Tales of Ralios

Year 18 of Ekel Field-Destroyer

Several suitors expressed an interest in Ekel Field-Destroyer's newly-eligible daughters. Nath Brawl, son of the thane of the Karbaring clan of Keanos, offered rich gifts and a female thrall to act as Una's servant. He was surprisingly well-spoken for a Bemurok worshipper. Una set him to fetch a horse.

Kriofan of the Tronei clan from the Rioximagol Protsam tribe came to court Minara. He had an excellent singing voice, but little wealth. Ekel was concerned that Ashin Slowspeech, king of the R.P. tribe, had threatened to join Naskorion, and Minara turned him down. Minara also received Lorkan, cousin of the thane of the Tomaltachi clan of the Nardain tribe, who worshipped Elmal. She turned him down too.

Jarlath of the Loricati clan came to seek Aidin's hand. Everyone found him likable, and she agreed to marry him. He was ready to carry her off on the spot, but she wanted a delay to organize a wedding.

Radgan the Whistler, thane of the Dianosi clan of the Pranute tribe, sent a messenger promising twice the gifts anyone else offered for Una. Una wasn't thrilled at the prospect of marrying someone her father's age, but decided to at least meet him. With her relatives, she set off for Pranute lands. Ekel went as far as the Murendi tula, since the tribal moot was held there in a few days. He gave his family yearling calfs to offer to the Orlanth temple, and gave everyone goods worth one cow to use on the journey. He suggested Tailte, daughter of the thane of the Kachting clan of the Nardain tribe, or Fola Giver, sister of the thane of the Merostling clan of the Esismi tribe, as possible brides for Konall.

Jornast visited his foster-father Amagorri the Smith. Amagorri suggested Aibell of the Red Hair, a young woman in the Gesain clan, as a good match. Harall, a prosperous warrior of the Taskenth clan, took a liking to Minara. She asked him to travel with them to Kilwin.

Aibell had thick red hair and had all the children listening to her stories. Jornast offered to marry her, but her father asked for a year to decide.

As they arrived in Kilwin, they saw some newtlings (tailed humanoid amphibians) mending a net under the bridge. A townsman explained that the newtlings were allies of the city, and had originally helped build it.

They stayed at an inn with the sign of a Black-Footed Badger, though they weren't used to the concept of paying for lodging instead of accepting hospitality.

Kilwin's market had at least some merchants every day of the week. Jornast traded for a rapier, because nobody else in the clan had one. Aidin traded for better armor and high boots with Vinga's motion rune embossed on them. There were many unusual people in Kilwin. Aidin tried to talk to some westerners, but they didn't speak Delelan. Konall and Una had better luck talking to a warrior from Bastis, south of the Mislari Mountains, though they could barely understand him. They were surprised that, although he knew the Orlanthi greeting, he fought with an axe.

Minara learned Multimissile from a Breath Shaman at the Orlanth temple complex.

They stayed through Windsday to attend an Orlanth worship service. It was much more spectacular than the smaller temple back home; clouds boiled in the sky, and a dozen acolytes chanted in unison.

Harall continued with them. They entered the narrow Doskior Valley, leaving the low hills of the Azitor Basin.

As they crested a hill, they spotted seven riders on the next hill, and guessed they were Galanini. The riders yelled, "Off horse" in broken Delelan. Minara told Jornast to jump on her chariot, and had her driver charge while she ran down the pole to the yoke. She took many arrow wounds, but was knocked unconscious by a spear thrust, and her driver was unable to avoid running over her. Jornast Befuddled one of the Galanini, who fled from the charging chariots. Harall had to take the reins when his driver was knocked out by an arrow.

Konall took a spear through the knee which knocked him off his horse, but he used his Fireblood ability to heal himself.

Una traded blows with her opponent, and finally killed him. Jornast took out several foes with javelins, as well as one of the horses. Aidin snapped her opponent's spear, and he made a break for it. Aidin and Una chased after the weaponless Galanini. He tried to evade them by riding into the woods, but Una chopped off his arm when he tried to leap onto her horse, and took his head.

They were able to tend to Minara's wounds so that she regained consciousness and could use her Fireblood ability. One Galanini had surrendered after taking many wounds, and another was unconscious. Konall asked Harall to heal the prisoner, but he insisted on healing an Orlanthi.

Konall could tell that most of the Dianosi lands were a flood plain. They stayed with Hostaran Goldsnatcher of the Dianosi clan, who urged them to take their prisoners to his thane.

Radgan the Whistler welcomed the travellers. It turned out he was named for the way he talked. Una told everyone that making fun of the thane's whistling would shame her and her father. Radgan had two grown sons; his wife had died of a wasting disease probably sent by an Udari (otter hsunchen) shaman.

Radgan took charge of the Galanini captives. He wasn't pleased that they'd fought them. The Dianosi clan gave the Galanini gifts rather than offend them by riding horses. Una was secretly relieved that her father wouldn't approve of Radgan and his policy of appeasing the Galanini. Konall decided to give two of the horses to Radgan, since the attack had occurred in Dianosi lands.

Radgan's sister-in-law Ekfola, assuming that she'd soon be part of the Dianosi clan, took charge of Una, showing her local sacred spots such as the Red Woman grove.

Una skillfully tended the wounded until they were well enough to travel.

In Talvingi lands, they were given hospitality by Denall, a simple farmer. His stead didn't have room for everybody, so some people slept in the cow shed. In the middle of the night, Harmast heard something outside. It turned out to be a horde of trollkin. They beat off the ones trying to enter the shed. Una climbed the roof after one who'd gotten up there. Then they saw another group trying to get into the stead, and raced over.

The fighting was fierce. Jornast used Fireblood to heal himself, which scared away one of the trollkin.

Finally there was only one trollkin left standing, who ran away. Harmast ran after it, and was catching up, when suddenly it turned around and ran its spear through him. The trollkin chewed off Harmast's ear, then fled.

They ended up with 15 trollkin heads, which they put up around Denall's farm to scare off more trollkin, and gave to the neighboring farmers who came by.

They continued on to Merostling lands, and were guests of the thane, Feredach Ghostbane, who owned an unusual sword with which he'd destroyed a fearsome ghost. Konall took his sister Fola Giver for a ride on his horse, and was impressed by the poem she composed about the trollkin. Her kinsmen had little good to say about Fola, but Una was able to learn from the servants that she was proud, strong, and well-fitted to manage a house. She was very generous, always making sure strangers were well fed. Her brother felt threatened by her competence.

They travelled on to the Kachting clan, where they were guests of the thane, Engaran the Loud. Konall talked to his daughter Tailte, who had the Healing Gift, but wasn't sure if she wanted to devote herself to Chalana.

They returned home. Ekel turned down Harall's request to marry Minara.

Although she'd really wanted a larger horse, Una was touched when Nath Brawl brought her not only a Galanini pony, but its rider's head. She agreed to marry him.

About a week later, Kuan of the Melvori clan of the Atnakol tribe rode up in his chariot and asked to marry Una. When she told him he was too late, he swore an oath that she would be his bride some day, and drove off.

Konall decided to marry Fola, so he and Ekel Field-Destroyer returned to Feredach Ghostbane to negotiate the bride-price. Konall had composed a song for Fola.

Una and Nath Brawl were married in a big ceremony at the Belovaking tula. Konall gave them an elaborately carved hearth stone

Konall and Fola Giver were married in another big ceremony at the Belovaking tula. Una gave them a well-made table and chairs. Konall's foster family attended.

Una and Nath returned to his father's stead in Keanos.

Part 1 | Part 3

Copyright ©1996 David Dunham. Last updated 11 Jun 96.

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