Part 19: GrazersAh, Grazers. I was holding off until we learned what they actually call themselves. The Grazers are a rather strange people who seem to be descended from a combination of Dara Happan sun-worshippers and Praxian exiles. It is believed that they are the remnants of the Pure Horse Tribe of Prax, which is: A. why they love horses so much and B. why they look down on walkers.
But they are not Praxians any more, and probably existed before the Pure Horses came and joined them. They have their own myths, you see, and do not worship the gods of Prax. However, ancient records of the Pure Horse Tribe speak of how the horse-folk were killed in darkness and chaos, and how they were forced out and became no more, that not even wings and feathers could save them. Those remnants of Pure Horses died, but...well, wings and feathers are important to the Grazers.
What Yelm Says About Horses
They say that, once upon a time, the horse was a very different creature, related to dragons. The Dara Happans say it was a hippogriff. During the Downfall, though, it was stripped of its glory until it became the servant beast it is today. However, the hero Hyalor Horsebreaker saved it from complete ignominy. Or that is what the sun-worshippers say.
What Orlanth Says About Horses
The Orlanthi say that Orlanth declared he wanted a steed for men to ride. He would have a contest of all the worthy animals, and many came to be servants to men. Elmal was the judge, and he chose the horse for its strength, courage, obedience and stupidity. Horses, he said, were very stupid. But he loved it, and he spoke to it in the special way of people who love animals. And so the horse and Elmal have always worked together. When Elmal married into the Storm Clan, he gave Orlanth a gift of stallions and mares. These are the start of the steeds of the gods.
How To Butcher A Horse
The Grazers say that once, humans and horses were one. They looked different, acted different and were all unhappy. Trickster came ot them and saw a chance to use his new knife. He told the horse-people that they would be happy if they ate the right food, and some agreed to try it. Trickster said they must be blindfolded to do it right, but some still agreed. He blindfolded them and put the knife in their hands, guiding them in the cuts.
Halfway through, though, one of the cutters, known as Cutter, recognized that the body he was cutting was that of his own favorite mare. He opened his eyes and saw he'd already dismembered her, cutting her in two. Trickster laughed and vanished. Cutter was horrified that bother parts of his mate still lived, and he would have run except the knife was too heavy and he could not let go. Both parts spoke to Cutter, and the human and horse parts said they no longer felt pain and were happy this way. The noise made the others open their eyes, seeing their work. All became people and horses, and they were the first of the horse-riding people, whose steeds and secrets were stolen by many others. Cutter, however, was never turned into two people and never again mate with his mares or mistress.
How The Grazers Came To Be
The Grazers say they began as centaurs. However, they suffered the pains of the human and animal heritage, which had been forced together by the Remakers of the Wyrms Mind Collective. It was pwoerful magic, but Ironhoof, King of the Centaurs, used his own magic to reform them into man nad horse. It could only be done once, and how it was done is unknown to any that still live.
The Centaurs say that some of their people had become discontent with themselves, torn by the duality of their nature when they ought to be joyful. Harfraftos the Founder was a centaur who went seeking the secrets needed to cure this discontent, and he struggled with both the Sun God and the Horse Goddess, eventually returning with the ceremony Ironhoof used. Each centaur in the rite had to agree to be either human or horse, and to dedicate themself fully to the cause of each other. In this way, a race of strong people and stronger horses were made, which are kin to each other. These were the grass-eaters, the Grazers.
Harfraftos made the customs of the tribe when he went to commune with the Sun God, Yu-kargzant, called Yelm by foolish outsiders. He gave them the secrets of a pure solar life. After the transformation, Ironhoof the Centaur shared his lands with his forever-changed kin, giving them grazing rights along the Dragonspine's north edge.