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Since someone set up a thread for sharing saga is on KODP, I figured I would set up a thread for Sagas from Six Ages. I don’t have a complete game yet, but when I do I will be sure to share the saga here.

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Submitted by Shannon on Saturday, August 8, 2020

The Star Dancer Saga

Ancient Lore
The first god we worshiped was Nyalda, the Earth Mother.

Our clan’s earliest Famous Event was when Busenari gave her Milk Gift.

Our worst enemies were the forces of Water.

When the ice came to Nivorah, we chose to ride out, rather than hide under a dome. When we left, we made sure to preserve the secrets of the red-dye insect.

When the First Clan divided, we were the most warlike.

During the Second Migration, we discovered goat herders and adopted them as citizens.

Because the ice was still advancing, after several generations we took what we could and crossed the mountains to the south. We settled along the right bank of an untamed river, finding pastures among clans that had moved to the valley earlier.

We expected life in the valley to be a little easier than it usually was after migrating.

Polanom 5
We began our first full year in our new home, after what some said would be the final migration. It was time to rebuild our relations to our gods and neighbors, and expand our fields and pastures.

We cleared fields and held a ceremony for the Barley Goddess and Earth Mother.

Tempers flaring, Zar Hawk and Four Drum delegations asked us to judge their dumplings, stone-cooked stew, and beef cube sauces. We selected judges who would choose based on merit. Our judges declared all the meals delicious. In the end they decided that the Zar Hawk clan made the best dumplings, while the Four Drum edged them out ever so slightly with their beef cube sauce and stone-cooked stew. This pleased the Four Drums but infuriated the Zar Hawks.

In search of a blessing, we chose to ride to Reladivus, preparing with water from the Black Eel River. To strengthen our ritual we sought the aid of outside priests. Three clan circles said yes, eager to fight the forces of water. We also sought aid from the Wheels. They laughed at this suggestion.

Chorayla saw a blue dragon raging outside the Golden City. Chorayla offered to trade with the dragon. Chorayla drove a hard bargain for her wealth.

The blue dragon returned to the Golden City, but Chorayla was there to confront it. Chorayla seduced the blue dragon. Eventually, she got Arcos to promise to flow only along the path they had traveled together.

The blue dragon returned yet again to the Golden City. Chorayla led the dragon on a chase, diverting it into new banks.

Reladivus thanked Chorayla for putting the Arcos back in its place. He granted us mastery over the Black Eel River.

Cooperating clans would gain protection from the river. Their ritualists smashed jars containing its water. Clans who didn’t come now surely wished they had.

We heard that we might turn the indifference of the Sun Bows into friendship. We threw a feast in their honor. Although they attended our feast, the Sun Bows never truly joined the revelry. We heard some of them say that a gift of cows would have been better.

An earthquake caused a stampede, and some of our cows went missing. We performed a ritual of protection against trolls. The priests said Elmal’s glare would scorch squinting trolls, keeping them far away.

The Seven Stars announced a prize for the clan bringing in the biggest buck. We joined the hunt. Erzina found and killed a huge buck. When the contest was over, we learned that we had placed well, but the Twinsongs had downed yet a bigger stag.

Chorayla convinced the Chov-Ashda clan to create a new trading route.

Chief Steren of the Jade Colts sent word that we could consider a favor paid if we told him about Heirastus of the Twinsongs. We said we didn’t know much. They thanked us for our honesty.

Fenarom convinced the Aryash-Tev clan to create a new trading route.

Chorayla convinced the Dar-Shama clan to create a new trading route.

The spirit animating our kiln helped our crafters make pots and vessels of unusual durability. We celebrated the kiln in song. Other Riders thought our song ridiculous, and mocked us for it.

Both the Nordon and Turent families wanted to adopt a baby they had found floating down the Black Eel River. Polanom adopted the baby into his family, naming him Halakar. Everyone agreed that this was a reasonable compromise.

Fenarom convinced the Ku-Rander clan to create a new trading route.

While exploring our own lands, we found the bones and honor belts of Zar Hawk explorers. We burned the remains and kept the honor belts.

Polanom 6
The oracles heard whispers in a strange language, but could not make out the meaning.

We cleared land for our cows and goats.

Chorayla convinced the Blue Crest clan to create a new trading route.

Our shamans found evil spirits on our land. They wished to acquire new items for their ritual garb, in case they came back. We agreed. Chardenei found that the shamans of the Brighteyes clan had the items they needed. Chardenei traded for them, but it was not the best deal. On their way back, evil spirits assailed them. The new adornments proved potent, helping Chardenei send them howling away.

Herders found an object that might have been a lock of hair from a godlet, or perhaps skin shed by a snake goddess. We sacrificed it to Pela, to help our crops.

Chorayla convinced the Brighteyes clan to create a new trading route.

The Red Feather clan asked us to send worshipers to their Ekarna Four Trader ritual. We agreed. They gained the favor of Ekarna. We shared a fraction of the bounty, aiding our trade.

Neighbors started singing a song about our weakness. We found out it was the chariot drivers of the Aryash-Tev clan who composed it. We decided it was not the right time to attack—yet. People were unhappy about the song, but confident that the circle would do something about it eventually.

Erissa priestesses said it would be a good time to hold a healing festival. We held the festival, spreading healing energy throughout the valley. Erissa rewarded our time of contemplation by blessing all who worshiped her. They would know we had blessed them.

People complained that we should be doing more to survive as the world changed. The council promised we would explore our new surroundings.

A lingering legal dispute between the Erkent and Turent families brought discord to the clan. We threw a feast. This distraction brought cheer to the whole clan, and soon the dispute between families was forgotten.

Uyanradin, one of our elite warriors, attacked the elders ruling against him in a legal case. We demanded a sincere apology. Uyanradin bowed before the elders he’d injured and begged for their forgiveness. His fellow warriors praised the chieftain’s mercy. Other elders complained that council had let him off too lightly.

Chorayla found a pit where dwelt Uldak, an outlawed earth god, who promised us 100 cows in exchange for a human sacrifice. We got out of there, planning to warn other clans against the place. Everyone called Chorayla a sensible leader.

We warned other clans against the outlaw earth god Uldak, but they laughed at our story.

Polanom 7
The omens implied a good year for our hunters.

All seven families worked on each other’s houses for many weeks. People were pleased by the hangings in Nocheli red.

Our shamans said many great spirits were abroad in the land, and it was a good time to seek a blessing from one of them. They called on a snake spirit, granting powers of change.

Chorayla convinced the Fireflower clan to create a new trading route.

The Sun Bows announced a race day. We cemented friendships. We watched the races with the clans we trusted, feeling cheer together.

We decided to ride to Busenari for a blessing.

Erzina found Busenari’s daughters alone in a chilly pasture, threatened by wolves. Erzina sang the cows a calming song. The song that came to her lips was called Let Elmal Worry About What Lays Beyond the Fields. Busenari’s daughters lowed, taking heart from its ancient melody.

Busenari’s daughters scattered in the darkness. Erzina reassured them. Another song came to Erzina’s lips, and it was called Now is the Time To Gather Ourselves. And gather themselves they did.

Ice came to fill the pasture, killing the grass. Erzina led them south, which was the Right Direction. They skirted foes both ancient and new to finally arrive in a green valley.

Erzina led the daughters of Busenari to Gamari, who said their home was now everywhere. They did not seem so pleased to hear this. Erzina took the daughters to Nyalda. The daughters entered their new lives with a curious skittishness.

Busenari thanked Erzina for herding her daughters to their new home.

100 cows appeared on our clan boundaries. They bore no clan markings. Our priestesses said they had descended from the skies.

One of our foragers found a magical clay mask. We kept it for our use.

Chorayla convinced the Jade Colt clan to create a new trading route.

A private delegation of men from the Fireflower clan sought a secret meeting with our men. Our men humored them. Much as we thought, they wanted our men to visit their clan, and tell vacillating elders that we would treat them favorably if they replaced Areni. We told them we would not. They departed, displeased with us. We then sent a party to let their chief know. Areni thanked us for the warning, saying she owed us a favor. In gratitude she gave us 20 cows.

Fireflower emissaries came to discuss the rise of Chaos in the valley. We said the Rams were behind this. They agreed. After all, Orlanth had led the conspiracy and struck the first blow against Emperor Yelm.

Acting as our emissary, Hanzin sought information from the Sun Bows. Their chief, Entars, instructed his elders to tell us the story of Tablets of Hyalor. They told us details of the story we had not known before. Our priests were pleased; this information would help us if we traveled to the Gods War.

Polanom 8
The oracles said we should explore distant lands this year.

We consecrated our clan hall with a sacrifice.

Chorayla convinced the Four Drum clan to create a new trading route.

A delegation from the Red Feather clan came saying we had custody of their horses, and wanting them back. We answered, “We were waiting for you to claim them, my friends.” They thanked us and departed. People said it was best not to risk a fight over a few horses.

Chorayla convinced the Sun Bow clan to create a new trading route.

Fenarom convinced the Red Feather clan to create a new trading route.

Chorayla of the Parnt family found an honor belt dropped by fleeing bandits. We offered to trade the belt to the Blue Crest clan. They thanked us. To its owner, one of their senior nobles, the belt was worth more than the value of its gold. In return we received 18 cows.

We caught Votanki hunting in our lands with dogs. We let them off with a warning. Although they understood only a crude version of the trade tongue, our words instilled fear in them all the same. They thanked us for our clemency with a gift of red gems, which our traders said were worth five cows.

Winter weather turned back our exploration mission.

Our goats fell prey to sickness. We called on the gods for help. Nyalda Earth Mother and Uryarda Goat Mother heard our entreaties, and healed the goat plague.

People complained that the circle made too many changes. The circle said that it struck a balance between old and new. After listing all the decisions council had made recently, people agreed that when it came to change we were neither too eager, or overly stubborn.

Polanom 9
The oracles foretold few arguments within the clan.

We finished the decorations in the clan hall.

River monsters attacked us. We called on Elmal for aid. The monsters fled from the light of his arrows.

The star seers had an opportunity to observe for certain portents. We determined the best timing to sow and reap.

Children of our clan were found performing fire magic, mightier than that of experienced priests. We warned them not to draw on these powers until they were old enough to handle them.

Chorayla convinced the Lo-Arish clan to create a new trading route.

We were raided by the Dwarves. A monstrous metal chest on legs attacked on behalf of the dwarves. Chorayla called on Elmal to strike it down. Beams of solar light blasted from the heavens. They burned the straps of leather that kept the monster’s metal legs moving. It crashed over onto its side, and the device blew into pieces, which slew dwarves and Riders alike. Later we would gather up fragments of valuable iron to add to our coffers. We were driven from the battlefield and looted.

We caught four young huntsmen of the Four Drums poaching. We put the fear of Elmal into them, and let them go. When they had gone, people said the boys did not seem to be as frightened as they ought to have been.

Wild dogs killed 44 of our goats. We called on the gods. The priests spun in our shrine to Elmal, leaping through smoke to Elmal’s side. If the dogs came back, he would pierce them with fiery arrows.

