pretentious cosmic picture


8. His daughter, Bramirit, continued her father's policy of aiding support to sea-raiders, but in response, the Titans withdrew many of the humans from the seaport cities, making it much harder for the human privateers to free any of the humans. Similarly, the more valuable treasures were removed from the sea-towns to the high mountains, which giants preferred anyway. The humans within the empire, having tasted hope, were loath to give it up.

One daring human---for many were loath to give up hope...escaped and ascended further up the slopes, where the hippogriffs feed. Hugeri was his name in the Giant tongue, and though the hippogriffs were considered wild, their similarity in form to unicorns made him believe they might be ridden. He lassoed the neck of a hippogriff, and it pulled him up in the air with its great wings. He climbed the rope, and the hippogriff tried to throw him, but Hugeri would not be thrown. Finally, it acquiesed to the promptings of its rider, and he rode it over the great fact, rode it all the way to the palace at C'Stepho, dropping down from the skies.

Bramirit had many suitors, and Hugeri was a slave unfamiliar with the ways of Honrar. Nevertheless, she grew anamoured of him, and wondered if he felt the same way. The ride, with only a few stops along the way, nearly killed the hipogriff, and it was months before they dared let it fly again. Hugeri, in the meantime, investigated the few mountains on that side of the wall, as potential breeding grounds for hippogriffs; but there were no hippogriffs this far South. He returned to speak with the Empress, and was taken with her loveliness. They were secretely wed, but Bramirit did not dare to broach it openly, lest cival war erupt from the differing factions who hoped for favor by having their favorite chosen as her bride.

Hugeri in turn knew he needed his one lone female hippogriff bred, and led back here,and if possible other hippogriffs led back to Honrar. He waited until it looked like she was about to go into heat, and then led her back to the mountains of the North, where the giants ruled. At the first mountain he found where hippogriffs lived, he used the scent of her being in heat to lead five or six male hippogriffs back to Honrar. There they were fed and stabled atop the few mountains there, and he trained others to tend them and ride them. These became the Wingriders, an elite corps who would ride North and take at least one human with them on the back of the hippogriffs back to human occupied lands. They would be equipped with long spears to strike at the giants. When he went north and came back with more male hippogriffs, Hugeri became the hero of the hour, and the marriage between himself and the empress was announced.

Most of the suitors accepted it, but many grumbled at this rank outsider, uncivlized and uncouth, no matter how brave,being the consort of the ruler of the Empire. The two of them had several children, but Hugeri was killed by someone sabotaging the reins which he held onto a hippogriff, five years after their marriage.

A vicious power struggle ensued, where Bramirit and the Wingriders and the Wing party contended with the traditionalists, the Wave party,led by her own cousin. Bramirit was taken captive and was threatened with a forced marriage, when the loyal Wingriders came and routed her captives. The War of Wing and Wave claimed many lives, but at the end, Bramirit was victorious.

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Copyright © 1997 Al Schroeder