Chapter 9: The Crossing of the World, Part I
There was much work to be done in preparation for the voyages of Ermèn, Athalya and Brandyé, and it was some weeks before they were able to make their way to the port of Viura Râ in search of a vessel that would take them hence. Brandyé came to the conclusion that, as high a position as the Sarâthen held in the world, even they were not able to travel on a whim to whatever kingdom took their fancy, or to speak with whichever leaders they desired. (It did not occur to him that the Sarâthen might well be able to do so, but he could not.)
There was much planning to be done, also—planning of where they would go, with whom they would speak, and what they would say. Over the following weeks Brandyé learned much of the world of Erâth, and it was all of it new, and different to him. Deep in his mind he knew that his own experience of the world, remembered or not, was as nothing compared to what he was about to discover; entire lands and countries awaited him, vast oceans to be crossed, mountains to be scaled, and plains to be traversed, and he marveled at what unimaginable wonders he would encounter there. In this regard, he could not wait to be departed, and each day that dawned ached with anticipation.
Yet another part of him, however, remained silent and sad, and it was this part that spoke to him of the mysteries of the world, and that there would soon be far fewer left than ever before. Erâth had, until that point, seemed unimaginably vast, and the thought that they were to cross the entire world from end to end in a matter of months frightened him. It seemed to him almost that the world ought to remain vast, and that they should be able to bridge its farthest corners so easily spoke to him of just how advanced the world of men was here. He knew in his heart that such travel would have been utterly impossible in his past life, and he yearned for a larger world, one in which he was familiar with only a part.