The Count of Years : 9    [ Commentary ] [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [10]

The conquest of the Plain / Naxêtiu Cēradānarnu

The muster

Lerīmanio was twenty-two when he returned from Atêllār, and he lived till the age of eighty-two, teaching the Cuzeians about Iáinos, establishing Knowers, and increasing in holiness. He was mourned by all the Cuzeians, and when the iliū learned of his death they sent representatives to bless and seal his tomb, because he had brought men back to knowng Iáinos.

The four great lords of the Cuzeians were Inibē, Voricêlias, Calēsias, and Lēivio. Every Cuzeian acknowledged one of these four as lord, each of them descendants of Norunayas, but none of them bowed to another. These lords met at Lerīmanio's ancestoring ceremony, and considered how to honor his memory.

Inibē said, --Besides finding the iliū and the truth about Iáinos, Lerīmanio brought us news of a great plain, greener and more fertile than this one of ours, and full of cities and rich fields. Why should we not glorify Lerīmanio's name and our own by invading this land and becoming its masters?

Voricêlias said, Besides that, it is inhabited by a weak people who don't know Iáinos, and who are frightened of horses.

Calēsias said, --So long as we remain here, we will only be barbarian lords, but in Cēradānar we will be dukes, ruling a mighty people.

Lēivio said, We are all agreed. Let's muster our people into armies and appoint Masters of Arms, to see how many men and horses we have.

The lords returned to their people, mustered them for battle, and counted their companies. The count was this.

Under Inibē were five clans and twenty-one lords, for a total of 22,000 well-trained men of war.

Under Voricêlias were four clans and sixteen lords, for a total of 15,000 well-trained men of war.

Under Calēsias were four clans and eighteen lords, for a total of 17,000 well-trained men of war.

Under Lēivio were three clans and twelve lords, for a total of 13,000 well-trained men of war.

The little brothers of the Nimoicū were under the leadership of their captain Socuole, with a total of 30,000 well-trained men of war. Socuole was allied with Calēsias.

The little brothers of the Lovitrui were led by their captain Bisbēruos, with a total of 35,000 men of war. Bisbēruos was the ally of Inibē.

The Cazinorō were mustered as well, though they did not know Iáinos, because they were allies of Voricêlias and Lēivio, and because they wished to come into Cēradānar and plunder the Metailō. The Cazinoro warriors numbered 55,000, but they were uneven and undisciplined.

The total of the muster was thus 67,000 Cuzeians, 65,000 Little Brothers, and 55,000 Cazinorō.

The conquest of Metayu

The Cuzeians and their allies rode north, and came to the city of Araunicoros, which was the capital of the duchy of Metayu.

The duke of Metayu was named Cumixāugo. He came to the gate of the city and grew afraid, seeing the great number of men and horses arrayed before him.

--O strangers, what is your purpose here? he asked. If you come in trade, you are welcome, though our poor city is too small to feed all of you.

--O duke of the line of Megmexos, said Inibē, since Iános has made us strong, we come as your masters. You may give the city to us, and we will treat you fairly. Otherwise come meet us in war, and we will defeat you, and your palace will be mine.

--You are extremely arrogant! You are only barbarians, though you sit atop monstrous animals. We will teach you the power of the duke of Metayu!

Duke Cumixāugo gathered his armed men together, all that he had in the city, and they came out of the gate and arrayed themselves facing the Cuzeians. He had three thousand men armed with spears and bows, which were the preferred weapons of the Metailō; they were not skilled with the sword.

When the Cuzeians saw the Metailo army, they laughed. --Step aside, little duke, said Inibē. Seeing your army, I have pity on you; you can see that you can't match us in numbers or valor. Step aside and give up your city!

--We have fought many barbarians before and beat all of them, said Cumixāugo. Go back to your grasslands, if you don't want your bones to rot in the sun far from your homes!

The Cuzeians gave a great shout, and goaded their horses to gallop toward the Metailō. The duke's army had never seen these great, wild animals before, and they ran away, throwing away their weapons, afraid of being trampled.

A few soldiers shot arrows from the walls of the city, annoying the Cuzeians; seeing this, Calēsias ordered lord Numiodelo to enter the city and attack them. Numiodelo rode with his men into the city, the first of all the Cuzeians, and with the speed of their horses they were at the base of the walls before the Metailō knew what was happening. They climbed onto the walls and killed the defenders with their swords.

Cumixāugo himself was carried away by his men. Lēivio followed them. Drawing near, he and his men dismounted and gave battle with swords, defeating the Metailō. Cumixāugo perished defending his city.

In this way the Cuzeians conquered the duchy of Metayu. As they heard of the defeat of their duke, the other cities of the duchy surrendered, including Comex, the city where Lerīmanio was received, searching for the iliū.

The four lords of the Cuzeians called together the lords and notables of Metayu, and said to them, --We told your duke, Cumixāugo, that we came as your masters; and we have fulfilled our word. You see that our god, Iáinos, is greater than the mountains and lakes that you worship. This is because Eīledan, following the dream of Iáinos, is the creator of those things.

--You are certainly correct about the greatness of your gods, said the Metailō. Perhaps, as you say, they are the lords of our gods.