The fire magic children made more trouble, setting a tent ablaze. The circle urged patience from the people. Polanom’s eloquence won them over, quelling fearful hearts.

Chorayla convinced the Seven Stars clan to create a new trading route.

The Seven Stars raided us. They offered to parley before the battle. We exchanged taunts. We were driven from the battlefield and looted.

Polanom 10
We couldn’t help our crafters with Sacred Time rituals.

We held a feast to help inaugurate our clan hall.

Haughty Chov-Ashda charioteers came to trade with us. We negotiated with them. We gave them 15 cows worth of livestock for goods we thought were worth 20 cows. Not long after they left we saw that the goods were really only worth nine cows.

A delegation from our Father Clan, the Shining Blossoms, came from the north seeking Swords. We declined. They said they understood. To find new Swords, one typically had to go to clans who were not doing so well. They were glad that their Descendant Clan did not fit that description. Before the Shining Blossoms departed they joined us in an ancestor ceremony. Our ancestors blessed us.

Chorayla convinced the Twinsong clan to create a new trading route.

Angakon could not persuade the Zar Hawks to create a new trading route.

Yeleni nomads offered to tell us where to go for good spirit hunting, in exchange for some food and gear. We took them up on it. They told us to look for spirits to the north, at the Imther Mountains. We should act fast; spirits seldom congregate in one spot for any great length of time.

Raven blessed Parastak with the opportunity to perform a trick on another clan. We asked him to trick the Ku-Rander clan into forgiving a slight. Shortly afterward we heard that the Ku-Randeri were speaking well of us. Parastak had sprinkled bone powder into their helmets, leaching away their bad memories of us.

Erzina and her party never returned from an expedition to the east.

We were raided by Rams. The Zethmarings were content to harass us with missile fire as we withdrew. They plundered the Joyful Bell.

Hendar’s foraging party was confronted by elves. Hendar ignored them and continued foraging.

The story tent emblem depicting the exodus began to move and sing. We remembered the exodus with a worship ceremony. The rite enhanced our clan magic. Ancestors of the Exodus Generation blessed us with good fortune.

Our clan hall was now completely ready to help focus our ventures.

Polanom 11
The oracles said we should explore distant lands this year.

Ram People paid us an unexpected visit. We could not tell what they wanted. We asked them for a gift. They gave us gifts worth 15 cows, and said something we didn’t quite grasp, about us owing them a favor.

We heard that the Sun Bow clan thought of us as weaklings. We launched an honor raid against them, ambushing their elite warriors. Strong-thewed Sun Bow warriors rebuffed our efforts to strip them of their belts, emboldening them to further mockery.

We sought Elmal’s blessing by riding to the sunpath. To gird our actions on the sunpath we sought the aid of other clans. Four chieftains agreed to send priests, saying we were well prepared to find the sunpath. We also petitioned Wheels for ritual aid. They derided us.

Polanom found Little Yelm on the sunpath, scavenging its stones. Polanom said “This is unworthy of you.” Little Yelm answered by charging with outstretched spear. Polanom fought against Little Yelm as he would against an inferior. Little Yelm didn’t stand a chance. Polanom was right to fight him this way.

Polanom found the Demon Sun laying claim to the sunpath. He greeted him with a magic ward against demons. Shargash was on him before he could complete the manifestation. Polanom fought against Shargash as he would against a monster. He could not force Shargash off the sunpath. He retreated, bruised and bleeding.

Polanom found a host of golden men stripping the sunpath of its stones. Polanom commanded their obedience. They repented of their disorderly actions, pledging fealty to Elmal as their emperor.

The Cold Sun attacked Polanom with a blast of frigid air. Polanom took on this foe head-on. Every time Polanom struck the Cold Sun, part of him froze. Polanom escaped before all of him turned to ice, but the encounter had shorn years from his life.

Elmal thanked Polanom for guarding the sunpath. Elmal let each Sword fight with the strength of two.

The outside war priests who prayed alongside us shot arrows skywards in salute to Polanom. They too would be strengthened by his sunpath journey. Those who did not take part now wished they had.

Chorayla convinced the Erthaling clan to create a new trading route.

The time came to add more fabric to the tent that tells our sacred story. We asked the Blue Crest clan to make it for us, as a gift. They agreed to do it, but to repay a favor.

Chorayla convinced the Genadari clan to create a new trading route.

Fireflower and Red Feather delegations arrived to demand redress after Parastak promised each he would lay a trickster curse on the other. “You assume a promise Parastak never made,” we pointed out. Neither clan could rebut this point. Council praised Raven’s initiative. Parastak said we had responded correctly, and that Raven would reward us with secrets of trickery.

Erzina returned alone from her expedition with a wild story, having aged seven years.

The Blue Crests stole 24 cows.

Unayka of the Red Feather clan showed us a strange-boned horse, and said she was trying to breed winged horses. She wanted to look at our horses to see if any of them had the traits she sought. We asked for knowledge needed to perform her ritual. Unayka said she was still developing the rite and was not sure she had its details correct. But she shared what she knew. Our priestesses said we might use her lore not to breed a flying horse, but to get one from Gamari through a Gods War ritual. She said five horses had the traits she sought. We couldn’t see what she meant. We struck a good deal to sell them. Unayka happily departed.

We learned that many emissaries were visiting the Urkarnings. We sent Chardenei as a diplomat, but she learned nothing.

Hanzin asked the Fireflowers for a blessing. They increased our clan’s ritual magic, and said its benefits would persist for about a year.

Chorayla convinced the Orlmarth clan to create a new trading route.

Polanom 12
The oracles forecast a mild Dark season.

The Turent bloodline asked the clan to celebrate the auspicious birth of a new child, a boy they named Beren. We sacrificed to Elmal in his name. Priests said Elmal had smiled on our sacrifice.

Hendar’s exploratory mission to the northern mountains came upon Rams about to ambush dwarves. We warned the dwarves. At first, the dwarves looked confused, ready to fire their crossbows at us. Then the Rams, seeing that two foes flanked them, fled, and the dwarves understood. Their leader thanked us. “You have protected our home from greedy Rams, who say this mountain belongs to Orlanth, merely because his clouds enshroud it.” They gifted us with iron beads worth seven cows.

Plant folk gathered in our foraging grounds without permission. We asked them to leave. They said we had approached them with proper respect for the greenworld, and would show respect in turn by obeying our absurd notion that land can be owned or controlled. We could not understand how they used Tradetalk to express such odd and lofty thoughts. They also said their presence had blessed our wildlands, which would grow more fruitful for a while.

Angakon could not persuade the Urkarnings to create a new trading route.

Locusts ate our crops. We asked Elmal to shield us from locusts. In our temple to Elmal the priests took in the sacred smoke, whirling to Elmal’s side. He said any locusts who came near us again would be scorched by the sun.

Chorayla convinced the Zethmaring clan to create a new trading route.

Warriors of the Twinsong clan made a whooping run against us. We invited them for beef cubes and kumis. They said they drank only with friends and equals, not with weaklings. Then they rode off, whooping.

Chorayla convinced the Varleving clan to create a new trading route.

One of the Ram clans, the Urkarnings, suffered a devastating attack. We chose not to act. People grumbled that we should have attacked them.

The Fireflowers asked to betroth one of their young men and Ayvtu, the girl with fire powers. We said we would, if they allied with us. They said they were not quite ready for an alliance, so we said Ayvtu was not quite ready to be betrothed.

We were raided by the Twinsongs. Polanom saw Aryash-Tevi arriving to reinforce the Twinsongs. Chardenei sent spirits to confuse their approach. The Aryash-Tevi fled as wasp spirits assailed them. We drove the Twinsongs from the battlefield, striking them down as they fled.

Our leading farmers noted that our fields were just beginning to show signs of exhaustion.

The Sun Bows announced a race day. We cemented friendships. We watched the races with the clans we trusted, feeling cheer together.

Polanom 13
The oracles heard whispers in a strange language, but could not make out the meaning.

The Erthaling clan wanted gifts for the birth of a baby girl supposedly descended from their founder and their rebel god, Orlanth. We gave them wealth. They accepted the gift in the name of the baby, Redalda, as if we owed it to them. The people grumbled.

We cleared fields and held a ceremony for the Barley Goddess and Earth Mother.

A priestess of Gamari named Ailara offered to work a horse blessing for us. We sacrificed to aid the ritual. She performed the ritual and said that Gamari had smiled on our herds.

The Red Feather clan saw our troubles and offered help. They agreed to send us enough food to last us about two weeks. They accepted our thanks.

Wheels wanted us to take in a woman who had proven too disobedient for them, as a bride. They offered to pay us, rather than asking a bride price. We adopted her instead. The people wondered why we did not marry her to one of our eligible grooms. Right away we saw that Yandayla would quickly fit in with our clan, better than she ever had with her own people. She quickly learned the freedoms of Hyalor.

We sought to ride to the Gods War to seek a boon from Gamari. To increase the bounty of our ritual we sought the aid of other clans. Four clans agreed to take part, trusting we would ride well to Gamari’s side. We also sought aid from the Wheels. In response, they profaned the name of Hyalor.

Chorayla took part in Gamari’s battle against Maran Gor, shaker of the earth. Chorayla stayed steady on her steed as Maran Gor convulsed the earth beneath her. She lent Gamari bravery as Maran Gor wounded her.

Chorayla found Hyalor riding Gamari. Chorayla sang of Yamsur’s fecklessness. Gamari laughed a horse laugh, seeing that loyal Hyalor would prove a much worthier companion than his father Yamsur had ever been. Back on the ritual ground, the priestesses murmured. The paternity of Hyalor had long been a mystery. Now we knew his father was a god, making him semi-divine from the start!

Samnal tried to capture Gamari. Chorayla tricked him into taking one of her daughters instead. Though Gamari was sad to lose her daughter, she was pleased to see Samnal fooled.

Chorayla rode with Gamari against Alkothi demons. Chorayla averted her eyes from the awful visages of many-headed Yaralka, contributing little to Gamari’s effort.

Gamari gave us a flying horse.

The clans who did the most to support our rite shared in its benefits. They whooped in salute to Chorayla. Those who stood aside imagined how fat and sleek their horses would have been if they had taken part.

The Aryash-Tevi called in a favor, requesting five horses. We gave them what they asked.

Polanom returned from his unauthorized exploration to seek a sacrifice to a previously unknown god called Kadul. We gently refused.

Lyafor, youngest of the children who prematurely gained fire magic, grew old enough to say he was leaving, to heed Elmal’s call. We feted him with a night of singing and fermented mare’s milk. Thus we turned our fear for him into pride at his bravery.

The Urkarnings raided us for 32 cows.

Polanom 14
The oracles predicted good foaling.

Chorayla convinced the Soranding clan to create a new trading route.

We heard that the Aryash-Tevi had enriched themselves considerably.

