Herdsmen

“War is coming,” said Maxi.

“It’s not our problem,” said his father, Ghengr. Both rode atop their titanic mounts. Ghengr rode his sweetheart, Moira. The lumbering beast reached up passed her head with her trunk, searching for treats in Ghengr’s tunic. He laughed, teasing the shaggy pachyderm. 

Maxi sighed. His father never understood. He was an old man and an old soul. Set in his ways, the old ways. Ghengr’s winter dreadlocks hung around his huge shoulders.

Moira honked playfully.

“Dad, everything in the Feeds look worse day by day.”

“You can’t keep watching the world through screens,” said Ghengr. “We have our lives here. Beyond problems of little people and short-lived fools.”

The pair, atop their Mammoths, stood over a slope leading down into a shallow valley below. The grassy valley split by a river. A seemingly endless heard of Giant Elk shook the earth as it followed the river.

Beasts with bristling golden manes and wide branch-like antlers. They roamed freely in search of fresh pastures. The Jotunn Herdsmen were merely guides and guardians. They pruned what could be spared.

“What happens when the Kheslat calls for a draft?”

Ghengr laughed. “Son, the wars you’re talking about are on the other side the world…”

“Dad,” said Maxi, looking at his father. They looked a world apart. Maxi took after his mother’s Hyborean blonde hair and icy eyes, where Ghengr was a proper Siberian Jotunn with dark tanned skin. Maxi pointed directly north. “When north becomes south, those feuding kingdoms are only a few thousand miles away. The ice is melting. The world is changing. The herds are growing smaller and moving farther north.”

Ghengr had stopped laughing.

Maxi kicked his mount, Hope, into a lumbering trot. “Dad, Hyperborea has a new destiny and my generation will have to learn to survive it.”

Ghengr sighed and followed. “I know son. I just wish it wasn’t so.”

“We don’t get to choose our destiny.”

“Now you sound like your mother…”

#

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