The embers of the fire glinted in the shadow of the blackened and crackling debris that filled the centre of the pit, serving to heat the surrounding fabric of the tent and those that would shelter within, casting light across the various hanging pieces that filled the rafters and in turn casting their own shadows onto the tent itself in an ever shifting display of light and darkness as the last dregs of the fire came to their last moments each in turn. The hunched figure poked at the fire with a short rod of battered iron, turning the left over pieces over as they let it burn cold before grunting and turning back to the simple font set into the side of the tent, dipping their hands in and simply letting the cold water wash over them for a moment as their gnarled and ancient fingers played through the still pool, before again turning and drying them on the hem of the worn material wrapped around their waist. Crossing across the interior would reveal a simple home to a cursory passer by, a old bed set to one side covered with well used but homely blankets and a simple table made from the remains of what had been plastic crate at some point in its life. Personnel effects were neatly piled into one corner on a set of rickety shelves made from a variety of repurposed materials from sheet metals, plastic sheets and even some near petrified wood from what had once been a broom handle in another life. The figure crossed to a small pedestal stood to the end of a desk set aside to the bed and picked a small white chain up, unclipping it and gently resting it around their neck before clipping it up again muttering words whose meaning had so long past from memory that no one was even sure what they meant anymore but had become a central part of his daily routine and that of their people. Turning to face a lone mirror nestled amongst a shrine built to the side entrance way the figure straightened up as he straightened the chain and then picked up a black stained shawl from its resting place, placing it over their head and then ensuring the chain was correctly positioned folded it in over itself and around the neck once more to form almost a collar of sorts. “Ancestors guide your fore-sons simple words and ensure the rise of the new day” he breathed quietly, making the sign of the iron tree as he brushed himself down and lifted the tarp covering the entrance to his tent hut and stepping out into the light of the camp. A simple wisp of wind caught at the edges of his shawl and pulled at it as he closed his eyes for but a moment, letting the sounds of the camp waft over him like a tide setting a small smile to his wizened features before he crossed the path before him and headed towards the centre of the camp of his tribe, a great tree of broken metal and ancient names stood at the centre most point with the oldest of the tribe living within reach of it where every morning for the last 50 years. “Morning preacher” a small band of children ran past chasing a battered ball smiling and laughing as he rose a hand in greeting as he made his way through the labyrinth of tents, the well worn path having become informally known as the preachers’ way amongst the rest of the tribe due to his almost automatic route of choice over the years. He shook his head at the thought as he couldn’t help but chuckle, 62 years of age and the youngest of the children saw him as if a picture into the ancient history of their people. “Spirits you’re in a good mood” a voice cut into his thoughts from the left, a women leaning against a post wrapped in a patched together cloth poncho with a spear held in one hand grinning at him “And why should I not be child, this morning finds the ancestors quiet and content as the young grow old” he replied “And you seem equally as happy as I” the women smirked and got up joining him as he made his way closer and closer to the tribes place of worship. “The gatherers say the stocks shall last another few months at the least ancestors willing and the hunters say that the lands we draw from the shadows give enough tribute to make the scriveners happy” the spear women continued as the walked past a small family just waking to the new day “Our steps have been gracious and the ancestors reward our efforts” the preacher nodded “What concerns me though is the words of our youngest who roam further a field from the eyes of the ancestors” he stopped for a moment, pensive at his comments “Oh?” the women stopped and looked at him “They say the brass ravagers to the north have reached the edges of our land, and that ancient taboo lie to the east bars our hunter’s path” the preacher shook his head “Should the brass men decide to move further south then new lives shall gather with their ancestors soon as life passes into death”. The Spear women looked grim at the prospect but nodded silently as the preacher continued on, “And what of this Taboo?” She raised an eyebrow “A great place of might from the old times, before the fall and the betrayal stands to the east, silent but ever watchful by the evil spirits that dwell within” he looked to her “It is a place of doom and the end of lives covered in the marks of the old way and old world”. He stopped for a moment and looked to the tree before them as an open space spread before them, whispering a prayer to those that tread the lands beyond their light for their safe return to their tribes embrace before breathing out. “What worried my fellow shamans more is not just the existence of this taboo so close to our lands but who would use such a thing against our people, our old brothers amongst the lost that would burn us so, or the brass ravagers to turn us to their cause by fear and oppression of our ways, or worse still” the spear women looked troubled as the preacher continued his words, a small knot of the tribe gathering as he continued on. “what could be worse still shaman?” one of the group looked at him through fearful eyes, “Who this taboo may know be seen as belonging too, the metal men that walk the dark lands should they decide their ancient rights take them where they might, or the dark soldiers that cross through the shadows and war in the dark, shunning and forsaking the light as a mistake, if either of them should turn their sights on this then our light may forever be extinguished”. The preacher looked up and though each wore a different face, their expression stood the same...
