The old man looked up to the sky, it was cloudy and the chill grip of winter was still clinging onto the world even though spring was arriving. In the distance the occasional sound of thunder and flashes of lightening could be observed. The air was charged with energy it could be felt everywhere, on the ground, in the rocks, all over the skin, and even within.
He continued his approach to a teenage boy kneeling on the dirt and gravel. As he drew closer the smell of incense filled his nostrils and again, just as the many times before, was reminded of a time when he was this boy’s age. The timing was perfect as such the old man got to the boy just as the last of the incense had burned out and the boy was coming out of meditation. It was a well practiced skill for, since the days that his son had gone through the rite, he had been guiding many a soon to be man or woman to the Great Rift for their rite of passage.
“So, young Kaemon, have you found your center?”
“And honored the ancestors before me that were the first of the gifted of our people, to those who would later form the tribes of our people, and to the blood that created me.”
The old man’s eye twinkled with a smile it always pleased him when the young ones of the tribes were able to complete the rites and honor the ancestors, even more so if they came back to the Great Rift on a pilgrimage.
“Then, young Kaemon, it is time to receive your marks of passage,” with that the old man reached out from under his robes and produced a quiver that slightly shimmered similar to silver that had not been polished for a long time, “this is for you.”
Young Kaemon’s eye flickered and glowed as he looked at the odd quiver in front of him, “It’s… magiked.”
“Indeed, we had received word prior to your arrival that you were becoming quite the marksman, and so as befitting you shall receive this to help you pursue the path you have chosen. Now come, young Kaemon, let us head back to the village to complete your passage.”
And so the young man and elder walked side by side down the path back towards the village where he would complete his passage and receive the other half of his tribe’s mark. Later that night there was a feast in celebration to those that had completed their rite of passage. Kaemon sat by the large bonfire rubbing his left forearm near where he had received the tattoo that marked his passage.
“Kaemon! Hey! I’m stuffed and I think this mead is going straight to my head mind if I join you?”
Smiling at his traveling partner and tribesman, “Charden, you are such a light weight, come sit before you trip on something and make a fool of yourself. We’re not kids anymore so you’ll only get laughed at instead of receiving concern.”
“PPhhhbbbtttt,” sticking out his tongue, “So are we going to head out tomorrow?”
“If your head is clear enough, otherwise we’ll wait till your sober enough. Think you’ll be ok by morning?”
“Let’s make it after the mid-day meal, I want to spend some more time with that one girl from the Pak’ Puuloowan tribe.”
“If she has a cuter friend that you can get her to introduce me to I have no objections to that.”
As the two friends laugh and enjoy the merriment to be had an old familiar voice is heard from behind them, “So Charden, so Kaemon, what do you plan on doing now when you get back to your homes?”
“We of the Ah Sha Kun have a proud tradition of horse riding and I wish to continue our ways by breeding some of the best horses in the land.”
“Well heard Charden, and you Kaemon?”
“Fharlanghn would see me travel beyond just the lands of the tribe, but travel and experience the world. I seek my fortune out there.”
“Hmm… I see… both are good paths may the Dweller on the Horizon keep you safe on your return trip home and in your future journeys.”
“Thank you, Elder Haakun.”
“Charden, Kaemon, may you experience many journeys.”
“And may you experience many journeys as well Elder Haakun,” replied the both of them.