--Now submit peacefully, and we will treat you fairly; we are not vindictive people. We will teach you to know Iáinos, but we will not force you.

--You are fair and just conquerors, said the Metailō. All hail our new duke, Inibē!

The Metailō treated Inibē as their new duke, and he took the palace of Cumixāugo and wore his clothes. The other Cuzeian lords were displeased, because the battle was fought by all the Cuzeians, and Inibē was not their king.

However, Inibē told them, --O my brothers, don't worry; this is only the confusion of victory; these people are used to one duke, and they know very little about us yet. It's much too early to divide up spoil and realms and decide who is the duke of what city! Let us conquer the rest of Cēradānar, ruling and fighting together as one.

The leaders agreed, but Inibē did not explain to the Metailō that there were four rulers and not one; they continued to accept him as their duke.

The battle of Dunōmeyū

Some of the citizens of Metayu came to the duke of Ocayami, who was called Balūniu, and said, --O duke, your brother Cumixāugo has been routed by a barbarian people, killed in front of his own city, and his duchy taken. You should come and avenge him, and defeat the barbarians!

--What is the name of these people, and how many of them are there?

--They are called the Great Riders, because they ride monstrous animals, which removed the manhood from the duke's men. Their number is uncounted; for every one of the duke's men there were ten barbarians and ten monsters.

--The question is not one of vengeance, but survival, said Balūniu. With such an army, they will not stop with the conquest of Metayu, but will come here to invade my realm as well. Cumixāugo's mistake was to oppose them with the men he had on hand in the city; it was like facing a pack of wolves with a housecat.

Balūniu called on each of his lords, in every city, and told them to meet in the great plain south of his capital, Dunōmeyū, where the Cayenas and the Metōre meet. He considered how to counter the Cuzeian horses, and decided to place archers in the hills overlooking the plain, and place a mass of spearmen in the center of the plain, in lines ten men deep. The leaders and the boldest men of arms were in the front, where they would face the enemy; there were also experienced men at the back of each file, ready to push the men forward; and if any warrior turned and ran from the enemy, he would be killed by these men.

The Cuzeian forces approached, and ranged themselves a quarter of a lest away. The Cuzeian forces were in the center, the Nimoicū and Lovitrui on either side, and the Cazinorō held back as a reserve.

--O Metailo duke, said Inibē, we see that you displease Iáinos, coming to meet us with an army. Still, we recognize your valor in facing the men that utterly destroyed the duke of Metayu. Surrender now, drop your spears, and disperse yourselves, and we will treat you with mercy.

--O barbarians, responded Balūniu, you came without provocation upon Duke Cumixāugo, who was foolish enough to oppose you with only the men of one city. You see that I have my entire people behind me, fifty thousand well-trained men of arms. Moreover I have archers in the hills who will kill you and your monsters from afar.

--Your confidence becomes a leader of men, said Inibē. However, Iáinos is with us and not you, and you will be defeated, your lords will be killed in this plain, and your cities and palaces will become ours. Submit to us as your masters, and we will be merciful. Choose quickly!

--You will not have our houses or lands without a fight, said Balūniu. There is nothing more to be said; come and make war!

Now the battle began. The Cuzeians sent ranks of horses against the spearmen; but the spearmen did not run, and the horses would not come close to the spears. Meanwhile the archers shot arrows at the riders, killing many of them. If the Cuzeians dismounted from their horses to fight, the Metailō reached them with their spears before the Cuzeians could attack with their swords.

Inibē ordered his own archers to shoot at the Metailō, and this had more effect; but when the first line was under heaviest attack, it fell back, and was replaced by the fresh men of the second line.

Lēivio said to Calēsias, --We will not defeat them this way, any more than a dog can eat a porcupine. Take your horsemen and circle round to their left side, and we will ride to their right.

Lēivio took his men and rode to the left of the Metailō, and Calēsias to the right. Some of the Metailō attempted to turn to face the enemy, only to injure their own allies with their long spears; others dropped their spears and ran, or attempted to defend themselves with knives. The nearer Cuzeians dismounted and killed many Metailō with their swords; others, on horses, pursued those who were fleeing.

Voricêlias meanwhile perceived that the archers were harrying the army, and he led his riders, along with the Lovitrui, around the field of battle, into the hills. The archers could not outrun the horses, and three thousand of them were killed by Voricêlias's men.

Many of the Metailō were now fleeing any way they could, and the Nimoicū and the Cazinorō busied themselves chasing them down and killing them.

Inibē told his lords, --Let's see if the duke told the truth, that this was his entire army. If it is, his city is undefended, and we can take possession of it.

Inibē therefore rode with his lords, as well as the Lovitrui, to the city of Dunōmeyū. Balūniu had feared making the mistake of Cumixāugo, and wished to meet the Cuzeians with all his men. Therefore the city had only a few defenders, and Inibē's army easily took possession of the city.

Balūniu saw that the battle was lost, and with it his city; his concern was now to escape the field of battle with as many of his men as possible. He ordered the last line of spearmen to change direction, facing away from the main battle. When this was accomplished, he had two long lines of spearmen facing in opposite directions. He then had the rest of the army march between these lines, reforming into a line of spearmen at the head.

