Flashback When She Awoke, the World Was on Fire

Gathering of the Tribes

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The massive stretch of desert that overwhelms Eyktol. Here, a man's water is worth more than his life, and the burying sands are the unfortunate's mute undertaker.

When She Awoke, the World Was on Fire

Postby Kiaramali on August 26th, 2013, 12:56 pm



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11th of Summer, 512

Gathering of the Tribes



Kiaramali tucked her legs underneath her body and settled into the soft sand. In front of her, a fire crackled from the charred fire pit. The occasion marked the first time she’d been still all season.

Beyond the fire’s orange glow, Abayla Ogin of the Suli tribe, sung her part of the sacred story, her melodious voice lifting up into the darkened sky. The Abayla’s voice ebbed and piqued, her alto tone, weaving a lifetime of their people’s memories into the steady beat of the cowhide drums that flanked her. She handled the history of the Chaktawe people with the same respect they’d show a precious trickle of water.

Her manner was slow and precise. Like the skilled performer she was, she led the tribes into her audience. Only once she held their rapt attention, did she unfurl the full range of her powerful voice, rousing Kiaramali’s spirit like nothing else in the barren desert could.

Despite the plummeting temperature, the heat in Kiaramali’s core rose and she loosened the knots on her scarlet-feathered coat.

The eleventh of every season was a time of passion and celebration as all three tribes came together; families reunited and shared new stories of their own. On that early summer night, the only thing more enthralling than the Abayla herself was the gossip shared around the fire pit.

A couple of glossy-headed girls, who couldn’t have been much younger than her own sister, Tuuwa, picked over the bleached bones of one of those stories. Only the murmuring of their voices floated through the air and landed in Kiaramali’s ear, but the two were persistent to the point that their conversation didn’t go unnoticed. The scowls of those around them however, did.

Everyone at the gathering knew everyone else, whether in passing, or at length. That was what happened when the population dwindled to the extent that the Chaktawes had. There was not a painted face in the crowd that Kiaramali didn’t recognize and the same was true of those that stared at the girls.

A single scrap of gossip might not be about their families, or even their tribes. In fact, each of the girls was marked with a different color, but their words still had the potential to kick up sand in the direction of both.

Kiaramali had to hide her smile. A little bit of gossip was good for the soul. At least that was her opinion. One that was probably better off shared another chime.

As the rhythm of the girls' wagging tongues threatened to take the place of the beating drums, Kiaramali spied her eldest sister’s entry on the leather-clad arm of her husband. Last year, Cheveyo traded in the clay under her nails, for goat hair on her wrap when she married into Honiahaka’s tribe.

Kiaramali’s gaze slid down Cheveyo’s flat stomach and her heart shrunk as she realized there was still no baby bump.


Last edited by Kiaramali on August 31st, 2013, 3:14 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Kiaramali
Tatsuwaat Tribe
 
Posts: 54
Words: 18065
Joined roleplay: August 14th, 2013, 8:45 pm
Location: Nyka
Race: Chaktawe
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When She Awoke, the World Was on Fire

Postby Kiaramali on August 26th, 2013, 3:39 pm




In a gene pool ever shrinking, no baby meant no future. Cheveyo should have arrived with widening hips and a telltale glow, not the round slump of her shoulders beneath the bowing weight of her husband’s arm. Kiaramali felt as if her prayers to Makutsi had fallen short of the goddess’s ears.

Song and gossip disappeared into the background as Kiaramali's worry for her sister eclipsed all else.

Did Honiahaka think his goats were more important to the future of his tribe than having children? Cheveyo wanted a baby more than anything in the desert. If her stomach hadn't swelled, the blame fell solidly on her husband.

Kiaramali's oldest sister had always been the planner. By the time she was old enough to talk, she knew she wanted to be married with a tent full of little ones. Those had always been her goals. While the other sisters tinkered with clay and bows, Cheveyo had sewn her favorite beads into baby wraps.

There was little Kiaramali could do to hide the sadness on her face as Cheveyo approached her, but it was hard to set aside her sister's feelings and pretend that she didn't see her lost hopes.

The idea that Honiahaka had worked on his own dreams for the future and obviously set Cheveyo’s aside, made her blood boil. Kiaramali wanted her sisters to be happy—even Tuuwa, who was ever up her father's wraps. More than that, she wanted what was best for her tibe. As women, they were gifted the honor of being able to bear children to carry on the thinning bloodlines of their people. Honiahaka stood in the way of that. For what reason?

Honiahaka's family didn't mind his decision? Kiaramali found that hard to believe. He has no sense of tribe! How can he do this to my sister? Just look at her!

Cheveyo's features, usually a light and lively mix, were clouded by darkness, like thunder brewed beneath the thick black paint smear.

Their eyes connected as Kiaramali swept her sisters face, looking for any signs of the joy that had once been there and she knew that Cheveyo had followed the path of her thoughts through to conclusion.

Honiahaka stepped between the sisters, abruptly severing their tie. He wrapped her up in a hug, squeezing the air out of her lungs so the words about to spill out of her mouth, were trapped behind her teeth.

It seemed Cheveyo wasn’t the only one who saw what she'd been thinking.

By the time her webbed toes were firmly in the sand again, the couple had already slipped by and moved on to greeting her parents.

Where was the one sister she knew would support her disapproval of Honiahaka? Kiaramali’s gaze moved past her family, over Honiahaka’s huge head, out into the milling crowd. Where is Huyana?

Kiaramali saw her feathers nowhere.



User avatar
Kiaramali
Tatsuwaat Tribe
 
Posts: 54
Words: 18065
Joined roleplay: August 14th, 2013, 8:45 pm
Location: Nyka
Race: Chaktawe
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Plotnotes


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