This is a short chapter with only two major plot elements inside it. However, it is still one that I think is powerful because of everything I've built up in the last two books. It ties into the events that caused Rutejìmo to be cast out from his clan and also with the very nature of Mifúno, the desert spirit.

The Great Triad

As I mentioned earlier, in the desert there are three great spirits, the triad.

  • Mifúno: The desert mother.
  • Tachìra: The sun spirit.
  • Chobìre: The moon spirit.

These three spirits are the foundation of all society. All magic flows from them (actually from Mifúno into Tachìra and Chobìre and then into the rest of the spirits). It also the basis for the conflict in the desert, justified in the social narrative as the fight for Tachìra and Chobìre over the affections of Mifúno.

While they are called spirits, they are effectively gods in the desert. They rarely interact with mortals and none of them have avatars (gods do not walk the earth in this setting). Instead, they can show their presence through omens and signs.

All three of the triads are also spirits of their own clan. The only difference is that very few people are capable of taking on the power of a god. There are only a dozen in each of Tachìra and Chobìre's clans, twenty-four warriors total capable of tapping directly into the powers of the sun and moon.

When someone says "I speak for", they are proclamation both their clan and their authority. In this chapter, when Rutejìmo makes his proclamation, he is basically telling everyone that he is following the most powerful entity in the entire desert. He is speaking for the source of all magic, power, and civilization itself. The entire world, as he knows it, is built on Mifúno and her power.

The Mifúno Clan

Which leads into the question: how many are in the Mifúno clan. The answer? Three. In the story, two will die within the next few months and there will only be one for close to twenty years before it changes again. Only three people in my entire world are capable of taking on Mifúno's power for even a minute.

This chapter is where I failed to not make him a hero. Three books with the intent of writing a story about the guy next to the Chosen One and I ruined it with only a few short words.

"I am Rutejìmo, and I speak for Mifúno."

Naturally, I had to emphasize that declaration a little more than just a sentence.

Desòchu's feet crunched as he turned back to Nifùni. "I am Desòchu, and I speak for—"

Rutejìmo had to speak; he could not let Nifùni die. Whispers in the back of his head rose up, demanding that he speak. He relented despite everything that told him to remain silent. "I am Rutejìmo, and I speak for Mifúno."

A blast of wind tore through the shelter, kicking up rocks and sands. It pummeled against all of their bodies. The flames around Desòchu and Chimípu wavered with the air, something that Rutejìmo had never seen happen, and then snuffed out.

I love this scene, not only for the foreshadowing but the details.

Hero System

I talked a little bit about using the HERO System for building my characters. Every clan has a theme with their powers, sometimes it's in a power framework, other times it isn't.

Mifúno's powers are pretty different than a lot of clans. She has more meta-magic than any other clan, mainly because she influences every clan spirit. That gives her Aid and Dispel/Suppress. She also has a Major Transform to making someone "non-magical." In effect, the followers of her clan can permanently remove the magic from anyone.

There is also a vague one about resonance, she is compatible with all desert magic with little or no feedback.

There is also a butt-load of PD and ED as you may have seen throughout the series.

Sand and Bone 15: Banyosiōu

Rutejìmo realizes that he is seeing the events from five years ago from the other side. Instead of his brother beating on him before kicking him out of the clan, it was Nifùni who had risked everyone's lives and was going to be declared dead for far longer than a year.

He couldn't have that, but did he have the authority to speak above his brother, the elder of his clan?

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