In this way he saved half his army, bringing them to the Cayenas where many of them had come in boats. They climbed into their boats and escaped up the river to Nayas.

Inibē defies the Knowers

After the battle, Dunōmeyū and all the cities of Ocayami along the Metōre and the lower Cayenas were opened to the Cuzeians. The Cuzeians took houses and lands from the defeated Metailo lords, and established laws for the Metailō, and made Glades in every city. They did not destroy the temples, because they intended that the Metailō come to know Iáinos by their own will.

In every city, the lords acknowledged Inibē as their duke, and he did not contradict them. He gave the other great lords Houses, but not cities, and he encouraged them to campaign against the unconquered Metailo cities, while his own armies defended the cities of Metayu.

The Cuzeians rode to Nayas to pursue Balūniu; but he was wiser now, and refused to leave the city to do battle. They stayed there for a month, but Balūniu had stored up food for his men, and refused to come out. If they came near the gates to talk, his archers shot arrows at them.

They rode also to the duchy of Cayenas, but messengers had gone there after the battle of Dunōmeyū and warned them, and the Metailō did not go out of their city. Therefore, the riders returned to Metayu, or rode east and west to lands where the Metailō had not established cities and duchies.

The lineages of Inibē took wives from the Metailō, in addition to their Cuzeian wives. The Knowers sought the wisdom of Ulōne about this, and Ulōne told them that it was not right; a man should have only one wife, and should marry a Metailo only if she gave up her gods and worshipped Iáinos.

The chief of the Knowers was Oruidelo, the son of Numivissê and grandson of Lerīmanio. He came to Inibē and said, --O great lord, we have consulted Ulōne, and we learned that your men have done wrong in marrying Metailō. A man should have only one wife, and she must worship Iáinos. Any man who has taken a second wife must put her out of his house.

--O Knower, stick to your task, which is to lead us to know Iáinos and do right, responded Inibē. You don't want to be military commander, do you? Do you know anything about swords, or riding to pursue enemies, or the leadership of men? Since you don't know, let me tell you: Once they have won a victory, warriors are entitled to spoils, and that includes the women of the city.

--O Inibē, authority doesn't belong to you or me, but to Iáinos. Do you think you would have victory if he hadn't decided it, and brought knowledge to Lerīmanio, and led us to invade this land? Do you think you can keep the victory for yourself, deciding for yourself what is right or not? Look at what happened to the lineages of men who rebelled against Iáinos and the iliū. They were defeated, their kingdoms destroyed, their arts lost. Finally, as with the Metailō, their cities are given to a people who follow Iáinos.

--You have made me angry, said Inibē. I am pleased to know the truth about Iáinos, but the victory over the Metailō came from my men and my horses, not his! I revoke your office; you are no longer chief of the Knowers.

--You are a foolish man, O Inibē, said Oruidelo. You cannot revoke my office, because I don't serve you, but Iáinos. Do you think that because you are a king, you can cause me no longer to be the grandson of Lerīmanio? To show you whose victory you have enjoyed, I pass Iáinos's judgment on you. For the rest of your life, you will not conquer another city; indeed, if you merely ride out of the city to battle, you will be defeated.

Inibē laughed; but Oruidelo's words proved true. For fifteen years, no more Metailo cities were conquered, even on those occasions when a Metailo army left its city and confronted the Cuzeians. The Metailō had learned to form a circle with their spearmen. The Cuzeians would ride against them, but they could not enter the circle, and had to retire in defeat.

The other great lords were angry at Inibē's defiance, and because he ruled all of Metayu as its duke. However, they did not fight him; it was not right that the people of Iáinos make war among themselves.

Inibē's sons

Inibē died, and his sons were Îcemēgro, Îcecêlos, and Itīrante. Îcemēgro was the oldest, and he was acclaimed as duke, though he was only twenty-five.

He wanted to make peace with the Knowers and the other lineages, and so he declared that Oruidelo was correct, that Iáinos was the lord over dukes and men, that the Cuzeians must not take second wives, and that it was their defiance of Iáinos that led to defeat in battle.

It had been many years since the followers of Inibē had taken their wives, however, and many of them refused to give them up. The angriest of them rebelled against Îcemēgro, and acclaimed Îcecêlos as duke.

Itīrante wished to become a duke himself, but he had no followers. He came to Îcemēgro and said, --O brother, Iáinos must be pleased, because you have chosen to be faithful to him even if your lords and our treacherous brother desert you. If Oruidelo is correct, however, Iáinos will no longer deny us victory against the Metailō. By marching against Balūniu, you will destroy the remnant of Ocayami, restore the glory of the Cuzeians, and win back the hearts of those who have despised you.

--O brother, you are right, said Îcemēgro. Perhaps Iáinos is angry at every day of delay. But we have ridden against Balūniu before; he simply closes his gates and refuses to leave his city.

--The secret to taking Nayas is to come by the river, said Itīrante. The Metailō expect us to come by land, thinking that we know nothing of boats; the riverbank is not guarded. Bring a small force of men by boat, and you can land inside the city and take it.

--You are a wise and loyal brother, said Îcemēgro.

