edit: double post
edit edit: don't miss the previous post prior to the one above.
Messenger to Arabia
A group of archers approached the Arabian border. Halting patiently until they were engaged by a careful scout, a man stepped forth and spoke in intelligible Arabic.
Hear this message from Siddharta, leader of the Indians, I swear to the gods that these words are his words, unchanged and spoken in honesty.
I am Siddharta, leader of the peoples of the rivers Indus, Ganges, Narmada and Krishna. Your recent incursion into our lands will be forgiven, and we seek friendship and good relations with your people. We hope that we can live in peace and avoid the sorrow of strife, for we realize after seeing much blood flow that such acts benefit no man, only the gods of destruction.
We will receive your messengers with friendship and look forward to seeing your men of peace in our lands.
Such were the words of wise Siddharta, bring them to your leaders and may peace follow
The expedition then began preparing to return to Bombay.
edit: double post
edit edit: don't miss the previous post prior to the one above.
Overheard in a Chinese palace...
"Yes, great leader Xi is quite angered, I heard the recent string of barbarian invasions have destroyed many mines and that gold supplies are low."
"I heard that the Russian delegation was killed in the invasion and that Xi is too embarrassed to face the world!"
"I heard that amongst all this the foolish Indians have sent Xi a formal claim on our Western-most city! Are they mad?"
"Well all of this is not going to end well, I've heard that all cities have been ordered to cease any non-military operations and that until military prowess is achieved amongst all neighbors and barbarians, we will not advance our research or great works of art!"
"Why can't we have more neighbors like our brothers the Japanese..."
I am Siddharta, leader of the peoples of the rivers Indus, Ganges, Narmada and Krishna. We have noted your settlement at the river of Brahmaputra and though we do not approve of this incursion into our holy rivers, in the interest of friendship we desire a diplomatic discussion regarding the issue.
SiddhartaOriginally Posted by Xi
Grand leader Xi
We are only stating our views most humbly. Your settlement is an issue for us as it blocks our peoples growth close to our core lands. Therefore we wish to discuss in open terms your claim to these lands. These rivers are "holy" to us as they are the origin and life of our people. No god or spirit render them holy, our existence springs from them and thus we consider them to belong to us. Your empire is vast and great, our people are few and only recently united in the loosest manner, yet we are now united and all the riverpeoples now share a common interest. Among those interests is friendship with our neighbours. And also room to grow. We are small and insignificant, you are grand and mighty, as such we feel it in the interests of balance in the cosmos that we be allowed to seek our desire of living united in the lands that we belong to.
I do not understand why you bring our army's size into this, for we have in no way expressed any hostile intent, nor threatened with any use of force. I have fought the Arabs and been victorious, but even victory is bitter as the blood of so many is now on my hands. I have no desire to ever fight wars as the shedding of blood is a worship of the spirits of death and chaos, which lead men towards the path of darkness. This matter will not be resolved by violence, as we do not believe in its effectiveness.
I hope that you will heed my words of peace, and I know you will consider them wisely. And as we seek to resolve this difference of opinion, perhaps we can work towards bringing our peoples closer together by other means? Your Buddhism insipire and attract us, would you consider sharing its tenets with us?
It was early evening in the palace garden. Young Genevieve was asleep after a boisterous day. Joan and Richard had both had busy lately. They took the time for a relaxing stroll and to "catch up" with each other. Besides, something had been bothering the princess, Richard knew, but she had not said anything. She just didn't seem to be herself. Maybe tonight he would push a little harder on the matter.
Joan: "So, how was your meeting with General Roberge?"
Richard: "Oh, fine. He is as frustrated with peace as the rest of the army."
Joan: "No, he is still frustrated because the English did not fall for his trap."
They both chuckled at that, and then looking up at each other muttered "Damn Anglais!" in unison and spit on the ground. They laughed together over their theatrics.
Joan: "But he has the troops reassigned to new areas?"
Richard: "Oh yes, he took care of that right away. But he worries about the morale of the troops. They want to knock heads with someone."
Joan: "We raised a strong army, didn't we Richard?"
Richard: "That we did my dear. That we did."
Joan: "And what good does it do us now. The English built the lighthouse, Franzen built the statue thing for his father and then the wonderful gardens. And us? What have we done? We only now are building libraries."
Richard: "Yes, but have you seen them. They are marvelous! And the manuscripts!"
