Erken the Fisherman
Erken is the headman of Shatkal village located 5-10 versts upstream from Udyn. He is somewhere between middle and old age, and is generally of a good-natured and tolerant disposition. He welcomed Yuri Barolov and Lokan into his house (after the village children were rude to them), plied them with food and drink, and invited other village notables to meet them. He offered to buy the cow they were trying to sell, and though he offered them an insufficient price for it, he admitted that they could get a better deal for it in the city. Erken also provided the pair with useful information after a long and difficult journey. He told them that the raiders had passed the place 10 days prior with captives, and that they continued to Udyn, which is very nearby. He also revealed that people espousing different religions lived peacefully alongside one another in Udyn, and that Gaalites had their own quarter there. And he told them a bit about the history of the city. It had been founded centuries ago by the Kuz', and its rulers adopted the Bahite faith long ago. The city was destroyed by the Kochmaki over a century ago, but has since bounced back, and again became a burgeoning metropolis owing to the riverine trade. Erken appeared to be a bit put off by the fact that the pair sneaked their companions Alden and Fedor into his house in the middle of the night, and begged off having breakfast with them. Erken later appears when the party relocates from Udyn to Shatkal. He is much less hospitable and more formal this time around, but after he is paid, he allows Zinovii's entourage to sleep in his house (though he does not feed them). Later, when Yuri asks him how he can help the villagers, he puts him to work fixing the village fence (and tells him that there are boats that need to be tarred). Later that night, Zinovii had Lokan convince Erken to give them a boat in exchange for their horses, because they feared the raiders were coming for them. Erken remains in the fishing village. He appears in Chapters 7, 13, 14, and 15.