Violent Content Warning: This story does contain scenes of a violent nature.
Alternative Warning: This story also contains scenes of a loving relationship between two women.
Uber Warning: This story is an uber. The two characters are based off of the leading ladies of XENA WARRIOR PRINCESS.
Authors Notes: This is my first installment to my Tribe series. This not my usual material, but I thought Id give it a shot. Let me know what ya think. All POSITIVE comments are welcome. Negatives I will simply ignore. Send your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Tribe That Time Forgot
The forest of the Talone people is a strange place to outsiders. Its forest alone will swallow a potential victim whole who didnt know their way around. A fantastical world filled with ground and air pursuers. The mountainous regions still hold secrets the natives are not aware of. Visitors must use extreme caution when on a magical quest or any journey for that matter.
The sea is a wondrous place, no matter the realm. Huge prehistoric reptiles and fish still roam. Even when humans still ruled the Earth, they were here. Frightened by technology, they never showed themselves. Now there is none and they once again rule the water.
When in this strange realm, thrill seekers find the dwellers of the forest the most friendly of all. The Talone people are the humans, the last surviving relics of Earth. Their culture and tradition is deeply rooted from a much simpler time.
The Talone, like any other region inhabitant must deal with countless enemies big and small. The region is choked with trees and shrubs, of course. Its what lurks in them you have to worry about. Prehistoric monsters, magical creatures, and many other natural hazards would not think twice about preying on a human. The Talones population has decreased to about 250, which makes the territory they control become smaller and smaller.
The village is located deep in the forest. The ancient ways are derived from Earth. The men and woman are completely equal. Both are the hunter, the warrior, and farmer.
Our leader, Mondon. An impressive ruler, he stood over six feet. He was the son of the last ruling female. I remember when his wife Ana died. Queen of our people, she ruled with grace and power. He was forced to raise his daughter alone. Princess Kalla, Dark Sky. She stood tall like her father as she strolled through the village. I, being a commoner, could not even come close to her. Dark Sky is a beautiful warrior and the next leader of our people. Mondon only rules until Kalla will feel ready to take over. Personally, I think she loves her warrior status better than her royal one.
Meelo was following behind Kallas stride, as he should being Kallas suitor and possible husband. The dreaded class curse will haunt me all of my days. My father was a traitor to my people. Therefore, I am doomed for life.
I liked my daily walks through my village. I often do it to mingle with my people. I always felt to be an outsider. The friends I grew up with all drifted into their separate classes, either warriors with proud family backgrounds or simple commoners. None however, followed me. Oh how simple to be a child. As a child, you didnt care about your family class, worry about honor, or fight to protect your loved ones. All of my friends lived within walking distance and I havent seem them, much less talked to them in the last few years. As I stroll through the maze of small huts, I glanced around and smiled at most I saw. Most everyone smiled back or waved. An extreme few, mostly commoners, smirk when you even mention the royal family, father and I.
"Hello Kalla." I turn to see Alla. Alla was once a very respected warrior. Allas warrior status was commendable. It stretched farther than most. An honor warrior to my father, turned farmer. "How are you?"
"Fine and Asa?"
"Oh my wife is fine. Shes out picking dune berries with some others. "How is your father?"
"My father is....my father." I smile. "He is in our hut relaxing today."
"Meelo was here earlier. Are going to bond soon?"
"Im not sure. Its a big decision." He motioned for me to sit. I sat on one of his hand made chairs in front of his hut. "Especially for me. The ruling family must be chosen with care. If I am to bare children one day, he must prove himself to me.
"That is the most important thing. He has proven himself to your father to be a noble warrior in our hunts, but theres more to being a warrior than being a good fighter. A warrior must also have a good spirit." He glanced around surveying his surroundings. "To me it seems he may fall a little short."
"Well thank you for the advise, Alla." I said standing. "I must finish my walk. Goodbye Alla."
"Goodbye, Princess Kalla."
I stepped up and pulled back the blanket that closed the opening of the hut, just enough to get in. "Afternoon, Daughter."
"Father." I nodded.
The royal hut was quite roomy compared to the single huts. My father sat on the left side on a beautiful adorned blanket. My father was a tall man, with typical tan to his skin. The necklaces he wore around his neck symbolized his warrior status and his royalty. I wore the same royality symbol, but my warrior symbol was not elegant, but one day it will be.
"Kalla. Sit. We must talk."
"Yes father." I sat down. His stern, yet compassionate voice told me it was a business matter, which meant a family matter. I knew exactly what the topic of this discussion was going to be.
"Kalla," he began. "Meelo has asked me to discuss this with you. He has been your suitor for quite some time. He is a fine warrior. Are you going to bond with him? He would make an excellent husband."
"Father, Meelo is a warrior in status, but I do not feel his spirit is true. You tell me that the man I bond with is important to the future of my people. I do not feel Meelo is suitable. I wish to terminate my ties with him."
"What!!! You will do no such thing! If you wish to name another suitor, fine but you will remain with him until I see fit to tell you otherwise."
"Fine." I said and stood to make my exit. It would be another night spend away from my father.
