Amun and Ptah travel to the 12th Century, looking for Erish
Amun and Ptah sat at the bow of a long flat river-boat with five other men. According to their clothing and conversation, one was a priest, the other four, stone-workers. From his pale skin and large head, Amun assumed the priest was hybrid.
They hid their space ship in a sunken ravine, near the mouth of a cave, south-east of the city. The flooded river was wide, muddy, full of uprooted trees, torn branches, and drowned live stock. Two human bodies floated by an hour earlier, entwined in rope, among the remains of a mangled boat. The masons were talkative.
“The King is leaving the island,” the first mason said.
“Mark my words, the flood was brought by God,” the second one said.
“Maybe God does not approve of Louis,” another one laughed.
“Hold your tongue,” the Priest said, giving him a sharp look. “Do not speak disrespectfully.”
The stone worker looked down at the wooden flooring, afraid to speak. Another one examined Amun and Ptah closely.
The priest looked at the face of the man closest to him, and continued, “Our King is the most holy, the most Christian King. Our Savior told us he would not bring another flood. These fetid waters are the work of the Devil.”
The words of the priest frightened them. They were silent for the next hour.
At last, one of them looked at Amun and Ptah, “And you, you don’t look like farmers.” They all laughed.
As was common at this time, the workmen did not bathe. Fungus and disease left dark markings, the face of one scarred from the pox. Amun, Ptah and the priest however, were clean and manicured.
The priest looked at Amun suspiciously. “A Spanish Moor, by appearance,” he asserted.
Amun, prepared for such an accusation, pulled the medallion bearing a crucifix from under his vest, showing it to the men. “I am from Granada,” he stated, affecting a Spanish accent. “but no Saracen. I come to study at the Cloisters.”
The stone-workers laughed. “I hope you are part fish,” the one said to him, showing brown, ruined teeth. “The Cloisters are waist high in river water.” He slapped his thigh with laughter.
“I come to study with Pérotin,” Amun continued.
The men grew solemn again, hearing the name of a great man.
“Have you letters of introduction?” the priest asked, sneering.
Amun shook his head, “I do not.”
The priest looked him and Ptah up and down, examining their clothing, hair, and skin. “Your noble bearing will carry you far, Spaniards.” He looked towards the right, at the oarsman guiding the boat. Then back at Amun. “I have friends at the Cloisters.” He cleared his throat, “I could be persuaded to introduce you. What is your name?”
Amun opened his hand, placing it on his chest and bowing slightly, “I am Omarr de Granada,” he explained. Gesturing to Ptah, he continued, “and, Pedro, my man servant.”
“De Granada?” the priest asked. “News reaches us that all Christians have fled regions of Southern Iberia.”
Amun nodded. “My family has removed to Morocco.” He looked at the floor of the boat solemnly, then back into the priest’s pale face. “But, I am determined to make my way in the most Christian city of Paris.”
The priest smiled, looking at the trunk bound with leather straps with a wheel attached at one end. “You have no horses? No wagons?”
“A ferry capsized south of here. It carried our belongings and horses. This is all we have,” Amun responded.
The priest looked out at the brown expanse of river, calculating. Bringing his hands together he continued, “I will be happy to make introductions for you. You will come with me to the Priory. You may stay until you have secured lodgings.”