Logrozana: War

This is one of the very first scenes I wrote for Inherent, back in December. I was at my home in CA, and sitting at the old dining room table while my family prepared Christmas dinner around me. The sun was shining through the first oak leaves–spring comes early in Northern California–and through the blades of grass.
As an aside, if you’ve never seen the winter sun shining on new green wild-grass, you are missing out. There is no green so vibrant.
I’ve always written better in CA. And if the success so far of Inherent is any clue, it is worth a week of family to start a new story.

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War comes early to the people of Gatika, early in the year, before the snows melt, early in life, before the voice deepens. War comes early to the people of Gatika, and leaves late, a constant guest.

The Priestess has seen such wars as this one before. A nameless host sweeps out of the southern deserts, inhuman man-creatures with clawing hands and twisted hearts, crushing all opposition. Virgal-Goien throws armies at them, what few troops it can spare from the northern front where hungry Kortango nibbles steadily away at its defenses. The army falls, feeds the hoard, spawns new beasts, and the ranks swell. Now they are a danger to Samis, and this is what their masters must have wanted, because the tide turns, and their course sweeps in a ragged line towards the war-plains, the Surruslada.

The Priestess calls her people to council, and to war. Rugged mountain rangers, brawn-heavy farmers, harsh Arbiters, fierce nomads from the desert, silent Rovers. All come to her.

“The King-time has come. Prepare for war,” she says, and they nod in silent acknowledgment.

Hoes and pottery are cast aside, fire blooms in the forges as weapons are honed and armor repaired, a final polish put on the pride of the families. There is not much to do, for war comes early to the people of Gatika, and leaves late, a constant guest.

The southern desert of the kingdom of Samis is prepared for war. Mortathes is at their head, their glorious leader, with the joy of battle burning in his eyes and voice. Above him flies the fierce red stallion on a golden flag, symbol of war and glory and Gatika.

They are too slow. Other eyes, the Queen of Night has seen the danger, and in the cold dawn, the ethereal peace of the desert stirs lightly around the feet of nine hundred warriors, moonlight glints in the wild eyes of the northern horses. A white flag snaps in the winds of their passage, blazed with a rampant black panther.

Another kingdom has sent her children to fight beside Gatika.

Behind them ride the knights of Balakisha, bright in their armor, their standards shining in the sun and moon alike, stained with the blood of a white ox and a green-and-gold flag whispers in the breeze, embroidered with a white ox, symbol of the merchant-kingdom.

The King-time has begun. Some say it will be the last King-time.

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