The Starlight People



Send comments and/or criticism to Simon E. Phipp
Created On 25 July 1999
Last Updated On 25 July 1999
Copyright (c) Simon E. Phipp 1999

We awoke upon a starlit plain, all alone in the Darkness. Our gods had all deserted us and we were afraid. One came to us and taught us not to fear. Her name was Yelorna and she came riding her unicorn. She was promised in marriage to our Lord Kargzant yet she wanted to go her own way and pledged herself to no man. She taught us to travel by night and to know the stars, which were friends and which were foes. When times were hard, she even called down her friends the stars to help and support us. Many of the Star Captains fathered royal houses on our daughters and we were strengthened. Yelorna the Huntress taught us to ride and to hunt, to follow the tracks of game and to shoot from horseback. She even brought us closer to Kargzant our Lord so that we no longer hated him but followed him in the Darkness.

Hyalor was one of our Gods, a Hero of great renown who taught us how to ride the Horse and bind it to our service. This we could do because we were descended from Yamsur himself. We rode our horses and hunted, growing stronger and stronger. Yelorna led us from our lands and we went northwards, through a strange land where there were many deities riding Unicorns as she did. Yelorna claimed they were her friends and that she had taught them to ride. We reached the Glacier's Edge and turned southwards, not wanting to fight dread Valind again. Soon, we met more and more people that our Lord Kargzant had found in the Darkness and told of our coming. When we arrived, they were expecting us and knew of our people. Some joined us, some became our subjects.

One of our chiefs was a great Hero and knew of the Old People who lived in the land. He claimed that he was descended from their tribe and knew how to speak to them. He came to a great place where the Old People had once lived. This Great Khan went into that dread place and found the Father God sleeping, so he whispered secret words into the God's ears and made promises and offers, waking the God and chaining him to our service. Our Khan left the God and called us to inhabit the city again. He made the grass grow on the Plain and gave our horses food aplenty. At this time, Yelorna spoke to many of the women of our tribes and took some away. There were women who had been ill-treated who could only ride on horses, women from the slaves who could not ride but could carry arms and those who could ride unicorns as she did. Yelorna took those women and made the Women's Clan, one in which men were only slaves and did not survive long. Many of us laughed because how could they survive without men, but Yelorna just said to wait and see. They rode to the Northeast onto the Great Plains and we did not see them again. We thought they had perished in the Darkness, enslaved by men or eaten by monsters, but when we travelled the Great Plain we found that they had turned southwards and settled in the Bull's Land, that which had been blasted by the Evil.

Our Great Khan spoke again to the Bound God and said that he would free the God if he could tell the Khan how to become Great Khan over the whole land. The Bound God agreed and was freed to march behind the Khan. He gave the Khan a buried crown and told him how to take the Great City that had never fallen. We went there and saw the Great Walls which we knew we could not take, even our horses could not leap atop those walls. But our Khan worked his magic and brought the Tyrant out and defeated him in combat. The people of the City joined with us, so that we had their Mad God with us. Next we saw the High God who looked down upon the world and did not care about what we did. We called to his priests that there was a new Great Khan and he did not oppose us, so we knew that we had his support. Our Khan found what he needed to become Great Khan, what he could not find he changed or made anew. He rode his horse up the steps of the Great Tower and stood on the summit, a Rider Khan. He performed a new ritual, what he did not know or had been forgotten was made anew and the Gods heard and listened. Our Lord was now Great Khan of the People of the Plains as well as the Riders. Our Lord Kargzant came down and witnessed the deeds as the Bright Sun had done before. Many Gods and Goddesses came and knelt before the Great Khan in homage.

The Great Khan did many things, he created the Half People, he made the Walkers into slaves, he made a temple to Gamara and cast down the Bird Temple. We hunted those who rode upon birds and destroyed them. When the Great Khan died, the blaze of his funeral pyre reflected in the face of Kargzant to that he was seen throughout the world.

