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Zas B'ul

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Posts : 628
Join date : 2013-08-29
Location : Texas

PostSubject: Snow Prints   Thu 05 Sep 2013, 15:07

Blazer's Mill as the the white men called it, originally was an area of land that belonged to the tribe of Mescalero Apache, or at least land they claimed to use.(In the Apache mindset, no one owns land.)

[The predominant tribe of the area the Na-ta-hay were led by a wise Warchief named Gómez. Gómez had made peace with the early white settlers who moved into the territory with the hopes that they would simply continue their travels. Much to his and the other nearby tribes dismay, they remained. Initially the two societies rarely encountered one another, but as time grew on and the White man's town began to thrive, competition over the local wildlife and game grew heated and fierce. Zachary, (Zas B'ul) who occasionally sat in on school sessions at the behest of his father (Sho-sho Ne-desert wanderer: A silent strider himself)to learn the white man's language so as to act as a better negotiator for the tribe, was often privy to see first hand the intense town discussions over how to compete for the food.

Things would have likely stayed at this level of strong rivalry if not for the greediness of the town mayor and cattle rancher, an Englishman named Walter Chambers. Chambers took it upon himself to try and rid the area of the Indians. He didn't see the need to waste any of his hired hands to deal with the issue; rather he sent out riders to offer rewards to the semi-local Commanche tribes offering liquor and money to any who would remove the Na-ta-hay by any means necessary, who were more than willing to get a few scalps of their long time enemies. In so doing, Chambers had declared war on the Apache. ]

Zas, returning from his slaying of the Fomor, rode into his village that seemed almost deserted. No children scampered about or played outside. The women remained in their tee-pees. The only sign of life came from the center of the village. Smoke puffed out of the seldom used War-hut. A very large herd of horses grazed nearby. The only time Zas had seen the village this quiet, and with this many horses at the ready had been years ago-when he was a boy and a Commanche war party had been spotted nearby.

Zas stepped down from his horse and slowly walked inside the War-hut. Gathered around the fire was Gómez as were the other four chieftains of neighboring tribes: Black Eagle, Chin-arrow, Grey-fox, and Alsa-te-yay. A fifth chieftain was also seated, though Zas didn't recognize him. Surrounding them was the majority of the rest of Zas' tribe, and a host of warriors from the affiliated tribes. Whatever the chieftains were discussing was of the highest importance. Unfortunately, due to the number of people between the chiefs and Zas, it was difficult to hear what was being said.

Zas struggled to squeeze his way through the huddled crowd making as little commotion as possible. As he neared the fire, he caught the end of the discussion as the man Zas didn't recognize was speaking in Apache. "It is therefore my suggestion we leave this land until either the spirits say that peace can be found once more, or the white man moves his village."

Black Eagle and Grey-fox seemed to look to the others to speak first. Chin-arrow spoke up, "The white man and us have no quarrel. Why should we abandon our homes? Our enemy the Commanche, we have fought before. If it is war the Commanches seek, then we will be ready. As for my tribe, we will weather this storm." After a pause and a slight murmur within the crowd, Alsa-ta-yay speaks, "I agree. Many of our young warriors are eager to prove themselves, and who better to test their skills than the Commanche?" This again was followed by a slightly disrupting murmur from the tribe.

Black Eagle spoke next, "Your tribe has many mighty warriors Alsa-ta-yay. If you intend to battle our old foe, my tribe will aid you. We have few fighters, but we have many old ones who have proven themselves, and may lend experience to yours."

Grey-Fox shook his head as he stared long and hard at the other chieftain Zas didn't know. He spoke softly, but as he did so, the room hushed. "He-who-roams-with buffalo, you have made it clear. Our options are to either fight our old enemy or abandon our homes.
I must ask you though, how you came to know of this claim that the Commanche were so numerous, as well as how you know the white man's ways?"

The man who had started the discussion stared back at Grey-fox as he said, "I have not closed my mind to the winds. They carry the unmistakable sound of large numbers of Commanche warriors who travel quickly. As to the white man, it is because I have been assured by them that they intend to see this land belong to them."

