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Boatfinder was a warrior, shaman, and guide of a clan of the Anibar Tribe, who inhabited the Olphara Forest to the west of the Kokakal Sea and Seven Cities.[1]

Samar Dev described him and the other Anibar as small, wiry men whose murky-colored skin was covered in ritual scarring. Their lower jaws and upper lips were covered in some grey substance that made it appear as though they were bearded, while their dark eyes were surrounded by light blue and grey colored elongated circles. They wore tanned hides and had strips of fur fastened around the upper arms. Armed with spears, axes and knives, they also wore, as ornament, disks of hammered copper, seemingly meant to show the phases of the moon.

Boatfinder himself wore a necklace made from the vertebrae of a large fish from which dangled a black copper disk encircled by gold reminiscent of a total eclipse.[2]

In The BonehuntersEdit

Karsa Orlong and Samar Dev, having planned an extended journey westward from Ugarat in Seven Cities,[3] eventually found themselves crossing a land of evergreen forests, exposed bedrock, and scattered lakes to the west of Yath Alban.[4]

Boatfinder, leading a group of Anibar, the indigenous people of the area, approached Karsa and Samar - who noticed them before Karsa did. He proceeded to kneel before Karsa, holding out, as a gift, a 'courage brand' (i.e., the penis bone) of a great male bhederin. After being told by Karsa to stand up and to give his name, Boatfinder did so and then told Karsa, whom he called 'Deliverer of Destruction', that his coming had been foretold and that he was needed to help the Anibar clans deal with an ongoing invasion of foreigners (whom Boatfinder called 'revenants'), who had arrived by ship and who had been preying on the Anibar clans to the north, killing many kin of Boatfinder and of his clan members. He estimated that there were about 240 of the invaders involved, who seemingly killed out of anger only and who were impossible to appease. Karsa agreed to help the Anibar clans with these foreigners, but insisted that Boatfinder, himself, be their guide and that they leave for the north immediately - demands to which the Anibar leader reluctantly agreed.[5]

On the long, difficult trek north, Boatfinder told Samar Dev about the trail markings that he was using to guide their journey, as well as about the legends, customs and history of the Anibar, which included information about the Iron Prophet, King Iskar Jarak, whom the Anibar clans deeply revered.[6]

Along the way, Boatfinder, Karsa and Samar came across the remains of a rough camp site on a lake, where six Anibar had been slain by killers who had inflicted indiscriminate violence on the people there, as well as on a nearby holy site - all of which deeply disturbed Boatfinder.[7]

He experienced an even greater blow, further down the trail, when the group came upon the body of Stonefinder, someone who Boatfinder was not only kin to, but who had also been a personal friend of his, and who had clearly been tortured and toyed with before being left for dead. The perpetrators were still nearby and the group quickly found them - about fifty tall grey-skinned warriors - who were in the process of gruesomely torturing even more Anibar prisoners. Karsa waded into them with his great sword, slaying as many of the 'grey-skins' that he could.[8]

Finally, the time came for Boatfinder to stay and for Karsa Orlong and Samar Dev to leave, which they did by traveling by ship to their next destination.[9] After a time, however, Samar found herself sometimes wishing that she had stayed behind with Boatfinder, rather than having accompanied Karsa Orlong on the next leg of his life-long quest.[10]

QuoteEdit

"[The invaders] come in great ships, grey-winged, and set out into the forest in hunts (i.e., groups of twelve). They are driven by anger, yet nothing we seek to do appeases that anger. We do not know what we do to offend them so."
―Boatfinder speaking to Karsa Orlong[src]

Notes and referencesEdit