Jehucal knew it was time to leave. The tribes had been camped at the edge of Murrian for two months, and food was becoming scarce. He looked off to the north. Jehucal had heard of a green land there, filled with wild game and fertile soil. He did not know if it was fact or legend. If all he had to think about was himself, Jehucal would leave, but that was not the case. He was the Chieftain of the Seven Tribes. There were five hundred other people to think about.
The truth is that Jehucal had no other options. The famine that had devastated many of the southern lands continued to push north. Not only was the famine a problem but the Verilent Raiders, the vicious Nomads of the Palos Desert, were conquering more and more territory with each passing month.
Jehucal knew in his heart that it was worth the risk to take the tribes north through the Badlands of Murrian. But there were moments when Jehucal became very apprehensive about taking his people through that God-forsaken bit red rock and sand. He had heard it said that there was no water for 200 miles and he knew that would be too far to travel with this size of group without a source of water. The apprehesion Jehucal felt was his belief that not everyone would survive the journey. It had been almost two hundred years since the fall of Theriel and these five hundred people were all who were left of the once great race of men that ruled the Southern Kingdoms of Ther. For that reason Jehucal was cautious about any decision that would effect the entire group.
“Husband what troubles you so much?”
Jehucal turned around and faced his beautiful wife Josphinia. Her dark hair cascaded down past her shoulders, and the sunset reflected in her brown eyes. Jehucal sighed. His wife could always tell when he was bothered by something.
“It is this decision to go north. I fear that it is not the right decision.”
“Jehucal, you have agonized over this decision for many months now. What other options do we have?”
“There are no other options, but if we go forward people will die.”
“And they will die if we stay here. And they will die if we turn back. There is no safe road Jehucal.”
“I know you are right my dear Josphinia. It is just that I would feel better about the risk if I knew if the legends were indeed true. What if we get to the other side of these badlands and discover that things are not any better there.”
“Then at least we will not be any worse off than we already are. Let’s not think about what if, but let us focus on the hope of a green fields, cold water, and a better life to live.”
Jehucal drew his wife to him and gave a hug and a gentle kiss on her forehead.
“We will move north in hope and face whatever the future holds for us together. May the Great Arkia be with us.”
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