The First Book of Iaddius Ioahann (Chapter 4, page 1 of 7)


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Chapter 4

"The Andronian people have a history as vast and a culture as varied as our own. It ought to be a subject of great embarrassment to us that we, the Iohannin, once treated them with such disdain and it is my deep desire that we can, in these days, forget our prejudice and embrace one another in the common unity of patriotism and brotherhood. I abhor prejudice in all of its forms! As for me, I will give my life for any man, from whatsoever tribe he is! All that is required is that he is a good man, and there are good and bad among all of the tribes of the earth. If you must judge a man do so according to the works of his hands and not by his genealogy. " - Leonardo Ciadda, Iohannic Heir The sand which I had seen the night before turned out actually, to be a field of millions of tiles of desiccated earth. This was good, Haig assured me while we readied for our journey as the sun rose slowly into the pale bleu sky the next day. It was easier to walk on earth than sand, he insisted. I took his word at it, never having traveled through a desert myself - for I had never even seen a desert, or conceived of one, up until then. We traveled with the light provisions that they Maikin had given to us strapped onto our backs, and departed into the desert. It was amazing to me how warm it quickly grew when the night before had proven so cold. At that time I knew nothing concerning the desert climate.

We traveled mostly west, though varying slightly as Haig dictated. Haig knew these areas, not as well as he did the forests, he said, but he had been out here and had a fairly certain idea where we might discover some people. I followed him loyally trusting in his judgment as I had hitherto done.

We traveled until the sun was high in the sky and beating down on us with such intensity that I felt as though my body were aflame! I searched the sky many times, begging the gods for a cloud to shelter us, if only briefly, but never receiving it. Finally we stopped. Haig bent to the ground and began digging at the dry soil.

"What are you doing?" I managed to rasp through parched lips (for the Maikin had given us canteens of water, made from stomachs of goats, by all appearance, but we had rationed them for ourselves).

"I'm digging for dark dirt. When it's dark it means that it's a little moister. You need to do it too." He demanded, "when you find - oh like this!" He held up a handful of dark dirt. "Spit in it to make a little mud, and then rub it under your eyes." He demonstrated. "It's a trick my father showed me. It keeps the sun from glaring off of your cheeks - keeps you from going blind out here."

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