Hocruc was working on a new bow made of wood, sinew and horn. As one of the weapon crafters of the Herd, he had to continuously work with his woodcarving abilities to make the most perfect bows for the defense line. As a weapon crafter, he had to be permanently busy, because day by day the soldiers, whose main ability was to shoot arrows endlessly, needed to do it as quickly as possible. Hocruc had black fur with white spots and a white mane and tail, a characteristic that his brothers and sisters from Equette considered very odd, but somehow lucky, as it was extremely uncommon. Whenever he had to massively craft and carve his intricate bows, he always took all his equipment to a lonely steppe and sat over a dead trunk for hours. It was also the tallest place of the region, which was something he liked a lot, as he could spend time with himself only. Whenever started the woodcarving, nothing else could get on his way. Then he would take all the rough wood -of different quality, as the best option wasn’t always available- bows he could back to his fellow Equettans. He didn’t mind this extra effort. He preferred to sacrifice a bit of his limited strength with the only reason of getting more than eight hours of pure silence. He despised working surrounding by noises with his whole soul. For him, a silent environment was crucial considering that these were going to eventually be the weapons of those who defend their folk. He had no room for mistakes. Every one of those soldiers were risking their lives to defend their families (and families of people they didn’t even know) during thousand of years, since their ancestors arrived at this area and decided to

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

create Equette. Hocruc didn’t want to collaborate to make their task more difficult than what it already was. Again, he had no room for mistakes.
One of the most beautiful aspects of this giant steppe was that from that particular spot, Hocruc was able to see the whole mountain range that surrounded, in the distance, the whole territory of Equette. It was like the most beautiful and gorgeous painting, with the nostalgic grey sky and the thousands of endless clouds.
And, he also knew that somewhere near the mountain range, or maybe inside, the Stratorian folk lived peacefully, without bothering anyone. He has heard stories about them being called the Titans of Stone, but he has never actually seen one by himself. He knew that they usually tried to stay away from any political affair that took place in the rest of the Kingdoms - which, for him, it was basically the wisest choice someone could ever make. He has also heard that they have some sort of Leader or King as their ruler, different from what happens in Equette, with the Three Great Leaders, and then the three Lords and three Ladies of the three districts. It was a strange thought, to imagine that giants made out of stone were living inside the mountains. Were they born inside the mountains, or were they born somewhere else and then they moved in? Were they giants of all the same size? Did they have magical powers? Did they have a religion? Did they share a common language, or did they only make guttural sounds to communicate with each other? Could they possibly understand them if they tried to use a common tongue to speak to them, or were they complete assholes? Were they immortal, or did they just live during hundreds of years? Could they be killed? Were they even real?
He has really never heard about anyone that has seen them in person. It was true that they were -apparently- cynical creatures. But maybe it would be nice to meet one of them. Maybe they weren’t unfriendly, only weird and misunderstood creatures. Horruc could strongly empathize with that concept, even if his Herd was not very keen of communicating with foreign creatures. The Equettan folk had his reasons to have that mindset, though. After surviving ears of slavery, it was more than common for his fellow brothers and sisters to feel threatened by anything they don’t entirely know, but they still tried to comprehend their environment.
Up to this point, Hocruc has finished woodcarving his first bow. Before grabbing the raw wood to make the second one, he got lost looking at the mountains again for a couple of minutes. Then, his jaw dropped. Something was, in fact, getting outside of the mountains. He felt the ground tremble and vibrate, even being very far away. And noise, a lot noise. Rocks were falling and rolling towards the plain ground. He frowned. And after that, he realized that he was looking at an enormous being that, in the distance, was getting out of the mountain.

NO MISTAKES by Maria Gabriela Orellana

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EQUETTE

HORSELORDS OF THE STEPPES

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