((This thread takes place at approximately the same time as "Adjustments": http://www.tharshaddin.com/rp/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=1450))
Zamat, Nasima, Shuli, and Loie were still camped by the cave where their ancestors lived, paying the spirits the homage they had been unable to during the dark times. Other relatives had joined them now, nomads also, all fellow members of the Triazee family, descendents of and devotees to the Ancestors. Nasima’s sister Lassa was there, their brothers Verrek and Yonash, Zamat’s cousin Doeni, Doeni’s wife Sereffa, and their five year old daughter Ooshie. It was a happy gathering, a reunion of loved ones too long apart, and their relief was evident; it was good to be free of the evil forces that had plagued them.
Zamat sat in the mouth of the cave casting rune stones. Shuli, Loie, and Ooshie watched with interest— as well they should, since that was how children learned the traditions of their people. Zamat explained each pattern of stones as they fell, not only for their interest but to teach them, since they would one day take over, and so their family’s ways would continue even when Zamat and Nasima and their generation were all spirits living in the cave too.
Zamat allowed the stones to fall out of his hand onto the dry, sandy floor. “The Wounded Bird flees from The Name. The Name can mean family, or heritage. I am not sure what the Bird means yet. It can be a literal wounded animal, or a wounded human spirit, or many other things.” And this was the complexity of the runes. This was what they must learn. The runes gave suggestions, hints, but never outright answers. They were open to interpretation and, at least as Zamat saw it, generally easier to understand in hindsight. The lack of clarity did not alarm him. Further castings would reveal additional details, but as always, much would remain mysterious. It was to be expected.
He shook the stones and dropped them again, allowing five to fall this time. The more stones he dropped, the more complete the picture— but it was also likely to be confusing and more difficult to make sense of with the additional elements. Zamat hoped it would further explain the cryptic previous casting. He frowned at the pattern.
“See, these two stones overlap. This one is The Shaman. It is joined to The Mother… so we know the spirits refer to Uluki, not to the shaman of Kotesh’s tribe.” That was, in his opinion, a very good thing. That shaman was best avoided. “The Loyal One stands beside her… her husband, I think. Below them, in the place of protection, is The Wounded Bird.” He still wasn’t sure how to interpret that rune, but regardless of what… or who… it signified, Uluki and Rollick were clearly a source of safety and solace. The last rune worried him. “In opposition to them, to these three, is The Guest, the one called the stranger.” That in itself was not a source of great concern, as The Guest was one of the runes most open to interpretation, and could mean any change or unexpected development. The problem was that this title had also been used by the Ancestors to characterize the one who had corrupted them, as Uluki had explained when she told them the tale on the way back. The last rune was alone, and that solitude seemed to emphasize it. “Danger,” he explained simply. Of the twenty-three runes, that was the only one that had but a single meaning, that was not open to interpretation.
Even as he spoke, a breeze blew through the cave, coming from the direction of the back wall, not from outside, surprising Zamat and the children. Wind did not behave this way. It was a sign from the Ancestors.
“Protect The Shaman…” it whispered. “Go to her. Protect her from The Guest…”
Never before had the spirits spoken to Zamat in so direct and outright a fashion, not in more than thirty years of reading runes. Clearly this was important. The was no doubt of that in Zamat’s mind, no thought of disobedience.
“Children, go assemble the others. I will tell them of this. Then we ride to Marn.”
Zamat didn’t know what danger Uluki faced from The Guest, but he shuddered at the thought of how the vile man had brought disease and corruption to the Ancestors. He would be only too happy to do what he could to spare Uluki and her family a similar fate, should it be in the Triazees’ to prevent it.
((Continued: http://www.tharshaddin.com/rp/viewtopic ... 0&start=30))
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