Îcemēgro therefore had boats built, and took a force of men up the river to fight Balūniu. At the same time Itīrante rode on his horse to Nayas, and asked to see the duke.

--O duke, I am a deserter from the Cuzeians, he told Balūniu. As a token of my sincerity, I am here to inform you that a force of Cuzeians is coming to your city by boat. Hide a large number of men in your temple square, facing the river, and when the Cuzeians come out of your boats, show yourselves and you will kill them all.

Balūniu was pleased with this report, and hid his men in the temple square as Itīrante had suggested. Meanwhile Itīrante escaped from the city and rode back to Dunōmeyū.

When the Cuzeians came to the city, they saw no one, and they quickly climbed ashore, thinking that they would easily take possession of the city. Then Balūniu's men came out of hiding and attacked them. Surprised, and with no place of retreat, the Cuzeians were killed; only a handful escaped.

They returned to Dunōmeyū, rushed to see Itīrante and the lords of Inibē's lineage, and told how Îcemēgro and his men had been killed in Nayas. Itīrante cried and wailed, as if he were surprised by the news.

The lords and riders accepted Itīrante as their duke. In order to win their favor further, Itīrante reversed Îcemēgro's decree, and told the men to reclaim their Metailo wives and children.

The conquest of Davūr

Lord Calēsias met with Voricêlias and Lēivio and said, --O great lords, we have Houses and wealth, but Inibē and his sons are not true to Iáinos. They are marrying Metailo women and fighting among themselves, and they will not discuss the partition of the duchy among us.

--We should destroy them, said Lēivio.

--We shouldn't fight other Cuzeians, said Voricêlias. That would dishonor Lerīmanio, and encourage the Metailō to rebel against us.

--Then let's attack the duchy of Davūr, which is large and rich. We will attack together, but we will divide it between ourselves. So that there is no disagreement later, Voricêlias will take the center, I will take the west, and Lēivio will take the east.

The three great lords agreed, and they left to muster their men and horses into armies. The Nimoicū under their chieftain Socuole rode with them, because he was the ally of Calēsias. They also took with them Metailo spearmen, men from their own Houses. The men of Inibē and the Lovitrui had no part in the campaign.

The duke of Davūr was named Cadriume, and his capital was Cantiego. He was very alarmed when the Cuzeians conquered Metayu and Ocayami, and then raided his own territory; but he had learned from Balūniu to stay in his cities, and not to offer battle. Thus he hadn't lost any of his cities to the Cuzeians, and he did not fear them any more.

Knowing this, the lords besieged three of his cities: Voricêlias besieged Osuripoli, Calēsias besieged Colsindas, and Lēivio besieged Cantiego.

The Metailō stayed in their cities and refused to do battle; but the Cuzeians dug fortifications round the cities, and let no one in or out, whether a messenger of the duke or an armed man or a farmer. They also built boats and prevented any supplies reaching the cities by the river. They fed themselves from the fields around them, and from their Houses in Metayu. Therefore they were well fed, but the Metailō in the cities grew increasingly desperate.

After three months the city of Osuripoli, which was the smallest of the three, surrendered. Voricêlias wished to loot the city and burn it down, but Oruidelo the Knower told him, --O great lord, this is not the way of Iáinos. You are lords, not raiders; teachers, and not destroyers. Whoever is willing to live under your laws, treat decently; but anyone who resists, you can take his houses and his land. In this way, you will make this city an example to the other Metailō; other cities will surrender, if they can expect mercy.

Voricêlias listened to Oruidelo, and called together the chief men of the city, and told them, --You've opened your gates to us, and I will be merciful, so long as you accept us as your masters.

--We are thankful for your mercy, and as a token we will give you a quarter of our fields, our houses, and our goods, said the Metailō. In return please share your food with us, because there is none left in the city.

Voricêlias agreed. The Metailō gave the Cuzeians tribute, and the Cuzeians fed the people of the city. The Metailō also offered their daughters as wives for the Cuzeians, but Voricêlias did not allow any of his men who had a Cuzeian wife to take another wife; only men without wives could take a Metailo wife, and only if she agreed to know Iáinos. This was the practice of all the Cuzeians when capturing any of the cities of Davūr, in order to avoid the curse which Iáinos had placed on Inibē.

When Osuripoli was captured, Voricêlias's men rode to Colsindas, where they joined Calēsias in the siege. The Cuzeians were building a levee of earth, a ramp leading up to the walls of Colsindas. The workers were protected by a canvas screen, and archers also shot arrows at the defenders on the wall to protect them.

A month after the fall of Osuripoli, the ramp to the walls was completed. The Cuzeians rode up the ramp and into the city, while the Metailō spearmen came up behind them. Most of the defenders threw down their spears and ran; the rest were killed by the invaders.

The Cuzeians thus took possession of Colsindas. Because the city had resisted, they took the great houses of the city for themselves; but they did not despoil or burn the city, and they told the men of the city that they would be merciful to all who accepted the Cuzeians as masters.

Leaving some men behind to garrison the captured cities, the armies of Calēsias and Voricêlias rode to join Lēivio besieging Cantiego.

The Cuzeians let men from Orusipoli and Colsindas into Cantiego, to tell what had happened to their cities, and to advise Cadriume to beg for mercy.

