I have managed to get Davrael to agree to do an interview. This was a difficult task as he is a very private person, but eventually my power of persuasion triumphed. I was a bit afraid when Imet him. He is an imposing man, and the hawk tattoo on his face, wings over his eyebrows, head and beak down his nose and talons on his cheeks was very intimidating. Here is what he said:
Me: Good afternoon, Davrael. Thank you for agreeing to this interview. I know you are not very keen on publicity.
Davrael: No. I not speak your language too good. It is difficult for me.
Me: I will try to make it as easy as I can for you. Please tell me something of the life of the Horselords.
Davrael: We, as you know, live for horses. Our horses are best on whole of Vimar. We respect them not just use them.
Me: What do you mean by that?
Davrael: We never put them to do things unnatural. We do not enslave them with saddles or bits to make it easier for us. We never beat them, but talk to them and are gentle.
Me: But don’t you use them for food?
Davrael: Yes, but we apologise to horse. He allow us to eat him. We thank Grillon for horse too and we grieve for him when he die. If we not eat horse sometimes, we not survive. If we lost in dry places, horse allow us to drink his blood so we do not thirst. Mares allow us to drink milk too even though it is for foals.
Me: How many horses do your tribe own?
Davrael: We not own horses. They are own masters. We follow when they move to different grazing grounds.
Me: But the horses that you ride; surely you can’t say they are their own masters?
Davrael: Yes. They allow us to ride and use them, but they not belong to us. To answer your first question, there are 300 horses that allow my tribe to be with them.
Me: That is a lot of horses.
Davrael: Yes. Swooping Hawk tribe very rich. Look after horses well so horses breed well.
Me: Tell me about your family then.
Davrael: I my father’s heir. I second son, but it not auto…automatic…is that the word? for eldest to inherit. My father think that I would be better to see after horses than my brother. I have 2 sisters too. They younger than me. Probably married by now. I not hear since I leave The Plains.
Me: Your father is chief of the Swooping Hawks I understand.
Davrael: Yes. He great chief. We always win fights with other tribes. He good at tactics.
Me: Why do you war with other tribes?
Davrael: Over land–territory, over stealing horses, over stealing women; things like that.
Me: Would you have become chief after your father if you had not left?
Davrael: Perhaps, perhaps not. It depend on other men in tribe. Elders. They vote, but usually it is heir of last chief. Only if they think he not fit will they vote for another. Usually no one challenges. Sometimes, if elders not agree, contestants must fight and winner is chief.
Me: Is it not a hard life, wandering The Plains.
Davrael smiled: Before I came to Grosmer. I not think so. I used to it, and love the horses. Now I get soft with easy living. No need to look for place to camp near water for animals and people, soft beds, not hard mats on floor, stone walls that keep out cold and heat, not hide tents that are cold in winter and hot in summer.
Me: But when you were on your quests with Carthinal and the others. That must have been a bit like your life on The Plains.
Davrael: Yes, but that before we settle to soft life. We only just come over the Barrier–The Western Mountains, you call them.
Davrael: Me and Kimi. We run away because our parents not wish us to marry.
Me: Why was that?
Davrael: I am son of Chief of Swooping Hawks. Kimi is daughter of a nobody. She also is daughter of settlers. Nomads think settlers no good. Settlers think nomads no good. So we run away.
Me: Is that why you ended up in Grosmer?
Davrael: Yes. We first come to big city, Eribore. I not seen anything as big. Walls all round of stone. We think we not stay there. Too near home, so we go to Hambara. It even bigger city. Kimi find inn and there we meet Carthinal, Basalt, Fero and Asphodel. They kind to us and take us on adventure. Other folk kind too. Duke Rollo give us work after we return. We think of Grosmer as our land now.
Me: You would not go back to The Plains?
Davrael: No. We have no home there now. Our families have disowned us. Our home and country is Grosmer.
Me: Thank you very much for your time.