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Sacred Tyree'De grounds, El Oleonda, December 622 The sacred House of the Ancestors, one of the holiest sites for the tribes of El Oleonda, was located somewhere between Fort Arltrees and Seawatch. Like most of the temples and the villages of the Tyree'De, it was built among the ruins of the ancient civilization that inhabited the island: majestic cities and temples laid in the jungle and on the heights, mysteriously abandoned centuries before. It was surprising how fast the Tyree'De (a blend of indigenous people and stranded Lotii sailors) had developed their own culture, religion, and myths, and how fast that small group had become one of the most important tribes of the New Haven islands. That day, however, Tristan was not there to talk with the Tyree'De about their fascinating culture: he was there to win the native tribes to the cause of Oleon, and help the Empire to win the incoming war. The Tyree'De had always been friendly, and many warriors had joined the army as scouts and auxiliaries, but other tribes had remained neutral or openly hostile. The Tamaco people, in particular, had sided with the Monomonto since their arrival on the island. While the Lotii forces were encircling Seawatch, the Tamaco warriors had intercepted all the Carnite messengers before they could reach Fort Arltrees, and had forced Tristan's scouts to maintain a certain distance from the Lotii positions. As Tristan discovered, however, the relations of the Tamaco with their new lords had deteriorated quickly. In the highly hierarchical Monomonto army, the natives were not considered as allies, but as “ashigaru”, that is subordinated peasant soldiers. After a Tamaco chief was beheaded by a “samurai” for insubordination, most of the native warriors deserted in mass. With the mediation of the Tyree’De chief, Tristan met the leader of the Tamaco. The sacred grounds, where no weapons were allowed, were the ideal location for the difficult talks: decades of rivalry with the Tyree’De were difficult to forget, but at the same time an alliance with Oleon was probably the best defence against a Lotii reprisal. The Tamaco leader proved to be a reasonable man: for sure he was a though warrior and a proud man, but he listened carefully the proposals of the Olee’Ion war chief… and, in spite of the warnings (clearly impartial and prejudice free) that Tristan had received from the Tyree’De, he didn’t even try to eat his liver! Outside the walls of the sacred land, the blue warriors were fraternising with the natives, exchanging gifts and showing them their mighty thunder spears. Armed warriors secured the area: the meeting, with the war chiefs of the main tribes of El Oleonda (Tamaco, Tyree’De, and the newly arrived Olee’Ion), represented an inviting target for the Lotii warlords. The situation, however, seemed completely calm, and no incident had occurred among the different groups. As the discussions went on, a large banquet was prepared, as the sacred traditions required: if the talks had been successful, all the warriors- the ones with the blue coats, the Tyree’De with their red bandanas, the Tamaco with the painted faces, and all the others- would have eaten together. Otherwise, all the food would have been burnt for the gods of war, and the two chiefs would have fought to the death on the sacred ground, or they would have been considered coward and blasphemous. Despite the sacred traditions, however, everyone hoped for the success: together, the tribes were stronger and, despite the rust between Tyree’De and Tamaco, nobody really wanted a bloodbath. Moreover, that food looked so inviting… ———— While Tristan was discussing with Atanak (the Tamaco chief), Lieutenant Marcel Dubois (the major of Fort Arltrees) took the chance to visit the fascinating House of the Ancestors. In the Tyree’De culture, that building represented all the members of the tribe who had gone to the World of the Spirits: in that place, the tribe remembered them, and the shamans tried to receive their wisdom in times of need. Food offerings were deposed on the central table, while objects of the Ancestors themselves were lined along the walls: weapons, masks and amulet, but also glass bottles, Lotii coin and old maps, memories of the sailors stranded decades before. Discovering the mysterious Tyree’De culture, however, didn’t seem to be Marcel’s only interest… and the beautiful daughter of the tribe chief, apparently, reciprocated him! ——— Overall view: ------------------- Many fantastic builds have been published in the last weeks, and I'm far from keeping up with everything. With this, I'm trying to progress my story, show the effort of Oleon to befriend most of the natives of El Oleonda (not only the Tyree'De) and answer at least some of the last development on the island.
