After the Fall
“Which one are you again? No, don’t tell me. It’ll come to me. I’m not senile yet… Ah yes, that dark red hair and the ponytail… no, no… not a ponytail. A foxtail. A thick, red foxtail. You are Floryon. Floryon Foxtail.”
“And you, Mandigaill whom they call the Hunter, welcome too. And what, pray, will be your pleasure, gentlemen?”
”Ah yes, Floryon Foxtail, you’ve got some Mukthar blood in you, witness your oxblood red hair. From your grandfather’s side, if memory serves. I could ask my old friend, Medwyna. She helped you come into this world, as she did your mother. She should know… No wonder you want to hear the story of Lee-Lack’s gold. You want to know what happened to the treasure of the Renuvian Plains Robbers. Duke Lethoras Demaxos couldn’t find it, although he never stopped looking. I can see why you would be interested. After all, the story involves a Mukthar warrior who couldn’t return home, who once had been the beddurouwin of a prince, and who was called a traitor by some.”
“Shame on you, Foxtail. Are you so ignorant of the customs of your grandfather’s people that you don’t even know what a beddurouwin is? Your friend Mandigaill does, and he has no Mukthars among his forebears. I distinctly recall it came up when he was here some time ago. Surely he remembers.
“Ah well, just for you I’ll explain again… Mukthars think the relatives that fickle fate has given you count for less than the relatives you choose yourself. Rouwining are two warriors with a special bond.”
“No, not that kind of bond, although that as well exists.”
“No, rouwining are two warriors who have chosen each other for brothers. The younger one calls his chosen older brother nagàrouwin, and the older calls the younger one his beddurouwin.
“Now, a more important question… what have you brought for supper?”
“Wild boar chops with root vegetables, mushrooms and onions. Excellent, Mandigaill. I trust you hunted, gutted, cleaned, and chopped up the boar yourself. And three bottles of red wine. Thank you, Floryon. This evening we will eat and drink well.
“It is a long story, or more precisely, it takes several stories to explain where Lee-Lack’s gold ended up. You’ll have to stay several nights. You both know I have only the one bed, but it is large enough for the three of us. Count yourselves lucky that at my age my needs are modest and that I enjoy watching almost as much as participating.”
“Why this futile protest? It’s not as if you weren’t expecting this. Besides, I know for certain you both enjoy the, ah, acts. And being watched in the act.
“Now… where to begin? The conspiracy in the highest ranks of the Bear Mukthars? The murder of the prince? Or, maybe, how the former robber chief, Lee-Lack Scarminckle met—
“Ah… so much had changed after the Battle of the Zinchara…”
Bonds of Hate
Book I of the Dark Tales of Randamor the Recluse series is now free on
- For an overview of published scenes and more info see the General Introduction to these stories.
- The first seven books of the Dark Tales of Randamor the Recluse.
- The World of Anaxantis with, among other things, a Map of the Renuvian Plains and the northern part of what is called the Northern Marches by the Royal Administration of Ximerion, and the Highlands by the local population.
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