Prologue: I have been working on this fictional story that relates to the Game in a way that brings it to life. I have written eight chapters so far and will post a chapter periodically if there is interest in it. The Evolution of Barbarians -by- Cactus (pen name) Chapter one A typical day in the Barbarian Village It was an early Autumn afternoon and a cool breeze from the north flowed down the snow-capped mountainside through the pine forest gathering their sweet scent and continued through a grove of White Aspen trees fully dressed in their golden Autumn splendor. The gentle rustling of the aspen leaves and the whistling of the breeze through the pines was just a few more notes of nature’s song that was blissfully comforting to those so fortunate to live in the village at the base of the gently sloping hill. The hill was named “Founders Rest” when this tribe of settlers decided they would go no farther in their search for a new home. The Valley of the Moon was beautiful and would meet all their needs. This was where they would build their Village, raise their families, and carve their names into their history. As it had been their dream, so it had become their reality. The village fore fathers had planned their village well. A design that was well advanced of even the more modern grass and mud structures and tent villages of that era more than 70 years ago. They had a mix of talented thinking people in the tribe carpenters, who designed interlocking wooden logs and rails to form hutches built on wooden or stone floors. Stone masons who could design rock structures such as new buildings and walls. Together they designed bigger and better buildings. There were miners, blacksmiths and metal forgers, hunters, farmers, craftsmen and women from all known trades that would be needed to develop a modern village. Herdsmen tended to the livestock and farmers grew crops. Children were born and raised and taught in classroom settings. New settlers arrived each year in settled in this wonderful little barbarian village. From their meager beginnings in the valley, the settling generation toiled hard and long and became more talented in all they did. They passed their old and trusted talents and their more modern learned talents to their children. The children worked just and hard as the adults. Never could it be said that each house did not have running water. A cool clean stream flowed through the village. Every day, and several times each day, the children would grab a wooden bucket, run to the stream and fill it, then run the bucket of water back home to fill a wooden barrel. It was a fine generation to grow up in and those same children were now the elders of the village. This was a warm Autumn afternoon in the valley. It had been another day of foraging and stocking of the warehouses in preparation for the cold days ahead. There were tasks enough for everyone and everyone was at their task. Wood was coming in from the forest on the sledges made from iron and wood. Teams of six draft horses were not under strain to pull their loads. The sledges were loaded by the youth of the village as men fell trees with their mighty axes, scaled them free of their branches, and chopped them into manageable sizes for the young lads to do their work. Upon arrival young lads relieved the sledges of their loads and stacked the logs in even rows. There would be enough wood to see the village through the winter in just a few more days. And enough lodgepoles two add two more buildings to their bustling community of over one hundred homes and mixed buildings. The sledges returned for another load. The women of the village in addition to their daily chores of food preparation and cleansing of their abodes, would take their turns in the clay pits gathering the wet smelly muck and loaded into more sledges to be hauled back to the well-prepared bins designed to keep the clay moist until it could be used. The clay mixed with straw or wool was used to chink the gaps between the logs of the new buildings. Construction was a continuous process most of the year except in the dead of winter when it was too cold, and the clay was frozen. The carpenters had just a few more structures to build and their little village would become known as a city. More people will flock to the area to settle, raise their families, and join in the long-established chores and routine of building villages. The Stronger more robust of the townsmen were tasked to working the several productive iron mines in the area. They were close enough to maintain a steady flow of ore to the mills in the village where the forgers and metal workers made tools and fittings for all types of crafts and lore. Teams of eight oxen were used to haul the heavily laden sledges which were much too heavy for the draught horses. Sun up to sun down the laborers toiled and strived to complete their quotas. At the end of this work day as all the laborers returned to the village the cool freshening breeze which brought with it the hint of approaching winter and the sweet fragrance and song of the pine forest. They all departed to their homes to freshen up for the evening of the communal meal to be followed by fun and games for the children and entertainment for the adults. They earned their rest, and their steins of grog and beer. Slabs of venison or beef had been roasted over pits of coals in preparation of the famished appetites that would descend and devour like a pack of wild beasts on a fresh kill. Everyone met in the few stone and wood constructed longhouses that had been built along the town square. This is where they shared their meals, told stories, sang songs, and laughed together. They forced their weary bodies to dance through the evening. They were warmed by the fires without, and by the brew within. When time for rest came, they would depart along torch lit streets, retire to their homes and sleep deeply having been satisfied with their daily toils. The next day would soon be upon them, and their routines would once again gleefully enslave them. No one complained, no one had thoughts or desires of a different life. They all shared the same dreams, the same goals of their forefathers, which was to build a better and more modern village in which to live and raise their families. This was just another typical day in the Barbarian Village in the Valley of the Moon.