The Nah’wadass Sourcebook: A General Pleads for Reinforcements

One of the first known Nah’wadass documents is this fragment from a period in their later history, around 900-1100 years after their earliest known writings. What is known about the context is that the Nah’wadass decline was already well underway, and that their lands were under constant assault from outside invaders. This document, written on leather and found in an archive of the Nah’wadass capital of the Late Decline period, is unquestionably a plea for help from a commander far afield. We do not know the name of this general or where he served, although there are some hints that he may have been along the northern frontier in a steppe region, given the emphasis he places on horsemen in his request. We know that he did not think that his position must not have been dire enough for him to say all was lost, but then again, we do not have any record that reinforcements were sent or that he survived this encounter. Indeed, it is quite possible that he and his forces perished in battle some time after he wrote this letter, much as Nah’wadass armies were being overwhelmed in the west by the seaborne marauders that had already destroyed the Khotikal Empire.

(The top portion of this letter is missing: it begins in the middle of the general describing his strategic and tactical situation.)

… and that captain heeded not my warnings about the stratagems employed by the marauders, for all but five men under his command perished in battle, and those five are of no use to me now but to carry provisions and to work in camp, for no more will they go up against the long-haired riders, who scream with fearsome ululations as they gather for battle. Therefore, send not men from the provinces, farmers and laborers, unfit for the martial life. I have no need for men that cannot follow an order. They are better suited for the production of foods with which to feed my men and their comrades in other places, fighting other battles, for I know that we are not the only ones sorely pressed.

Most fearsome are the tortures the long-haired riders employ against our officers, even on the field of battle. When you send to me men that wear the green scarf of command, send men that wear it because of their valor and not for their grace. The captains and lieutenants who wear that honored green must be men that can fight to the death, for I do not want to have to discover them after they have been captured, for I shall to be forced to kill them, for no man among us has the means to heal or even bring peace to those that the long-haired riders have driven their stakes into. Know that those terrible riders will do the same to you, ere they reach our lands of our ancestry, and that we fight here for your survival.

Do you not care to look upon the world, untroubled and unstarved? Then send unto me a thousand mounted soldiers of the finest skill, for the battles we face are desperate and wild. Send also unto me many scouts, men of keen senses who know the ways well where we fight. Please allow them to serve in the land of their birth, even though we have long honored the traditions of our fathers to send soldiers to opposite corners of the nation. The times we struggle in are not those of our revered fathers, so let us honor their memory in not clutching their ways with dying hands. There are many miles between battles for us, and without men who know this land as their home, we are lost. With those men, glory and honor shall be our fate. Let those men flow unto us, and we shall make the valleys of war blossom.

Let those men flow unto us, and we will know that the Three Mounts of It’hwazsin are yet green under their snows. Let those men flow unto us, and we will know that the rains still fall and the sun still sends life. Let those men flow unto us, and be the sun and cloud and great mount of our salvation. For if we are fated to send what we have in abundance unto you, it is only destruction and slaughter, for the long-haired riders spare none of our people in their path. Their god is terrible and cruel and insists upon the blood of captives to sate his thirst. He is not a god of kindness and bountiful harvests, such as we know. Let the thousand riders flow unto us, lest the iron spikes of the long-haired riders be driven into

(Here is where the fragment ends. No corroborating documents have been found to date. The long-haired riders mentioned in the letter may have been the Sholekek, who we know were active in pillaging the northern reaches of the Nah’wadass nation during the time period corresponding to the period when this letter was written. The Sholekek were known for their ferocity and inhuman cruelties and presented a crisis situation for the Nah’wadass until the Sholekek themselves were driven away by the sorcerers of Himikoinkannen.)

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