The Weight of Rubies
A Middle Redding archer
Duran led anormal life, learning what was expected: horsemanship, fighting, hunting and the like. He showed promise in stealth as well, so this was included in his training, as the tribes sometimes raid among outsiders.
Life was good for Duran until his 16th year, when at the Autumn Conclave he met a beautiful girl from the Carin tribe named Trina. Unfortunately, she also caught the eye of Jubal son of Lares, the Kesten chief and Duran’s maternal uncle. For one year, both Duran and Jubal vied for Trina’s affections, sending gifts to both her and her family until at the Conclave the next year she let it be known that she favored Duran. This upset Jubal, who in a drunken rage called Trina a slut. This angered Duran, who struck his cousin, knocking him out. When Jubal awoke, he challenged Duran to a duel – during which Jubal was killed.
During the Elders’ inquest, it was decided that while the death was just and in accordance with tribal law, the duel itself was not permitted since neither Duran nor Jubal was yet of age (18). So the elders set the wergild at three horses, which Duran’s family paid … or so they thought. The Elders further decreed that Duran was to be publicly punished for breaking the rules about dueling. During, feeling this was unfair and unjust, fled the Redding rather than submit.