Firecrackers exploded in the sky, painting the night in brilliant colors as the Romii celebrated their victory.
With strong arms and backs, they had stormed their enemies to the East, pushing them further and further into the safety of their pathetic walls.
Inside those stone cages, the Romii were wolves upon their enemies. They slaughtered them with terrible force and razed anything taller than their own shoulders.
They looted, and returned to their steppe with slaves. Men, women, and children, most bearing the marks of battle, threw down flagons of beer.
They spilled over themselves, and wiped half-eaten servings of potatoes over their clothes. Food fell from their open mouths as they laughed with one another.
It was a night like none other to be a member of the strongest nomadic clan of the high steppe.
The steppe was a ruthless place.
Winter froze wild rivers as they ran, summer’s humidity draped itself like a blanket of hot coals, and insects swarmed the countryside in thick clouds of poisonous death.
Few plants grew in its infertile soil, and the animals there were muscular and sinuous, with ferocious teeth and claws like jagged blades.
It was a land that demanded a certain caliber of inhabitant, and that is what the Romii were: bold, unbreakable, strong, and as vicious as the land that bore them.
Flanked by his twenty children, all armed with some looted weapon, the Grand Guuma held a stein high above his head. Decorated warriors emerged from the crowd and threw their hands into the air.
He calmed the noise by extending a mighty fist toward one warrior in particular. Panga Eitaih, approached his leader.
He stepped lightly, with all the grace and intention of an adept fighter, his black-iron battle axe still held in his hands.
It seemed sharp enough to split the very light of the moon as it raked across the blade. He extended his own hand out to the Grand Guuma, and they embraced one another like brothers.
The Guuma grabbed Panga by the shoulders and shook him with an outpouring of joy as he said, “Behold! The greatest warrior in all of Barnikaat! Eighty-seven Froul have met their end by his hands!
He’s taken out of this world almost as many as he’s brought in to it!”
The crowd cheered and the Grand Guuma hugged Panga, who smiled grimly through thick black hair that draped down in front of his face. He was a dark and sullen creature.
Though his exploits on the battlefield were legendary, he trained only in private, when all else were away or asleep. He had never sought the attention or approval of others.
But now, washed in adoring gaze as he stood beside their leader, the prickling clutch of power caressed him, and he was pleased with it.
470 Words :D