Arkania Online - Parkauki

The only town next to Enqui is Parkauki, a settlement of houseboats moored together on Brack. Here live figures who have been banished elsewhere and are building a new life among their own kind. The customs are rough, but they have come to terms with the Thorwalers in Enqui: they leave Parkauki alone as long as it warns if the orcs show up.

Around noon they reached a strange place. At first the two land-dwellers thought they had reached an island, because there were huts and masts. In fact, they had arrived at the floating city of Parkauki. The huts stood on boats or other rafts, almost all of which were moored together. It was like an ordinary village here.

Cooking fires erupted, people ran over footbridges, chatted or dozed. As Yassi concluded from a casual comment by Taros, many people still slept off their intoxication there. The raftsman also forbade them to look too closely: “You know, that’s what appeals to them. Then they throw rubbish at us, or even swarm out in their little boats to molest us.” The prominent eyebrows drew together at this concern.

“Who are they?”

“A godsforsaken gang you don’t want to meet.” Taro spat in the water. “Apostate initiates, escaped convicts, expelled black magicians, terminal drunks and lepers. I heard a boat full of Boroni landed there too, willing to share their fate with the wretched to snatch from the Nameless. They probably came from far away, the Lowangen order of the Noionites. Sometimes we transport food and clothing for them. If the Boron priests didn’t take pity on them, most of the inhabitants would starve or freeze to death. The pack will stop at nothing. They don’t mind an occasional raid, and then they rage worse than the orcs. I’m always glad when we’re past Parkauki.”

The young people watched the ’floating city’ with big eyes. They were not deterred; on the contrary, they fiddled with the parkauki-facing side of the raft, hoping to see something that would do justice to the rafter’s dramatic description. But all they saw were shabby figures in tattered clothes.

Though they drifted a safe distance away, Starna could watch one of her people lift a tankard to his lips and sip from it in long sips. His gait was unsteady. The rafts left a wave in which the front dwellings also swayed slightly. The Nivese staggered a step forward and then fell, tumbling, toward the water. He just managed to catch himself on a strut and triumphantly waved his mug. Or was this a greeting to Starna, whose red hair betrayed her origins?

Why was he here alone? Nobody lives well without a clan, the Nivesian girl thought and couldn’t take her eyes off the lonely figure that reminded her of her fate.

Arguably one of the region’s strangest settlements, Parkauki is made up of dozens of moored houseboats bobbing on Brack, a lake in the Brinasker Marshes. Parkauki can only be reached by boat. The inhabitants are of a special kind: exiles, lunatics, alcohol addicts and other people who are not welcome in other places live here, but have joined forces in Parkauki to form a community of convenience.

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Tags: sea, water, lake, night, Parkauki, ship