A little teaser from my WIP.
Riritaka is always a character that I am trying to make better use of…
The report from the Legates was promising. While skirmishes were still common and traps were being set, there had been no large scale attacks or ambushes in more than a year. The Legions did not advance beyond the borders of Trial’s Watch, and The Pale did not attack them in force.
“What do you make of this Riritaka?”
“Some of the Tribes, especially those who have suffered greatly in the wars, want to have peace and time to lick their wounds and replenish their losses. If the Legions leave their territory they have less desire to fight. Some of the Tribes from further south and west will push for war, I think, because they have more to gain, even if The Pale suffer; the war is not on their territory and they can always seek respite when they need it.”
“Should we seek to ally with the closer tribes first then?” asked Gavin. “How would we even communicate a desire for peace with your people.”
“If The Pale are still sending out war parties to … skirmish, as you say, and make traps they will be watching this place closely. I can go into the Jungle and speak to them, or I can signal them.”
“Going into the jungle seems too risky,” said Gavin. “Why don’t we try to signal them first.”
“Ech,” Riritaka made a sour face. “I knew you would say that Gavin Chosen. It is much work. I must carve a spirit stick… a totem banner, you would say.”
“If you knew, then why haven’t you started Riri,” said Headtaker.
Riritaka rolled her eyes.
“Perhaps I can help with this,” boomed Chosen Brighthoof. “I and many among my rangers, are adept at that kind of carving.”
The Totem Banner was a carved wooden pole covered in animal shapes and the pictograms favoured by The Pale for quick communication. It was painted in vivid colours for the most part, although the carved animals tended toward more realistic colour schemes. Gavin thought it was impressive.
Chosen Brighthoof’s rangers dug it into the ground on a high hill between the jungle and Trial’s Watch, some distance away from both. Riritaka directed them to place various stones around the bottom, judging it like a master sculptor.
“What do we do now?” asked Gavin.
“We come back tomorrow and see how they have responded,” said Riritaka.