pretentious cosmic picture


9. Her son, Bearie, married the daughter of the Wave faction's head, his distant cousin, bringing an end to many of the old wounds. The Wingriders were soon repulsed by griffins that were heavier and fiercer than the hippogriffs, that the giants planted as foils against the hippogriffs. Neverthelss, raids were able to get more and more people out of nearby areas, by sea or on hippogriff-back. Honrar was getting almost too populous. The wall was becoming a symbol that needed to be broken. Yet it was a mighty edifice, and guarded on the giants' side. How to do it?

The answer was the most direct one--the Night of the Long Ladders. The armies of Honrar were equipped with fifty foot long ladders, where dozens would mount on the ladders to the top. The wall being so tall and thick, even the giants on the other side guarding could not see them crouching, until poisoned spears and arrows fell, killing them. They did not attack along the length of the wall, but concentrated on the rest of Reir, and the fleets' ships barred any exit by sea, and Wingriders harassed the giants. Thousands of soldiers poured over the barrier, to free the Reirian humans, and the giants, grown long complacent behind the wall, had only a token force there. The humans had struck during a giant holiday, celebrating the rising of Tesut, and any with seniority were home, enjoying being with their families. When the then Titan-Emperor heard of this, he ordered the other guards along the wall to rush to Reir, but they got there too late to make a great difference...the humans were firmly in control.

Those giants that survived fled north, and other ladders were made to get over the wall in other areas. Three great holes were made in the wall, one in the north of Honrar, one to the direct east leading into Reir, and one in the south of Reir. The Emperor of the Giants at that time was a vascillating fool, and did not order the reprisals he should have when it first happened, but allowed the human settlements to grow and become settled. If he had struck when they first were planted, he could have easily stopped them. Still, the Utnir stood, and formed a convenient checkpoint leading into Honrar. The gates were made fairly low, so any giant would have to stoop or crawl to get through.

A descendent of Reulth became a king, under the Emperor-king, of Reir proper. That gave the Cathurian Empire access to many more unicorns to make into steeds, which could outmaneuver the giants, and an uneasy alliance was made with the centaurs who also dwelt in western Reir, unstable allies, but fierce in battle, and with enough weight to even cause a giant to think twice about attacking. The older ones became great teachers.

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Copyright © 1997 Al Schroeder