Four days after the arrival of Fior Hiromani is all it took for paranoia and madness to fully take hold. Regardless of the Lord’s orders violence erupted. Most of it was small scuffles between less than a handful of souls, until it wasn’t.
When it erupted into full blown insanity Kazka was on her way to visit her parents’ graves. It was going to be the first time since the failed harvest this year she had done so and so was to be the first time she would learn just how swollen the graveyard had become. However, she never did get the chance for a brawl spilled out of one of the inns into the street. Guards watched unwilling to wade into the fracas while bodies piled into the fray expanding the combatants what seemed like endlessly.
Men and women took part; it seemed no one was immune to the penchant except for Kazka. She stood and watched it all. The punches, the kicks, the destruction of property which saw buildings become ablaze. And as she stood there she experienced only horror.
When finally the guards saw fit to do something, mainly in response to those pleading for action in place of inaction, it was beyond any hopes of being controlled and contained. Lord Hiromani appeared but did little more than watch. His expression was impossible to read for he wore his helmet. At the time Kazka had thought nothing of Simarachi’s protector adorned with the headdress but looking back she realises she should have thought it odd, questioned it and great many other things.
Oh Teeson. Kazka saw him in the middle of the tangle of bodies. He was laying into a Tsuaru a good deal smaller than him without a care for his savagery. Kazka tried to go to him, to stop him, drag him away, but try as she might she could not reach him. Bodies flew across her path from left and right, screams pierced her ears, she was almost knocked flat on her face. Lord Hiromani, when she looked up, was gone and she did not know where. It struck her that perhaps upon seeing this, that the people of Vinen could not last much more than a day he gave up entirely. Yet, it was when she looked for her brother that panic truly began to set in.
He was not where he had been and the cries from the Tsuaru were for war. In that moment Kazka realised her brother was right and all she wanted to do was find him. Find him she did, but he was already lost for he lay dead, head caved by something heavy. Kazka screamed, she remembers that still, but no one came to her aid. Everyone was too busy with their violence. Until, that is, someone grabbed a hold of her and hauled her away kicking and screaming.
When finally she got to see their face she calmed for it was that same guard, Yenxi. He was no longer dressed the way he was before. Instead he was dressed plainly which meant only one thing, he no longer held the position he once did.
“Vinen, Simarachi, are no longer safe. We have to get out.”
“To where can we flee?” Someone asked alerting Kazka to the fact that she and Yenxi were not alone.
“Our scouts have found lands to the East. They are not settled and do not look to have been for a long while. We will be safe there. We can rebuild.”
“But what about the others, we cannot leave them?”
“This was a distraction meant to lure and expose the Tsuaru, sadly it succeeded. They have revealed themselves and their treachery. We must flee if we are to live. Otherwise they will kill us all. War is all they want, for Simarachi must be theirs.”
“So we run?” Someone exclaimed incredulous.
“This soil is diseased. It cannot sustain life. By running we survive. This is no longer our home.”
“When do we depart?” Kazka heard herself say without at first realising it was she who had spoken.
“Immediately, it must be immediately, before the Tsuaru have chance to properly organise.”
“I saw Lord Hiromani depart.” Were the next words out the young pink eyed woman’s mouth.
“To where, did you see?” Yenxi yearned to know, his tone and the look in his eyes made that clear.
A shake of her head was all she managed.
In response to it Yenxi paused to think. When next he spoke he announced, “Then our haste must be even swifter than I suspected. Now run to the edge of town, there you will find more of our tribe; they will escort you to our new lands.”
Most of the Ymbal conformed without a thought, expect for Kazka. Yenxi with his red eyes did a double take confused by the continued presence of the young woman with long black hair stood at his side.
“What is wrong?” He queried.
“I don’t know your name.” Kazka blurted.
“It is Yenxi, Yenxi Imalo.” Came the hurried reply the five foot eight inch tall Ymbal offered.
“You were a guard.”
“I was yes but we have no time for this…” He stopped unaware of her name.
“Kazka.” She advised.
“You have to run Kazka, join the others.”
“What about you?”
“I need to save all those I can for this was all my idea.” The admission clearly weighed heavily on Yenxi otherwise he would not have admitted it; that much was clear as the words left his mouth.
Hearing that Kazka perhaps should have hated Yenxi for he, unknowingly, had been the cause of her brother’s death. Yet, she did not blame him, then or now. She blamed the Tsuaru. That was something she never thought in all her life she would come to say having lived alongside them, peacefully, but it was true.
“I want to help.”
“I cannot ask you…” Yenxi never got to finish his statement for Tsuaru rushed toward him and Kazka. Instinctively, Yenxi stepped forward to cover the pink eyed Ymbal woman from the guards brandishing sword and smiling cruelly as they laughed.
Yenxi was outnumbered, four to one, and had only a single sword to his name. It was sat tightly in his grasp ready for battle. What went through his head was that he must protect Kazka at all costs for she was unarmed, innocent.
Fortunately before there was any chance for battle to be done, what remained of the Ymbal distraction came rolling right over Vinen’s Tsuaru guards. Yenxi erupted in fearful relief and then grabbing Kazka’s hand declared, “Now we run.” And run they did. They ran to the edge of Venin where but a few stragglers of the main Ymbal mass remained and then ran some more, without looking back. They continued until they managed to catch up with the bulk of their tribe at which point Yenxi and some other former guards scattered themselves around the Ymbal with scouts at the head of the group guiding them.
Throughout their journey; long, hard and cold as it was they did not stop for the Tsuaru were never far away.
Once they crossed out of Simarachi the pursuit ended however. Kazka looked back then and saw Lord Hiromani sat atop his horse. He was a good distance away but undoubtedly it was him. She felt bile well up and touch her tongue at the sight of the man, and then no longer able to stare at his outline pulled herself away never to see him again.
“Should we pursue Lord?”
“No. The Ymbal are gone. We will brave this winter and start anew. Prove they were the affliction upon these lands, our lands. And what happened here will be recorded as nothing more than cowards fleeing in the face of adversity. Their dishonour will ring through ages yet to come.” And with that Lord Fior Hiromani and his personal detachment of Tsuaru warriors turned about and rode off back in the direction of Venin. Not long after it was renamed and then finally abandoned by the Tsuaru.
As for the Ymbal they built a new home on the lands they fled as refugees too and named it Yma. But have never forgotten what the Tsuaru did to them. Rather, it has festered and fermented becoming a generation spanning hate which persists to this day.
And Kazka, she settled down with Yenxi, who lead the Ymbal with her supporting him every step of the way. They had three boys, including me, and grew old together watching our tribe prosper until the day they both died in peace together in the home they had made for themselves overlooking the lands of Yma.
My mother included many more titbits of information in her retelling but I’ve left them out of this version. They will not be lost. They will remain in the version of her own telling. Some of them I alluded to. Perhaps one day her version may see the light of day. Until then this version is the one which will remain as an official entry in our past detailing as to why the Ymbal left Simarachi.