Saturday, January 24, 2015

The law of the plains, chapter 12

(This is chapter 12 of the Law of the plains. In the previous chapter, the rescue party met the rest of the tribe, only to realize they were somehow tracked by a horde of morlocks that seemingly appeared out of nowhere...)

Contrary to what the people of the besieged cities of Yaghan believed, the Nʉmʉ rarely came into contact with morlocks. Their mobility and the vastness of the plains usually enabled them to stay way clear of trouble. The only time they ever got near the monsters was when they applied the hit and run tactics their ancestors were renowned for in order to destroy smaller packs of morlocks with minimal losses.

But when morlocks came into contact with a settled camp for whatever reason, usually because the scouts had failed, disaster was almost certain. The only warriors that could fight morlocks and win even if they were outnumbered were the legendary Elites from the Battle School of Gond, soldiers that were trained from infancy to fight and use magical Gifts that dwarfed those of normal men. The Nʉmʉ were probably the best warriors of Yaghan, second only to those fabled combatants, but even they had no chance when outnumbered by morlocks. In that situation, the most important thing was to make sure that the band lived on and passed its legacy on to the next generation. That goal trumped everything else, even if it often meant that a lot of people would sacrifice themselves to allow a few to live.
A tribe needed its best hunters to survive winter, so when tragedy was almost certain, they were ordered to flee. Turning their back to their sworn enemies made every Nʉmʉ sick to their stomach, but their duty trumped everything else.

Kanaretah knew this, she knew that she was important and that she needed to find a way to save the assets that were Tabbaquena, Yahneequena and herself… But she did not see how, not with the monsters almost on them. If death was certain, do your best to save the band, she reminded herself.
"Towasi!" she yelled. "Towasi, you need to ride out, tell them to flee, take the hunters and the kids with you and flee! We'll delay them!"

Towasi was not a coward. She had fought morlocks many times before, despite her young age. But that wicked creature perched on a tame kʉtsʉtoya was more horrifying than anything she had ever seen. In a moment of clarity, she realized that even if she fled, her chances to make it out alive were slim at best. So she ordered her horse to turn around and galloped back towards the caravan. She was weeping as she rode, for she knew her friends were dead.

Kanaretah felt a slight relief. The girl would make it, maybe. A small victory, better than nothing when you faced extinction.
"Tabbaquena", she yelled. "You too!"
"We're doomed and you know it!" the old shaman snapped back. "I can buy you time, they'll need you if you survive this!"
He was right. It was the Law of the Plains, she had to survive and make sure the band did too. But she could not do it. She could not leave the sobbing Yahnee or her old friend.
"You're loosing time!" shouted Tabbaquena. He slapped Neraquassi on the rump and ordered him to flee with all the might of his mind. The horse was less stubborn than his rider and leaped in the direction of the rest of the band.
"Yahnee, get up." said the old shaman firmly, turning his attention to the sobbing boy.
The young brave stopped clawing his face and looked at him, jolted awake by the implacable presence of the shaman.
"You are a Nʉmʉ, a Lord of the Plains. Act like one and die like one! Stop shitting yourself and get up!" the shaman said again.
Being called a coward was the worst insult for a warrior, and Yahnee was no exception. Anger swelled in him and it brushed his fear aside.
He yelled his rage and frustration, vomited and shakily jumped back on Wakaree.

"I'm sorry old friend", he softly  said to his horse. "Tonight, we are meeting the Great Spirit."
Wakaree did not really understand the concept; only one thing was clear for him. He would go anywhere with his brother, even if it meant running towards those foul beasts that smelled like death and corruption.
"Wakaree and brother Yahnee hunt. Together. Happy." said the horse.
"Yes, together" said Yahnee with a sad smile.

Head held high, together, they started towards the horde, towards a worthy death.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Hey, don't be shy! Leave a comment, tell me what you liked, what you didn't like, and tell me your name :) I won't bite!