Photo copy Ганпүрэв Цэдэнбатаев via Google Maps Photosphere
You’d be proud of Tna. She sensed them far off, giving us two days’ notice. It wasn’t enough. We hid the goats in the tents, scoured any signs. Jaqn cast the wheel and the rest of us sat the spokes.
The grey-skins rode beasts like hornless antelopes, but twice the size. Their herd covered the hills like ants. At first they were fooled. Half had already passed us. Then one saw through, and they rounded toward us, hooves pounding.
They speared Tna first. Our circle broke.
I don’t know why they spared me, why they chose me to take.
They let me bury the brood, heedless of my rituals. Fools. I tied half my sash to a stone, kept the remainder. Use it to locate me, spirit-mother. When the others are ready, wake them. Bring them.
The grey-skins may be strong in body, but we shall slice vengeance through their souls.
Word count: 150. Written for this week’s What Pegman Saw challenge. Big thanks to Karen and Josh for hosting this wonderful writing prompt! This week Pegman takes us to Mongolia, which inspired my story in more ways than one. Click the link to see what images the other participants found that inspired them, and feel free to join in and post your own story — everyone is welcome!
If you look closely, there is a blue scarf or sash tied around a tall stone in the left side of the photo.
World building notes: One of the ways that this part of Eneana (that is, the continent where most of the stories I’ve posted so far have taken place) differs from the standard Medieval tropes is that horses are not native to the area. No horses = no cavalry, no knights. Horses were introduced pretty late in the timeline, when the magruks invaded from the north, in the long War of the Tandonni that eventually led to the downfall of the Pyanni Empire. But before the magruks got down to Pyann, they raided the vast northern plains, home to many disparate city-states and tribes fending for themselves since the collapse of the Azza’at Empire a few centuries earlier. As hinted at in this story, the magruks had better luck conquering some of those tribes than others.