NaNoWriMo Diary: The Lady of Stone (Part 1)

Hello! I’m still trucking a long with my Nano project, an RPG sourcebook for my Ghartha campaign mentioned in the last post. Today I have for you a rough, unedited sampling of a piece of fluff text that will be in the Player’s portion of the book. It tells the tale of a barbarian woman who exiles herself to hunt the enemies of her tribe before she dies. It is called The Lady of Stone, and will be told in multiple parts throughout the text. The beginning is thus:

Ruler_Ur_Nammu_with_surveying_instruments._Public_domain.

The custom was to give the hunter a spear, tipped with iron, and a small satchel of supplies. They would leave without armor past the pillars of Agom to hunt in the ruins of Agomnen, slaying the dwellers there who waged constant war on the tribe until their death in battle. This was the fate of the honored exile.

She was of the gray hair, past her prime hunting years, and she knew she was beginning to become a burden on the tribe. She found it harder to wake from sleep, found her joints stiffening and her mind slowing just so. She still possessed her strength, and her dexterity, but that too she knew was slipping like sand down an antlion’s nest. And so she went to their holy altar during the morning prayer, the rock that was shaped into the form of the pregnant world mother, and she offered herself.

Her family cried when they realized what she was doing, her sons and daughters pleading with her. Her husband was dead many sleeps ago, and they told her they needed her. No, she had replied. You do not need my burden.

They were strong, she knew. Sons and daughters both supported the tribe with their hunting, with their battle prowess. Eight sons and five daughters she had brought into the world before her husband was slain by the Maturka. Now the lines on her face told her that she must go into the cursed city, and find her beloved among the bones.

She was given her final tattoo, the marking of the honored exile. She chose for this the demon’s mask, covering her forehead, her eyes, and down into her cheeks. The black mark was fearsome, resembling a horned monster with an open growling mouth, and would give her enemies pause, and fill her soul with the flames of hell so that she would not hesitate to slay all who went against her.

The Elder Chieftain, slightly younger than her and not long for his own exile, applied the tattoo himself, lighting the sacred herbs and reciting the sacred chants as the soul of the demon was brought into her. He cut away her hair to make the mark, the horns curling above her ears. She felt the icy fear that had coated her heart when she made her decision melt away, banished by the flame that filled her. Exultation soon came, excitement at the thought of the the hunt, of the kill. The demon was in her, she knew.

The time came for her to pass the pillars. She gripped the shaft of the spear, made from the sacred roots that came from on high, and marched out of her home for the last time. Her heart swelled with pride as she passed her children and saw that they did not cry now, but watched on in stony silence, contemplating their own honorable ends. She hoped that they felt as proud of her as she did of them.

I hope you enjoyed that! I know I promised to show my book outline, but I am unfortunately away from my home PC and thus Scrivener, so I will do that next time. Are any of you fine folk doing Nano?

Until next time!

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