The Varlevings asked us to speak for them, petitioning the Red Feather clan for peace. We talked to the Red Feathers for them. The Red Feathers said they esteemed us so highly that they would give up a fat target, because we asked. Not because they were going soft on Rams. The Varlevings gratefully thanked us.

Chorayla led a caravan to trade with the Chov-Ashdae.

We discovered a large cache of ivory in a local valley.

Fireflowers wanted us to take part in a ritual against hoof blight. We said we would take part. Our holy people blazed to the heavenly haunts of the gods, along with the priests of many other valley clans. Fireflower priests pronounced the rite successful, and the threat of hoof blight averted.

Starvation hit our clan.

Kosralod, a visitor from far away, told us of the Last Tablet Plateau, where dwelt a priestess who was the daughter of Hyalor and the elf goddess, Aldrya. This caused consternation. We accepted his revelations. We gifted him, and in return he communicated to us a blessing from Cenala, priestess of the Last Tablet Plateau and daughter of Hyalor. We felt unity in our new-found understanding. We sought to share this revelation with Hyaloring neighbors. Six of our Hyaloring neighbors accepted these revelations, as we had. Four said we were wrong.

Dara Happan refugees showed up asking for help after a breach opened up under the city of Orlentos. We invited them to stay. The people took pride in being able to help, and set to work showing them our ways of survival. And the spirits of our ancestors were pleased that we had not sent them on their way.

Manifesting our new understanding of Hyalor’s elf connection, our shrine to him sprouted a beautiful flowering vine. We gave sacrificial thanks to Hyalor. The flowers on the shrine shone like the sun. You did not have to be a priest to see that this was a good omen.

Dara Happans came looking for their former servants, saying it was their duty to rejoin them. We said they should forget their former servants. The Dara Happan nobles were not the type to easily consider a new point of view. Yet in the end they conceded that getting their servants back would cost them more than it would gain them.

Polanom 15
Ekarna said that if we acquired more treasures in the next two years, she would reward us richly in years to come.

Chorayla led a caravan to trade with the Red Feathers.

The Four Drums wanted to hire some of our elite warriors as mercenaries, to defend against an Urkarning attack. We agreed.

Starvation hit our clan.

Starvation hit our clan.

There was no proper Fire season, and many of our crops failed.

We were raided by the Blue Crests. We were driven from the battlefield and looted. Yandayla, who had been a Wheel, distinguished herself in the fighting.

Bandits came to say the Aryash-Tevi had offered them reward to ambush our trade parties, giving us the chance to beat their price. We agreed. The people exulted in this sly reversal.

Starvation hit our clan.

Chorayla led a caravan to trade with the Jade Colts.

Chorayla convinced the Blue Crest clan to create a new trading route.

We were raided by the Seven Stars. We were driven from the battlefield and plundered. In the aftermath, they burned our watch tower.

Starvation hit our clan.

We decided to ritually walk in Dostal’s footprints. Riders who like us upheld the Cenala revelation agreed to spin alongside our priests. We also sought aid from the Wheels. They laughed at this suggestion.

Hendar rode to a time when there was only one clan. After he selected his hunting party, elders from neglected families remonstrated with him. Hendar said all should think of the greater good. Hendar could not quell the complainers. They said, “You have not been our god for very long, Dostal. You do not understand the power of families.”

Hendar and the boys lost track of the snowy elk they’d been hunting. When they came upon it again, one of the young men said it was not the same animal. Hendar attacked it, as he would a monster. Hendar shot an arrow into it, revealing it as a sending of Yenfar, the sorcerer.

Hendar and the young men hunted sakkars who menaced their quarry. Hendar made sure Zenangar stayed close by. The hunters prevailed over these fearsome beasts. Hendar’s well-placed arrows saved Zenangar from their dagger-like teeth.

When the hunters finally felled the elk, it cried out piteously, freezing the young men in their tracks. Hendar impelled Stelfor with a nod. Stelfor stepped forward to slit its throat.

Dostal praised Hendar and offered a boon. Dostal gave Hendar the Emblem of Dostal.

The clans who came to spin with us garnered their own rewards. They shook deerskin quivers in tribute to Hendar. Our success in this wildlands ritual caused clans who resisted the truth of Cenala to reconsider. Surely Dostal, who knew his way through bramble and briar, would reject a false or treacherous connection to the elf world.

We heard that three priestess sisters of the Erthaling clan greatly manifested the power of the Ram gods. We rallied our fellow Hyaloring clans to vigilance against Rams. Our people remained mired in complacency. They said the Rams were incarnating the divine, but this did not mean that they meant to do anything bad to us.

The Fireflowers wanted our help fighting bandits. We said we would help. Bandars could not find the bandits. The Fireflowers grew testy, saying we did not know what we were doing. But that could not be helped.

Finovo, a Red Feather trader, offered us the Diadem of Relandar. We could not agree on a price.

Chorayla led a caravan to trade with the Dar-Shamae.

Polanom 16
The oracles forecast a mild Dark season.

Chorayla’s ability at bargaining was acknowledged to be of heroic level.

Starvation hit our clan.

Fireflower emissaries came to talk about Rams. They scoffed at the idea of befriending them.

Starvation hit our clan.

A Ram girl, Tenostere, ran away from her clan and was found in scandalous embrace with one of our young men, Ulendus. We exiled them from our lands, with a riding horse and a pack horse, and gear needed to survive by themselves.

We raided the Seven Stars. We were driven off and had no opportunity to plunder them.

We spotted a herd raid by the Blue Crests. We drove the Blue Crests off, and were happy to have survived the battle.

Starvation hit our clan.

Chorayla led a caravan to trade with the Zethmarings.

Rams called Forosilvuli came from beyond the valley to ask us where the Dar-Shamae were, so they could attack them. We told them to go ask local Rams instead. “We are not asking them,” they cried. “We are asking you!” And with that, they attacked us. Their long-fanged sakkar did not help them much. We killed one Forosilvuli and scattered the others, but five of our warriors were hurt.

Chorayla led a caravan to trade with the Dar-Shamae.

Traders from the southern Vestantes kingdom of Rams wanted to trade for one of our treasures. We said we would consider it for a better price. They said that their offer was already generous, and that they had not come here to haggle. We politely declined. They accepted this, and departed. People said we should have done more to discourage these weird foreigners from coming around again.

Angakon convinced the Zar Hawk clan to create a new trading route.

The Zethmaring clan swelled in numbers as fellow Ram People came there to settle. We told the Ram Killers, a Hyaloring clan that hates the Ram People. The Brighteyes received our news with stoic gratitude. They did not say so, but we gathered that they were planning to hit the Zethmarings before they got too settled.

The Vestantes raided us. They offered to parley before the battle. They boasted at us, and we did the same in return. They came out ahead in this battle of words. The Rams’ flying hero, Randalyar, threw thunderbolts at us. Hendar called on Elmal to strike him down with a sunbolt. Clouds parted as a bolt from the sunpath knocked Randalyar to the ground. Hendar rode to meet him. The two champions traded titanic blows, and fighters on both sides could not help but stop to stare. Finally it was Randalyar who died, and Hendar who rode away triumphant. We drove the Vestantes off, and were happy to have survived the battle.

Hanzin sought alliance with the Fireflowers. Bound together by our mutual love for Cenala, we became allies.

Trolls ate our yarm tree. We sent a mission outside the valley to find a cutting.

Polanom 17
The omens for exploring were good.

The Urkarning clan blanketed their lands with clouds in some sort of Ram ritual.

The Brighteyes clan sought our help. We gave them goods. They said they were not only grateful themselves, but would spread word of our generosity to their neighbors.

We spotted a herd raid by the Dar-Shamae. We drove the Dar-Shamae off, and were happy to have survived the battle.

Murus, a lion warrior of the distant Ergeshite nomads, wished to fight a duel with Yatakan. We allowed the duel. They battled furiously. Both dealt terrible blows, Murus raking Yatakan with his magic claws. Finally Yatakan swung his sword, nearly decapitating the Ergeshite. The people cheered as his retinue looked impassively on. “Such is the price of greatness,” Murus’s shield-bearer said.

We spotted a herd raid by the Seven Stars. We drove the Seven Stars off, and were happy to have survived the battle.

A traveler named Famen, from the east, asked for ritual sacrifices to strengthen the sky. We asked him about the strange creature he traveled with, an enormous reptile whose eyes glinted with wary intelligence. “Oh, that is just my bodyguard,” Famen said. “Pay him no mind.” We gave him goods worth 21 cows. He praised us, and said the gods would, too.

Seeking a blessing, we chose to forage alongside Inilla. As Cenala’s connection to the plant world fit naturally with an Inilla quest, we sought aid from clans who shared our belief in it. We also sought aid from the Wheels. They mocked our proposal, saying that an Inilla rite was not worth leaving home for.

Sirassa found Elmal and Nyalda beleaguered by Yatelo Hunger Maker. Sirassa sought to descend into a cave with Nyalda. Sirassa looked everywhere for the cave entrance but could not locate it. So far did she search that before she knew it she was somewhere else entirely.

Sirassa passed out, waking up on a plain where alien gods battled, wounding the earth. Sirassa distracted the water god. Sirassa’s flips and leaps made all the difference. The plant god destroyed the water god. He rewarded Sirassa with a path of vines leading back to Inilla.

Sirassa came upon Yatelo as he slept, cradling a pile of spruce tips. She waited until his snores grew loudest and sneaked in without a sound, taking the food.

Sirassa found a rich berry patch. She left some berries on the branches. Yatelo saw what she was doing and drove her away.

Sirassa told the birds they should share the fruit of the golden bush. She offered Nyalda’s fertility. They said that in these darkening days fewer of their eggs were hatching. Nyalda’s blessing would aid them, and so they agreed. They swarmed Yatelo, driving him away. Sky folk and birds would both nourish themselves on the golden bush.

Sirassa returned from the Gods War with a troubled expression, befitting the poor outcome of her journey. This outcome scarcely endeared us to the clans whose time and fervor we had fruitlessly expended. It brought disrepute to the Cenala movement.

Mischief spirits bewitched Aznom and made off with 26 of our cows. We gave him the public scolding he deserved. The people were glad to see the circle exercise proper sternness.

Chorayla convinced the Brighteyes clan to create a new trading route.

The wandering Starmane clan sought permission to briefly pasture their cattle on our lands, then keep on going. We asked them for cows. They gave us four sleek calves. They took pains not to overtax their welcome, proving a retiring lot.

The Blue Crests stole 52 goats.

Polanom 18
We couldn’t help our crafters with Sacred Time rituals.

Chorayla led a caravan to trade with the Red Feathers.

Our leading farmers noted that our fields were just beginning to show signs of exhaustion.

We cleared fields and held a ceremony for the Barley Goddess and Earth Mother.

A thick black fog rolled over us. We called on Elmal to disperse it with sacred fire. A great whoosh went up, and fire enveloped our lands. But this fire did not burn us, our pastures, our tents, or our beasts. Instead it fed upon the darkness until both it and the black fog were gone.

