Lannamer in the short hot season was stinky, crowded, and loud. People lived atop each other in stacked apartments, hardly reaching the land or the síra, hardly spending time with the goats that had been their ancestral cornerstone, with the animals they’d lived beside and with.
Epyena was sick of it. She was tired of the constant politicking and the constant noise, the people everywhere and no place for the gods. She needed to get out of the business-and-Army hustle and bustle, before she became just another cog in the endless machine. She was moving to the mountains.
She got together three of her like-minded compatriots, two cousins and a child of industry from her days at University, spent half of her family-gifted stipend on land and goats, and headed East. They would raise goats and ride them, raise dohdehr and hunt them, raise the short-season crops their ancestors had raised and eat like true goat-riders, and not soft stone-riders.
That was the plan, at least. They moved in the end of the hot season, so there was no planting to be done until the next rainy time. The house on the land was old, decrepit, the roof half fallen-in; they pitched tents inside the walls, making jokes about living the true life of goat-riders. Until the goats started eating the tent-walls.
Then it was time to repair the roof of the stables, a skill none of them had gone to college for, and the roof of the house, even harder. Engineering was a nice theory, but it didn’t do as well getting tiles on the roof.
The day the dohdehr ran off with what little they’d managed for dinner, Epyena broke down crying. Her goat-rider ancestors, she feared, had been horribly stupid. Only the stone-riding made any sense.
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