A Story of War

The tribal leaders had called together the village, something of great importance was to be made known, they had communed with the gods and found guidance. The tribe gathered around the fire, the men closer to the fire than the woman as was the tribal law. Times have been hard; famine and draught ravage the land with no signs of ceasing.

The head priest stood up, his brown eyes reflected the flames of the dancing fire. "The priesthood has spoken with the gods." He announced. "The gods tell us that our times are hard, and our crops few because we are under a curse. Wicked demons that live in the hills are casting a curse of famine upon us." The priest gazed upon his enraptured audience. The tribe heard him just fine, by the grace of the gods their priests were not weakened by malnutrition. "It is with a heavy heart that I tell you that we must make war upon the hill demons."

A murmur of hushed voices trembled through the gathering, then silence. One of the men of the tribe stood up. "Brothers I will fight for the good of the tribe. Do you not remember that the gods reward those who die for their people?"

Another murmur rose from the crowd, this time carried by bold voices. Men began to rise up declaring themselves ready to fight the demons in the hills. Soon the last man of the village had risen, his name was Aza'tac of the Wind.

Over the next week the village prepared for war against the hill demons, stories came back from scouts and spies of the hill demons. Aza'tac recalled how he had heard one frightened scout describing the hill demons how they were seven feet tall, with great big teeth, and burning red eyes, and on how he had watched them casting sorcery on our village.

Eventually all wartime preparations had been made and the march against the hill demons was underway, all of the soldiers were given a farewell as the tribal leaders marched them out of the village and towards the hills. From his place the line Aza'tac noticed how it seemed as if the tribe's priests at the front of the line seemed to be getting rather large and healthy as if the gods were rewarding them for their preparation and actions against the demons.

After a few days of grueling march they arrived at the demon encampment, unlike the stories Aza'tac had heard, a plume of black smoke didn't shroud it, and screams of the demon's prisoners could not be heard echoing through the surrounding forest. Nevertheless Aza'tac readied his spear along with the other warriors.

The head priest called from his place in the front of the lines, "My people, our troubles end today, go for our people, and go for the gods!! Charge!!"

All of the priests broke off from the front of the line stepping aside as they let the soldiers charge into the village.

The hill demon warriors met the charge stabbing with spears. Aza'tac's people tore through the hill demon warriors stabbing them with spears, and the hill demons fought back.

The entire world seemed a flurry of blows and gouging spears, Aza'tac did his best to fight the demons, but it was hard to tell them from his people for they had no big teeth, and were not seven feet tall.

After what seemed an eternity of blood, screaming, and carnage Aza'tac and his people stood victorious, the priests approached their people, the priests had no blood on their spears.

"Brother's," the head priest said, "We are victorious against the warriors of the demons, but I'm saddened to say that we must also eliminate the woman and children, for they too know many foul sorceries. Do not let your spears falter when you see how they look like our people, for they are cloaked in enchantment to gain your sympathies. We have no choice but to destroy them all."

The warriors raided the village pulling woman and children out of homes and slaughtering them with spears and heavy rocks, caught up in their bloodlust Aza'tac's people did not notice that none of the woman or children raised a hand in defense against the warriors, and no enchantments were cast.

Aza'tac was caught in a madness of screaming and weeping, the demons were pleading for their lives in their native tongue, blood soaked the ground and yet Aza'tac's people kept up the slaughter.

Aza'tac saw a dieing woman on the ground, she did not seem like a demon at all, in fact seeing her broke Aza'tac's heart, she looked him directly in the eyes, and said something in her native tongue that chilled him, for it did not sound like a curse, but like a plea for help.

Aza'tac knew that these were not demons, and he looked back and saw his tribe's priests watching the slaughter, and he saw how fat they were getting, and he knew that he had been part of something that was terribly wrong.