(First Chapter) – – – (Table of Contents)
I have lived far too long for any one man. I am not yet a monster, but I fear I will soon be a deity. A man, living to ninety, is not an impossible thing, but it is certainly a striking feat, and a measure of good health. A man living to ninety and appearing to be in his twenties all the while, this is either the cause of some heavenly blessing, or the result of some fiendish curse.
What is the reason I was not already burned as a demon or simple aberration? Perhaps the Sol are a good people, and thus I would have lived no matter my status. Or perhaps it is because I am their leader, and have walked with them, fought beside them, and often in front of them these many years. Because of this, I am called more than leader, but Warden.
I am Rhye, Warden of the Sol, or the Sol Warden.
I have heard that among the young, it is rumoured I may be an angel, or perhaps a son of God. This brings me discomfort. I am of their grandfather’s, even great grandfather’s generation, and so that the realities of my birth, while disturbing, are completely mundane, are lost to them. I fear that in a few more generations, should I live so long, my origins will become part of the mythic past, and even scholars will argue about how I came to be.
As for now, I must mange the threat of the Riley. Upon breaching the surface, my mother’s people elected to go east and explore the wood. We would not go west into the jungle, for it seemed dangerous. South was a plain, and the leader of that time judged that we would need wood from the trees and food from the animals to survive. The north wood looked the most verdant, and so the early Sol, that first generation, headed north.
But they were soon lost, and found themselves wandering in circles. And eventually, it seemed, they were once again hunted by a race that sought our flesh. Must it be that no matter where we wander, the Sollussa are doomed to be the prey animal of some other humanoid? These new Overside people were even more wild than the Condor, but they were small, with pale skin and charcoal coloured hair. These, we could fight.
They spent the next four years fending off attacks and finding their way back. During this time, some of the more subdued and intelligent-seeming Riley joined our community, and interbreeding began. Some were worried, but apparently not the men and women who took from among them wives and husbands. This had never happened with the Condor, or rather, it was so rare as to happen once in a century or less. If there is anyone in my community that has Condor blood, it is now so dilute that I do not know of it.
I bring this all up for two reasons. The first is so that any future person reading this, when I have long since passed (or perhaps, in the distant future where I am still somehow alive) should know that escaping on trouble often leads to another. The Lussa stayed and fought. I know not of their fate, but perhaps they have founded a new city and live in glory and wealth.
Here, we must make our stand. Instead of running, as the early Sol did, trying to escape the Riley, I have begun a series of wars against them. We fight once every five or seven years, and then there is peace from attacks and feasting. But it seems the Riley are a people of short memory, and soon they feel confident enough to strike again. I will never understand…even with some of them among us, those who defected were often too intelligent for their kin, and themselves could not understand the wild nature of them.
My current doctor, the Medilogian, is half Riley, and he says even the mind of his mother is very different from his own; that he relates more to the Solune around him than to her. Yet, he looks just like them. The Medilogian, his name is Jeahn Raghallach, which he told me means Riley, and then muttered something about his mother being uncreative.
I bring this information into my Reflexions for the following reason: I myself am the offspring of a Sol and a Riley. The cause of this is unfortunate, but unlike most of those who are mixed, I do not look Riley. (For, it seems that most of the Riley’s external characteristics are dominant.) I look Sol, I look Sol to an exemplary degree, in fact. I am tall, blonde-haired, and broad, with fair tanned skin. The circumstances my parents faced that brought me to be, I will perhaps get into later. For now, I must lay out my plans against the Riley, for it seems they are readying once more to feed.
And further, as Warden, I must move to travel south. This settlement we have built is in a very poor location, and it seems it may be near the Riley lands. I cannot move my people now, to move an entire civilization of around four hundred is no small feat. They need time. Perhaps in a decade or so…
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