The Yoders’ Home
Forest West of Selma
i Sixth Horse Port House
Council of Tribes
joined the generals of the Council of Tribes in their habrit when they
returned to the capital. Inside,
everyone took their respective places around the edge of the habrit,
sitting cross-legged on floor mats -- the generals in front, the
chieftains to the left, the ministers of state to the right, and a few
select commanders scattered around.
The discussion opened with a question from General Cohu.
“Well General Araknik, you work too efficiently.
You finished off the Samar before the month of the hunt and we
still have two more months of good fighting weather left.
So, what are we going to do next?”
permissible and expected pause of deep thought ensued.
Consus, leader of the rarely
failing Shadow Knights under Araknik’s command replied first. “I hear reports of rich caravans coming out of Andril
Region to the Northwest.”
nodded. A foul grimace
overtook his face revealing a clinical example of gingivitis on the
rampage. “We have done
nicely with their King Leonid, haven’t we.
They think they were so safe behind him.
He drew them together and now that he is gone they will break
into bite-sized pieces. They
are like ants beneath my feet. Every
time I look down, there is another one scurrying out into immediate
death. That is the land we
lost in the days of your fathers.”
the traditional pause, uncomfortable for the new generals, but welcomed
by the older chieftains. A
gust of desert wind kicked up the flap of the tent entrance and sent a
cold chill up everyone’s spine. It
brought with it the cool, moist scent of a summer thunderstorm.
Thunderstorms came frequently to the plains at this high altitude
... frequently and suddenly. Much
folklore surrounded these outbursts of nature’s fury, sometimes
interpreted as an omen portending good fortune in battle or prophecy of
calamity to come. Either
way, on the open plains, there was no where to hide.
Lightening strikes were a frequent cause of death among the high
desert tribes, and Araknik even had a prohibition against bathing or
fishing during a thunderstorm in his code of laws.
Fishing was possible since the Erdi desert wasn’t a great
expanse of rolling sand dunes, but a high altitude, arid stretch of land
with sparse vegetation, two rivers, and many branching wadies -- rivers
that only filled during the wet season.