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  • Andrew M. Trauger


Little is known of the sub-equatorial Amurrak tribes of the southern Audric Jungle, lands that few people have seen. With skin dark as night and a fierceness to match the kalimusi, or "great lizard," the Amurraks are a fearsome people. They have rejected the Maker, worshipping totems made by hand or even worshipping the Dragon herself. For this reason they are a "backward" people, uneducated, uncivilized, and brutally savage. Child sacrifice (always male) to appease the spirits of their totems is frequent, bloodshed is rampant, and debauched orgies a nightly occurrence. Warriors are only women, who have subjugated the men into servants for procreative purposes and hard labor. And a ruthless queen rules over them all.

They are also a subjected people, forced into servitude by the Nephreqin, which sees them as sub-human and useful only for slave labor. The Nephreqin have conquered their coastal villages, stolen away both men and women, and forced them into pirating, raids into the mainland nations, and war against the northern Audric tribes--the panther warriors, jaguar warriors, and tiger warriors. Treatment is harsh, exacting, and merciless. Slave deaths are frequent and sometimes meted out for the slightest of offenses.

Mattawonah was captured during one of many Nephreqin incursions, along with her sister Alinacuah. Together they were sold various times to successive masters until finally reaching Westmeade in the Duchy of Alikon, where a bald ascetic known only as "Master Bray" acquired them to monitor the activities of a certain Audric named Cuauhtérroc.

The presence of a northern Audric fueled Mattawonah's desire to extend their long-standing war to this "one that got away." But Master Bray's harsh treatment of her and her sister fueled a deeper emotion: bitter vengeance. The desire for freedom festers deep in Mattawonah's mind, and she plots daily how she might extract a gory revenge upon her owner, a brutal end worthy of an Amurrak.

But first, she must kill Cuauhtérroc.

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