By use of the map, you manage to communicate to Reltskan that you'd like to pay Terrville a visit and so you set off.
The swim to Terrville takes about two and a half hours, and Reltskan explains to you that it's the furthest away from where you started.
Eventually, you make it, and slump down onto the ground to catch your breath. Well, you do, anyway. Reltskan starts exploring the village, pausing only to ask at regular intervals if there's anyone still there or if there's been a mass exodus and nobody's told him about it, after all, he was only the one who brought the visitor to offer a home, nobody important, but if anyone was there he'd like to know now, thankyou so very much, if you don't mind.
There's a mental giggle from behind you and a small Salrind bumps you from behind. You slither sideways and lose your grip on Lapis' tail, then panic as you realise you can't breathe anymore...
...something seems to be clawing your face. You jerk awake and see Lapis there, scratching you industriously. When he's satisfied you're awake, he turns and very pointedly sticks his tail in your hand again. Relieved, you grip hold tightly.
How many times have I told you about doing that? Reltskan demands of the two young Salrinds, now giggling helplessly. They're the practical jokers, he explains to you. If it isn't playing that joke on some unsuspecting visitor, it's trading Lapis' favourite food for lumps of coral or something like that. Hey cubs, where's Niadagru?
Over in the main hut, the larger of the Salrinds answers. Hey halfbreed, is it true that person's come to give us a home?
Reltskan glances back over his shoulder as the pair of you swim towards a large coral building.
Maybe, maybe not. But not for you until you're a full adult, Shua.
You suppress a laugh, thinking that to give vent to it could prove fatal if it turns out you're unable to laugh underwater.
A brown male Salrind swims out of the hut to meet you. He has a strange pattern on, well, if he was human, what would be his cheek and you make a mental note to ask Reltskan about it.
Niadagru's the only male Salrind leader, Reltskan says to you.
That's right, and proud of it! Please forgive my errant cubs-sometimes they just don't know how to treat visitors!
Lapis, who has been quiet ever since entering Terrville, suddenly chirps up impudently.
He put sand in my sleeping area! Niadagru's as big a prankster as his cubs!
Uh...I thought that was the whole idea, Reltskan says. Your sleeping area is nothing BUT sand!
Not dry sand! Sea sand. Cold and green and slimy and icky icky wet!
Niadagru appears embarrassed.
Perhaps I did give in to a momentary whim. I really can't remember...it was so long ago...
It was last week!
Yes, thankyou, Lapis, Reltskan says irritably. That'll do. Anyway, as I was saying, Niadagru, this person is offering your subjects a place in their home.
Really? That's great! That's fantastic! That's- A huge mass of bubbles breaks off the Salrind's transmission and he turns. I'm sorry to swim off like this-but it appears my cubs have planted a small airclam. I have to go and see what damage has been caused. Talk to Ashelenda at the Portals if you want to give one of us a home!
If he's clearing up after an airclam, Reltskan says, he'll be all day.
You frown, trying to indicate confusion. It seems to work.
An airclam is a clam that goes to the surface every two to three days for air, the halfbreed explains. It then takes one huge gulp and stores it. There's so much in there that if you open it or cause it to open by knocking it, the effect is something similar to that of placing a small landmine underwater, although nothing as destructive, of course.
You nod that you understand, then indicate your cheek and the Salrind over the sandrise.
That's just the i.t., Reltskan says dismissively. Every Salrind has one, even the ones at the Portals. It's a way of telling which area they're from.
Obviously unwilling to say more, he pulls out the map and you swim over to choose your next destination.
Gold Tower-The gold and highest ranking Salrinds
Reef Castle-More impressive than Gold Tower, Reef Castle is home to the second highest ranking Salrinds, the silvers.
Coral Caves-Home to the third highest rank, the black Salrinds.
Ganir Town-The living area of red Salrinds and fourth rankings
Lapisville-Home of the blue Salrinds
Perdorit Village-Home of the green Salrinds, lowest ranking.
Portals-Houses those responsible for taking care of the portals, the 'misc' Salrinds. These don't have any rank.