- Jun 13, 2020
True stories from the road
"Travel by cover of night"
"Never kill the whole herd, or risk starving tomorrow"
"Civilization is the flame that devour Nave"
"Use the whole of the wisent"
"Shoot the horse and the rider turn coward"
"Blessed is he who put durable weapons in circulation"
Liber Cloacas, Verba Avunculi Al
I left in the darkest hour of night, as Uncle Al commanded.
The purpose was to hunt wisents for materials in the western steppes.
With no incident I reached the western steppes. Instead of the numerous Wisents herds I expected, there was only houses and strongholds. Even small towns and a keep. But no wisent herds.
Did the people who settled here not know? Or did they not care?
Uncle Al said; Never kill the whole herd, or risk starving tomorrow. Is this what has happened?
For hours I travelled the steppes, no sign of wisents. When I neared Amaruk Nuur I found a single adult wisent and its young one. Remembering The Words, I let it live.
Are the western steppe settlers responsible for this mass murder of wisents?
Finally, on the west side of Amaruk Nurr I found a small herd, struggling to live. I took a few of them and left the rest. Travelling in a eastward halfcircle I saw a single wisent. I allowed it to pass in peace and turned west. A heavily armored bowrider passed me, in pursuit of the single wisent??
Should I protect the single surviving wisent? Great great grandfather Uncle Al would want me to…. No, not today, not prepared for combat and not in the mood. Instead I went for the hillside and prepared to defend. But the rider didn’t come back.
A mistake and Nave would punish me. But I did not know at that time.
Crossing the hills between Meduli Plains and Western Steppe I saw a group of ten mounted men and women. I passed but they pursued. Within a few seconds my horse was down with many arrows in it. Landing on my feet, drew the bow and started shooting in accordance with the Words of Uncle Al.
One rider retreated and some dismounted. I drew the axe and prepared to sell my life at a cost.
“No No, it’s a friend” someone shouted. A platearmor weaing man came running, Vint of Nightmare.
I remembered the name. Brother Mullius had made deal with him. A hard negotiation, instead of robbing us of gear they could not use, we would pay them a steel weapon of choice for every second time they could have robbed us. A good deal, if we made it with our goods. I didn’t, but a deal is a deal. We greeted and I acknowledge the deal. They left. My horse lay dead and I could only carry a fraction of the leather, meat and wool. What a loss, what a waste. Nave is crying.
On foot, I was easy prey for a pack of five wolves. Or so they thought, them being mere animals. While chopping them up a rider named Therawin healed me. He belonged to one of the many vigilante groups patrolling the Tindrem area. He said; what are you doing, this area is dangerous. I explained and he told me that wild horses were nearby, and then he set off to show me. Afraid of being impolite, I followed him, even though I knew he was going toward a horse herd far away, not the nearest one. Maybe he was lost. But Uncle Al always said to treat people with respect and never decline a helping hand.
Finally I came to the herd at the Tindrem orchards. Got a horse and made it back to Tindrem. Covered in wolf blood, a tear in the eye for all the dead wisents and wolves whose carcass lay rotting and unused.
I think, finally I understand what Uncle Al meant when he talked of civilization.
Next time, I will defend the last wisent of the herd.
Edit: journal entry made by Nullius the Cook.