Rock, rattle and slam. The sound was the falling gangway of the grand old St. Djack's Pride, the ferry's walkway battered Radasanth's slate slab dock with elemental acrimony. Seasoned sailors stood back and observed with dutiful concern as the passengers hurried off the moored ferry. A traveller of distant origin was amongst the throng. Gum, the Xangu shaman, sighed dejectedly at the sight of the wretched island metropolis. Smoggied oil lamps were the city's merry amber beauty in its burgeoning economy of industry. Yet for all its rotten progress, the city was still mired with nature's maritime melancholy; rolling rain waved over the island from her coastal waters. A glance back at the sea made Gum uneasy. The Coronian navy's flotilla loomed heavy on the horizon, a dire indicator of paper thin power in the presence of political unrest.
To his misfortune, Gum was vaguely unaware of the machinations at play. His naivety was not complete, but it was evident in his distinctly foreign appearance. So obvious was his unsuitability for the city that the immigration officer sighed loudly as he saw Gum approach his podium.
"What is the purpose of your visit?"
"I am a religious diplomat. I represent the free people of the Xangu Basin and the gods they worship."
Gum dipped his arthritic digits into a pouch at his waist and revealed a roll of paper sealed and stamped. The immigration official's stern grasp seized the document immediately. After breaking the seal and unrolling the parchment his thin brow folded at the sight of spiraling Xangu glyphs. "I can't read this!" his irritation drew attention. Keen with his narrow eyes, Gum watched the man's senior officer approach with goose stepping severity. "Let me see this," she commanded before she had even reached their location. The woman's uniform bore badges and emblems titled with mottoes written in a long dead language of the ancient elite.
"Next time just call me right away," her tight ponytail and rigid nose punctuated the words.
"Yes, ma'am," his false smile was an affront to her intelligent sensibilities.
Ignoring her minion and his unseemly ineptitude, the superior spoke directly to Gum with a sudden sweet smile, "Senator Fordstein has instructed us to allow you passage. Accept my sincerest apologies, please."
Gum nodded, sullen and solemn.