What Your Community Says
What Your Grandfather Says about Your Religion
OK, kid, I finished them. That little green stone around your wrist will keep the gutter cats off of you. And when it comes time to chase yourself a sweetheart, that will make sure you catch what you chase. Oh, got a new thong for your lucky eye, that’s what makes sure you don’t get ripped off in the marketplace or get tongue-tied when you creep past the Lunars at the gates. They might seem far away, but the gods of our homeland are still our friends! Watch out, you nearly knocked off my carving of your grandmother, she who I carved after your great grandmother. That’s so you don’t forget the kind of people you come from. I made the god of thunder a little too big, and his queen should be dancing but I was never too god with legs, so that’s why she’s sitting. And dust off old frown face: it’s not enough that they see him being sit on, they’ve gotta see the Emperor suffer. Here we go, put the little silver harp of harmony back in their hands and we’re done. Just remember this: we ask them for help but they need us too. It was us that saw them wed. Now, light the little lamp in the front. That’s for the king hisself, who was blasted by the allfather’s lightning and rose into the sky. I hope you get to hold the torch when they light it again in Boldhome. Anyway, give the geezer a little time alone with his memories, and we’ll shuffle off to market soon.
What your grandmother says about your foes
Keep it down up there, you ugly little baboons, or the stonemen will push their cold hands through the wall and drag you off to stoneland! Every little gremlin THERE does what they’re told. Alright that’s better. Help granny up the ladder, will you. OK, so what story do you want to have tonight? Arkat versus the scorpionmen? Awwww that’s just biff bam boom. Just remember the moral of the story: violence is always an option. Especially when dealing with bad little kids. Dragons? Ugh (shudders), look, granny is still a little shakey after seeing the old statue at the dragon gate get grumpy last Windsday, so let’s forget dragons, shall we? The wicked priest, or the red priestess … who’se been putting those smutty old stories in your ear? Those holy joes can be a twisted lot, but do what they tell you so you don’t burn in the underworld when your time comes. Speaking of the underworld, why don’t I tell you the story of Goldthumb the Morokanth, a nasty tapir with a long tail, and how the ghosts of all the souls he ripped out of poor humans that he wanted for his herd came back to haunt him. Yeah, that’s the ticket.
What your father told you about our past
Not much time before the stormspeaker catechizes you. Just remember, any time he asks you why a king or hero or god did something, you can fit it all under the idea of “No one can tell you what to do.” Now let’s run through the list: Arrows, Salt, Gold, and Scale — wisdom, might, coat of mail. We got our name from the outsiders we let join our people, and that’s how we got our name “Golden Arrows.” Remind me we gotta go work on your shooting soon. We throw the salt over our shoulders at meal time to remember the trek across the plains of salt when the red moon shoe and the world was in chaos. We WERE the rich ones, and will be again when things are put to rights. Some folk are scared easy, but we aren’t, so the dragonscale reminds us how we were never afraid to look at the beasts, or to steal their strengths. Don’t tell the priest or the speaker this, but always remember: there is no such thing as forbidden knowledge, only stupid acts. And what we’re supposed to learn on the parade ground from the Sun Domers, the “wisdom, might, coat of mail,” that part you have to remember. That’s about what’s coming. Now, go make your dad proud.
What Your Mother Told You about Our Future
You want to know why we hand over that gold every season? The future! Things have been looking bad for a long time, but we always knew the they’d get better. That’s what the queen has woven into the rug of fate. We have those Llamas because some clever head in the way back when had a feeling we’d need to deal with the desert, and here we are in the middle of it. We walked back into the valley of the dragons when everyone else was affraid, and we built our ancient steads on the side of god’s holy mountain (and we’ll get it back from those thieving nomads who are squatting on it while we’re stuck out here). When the great king’s descendant saw the need to take our people to new lands, we were the first to head east to wrest grain and cattle out of the desert with the help of the Zola Fel, a dragon bigger than the rivers back home but easier to tame. They say we were crazy to take on the Moon Bastards side-by-side with the savages. They would have their boots on our throats instead of our chests if we hadn’t stood up to them then. In all our wanderings we have put aside our gold for the future. And that future is coming soon.