Warning! Document in The River | World Anvil
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The most significant use of trail signs was a message left by Long Steps reporting an ambush on his pack of boys, and urging caution about the village where it took place.


In the matriarchal culture of the river villages, boys constitute the lowest class, allowed to shelter in villages during the rainy season but expected to move on promptly.  Physical attacks on boys are rare, however, and the incident suggested that women's attitude toward boys could be changing for the worse.  The message, left in multiple places along the river trail and at the crossroads as well, spread the news more effectively than word-of-mouth.

Historical Details


Long Steps and his pack were on the way to Moon Wish village, known at the time as Strong Blood Village, when they encountered a lone woman who threatened harm against the youngest member of the pack.  Long Steps was able to distract the woman long enough for the rest of the pack to escape.   When Long Steps rejoined the pack he gathered a handful of small rocks, a piece of pipe tree, and three dried berries. He gave all of this to three of the other boys, instructing them to return to the river path and leave a warning, then to proceed to the crossroads while leaving more copies of the message on the trail to Moon Wish Village.

Public Reaction

Long Steps' message was received, and had its desired effect. Packs did not stop visiting Moon Wish Village entirely, but those who did went armed with knowledge of the reception they might get, and rarely stayed longer than a few days.  Boys began leaving their youngest members at the crossroads as an added safety measure, uncertain whether the risk was limited to just the one village.

View from the future

The reduced boy traffic fueled dissent between traditionalist and radical women in Moon Wish Village, leading eventually to armed conflict.

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