“The Armored Avenger is dead!"
"Look at him! He looks like hamburger, but his admantium armor is untouched! What could have done that?”
The young mountain sheep came charging up the trail and into the Meadow of the Elders, past the startled Elder-Guards, and stopped, panting and half incoherent. “Relax,” came a deep, amused voice in his mind. “Take a deep breath, and then share your thoughts with us.”
“Yes, Revered One.” He took the deep breath advised, then trotted forward and touched his head to that of the Elder.
The Ska'ag warrior lay in his hide, watching the intruders.
“The Makers,” he thought. It had been many generations since the last one had died, but there was no doubt. They were back. “I have to warn the People.”
“So, you want to buy a horse?” the grizzled Catfolk horse-master said.
“Yes. I'd like to buy a battlesteed and I'll pay whatever you ask,” the human replied.
“No. We never sell the Little Brothers of the Clan. Find a regular horse instead.”
“But my Lord wants a battlesteed and ...”
There are crimes for which a man is not killed, but chased into the wilds, away from his home and country, to not return or be killed on the spot. In one culture is the condemned mutilated, and even his vocal cords are damaged so that the voice is unrecognizable to his friends and family. This is the punishment for people too obsessed with their own prestige.