Military Campaign Progress Edit
The tale of a people is the tale of its greatest moments and its most dire failures during its path through history, every action becoming part of the very fabric that each new generation is moulded by and in turn adds to in their own way over the course of their lives.. Future leaders and figures of note are guided by the foot falls of those that came before them, their works and moments of grandeur becoming defining actions that people will look to in awe and respect for the rest of their history, whilst those that fall the furthest become cautionary tales that people take as a warning against those that would grasp beyond their reach as they ever strive forward. For those that would stand at the forefront of these times they become witness to a particular moment that becomes a memory that spreads to all around, a defining period that can twist and turn the direction of a culture. For the peoples these times are few and far between, but when they occur the results become something universally seen as a message of intent from the beyond as the ever present ancestors watch their descendants actions with an ever critical eye. As such as the quiet step finds; as each night passes, that their actions become more and more evident to the gathering of tribes, each shaman speaking of their steps as a guiding inspiration for those that would see the ancestors vindicated for their choices in their earlier lives. New pastures are open to those that would take them and for the first time in many years tribal camps spread beyond the bounding light of the home lands to new portions of the ruins with tribes claiming new homes and prospering from the new supplies their gatherers bring home, Hunters setting new totems to mark their lands for all to see.
As such over the following weeks the quiet step see small trains of timid but driven bands of tribal families spreading out into the lands they had spent the last 3 months clearing and securing, camps springing up in and around the most secure parts with small shamans huts being the first to be placed followed by groupings of close family and areas of storage set to one side. Sadly the army does not get much time to spend basking in their peoples revelations as they are soon on the move once again with the most sure footed leading the way through the concrete mazes of ruined buildings, semi collapsed towers and dark underways through the ruined lands. The army moves with a quiet purpose as each night they offer thanks to their ancestors for their protection before spending the next day slipping through yet further abandoned and decaying areas of what once were filled places, thousands tracing their own paths in life with every second passing by. Those shamans and preachers that accompany the various bands within the greater hosts spend time meditating on every new discovery the army makes as it makes its way further and further into new areas, silent scouts leading the way. As the first month begins to draw to a close the army finds itself situated amongst a forest of burnt out and ruined towers stretching as far as the eye can see through the gloom, every one stood solemnly amongst its kind with each projecting a shadow a top of the army as its passes by, some of the younger bands of hunters during the dusk slip away to explore the ruins as curiosity catches them in its own grasp. Most return empty handed for the most part as their natural inquisitiveness is quashed by the lack of anything to show for their night time escapades, one band however returns with what at first just appear to be simple trinkets which they show to their friends and fellows in bewilderment at their exact purpose, until a shaman from amongst the nearest band camped to them takes an interest in all the noise. Snatching the trinkets away the shaman scolds the young hunters for their foolishness when he turns one piece over and finds a long hated mark amongst the pieces, the sign of the lost. Such a discovery is want to cause talk amongst the people when anything of their old kin turns up however for such a piece to be found so close to the home lands gives some pause for thought as the shamans and War chiefs bicker and debate amongst themselves what it could mean. In the end the elder shaman takes a day and night to herself before returning with the ancestors wishes from her deliberations alone, a fire is built and the pieces cast into the flames as every hunter stands in watch to the great bonfire lit before them, the shamans words spreading like rips from a stone dropped into a pond as a grim face spreads across each in turn. The ancestors have decreed this land to be soiled by past transgressions, only by the light of fire spread by the quiet step shall these lands be claimed and becalmed.
The following weeks see a flurry of motion and activity amongst the army as they move out in a wave of tribal hunters moving through the ruins of the territory they find their purpose driven by, in a short time they rapidly engulf the first third of the ruined buildings, towers and market places before advancing into the next third with barely a pause for breath amongst the entire force. Advance scouts pushing far ahead of the main body of the quiet step leave small markers and hidden packages with observations and reports for the war-chiefs behind to be picked up by the first war bands to come across them. The information hidden within points to the territory being exceptionally similar to that of the one they previously secured only on a much larger scale, estimates put it at possible half again as large as the last territory conquered by their foot steps whilst to what purpose this land once served it appears to have housed even more of the populace of the ruins before the fall from what clues can be drawn from the scouts first glances. By the time they are sure of their new prize another month has passed with little but the methodical steps of the peoples amongst these ruins, the shamans hold meetings amongst themselves before then consulting with the war-chiefs as to their divination's. The discussions are short and too the point amongst the warrior like chiefs and the shamans as they emerge half a day later to the waiting crowds of the various bands of the army with a simple statement, forward.
