“They are not welcome here,” the Chief decreed.
His eyes regarded the troop that was his to protect. The land was plentiful, but his soul recalled the stories of Times of Famine, when many had been reduced to skin and bone and many more had died. Legend had it that The Others had brought it on, had taken more than was their share, and angered rain from falling, seeds from growing.
He sensed Bannu’s discontent. Chiefs didn’t have to grant permission for anyone’s opinion. Life showed him, however, that good Chiefs balanced silencing with persuading.
“Bannu?” he grunted.
“What if they return with more of their kind?” The youngster’s sparse ruff bristled apprehension.
The Chief nodded. Foresight was rare. The youth had potential. It also made him someone to watch out for.
“If they challenge us,” the Chief bared teeth and growled an answer and a warning. “We fight.”