Dáka Bone-Walker

"I have known many gods. He who denies them is as blind as he who trusts them too deeply. I seek not beyond death. It may be the blackness averred by the Nemedian skeptics, or Crom's realm of ice and cloud, or the snowy plains and vaulted halls of the Nordheimer's Valhalla. I know not, nor do I care. Let me live deep while I live; let me know the rich juices of red meat and stinging wine on my palate, the hot embrace of white arms, the mad exultation of battle when the blue blades flame and crimson, and I am content. Let teachers and priests and philosophers brood over questions of reality and illusion. I know this: if life is illusion, then I am no less an illusion, and being thus, the illusion is real to me. I live, I burn with life, I love, I slay, and am content."

-Robert E. Howard, Queen of the Black Coast

I bear the name of my mother. Not to your ears, but to mine - to any Bone-Walker or Stone-Cleaver, to any of the Clan of Twilight's Hammer. In your false trade-tongue my name is but a grunt, a pig-sounding ejactulation such as what seeded me. But no kin of the blood will make your mistake.

My name is Dáka: the womens-naming-word for Dága, He-Who-Rises. No true-blood, no warriors child would be named thus.

In the eyes of my Kin, I am Dawn.


I am not my mother's daughter. Had I been I would have been put to the sword upon my first breath. Nor had the chance to make her living mark upon me - as with most of your kind she was too weak, her frame too fragile for the burdens of a child of the blood. She did not live to my first life-cry. And so, I am my father's child .

It is his stength that flows within my veins, his heart that hammers within my chest. But I am mongrel, and so forbidden to his name - it is either a mark of his regard upon my mother or his shame upon her get that saw me named of her. Yet but for the name I think he was given a child wished for, the best of such a union, full of the vigor and fire that marks our race, softened none by the lesser blood that flowed within. I am fairer than most of my ilk, yes, at least by your standards, and I am told I hold my mother's voice within my lungs, but for the rest I am of the blood and am glad for it.

I cannot speak to how I came to be - such was the way of my father and his kin; what had been had been and bore no retelling. We walk within the now, the present dawning and within it we carve our lives into the living bones of the earth. I know merely this: that before my siring my father had been blooded chieftan of the Bone-Walker clan, and after he was chieftan and Bone-walker no longer, Scars were borne of that day and the days long after when she grew round and ripe, and that whatever had begun with her ended with me. I was raised a raiders son and daughter, and I am forbidden to get within the clan for the taint of my blood. That is the only loss and only price I know to have been paid for my being.

I will speak not of my blood-kin: exiled thought I may be they remain oathsworn and blood bonded to me - you will know what all know of my clan: we hunt and raid and fight, the northern hammer struck against the failing shieldwalls and caravans of the Crescent Lands from the steppes of the Gloom Rim mountains. We are now as we have ever been and ever will be.

As for my exile - the cause is plain enough, if one cares to see. There were but two endings written for me within the clans, and I stand now upon the third way in defiance. It is not the path my father would have chosen. But then, my father is dead; there are no choices left him anymore.

I am Daka, last get of the Bone-walker Clan, favored of Gessar and child of the human lands.

And I wait upon the coming crimson dawn.

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