The Genadari raided us. Polanom injured a sweaty, screaming Ram and was surrounded by enemy spearmen. Flashing hooves kept spear thrusts at bay. Onrushing Star Dancer regulars broke the encircling formation. Polanom fought alongside them, felling many. We drove the Genadari off, and were happy to have survived the battle.

Chorayla led a caravan to trade with the Zethmarings.

We were raided by the Dar-Shamae. Hendar countered the fear generated by their chariots by leaping over one of them and striking a severe blow against its driver. We were driven from the battlefield and looted.

Bardalor of the Sun Bow clan came, wanting to marry Ayvtu. On Ayvtu’s behalf, her clan and family agreed to the union. The groom’s mother said our clan would be known as good and straightforward people, who do not dicker over trifles.

We were raided by the Urkarnings. We were driven from the battlefield and looted.

Wheels of the Ku-Rander clan asked one of us to take the enemy role when they performed the Samnal Horsebreaker ritual. We politely declined.

Angakon convinced the Jade Colt clan to create a new trading route.

Our leading herders noted that our pastures were just beginning to show signs of damage from overgrazing.

We decided to ride to Ekarna for a blessing. Riders who upheld Cenala agreed to participate. Before conducting the ritual we went to whoop against Wheels. We offended the Wheels, who wounded four riders and a noble sword-swinger. Though it was a hard price to pay, Ekarna devotees said it would help the rite.

Angakon bargained with the Goose People. Angakon extolled the virtues of fox-frightening bells. They clapped in delight when they heard our bells. We gained feathers in return.

Angakon offered Arandanth the Bold, a Ram who shared an enemy with us, kumis in exchange for brooches of protection. “Until you’ve been drunk on kumis,” Angakon said, “you haven’t been drunk.” Arandanth took a swig and said that Angakon was right. In trade for our kumis we gained protective brooches. These served us well when Thengist ambushed us soon afterward.

Angakon went to the Ghost City to seek bones of the dead Ram god Umath. Angakon told them how Riders left the Golden City. “That is a sad story,” the ghosts said. “Which in the city of the dead is the last thing we need.”

Angakon went to Samnal to make a trade. Angakon dealt with him sincerely. Samnal surprised us all by accepting the offer. He never sent out Rogoros to trade for him, and did not incur the enmity of his neighbors.

Ekarna thanked Angakon for reinforcing the power of trade in the world. Ekarna blessed us with a very favorable deal on cows.

The traders who came to spin with us said the rite would aid their dealings, too. They held honor belts high in tribute to Angakon. Enemies of Cenala would surely see how we prospered amid the tumult of the Gods War.

Chorayla led a caravan to trade with the Sun Bows.

The Varlevings asked us to deliver a feud warning to the Sun Bow clan. We accepted. The Sun Bows thanked us for conveying the message. Their chieftain said we should tell the Varlevings they looked forward to feuding with them. They would be ground into the dust of their furious onslaught. We went to the Varlevings to tell them what the Sun Bow chieftain had said, in its full harshness. The Varlevings thanked us for faithfully discharging our messenger duties.

Chorayla convinced the Sun Bow clan to create a new trading route.

Angakon led a caravan to trade with the Four Drums.

Aggrieved by our embrace of Cenala, Brighteyes Swords whooped against us. We called on Cenala for a sacred sign. The grass of our pastures rose up and sang to them the truth of Hyalor’s final bride, who was an elf. They prostrated themselves, joining our cause.

Polanom 19
We were unable to perform rituals to help our hunters and foragers during Sacred Time.

Bandits offered us a piece of god bone stolen from the Zethmarings in exchange for goods worth 50 cows. We bargained them down to a final price of 30 cows worth of goods.

Enala traveled among the clans, spreading the word of Cenala. No more of our Hyaloring neighbors accepted these revelations, as we had. Three said we had to be wrong.

Our fellow believers in Cenala said we should do something about one of the last few holdouts. We let them be. People said it was not right that they should flout the will of the majority.

Cows, separated from their owners by mischief spirits, wandered onto our lands. We sacrificed the cows to gain a divine blessing. The priestesses pronounced the ritual successful. We would enjoy green pastures for the next 22 seasons.

Hanzin sought alliance with the Sun Bows. They responded with laughter. They would not ally, they said, with a clan that would draw them into a war with forces of Water.

We were raided by the Zethmarings. Polanom slew a sweaty, screaming Ram and was surrounded by enemy spearmen. Polanom took them all on. He struck down many of their petty warriors. We drove the Zethmarings off, and were happy to have survived the battle.

Plant people attacked our fields, blighting our crops. We sacrificed to Hyalor at our vine-covered temple. The priests received clear visions that the elves would not bother us, at least for a while.

Angakon led a caravan to trade with the Urkarnings.

We found out that Derenei of the Dasano family loved a Ram warrior named Sartar. We reminded all of our young women that Rams are off-limits. The girls listened with all-too-evident impatience. They said only Derenei was at fault, and that everyone knew Ram men had lice in their hair.

A Soranding girl tried to steal one of our horses, but fell and broke her neck. We returned her remains to her clan.

Angakon led a caravan to trade with the Zethmarings.

A flock of bird skeletons flew overhead, causing our shrine to Pela to crumble to dust. Our shamans called on Raven to revile the bird skeletons, preventing their return. They said Raven had heard our pleas.

Our pastures had been grazed for many years, and were no longer as productive.

We learned that the Dasano family had found a treasure with persuasive powers. Instead of turning it over to the clan, they kept it a secret and were using it to help win a court case against the Parnt family. We negotiated with the Dasanos to place the treasure in clan custody. They agreed to surrender it in exchange for a token payment from the council treasure stores. Other families agreed with this solution, which allowed the Dasanos to retain their pride without offending everyone else. Meanwhile, Heladivus won his flimsy case. Many said the Parnts deserved to have the judgment against them paid by the circle. Council compensated the defendants, paying the Dasanos what the elders said they owed.

Angakon convinced the Red Feather clan to create a new trading route.

Polanom 20
The oracles forecast a mild Dark season.

Chorayla led a caravan to trade with the Varlevings.

One of our hunters saw that the Weeders were vulnerable. We demanded tribute from them. The trembling Weeders gave us twelve cows worth of goods.

We were raided by the Seven Stars. We drove the Seven Stars off, and were happy to have survived the battle.

Erzina began trying to restore our overgrazed pastures, but it was clear that it would take at least another year of work.

A reptilian monster ate seven of our horses. We sent a party to hunt and kill it. For a creature of its size, the beast proved maddeningly elusive.

Hanzin sought alliance with the Four Drums. Hanzin rode with them, singing songs of Gamari and Hyalor, and we became allies.

Yeleni nomads offered to tell us where to go for good spirit hunting, in exchange for some food and gear. We took them up on it. They told us to look for spirits to the north, at the Imther Mountains. We should act fast; spirits seldom congregate in one spot for any great length of time.

The Sun Bow clan sought alliance with us. We agreed. They promised a gift every time we attacked the Twinsong or Seven Stars clans, and another gift if we defeated them.

One of our exploration parties found gems on our lands.

The Jade Colt clan asked us to send worshipers to their Dostal Elk Hunter ritual. We agreed. They gained the favor of Dostal. We shared a fraction of the bounty, aiding our hunting.

Polanom 21
The attention of the Sky Court was elsewhere, because of a herd raid on Busenari’s pastures. Our clan magic suffered as a result.

The Brighteyes clan asked us to help free their captives from the Chov-Ashdae before they were burned in a fire cage. We negotiated for a lower ransom. We bargained them down to a ransom of 57 cows. We told the Brighteyes, and they agreed to pay it. They thanked us and said they owed us a favor.

We discovered a stand of resin-producing toramind trees in a local valley.

We were raided by the Blue Crests. We drove the Blue Crests off, and were happy to have survived the battle. Halakar, who was rescued from the Black Eel as a baby, distinguished himself in the fighting.

Lampreys fell from the sky and began to eat our spirits. They devoured the Anvil spirit. We called on stork spirits to guard against recurrences of this strange event. Our shamans drew the beast and sky runes on their drums. Stork spirits promised to scour the sky for any more lampreys, and gobble up those they found.

We spotted a herd raid by the Dar-Shamae. We drove the Dar-Shamae off, and their survivors left without looting us.

Hanzin sought alliance with the Jade Colts. Bound together by our mutual love for Cenala, we became allies.

Through messengers, the Twinsongs accused us of cursing them. We conducted a divination to learn the truth. The spirits whispered that the Seven Stars were the guilty clan. We sent gifts and apologies through the Jade Colts. The messengers departed with our gifts. Later they returned, saying that the Twinsongs had taken them, but said they would still warn others that we thought it acceptable to send curses against neighbors.

Chardenei sought alliance with the Zar Hawks. They said we had made a persuasive case, but they worried about ill omens.

Yeleni hunters sought one of our young priestesses as a bride, to revive their connection to Pela the Grain Mother. We politely declined. Heads bent down in defeat, they departed.

An earthquake caused a stampede, and some of our cows went missing. We lent Nyalda strength with a ritual. The priestesses said that the assistance we had given would help the Earth Mother heal her distant wounds. It would be some time before another quake would plague our herds.

Polanom 22
The oracles saw many ravens, and suspected there would be battle later in the year.

The Seven Stars clan continued its slide into poverty.

Erzina continued the slow process of burning unwanted growth, fencing off new grass sprouts, and dealing with erosion.

Brighteyes emissaries came to discuss overgrazing. We asked for their help to perform the “Busenari Finds the Light” ritual. They said they would listen favorably when we were ready to perform it.

We raided the Seven Stars. The Seven Stars clan hero, Yadei, charged us, horse wreathed in divine flame. Polanom met Yadei’s charge head-on. Polanom and Yadei traded terrible blows. When it was all over, it was Yadei who fell from horseback, wounded. Her fellows groaned in disbelief. This confirmed to us that we were right about Cenala, and they were wrong. This certain knowledge lent us martial fervor. We smashed through their disorderly ranks. We drove the Seven Stars from the battlefield, and were able to plunder their lands.

We were raided by the Vestantes. Chardenei mortally wounded their chieftain, Maniski. Their healing priestess petitioned us for mercy. Their healer praised us, saying that our mercy exceeded that of certain Ram clans she could name. We drove the Vestantes off, and were happy to have survived the battle.

As they promised, the Sun Bows have given us cows for beating the Seven Stars clan.

Charioteers of the Chov-Ashdae came to us for help, their horse herds afflicted with hoof rot. We gave them horses. The Chov-Ashdae thanked us for our generosity. We could tell they had hoped for more.

We spotted a herd raid by the Brighteyes. We drove the Brighteyes off, and were happy to have survived the battle.

Ghosts from Elempur haunted us, saying we had grown too close to the Rams. We asked our shamans to trap the ghosts. The shamans drew the death rune on the skins of their drums. It drew the ghosts into it, sealing them inside. They said they would have to make more drums, as these ones were now full of ghosts.

