The punishment for minor infractions during Athary’s twice-yearly voyage was to spend a night confined to the smallest wooden lifeboat, being towed on a line let far, far out behind the armor-bottomed ship. With the Great Serpents in the depths, visible by day as a mass of shifting shadow and by night as a writhing bioluminescence, most people feared a night in the rowboat.
“Feels like being bait on a hook,” Ponna, one of the girls in Athary’s year, said. Her face was green and her voice faint.
All that after enduring a night in the boat only one time, Athary thought with scorn.