--Are these barbarians unstoppable? asked the duke. We were advised not to give battle, because we would be routed. We followed these words, and two of our cities are lost! It was a mistake to sit here, weakening ourselves.

Cadriume gathered his men together, and said, --O men of Davūr! We have waited long enough! We will go outside the city and offer battle, and set these barbarians to flight, as we should have done at first. Men of Davūr, you will have the victory, if you listen to what I say! Don't be afraid of the monsters the invaders ride on. They are not spirits who can reach past your spear-point to touch your heart; they are beasts made of meat, who will not dare to impale themselves on your strong blades. Stand fast, aiming your spears forward, and you will be invincible!

The men of Cantiego cheered, and Cadriume led them out of the city. Cantiego is built on a ridge overlooking the Cayenas. The river lies to the north; to the west is a ravine which armies cannot cross. To the south and east the ridge gives way to a flat plain. The city walls overlooked this plain, and the defenders could easily assail anyone coming against the city, either to attack or to build earthworks against its walls.

Cadriume arranged his men along the ridge, not far from the city walls, forming a solid line from the ravine in the west, to the river in the east, so that there was no way around them either to the right or the left He placed his men in two ranks, the first ten men deep, the second six men deep. Each held his spear forward, so that the front of the line was a hedge of spears.

The Cuzeians placed their own spearmen in the plain facing them, intermixed with their horsemen: Lēivio on the left, Voricêlias in the middle and Calēsias with Socuole on the right.

--O Cuzeians! Cadriume shouted to the opposing leaders. You have caused enough trouble in my land; now you see that we stand against you, unconquerable! Come attack us if you are man enough, and die, filling the river with your blood!

--We have conquered Metayu and sent the duke of Ocayami running from his capital, said Lēivio. Now two of your cities are ours, and you see that our army is uncountable and unstoppable. You may fight valiantly, but we will kill your men and break apart your walls.

--Iáinos, whom you have forgotten, is with us, said Calēsias. Be prudent, O duke; stop opposing Iáinos, give up your spears, and we will not despoil your city, but only come in as masters. But if you want to fight, we are stronger than you, and we will come into your cities as despoilers.

Now the battle begun. The Cuzeians sent their horses thundering at the defenders; but the spearmen did not move, and the horses had to retire. At the same time, the defenders threw spears at the horsemen, and archers shot arrows from the city walls; many Cuzeians were killed as they approached.

Calēsias ordered half of his forces, as well as Socuole's Nimoicū, to attack the right wing of the Metailō, near the river. They rode up to the very edge of the row of spears, and retired to harrass them with javelins and bows. The Metailō fought back, and the Cuzeians, on Calēsias's order, retreated. With a shout, the Metailō followed, running forward to pursue the retreating Cuzeians.

When the Metailō had run a hundred paces, Calēsias brought up the remainder of his horses and counterattacked. The Metailō had lost their close ranking, and the Cuzeians were able to ride into their lines, then jump in with their swords, killing many Metailō, now that their spears were facing the wrong way. The horsemen were also able to ride round the Metailō and attack the line from the rear.

Seeing this, Voricêlias sent his horsemen to join the attack, riding between the defenders and the city walls and attacking them from behind. The defenders ran forward, but they were met by the spearmen from Metayu, and as they ran Lēivio attacked them from the left flank.

The Metailō were now under attack from all sides, and their army was destroyed. Their duke, Cadriume, was killed; his last words were curses directed at his own men, because they had not followed his instructions; they had not remained were they were, and they ran after Calēsias's false retreat, and thus lost the battle.

The Cuzeians rode into the town, killing anyone who resisted them; but they did not kill any who surrendered.

The Cuzeians had now conquered the cities of Davūr along the Cayenas. However, the Metailō still controlled the Isrēica, and the people of Davūr chose a new duke, a man called Giruēse, who made his capital at Tosios, a very strong city, where the Cayenas flows into the Isrēica.

To ensure that none of them would act like Inibē, the great lords divided up the conquered territory. Each of them ruled the city which he had besieged: Voricêlias ruled Osuripoli, Calēsias ruled Colsindas, and Lēivio ruled Cantiego.

Giruēse's war

Giruēse was not the first choice of the lords of Davūr; there were two factions, from the west and from the east, each of which had advanced their champion. But neither side would let the other's champion become duke, so they agreed on Giruēse, who was from the lost territories. Giruēse resented being the lords' third choice, and he wanted to win a great victory against the Cuzeians, to win the esteem of his people and to reclaim the cities they had lost.

He said to his council, --Why have the Cuzeians won battles against us? It's because they have battle-monsters and we don't. Whoever can procure horses for us, he will have a lordship, and marry the daughter of a lord.

When this offer was known, many Metailō attempted to procure horses for the duke. Many failed, but many succeeded, either by ambushing and killing lone riders, or by raiding isolated Houses, or by asking favors of women who had married into Inibē's lineage, or by bribing the Cazinorō. With these horses, the lords of Davūr bred more horses of their own, and learned to ride.

After five years, Giruēse felt that he had the strength to attack the Cuzeians. He sent messengers to every city of Davūr, mustering their men of arms; all were to converge on the city of Colsindas, cutting the duchy of Cayenas in half.

