Story for the Day: Brothers
The island roused from its inanimate condition when the bards from the temple made their first round of the capital. The Haanta people emerged from their carved homes, rising with the first sounds of the Sanhedhran morning, and began their day, greeting their brothers and sisters with equal cordiality while being ushered to their posts by the bolstering hymns of their people. The fires of forges were struck, the masonry ovens were lighted, and everyone was inclined to resume the peaceful creation with which they had ended the day before. Glassmakers and metalworkers discussed plans for coming ventures, millers and conveyors discussed shipments, and traders prepared their wares on the wharf to entice the coming Lucentian merchants. The Amghari took to their excruciating practices along the southern shore and the water carriers followed them to ensure their proper level of hydration while watching them condition their powerful forms. By the time the bards had returned to the temple after having sung the first set of passages, the Haanta capital of Sanhedhran was teeming with animation.
|Rautu and his three honoured brothers|
While the Amghari recited their morning meditations on the southern shore, Rautu finished his in the entranceway of his home. He had encouraged his infirmed companion to find a few more moments of rest if she could and went to the door to complete his mantras, hoping they would calm his mind. He finished in time to see the Mhojhudenri, the island’s nutritional provisioner, walking toward his residence, handing out fresh flatbreads to everyone she passed. She came with a meal and a genial smile for Rautu, who graciously accepted her offer and bowed his head to her in return.
“Kodhanaas, Mhojhudenri,” the Den Asaan greeted her.
“Kodhanaas, Den Asaan agaam Sanhedhran. Long has it been since I have seen you. I am pleased for your return.” She bowed low to the giant, resting large trey of flatbreads between her hands and her hips. “Your mission to the mainland was successful?”
Rautu was uncertain of what to reply. He made an unconscious look to his companion behind him, and before he could give her a summary of what had happened, he saw the Mhojhudenri looking through the window at the woman resting within his home.
“I see you have had an interesting journey,” she inferred with sparkling eyes. “You do what even your honoured brother Otenohi would not. He would be proud of you, Den Asaan.”
The mention of his brothers made Rautu’s features grow aggrieved. “He would be.”
“Strange that none of your brothers have come to visit me in the Mhojhudarron since the last attack from Thellis,” she mused. “I hope they will return from their duties soon.”
“As do I,” the Den Asaan murmured in a grim tone.
The Mhojhudenri took a second bread from her trey and handed it to the Den Asaan with a kindly wink. “You will be needing this, Den Asaan. Please come and visit me with your honoured brothers when they return. You are always welcome. I will be certain to keep some Ataasna aside for you.”
Rautu could say no more than, “Tagmhaanas,” and bow his head in farewell as the Mhojhudenri continued toward the sanctuary.
He deliberated the subject that she had invoked and the more he considered it the more it distressed him. Out of everyone who had greeted him since his return, the three faces he had wished to see the most were yet misplaced. He neglected his usual correspondence to them the evening pervious to care for his companion, but certainly word of his return would have reached them by now. They had not written in some time and the matter of his brothers’ absence began to greatly grieve him. There had been no sign of them, no mention from his superior, and the intelligence the Mhojhudenri had conveyed him had only affirmed his suspicions that something was wrong.
Throughout the Den Asaan’s discourse with the Sanhedhran provisioner, the commander had been awake and most attentive to the conversation. She heard Rautu say little of his brothers during the war but had seen him make his letters to them nearly every evening to report his progress. Although she had thought to question him on the subject several times, she was sensible of the matter’s sensitivity with him and said nothing. She opened her eyes, pretending to now awaken from a sleep that had refreshed her, and remarked the three articles on the table beside her, wondering which brother was responsible for which gift.