The Taldan Claim
Amateur astrologer and teller of tall tales
“Imagine me: a baby in a longboat, naked under the stars, gently drifting into port. Around my neck a worn thread with a tiny bronze scroll-case. Inside, a tightly rolled scrap of parchment, with a text so small and so impossibly cramped together that the page looked black, at first.
“I’ve come to believe that the script tells the story of my life, beginning to end. If only I could read it.
“But—back to the boat. I don’t know what happened to the ship that launched it. But, the Osirians who found me told me there were signs that at least one other had been on the longboat with me: the remains of a turtle, knucklebone dice, a fishing knife stuck in a plank.
“They said that a hundred years ago, on that very night, eight sailors, similarly adrift, delirious and dying from thirst, shot and ate a shearwater, a shearwater that was guiding them home—and they were cursed.
“Some hexed me, they say, and said I must be cast back to drift at sea, that the ghosts of the eight would soon realize they had missed a soul and come to claim any and all who harbored me.
“Others—thankfully—said no. I was safe now, because the one thing the ghostly eight cannot do is come home.
“And, that, my friends, is how I ended up in Osirion.”