Post by Aguila Saber on Aug 26, 2008 16:08:39 GMT -5
Five years ago, Telchos desert, The Wedding (part 4)
“It’s not hard,” Esperanza says.
“It is too hard,” Aguila says. “Look at the tables.”
“It is easy for me,” Esperanza says.
Aguila's disbelief is written over her face. “You can’t be serious. Have you had too much wine?”
“I’m good at riddles. It’s easy,” Esperanza persists.
“It seems you will get your chance to shine then. Seems your comrade to the right is about to ask you about it,” Aguila says.
“You think I should?” Esperanza asks.
“I think the wedding will become a wrestling arena if you don’t,” Aguila answers.
“We can’t have that can we?” Esperanza says.
Shortly afterwards Esperanza whispers the answer back to the person on her right and the answer travels all the way back to the female Reciter of the ‘Arena Roja’ tribe.
She stares at her male counterpart in the ‘Pies del Camello’ tribe and says: “candle”
The Reciter bows and gives her a smile but to Aguila’s mind he’s looking disappointed that the riddle was successfully answered, it would seem that the female Reciter catches the same expression she does, for she says. “It would seem you want a riddle worthy of your intellect. Very well, so be it. I’ll ask you one. So listen well to my riddle:”
I saw her where she never was,
I saw her where she could not be.
Yet within this place,
I saw a wavering face,
It stared back at me.
Aguila’s stomach churned when the riddle was told. At least she is at a total loss. Esperanza however looks confident.
“You know the answer to this one too?” Aguila asks.
Aguila looks around. It so happens that she is on the ‘Pies del Camello’ side, while Esperanza is on the ‘Arena Roja’ side. This means she will not be able to ask the answer from her as this would be a breach of the protocol.
Aguila watches tension grow in the ‘Pies del Camello’ tribe, it is apparent that no one can answer the riddle.
“Look at this,” Esperanza says scattering Aguila’s thoughts.
To be continued.
Post by Aguila Saber on Aug 28, 2008 15:38:56 GMT -5
Five years ago, Telchos desert, The Wedding (part 5)
Esperanza held up Aguila’s goblet with water before her slowly moving the glass before here and below her face. “See something?”
“A water goblet. My water goblet,” Aguila answers.
“Anything else?” Esperanza persists.
Aguila looks at the goblet and sees her own face stare back at her. She jumps back in the chair. Esperanza puts down the glass.
“What was that about?” Aguila asks.
Yet within this place,
I saw a wavering face,
It stared back at me.
Aguila gulps, but realizes that this is just what had happened to her. She musters a smile and leans over to her left attracting the attention of the tribe member by her side. They exchange a few whispers then finally he nods and passes on the answers.
“Where did you learn to solve riddles?” Aguila asks Esperanza.
“My life was sheltered. Playing with words and making myself presentable was my main pass-times,” Esperanza answers.
“Do you think you could teach me some of those tricks?” Aguila asks.
“You mean playing with words?” Esperanza asks.
“Well, I guess I meant that. Though I wouldn’t pass up a few tips on looking presentable either,” Aguila says.
“I’ll see what I can do for you, but you are a difficult case,” Esperanza says.
“In return I’ll see what I can do for you in regards to camel riding,” Aguila responds.
The whispered answer had reached the Reciter in the ‘Pies del Camello’ tribe and he defiantly answers: “A reflection in water”.
The two Reciters bow away and for a few minutes calm return to the wedding. Aguila and Esperanza on their side-table discuss their exploits. Unfortunately, the calm is temporary. Ten minutes later when the two Reciters return to their tables, the drunk defender in the ‘Pies del Camello’ walks up to the Reciter in the ‘Arena Roja’ tribe and calls her a dim-witted bitch. It is not a smart move. Moments later the ‘Arena Roja’ tribe rise as one, including the groom’ and attacks the defender with their fists. At first there is no response from the ‘Pies del Camello’, since they reckon that the defender has brought this onto himself. But then the drunk defender in the ‘Arena Roja’ tribe passes a comment on the bride and denounces her as an “unclean whore”. The effects of these words are immediate, and the ‘Pies del Camello’ tribe rise as one from their seat intending to teach the Defender of the ‘Arena Roja’ tribe a lesson. Moments later the wedding has deteriorated into an all-out wrestling bout between the tribes.