Joan: "Yes. Yes. I agree. But we are a cultured society. And we are builders. I feel we should be doing more. And while we are discussing it, there is something else bothering me."
Richard held his breath: "Yes, my dear?"
Joan:" I am just not happy with us."
His heart sank. Richard's words stumbled out: "Is it something I did or said? Is it Genevieve being born?"
Joan stared at him with amazement.
Richard struggled on ..."Is it .... is there someone else? While I was away in North Africa?"
Joan's look of amazement broke into peels of laughter. Richard was dumbfounded. She was now laughing so hard she was crying. She hugged him and then punched him lightly on his shoulder. "No you silly oaf. I am very happy with 'us'." She motioned to the two of them and kissed him on the cheek. "I am not happy with 'us'" she said, stretching her arms out wide. "Us Gauls. Look at us. A collection of tribes and towns pretending to be an empire. There HAS to be more! We have to be more!!"
She was striding through the garden now, waving her arms for effect, her white dress flowing around her. Richard was still trying to gather himself after his moment of personal terror, so he found it difficult to respond. "But, but .. you have done so much, my dear."
She walked over to him and draped her arms over his shoulders. "WE have done so much, my love. Yes. But we can do much more. This Gaul of ours can be a great nation. I feel it in my heart. See?"
And with that she kissed him. Very passionately.
Last edited by France (DoE); November 30, 2010 at 20:40.
The Pipe Passes
Runs With Buffalos looked out at the assembling men. He sighed. Not so long ago in his mind, he recalled being one of those men. He recalled his thoughts, his hopes, his wants and needs. Now, he looked out, and looking out, looked back; looking back, he looked forward.
Much that he had wanted had come to pass. The People slowly but surely grew in numbers. The cities of the plains filled with their number. Occasional drafts of servants from among them had kept the numbers in check, but Runs With Buffalos had put an end to this practice, when he saw the discontent it bred in the people. The cities now had many things of importance. They had totems, centers of worship focus for the People, who picked and chose among the various gods. They had places where the scrolls of skins recorded much of importance, and were stored, and could be read by others seeking more knowledge. They had storehouses in which the precious harvests were kept, so that some members of the People could do other things, and not always toil by tilling. And the fierce dog soldiers of the People kept the cities safe, warding off the man-things that kept pressing upon the cities out of the land of perpetual cold.
But much that he wanted still had not happened. The people were limited by their unruliness. Let a city grow too populated, and crimes began to break out, and people sat in their homes, and muttered, and refused to work. The soldiers ached to have more to do than just sit and wait; they chafed at the restrictions Runs With Buffalos had accepted from Coyote Runner on dealings with the man-things of the land to the rising sun and the land of perpetual heat. And most important to him, no god had ever shown up, willing to make a compact with the People, putting Runs With Buffalos equal with, nay, ahead of Coyote Runner in the minds of the people.
And now his time was done. In less time than Coyote Runner had had, his limit had arrived. Already he felt in his bones the creak of death. Soon, he would have to take the pilgrimage, head to the mountains, and be done with life here on the ground. But not before he managed one last thing for the People. Today would be that day.
Already the assembled men were talking about the future. He could see the clumps, could almost know what they were saying. Again, two men from among the wise and warriors had the attention of most: Deerfoot was perhaps most popular, with his soft talk and his skill with people. But he was timid, if fast. Claw of Cougar was a fierce warrior, and from those who wanted many things beyond what the People were limited to, he received much support. Runs With Buffalos shuddered, seeing what Claw wanted, and what that might bring.
But neither were to have their desire. Prairie Hawk would triumph. The men didn't know that, yet. Prairie Hawk was not talked about much, being young, and often gone watching. He watched the man-things, he watched the man-things who could not be reasoned with, and he watched the People. But Prairie Hawk had one thing that would gain him the leadership of the People: he was also Son of the Buffalo Runner.
Runs With Buffalos turned his head slightly, and saw the Medicine Man for Chahokia step forth. He nodded to him almost imperceptibly. It was important not to let the assemblage gain a sense of stability. Medicine Man blew on his reed pipe, and all stopped to hear his words.
He talked of a vision. He talked of a sending from the gods. He didn't say which gods, and no one thought to ask. Medicine Man was old, and wise, and always spoke the truth. He talked about how the gods wanted stability for the People. He talked about great things they could achieve, if they had peace, and quiet, and harmony. And he warned the People against divisiveness, against their fears. The men began to look fearful, as they heard of things they did not know were happening in places they did not go. And then he spoke the agreed words.
