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This article is about the canon short story. For the interactive non-canon story of the same name, click here.

Fall of the Evyn-din is the last of the three hiatus stories written during Song of the Eastern Sands. As with all other canon material, it was written by Alex Kain. It was published on April 2, 2016.[1]

Development

The hiatus stories were announced on March 5, 2016. They were intended to allow Jerome Jacinto to build up a page buffer, and to touch on some fun new elements of the world of Dunia.[2]

Synopsis

While out hunting in the southern part of the Northern Wastes, Bevan and his friend Kraith are cornered by a Canid patrol. Losing his cool, Kraith charges the Canid and is cut down. Bevan manages to outmaneuver the Canid and kills them before they can call for help. Knowing he'll never be able to visit his friend's grave again, Kraith Bevan buries Kraith near the river and marks his grave with a cairn.[3]

Once he returns to his tribe and tells them of Kraith's death, the entire tribe is enraged, particularly the leader Evyn. Evyn, who is also Bevan's uncle, plans a head on attack on Deltrada Garrison, confident that with their numbers and the gods on their side, they will be victorious. However, Bevan isn't so sure and removes himself from the strategics because all the Ermehn are supporting his uncle.[4]

After leaving the tent, Bevan is addressed by a stranger sitting by one of the campfires. The stranger tells Bevan the attack will fail. Bevan admits he is right but says he doesn't have any other option because his uncle is the tribe Champion. The stranger praises his skills, and offers Bevan a place in his tribe because of his exceptional scouting skills. Bevan, realizing his options are to be destroyed in a suicide mission or to join a tribe with a long-term plan to strike against the Canid, accepts. Going to his tent, Bevan fetches his daggers and a hood to hide his facial markings and leaves with the stranger.[5]

Summary

Three Canid warriors corner a pair of Ermehn who strayed too far south while hunting. The Canid decide to take the pair back to Deltrada Garrison to find out the location of their tribe so they can destroy it. Bevan begins to tell his friend to follow his lead, but angry and desperate, Kraith charges the Canid and is immediately cut down by an arrow. While the Canid are distracted, Bevan kills one with a thrown dagger and dives into the underbrush on the side of the clearing. Moving between the trees, Bevan knows that going back north is his best bet- except the Canid are right there. He decides that climbing a tree is his best bet. He conceals himself in the foliage, knowing that it won't be an effective hiding place for long, and allows himself a moment to grieve his slain friend.[6]

Bevan reflects on his friend's history- how his uncle Evyn had saved Kraith's small tribe, the Havran-din, from death and in gratitude, the Havran-din had allowed themselves to be absorbed into the Evyn-din. Bevan and Kraith had known each other since they were very young, and had been like brothers, frequently hunting and scouting together.[7]

The Canid soldiers stop below his tree. Bevan grabs one of his two remaining daggers and starts down the tree. They hear him, but too late. The archer shoots at him, but Bevan leaps off the trunk, throwing the dagger. The archer's shot barely misses him, but Bevan's dagger finds its mark in the Canid's chest. Bevan hits the ground, and unsuccessfully attempts to free his dagger from the Canid he just killed. The last soldier slashes at him with his sword and advances. Reaching for his last dagger, Bevan tries to play for time but the soldier kicks him in the chest, sending Bevan sprawling to the ground. Knocking both the wind from his lungs and the dagger from his paw, Bevan takes a moment to recover as the soldier approaches, taunting him. Responding with a quip, Bevan throws a handful of pine needles in the soldier's eyes. Dodging the blind slash, Bevan scoops up his dagger and kills the soldier before he can howl to summon backup.[8]

Unable to bring Kraith's corpse back to the Evyn-din, Bevan buries him near the river. Marking Kraith's grave with a pile of stones, Bevan knows he will never able to visit his friend's resting place again as long as the Canid live in these lands. When he returns home and recounts the tale to his tribe, Bevan's uncle calls for revenge- a direct attack on Deltrada Garrison. However, Evyn plans on copying Oran's tactics and wants a full frontal assault, and has called for aid from nearby tribes. Bevan points out that Oran died anyway despite his luck and that Deltrada is the best-defended Garrison. Evyn tells Bevan that he is allowing Kraith's death to turn him soft and that the Ermehn need to fight for what is theirs or the Canid will take everything.[9]

Seeing that Evyn has the support of all the other tacticians and warriors, Bevan leaves the tent with the comment that it doesn't seem like his uncle will be needing him. No one tries to stop him. Bevan is addressed by a strange Ermehn sitting by one of the tribe campfires, who tells Bevan that the Evyn-din's attack will fail. Bevan asks the stranger why he thinks that, but the stranger says nothing. Bevan admits the stranger is right, and the stranger asks Bevan if he plans on joining them. Bevan tells him that he doesn't think he has an option because his uncle is the tribe Champion. But the stranger tells Bevan that he is a free Ermehn and has a choice, "same as us all."[10]

Bevan asks the stranger what tribe he belongs to, and the stranger identifies himself as Hardin, who tells Bevan that his tribe would never throw warriors away on petty revenge. He praises Bevan's skills and claims that using Bevan on a suicide mission would be a waste of skill. Bevan says he had one dagger per Canid, and that he lost his friend. Hardin apologizes for the loss, and asks Bevan to join his tribe. Bevan points out that he is already tattooed as an Evyn-din, but Hardin tells him that the Evyn-din will be destroyed after tomorrow, while the Sratha-din will endure, and bide their time before striking. Bevan remarks that Hardin seems very certain of their destruction, and Hardin counters that they have seen it repeatedly. He tells Bevan that the Canid march on their territory, destroying any tribe it deems a threat and that the Evyn-din's attack will only lead to worse repercussions for all the other tribes.[11]

Sitting on a log by the fire, Bevan says he can't do anything about the decision. Hardin asks Bevan again to join his tribe, telling him that if he marches with his uncle, he will be dead tomorrow and become long forgotten. Bevan thinks to try and talk his uncle out of it, but Hardin points out that Bevan can't talk a foolish warrior out of a glorious battle. He also says that tomorrow, the tattoos of the Evyn-din will be symbols of their folly and the survivors, if any, will be outcasts because they set back progress by another century.[12]

Going to his tent, Bevan fetches a hood Kraith had given him to aid with camouflage. He models it for Hardin, who says it indicates Bevan has something to hide, but works if he wants to keep his distinctive facial markings. Dropping the hood, Bevan replies that if he's going to abandon his uncle the night before a battle, then he will bear the markings of the Evyn-din until he dies. Hardin asks if Bevan has made his choice, and Bevan replies that his options are die in a pointless battle or join a tribe with a plan. Hardin says he has made the right choice, and that the Sratha-din are a day's journey to the south-west. Bevan pulls the hood up again, and the two set off.[13]

References

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