Scythia Mother of the Scythians

This is a fragment with much information about Scythia that documents an encounter between Mother, Epona and Scythia herself. It is not currently in narrative form, being more historical in nature, but it is a good tale.

Scythia is the daughter of Epona, one of the daughters of Dana Bailey. She is a multi-generational leader by virtue of her association with the goddess and her extraordinarily long life. When the brown folk left and the climate turned bad most of the Gaellic world contracted around Slieve na Gael, there to eek out what living they could. When the Gobli Hordes washed over the plains, past the great inland lakes and to the very foot of Sliebe na Gael, Epona, with the rest, went to the mountains, but not Scythia and folk that stayed with her and those who came later as weather worsened were forged by heat , ice, and war on the grass plains into the Scythians.

Horses and cattle -sheep and goats- the Scythians are herders by vocation, but they are horse warriors at heart, raiders and thieves. With the great loss of life and food production Slieve na Gael guards their territory, fearful to loose what little they have. the disputed lands are almost peaceful — the petty kings have murdered each other and only the weakest remain in the empty cities. The Scots in the south are enclaves, all hungry and jealous. But the Scythians roam the empty plain taking their beasts where there is good forage and growing stronger and more numerous. If naGael was the center of the olk knowledge then the Scythians are the heart of the new reality.

Epona’s daughter stayed with the plains folk who remained to try to keep their animals free of the Globins and other Fell beasts. It was brutal, days in the saddle, desperate battle against long odds. By the end they were all veterans, they could sleep in the saddle, they could smell the enemy, they were alive. Scythia was in love.

Thomas O’Malley was a cowboy and horse wrangler, but after the long ride he was a leader. Everyone looked to him for his wisdom, horse sense, but Scythia looked to him for love and it was easily and truely given. She had seemed a spoiled child of privelge, but her commitment was made from her iron will not simply necessity and she had survived and thrived.

Others paired off, children were born despite the desperate times. But the O’Malley’s of Scythia were a strong clan even after Thomas was killed in a goblin raid, leaving Scythia and eleven children, the twelfth she names Thomas.

Scythia looks to be in her 20s, she is closer to 50. She becomes a war leader. What power she gathers she hurls against the gobli. her children learn the sword and the bo and the lance. They cecome a force to themselves “Scythia’s Thirteen they are called because Scythia looks their same age, some folk think that being now 60 she hides the decline of her once renouned beauty. The children accrete spouses and retainers and body guards until they are an army to themselves. To cement ties with another large clan, Scythia concents to marry the only son and war leader of the other clan.

It is a firey relationship. Fighting gives way to passion. Scythia in love, behins a second family. She embraces motherhood and leaves war to her children and her husband, Niall (name as with T O’Malley at least for the moment.) Scythia has five young children by Niall ages 5-15, she is 80 years old, but she looks like she might be in her early 30s.

There is a gathering storm in the North, Darklin overlords are directing the gobli to capture and fortify land. Raiding parties extend that territory and material support goes north to build an army and prepare for war. The Gobli have gained the skill of building brood pools so that groups can live and grow in the plains as well as in caves as before. Niall urges war, gathering the clans and fighting this new danger. Hearing his report she wants to avoid war to continue her mothering. Niall forces her to scout with hm and see what they are doing. It is a frightening dose of reality.

There is a great war council and a brutal war ensues on the plains. The Gobli are the more technological society, they fortify and live in denser society, but the Scythians have the horse and their mobility and sudden savagery work to great effect. They are vulnerable in set piece battles and are crushed in several when they gather against consolidated armies. Niall dies in what seems to be a final stand and Scythians are scattered. The Gael fight on with the Gobli horde that masses and moves on to the great mountain, Sliebe na Gael, focusing on destroying humanity and wiping it away.

Scythia grieves, but soon enough she realizes that they had sucess raiding and destroying the Goblin holds that were being extended into the plains. They failed when they faced the assembled armies, but with the great bulk of Goblin might against the walls of Gael those hold fasts were vulnerable. It was like the early days with O’Malley, only now, in addition to evading to survive they could strike a telling blow and rid the plains of the scourge, slowly but surely.

And so she did, generation after generation of horse raiders, breaking open and burning Goblin strongholds and destroying the brood pools, melting away from strong forces, living and growing on the hoof.

Now for the most part the Gobli confine themselves to the East, the Disputed lands, in the mountains to the north and west of the great plains. The Scythians rule the plains and hound any incursion into their territory to death. Above all, the plains folk revere Scythia herself and view her as their leader even though they roam the plains as small clans and do not necessarily ever meet the Great One even in a full life.

So it was, when the actual clan group Scythia led herself was camped near the lakeside place the adventure of her life began that Epona, her mother, came to her. She has made a place among the Lokian mountain dwellers, her guard is of that short stout stock. She urges Scythia not to “waste her life on the plains, but instead to come to the mountains.”

Scythia scoffed, “live in a hole or I risk wasting my life riding the plains?”

The Lokians and the Gael have designs on the plains and Epona hoped to avoid the conflict. Scythia had seen a hundred years and more of non-stop war and would have none of it, “Build your fences and grow your plants in the hills, mother, or there will be conflict. And we will win as we did against the Gobli.”

Epona tried scolding the daughter that looked older for her petulance, though she seemed the petulant one. Scythia tried reason, “You see this land as empty, but we live here or you would find this land filled with Goblins and Trolls and fell beasts. We have fought and won to keep this plain for ourselves and the children of Epona.”

“So you call yourself after me?” This seems to touch Epona’s vanity.

Scythia laughs, “We care for them, our horses we name for you.”

Scythia’s body guard dared speak, “We are Scythians, many clans, and many families spread across the plains, still, called by any other name they, if you ask them, will say the same. We are Scythians.”

“Sorry mother,” Scythia grinned, “From me they see child after child spill out so they know where they are from, the horses they attribute to you.

There was tense silence, Epona muller her position, basically powerless, and now alienated from her daughter, “If you will not come with us, what can I do?”

“You should go,” Scythia nodded.”

“No no, how can I make this go better…”

“See that the mountain folk do not come on the plains uninvited.”

“I do not command.”

“Perhaps you can explain that we can defend what is ours. Let them take the land they need from the Goblins in the hills. If it is food they wish perhaps trade will serve both peoples.”

“I will try Scythia, I’m sorry it has been so long” Epona seemed emotionally fragile. (point of view?)

“Look Mother, a river flows one way, but if your friends could use our help with the mountain gobli perhaps we can be allies. Scythia frowned, “How good are these friends?”

“Loki is my brother, we…”

“Mother, make a place for yourself, better when you have access to such friendship, but do not rely on it ever.”

Then it was and for the wisdom her daughter had taught her and with the help of Scythia and too from her brother Loki, Epona made it her quest to establish a folk in the hills above the plains. So it was that a buffer between Scythia and the Lokians made a lond and a people for Epona. She earned for herself the land reading the Gobli and trading with the plains and Loki aquired material so all were satisfied and Epona enriched.

The Scythians still ride the plains and still they do so on the broad backs of the children of Epona. In the foothills are folk who owe their land and life to Epona, they remember her, but they do not name themselves for her. Still those hills in the mind of the Lokians and the Plainsmen, Scythians is Eponia to this day.