Chorayla led a caravan to trade with the Red Feathers.

Trolls ranged across the border between our lands and those of the Blue Crest clan. We rallied to defend ourselves, and warned the Blue Crests. The Blue Crests agreed to join with us against the trolls, whichever way they turned. This was good, because they turned toward us. Blue Crest warriors hit them from behind as we bore the brunt of the troll attack. We drove them off, but six of our warriors were hurt. The Blue Crests saw as many of theirs hurt, too, but said that it was always worth fighting the enemies of the Sun.

The elders agreed that the valley was getting colder since our arrival.

The Sun Bows announced an archery contest. We attended and cemented friendships.

The Seven Stars raided us for 48 goats.

Seven Stars and Red Feather delegations arrived to demand redress after Parastak promised each he would lay a trickster curse on the other. “You assume a promise Parastak never made,” we pointed out. The Red Feathers accepted this point, but red-faced Seven Stars called it overly technical. Council praised Raven’s initiative. Parastak said we had responded correctly, and that Raven would reward us with secrets of trickery.

Erzina’s ability to provide food was acknowledged to be of heroic level.

Yatakan’s combat skill was acknowledged to be of heroic level.

Polanom 23
It was predicted that many children would be born this year.

Our leading farmers noted that our fields were just beginning to show signs of exhaustion.

We reorganized the clan circle.

Shamans of the Jade Colt offered to sell us a Honeybee spirit. We bargained generously.

We cleared fields and held a ceremony for the Barley Goddess and Earth Mother.

Yandayla, the Wheel woman who we adopted into our clan several years ago, has become a true Rider and valued clan member.

A slaving party from the Brighteyes clan wanted to briefly rest and feed some Rams they meant to sell as slaves. We granted their request, and they gave us silver torcs stripped from the captives. They stayed long enough for their captives to revive a little. Before that they shared their songs and kumis.

We raided the Seven Stars and eluded their patrols. We drove the Seven Stars from the battlefield, and were able to plunder their lands.

Rams came offering us valuables from the honor belts of Four Drum nobles in exchange for livestock. We declined. They said there were no hard feelings and went on their way.

In search of a blessing, we chose to ride to Reladivus, preparing with water from the Oslira River. Riders who shared our belief in the Cenala revelation agreed to lend their support. We also sought aid from the Wheels. They laughed at this suggestion.

Angakon saw a blue dragon raging outside the Golden City. Angakon offered to trade with the dragon. Angakon drove a hard bargain for his wealth.

The blue dragon returned to the Golden City, but Angakon was there to confront it. Angakon led the dragon on a chase, diverting it into new banks.

The blue dragon returned yet again to the Golden City. Angakon fought against the dragon. Swinging a blazing sword, he relentlessly drove the dragon before him, forcing it steadily downhill. Finally, Arcos turned and fled, running in the lowest channel it could find.

Reladivus thanked Angakon for putting the Arcos back in its place. He granted us mastery over the Oslira River.

Cooperating clans would gain protection from the river. Their ritualists smashed jars containing its water. Clans who didn’t come now surely wished they had.

Sun Bow warriors asked permission to take Yatakan on a mission against trolls. We allowed it. Yatakan returned in triumph. The Sun Bows praised his might. He took point against the trolls, lopping off heads left and right. For this determining contribution to the melee, we gained the greatest share of the spoils. Though Yatakan emerged unhurt, two of the warriors we sent with him came back injured. The Sun Bows said they would spread word of Yatakan’s great exploit to all the Rider clans.

Lyafor, who left us ten years ago as a young man imbued with fire magic, returned to us, mighty but a little mad. He offered to lay low one of our foes, all by himself. As he wished, we sent him by himself to fight one of our foes. We chose the Seven Stars. Soon we heard of the great carnage he wrought, before being cut down himself. Half of their elite warriors, and many others besides, breathed their last that day, dead at the hands of a great Elmali hero.

The Seven Stars raided us. We drove the Seven Stars from the battlefield, striking them down as they fled.

Brighteyes emissaries came to discuss how the world was getting colder. We asked them to sacrifice to Elmal with us. Together, we gave Elmal a small measure of strength.

Polanom 24
The oracles heard metal ringing in the distance, but could not tell if it was bells or swords.

Erzina continued the slow process of weeding, fencing off new grass sprouts, and dealing with erosion.

Rams of the Orlmarth clan asked for brief hospitality, to rest their charioteer captives, which they planned to sell as thralls. We granted their request, and they gave us a handful of gems. They stayed briefly, as promised, and went on their way. Though not everyone liked this, they saw why the circle valued the esteem of the Orlmarthings over the fate of arrogant Wheels.

Angakon led a caravan to trade with the Blue Crests.

We were raided by the Blue Crests. We drove the Blue Crests off, and their survivors left without plundering our land.

Angakon led a caravan to trade with the Dar-Shamae.

Our shamans found evil spirits on our land. They wished to acquire new items for their ritual garb, in case they came back. We agreed. Chardenei found that the shamans of the Red Feather clan had the items they needed. After some haggling, she got them for a good price. On the way back Chardenei sensed danger and sped the expedition onwards. They arrived home without further trouble.

We were raided by the Trolls. We drove the Trolls off, and were happy to have survived the battle.

We were raided by the Dar-Shamae. Sesemara saw that the enemy had dropped an apparent magic weapon. Sesemara ignored this distraction. She struck down the enemies closest to her, inspiring others of us to do the same. The Dar-Shamae shrank from our blows. We were driven from the battlefield and looted.

Hanzin sought alliance with the Red Feathers. Hanzin rode with them, singing songs of Gamari and Hyalor, and we became allies.

River monsters attacked us. We called on Elmal for aid. The monsters fled from the light of his arrows.

Polanom 25
We couldn’t improve our success in other rituals with Sacred Time rituals.

We gave the Chov-Ashdae 20 cows, to be repaid twice over in 13 years.

The wandering Starmane clan sought permission to briefly pasture their cattle on our lands, then keep on going. We asked them for cows. They gave us five sleek calves. They tarried for a brief while, proving a taciturn lot.

The elder Chanla wanted us to send a shaman on a spirit journey to confirm that her dream about ice receding from the Golden City was true. The circle gave her permission, but warned people not to expect too much. The people understood that the shaman was unlikely to find anything other than a destroyed city. Chanla expressed her displeasure at their lack of faith in her dream. The shaman she chose went into trance. He rode north in spirit form on a fiery horse. When he returned to ordinary awareness, he shook his head sadly. As expected, Nivorah lay beneath impenetrable ice, crushed beyond recognition.

We decided to ride to Busenari for a blessing. Riders who shared our belief in the Cenala revelation agreed to lend their worship. We also sought aid from the Wheels. They laughed at this suggestion.

Erzina found Busenari’s daughters alone in a chilly pasture, threatened by wolves. Erzina sang the cows a calming song. The song that came to her lips was called Let Elmal Worry About What Lays Beyond the Fields. Busenari’s daughters lowed, taking heart from its ancient melody.

Busenari’s daughters scattered in the darkness. Erzina reassured them. Another song came to Erzina’s lips, and it was called Now is the Time To Gather Ourselves. And gather themselves they did.

Ice came to fill the pasture, killing the grass. Erzina led them south, which was the Right Direction. They skirted foes both ancient and new to finally arrive in a green valley.

Erzina led the daughters of Busenari to Gamari, who said their home was now everywhere. They did not seem so pleased to hear this. Erzina took the daughters to Nyalda. The daughters were pleased to be received by her. They thanked Erzina for taking them to the new Empress, who they were sure would sustain their lives, and those of their descendants.

Busenari thanked Erzina for herding her daughters to their new home. Busenari restored our damaged pastures.

The clans who supported our rite shared in its benefits. They banged cowbells in salute to Erzina. Our success caused clans who resisted the truth of Cenala to question their certainty. If Busenari still blessed us, how could we be wrong?

The Blue Crests raided us for 33 cows.

We caught Four Drums trying to take our horses by dishonorable means. We spread word of their dishonor to other Riders. Other clans expressed shock, outrage or mirth to learn that the Four Drums stole horses not by honest might, but by deceit.

Angakon led a caravan to trade with the Red Feathers.

Young Beren befriended another boy with the same name, from the Red Feather clan. The two suggested that the other boy should live with us for a year of training. We asked the other boy’s clan. The Red Feathers agreed that this would motivate both boys to excel. They foresaw a great destiny for him, and wished him to be strong, and happy.

Wheels wanted us to take in a woman who had proven too disobedient for them, as a bride. They offered to pay us, rather than asking a bride price. We adopted her instead. The people wondered why we did not marry her to one of our eligible grooms. Right away we saw that Chandayla would quickly fit in with our clan, better than she ever had with her own people. She quickly learned our way of jar-making.

Polanom 26
Our cows were expected to give abundant milk.

Hanzin sought alliance with the Zar Hawks. Hanzin rode with them, singing songs of Gamari and Hyalor, and we became allies.

Chardenei was acclaimed a shaman among shamans.

Cherekem’s ability to provide food was acknowledged to be of heroic level.

The booming-voiced Rams of the Genadari clan, feared for their mastery of thunder, attacked the Jade Colt clan, killing many of their warriors. The Jade Colts are our allies.

The Brighteyes came to tell us the Alkothi were coming. We used spirit magic to draw Alkothi attention elsewhere. The shamans drummed up Raven the Trickster, who agreed to direct them to the Seven Stars.

We were raided by the Urkarnings. We drove the Urkarnings off, and were happy to have survived the battle. Chandayla, who had been a Wheel, distinguished herself in the fighting.

A Ram girl, Enerin, ran away from her clan and was found in scandalous embrace with one of our young men, Venroste. We escorted her back to her people. She bitterly resisted when we separated her from Venroste. Orlmarth leaders said they disapproved of what Enerin had done, not because she was unmarried, but because she did it with one of us. They could never forgive her for choosing a stinking Rider to tryst with. She would be stripped of rank and forced into a life of servitude. Venroste we sent into exile.

Hanzin asked the Sun Bows for a blessing. They increased our clan’s ritual magic, and said its benefits would persist for about a year.

The Alkothi raided us. The Alkothi clan burned two houses. The Alkothi summoned a terrible demon, who in turn spawned more demons to attack us. Hendar attacked the big demon. Though mighty, the creature proved slow. Hendar rode around it, slashing through its scales. Alkothi warriors ran to protect the beast, but they too were slower than Hendar’s horse. The creature shuddered and died, emitting a terrible stink. It would produce no more demon minions for our Alkothi foe. We were driven from the battlefield and looted. They burned six more houses.

The Erthaling clan wanted to trade for our horses, even though Rams can’t ride. We gently explained that they would be unable to ride. They hung their heads in disappointment. “It takes bravery to tell neighbors what they do not want to hear,” they said.

We discovered a small grove of ebony trees.

We spotted a herd raid by the Seven Stars. We were driven from the battlefield and looted.

