Day 50: The Big Tribe

September 15, 2009

Time was, there were friends out there in the Wastes.  You could ride days and days and know there was someone to call on to drive back the Scurvs, Gecks, and all the other horrors.  That was the Big Tribe – half a million Wasters working together to try to keep something green and safe for us and them.

They say that when the Tribe gathered, the sound of their horses hooves was so loud, the skies would flash lightning in answer to the thunder.  That their Outriders were so feared, even the Srol retreated to the north side of the Crown.

Of course, the Tribe wasn’t just riders.  No, their Chiefs were said to be wise as well as strong, and when they found a holder with a farm and a way to keep it safe, they’d invite him to join the Tribe.  Not to give up his holdings or his farms, just to be part of something that could help keep him and his safe.

The Big Tribe were good friends of the Huskers, and many of us in the town share some of their blood.   Many Tiefers were part of the Tribe, too, and for a time, even started to put some of the old wonders back together.

Some say that started to end them.  The Big Tribe got old, and it died.  The final blow was struck by the Haksh, those vicious, hateful bags of skin and bones.  The Haksh came from the east, and decided the Steppes were for them only.  The Haksh are a hell of an enemy, and they can’t be bargained with, because they don’t understand keeping to your word.  Bit by bit, the Haksh took the Steppe, but by then so much blood had been spilt that the Haksh just kept coming.

In the end, the last Chief took his Outriders to face the Haksh, to drive them back.  He made some headway too, got right back to the Steppe before they dragged him down.  They say there’s still a mountain of bones where the battle was fought, all Waster, no Haksh.  The Waster bones won’t tolerate Haksh among them, and guard the place as a graveyard for their souls.

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