Grey-fox closes his eyes, nods, and then turns to Gómez and says, "Old friend, you are called wise for a reason. I trust that your judgment is sound. Whatever you say I will abide by."

It's at this point that Zas accidentally trips over a rolled up weaving of carpet, which causes him to fall forwards into the the center of the elders. He just barely misses falling into the flames.

Gómez was just about to speak before Zas had his fall. After Zas begins to collect himself however, Gómez stops. He looks Zas over, up and down before saying to Shosho-Ne "It would seem our young one has returned." Gómez then turns to Zas and says, "the wind truly must be with you. Your travels have been far, yet, I think much more you have yet to go."

He pauses and thinks to himself for a moment before nodding his head slowly as his mind is made up. He speaks again, "I have decided that we will attack the white man." The warriors in the crowd begin to holler and yell wildly as they have awaited this news for a long time. The other chieftains eyes grew wide as they too turned to look at Gómez. He continued over the screaming of the warriors, "The white man has rallied our enemies against us. As He-who-roams-with-buffalo has said though, our enemies are great, and our warriors though mighty are few." As he says this the crowd dies down again.

As the silence fills the air, Gómez speaks, "We will move our village to a new spot temporarily though, further west to the lands of the Coyotero. We are still on good terms with them. Our enemies will think we are gone, when in reality, we are mustering our forces."
Grey-Fox smiles and nods his head. He-who-runs-with-buffalo however, chuckles as he says, "You scarcely have warriors as it is. You have not enough time to gather strength before you are surely defeated. Where do you intend to find scouts? To where would they ride?" As he finishes, the other chieftains glare at him, and he takes a seat.

Gómez stands as he speaks, "I will simply trust in the spirits to bring us the forces we need. You speak truthfully when you say we have not enough to send as scouts. However, we have the wind on our side." He turns to Zas as he says, "Young Zas B'ul, here, has just slain a foe that few here could dare to challenge. He is an able rider, and any who know of his father, know him to be of honor. If word needs to be spread of our call for aid, I can think of none better to send." He then turns back to He-who-runs-with-buffalo, as he says, "As to where word will be sent, I can think of none more mighty than our distant neighbors to the east. I speak of course of Scents-the-Lies: a mighty warrior, and Direspirit-chieftain of the Caddo tribe." The other chiefs nod in agreement with the decision. Grey-Fox stands up and looks at Zas before saying, "This is indeed a long journey, and you will be going through Commanche territory. Can you handle this?"

Zas' face is by this point practically beaming with his smile. He will finally be undertaking a long journey. He will become a full fledged Silent Strider. To top it off, the trip is of the utter most importance-the future of his tribe. He simply nods and says in Apache, "I will not fail."

The chieftains each nod and stand, saying their goodbyes to one another, before heading away for their various ends, with the majority of the hut going with them. The few who remain merely listen to Gómez as he gives verbal directions as to how to find the distant help. "Journey over and through the mountains. Travel across the desert heading in the direction of the rising sun. If you lose your way, the brightest star will guide you. Listen to the spirits as they steer you to others who may join your quest. When you reach the fourth river, travel upstream. There are thick woodlands there. There you will find aid. There are tribes that lie down stream. Avoid them, for they are often allies with the Commanche, all except for the Kiowa. Be wary of them though, they are as unstable as the rivers."

Zas nodded his head. He desperately tried to memorize the words the chief said, so as to not delay his travels. He got the general gist of most of the speech. Basically don't talk to anybody. Steer clear of other tribes. Find the fourth river and go upstream.


He left the hut to find his father. Unfortunately, as was his father's way, he was long gone. Out to the wilderness. Zas was left to pack for the trip himself. He tended to travel light. Just being on the move always felt right to him for some reason. However, desert heat was no joke, and many a wary travelers have learned that lesson the hard way. Carry water in copious amounts. Drink it sparingly. Zas knew how to stretch out a water supply. Since he would be on horseback, he could cover that much more ground per day. Traveling through Commanche territory would be rough, of that he had no doubt, but he was ready.

After a full night's rest he headed east into the morning sun.
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