The army surges forward over the next couple of weeks in an ever growing race against itself to the other side of the new land as the scouts that had forged ahead of the army slowly return in growing numbers with reports for their various bands and chiefs or shamans. It seemed that the edge of the territory split towards two paths that they could possibly take if ordered further on by the elders of the Peoples or a higher power, on pushing northwards whilst its twin pushed east and away from the home lands yet further. One thing causes some concern however amongst the leaders of the army as one crucial detail catches in the scouts throats as they report back, the north path from what they could tell having pushed to the very edge and laid their markers appears to have already been claimed by the sounds they could hear and the fire lights they could spy from their hides. Who may have laid claim to the lands ahead was not discernible to them however everyone amongst the armies with certain can only thing of one potential force ahead of them that would come south this far, the brass ravagers of the Mech corp. The prospect of another confrontation with the arrogants of the north rages amongst the war chiefs and the shamans for several days as the army pauses whilst its leaders contemplate the best course of action to take, eventually however they decide that completing their task for the ancestors first by securing the outer limits of the territory take precedent, at which point they may seek the advice of the shamans of the Iron tree for further guidance on what to do next should the orders come to take such an action.
Several days follow the fateful discussions as the army settles into its new surroundings awaiting the flow of new families and tribes moving into their newly acquired gains as each band in turn is given the chance to seek new supplies for their own by their various chiefs, the shamans erecting a large tent in the centre of the camp as a small queue of waiting hunters begins to form as the word filters out about the scouts discoveries and the choices to be made. Some others take the chance to take some downtime for themselves away from the rest of their kin and comrade, finding quiet spots to reflect and in some cases simply catch up on some sleep. The question of the lost trinkets found so early on still has a few of the hunters and gathers particularly shaken at the potential connotations despite the prayer rites held to the ancestors, the idea of treading the same ground as their old kin once did does not sit well with some of the older bands and a few fights break out as the tension spills over that had been simmering away in the back of several hunter minds. No one is seriously hunt during the brawls and in every instance the perpetrators are scolded and split up, however the very fact that the instances occurred raises a question to everyone’s lips whether they were present or not, are these grounds as safe to walk as the shamans say…
The Quiet Step has claimed yet another territory for the peoples, a Primus grade habitation zone barely touched, that may provide for yet more tribes to grow and prosper under the Ancestors light. Though a few trinkets and pieces of equipment found point to a very old wound still raw to most tribes of the Peoples that they had thought long closed is anything but, and this close to the home lands raises some uncomfortable questions…
Blood as thin as water Edit
With the recent expansions by the quiet step the tribes of the peoples find their stores growing ever more full of equipment and supplies, though in reverse the level of food available slips ever further still for those that care to take note. Some tribes manage to augment what they have with dedicated scavenging efforts but such things can only slow the inevitable as they pick clean areas and those distant lands that might offer more become to far to reach by foot. Alongside this the tribes of the peoples find as each day passes rumours spread of discoveries made in their new territories that puts them on edge, in the first a pair of sisters finds what appears to be a hide of some kind filled with stores and equipment, inspecting their treasure trove they drop it immediately when emblems belonging to the lost are found. In another situation a young hunter scavenging discovers a old wrapped book that once opened appears to be an ancient diary of some kind, they too drop the item in disgust when they realise the book details the great split between the peoples and the lost by someone who lived through it. A shaman looks the book over when the hunter brings it back with him, after a day of looking it over an meditating on it they are unsure on who it belongs too be decides to lock it away anyway as anything relating to the lost stirs anger amongst the various tribes. With such a growing sense of anger and disbelief at the things found so close to their home many peoples look to the shamans of the Iron Tree for what the Ancestors say they should do.
1) Election of the position of War-chief for the Quiet step, Only Hunters are allowed to vote for this position. Vote is to be carried out and reported by Sunday morning at 11:00am Latest
2) Election of the position of Shaper for the Quiet step, Only Gathers are allowed to vote for this position. Vote is to be carried out and reports by Sunday morning at 11:30am Latest
3) With the ever growing tension surrounding the discoveries made in the new lands the Shamans of the Iron tree have seen fit to send an acolyte of the Ancestors to speak with those Peoples that walk the Green places to see what can be made of the situation. They expect to arrive sometime on Saturday