Sunday 5 February 2023

Hex Crawl 23 #36: Flying Camels!

 Two hexes northwest and one north of Alakran.


The stylus of Hanthu has recorded many things that have been called lies, fancies, and figments. One tale of Hanthu that is proven beyond doubt, though, tells what happened when the holy woman Namirra saw that her faithful camel was growing old, and that it was right to release it from service.

They were at rest under a low tree, by a lake in a plain among the Dhuga Hills, close by to the Scarp.  Namirra spoke to the camel in its own language (such wisdom had Namirra!) and said,

"As thou hast carried me from place to place in conformity with the will of Mitra, so now mayest thou petition Mitra, whose grace is unbounded, and ask for a great boon."

"My aunt," for so the camel had come to address his rider, "I know not what manner of boon I may wish for. Tell me of others of your kind, and the boons they have petitioned Great Mitra for."

And so she told him of men who asked for the boon of eternal life, and women who asked for the gift of speaking all languages, and others who asked for gifts to help others. But the camel, stubborn as always, had his own ideas. He asked,

"O auntie, as long and patiently as I walk, there is no denying that my feet are slow, and the parts of this great earth which I have seen are as small as the steps of a water-insect on a mighty seas. Let me soar as the swallow soars, and see all of great Mitra's land with the eyes of its Protector."

And the next morning, through Namirra's intercession, the camel awoke to find plumed wings sprouting from its shoulders, the size and color of the giant condor's own span. And with some practice, he flew high, and though his years of life were few remaining, he in his far journeys sired thirty winged camels who bred true. 

The members of this breed eventually found each other, and decided to make their home far away from the haunts of man. They pride themselves that never more shall they carry a rider or a burden, for Namirra has set them free.

And the proof of Hanthu's tale is that the descendants of Namirra's camel, winged and proud as he was, numbering forty, have come to dwell by this very lake where their forefather awoke with plumage. And though they resist being ridden, they need help. Alas, the river that feeds the lake no longer flows as it once did. In their flight the camels have seen that further upstream, the flow has been diverted into a cave by a mortared dam that they have not the strength or tools to knock down. But that cave holds tales for another time, tales that certainly would not be believed any more than if they came from the stylus of Hanthu.

No comments:

Post a Comment