by Cara Gilbert
Gather round, dear ones. Let me tell you the story of the simple tailor, who proved his innocence amongst the Jorgenwyld. Accused of murder, the tailor defended himself valiantly, but his accuser was insistent. Amongst other nations, such a terrible claim would have been investigated. Testimony would be sought, and those trained in medicine would have examined the body, if they could.
That is not the way of the Jorgenwyld, dear ones. They are a fierce people, and their ways are not our own. When two must quarrel, the debate is settled with bloodshed, and often, death. The penalty for murder is death. Be wary, should you visit the Jorgenwyld – If you do not have the strength of arms to support your word, do not speak. If you cannot defend yourself, do not wander there. These warriors value a person’s combative prowess, and have a strange code of honour that many struggle to fathom.
Had the tailor faced one of the Jorgenwyld, I fear he would not have fared well. Yet his accuser was a foreigner too, and that, perhaps, saved the tailor’s life. When the fight began, under the watchful eyes of the Hoog-Bloodheer and the Bloodheers of several other Cabalits, as such things must be, the tailor launched a dizzying barrage of knives. It was quite the sight to behold, dear ones! And yet, those of the Jorgenwyld shifted uneasily. Perhaps, if not for the Hoog-Bloodheer’s presence, some may have entered the fight themselves. For distancing yourself from an enemy is cowardice to the Jorgenwyld, dear ones. It is a clear sign that you are weak – and weakness is not tolerated among the Cabalits.
The fight could have ended then and there, dear ones, had the tailor’s accused known the way of the Jorgenwyld. Let this be a lesson to you – learn the way of those nations you visit as well as you know your own! As the tailor pressed his advantage, for his accuser had not expected the flurry of knives, his accuser fought back. In the heat of the moment, he scooped up one of the tailor’s knives, and hurled it back! In the eyes of the Jorgenwyld, this made him no better than the one he accused, and so, when the tailor struck the final blow to fell his opponent, the matter was done.
The tailor had proved himself innocent, dear ones. He had tried to help the man who died, not killed him. T’was the healing draught he had bought from a trader, ill-prepared and poorly-crafted. If the Mountain’s Cabalit wished vengeance, it was the River Folk trader they would need to find, and they… Well, they were nowhere to be found.