We raided the Seven Stars. Chardenei saw Aryash-Tevi arriving to reinforce the Seven Stars. Josadivus sent spirits to confuse their approach. The Aryash-Tevi fled as wasp spirits assailed them. We drove the Seven Stars from the battlefield, and were able to plunder their lands. We seized the Helm of Elmal.

Sharyu, a priestess of Erissa from the Twinsong clan, wanted us to join a movement to do away with the slave trade. We prayed to Erissa for confirmation of her vision. We sacrificed five white cows. Priestesses spun from our temple to Erissa to Erissa’s side. She said she felt sorrow for the suffering of the enslaved. But we were asking her about a law of man, not a law of the gods. We spread her message. Hanzin met with resistance not only from the clans that profited from the sale of slaves, but several that did not.

We could no longer afford to maintain our shrine to Gamari.

Polanom 27
The shamans said that we would be rewarded if we had more sworn spirits in a year.

We found members of the Blue Crest clan sneaking through our lands with horses taken by stealth from the Four Drum clan. We took them and the horses to the Four Drums. The Four Drums thanked us for doing more than was expected. They executed the thieves on the spot. They gave us a gift of 14 cows.

The Dar-Shamae raided us for 24 cows.

One of our herders spotted wounded trolls on our land. We asked them what attacked them. In a croaking version of the trade tongue, the trolls said they were attacked by a raging demon of burning light, all blades and bronze and hate. We offered them healing. They said that they were not used to trusting humans, but now had little choice. Our magic ceremony healed the trolls. We could tell this surprised them. They said they would not eat us, though we smelled very delicious. Instead they gifted us with a treasure.

The Zethmarings raided us. Polanom saw that the Rams had left their battle standard exposed. Polanom rode past and tried to snatch it away from them. He seized it, taking nary a scratch, and rode back to join the rest of us. Polanom held onto it. We were driven from the battlefield and looted.

A flock of bird skeletons flew overhead, causing our temple to Ekarna to crumble to dust. Our shamans called on Raven to revile the bird skeletons, preventing their return. They said Raven had heard our pleas.

The Blue Crests whooped against us, because we agreed with Sharyu that Riders should not sell slaves. We ignored them. Our people trembled before the ferocity of their display.

Terror birds killed 21 of our cows. We called on Elmal to assert solar privilege over the kin of Father Eagle. Priests of the Great Chieftain burned sacred seeds in our temple to Elmal and flew to Elmal’s side. He would call on the birds to feed elsewhere.

The Blue Crests raided us. We drove the Blue Crests off, and were happy to have survived the battle.

Four Drums asked for help with an evil magician named Hesten. We sent warriors to aid their mission. Four of our warriors never returned. The Four Drum party clashed with the magician, whose dark spells pulled them apart from the inside. Hesten got away with hardly a scratch, and said he was coming after us next.

The Seven Stars stole 26 cows.

We could no longer afford to maintain our shrine to Relandar.

Polanom 28
It was predicted that few children would be born this year.

We reorganized the clan circle.

Our leading farmers noted that our fields were starting to show signs of exhaustion.

Sun Bow emissaries said they would withdraw from our pact of mutual aid, unless we instead severed another of our alliances. Instead we severed our alliance with the Jade Colt clan. The Jade Colts expressed disappointment, but said an honest end to our allegiance was better than continued false assurances.

We cleared fields and held a ceremony for the Barley Goddess and Earth Mother.

A magical pain struck down one in four of us. We suspected the evil magician Hesten. Yatakan found the heath where the magician dwelt, disguised in the feathers of a spirit grouse. His camouflage did him no good. We cleaved off his head. By the time our party returned to the clan, the sickened were already recovering.

The Zethmarings raided us. Four Drum forces appeared to launch a surprise flanking attack against our foes. Yatakan called Elmal’s blessing upon them. Elmal imbued the Four Drum weapons with solar light. They fought with vigor against the Zethmarings, and so did we. We drove the Zethmarings off, and were happy to have survived the battle.

Ergeshites came wanting to trade some of their goats for trade goods. We asked them to tell us more about their ways. The Ergeshites proudly told us of their deities, the foremost of which was Father Goat. His consort, Mother Goat, sounds much like your goat goddess, Uryarda, though they reach her through different rites. Their warriors emulate the might and ferocity of Brother Lion, who protects the Ergeshites in exchange for meat. We entered into negotiations. We bargained shrewdly, gaining 18 goats for goods we valued as being worth eight cows. People muttered that we had made a big mistake.

We found out that Seven Stars shamans were saying the next person to marry into our clan would die. We demanded that they withdraw their story. After hearing us out, Seven Stars leaders spoke to the shamans. Eventually they conceded that they must have been talking to mischief spirits, and also that the future is never certain, not even with magical insight. They agreed to spread word of their recantation.

The Seven Stars cursed us with disease. We called on Erissa, the Healing Goddess, to end the curse. Erissa banished the disease spirits, and the people returned to health.

The Seven Stars raided us. We drove the Seven Stars from the battlefield, striking them down as they fled.

Angakon led a caravan to trade with the Red Feathers.

Charioteers of the Dar-Shama clan rode past our lands, in a gesture of hatred meant to intimidate us. We attacked them. We toppled one of their chariots, sending their haughty nobles tumbling to the earth. We spared them humiliation by ensuring they did not rise up again. Some of the horses were hurt too badly to be of any use, but we captured one healthy one. Four of our warriors were hurt in the fray.

We could no longer afford to maintain our shrine to Pela.

Polanom 29
It was an auspicious year for Otherworld rituals.

We heard that the Twinsongs suffered heavy losses when they went to destroy a dwarf convoy.

The Karent family complained that it had no spot on the circle. We threw a feast. Together we remembered that unity springs not from the clan circle, but is found around the roasting pit.

We heard that the overbearing Wheels of the Lo-Arishi were on the brink of declaring a feud with us. Though of course they would not call it that. We offered placatory words. They said mere words could not extinguish the fire of their certitude.

We spotted a herd raid by the Urkarnings. We drove the Urkarnings off, and their survivors left without looting our land.

Nine of our foragers were taken by Rams. We performed a divination. Whirling priests saw that it was the Genadari who had taken our foragers. Our Swords led a reprisal raid against the Genadari. Hendar’s force penetrated deep into their territory before they met resistance. They rescued our foragers, who the Genadari had tied up, ready to take south to sell as slaves in one of the southern kingdoms. Two of our warriors were hurt. We killed five Genadari and wounded many more.

We were raided by the Erthalings. We drove the Erthalings off, and were happy to have survived the battle.

Incharnus of the Red Feather clan came, wanting to marry Dalasha. On Dalasha’s behalf, her clan and family agreed to the union. The groom’s mother said our clan would be known as good and straightforward people, who do not dicker over trifles.

Trolls wanted to trade with us. We politely declined. They accepted this, and departed.

Hanzin sought alliance with the Blue Crests. They said we had made a persuasive case, but they had many matters to weigh before making any promises.

The Dar-Shamae stole 22 cows.

Wheels of the Chov-Ashda clan wanted to briefly rest their captured Rams, bound for sale up north, in our village. We granted their request, and they gave us gifts. After their promised brief stay, they rattled along, taking the Ram slaves with them. After they left, some asked why we were so deferential to arrogant Wheels. Polanom explained, and those questioning council withdrew their objections.

Polanom 30
The oracles foretold few arguments within the clan.

The Varlevings gained many shaggy cows by performing a Gods War ritual.

Our shamans said many great spirits were abroad in the land, and it was a good time to seek a blessing from one of them. They called on a light spirit, to win others’ trust.

The Dar-Shamae raided us for 60 goats.

We raided the Dar-Shamae. Sesemara saw Chov-Ashdae arriving to reinforce the Dar-Shamae. Chardenei sent spirits to confuse their approach. The Chov-Ashdae fled as wasp spirits assailed them. We drove the Dar-Shamae from the battlefield, and were able to plunder their lands.

Angakon led a caravan to trade with the Fireflowers.

People complained that the circle made too many changes. The circle said that it struck a balance between old and new. The circle’s arguments fell flat.

Jade Colt emissaries wanted to know the story of Nyalda’s Bride Price. We shared it with them. They departed, pleased.

People complained of a circle member, Yatakan, and his frequent recourse to lawsuits. We placed limits on the number of adjudications any person may request. People were glad to see the problem solved.

The Blue Crests raided us. Red Feather forces appeared to launch a surprise flanking attack against our foes. Yatakan called Elmal’s blessing upon them. Elmal imbued the Red Feather weapons with solar light. They fought with vigor against the Blue Crests, and so did we. We drove the Blue Crests off, and were happy to have survived the battle.

We spotted a herd raid by the Dar-Shamae. We drove the Dar-Shamae off, and their survivors left without plundering our land.

Polanom 31
The oracles forecast that our market would be unprofitable this year.

We could no longer afford to maintain our shrine to Pela.

A crack opened up in the sky. The people were afraid. We urged all known clans to ritually strengthen the sky. Seven clans agreed to follow us and sacrifice to strengthen the sky. 15 clans said it was pointless. We did not see any improvement in the sky. But maybe we had stopped it from getting worse.

We heard that the Rams of the Orlmarth clan mocked us as weaklings. We engaged them in all-out battle. We drove the Orlmarthings from the battlefield, and were able to plunder their lands. We plundered the Mighty Whooping Rattle. We bested the Orlmarth clan, showing them we were not to be mocked.

We decided to ride to Nyalda for a blessing. Our fellows in the Cenala revelation agreed to send priestesses to spin with ours.

Kaldurka rode to the Gods War, where Little Yelm sought her hand in marriage. Kaldurka said, “A true god of the sky would never choose life under a roof.” Little Yelm flew into a rage. To escape, Kaldurka leapt into a hole in the earth. It felt like two years to her, though to the spinning priestesses on the ritual ground, this time of traveling took only the blink of an eye.

Next Shargash the Demon Sun proposed marriage. Kaldurka summoned his Rice Wife to threaten him with hunger. The Rice Wife appeared before Shargash, saying she would starve his demon warriors if he took another wife. He retreated, fuming, into his green city. The Rice Wife told Kaldurka how fortunate she was to avoid an underworld marriage.

Golden men appeared to petition Kaldurka for marriage. Kaldurka mocked them in song. They ran away, bemoaning their insignificance.

Kaldurka entertained an offer of marriage from Elmal, as conveyed by Relandar and Hyalor. Kaldurka’s representative asked for a demonstration of Elmal’s divinity. Relandar showed Enala a plaque made from the gold of the sunpath. Kaldurka examined it, gloriously affirming the bond between Elmal and Nyalda.

Nyalda thanked Kaldurka for renewing the strength of Rider wedding bonds. Kaldurka gained a marriage blessing.

The clans who took part in our rite would be blessed with good matchmaking. Their priestesses tied ribbons to their wrists in salute to Kaldurka. Resisters of Cenala wondered how they could be right, if Nyalda still blessed us.

