Monday, March 21, 2011

Koreshi Chronicles: Chapter II - Bathani Ratir

37 Spring 1916, Karaq Wastes

“We have found three children, Thralan.” The rider spoke evenly though he had just ridden hard and fast; his springer showed more signs of fatigue. The Elder had heard him coming and met him outside his black tent. Other Koreshi also emerged from theirs. The Elder nodded in understanding. “There were more, yes?”

The young rider nodded tersely, grief apparent in his eyes. “Yes, four more children and two adults, but they did not survive the explosion. It was a CEF mine.”

“It is all part of the Great Story, Paresh. There’s no shame on you; it was you who saw the plumes with your keen eyes. You have done your clan proud. We have three new Ratir whose bones will not be hammered under the anvil of Helios. Bring them to me when they arrive.”


38 Spring 1916, Karaq Wastes

Lyta awoke on a bedroll spread on the desert ground in a dark tent. Three jars lay a few centimeters from her, and a meter further another bedroll occupied by a still-sleeping Todd. He had a bandage on his head. Her curiosity and her hunger compelled her to open the jars and she was rewarded with water, flat bread and dried nuts and fruit. When Todd stirred, she wordlessly shared the delicious breakfast with him. “Who are they?” she said at last, hearing voices outside, “and where’s Luk?” Todd touched the tent material, looked at the baked jars and the roughly woven bedrolls. His jaw went slack in awe. “I think... I think these are Sand Riders,” he said in a hushed voice, as if naming them would dispel this fantastic dream. Before Lyta could repeat her unanswered question, the flap of the tent let through a lean figure about their father’s age, who sat down just inside the entrance.

“We are the Koreshi, the Sand Riders as you called us, and you brother is mending in another tent. He needs special herbs and the chants of wiser Thral than I, so we must travel to the Junira Loresh.” He said all this as he sat by them, cross-legged on the sand.

Lyta and Todd looked at each other, confused, baffled and mystified. The Sand Rider laughed. “You do not yet understand, but you have no fear. You are uncorrupted, good. I am Jonas, Thral of the Bathani Ratir. I am like the father and reverend for this family of Sand Riders. We call ourselves Koreshi. Tell me, what are your names?”

“I’m Lyta and this is Todd and my brother’s name is Lukas. Can I see him please?” Todd looked aghast at Lyta as she spoke to a Sand Rider like he was someone normal. His head shifted back and forth from the Koreshi to Lyta, his mouth agape.

“He is resting, Lyta, but soon you can be by his side. He will need your strength and love to recover. Tell me now, where were you going, you and the other children? To be with your parents?”

“Mom… my parents are dead. Todd’s too.” Lyta was hesitant, unsure if she should share this information which she herself was only now coming to grips with herself. She flashed back to the hospital, the soldiers taking her father’s body away. She started to cry.

Todd shook from his baffled state and was almost instantaneously by her side. Jonas moved gracefully to kneel by their side and placed a hand on both their heads. “Hush now, child. You are not alone, you are Koreshi.”


26 Summer 1916, Western Desert

Todd entered Jonas’ tent and sat quietly before him. He knew better to say anything when the Thral was in a trance. Before long, the Elder drew a deep breath, opened his eyes and smiled. “Welcome, Torgath. Thank you for making time for me.”

“I’m honoured you share your shade, Thralan.” Jonas smiled at the formula. Since his arrival, the boy Todd had taken to their ways with alacrity and even adopted a traditional Koreshi name. He was too old to be Bachanned, adopted by a receiving family. Even Lyta had been too old for that, but they had made an exception. The thought of Lyta brought the Thral to his point.

“Torgath, we are concerned for Lyta. Bestha and Amaraa say she is not eating, she only stays by Lukas’ side or cries. As I tend to Lukas’ wound daily, I see more of her than her Bestha and Amaraa. They grieve with her, but know not how to help.”

Torgath nodded. Despite his efforts to learn to ride, wield the Drevis and slather Kraan sap over everything that his mentor Paresh would let him at, Torgath ate all his meals by Lyta’s side, trying to sooth her anguish and compel her to eat something herself.

“I believe she needs to reconnect with something of her old life before she can embrace the new," Thral Jonas continued. Tell me, what was she passionate about?”

“Oh, that’s easy, Thralan. She was into gymnastics. She competed and trained all the time. She was really good.”

Thral Jonas smiled. He could bind the wounds of flesh on Lukas and now he hoped they could sooth the soul of Lyta. “Thank you, Torgath. You honour all Bathani Ratir. In Junira Loresh, you will be cleansed and receive your right of passage and you will be one with the clan.”

Heavy Gear Roleplaying Game


Hermes 72 - Heavy Gear RPG - Most artwork Copyright 2002 Dream Pod 9, Inc.