Ciochini Learns a bit of His Heritage

Ciochini Cuisi was a young Matis from a good family. When he didn't have to attend to the lessons given to all young Matis of his age, he liked to stroll through gorgeous Yrkanis, the capitol of Matis. And like the others, he dreamed of far-off lands with more passion than he showed in learning his lessons. His dream, however, was not to become an explorer delving through lands empty of homin presence. No, the dream of Ciochini was to become a famous historian like the chronicler Erlan, of whom he had read all writings. The young Matis loved his people, even more then most Matis did. This love for his fellows was extended to the history of the forest people, and he wanted to know every little detail of the days and years that passed. All the way from the first tales of the Matis up to the actual reign of King Yrkanis, through the tragedy of the great swarming and the Kitin War…

To satisfy his thirst for history young Ciochini often visited his grandmother Miarni Cuisi. The elder Matis had experienced the Kitin War as well as the historical crossing of the Prime Roots. Each wrinkle and crevasse in her face told its own story, with each being more fascinating to than the next. With each story Ciochini learned a new facet of the history of his people. Of course his grandmother was not a historian, as she did not know everything, and her tales were often embellished by time. But she mastered some periods of the history with such a perfection that she was a better tutor than many a royal historian. And to add to that that, she never forgot to flavour her stories with some personal comments, totally subjective of course, and sometimes unimportant. Such was to be expected from an old Matis woman with such a resolute character…

This day, as he had no class with his private tutor, Ciochini walked with a firm stride to the magnificent town-tree that housed the apartment of his grandmother Miarni. The Tryker domestic of Miarni let the grand son in. Ciochini walked as usual to the office of his grandmother and entered without a second thought.

"Ciochini, my child, I was just wondering when you would come to visit me again."

“Hello grandmother,” answered the young Matis, “I must admit that I was missing you too… especially your stories.”

His grandmother chuckled. "Fortunately I still have some untold tales that will entice you to return. I fear that you would soon forget about me if I ever ran out. Soon I will have to invent some if I am to continue to enjoy your company.”

"Grandmother, I will always come to see you! But your stories are such a treat," finished the boy with a mix of mischievousness and anticipation for the stories to come.

"Thank you Ciochini, you are a loving child… and you know how to get what you want, which can be a very important quality. Come, sit and tell me what you would like to hear."

The grandchild sat down in the magnificent seat in front of the mother of his father. The Tryker domestic appeared and served them a plant infusion. The old woman took a cup and his grand son did the same.

"I would like you to tell me about our King Aniro I, grandmother."

The Matis thought for a moment while her grandson concentrated on the content of his cup.

“I do not have a lot of knowledge about his reign Ciochini,” she said. “But I will do my best.”

“Aniro I was one of our first Kings. His reign began in 2295, a time of conflict between the homin civilisations, and ended in 2333. Easy to remember that date isn't it? He reigned during the same period as Hempios, Dalynder and Krythos, the Fyros Emperors. Never forget that my boy, never forget the history of the desert. Knowing one’s rivals, their history and their weak points can be very important.

“But let's get back to our King. Aniro was surely one of the greatest kings that our people have ever known. To understand his decisions we must know the political climate at the time his reign began. Dyros the Great, Fyros Emperor, began to construct an aqueduct stretching from the Tryker territory to the Fyros regions and passing through the Matis lands. You surely have already heard about that? Its construction lasted from the year 2289 to 2293. Hundreds of kilometres of bark were excavated to create this edifice. Our King couldn't in all decency accept the intrusion on our land, as the aqueduct was going to give our Fyros adversaries too much influence over Matisian soil. This was the beginning of the war of the civilisations. It began in 2295 and ended in 2436 with the Treaty of Karavia, signed by Aniro III.

“As you can see, the reign of Aniro I did not begin very well. I will also add that the Fyros and the Trykers signed an alliance treaty in 2293, two years before the war.

“Aniro did what he had to do if you want my opinion. The Fyros shouldn't have built this aqueduct through our lands without our asking …even if it was obvious that we would never have given any permission.

“However, the war wasn't the only event where Aniro made a prominent figure. Our departed King had done much for our relations with the Karavan and the Goddess Jena, and we will always be grateful for that.

“In 2329, near the end of his reign, the Karavan gave a divine mission to our King. At the time Aniro made a wise decision in accepting the mission. In that it is one which has brought us closer to the Karavan. He threw himself wholeheartedly into the task of creating a good relationship between the Goddess and the Matis and he rallied his people in the name of Jena. It quickly became clear that nothing was too good or too grand for Her. As a part of this Aniro also build a ziggurat. This monument was built in the spot where the Matis people had met the Karavan for the first time: the holy city of Karavia. The construction lasted for three reigns of Aniro I, Nero and Manalitch. According to the legend, only the good and noble hearted Matis could participate in it, and it was a real honour! These Matis gained favour with the Karavan and the King as reward for their contribution. The ziggurat was the most glorious wonder that our forest knew! It reached high above the lofty trees and consisted of as many floors as there are days between two full moons. The fabulous monument was crowned by a single magnificent chamber that looked out over the lands and shone like a beacon in the sky.

“There you are Ciochini. I have given you the two most important parts of the history of the reign of Aniro I, a real Matisian king.”

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