When reports came to Calēsias of this invasion, he mustered his own men of arms, and rode to the west, leaving only a small force in the city. He also sent messengers to Voricêlias, inviting him to ride west with him.

When the Metailō arrived at Colsindas, they besieged it. The small force within the city appeared at the walls shot arrows at them; for this reason the Metailō thought that Calēsias's army was still entirely in the city.

At the same time, however, Calēsias came to the city of Alaldas, on the Isrēica. The lord of Alaldas had taken most of his army to besiege Colsindas; the few defenders were surprised, and didn't have time to shut the gates of the city before Calēsias's men rode inside. They cut down the defenders, and Calēsias was the master of the city.

Voricêlias rode to the city of Tōurias, on the Isrēica, and besieged it. The lord of Tōurias was at Colsindas; his defenders shut the gates and resisted the Cuzeians, but there were not enough of them to prevent Voricêlias from raising earth ramps against the walls. It took two weeks to build these ramps, and at the end of that time the Cuzeians rode into the city, killed the defenders, and were masters of the city.

Now Calēsias and Voricêlias allowed men from the cities they had captured to escape, and bring news to the Metailo lords of their loss. When the lords heard of the loss of their cities, they were furious with Giruēse, and they refused to fight, saying that Giruēse should never have become duke.

The army of Lēivio now rode south from Cantiego, to relieve Colsindas. Giruēse arranged his spearmen to face them, and placed his horsemen on either side. He pleaded with the lords of Alaldas and Tōurias to fight with him and defeat the Cuzeians, but they refused. They rode back west in hopes of regaining their cities.

Lēivio said, --O duke Giruēse, if you come to make war against one of our cities, you should know that you are at war with all Cuzeians, and with Iáinos himself. Eīledan will give me the strength to utterly defeat you, and you will end up a corpse in the dirt like the previous duke, Cadriume.

Giruēse said, --Barbarian invaders, your time is over; you have won a few battles using your horses, which were new to us, but you see that we ourselves have horses now. Your threats are empty; the entire army of Davūr is here, and we will destroy you, and those of you who are not left dead on the field will be driven out of our country.

He ordered his horsemen to ride against the Cuzeians; but Lēivio had many more horses, and his men rode against the Metailō, and turned back their attack. However, Giruēse had more spearmen, and he ordered his spearmen to advance, slowly enough to maintain their order. They pressed against Lēivio's spearmen, while his horsemen protected his flanks.

But now the Nimoicū, who had not accompanied Calēsias to the west, rode to the attack, coming from the west to attack Giruēse's spearmen on their left flank. The spearmen broke in confusion. Seeing this, Lēivio sent all his own horsemen against Giruēse's right. Giruēse's army was surrounded, and half his men were killed. The rest fled, and made their way only back to their homes only with diffculty.

Lēivio pursued the Metailō, and came to the city of Sonardos, on the Isrēica. He saw that Metailo men from all the cities of Davūr were rushing into the city, and he decided on a ruse. He had Metailo spearmen of his own, and he had many of his own men dress in Metailō armor, led by his son Līxiruitas. He had them run toward the city, pursued by his horsemen; and the gateskeepers of Sonardos let his men in. Before the horsemen arrived they shut the gates.

In the night, Līxiruitas's men in the city killed the gatekeepers and opened the gates of the city, and Lēivio brought the rest of his army into the city, killing anyone who resisted.

In this way Giruēse lost all the cities of western Davūr, and won no cities back from the Cuzeians. He returned to Tosios, but the lords of Davūr deposed him, and made Zeuseugo, who had been the champion of the eastern lords, duke in his place.

Voricêlias came to Lēivio, saying, --I praise Iáinos, because he has given us a beautiful, fertile land. We have fought with glory; but I am the oldest of the great lords, and I am tired of war. Will you exchange your city of Sonardos for mine of Osuripoli? That way, I'll have a small duchy which I can leave to my lineage.

Lēivio readily agreed, because in the absence of Calēsias he was already the ruler of Colsindas. Thus Voricêlias became the duke of Sūās, on the upper Isrēica betweem Tōurias and Sonardos; and Lēivio became the duke of Cayenas, ruling the cities of Cantiego, Colsindas, and Osuripoli.

Lēivio ruled for sixteen years in Cantiego, and when he died his son Līxiruitas became duke after him.

The founding of Eleisa

Calēsias spent the next five years campaigning against the smaller towns along the Isrēica and the Luore. He had almost forgotten Colsindas; he loved his new country:

Green and fertile, it is a pleasant country,
nurtured and fed as by a loving mother,
by Isrēica, the wide and mighty river.
Calm and slow, it knits us together;
when it floods, the fields become fertile;
valleys and hills fill with grain.
In the distance rise great mountains,
the fortress of giants. Do other lands
let us praise Iáinos in the same way?

He told the Knower, Oruidelo, --This will be my duchy; but I will not rule from Alaldos, a city which has belonged to other gods. I will found a new capital; but where? Does Ulōne offer you any wisdom?

