The Pale Ones

“I have heard of you, Seer-of-the-Ways,” I say. The warriors of the tribe stand behind me, and I feel their tension. It is as hard and bright as the wasteland sun.

“And I you, Walker-of-the-Path,” he replies. He takes his Harahk from his back and places it gently on on the floor. The handle is a long as the blade: something that is neither a spear, nor a sword, but something between.

The warriors visibly relax behind me, and I smile at our visitor.

“I’m glad you come for peace,” I say, and we both sit cross-legged on the cracked earth.

“I come for war,” he assures me. “But not against you. Mother Sky and Father Earth have guided me here to gather allies for battle.”

“The words of wind and weather are changeable,” I say, offhandedly. I know better than to argue directly with a holy man. “But wars once done cannot be undone.”

“I see you are blessed with both wisdom and caution,” he says. “Prophecies are slippery things. But your scouts are not. You know they are coming.”

I shiver.

“The Pale Ones.”

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