They left tokens at Prisoner's Grove. A few days later, a herald from Edruf Strongbreath of the Malani came to speak with Kerenath. He said that Edruf had taken over the claim for Iskalli and the other Orlevings killed, wounded, or stolen from, for 400 cows. Kerenath told him to tell Edruf that Edruf had no jurisdiction. Furthermore, if he was handling the affairs of the Orlevings, Edruf could pay the ransom of 100 cows for the prisoners.
Kerenath sent Lekengor and Skolli to inform Blackmor that Edruf had claimed jurisdiction. Blackmor then denounced Edruf to the Lunars who were in his court, angrily insisting that they return the Namolding and Lysang clans to his rule. If the Malani attacked the Colymar, no agreement would keep him from his righteous wrath.
The Lerith Sword pointed out the Red Moon as the most dangerous enemy of the Varmandi.
Aslandar spotted the tribal fyrd of the Malani comeing from the north. Kerenath ordered a retreat rather than waste lives defending. The West Vale fled west to Runegate, about 220 fled east into the hills with Kerenath.
The next morning, Maniski flew to Swan Town, where he learned that Blackmor had already sent out the war spear, ordering the clans to gather the next week.
Kerenath tried to rally the morale of the clan.
The land surrounding the stream by Oakton was heavily plundered, and a fair portion of the fields were burned. Oakton itself was pillaged, its goddess acoutrements stolen.
Maniski returned with the news that Blackmor intended to retake the two clans.
Tribal housecarls came to summon the Varmandi fyrd to Runegate.
Blackmor greeted Kerenath, "I thought that Varmandi chiefs would rather die than give up their land." Kerenath replied, "I have not given up any land -- don't mistake a strategem for retreat."
Blackmor gathered his army behind the Black Spear. He had many warriors fighting directly for himself, many men without clans. Fewer men than usual had gathered behind clan banners. In all, Blackmor had fewer men than Kallai Rockbuster. He led them over Stael's Hills into Ormsthane Vale, ordering no looting. He chose a battlefield, and waited for the Malani.
Edruf Strongbreath lined up in good defensive order. Sarostip Coldeye, the Humakti Sword of the Malani, was prominent among their warriors.
The Varmandi were arrayed against the Argsyl clan. Maniski rallyed the fyrd in Varmand's name.
The Varmandi forced their opponents back, but Maniski was seriously wounded. But Edruf held the field, and the Colymar had to withdraw.
Blackmor claimed victory, since his companions killed one of Edruf's sons.
Kerad said that he didn't consider himself worthy to be on the ring, and that he was going to Old Wind. He asked for companions.
Kerenath replied that Kerad was still on the ring.
David Dunham Page | Glorantha Page | Taming of Dragon Pass