Quor's Journal

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We Khallic consume the land. The land feeds us, but we Khallic are too much for it. The land yields to us until it is only soil. The sea also yields to us, but only until it is water and the salt-dust. We consume the land until we cannot, and we Khalic must find new land to consume.

Can we Khallic find a land that we cannot consume?

These creatures are horrible to see. What caused them to be so? Were they born tainted, or did they bring the taint upon themselves? They seek females and take them for their own use as new mothers. I wonder if the taint would spring from them?

Must not allow that to be answered. Must rescue our people. Feel desire to learn of these creatures. Are so bizarre, wrong. Of where do they come? May need to know that. Are too great to hide or avoid their snatching.

May it sing, my spear.

The people-thief was a beast (is it of one? or many?), was of many heads (how did it come of many heads? Is it many people? Is it one people? How come the heads to be? As spilled from the crescent of life? Or are the heads of the people-thief born of the people it thieves?), was like a wind (how to catch such? how to flee? will it return?).
Felt the Fear in me (clouding, slowing, stopped), broken of fellow acts, brave and warriors, chased the people-thief (Manyheads, why thieve the people? What use?). Strong wind was the Manyheads, the scattered leaves were us. For the thieved, we wept.

As we are standing among the “tainted” ones, Quor says, “I agree we should allow these folk to make their case to the elders, though I don’t know how they will justify the right of taking people against their will. Allow me to help the wounded among them first.”
[to the tainted] “Your words will be lost, I think, to the wind should you ask for help without first returning the people you have stolen from our clans. Bring them all here so that we may all journey together and resolve this with the best hope possible for all.”

Udokul nodded, “I agree Quor. The elders will not look kindly on the kidnapping of our maidens. If these ones are wise, they will go to their leaders and tell them to return our women. If they do so, then perhaps the elders will open their ears and hearts to their plight, and solution to what ails them can be found. To not do so shall bring the wrath of our clans upon them, and more blood will be spilled.” In truth Udokul was not so sure that elders would willing to subject their women to being basically brood mares for these mongrels. The only chance was that they might see them as Kallic, but it was only a slim chance.

Quor replies, “I am not sure that what they claim is even true. If they are Kallic…well, I can see why they tried to be sneaky about it, but they seem to have stabbed their own eye by being dishonorable.”
[07 31 14]

I wonder if and how these other people can show us they have honor after their heinous and frightening behavior. What they offer could be a great boon for us, none more than to know of our written words. I must remember what there is to loose when this is settled, my desire cannot flood my mind lest I let it lead me down a dishonorable path. I believe they are willing to honor the deal they propose, but I have been wrong in the past.

I miss the Big Wet. It was always soothing to me, a rhythm that sings like the songs around the fire. My friends and the dogs raise my spirits, and I try to find some solace in the wind of the high peaks – but it is not the lulling of the waves. It is more the howl of a woman as she is taken from her home.

I reflect often on time we travelled to the crater, my friends and me. Some of them still carry a burden of that time, a sorrow that shows in their eyes. We all had a fear of the Ben-Kallic, but their choices carried an apparent burden of unwanted effect: those who touched the wall of water shine had women join the Ben-Kallic. I wonder what, to this day, the connection could be, if the connection could be? Are there such things elsewhere in the world? I have a longing to see one…and a fear. What power such a connection must mean. But what is it’s source? From a time when walls were formed from stone as if clay.

I wonder what time it would take to form such walls from the rocks of this barren landscape. Our tools seem not capable of such cutting.

The barren rock land of our journey drags my heart down, weighs it with the heat of the sun and the earth’s rejection of it, weighs it down with tiny stones that are nothing by themselves but a crushing weight when they have collected over thousands of steps. Food is more scarce here, and more withered as if the land is dead clay and salt and little more. Such it may be, and we leave it more withered once we reave from it the small sustenance it has. I talked to mother recently about the strong blight on this part of the world and how it could be undone. She spoke of the “quiet” of the blight, how it encompasses the soil, stone and plant life, disconnecting all from each other. “The animals and trees, the birds and berry bushes, all lose the bonds that allow them to serve the cycle,” she told me. “The parts have difficulty working together. It may be that one could reduce the blight, or that one could strengthen the bond of life for a time. If so, it would be a thing of the Ancestors.” She explained that a grove could find health in the tending, but the Kallic outpace any tending in consumption. It would need to be a great lands of groves to feed our people.

I wondered, later on, about the Ancients and what we saw – what we felt – at the Ben Kallic crater. What other secrets of the time before the great happening still lay I the world, either known or long buried? What kinds of powers might we encounter? What can we learn from them, more importantly? Could we learn how these powers were wielded?