A piece of the sky came loose and tumbled to the earth, destroying the Blue Crest clan. We gathered the people together to try to protect them. A wall of fire enveloped our lands. The devastation was terrible. 60 people died. Another 93 were seriously burned. We lost 222 cows, nearly twice as many goats, 93 horses, and eleven cows worth of goods. Our shrine to Uryarda and temple to Ekarna burnt up. Our watch tower, stake perimeter, and stockade were damaged beyond repair. Afterwards three of our treasures could not be found.

Ash covered the land. Our cows went hungry. Chardenei suggested drawing on the magic of Cenala. We asked all the believer clans to pray to Cenala. Some clans liked the idea better than others. But when it became apparent that more were interested than not, all joined in. Priests from all the clans gathered in our temple to Hyalor. The priests intermixed sacred seeds grown by all participating clans and threw them on hot stones. As they spun, a wave of life and generation burst from the seeds, into the priests, and through them into the land. The wave of green spread from our clan throughout the valley.

Rams of the Varleving clan came to say that we should be their allies, now that their gods were destroying the sky. We suggested that real help would come in the form of cows. Though surprised to be asked for a more modest favor, and clearly reluctant to give it, Chardenei had effectively put them on the spot. They gave us nine cows and departed. As they went they informed us that they would make an offer of alliance to the Twinsongs, who were not on the best terms with us.

Our fellow believers in Cenala said we should do something about one of the last few holdouts. We let them be. People said it was not right that they should flout the will of the majority.

Kaldurka found gold fragments in the skyquake crater, the bone shards of a fallen sky god. We collected them as treasure. Others had been at the bones by the time our party arrived. Yatakan found tiny lumps of gold worth only about 24 cows—valuable, but not enough to comprise a magical treasure.

Hendar roused our Swords to crave battle against the Seven Stars. We promised to attack the Seven Stars. Whoops of martial joy resounded across our lands. The coming fight would be furious, the people said.

The Varlevings asked us to speak for them, petitioning the Red Feather clan for peace. We aided them with gifts. The Varlevings said they were grateful for the help, which they sorely needed after this most recent raid.

Hendar’s ability to provide food was acknowledged to be of heroic level.

We could no longer afford to maintain our shrine to Ekarna.

Polanom 32
The oracles feared for our explorers.

The wandering Starmane clan sought permission to briefly pasture their cattle on our lands, then keep on going. We asked them for cows. They gave us two sleek calves. They took pains not to overtax their welcome, proving a reticent lot.

We reorganized the clan circle.

The Red Feathers called in a favor, requesting a gift of magic. We gifted them with divine magic.

We slaughtered enough livestock to feed the clan for a season.

We spotted a herd raid by the Dar-Shamae. We drove the Dar-Shamae off, and their survivors left without plundering our land.

Beren found a strange gold mirror. In it he saw not his own face, but a beguiling image of a Ram girl. We sent him looking for the girl.

Chief Henedra of the Red Feathers sent word that we could consider a favor paid if we told her about Hiord of the Erthalings. They asked us if Hiord was trustworthy. We said it depended on the situation. A few days later, they returned to thank us for the information, which had steered them right. They said we could consider our favor paid in full. It had aided them so well, in fact, that they further rewarded us with one horse.

Clan elders brought up problems concerning the clan’s viability. The council told people to trust them. The people agreed to.

Angakon led a caravan to trade with the Four Drums.

Red Feather emissaries said they would withdraw from our pact of mutual aid, unless we instead severed another of our alliances. Instead we severed our alliance with the Sun Bow clan. The Sun Bows expressed disappointment, but said an honest end to our allegiance was better than continued false assurances.

We were unable to conduct a raid against the Seven Stars due to a winter storm.

Polanom 33
The omens for exploring were good.

We could no longer afford to maintain our shrine to Dostal.

We learned that the Dar-Shamae were slandering us, convincing the Jade Colts we had done them a grave injustice. We shrugged it off. People said this was one more problem the circle was unready for.

We sought Elmal’s blessing by riding to the sunpath. Riders who knew that Cenala was of Solar blood agreed to spin with us. We also petitioned Wheels for ritual aid. They derided us.

Polanom found Little Yelm on the sunpath, scavenging its stones. Polanom said “This is unworthy of you.” Little Yelm answered by charging with outstretched spear. Polanom fought against Little Yelm as he would against an inferior. Freakish good fortune saved hapless Little Yelm from defeat, when a black wind buffeted Polanom’s sword. Polanom was unable to dislodge him. The inconclusive scrap left Polanom sore and tired.

Polanom found the Demon Sun laying claim to the sunpath. He greeted him with an immediate attack. Polanom fought against Shargash as he would against a monster. After a furious battle, Polanom pushed Shargash from the sunpath.

Polanom found a host of golden men stripping the sunpath of its stones. Polanom commanded their obedience. They repented of their disorderly actions, pledging fealty to Elmal as their emperor.

The Cold Sun attacked Polanom with a blast of frigid air. Polanom took on this foe head-on. It took every grain of strength, but Polanom finally wounded the Cold Sun, driving him off for at least seven more years.

Elmal thanked Polanom for guarding the sunpath. Elmal let each Sword fight with the strength of two.

The outside war priests who prayed alongside us shot arrows skywards in salute to Polanom. They too would be strengthened by his sunpath journey. Clans who denied Cenala saw that our divine connections remained as strong as ever. Although some of the priests had hoped our ritual would help mend the sunpath, Polanom had not figured out how.

We raided the Seven Stars. We drove the Seven Stars from the battlefield, and were able to plunder their lands.

Our leading farmers noted that our fields were starting to show signs of exhaustion.

A chasm opened up in our pasture land. We performed an earth magic ritual to close up the hole. Nyalda Earth Mother and her daughters, Pela, Busenari, and Uryarda, heard our pleas, and sealed the hole up.

The young priestess Redalda came with a delegation from the Erthaling clan to ask permission to look at the golden mirror Beren found. Though Beren and Redalda maintained a respectful distance, all could see the spark between them. We showed her the mirror. The older members of Redalda’s delegation regarded it with suspicion. Her face, on the other hand, lit up with delight. She asked to hold the mirror. We let her. Her eyes widened in surprise. She turned bright red, gazing at the mirror, then Beren, then back into the mirror again. She passed the mirror back to its handlers. She said it was a vision of a dream that could not be, and grew visibly sad. Nodding to her followers—for it was obvious that she led the party, despite her youth—she instructed them to gift us with bronze blades and jeweled whistles. When the Rams departed, Chardenei whispered to council her surmise as to what she’d seen in the mirror: Beren’s face.

Angakon led a caravan to trade with the Red Feathers.

Our explorers found green clay of high quality on our lands.

We cleared fields and held a ceremony for the Barley Goddess and Earth Mother.

Venalor, a Four Drum trader, offered us the Reverberant Drum. We bought the treasure.

The Urkarnings raided us. We drove the Urkarnings off, and their survivors left without plundering us.

Angakon led a caravan to trade with the Sun Bows.

Acting as our emissary, Hanzin asked the Brighteyes to make good on the obligation they owed us, and provide us with cattle. Hanzin asked for no more and no less than the usual amount. Our mission to the Brighteyes returned empty-handed, being reminded that as the Pure Horse people, they herded only horses.

We were raided by the Seven Stars. We drove the Seven Stars off, and their survivors left without plundering our land.

Polanom 34
There were many swirling gusts of wind, but nobody was sure what this meant.

We could no longer afford to maintain our shrine to Ekarna.

Hunters of the Zethmaring clan, desperately seeking additional food after the skyquake, ventured outside the valley. Elves infected the Zethmarings with white spores that ate their flesh.

Warriors of the Sun Bow clan made a whooping run against us. We sent warriors to whoop at them in return. Our resolve took them aback.

We were raided by the Orlmarthings. We drove the Orlmarthings off, and their survivors left without looting us.

We sent a mission to our allies, the Fireflower clan, to ask for food. Hanzin asked for the usual amount. The Fireflowers provided us with the food without complaint.

The Seven Stars clan asked us to send worshipers to their Gamari Horse Mother ritual. We agreed. They gained the favor of Gamari. We shared a fraction of the bounty, aiding our horses.

Angakon led a caravan to trade with the Jade Colts.

Wheels of the Ku-Rander clan asked one of us to take the enemy role when they performed the Samnal Horsebreaker ritual. We politely declined. People said we should have been ready to swallow any humiliation to improve our dwindling herds.

A priestess of Gamari named Varasina offered to work a horse blessing for us. She performed the ritual and said that the next time we had a big problem with our horse herds, her magical gift would alleviate it. We expressed our gratitude in song. Varasina said our song pleased the ears of her mount, Starhoof. She shared an interesting sight she saw on her travels in the north. Not so long ago she passed a golden plateau sacred to Hyalor, where dwells a mysterious priestess others are in awe of.

The Red Feather clan saw our troubles and offered help. They gave us 22 cows. They accepted our thanks.

Morwi’s ability to provide food was acknowledged to be of heroic level.

We could no longer afford to maintain our shrine to Osara.

Kaldurka 1
Our shamans said that disease spirits would not trouble us.

We reorganized the clan circle, making Kaldurka the new chief.

Cows, separated from their owners by mischief spirits, wandered onto our lands. We sacrificed the cows to gain a divine blessing. The priestesses pronounced the ritual successful. We would enjoy green pastures for the next 35 seasons.

The Urkarnings raided us. We drove the Urkarnings off, and their survivors left without plundering our land.

Birds interfered with shamanic initiation by posing as spirits. We told them to behave. The birds trilled merrily and flew away.

Our Beren went to a market held by the Red Feather clan, where he found his friend Beren the Swift getting too friendly with Redalda, the object of his doomed affections. We sought otherworldly advice. Spinning to the Sky World, the priests found Hyalor breaking a fiery horse. He reminded them that rules can and must be changed when survival depends on it. In this case, he said, the prohibition on marriage between Rider and Ram had never been a divine edict. The curse originated instead from the fear and hostility of mortals. We and the Rams had made this curse, and together we could unmake it.

Chandayla, the Wheel woman who we adopted into our clan about ten years ago, has become a true Rider and valued clan member.

The Dar-Shamae raided us. We drove the Dar-Shamae off, and were happy to have survived the battle.

We found members of the Four Drum clan sneaking through our lands with horses taken by stealth from the Red Feather clan. We took them and the horses to the Red Feathers. The Red Feathers thanked us for doing more than was expected. They executed the thieves on the spot. They gave us a gift of twelve cows.

Kaldurka 2
It was predicted that many children would be born this year.

We could no longer afford to maintain our shrine to Osara.

We heard from the Brighteyes clan that Alkothi demon men came to see the damage from the skyquake.

The Erkent family complained that it had no spot on the circle. We threw a feast. Together we remembered that unity springs not from the clan circle, but is found around the roasting pit.

Beren asked the council to petition her clan circle on his behalf for permission to marry Redalda. We told him we would make the proposal, letting other Rider clans think as they wished. We agreed to devote ten seasons to preparations before we approached the Erthaling clan.

