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Old Celean talking on board a Celean vessel or in a Celean village, before the evening dance:

…Everyone knows that our homeland is home to the most dangerous of the creatures—the Vrahadith. 

Few have seen one and lived to tell of it. 

There on the sands a Celean could crouch and SLURP—gone into the writhing gooey mess he disappears forever. 

What makes the Vrahadith so dangerous? They could smell flesh leagues and leagues away—chasing it above the sands or below them, they pursue their food without fear. There are tales of an entire Celean village being consumed by a single Vrahadith. The gorging caused the creature so much pain, it sank beneath the sand and died, causing the bad lands some talk of far to the South and West. 

Nothing stops the Vrahadith—except salt. 

This is why our villages keep salt on their borders on the floors of dwellings. It is why Celeans keep a pouch filled with salt nearby at all times. 

Ah! But I forget, you asked to hear the story of Lachai. 

Lachai was a Celean among Celeans—He ate, drank, fought, and could swim deep down into the ocean. His virility was renowned to the point that the Celeani and young Celean boys alike feared to be near him during the dances. 

It was not secret that Lachai, more than any other of our people, loved himself above all things. Where most Celeans would wait for the women and children to eat, Lachai took his share and then some—daring anyone to mention the fact to him. 

Once his great thirst cause him to knock over a beautiful young Celeani on his way to the well. This got the notice of many in the village. They laughed and mocked the brutish behaviour. 

Many laughed, but not a young Celean, Hredin. He boiled with anger the treatment, for he greatly prized the Celeani. Without thinking, he raced up to Lachai and shoved him in the backside with all his might. 

Lachai lost his balance and fell head over heels into the well. 

Luckily the pail used to collect drink from the deep had not been removed. Lachai grasped at it in mid-air and with the help of an octave of men, they succeeded in pulling Lachai out. 

Lachai, without a pause even for breath—pursued the young Celean who pushed him and snapped his neck. 

We Celeans have few laws. But one of them regards the treatment of a brother. If a Celean ran into trouble, his first duty lay with his people. A Celean or Celeani who broke this was obliged to live alone. 

For a Celean no punishment could be greater: no more dances, no more protection. Little food and lots of work merely to stay alive. If a Celean could remain alive in our homelands. 

That is why, being cast out of the village was akin to being sentenced to death. 

Such is what happened to Lachai. The Celeans linked arms and with a piercing shriek, pushed him out beyond the salt barrier. 

Lachai turned his back on the village he had lived his whole life, and walked away towards the boiling horizon. 

Only a Celean can survive in the open without drink for more than a day. Lachai made it three by the time he came upon the badlands. 

Celem had done his damage. Lachai collapsed onto the sand exhausted, preparing for the worst. 

That was when the rumbling began. It created ripples in the ground, like waves. It caused the sky to seem uneasy with itself.

Continue reading the Lachai and the Firebeast - Part 2 

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