Sunday, January 26, 2014

The Doom of Minghaa

The plains men of the west came to Minghaa's yurt in search of trade and marriage. Minghaa the Generous received them well. He poured them strong wine and gave them the best of the feast. When the men of the west with their yellow haired leader told the Son of Heaven that he sought a bride for his sons, the Magnanimous One smiled. The fame of the bold warriors of the west was well known.

Minghaa the Mighty brought forward his daughters. The sullen sons paid them little eye but for the youngest. Taba, the fairest of the flowers of Nayany and Minghaa took one in hand. As she told the Son of Heaven of her desire to take him in her arms, the spurned one stood and struck a hard blow. He spread apart Taba's white throat with his demon blade even as he struck down his brother. Minghaa called down Heaven's Fury upon the men of the west.

His brother Menai leaped forward with his klah in hand. The moon blade sang and the demon blade shattered. The yellow haired man of the west fled with a cry of terror as Menai called together the war party. A thousand men gathered. A thousand men rode, calling to the Sky Father and Mother to let their klahs be sharp and their shija fly true.

Sky Father looked down upon them with his stern face. The grass sea parted before them, leading onward to where the yellow haired villain passed. The Sky Mother watched over them in the night, her maidens weaving the fall of the men of the west in the stars. Menai took counsel with the sorcerer Denua when they reached the silver thread.

For three days, they remained at the glimmering way. Battle songs they sung. Denua lead them the loudest as Menai sharpened his klah and drank his wine. The third night, the Sky Mother and her maidens hid their faces in the veils of cloud. Denua read the signs of the fire and pronounced to Menai that it was time. Denua warned the brother of the Son of Heaven not to step into the kybashi, for the Sky Mother's hiding of her face warned of evil things.

Menai, drunk upon the wines he had brought with him laughed. He declared that he would burn the kybashi of the men of the west. Denua said nothing, going to strike the battle drum and sing the battle songs until the rise of the Sky Father.

The silver track turned red as blood. Denua warned Menai not to go into the kybashi but Menai only repeated that he would burn them. Denua beat the drum and screamed to the Sky Father. The war party crossed the waters and came to the kybashi. The yellow haired villain stood with five half grown boys. Menai struck him a hard blow with his klah. The yellow haired man fell to the ground and was crushed beneath the hooves of Menai's mount.

He passed into the kybashi and found many were dead. Those who lived were taken as slaves. Menai lit the kybashi a fire and brought his prisoners across the water. Denua met him at his yurt. Denua had not seen the battle but knew upon seeing Menai's prisoners that he had gone within the kybashi of the men of the west. Denua insisted that Menai kill all he had taken but Menai did not listen.

The war party returned to the Son of Heaven. As they traveled back, the slaves proved too weak for service and fell. Old horses gave way to age and Denua lead the songs of parting. A stone kybashi was raised where the horse of Menai fell. There, the spirits of the herd remain. A day later, they arrived at the Son of Heaven's encampment. The horses were sent to the kybashi and the war party went to their women.
Denua was heard to speak late in the night to the Sky Mother. He wept like a woman and struck the earth with his fists. At sunrise, the far sighted Denua, uncle of the Son of Heaven was found laying within ashes and groaning. The Son of Heaven and Menai consulted and tried to guess what the Sky Mother wanted of Denua and why she struck him down.

The Son of Heaven built a pyre and brought out his finest horse. He opened its throat and placed it upon the blaze. Smoke rose high and the Sky Father veiled his face with clouds. The tears of the Sky Mother and the maidens fell for nine days. As the Sky Mother and the maidens wept, Denua moved to join the ancestors. Many others did as well. Menai lay in the Son of Heaven's yurt with the shuddering judgment of the Sky Mother upon him.

The Son of Heaven and Nayany begged the ancestors to aid them. They burned fragrant grasses, poured wine, and fasted. The ancestors took Menai in their arms and the Son of Heaven sacrificed his second best horse to give Menai a proper beast for him to ride the plains. Nayany soon became ill as did the Son of Heaven.

Three days, they shuddered and wasted. The Son of Heaven screamed for the Sky Father and Mother to forgive him. His cries were so loud that they were heard in every part of the encampment. Nayany died with a sigh. The Son of Heaven soon went to her side with the ancestors. As the maidens grew to womanhood, the people of the Sky Father and Mother failed.

Some fled to the east and found the clans of others to take them in. It is from them that we learned of their story. Before they fled, they built a stone kybashi about the encampment. At the fixed stone of sunrise, the skulls of the horses were set to watch. At the fixed stone of sunset, the klahs were stood across the entrance. Thus were the dead guarded by their own arms.

Klah ~ sword
Kybashi ~ enclosure
Shija ~ arrow (plural: singular is shiji)

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