A lingering legal dispute between the Akot and Parnt families brought discord to the clan. We threw a feast. Drunkenness brought not harmony but worse disunity, as fists flew between members of the contending families.

We sent a mission to the Brighteyes clan to request food in exchange for the favor they owed us. Hanzin asked for the usual amount. The Brighteyes provided us with the food without complaint.

The Sun Bows called in a favor, requesting three horses. We gave them what they asked.

Angakon led a caravan to trade with the Red Feathers.

The Seven Stars raided us. We drove the Seven Stars off, and their survivors left without plundering us.

Yatakan and his party never returned from an expedition to the clan lands.

The Four Drum clan told us that Rams and Wheels were taking advantage of the schism between Hyaloring clans. We sought a truce between Cenala believers and traditionalists. At our patient urging the Riders acknowledged that fighting over this matter only made us vulnerable to the Rams and Wheels. No one gave up their beliefs. Instead we gave up the right to attack cousin clans who did not share them, either by word or deed. We celebrated with an enormous feast, and a great relief settled upon us.

We reorganized the clan circle.

Neighbors started singing a song about our weakness. We found out it was the chariot drivers of the Chov-Ashda clan who composed it. We engaged them in all-out battle. We drove the Chov-Ashdae from the battlefield, and were able to plunder their lands. We bested the Chov-Ashda clan, striking fear into them.

Kanchavus, a shaman formerly of the Four Drum clan, offered a goat blessing if we took vengeance on those who had outlawed him. We attacked the Four Drums. We were driven off and had no opportunity to obtain booty. When we told Kanchavus that we lost, he seemed to crumple from within. He left a few days later.

The Orlmarthings raided us. We drove the Orlmarthings off, and their survivors left without plundering our land.

Hanzin sought alliance with the Jade Colts. Hanzin rode with them, singing songs of Gamari and Hyalor, and we became allies.

Clan elders worried about the disunity caused by an ongoing legal claim between two circle members, Hendar and Beren. We settled the case by paying a settlement on Beren’s behalf. Both grumbled that the truth would never be adjudicated, but gave in to the wishes of their fellow councilors.

Angakon led a caravan to trade with the Red Feathers.

We could no longer afford to maintain our shrine to Dostal.

Kaldurka 3
It was predicted that few children would be born this year.

We reorganized the clan circle.

Rams of the Varleving clan requested an afternoon’s hospitality. They had prisoners from their rivals among the Orlmarth clan, who they intended to sell as slaves. We granted their request. The Varleving leader gave us a handful of gems. In accord with their promise, they neither stayed long, nor imposed greatly upon us. As we did not make it our business to tell others how to think about slavery, no one thought much of it.

The Dar-Shamae raided us. We drove the Dar-Shamae off, and their survivors left without looting us.

We raided the Dar-Shamae. Cherekem saw that the enemy had dropped an apparent magic weapon. Cherekem ignored this distraction. The enemies closest to him proved challenge enough. One of them struck him a serious blow to the right arm. We drove the Dar-Shamae from the battlefield, and were able to plunder their lands.

The Seven Stars raided us. We were driven from the battlefield and plundered.

Dostalkarn, the Red Feather war leader, wanted us to play chadash with his men, using the head of the Erthaling chieftain as the ball. We played the game. We defeated them. They tried hard to take our victory in stride.

An earthquake caused a stampede, and some of our cows went missing. We lent Nyalda strength with a ritual. The priestesses said that the assistance we had given would help the Earth Mother heal her distant wounds. It would be some time before another quake would plague our herds.

Elmal came to collect the bones of Yestal as weapons for his army. We asked him to restore our herds. He said he would tell Busenari to bring our cows back to us. By the time we checked, this had already happened. We counted 156 new cows.

We could no longer afford to maintain our shrine to Dostal.

Kaldurka 4
The signs for capturing wild horses were not good.

We heard that the Brighteyes clan had recruited many warriors.

The Chov-Ashda clan gave us the 40 cows they owed us.

We went to the Erthalings and proposed that our Beren marry their Redalda. We offered to share horse secrets. Randalyar shook his head and said that Beren had failed the test of destiny. “As much as we would like to ride, we know it is impossible. We have petitioned the gods many times, and never do they answer.” But then Redalda stepped from her place of concealment, and said, “It is because we must ask their god.” Divine light shone within her. Their priests said, “It is the light of Vingkot.” Our priests said, “No, it is the light of Gamari!” For an eternal instant, our realm became the divine realm, and Redalda transformed into a horse, galloping seven circuits around us. When all returned to normal, everyone knew we had witnessed a miracle for the ages.

Having passed two tests to wed Beren to Redalda, you proposed the test of wealth. We offered a munificent bride price. The Erthaling chieftain, Randalyar, said they would consider the marriage.

We offered to bring them an enemy’s head. They said the head of any inhuman king would do. We said we would show our might when it was once again time to raid. Randalyar replied that this was good. He would not have Redalda marry into a clan that neglected its fields.

We decided to ride to Busenari for a blessing. To increase the bounty of our ritual we sought the aid of other clans. Three clans agreed to help, expressing their confidence in our ability to reach the Cow Mother’s heavenly pasture.

Morwi found Busenari’s daughters alone in a chilly pasture, threatened by wolves. Morwi sang the cows a calming song. The song that came to her lips was called Let Elmal Worry About What Lays Beyond the Fields. Busenari’s daughters lowed, taking heart from its ancient melody.

Busenari’s daughters scattered in the darkness. Morwi reassured them. Another song came to Morwi’s lips, and it was called Now is the Time To Gather Ourselves. And gather themselves they did.

Ice came to fill the pasture, killing the grass. Morwi led them south, which was the Right Direction. They skirted foes both ancient and new to finally arrive in a green valley.

Morwi led the daughters of Busenari to Gamari, who said their home was now everywhere. They did not seem so pleased to hear this. Morwi urged Gamari to give the daughters her joy in wandering. Gamari snorted. If cows were meant to be brave, they’d have been born horses instead.

Busenari thanked Morwi for herding her daughters to their new home. Busenari blessed our clan with calm.

The clans who did the most to support our rite shared in its benefits. They banged cowbells in salute to Morwi. Those who withheld their assistance lamented, imagining how fat and sleek our cows would be compared to theirs.

We told Redalda’s clan we would bring them the head of the Ram Killer chieftain. Our war party rode hard into the village of the Ram Killers. We cornered their chieftain, Jandaren, lopping off his head. Five of our warriors were hurt. We killed one of Jandaren’s defenders and took three horses as booty.

We took the head back to Redalda’s clan and presented it to her chieftain. Randalyar embraced Beren. “You shall prove a worthy mate for our Redalda,” he said. “May this union begin a new era in the valley, and beyond.” Redalda leapt into Beren’s arms, and the two clans roared in delight. Together our leaders began planning a wedding unlike any the valley had ever seen.

Wild dogs killed 38 of our goats. We called on the gods. The priests spun in our temple to Elmal, leaping through smoke to Elmal’s side. If the dogs came back, he would pierce them with fiery arrows.

It was time to prepare for the wedding. We sent a mission to the plateau to ask Cenala to officiate at the wedding. Chardenei expressed confidence that she could be convinced to take part.

Aryash-Tevi asked for access to our Busenari temple for a ritual to restore their cattle herd. We agreed. Their priestesses entered our temple to wreathe themselves in sacred smoke. When they emerged, we could tell from their joyous manner that they had reached Busenari, and could expect her to bless their herds.

Our leading farmers noted that our fields were just beginning to show signs of exhaustion.

Our shamans found evil spirits on our land. They wished to acquire new items for their ritual garb, in case they came back. We said that after they acquired the needed items they should hunt evil spirits. Yandayla found that the shamans of the Brighteyes clan had the items they needed. She traded for them, but it was not the best deal. Upon their return, Yandayla assembled a party of shamans to scour our lands for evil spirits. Yandayla sensed their presence, but they fled upon seeing the new adornments she had acquired. They would not be back for a good while.

The wandering Starmane clan sought permission to briefly pasture their cattle on our lands, then keep on going. We asked them for magic. They worshiped at our shrines and temples, bringing the favor of the gods upon us. They tarried for a brief while, proving a retiring lot.

We were raided by the Dar-Shamae. We drove the Dar-Shamae off, and were happy to have survived the battle.

We could no longer afford to maintain our shrine to Osara.

At the rite of marriage between Beren and Redalda, Northern Wheels attacked. We called on Elmal to smite them. For a moment, the sky seemed to brighten, but no divine aid came. We rode swiftly to intercept them. They came at us hard, but we came at them harder. We broke their line, scattering them. Four of our warriors were hurt as our forces met. Beren took a hard spill from his mount. He rose up, bleeding, and for a moment we feared he had been blinded. But the injury proved superficial. We killed twelve of the Northern Wheels, and wounded too many to count. Redalda’s chieftain declared the victory a great omen, and decreed that the wedding should continue.

Beren took Redalda in his arms and said he had won her hand. “I also won yours,” Redalda smiled.

Beren and Redalda sky-rode to the Gods War, where Storm Tribe nobles squabbled. Beren, seeking to join them, offered his shield. Because he was of the Fire Tribe, the Ram nobles did not want to listen to him, much less admit him as an equal. Yet when Beren showed that his shield could burn off incoming arrows, and his horse could run fiery rings around attacking foes, they coveted his contribution.

Ernalda asked Redalda to seek an elemental substance she could fashion into torcs of equality for the contending nobles. She and Beren sought iron from the dwarf mountain. Beren rode his fiery horse into the depths of the dwarf mountain. From the crown of their king he snatched a lump of iron that chilled the soul. Dwarf crossbow bolts neared Beren’s steed and melted in his wreath of flame.

A horrific monster made of several smaller ones blocked their path back to Ernalda. As Beren fought it, Redalda called thunder lizards to bite and gore it. Maran Gor, the earthquake sister, provided monsters of her own to attack the fell creature, lashing at it with spiked tails. Beren slew it before it could slay him.

Ernalda offered divine recognition to pass on to our descendants. The newly wedded heroes asked that they remember the pledge of Elmal’s shield. “As your wedding gift,” Ernalda said, “your line shall have my blessing, when they seek to understand strangers.”

Redalda returned to our clan with us. A year later, the first of her children, also named Beren, was born. We read auspicious omens in the stars; Redalda showed us equally good ones painted in the clouds. Beren and Redalda lived longer than most, and under their tutelage her clan took on Rider ways, and we learned to harmonize our worship with gods we had once scorned. We would need this unity, as the darkness that shrouded the world was about to get worse. Much worse.

Submitted by Firefly on Saturday, August 8, 2020

I just read through that entire thing that was really really awesome! I have not been able to finish the second game in the series yet, but I cannot wait to see what the new one will bring when it does come out. Any tips that you could give me would be great as I have been at this for a while now.

Submitted by WellF on Saturday, August 8, 2020

what is this game? Seems awesome.