On their side Esperanza and Aguila takes a few steps back and try to stay out of the melee. “This is madness,” Esperanza cries. “Isn’t there something you can do Aguila?”
To be continued.
Post by Aguila Saber on Aug 31, 2008 5:00:01 GMT -5
Five years ago, Telchos desert, The Wedding (part 6)
Aguila surveys the wrestling and boxing match the wedding has become. She would gladly do something to calm all these hotheads down, but she doesn’t know what.
“In Lunarlia we would have fetched some buckets of water to cool them down,” Esperanza says. “What a stupid idea to start a fight in the desert!”
Aguila’s eyes feel on her drum which she had tucked away from her. So far her training was far from complete as she had mastered but one of the compelling rhythms. She stares before her, but perhaps that is exactly the rhythm which is needed here. Aguila sits down and places the drum between her legs.
“Esperanza, don’t let anyone stop me from playing,” Aguila says as she stars beating the drum.
Esperanza arms herself with a broom and makes ready to obey the command. She feels something in her legs. It’s a catchy rhythm that her friend plays. Soon she swirls around in circles pausing only to spear a tribe member who tried to get to close to her friend.
Esperanza notices that many others in the room are busy dancing around as well. The music has attracted the attention of some of the high tribe members below and they are staring at her and Aguila with frowning faces.
Two of the members of the ‘Pies del Camello’ tribe step forward but Sofia stops them dead in their tracks and orders them to dance instead. They look at her in disbelief but Sofia’s angry face tells them that they had best follow the order. Soon afterwards three members of the ‘Arena Roja’ tribe try to do the same but they are ordered by their leader to attend to the groom instead who is badly injured.
Esperanza watches Aguila beat the drum. She has a fanatical expression on her face and she beats the drum as if her life depended on it, or perhaps even as if the drum is her life. More and more of the gathered tribes are drawn into the dance, and Aguila shows no inclination to stop beating the drum. In the end Esperanza collapses to the floor in exhaustion and then falls asleep.
Aguila does not stop playing until most of those gathered has followed Esperanza’s example and the remaining tribe members are too tired to continue the fight which had started before. Aguila suddenly stops beating the drum. At that point she collapses in a heap on the floor and drift off to sleep.
The wedding is at an end. However, despite Aguila’s and Esperanza’s efforts the wedding led many things to happen. Because of the drunkenness and inappropriate behaviour during the wedding the Defenders of the ‘Arena Roja’ Tribe was stripped of his title and reverted to the lowest rank in the tribe; forbidden to ever advance within his tribe. The Reciter of the ‘Pies del Camello’ tribe was found guilty of trying to ruin the wedding and is severely punished for it.
However, blood was spilt during the wedding. The groom, the Defender of the ‘Pies del Camello’ tribe and another two influential tribe member; one in each tribe, had been killed during the savage brawl. Their families required tribute in blood and then all the other families did the same.
There was an attempt to negotiate but it quickly fell apart, mainly due to the fact that the groom was among the dead. Therefore, the wedding gives rise to a Bloodfeud between the two tribes. A feud which only the strongest tribe will survive.
To be continued.
Post by Aguila Saber on Sept 4, 2008 14:12:26 GMT -5
Madera de Piedra, part 1.
After the feud had started there was a time of suspense and waiting. Training in weapons was increased, and scouts were, more often than not, doubled. The first few months the regular routes the tribes took through the deserts of Telchos led them further away from each other.
Thus, the feud did not start with an all-out war but it was clear that the feud was there. Aguila could see it written on the faces of almost every member in Sofia’s tribe.
Aguila had talked to Sofia what the feud would mean to her and Esperanza. Sofia had explained that it was a blood feud. The two of you should be safe, since you do not belong to her tribe.
“Did you see these events when you read my future?” Aguila had found herself asking.
“There were signs of much blood shed, but no we did not see this specifically,” Sofia had replied. “Still, should we believe the prophecy it will eventually be our tribe that wins this conflict.”
“How do you mean?”
“There were signs that hinted that I was still alive in ten years time to tell you the rest of the prophecy,” Sofia said. “It is quite unlikely this feud will last that long.”
Aguila considered her words. The feuding tribes were small, no more than a hundred people all in all and that was when counting those who were elsewhere. Aguila nodded.
