Yucca War

In The Dragonslayer of Edgewhen, Zhen sings a plaintive war song about combatants whose “bones lie in the knives of the yucca.” The song comes from a war between the nomadic Lashrefites and the nomadic Kashramites. (This particular branch of Kashramites call themselves the Caladrel, which means Men of the Bison.)

At issue was the right to hunt on the sunaway side of the river Kailanarl. Both peoples had expanded to fill the available range. The Lashrefites claimed their goddess had given them the entire plains as hunting grounds, while the Kashramites believed that the right to take the bison belonged to the people who could prove themselves mightier.

The war started sometime around 900 and lasted for several years. Zhen says the war started because the Kashramites crossed the Kailanarl. The truth is that in 900, the Lashrefites were hunting on both sides of the river that Zhen calls the Kailanarl. However, it is also true that the Kashramites were crossing a river that the Lashrefites thought of as a boundary.

Both sides fought with spears. They would not discover swords until the Time of the Dragons. And bows would come even later.

The Kashramites had some warriors skilled in the elements of Earth and Motion who could sling stones exceptionally far. The Lashrefites countered with Air and Motion, aiding the flight of their throwing spears. Most skirmishes ended after a quick exchange of volleys. In a few cases, they closed on horseback.

People died in the battles of course, but most deaths were from hunger. Game was scarce and the hunters were busy fighting. No surprise then, that bands from both sides took to raiding trading vessels on the rivers. Clanfolk and Riverfolk found themselves involved in a war of which they wanted no part.

It was Clan Fairdealer that found a way to end the war. They were trying to establish a trade route from the mouth of the Yarl all the way up to the city of Dashar. They needed political stability.

Clan Fairdealer convinced the Lashrefites and Kashramites to accept the judgment of Children of Justice who had settled at the mouth of the Yarl. Both sides agreed.

The treaty gave most of the disputed territory to the Kashramites. A portion of the disputed territory was designated for seasonal use: The Kashramites could hunt there during the winter and early spring and the Lashrefites could hunt there in summer.

The reason Lashrefites were able to give up so much territory is that Clan Fairdealer found them new territory. They were granted hunting rights on prairie that the Clanfolk had claimed for themselves, and they were given access through Clanfolk lands to the forests on the other branch of the Yarl.

This peace lasted for many centuries.