--O Calēsias, there are three propitious places in Cēradānar: the House of Árrasos, where the ancestor of all men died; Mount Sillêlicu, where the giants were born; and the Glade which Lerīmanio made when he encountered the elcari.

--Where are these places?

--The House of Árrasos is in the south, in land still occupied by the Metailo duke of Tevarē; Mount Sillêlicu is the highest of the Eresso mountains; and the Glade of Lerīmanio is on the Isrēica, some distance south of the great swamp-- very likely within your dominion.

--Well then, go find this Glade.

Oruidelo took his Knowers, and they searched up and down the Isrēica. Finally, at the place where the Luore enters the great river, they found a circle of stones, a hundred paces wide.

He took Calēsias there, and told him, --Ulōne has confirmed it for us: This is the Glade which Lerīmanio made to thank Iáinos, after he met the elcari.

--I am well pleased, said Calēsias. I will found my capital here; it will be called Eleisa.

He made his camp there immediately, and brought architects and builders to create palaces and stables and towers. This was the first city founded by the Cuzeians, the first city of Cēradānar which never had any god besides Iáinos. It was founded five years after the victory over Giruēse, ten years after the conquest of Cayenas, and twenty-five years after the conquest of Metayu.

The blessing of the iliū

When Calēsias had been duke in Eleisa for five years, a messenger came to him and said, --There are iliū outside the city!

Calēsias immediately left his mansion, mounted his horse, and rode outside the city to meet the iliū, followed by his council. He saw a group of twenty iliū, walking southward along the river. He dismounted, ran up to them, and lay down on the ground before them. All of his council did likewise.

The iliū laughed, and one of them said, --Is this how you humans greet each other? Don't your clothes get dirty?

Calēsias said, --It is to do you honor; we have never had iliū come to our city. If there is a better way to greet you, please teach us.

--It hasn't been a city for long, responded the iliu. But get up and tell us your name. I am Rāviciu.

The duke rose and introduced himself, and he and Rāviciu embraced.

Then the Knower, Oruidelo, ran up and said, --You are the king from Atêllār of the Lords who received Lerīmanio! I am his grandson!

--We had heard of his death, said the king. Our condolences; he was a brave and cheerful young man, a good learner.

--Please, O Lords, come stay in my house, said Calēsias. I will feed you whatever you want, and if you want horses for your journey, I will gladly give them to you.

--Whatever we want might be a difficult promise to fulfill, this far from the sea, said Rāviciu. As for the horses, we don't ride them, but I thank you for offering us your treasures.

Calēsias led the iliū to his mansion, and gave them a great feast; and all the Cuzeians sat in the duke's hall, asking questions, and listening to the iliū.

It was already past midnight when Rāviciu said, --I see that Lerīmanio was a good teacher, and it's a pleasure to see men once again wishing to know the dream of Iáinos. But now it is time for the dreams of men and iliū; let your guests sleep!

The duke led the iliū to large rooms, with balconies overlooking the river, and had beds of down and blankets brought, as well as water, oil, pigments and fragrances for their refreshment.

In the morning Oruidelo said, --Come with us to the Glade!

--What is a Glade? asked Rāviciu.

--It is where we worship Iáinos! Where do you worship?

--Everywhere, said the iliu.

The iliū came with Calēsias, the Knowers, and the Council to the Glade.

--It's a meadow with a stone wall, said Rāviciu. You are wise not to build a house for Iáinos; you cannot build one big enough, and whatever you build would limit your understanding; you would listen to Iáinos only while you were in it.

The iliū wanted to continue their journey, and the men accompanied them to the gates of the city.

At the gate, Ulōne made them silent; and then Iáinos spoke to them. --For ten thousand years men have not spoken my name, nor met the iliū in friendship, except in Meīruas. Now, isn't it right that men should know the dream of the world, which is mine, and Eīledan who created it, and Ulōne who responds in each of you? Isn't it right that men should know the history of those who came before them?

--Cuzeians, I will bless your cities and your people. Through the line of Calēsias, you will become a strong and glorious kingdom, and though there will be darkness elsewhere, your country will be full of light. You will make beautiful things; you will live together as a community; the Guardians will watch over you, and the iliū will defend your walls.

--But I warn you! You must continue to know me; you must be just to one another, and I intend for you to be a holy nation. Otherwise you will fall back into barbarity, and your kingdom will be given to another people, as the Metailo duchies have been given to you.

All the men and all the iliū worshipped Iáinos; and then the iliū continued their journey to the south.

Calēsias was duke in Eleisa for twenty years. When he died, the heads of all the lineages of Cuzei came to Eleisa to give him honor, because he was a valiant lord, and had given them many victories; and his people mourned, because he was a just and wise lord. His mind saw the dream of Iáinos; the hand of Eīledan made him strong; and Ulōne spoke in his heart.

When Calēsias died, his son Yeremizos became duke of Eleisa after him.

The conquest of Tevarē

When he had been duke for ten years, Yeremizos came to Līxiruitas and said, --O Līxiruitas, all of the valley of the Isrēica is fertile and green. Why shouldn't we take over the rest of this land, whose duchy is the smallest and weakest of the Metailo lands? In addition, the House of Árrasos is in this duchy; it should belong to people who know the name of our father and mother.

