Lazuli’s Band

Haphtha. Tarse. Ateta. Lazuli. Nephrana. Khenu. They are the most celebrated warriors in Queen Mawra’s realm of the Junglarak Forests.

Thanks to Lazuli and her scout band, the Junglara now had seven of the Coastal Plains guns to study. So far, the Mountain Women have shown no inclination to keep their promise and help the more primitive Junglara learn how to use the weapons and make their own. But the Junglara are far from backwards. The High Priestess immediately disassembled one gun. It was just wood and iron. Any carver and smith could build one. As for the powder, she used the same blend of coal, sulfur, and saltpeter to make rituals more dramatic.

Lazuli also brought the slaver leader back alive. The band fed the other six slavers to the wolves and ravens, still alive (although deprived of many body parts) and chained to rocks by their own collars. The slaver chief did talk before the Queen, but only after the scout chief threatened to cut off everything that stuck out of his body. She gelded him anyway for defiling her. To this day, the Queen keeps the Coastal man as a naked and humiliated show piece, chained to her throne.

Mawra presented all six women with golden arm bands, and declared them Eagles of the Junglara Plains. She elevated Lazuli to the rank of Lioness of the Dawn, the highest honor possible. The entire capital city held a feast day to celebrate the fiercest warriors the tribe had seen in a generation, six women who endured much only to triumph in the face of their adversaries and bring hope to their people.

But Lazuli and her scouts aren’t the kind of women to sit on their laurels. It’s boring. It also isn’t the Junglara way. So, the Stalwart Six are soon off on another adventure. This time, they want one of those Coastal Thunder Trees, otherwise known as a cannon. They’ll drag it home in time for dinner tomorrow night.


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