The morning air was damp and cool. I breathed in the smell of spring. People were beginning to stir. I reached down and picked up my spear and put my bow across my back. I walked to the border of the village, where the woods began. "Kalla." At the sound of my name, I turned Standing before me was a beautiful woman. She was small, but muscular. The wrap around her waist hid everything to her knees. The shirt was sleeveless, showing off impressive arms. She seemed so familiar, then it came to me.
"Golden Sun." I smiled. It was Garland. The young woman smiled shyly.
"Im sorry. I should address you properly, Princess Kalla." adding a slight head bow. I remember Garland as one of my childhood friends. Unfortunately as the class curse, as it came to be called, set in we drifted. Garland was as common as common can get. She came from a family of opportunists. They dont hunt, farm, or defend the village. Her father broke his bonding with her mother. Her brother is known as a thief who cant be trusted.
"How are you, Garland?"
"And your family?" She shrugged. She smiled at me and continued on her way as I did mine, in much the same way as we lived our lives.
I found myself walking somewhere. I found myself in front of a hut I knew from my childhood. "Doma." I called. An old woman stepped out a short time later. She seemed so surprised, she could hardly stand. "Princess Kalla! You grace us with your presence." She did a very overextended and quite outrageous bow. Doma actually stumbled. I had so little respect for this woman for treating Garland so badly, that I let her fall. "What is it you wish of me?"
"Where is your daughter?"
"She no longer lodges her. She built her own hut last summer. I will take you there." I followed directly behind her and came to a stop at a small hut that was somewhat away from the others. "Garland." the woman screeched.
"Yes." She stepped out of the small door of the hut. "Kalla. I mean....." I hold up my hand.
"Kalla is fine. Thank you, Doma." The old woman nodded and walked away. "Would you like to go for a walk, Golden Sun? I could use a little company."
We began our trek around the village. "Im surprised you came."
"Why is that? Because Im royalty?"
"I may not have been around, but I am still your friend." We received curious glances and surprised looks. "Would you like go for a ride tomorrow?"
"I...ummm....dont have a horse."
"Ill bring you one."
"Will you meet me at the first wooded trail at first light?"
"Goodbye....Dark Sky." I smiled when she used my earned name instead my title or my given name.
I was waiting at the trail even before the sun came up. I had no idea why Princess Kalla would want to ride with me, but I was going to find out. The vision before me stopped all action around me. Kalla came striding towards me leading her black stallion and another horse. Her leggings bore her family/royal symbol on both legs. The elaborate necklace around her neck defined her. Her bow, always across the back unless it is being used for protection or food. Her short spear in her left hand. One small braid was on the left side of her head, the symbol of a female warrior. The males wore theirs on the right. When her head turned, you could see the Hondon feather that hanging loosely in her long, black hair. Anyone who could kill a Hondon was a true warrior, very few have.
"You are early." she smiles. I simply smile. She hands me the reins of the brown horse. I take them as we begin along the trail.
"Isnt it dangerous in the woods?" Dangerous was a huge understatement.
"I will protect you." she says softly, no hint of mocking in her tone.
"Then I will not worry."
"I would like to take you to a favorite place of mine, only I know about."
"Alright." I treasured the feeling of her strong, gentle hands on my hips as she helped me mount the horse. Dark Sky simply swung one leg over in one swift motion and was astride her stallion.
"I will ride first. Stay close." I nodded.
I turned and glanced back to Golden Sun as much as I could. The weather being cold, she wore her skin leggings instead of her wrap. She had no adornments of any kind, but she was beautiful just the same. Her hair was the color of the sun, hence her name. It had no braids at all, telling the story of her commonhood. To hell with the classes, I need Garland in my life. I can hear my father snort in disapproval from here.
I stopped my horse and jumped down. Walking to her, I opened my arms and helped her down. Suddenly I was frozen in place. I stared into eyes that were color of a spring meadow. A rustling in the bushes behind me, forced me to turn around. I instinctively placed Golden Sun behind me. I felt two small hands hold me by my waist. I raised my short spear, ready to fight off any harm that might show itself. A rabbit suddenly bolted out of the foliage and ran right past us. I heard her laugh quietly from just over my shoulder. I smiled. It was a very sweet sound. "Come. We must get to the place before the sun is high." I took her hand and began to lead her through the bushes, watching carefully where I stepped.
"There." I pointed at the waterfall.
"Its beautiful." The sounds of animal and insect life was all around us, but all I listened to was her. "How did you find this place?"
"My mother brought me here as a child." We sat down on a cool rock near the pool it emptied into. "Its one of many places that my father doesnt know of or anyone else."
"Kalla, can I ask you something?"
"Why you? What do you mean?" She is smart. I knew I couldnt hide from her as I do my father.
"Why bring me here? You have Meelo."
"You are special. Meelo isnt." I say honestly.
"Are you.....asking me for suit....?"
"No." I cut her off. Her face falls. "Golden Sun. It is not that you are not worthy. I do not want you to feel that you must obey me. I want your heart, not your obedience."