Līxiruitas was already an old man, over sixty years of age; but he readily agreed to make war against Tevarē, and he brought his army from Cayenas to join Yeremizos in the campaign.

The duke of Tevarē was named Xāugose, and his capital was Noxos. When he learned that the Cuzeians were riding against his duchy, he despaired, because he was convinced that he was lost.

But his lords told him, --O duke, did you think that we made you duke only so that you might live in palaces, and enjoy wine and concubines? A duke must also defend his people!

--But nothing has availed against the Cuzeians, said Xāugose. Duke Cumixāugo and Duke Balūniu proudly offered battle, and were defeated; Cadriume refused to do battle, and his cities were besieged and taken; Giruēse went against them with horses, and was surrounded and destroyed. What hope do we have? The gods have turned against us!

--O duke, each of these leaders made mistakes, and we can learn from each of their battles. Cadriume, for instance, failed when his spearmen ran after the retreating Cuzeians. Learn from him that spearmen are invincible if they stay put in a strong place. Giruēse was new to horses and had too few of him; but we Metailō have been breeding horses since his time, and now we are masters of them.

--Very well. Whatever you need of me, tell me and I will do it.

The Metailō of Tevarē assembled a great army; they had more than 25,000 spearmen, and 5,000 horsemen, as well as great numbers of archers. They made their camp near Noxos, so that the Cuzeians could not come near the city and besiege it.

Līxiruitas and Yeremizos rode south from Eleisa; together they had 20,000 horsemen, over 10,000 Metailo spearmen, and 10,000 archers. They also had more than a hundred chariots, for these had been invented by Līxiruitas's Master of Arms, after studying the hand-drawn carts used by the Metailō.

They came to the Dinē, and besieged the city of Vionnosindas, which belonged to no duke. The people of the city held out for a month, but their food supplies were decreasing, and the besiegers were building ramps to scale the walls. To avoid the destruction of their city, the people surrendered to the Cuzeians.

In another week the Cuzeians had reached Noxos, where the army of Xāugose was camped. The lords had arranged their spearmen on a plain between the river and a forest. The horses were divided in two units, one in front of the spearmen, one behind.

The Cuzeian spearmen faced the Metailō, half a lest away. Yeremizos placed his horsemen on either side of the spearmen; but Līxiruitas took his horsemen inland, seeking a way around the forest.

--O Metailō! Yeremizos shouted. You are men without memory; you occupy the House of Árrasos, not even knowing his name. You are a weak nation, which does not know Iáinos, but worships water and mountains, things which are merely the creations of Iáinos. Do you really want to fight? Abandon your weapons and we will be merciful. Otherwise, many of you will lie dead on this field, never returning to your houses or your wives and children!

--O barbarian invaders, said Xāugose. I am the rightful duke of this place, elected by my lords to defend them. I have always done my duty before them and before the gods. Whether your god is stronger or not, I don't know. However, when you come against us to take our cities, our houses, our fields, what can you expect but war, in which many of you will die as well? You are fighting for conquest, while we are fighting to defend our homes; our rage and valor can only be greater than yours.

Now the battle began, with charges from the horsemen. The chariots were terrifying: now the Cuzeians could ride like thunder at the enemy, raining down spears and arrows against them. The Metailo riders could not stand against them. The spearmen were wounded in great numbers; but there were very many of them, and their line did not break.

Xāugose's lords ordered them to advance, and they moved forward, a moving wall of spears which nothing could penetrate nor turn back. Soon they closed with the Cuzeians' spearmen, and both sides fought like angry wolves. The defenders were greater in number, however, and they started to burst through the Cuzeian line, though the first spearmen to do so were killed by the Cuzeian horsemen.

Now there was a thunder of hooves, the horses of Līxiruitas were heard, behind the Metailō. Līxiruitas had found a way around the forest and come upon the Metailō from behind. Xāugose's second unit of horsemen opposed him, but there were too few of them, and could not prevent Līxiruitas's riders from attacking the Metailo rear.

The Metailō panicked; their spears pointed the wrong way, and they could only drop them and attempt to run into the forest, or into the river; but this allowed the horsemen to penetrate further into their ranks. Meanwhile the Cuzeians' spearmen rallied, and began to push the Metailō back. Caught between the two Cuzeian forces, the Metailō were killed in enormous numbers; Xāugose himself perished in the battle.

With this battle, the entire Isrēica valley was in the hands of the Cuzeians, though some towns still resisted and had to be conquered one by one.

Yeremizos and Līxiruitas divided the valley between them. Yeremizos took the north, extending his duchy of Eleisa southward. He founded the city of Norunayas at the southern edge of his duchy.

Līxiruitas took the south, becoming duke of Tevarē. He took the city of Noxos to be his capital; but then he asked the Knowers to find the House of Árrasos, where Árrasos had built a Glade when he and Denūra first came into Cēradānar, and where he died years later.

When the Knowers had found it, he called his son Līxielâsas and told him, --My son, I am old and sick; Ulōne has let me see where our ancestor died, and I will die here with him. But you will have the glory of building a city here.

--I will do as you say, said Līxielâsas.

© 2003 by Mark Rosenfelder
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