Prota 28
Prota 28

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Prota 28
The Compass

Captain Yorgo carefully pulled out the squared box from a satchel that fit in the palm of his hands. It was made of ebony with scattered engravings on all six sides, consisting of red shapes and letters. It opened by a pin latch made of white ivory in the front with a rusted bronze hinge at the back. Inside sat a round polished plate of bronze with carved markings of an inner and an outer circle. The inner circle remained flush and smooth while the outer circle had a grid of thirty-two squares circling entirely around it. Only four of the squares had unique letters engraved on each; the top center, the bottom center, the far left, and the far right, representing the four cardinal points of north, south, east, and west. Inside the top lid hung a small but heavy ladle made of lodestone. It was smooth with great curvature and appeared polished like the bronze plate below. It clung on by a tight strap made of reddened silk which was nailed into the center of the inner lid. Once removed, a cluster of engravings appeared directly behind it, bordered exactly as the shape of the ladle. They were of stars, letters, lines, and shapes which all intersected together.

Captain Yorgo laid the box on the flattest surface he could find on the moistened soil in the forest. He then placed the ladle in the middle of the plate and watched it spin on its own for several seconds until it rested still in one motionless place. The handle of the ladle always pointed south, allowing him to be guided based on the four cardinal points. After reading the directions, he placed the ladle back into the strap and closed the lid. He then propped his hunted calf over his shoulders and made his way through the dense fog that covered the forest and shielded the sun.

Yorgo was regarded to be the most seasoned sailor in all of Draka. He captained the largest fleets and trekked through the longest sails around The Waters for the Metaxis family. He was raised by his grandfather—a student of Abdala who spoke of the relation between people, planets, and stars. Yorgo became one of the first to adapt his teachings into the The Lands and popularize the use of stars in the sky as a map for navigational use.

On his last voyage, Yorgo had come into contact with an undiscovered piece of land and met an old man who spoke of a different tongue but communicated well through body language. He was partly bald on his head but grew a sensationally long white beard and mustache. The old man was not afraid of captain Yorgo like the other natives, but instead, he welcomed him into his home for a ceremonial cup of tea and food offering. The old man took out the ebony box and showed captain Yorgo the content of the plate and ladle. Captain Yorgo became fascinated and thought to be watching magical divination. The old man became greatly pleased with his enthusiasm, and so he gifted captain Yorgo with the box upon his departure back to Draka. Yorgo was tremendously thankful and had kept it in secrecy ever since.

Over many years of studying the mysterious box, Captain Yorgo realized that the ladle always pointed south and that the grid had to have been used for navigational purposes. He started to use it as such and quickly became dependent on it for various activities including hunts, long hikes, and solo sails. He often explored unfamiliar territories and became fearless of getting lost as the box always pointed him in the right direction.

One afternoon, captain Yorgo received a visit from his dear friend, Metaxis the II. Metaxis II explained his plans of building the largest vessel in all of The Waters and wanted only Yorgo to captain the first sail. Captain Yorgo had been retired for years but saw this as an opportunity to mark his final voyage with a great historic accolade. He accepted the offer and told Metaxis II that it would be his final voyage.