Somewhere in the jungle, April 620, El Oleonda The Carnites didn't tell them all the truth, that was clear. Probably the archaeologists were actually studying the ancient ruins, but this was only a part of the story: their report on the Lotii expedition was surely too detailed for someone who considered the treasure a little more than a legend, and they said too many times that it was impossible to find. However, those idiots had neglected the most obvious thing to do: ask the ones who could know something... but the people of Carno were new to the New World, and considering the savages as something more than a part of the local fauna hadn't probably even come to their minds! Finding a Tyree'De on such a large island wasn't so easy but, once again, the remains of the ancient civilization helped Tristan and his men: if the ancient inhabitants of El Oleonda had built their cities in the best locations, probably the Tyree'De had chosen the same places for their villages… and the Oleander expedition had literally a comfortable road to reach them! After a couple of unsuccessful attempts, therefore, they found what they were looking for: a place where the inhabitants weren't only snakes and scorpions. What Tristan and his men found surprised everyone: probably the Carnites wouldn't have even noticed that, but the "natives" themselves were a clear answer to the mystery of the lost expedition. Most of the Tyree'De had the same somatic tracts of the indigenous people of archipelago, this was true, but others were clearly born in a different part of the World; moreover, their straw hats and the peculiar rice fields, similar to the ones seen in Mooreton Bay, were definitely something unusual among the native tribes. Tristan asked to meet the leader of the little community. Fortunately, the Tyree'De language was quite similar to the one of Astrapi natives, so communicating with them wasn't too difficult. He was brought into a ruined stone building, another trace of the ancient inhabitants; inside, the Tyree'De had built a little wooden hut. The old man waiting for them, despite all the amulets and the paintings on his body, was clearly a Lotii. All the pieces of the puzzle were now in the right position: the mysterious motherland of the Tyree'De, located "southwards"; their interest for tools and weapons, the things that they couldn't repair or replace without a smith and a real forge; their riches, probably a part of the fabled Lotii treasure. Against all the odds, some of the Lotii sailors had survived: the old man, once the helmsman of the junk Nan Feng, confirmed Tristan's reconstruction. When it became clear that no help would have come from the motherland, the survivors realized that remaining in the camp meant certain death: the supplies were running low, and so many people couldn't survive by hunting in a little area. Therefore, they formed small groups, split the treasure, and went in different directions. Some of these small bands were unlucky, and all the men were killed by hunger, diseases, or in fights for the scarce food remaining. Others built rafts or small junks, and were never seen again. Most of the surviving Lotii, however, peacefully lived their lives with the natives, becoming the Tyree'De ("new tribe", in the language of the natives). The newcomers repaired some of the ancient canals and taught the natives the art of rice farming… hard work, but also a source of food by far more abundant and reliable than hunting and gathering. Many married local women and had children with them: most of the living Tyree'De knew the Kingdom of the Lotus only from the tales of their fathers, and some of them already considered it a sort of myth. When El Oleonda was "discovered" by Lotii and Carnites, the survivors of the old expedition had already lived there for almost thirty years… they had settled on the smaller islands of the New Haven Sea, grown their crops, and formed their families. In the motherland there was nothing left for them: everyone considered them dead, and they had been forgotten. So, the old Lotii decided to remain forever the Tyree'De, the mysterious tribe from the South. They visited the Halosian settlements and bought agricultural tools with gold and silver, shiny souvenirs of their past. Tristan asked the old man if he knew something about the nautical maps but, unfortunately, the answer was negative: the chest with the maps was lost decades ago, disappeared in the jungle with large treasures and with the lives of several men. "I've been completely sincere with you, Rimbaud San." a word that Tristan didn't know, but that sounded very respectful - "Here we have found a new home, here we have found peace. Now I want a promise from you. If somebody asks you about our unfortunate expedition if they ask you about us… tell them that we are all gone!" ---------------------------------------------------------- An overall view