As lovely as Cymril seems, its roads aren’t as patrolled as one might think. With that in mind, I hired a guide and bodyguard to see me further east into Kasmir.
By this time, my once-shaved head was growing thick with black hair, accented with some fine clothes donated to me by Khryseis the erotomancer, who took pity on my plight.
Attired thusly, I apparently made an impression upon Dashalla, who must have thought me a Zandir. She offered to guide and protect me as far as Kasir for half the price she normally asked, as long as I shared her bed each and every night.
It is a peculiar custom among the Danuvians to paint their bodies in black and crimson pigments, and I discovered that these pigments are actually juices of various plant life which stain the skin for weeks at a time. I also discovered that the Danuvians (or at least Dashalla) apply these pigments to body parts not normally seen.
Dashalla proved a very competent bodyguard, and an agressive bedmate. When we finally parted company, I had a pronounced limp in my left leg for almost two days.
The constant pain of walking after receiving Dashalla’s attentions further drove home for me the darkness which had entered my life after the All-Seeing Eye turned its gaze from me forever.