Legend of Sand - 1st Aniversary Competition Entry

Okay then, here is a little story I wrote, obviously for the 1st anivversary contest (It says it in the title). As theme is world building this story aims to show how one part of the world was "built"...

The group left the rocky village as the burning desert began to cool with the crimson setting of the sun. The small party consisted of the young from all the villages, being led by the tribe’s elder, Nilkuu, the protector of stone. It was an old custom among the people of Okoto’s stone tribe, to take the children of the villages into the desert and teach them the legend of the sand each year. It has been done for nearly as long as the people had inhabited the island. The wizened village elder gathered the straggling youths around him and sat them down in the sand. The leader climbed onto the rocky outcrop, crossed his legs and began the legend.

“Long, long ago, before the time of the mask makers, Okoto had two great jungles, the region in the south, as it is known today, and one that covered this great desert we call our home. In those days at the start of time, our people could run through the lush and beautiful trees, feel soft and damp soil beneath their feet and live an easy life, like a breeze through the trees. The jungle was full of life, and not just that of the plants but also that of the animals. There were beasts and birds of all shapes, sizes and colours. They lived among the roots and ferns at the ground all the way to the highest branches and clinging vines of the tallest trees.

For a long time the villagers coexisted with the creatures of the forest, only taking what they needed and living in peace with nature around them. The hunters of the villages took pride in their skill, yet they were fair, the resources they gathered would be shared among the villagers and never wasted.

There were two brothers; both of them were most amazing hunters, masters of tracking and trapping and both very proud of their skills. One day, after a long and rewarding hunting trip, the brothers arrived back to their village. Together they presented the hunt to the village elder, who casually remarked that the older of the two was a greater hunter.

The younger brother saw this as a challenge to his skills, and the next day he worked extra hard to hunt more than his brother, taking twice as much as he should have. In seeing his younger brother out do him, and the praise he received, the elder sibling saw red. He doubled his efforts in a fierce campaign to be proven the greatest hunter in the village. The brothers, once the closet of friends began a bitter rivalry, hunting more and more each day, constantly arguing about who was better.

Each day, as they would bring increasing amounts of their hunted goods back to their village they would be warned about their actions. The village simply couldn't use all the resources they were providing and much of it went to waste. Eventually the village elder told them to stop their childish competitions before the jungle was thrown out of balance. Despite the seriousness of the warnings they were given, they
continued their rivalry ignoring the danger they could put their people through.

After months of their excessive hunting the jungle began to change. It started with the winds, what was once gentle breeze began to strengthen. Soon the wind was howling through the trees and ripping small plants out of the ground. Then came the dust and the sand, it was only small amounts at first, but then more would arrive with every day. The ancient trees were ripped apart, the creatures were trapped with no food and the soft damp soil of the jungle was replaced with rough coarse sand. Death threatened the villages and the animals that once filled the forest began to starve. The creatures began to leave the area, migrating to the other great jungle, or dying among the sandy ruins of the once lush region.

The two brothers were brought before the village elder who condemned them for their actions and their refusal to listen, scorned them for the harm they had brought the area and cast them out of the tribe for ever. The two still fought after this, each leaving the village from opposite sides. They became wanderers of the desert, whose fate is known by no one.

The brothers learnt nothing, but the elders learned much. They learnt the ways of their new environment, how to hunt, how to shelter from the sandstorms and to
truly only take what is needed.”

Nilkuu rose from his seat atop the rock and scattered a fistful of sand in the wind. He motioned at the rolling dunes around him and said.

“We live a hard life here, the desert could swallow us at any time, I hope you remember that and don’t make the same mistakes those brothers did…”

...So, that's that, I know I up against some tough competitions, although I haven't read any of there stories (didn't wanna syke myself out), but I am entering anyway...


Twas pretty cool

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