“The gods say they have made a pact with one person to keep us safe. That person is Runs With Buffalos.”
The People turned as one to Runs With Buffalos. And he said to them,
“They have reached a compact with me. I have agreed we will honor them always. And they have said in return that they will keep us safe. But as token that the People understand this compact must be kept, they required that I continue to lead you. And I said that I could not, that I was frail, and soon must take my last walk. And so they said there would be no bargain.”
At this, the men cried out fearfully. “What shall we do?” “What do the gods want?” “How will we survive!?”
And he who had run with buffaloes, who had dreamed big dreams, and who had dismissed the advice of Coyote Runner, so long ago, said,
“They did offer one alternative.” He awaited until there was total, expectant silence. “They said they will keep the bargain if the People follow one who knows my every thought, my every desire, my every hope. So long as the life of my loins leads the People, then and only then will they keep the People safe.”
The men clamored at this, and cried out: “Where is he!? Where is your son!? What will he say?”
And from behind the People, Prairie Hawk appeared. Slowly he walked through the men, walked up to where his father stood, and turned. He looked over them with his far-seeing eyes, and they trembled, for fear he would say, “no.”
“I will lead,” he finally spoke. And after me will come my children, and my children's children. And this shall be their sign: they and they alone will wear the plumage of the Hawk upon their heads.” And so saying, he took one fine feather from the tail of a Red Hawk, and he slowly strapped it around his head. And when he did, the People as one cried out, “Chief Prairie Hawk!”
Prairie Hawk's Dream
Prairie Hawk stood before the People. For days they had been coming. From all three cities they had congregated on the plains. Before the gates of Chahokia they camped, they drank, they sang, they smoked, they dreamed. But now all were here who could make it, and the time had come.
Prairie Hawk remembered the day not long ago when he had been made the hereditary chief of his people. He remembered his carefully hidden thoughts that day. Oh, if only his father had known. For while He Who Had Run With Buffalos was a dreamer, his dreams were ground level. Prairie Hawk soared above, saw from distance, saw the future. And the future needed more than just the dreams of an old man.
But all was now ready. Prairie Hawk's dream could now be revealed. And the Destiny of the People would change.
“People!” he cried. “Harken to me! For too long have you been heedless of the needs and ways of the gods! Even when you were told of the compact that made me your chief, you still ignored the warnings. And the gods have noticed. But you shall ignore them NO LONGER.”
He turned to face Chahokia. In the city's center there was a structure, but none could tell what it was clearly. For months and months, workers had worked on it, but only under the huge cover of sewn-together skins. No one workman ever knew everything that was done; only Prairie Hawk knew. Now, everyone would know.
He raised his hands.
”Behold the Golden Temple of the Gods!”
The cover over the building was torn off. And the People gasped at what they beheld:
And the Gods Smiled on the People.
The crew of the wayward vessel waded into new lands after passing peacefully through Indian territory. The boat came to a stop on the shores of a distant, arid land. They saw an odd, less dark people on the shores, and they came out of their ship to talk to them. They brought with them much of the fish they had harvested over the years since passing by the Indians, and dried fruits from exotic locales that were completely new to these inhabitants. Indeed, the crew had created a small garden on the deck of the ship, where they were growing all manner of tropical, saltwater plants. Along with these dried fruits and seafoods, the crew brought small tokens of their appreciation in preserved "maize". The captain asked to speak to someone in charge, and relayed this message:
"Pat Cozma Quiquisuna,
Maz ha nu cuhazma y nu caylnu y nu Tatnapa. Maz naznchi quilnanlpiz nupahaycpipa c'ha malnuzhana, l'na maz ha yco l' pihazlnu saychacozcha nuy tatcoti nu Sutchutnue y nu mayhasuti."
They waited for a response from the Arab elders...
Meanwhile, in Mecca ....
Abdullah al-Mahdi asked the chief of foreign affairs "This expert linguist you told me about, where is he now?"
The chief responded "Up in Caspian Gates trying to teach the local officials Ottoman and Rus."
"Hmmm. That is useful, but it can wait. Get him down to the coast as soon as possible to meet with these strangers from the sea."
"Yes, sir, but it will take a several days of travel."
"So be it"
(France posting as Arabia.)