Chapter 6. The Deafening Silence

Some say only the dead know pure silence. However, a warrior will tell you that defeat brings its own superlative stillness. That same warrior would also tell you within this grand quiet there is little disparity between death and defeat. It is this silence that now washes over the Clan.

This same land had been defended, the same enemy turned back. Indeed this battle had been fought with only victorious results on many occasions. In fact, some of the younger warriors had never known loss at the hand of the Emerald Raptors. It was nothing more than a bedtime tale parents told their children……the very idea of these Northwestern birds of prey swooping in to claim our homeland seemed nothing short of impossible. But today, this preposterous notion was the only reality.

The Raptors were accomplished students of war. They knew all too well where and when to strike at the Spiralhorn defenses. The repair of these defenses had been a long time in the making, and that time had come and gone with little to show for it. The Raptors plunged deep into the heart of the Clan with relative ease. The Clan struck back again and again, but could do little to stop the attack of the Raptors. At the end of the day, a sea of emerald left no doubt as to the battles outcome. The Spiralhorns had fallen again.

The only task at hand was to sort the wounded and find reason for expedition. The prey were scattered everywhere, but one stood out ……..the Great General had fallen. Very few of the Spiralhorn had ever gone to war without the General as their guide and commander. But now for the first time, the Clan would have to do that very thing. The time, even the sureness, of the General’s return was not known, however many battles would have to be fought before the date arrived….if it arrived. Therefore, in his last act the General anointed his second, General Vittion to lead his men. However, this promotion only created more questions. Had Vittion ever led such an army? Would Vittion lead as the Great General had or by his own means? Would Vittion rely on the Great General’s aids for counsel? A world of questions void from answers. This is the state of the Spiralhorns.

The gods of war looked with pity upon the Spiralhorns. They allowed for an extra morning and evening before the next battle. Even the gods saw the Clan as a beaten troop with little vehemence to pursue the next conquest. Some wondered if the Clan would ever see another conquest. At this those who maintained their feet rose to speak. “We must show the world the Clan is not one of loss. There must be a turn of the tide, a swing of the universal pendulum……a twist in time itself. We must search within ourselves to find our essence of days gone-by. Days when victory was accustomed to the shape of the spiraled horn. Therefore, we march to the Lands of the Horsemen.”

Some warriors would say to destroy pure silence, a sound must be made from the highest peak. And now, no army stood higher than the Horsemen. If ever the Clan were to roar again, it must begin in the Land of the Horsemen.