"My heart?" she smiled. "You can not with bond me, I am a commoner."
"So, you are the ruler of our people. I have no place...."
"Yes, you do. I will make you a place."
"Do not concern yourself with him. It is my life. It is my decision."
I will only make trouble for her. There is no chance of a commoner being on the throne. My feelings for my ruler can not be denied. I am in love, but a forbidden love. Dark Sky wrapped her strong arms around me from behind and held me to her as we watched the fall for hours.
"Did Ana like the fall?"
"Oh yes." Dark Sky smiled. "We used to swim in the pool and splash each other. I turned my head and watched her face as she recounted something from winters ago. "I remember how safe I felt with her. I would ride with her into the forest with no fear. She would take me to these wondrous places only she knew about. A family secret. I loved my mother." Everyone knew of the heroic death of our queen. She was protecting Kalla from a bear. The story goes that Kalla was in the woods for days before she came back to the village and told her father where the queen had fallen. Despite the horrible experience, Dark Sky spends most of her time here, just like the queen. "I believe Father still blames me for what happened to Mother." she said quietly. I rubbed the arm that was nearest my hand. I was not going to lie to her, I believe King Mondon does blame Dark Sky. "We better start back. Someone might worry about you?"
"No they wont."
Still, Dark Sky stood. We began our journey back to the village. When we returned I asked her, "Will you stay in the royal hut tonight?"
"Yes, or until my father makes me angry."
"Dark Sky. It will be cold tonight. If he makes you angry, promise to come to my hut and not sleep in the forest."
"I promise." she smiled. "Thank you, Golden Sun." I handed her the reins to the horse. She took them with a smile. "Goodbye."
Golden Sun is as beautiful as a rising sun. Mother nature couldnt really compare. Many times I felt sad about my place here as a child. Garland taught me to love myself before trying to please my father. Now that love has directed itself to her. Strip me on my weapons, my status, my royalty I will be fine as long as I have her. How did I live these last few winters without knowing this. Maybe because we have both come of age since then.
I walked into our hut to find my father sitting at the main fire. "We must talk." he said sternly. I sat without a word, across the fire. "Kalla you have disgraced me.....First you express an uninterest in your long time suitor.....Then, you are seen speaking and then leaving with a common girl." I took a deep breath to calm my angered heart.
"Yes." I say simply. We stare at each other with purpose.
"No." he replies.
"Who I choose to share my time with is none of your concern."
"YES!!! It is my concern. You will rule our people. You are NOT going to speak to commoners again."
"I will see whom ever I please. Golden Sun is who I want."
"You say that after one day?" he asked exasperated.
"Garland was my only true friend as a child. I know her better than I do my own father." He stood and walked around to me.
"Stand Daughter." I did. He struck me in the face with the back of his hand. When my head to the side with the force to the blow, I immediately returned upright, raising my head in a defiant manner, daring him to strike me again. "You will not shame yourself and this family."
"Mother never bestowed any power to you." I spat. "The only reason you rule now is because I let you." He could not deny it. It was true. "Strike me again, I will forget my ties to you." I grabbed my weapon and left him to his thoughts.
I knew I shouldnt be here. I took a quick glance around before pulling back the blanket to Golden Suns hut. She was lying on her sleeping furs on the far wall. I moved to the center and quietly stoked the dying fire. I watched across the fire as I did this. She was bathed in a beautiful orange hue. I stood and placed my weapons near her head. I squatted in front of her. Using my hand, I gently stroked her hair. Her eyes opened. "Kalla?" she slowly propped herself up on her elbow. She took my hand and rubbed my fingers. She lifted the sleeping furs, inviting me in. I placed myself on my back and she draped the warm wrap around us both. Golden Sun placed her head on my shoulder. I proceeded to hold her. This is better than a cold, dark forest.
I awoke to a heartbeat under my ear. I smiled to myself. She was still here. I had not dreamt it. Our ruler did come into my hut, seeking me. Her breathing was deep and even. I looked up to see her closed eyes. I also noticed a redness on her cheek. My heart sank. Her father had once again struck her. It was no secret the king was very physical in his ruling, apparently with Kalla as well. I never have heard of her ever striking him back. She was certainly capable, but she hasnt. The hand on my back began to move and her eyes opened. "My father knows." she said simply. "I told him you are the one I want to bond with."
"He struck you." She shrugged.
"Do not worry." she stroked my hair.
"I will return. I have to hunt for food in the western borders."
"Goodbye." She rubbed a large hand across my cheek.
It wasnt long before an unwanted visitor came to my hut. It was Meelo. "You. Commoner." he bellowed. It was nothing short of an insult. He stepped into my hut, without being invited. "You are the one that has been seen with Dark Sky." I held up my head.
"Yes." The strike came as I knew I knew it would.
"Kalla is mine, Commoner." He grabbed me by my shirt. "Do you hear me?" he hissed.
"I hear you." I said defiantly.
"You common piece of dirt. You have no business in this village. Stay away from Kalla. That throne is mine." I was not a warrior I could not defend myself from him.
To Be Continued.......
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