Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Land Beyond the Winds

This land is home to the people called Sun Heroes.

In days past the Sun Heroes sailed all over the world fighting evil. They defined evil in the usual way; "their skin is a different colour to ours and they have treasure." They had not invented the idea that their gods were better than everyone else's, but no doubt were working on it.

While most people say 'Sun Heroes' to refer to the entire civilisation, they themselves used it only to refer to adult noble males. A noble male achieved adulthood once they had returned from their first voyage, or died on it.

Their mastery of the sea ended as a result of their meeting the hemianthropoi. These creatures neither died in battle against them, nor submitted in dismay, nor fled in terror. They melted into the forest at the first sight of a spear. Yet no sooner had the Sun Heroes slept off their victory feast, than the cowardly creatures would creep back, killing all they could with their slings, stealing back their loot or burning it out of sheer spite. Having turned the wine of victory to blood and ashes, the hemianthropoi would flee once more.

The hemianthropoi presented a great crisis for the Sun Heroes. Clearly it was necessary to seek vengeance on these murderous assassins who seemed to have no concept of courage or honour, and would rather set fire to a ship under cloak of darkness than fight in open battle. There was, equally clearly, no glory in killing such small and powerless creatures - even if they could be found to be killed. And, finally, there was little loot to be won from those who would poison their own grain, salt their own fields, and dump animal carcasses in the very wells, ere the first ship had landed.

Even as slaves the hemianthropoi were no use. With mouths full of soft words and lies they would submit to the master, yet would flee as soon as his back was turned. Their effect on other slaves was poisonous. The noble custom of 'living as a wolf', wherein adolescent boys of the noble class were sent into the wilderness with only a spear, to live for a few years raiding the commonality, became more and more dangerous. At last, the Sun Heroes could hardly contemplate setting sail at all, such was the discord and treachery in their own plantations.

Thus, over many decades, the slaves were given their freedom - throwing many great plantations into ruin - the raids ceased, and the heroic age of the Sun Heroes came to an end.

In recent generations the culture of Sun Heroes has become much admired, like a man-eating tiger which, when finally killed, is noticed to have a beautiful pelt. Their heroic tales are now very popular in the theatre of Teleleli, and likewise their pottery and statues may be found in its markets. This has given greater wealth to the common artisans, and adds to the rage of many nobles.


  1. Echoes of the Conquistadors, the Spartans and 18th c. Haitian history? Nicely done.

    I'm surprised the Sun Heroes didn't follow the classic primitive warfare strategy of destroying their enemies' means of support. Burning the forest - thereby "leaving a desolation and calling it peace" - seems in character for them. Or is that one of the unwritten chapters of their story?

  2. Thanks.

    Maybe they did, but it wasn't recorded because it was at odds with their 'warrior code'.


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