The Mad God fought our Lord Kargzant and our Great Khan's Son stood on the Great Tower and lent his strength to Kargzant, defeating the Mad God and chaining it to a single route in the Sky. Another came from our people and became Khan. He rode Hippoi and allowed many Walkers to worship old gods once more. He was placed in the Field of Biers although he was the first there. After he had gone, his sons quarrelled and our Lord Kargzant was attacked and chained by a Great Giant from the Storm Tribe. This was because our Khans had fought each other. One of our Lords rode our chained God and kept him to a single path, chained in place. Then followed the Sun that was once a King but now was as much a prisoner as any. A Great Grandson of our Great Khan became Khan and made the world safe. He fought against monsters from the South who we knew were evil. Once he killed 10000 Walkers because they were helping the monsters. Another time he attacked a Walker Lord who was trying to say that we were bad people. When he died, the Khans quarrelled with themselves and some even took on the ways of the Walkers and forgot the ways of our people. They were attacked by the Walkers and were driven out of their lands. When they brought a mighty army to retake the lands, a new army made of the Monster men came and destroyed them so that we were forced back into the Plains to the East where Yelorna and her Women had fled many years before.

We followed Yelorna into the deep Plains and settled there. The Plains were good and had grassland that our mounts could eat. We prospered and grew in strength, raiding the people of the West and the new people of the East who worshipped dragons and lived within an Iron Ring. After many years, a new Khan appeared, Son of the Morning, he challenged each of the other Khans and became a Great Khan. He raided the Dragon Empire until their Emperor sent a horde of dragons after him, so we fled Westwards to the lands that we had once known. There, the Great Khan found the Old Gods that we knew in the Darkness and enslaved them. He went to the Cities that we knew and spoke to the Gods that we had befriended. The Son of the Moon faced the Great Khan and they wrestled, each taking power from the other. Moonson died of his wounds and the Great Khan ruled again where we had reigned before. A Demon of the Underworld came, daughter of the Moonson, and ate our horses. Moonson was killed again and again but kept returning. The Great Khan even went to the Moon itself and ransacked the rooms there, taking many Heroes as his concubines and mistresses. Then Moonson returned again and defeated the Great Khan, using tricks of Evil that he had learned from his mother. The Great Khan was bound into a Hell that even he did not know for it was new and unknown by anybody. We went back to the Plains in the East to lick our wounds and prepare our revenge.

As we built up our power, we grew stronger until we thought that we could rescue our Great Khan. But Moonson struck before we were ready and brought his spirits against us, performing rituals and deeds of evil, destroying all our menfolk and leaving us a nation of widows and orphans. We retreated into the Plains and built our people up again. Our children decided that the Old Gods were weak and many sought to find new ones. So we grew stronger again with the powers of Storm as well as our old powers of Fire and Sky.

Our people grew in strength once more and again invaded the lands of our fathers. We reached the cities that were ours before and were driven back again and again. We had a leader of Storm who brought us some luck, but we were still disunited and fought amongst ourselves. Then our Storm Leader spoke sacred and secret words to another from the South and they went on a journey for many years and came back with the Great Khan who had been imprisoned for many years. The Great Khan leaped to the top of the Well he was bound into and leaped to our Plains where we rejoiced at his return. He gathered our people and we rode against Moonson and his people. After many battles, we fought alongside the Storm People and captured Moonson who was eaten in a great meal so that he could never come back again. The Great Khan then performed the rites of our ancestors and became Great Khan of the Riders and the Walkers. He was our second Great Khan and was as mighty as the first. Then came the Great Winter and the Great Sorrow when half our mares and women were destroyed. Finally, our Great Khan grew tired of being and thought he was becoming like the Walkers and he lay down and went away. We retreated and moved back to those lands in the East that had become our home long ago.

There we ride beneath the Starlit Sky and hunt following Yelorna's ways and Kargzant's Path. We do not want to rule over the Walkers as they are weak and pull us down to their level. We are the Riders and we will be forever.

[End]