Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Mist Magic part 16

The story begins here. The previous week begins here.
Then came the Greeks. Despite their high-minded self-written history, the Hellas were a bloody-minded, piratic people. For every philosopher there were a hundred slavers, for every playwright a thousand thieves. The Helladics entered the Greek peninsula perhaps a century before the discovery of the mist magic, and they immediately set about raping, pillaging and enslaving. For a long time, these early Greek barbarians tolerated peaceful trade with the Aghianar because they had no choice; no other ships could sail the dangerous Mediterranean to bring cedars from Lebanon, tin, colored glass and terebinth resin from Canaan, gold and ivory and ebony from Egypt, more exotic trade goods from legendary lands known only as names of mystery from the stories of the Aghianar traders.

But the barbarian kings of the Hellas would not be long satisfied with a world in which such great wealth lay beyond their thieving reach, available only in the expensive dribs and drabbles provided by the tradesmen of the Aghianar. Yes, they feared the Valangzar; indeed, no other people had to be reminded so often of the Valangzar power because no other people were so stupidly aggressive and obstinate. A Hellasian King would steal an Aghianar ship full of treasure, only to die horribly a few weeks later, the skin dripping off of his body like melting wax. This would put the fear of Valangzar into the tribe for a decade or so, but then that very king's son would end up doing the same thing. It was a campaign of relentless gnawing at the will and the power of the Valangzar, seeking for a weakness, a flaw in the mystical defenses. Eventually, inevitably, they found one.

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