Harkaad Nuptuals, Day of Green 18
The Harkaad ancestral lands are tough and demand much from anybody
who would tread on this blasted rocky earth. The ancestor spirits who
roam do not grant favors or answer the prayers of the weak; rather
they take great pleasure in watching the strong cull the weak and even
greater pleasure in watching the weak overcome themselves and usurp
the formerly strong in ritual combat. Today was a day the ancestors
would look down on the earth and celebrate mightily for their Harkaad
descendents were living life fiercely and proudly and bringing great
honor to the tribes.
However Bahir, Omrin, Ardem and Liam had no idea what they were
walking into that bright and warm day. The party, being low ranking
and expendable pawns that nevertheless showed great promise, were
recently inducted into the mysteries surrounding an intricate
conspiracy concerning the nature of civilization as they know it.
Shock and disbelief still rippled through them and they all questioned
in their hearts what was actually true and what they were only told
was true. The party’s quiet introspective journey was shattered by
what sounded like a battle ahead and they all prepared for combat as
they jogged ahead.
The battle turned out to a Harkaad wedding which was a comforting
sight for some party members and a terrifying and barbaric spectacle
for others. Battered men in various stages of drunkenness and injuries
laid out on a raised platform and raised a tremendous din as they
cavorted and celebrated. That however was not the main cause of noise
for a large group of women fought a brutal melee in a rough circle
directly in front of the men and the sounds of their fists smashing
bone and muscle along with their battle cries was nearly deafening.
The bride was in the middle of the melee and was fending off all her
rivals with consummate skill but her fatigue was beginning to show.
She was a remarkable specimen with broad shoulders and even broader
hips, long red hair braided into a whip-like weapon tipped with a
dagger, and prominent bony ridges all over her body. She glistened in
the sun from sweat and livid bruises lit up her sun-kissed olive flesh
with angry welts of red and purple.
Upon seeing Bahir walking up so proudly and without a mark on him she
was filled with a rage that consumed her rational mind. Bahir seemed
uppity, weak, and callow for not having participated in the battle to
win her favor (that he just arrived did not mitigate this offense) and
she burned to assert her dominance by charging directly towards him.
Bahir shed his gear and rushed to meet her with a mad scream.
Omrin and Ardae feared this would escalate into a war and Omrin took
stock of his weapons and skill but felt worried given the possible
number of blood frenzied opponents he might face. Ardem leapt backwards and quickly
assumed a roof with characteristic stealth to take a sniping position on top
of the trade warehouse.
Bahir and the bride both dove at each other and their bony head
ridges smashed together leaving both brawlers somewhat stunned but the
bride, in her fatigue, was visibly more shaken yet her resolve did not
waver. She pressed the attack but was clumsy and drained from her the
day’s activities and Bahir dispatched her with a few strikes to the
head and body. The bride collapsed and the men folk gasped as Bahir
placed his boot across her heavy breasts and claimed her as his own.
The groom let out an unearthly howl and despite his wounds and
massive state of inebriation leapt from the platform and began running
towards Bahir. The groom’s running quickly devolved into an
animalistic on-all-fours gallop and Bahir charged him in like fashion.
Their impact was thunderous but their fight was brief as the groom was
so weakened from earlier fights Bahir rendered him unconscious with
only a few blows as well.
Not to be upstaged by this, Bahir grasped the bride and groom by an
ankle and began dragging them both to the coupling area – soft green
moss arranged in open view – while announcing he claimed both bride
and groom on this fine wedding day. What followed would become the
subject of a ballad so graphic that Omrin would be forbidden from
singing it in certain social circles. The revelry continued well into
the night and the party was lusty, loud, and pristinely uncivilized.
Bahir would be inducted into the Scorpion Tribe as a husband-wife the
following morning in a brief ceremony culminating with a tattoo
marking the rite of passage onto his chest. Forever would he be a
member of this tribe as well as the Hawk Tribe. Fortunately, however,
the urinary tract infection he received during the orgy would not last