigate, and local folklore said that the gods had done this in order to encourage harmony among the races of Sazhen'. The Intertwining of the Snakes was a popular meeting (and mating) place in early fall. However, it was not that time of year. Thus, that part of the Auris flowed silently on, resting in preparation for the vast number of people that would journey there to find their life mate.
Oleg would have known how to traverse the rapids, avoid shallow water, and find the Auris again. Since he was dead, however, he missed that chance...
Per'dra thought she heard someone on the ferry mutter a word that started with S-H and end with T, but she wasn't sure. Shaking her head, she said:
"The Dark Elves hate all other races. If the Dwarves are isolationists, then the Dark Elves are conquerors! However, they make their plans in secret. I hear that they torture prisoners, so we'll have to be careful while we're lost..."