|Fantasy Fiction posted March 14, 2018||Chapters:||2 3 -4- 5...|
Dak must choose, Nyla brothers come to visit.
A chapter in the book GULBRANDR- God's Sword
The Ties That Bind
A child is banished from her people because she is different. She grows up to have a child of her own that will save her people from annihilation.
The behemoth slept, its huge wings spread to cover its face and nest. The monster stirred, its back legs moved as if to run, then went still. It breathed heavily, hissing and wheezing as it slumbered on. Beneath its huge, black scaled body lay a treasure. A clutch of five eggs, each the size of a grown man's head. It would still be many weeks before the precious cargo they carried would emerge wide eyed, all claws and teeth into the world.
Nyla stood in the warm sun, relishing the feel of it on her skin. It was far into spring but the days were still often bone chilling. The warm sunlight was a delicious treat.
Her brothers were coming. Over the past seventeen years they had come less and less frequently. They were now elders in the village with much responsibility. They had wives and sons to care for. They often came with her nephews in tow, monstrous white haired youths with too much energy.
Feeling drowsy from the warmth of the sun, Nyla closed her eyes, her thoughts turned to Dak as they always did.
She stood before him in her wedding finery. Her buckskin dress, so light in color it was almost white, had been worked many weeks until was soft as butter. The loose sleeves came to her wrists, and a wide leather belt cinched her tiny waist. The narrow skirt fell almost to the tops of her buckskin boots made from the same hide. It had been a gift from Dak.
Her freshly washed hair had been braided into a long ponytail. Woven with tiny pink wild roses and yellow corn flowers, it fell over one shoulder. Her cheeks and eyes were bright and shown with excitement. Dak had never seen her more beautiful.
Dak was resplendent in his light buckskin and rabbit fur vest. His stark white hair pulled back and fastened with a leather thong, exposing his fine chiseled features and deep blue eyes.
Nyla's brothers stood beside Dak and the tiny rector, who would perform the wedding ceremony. His equally tiny wife stood beside Nyla. The ceremony wouldn't be recognized by the Wahalands, but the proper words were said before God and that's all that mattered. It had been a perfect spring day much like the present day.
Nyla heard horses and the soft murmur of her brothers' voices. She shook herself from her daydream and smiled. The looks on her brothers faces told her they had grave news. She had seen that look before, sixteen years ago.
After they wed, Dak came every three days. He would come early, while it was still dark. He often brought a gift, a rabbit fur blanket, wild flowers, once a necklace made from the opal that was mined from the mountains that surrounded Wahaland. Dak had made it himself and once placed around her neck, she never took it off.
He would slip into bed beside her on those early mornings. She could feel the cold he brought with him, than the warmth from his body as he held her.
With in a month Nyla was with child. Dak found it difficult to keep his excitement to himself when away from Nyla. His father and mother had begun to badger him about taking a wife, so it was difficult to keep to himself that he already had one.
"There are many fine daughters to choose from. You need to wed and start a family. You are getting of an age when it will soon be difficult to find a good wife. Suitable matches are being taken by the younger men in the village. You mustn't wait much longer." His father admonished him, a concerned look in his eyes.
Having a large family was paramount to the survival of the clan. Too many children didn't live to see their first birthdays and having a large family insured there would be descendants and that the clan would go on. The sooner one started a family the better. Workers were always needed, especially sons to do the hunting and felling of trees for animal pens and dwellings. Mining opal and building boats brought in traders with needed supplies and niceties.
Sons were highly valued, but daughters were a prize and much could be gained as men bartered for the privilege to wed.
Dak's father had begun to worry that his eldest son was seeing a daughter of a tradesman. He was gone too often. He hated the thought of his son bringing an outsider into the clan. They brought little in the way of a useful goods from their fathers, and her children would be weak. She wouldn't be used to the difficult life of a Wahaland women. No, it would never do for a son of his to bring in an outsider.
Dak was also worried. Two of his younger brothers had wed already and had children, more each year. This caused his parents to put even more pressure on him. He knew all in the village thought it strange he hadn't wed yet.
He would have to leave the village for good one day he knew, and once their child was born, he'd never be able to leave Nyla again.
One evening when he had rejoined the clan, his father and brothers began badgering him insistently about taking a wife.
"It is unseemly that my eldest son hasn't wed as yet, your younger brother are well ahead of you. The village people talk and wonder, the elders and council talk and ask me often why you haven't wed!"
"It is not their concern what I do or don't do."
"It is the councils concern. The survival of our people is their concern!"
His brothers began where his father left off, each telling him it was his duty to have a family for the sake of the clan. He knew they were not going to give up until he agreed to take a wife.
"I am wed already!" Now it was out and he was glad. He had grown weary of the badgering and constant scrutiny of his life.
Stunned silence followed for several minutes, his father stared, bewildered.
"What do you mean you are wed already? Without my blessing? Of what house is she?"
"She is of the house of Caltic."
"The house of Caltic has no daughters!" Dak watched as awareness dawn on his father. "Caltic has but one daughter banished from this village. Do not tell me it is she and you have brought this curse into our house."
"She is not cursed.' Dak said evenly, "She alone is worth more then twenty women together." Dak struggled to keep his temper.
"No, this I will not allow. You must end it at once. No one need know of this. You can still wed a daughter of the clan." His father stood over him, hands clinched at his side, sweat appearing on his upper lip.
Dak stood and met his father eye to eye.
"That I will never do. She is with child, due to be born with in the spring."
His fathers eyes widened, his fist clinched tighter. "You will leave this house."
Dak turned to leave, his father's voice following him. "If you leave, you must never return. You will lose everything."
Dak turned to face his father. "I lose nothing."
He walked out into the blackness and whistled for his horse. A huge, black stallion come, barely discernible against the dark of night. He nickered and dropped his head. Dak grabbed a hand full of mane and pulled himself onto the horse's broad back. He gave a slight kick and the horse broke into a trot. Another kick and the magnificent stallion began to run, he knew the way well.
"Run," said Dak, "Run home to Nyla."
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