The Kallic are like ants crossing the stone below the crows’ nests. We are too vulnerable, as the Bin Kallic showed us. We scatter like quail when a threat appears. How can we best counteract against threats? Is control of ourselves the answer, and is that even possible? Would a focus on the threat itself be a more efficient option? Being able to identify and remove threats quickly would be essential – the less loss of life will decrease panic. Is there some way to teach each other how to protect ourselves by not scattering when the crow starts to pick at us?

We need to learn how to better use the resources of the land. These reeds, for example, could be an occasional tool to escape the large wasps but for other things as well. One can blow through it, see through those that are not so bent. They are light and strong. What use could I make of this? Could I blow a small stone through it? Not with the strength of a sling, I would guess. Maybe another reed pushed through it? They seem too light and flexible for use when fighting face-to-face. Maybe bound together?

Also, the wasps – their sting leaves the nasty welts that make it hard to breath. Could that be harnessed? or the poison from a serpent? There was that lizard that bit Holck all those years ago, that would be an powerful poison at the end of a spear. I need to work on methods for capturing creatures and collecting useful materials from them. Others may have ideas on how to go about this task.

I wonder sometimes about the ants as they crawl purposefully across our path. They act with skill and understanding yet without speaking. Is it some aspect of being an any that allows them such mastery, or are they learning and teaching each other over generations, becoming more able with each new batch of eggs? And they make batches with each day and sun.

I don’t suppose it matters how they are able to work with such coordination. The question I keep walking in my mind is how can the Kallic do the same? How can we match the ants in purposeful movement?

The hugeness of our people makes knowledge hard to spread quickly. We are too exposed whether traveling or encamping and too large and slow to outrun those who may prey on us. We need a way to alert each other more quickly. If we can be aware of danger far earlier than we are used to, we can then teach each other how to react quickly both to protect and to disable the danger. Our losses will be less if we can teach some to react as the ants do. Those who cannot defend must learn what they are born knowing – to flee like the sparrow flock from the charging dog.

The Thale have shown themselves when we moved near their territory, and also their nature: they are enslavers and killers and likely eaters-of-flesh. We were unprepared for our first encounter and unfortunate for our second, but we have made efforts to improve our defenses and, even if an offensive strike is not feasible, we should be able to make further attacks against us costly to the Thale – and any others who would try to take advantage of us. And that is the key: helping each other improve ourselves and take advantage of our strength in numbers to defend our people.
The clan leaders are willing to support us in the effort to establish the Kallic people as a defendable force and to take the initiative to show others our capability.

The Thale used a beast, a giant to us, in their attack. It makes me wonder how we could better put our own pets to work, and what other pets we could find and train from the Great Earth. Bird scouts would be a great aid, but could they be trained to do such things?

The Thale Campaign has taken a toll on the Kallic. Loss of our clansmen, loss of our security, loss of our hope. We cannot step forward without first giving way, making our efforts only means to return to a matching stance with the barbarous Thale. Only this last effort has brought gains and moved our people forward (forward!), and even that was at great cost along our southern fortifications. We made a hold only by reserving our giant allies until a break-through by the fiends was inevitable.

This trial has also seasoned us, brought us solidarity in purpose that I had not seen before. There seems to be some rumors floating around about infiltrators or some such thing, but that is standard for the climate of fear and chaos the Thale have created for us. A destructive force, yes, but the strong heads of many of the clan, such as Lorku and Degana, have harnesses the clan energies into a fighting force, a strategic force, and we have shown strength against the Thale. We have used quick efforts to send a message, and they have heard it. We have Kallic strength but, more so, we have the Kallic adaptation, a versatility and creativeness that can be applied simultaneously and for great surprise for our enemies. We are believing in ourselves as a people who can shape the world, not whom the world shapes.

Our efforts against the Thale have made good progress, though not consistently. We are learning new capabilities, and at times find ourselves over-reaching. I wish to see our settlement make a stronger foundation here in the bog, but many wish to put our efforts to aggression against the Thale. They are not wrong, and we have new people to consider as ally or enemy. But I fear our time here in the bog will be longer than others expect, and establishing a settled foothold in the north may make the difference in our survival in the coming months and a useful outpost when we move onward. We can beat the Thale back, we don’t need to rush their eradication or our seizure of the whole of the bog. We need to take time to develop some of our newly found materials and create new methods and tools. I have so many ideas (not to mention this new gourd from my Bin Kallic friend) but spend each day swinging my stride more than anything else.

The hydra is a serious complication. I don’t feel we are paying enough attention to its movements and behavior. I understand the hopelessness some feel in the prospect of putting it down. Until we are free of this bog it is a threat that must be monitored until it leaves the area or we can find a way to deal with it. I think, with careful preparation, taking the hydra down can be done with some assurance and we can take a safe position in the north of the bog.


Quor's Journal

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