Along the distant coastline, metallic towers rose skyward and broke the horizon. These strange structures were not meant as homes, as so many of the Rikathi had once thought but were instead a means of communication. With whom, they didn't truly know.
When the Myrkran came to them with news of war, the Rikathi were hesitant to trust them at first. The bondcast between the tribes was still too new and pliable, and the Rikathi had their own troubles to contend with in this world. But the news did not relent and for months whispers of distant wars continued to echo through Mjornduth.
Ota Beyr Brejna Honorlund, tired of being reactionary since taking the longhouse throne, decided to act now to prevent such things on her own doorstep. The Rikathi had taken in the refugees and given them a new home, but it seemed now a target had been placed upon their back for such goodwill. She trusted the Myrkran enough, but not their towering devices and instead sent out outriders to the corners of the continent seeking philosophers and peacekeepers.
As the visitors arrive, they hear the sounds of hammers and workers hurriedly building. Two new longhouses are being constructed along the edge of the village that are identical in every way to the one that sits at the center. The difference of the two is that the material of each looks piecemeal. There's uniformity in design, but the aesthetics are not. A trained eye can see that dyers are busy at work too, creating gorgeous motifs both inside and out of the new longhouses, telling stories through colors and patterns.
Myrkran workers -their telltale physical traits making them distinguishable to the local Rikathi- are bringing black stones in from the coast and shoring up the walls of some of the villagers' huts. Obviously, material has been taken from some of the homes to finish the work on the longhouses and are now being replaced as the time draws near its close. The huts look no worse for the wear of missing their normal construction material, perhaps a testament to the Rikathi builders or the Myrkran's additions.
The entire village comes to an organized, peaceful stoppage near sundown. The workers return home, cook fires blaze outside huts with flames touching the deep dark sky, and generally good companionship can be felt throughout. Visitors are invited to every campfire they pass, but it is the Ota Beyr's longhouse that beckons them. The longhouse looms over all except a two story tower-like structure tucked away in the corner of the village away from the cloistered huts and longhouse. It's windows are darkened and no one seems to be coming or going from it's entryways.
The attention is on the longhouse and there is activity everywhere. Boys carry pitchers of water, tea, and honey mead. A clutch of young girls sing in a strange humming cadence that is soothing to the ears. Tables have been brought in and fill the belly of the longhouse. There are plenty of empty seats, suggesting that the hosts were expecting more guests, but they quickly fill in with locals.
Ota Beyr Brejna stands from her large wooden throne and quiets the crowd. She's small, perhaps only five feet and not much in the way of weight, and her pale skin seems to fight off any of the fire's light inside the room. Behind her is another woman of similar stature who remains seated in her own wooden chair.
"Welcome to our home." She says, bowing to those in attendance. "We are without hosting traditions, so I have seen to it that we create some for our guests, I do hope they are not too simple for our world travelers." The apology seems genuine if not a bit self-deprecating. The boys continue to squeeze between tables and fill clay cups and metal tankards. She allows the girls to start and finish a small arrangement that involves more musical notes than words, impressive given that there are no instruments accompanying them. "But they shall be quick, because left to age on the vine... any tradition can be quite wilted. Let us get to it." Her smile fades and her demeanor shifts. It's clear this is her true self.
"Our Myrkran neighbors tell us of war. They are being attacked by enemies on a distant continent and we fear that rivalry will extend to Taer Mojr."