The first more physical signs of the conflict came after four months. The initial skirmishes between the tribes ended up decisively in favour of the Arena Rojo. The ‘Pies del Camello’ tribe lost two of their scouts in missions, while the Arena Rojo tribes manages to sabotage some of the livestock and get away to tell the tale.
This did not help how the ‘Pies del Camello’ tribe viewed Esperanza and Aguila would notice that she was trying to avoid the tribesmen and their looks, and was aiming to spend more time with her instead.
Aguila saw a certain wisdom in this, and by now Aguila had managed to train Esperanza sufficiently for her to handle most dangers. With the Feud hanging like a dark cloud over their heads, Ramon had now much less time to spend with Aguila.
Aguila thought things over and came up with a plan to defuse the situation in the tribe. She asked Esperanza if she would like to travel with her on an excursion to ‘Madera de Piedra’ which the tribe would travel closely by. Esperanza was enthusiastic about it and so Aguila went to Sofia to ask her permission to borrow Esperanza from her tribe for a few weeks.
Sofia was reluctant and it seemed to that Aguila would not get her to release Esperanza in her custody, since it was a matter of honour to her tribe. However, chance had Ramon had entered their tent to inform Sofia that the Arena Rojo tribe won another skirmish against the trap with one dead and two severely wounded in the ‘Pies del Camello’ tribe.
Aguila had asked Ramon what he thought.
“Esperanza is not safe with us any more. Too many of our tribe is speaking about her name and their mood is worsening. If the decision would be mine I’d say: ‘Take her with you with our tribe’s blessing.’”
Ramon’s word had shaken Sofia and so she relented and gave Aguila permission to take Esperanza away as long as she promised that she would guard her with her life. Sofia also warned Aguila that she could not return with honour to her tribe if Esperanza died. Aguila nodded. She had expected that, but it was a risk she was willing to take.
To be continued
Post by Aguila Saber on Sept 27, 2008 10:48:46 GMT -5
Madera de Piedra, part 2.
A while later Esperanza and Aguila left Sofia’s tribe. Aguila had taken a fond farewell of the tribesmen. Esperanza on the other hand had wisely kept a low profile and gathered her belongings and had waited for Aguila to say goodbye to the tribesmen.
They had their belongings with them, since this was a longer excursion and they would need to cater for themselves for some time. That said; their belongings were easily carried. The Telchos traverse the desert carrying very little, and the Lunarlians who had brought Esperanza to the tribe had brought with them little. Aguila was overall excited about the expedition they would embark on, and she noticed that Esperanza seemed excited as well.
They left the tribe a couple of hours ago and are taking a short break in their travel.
“Can you tell me a little more about ‘Madera de Piedra’,” asks Esperanza.
“It’s taboo to many tribes of the desert,” Aguila answers. “Few tribes go there willingly.”
“Why would you want to go there?”
“It’s not a forbidden area to my tribe. A few years ago, a member of my tribe told me a little about it.”
“From your tribe? Was this when you were with the woman called Urraca?”
Aguila nods. “Yes, it was her father that told me.”
“What did he tell you about it?”
“It is a sad and desolate place. It is almost as sterile as the deserts around it.”
Esperanza nods and beckons for Aguila to continue.
“The name means ‘Forest of Stone’ which I was told was an accurate description. It is an area full of petrified trees. Each year the forest passes through several cycles.”
“It changes over the year. The first cycle is the fertile one. Simple plants and bushes grow on the ground. They can survive even in this part of the desert. Legend says that there is water in the small lake which was located in the centre of the forest when the Wise Ones ruled Telchos. During this phase there are also birds and some insects in the deserts, and some of the desert predators make the forest their home.”
“The second phase is the phase of thunder storms. Each year there is a large fire which marks the end of the first phase, and the start of the second. This fire usually starts with a thunderstorm which rolls in over the forest from the Wilderlands. The lightning sets fire to the dry vegetation and it spreads uncontrolled. These storms are often considered cursed since they give off much lightning, yet yield very little rain.”
“Even when there is not a fire the weather becomes too hot and the plants wilt and die. The third phase is called the ashen phase since the forest is mostly covered in a layer of ash during this phase.”
“The fourth and last phase is storms and winds. These come with dry winds from the west and blow away most of the ash from the ground; still some of it remains till the next year.”