Minóki Kíuru is the first person of her tribe, the ice tribe of Northern Sarvonia called Himiko, who visited Santharia and came as far south as New-Santhala. This was only possible with the help of Turik of Barsalon, who made her travel south possible. She is the only reliable source of all our knowledge about her tribe, but has added some interesting aspects concerning the mainland ice tribes as well, which were not known so far. She says, she is now past her 32nd winter, so her birth year could be 1632 or 1633. The Himiko inhabit the islands around the Three Islands's Bay east of the Icelands' Coast.
Ms Kíuru is of a strange beauty. With about one
fores and a
handspan in height she is
in the range of Santharian woman, but what
distinguishes her is her well rounded appearance. She is by no means slender,
but in contrast to overweight local woman her features are just perfect and
fitting. No sharp edge is found, all limbs are well proportioned and softly
curved. Her face is rounded as is her head. Most times a broad smile lights up
her face and dark green, almond shaped eyes seem to welcome everybody she meets.
Her nose is more flat than pointed, her skin tanned with freckles all over.
Despite her relatively young age, she has a lot of small wrinkles around her
eyes, but they add only to her natural charm. What makes her beauty outstanding,
is her long thick hair falling down her back in slight waves. It is of a soft
dark brown, with a slight hue of red, in the
sun however it seems to have golden sparkles in it.
Her clothes are not typical for her, for she can't wear the furs she is used to in her homeland. She has now adopted the Santharian style of clothes, so she prefers to keep them simple. Since she has met Talia Sturmwind, the writer of her biography, she prefers trousers and a light tunic to dresses, in which she feels uncomfortable and which look somehow a bit displaced on her. The only exception is the Kuglim dress she wears on cold days, a dark green ankle long dress with golden and red embroidery, a present of Dro'go Minar’ian when she stayed in Lu'Weilima. The only piece on her which reminds an observer of her origin, is a necklace of different polished teeth of predators of the north, which she claims she has killed all by herself. She says, she is used to more adornments and would like to have more, but that she thinks, Santharian jewellery doesn't fit to her and that she still has to find her style.
Biography. Minóki Kíuru was born around 1632 in the middle of the winter on the main island known here as Wicker Isles, the exact location is unsure, it was in one of the moving winter camps of her tribe.
She grew up as a normal happy child, without any remarkable events, just moving around with her family following the seasonal changes and other needs, fulfilling her chores, falling in love and out again, learning the ways of her tribe, how to hunt, to fight, how to treat the prey hunted down, how to build a snow house quickly. Meeting other families at the gatherings was another important part in her life, for it raised her interest in the differences of her people. With only a small inclination towards magic her duties were those of any other member of her tribe.
However, Minóki has always been a bit more restless than others of her family. She likes to travel, despite the inconveniences of her homelands and was therefore often chosen to hold contact with the other families and sub tribes of the islands around the bay. This allowed her to learn about the differences between the Himiko tribes - and those things, that they all shared. This love to travel around might have been the reason why she chose not to have children yet, though she has had several lovers who would have liked to become her husband.
The Capturing. Her live changed the day, when her sister, who is a seer, was called from a woman in need, a woman from the far away Icelands' Coast.
Some explanations are necessary here, as long as the final
research report of the Himiko tribe is not yet available:
The Himiko have, in contrary to the ice tribes on the main land, a strong inclination to magic in certain areas. One of them is the ability of "seeing", not so much seeing into the future, though they may have a blurred vision of it as well, it is more the seeing of what happens in distant places. Especially when women are involved, women in need - women of the ice tribes on the mainland of the Icelands' Coast. The "seer" receives a "call", is able to feel the strong emotions of a tortured woman screaming for help. The knowledge where the place is comes with it, and nobody can explain, or wants explain, how it works.
Expeditions are then set out to rescue this woman if possible, either with their little fast boats or in winter with sledges drawn by the remarkable animal called snow runner they have bred. The seer has to be on board to show the direction, a woman able to do magical things with the weather, a healer and other women who know how to fight. These raids do not take place often, they are most times successfully, because they are well planned and have the advantage of surprise. Of course, misfortune can strike always.
Ms Kíuru accompanied one of these raids when she counted twenty
eight winters. Her sister was the one who had received the call, so she had to
go, and Minóki wanted to protect her. The outcome is told shortly. The raid was
successful, the woman, living in Saeroth was freed, but through unlucky
circumstances Ms Kíuru had to be left behind so as not to endanger the whole
She wasn't killed immediately, just beaten till she was unconscious and found herself in the house of the man whose wife they had taken away. There she was forced to fill out the role of the woman they had freed. She recovered from the beatings, learned the language of the tribe she lived with fairly quickly, though an accent remained. Her life was from now on not exceedingly miserable, not more than any other woman's life within this tribe. But she suffered more, because she had known the freedom, the difficult but happy life of her tribe, where all people had the same rights.
Minóki never accepted her fate, hoped that her tribe would come to free her, but nothing happened. Several times she thought about how she could flee, but in a harsh patriarchal society and an even harsher environment it seemed impossible.
Encounter with Turik of Barsalon. Then the seemingly impossible happened. One day in the spring after her thirties' winter a foreigner came to the village, somehow different in appearance and behaviour, but as arrogant and dismissive as every man around - and not looking very trustworthy. However, he should change her fate, Minóki Kíuru had met Turik of Barsalon.
She didn't like him when they first met, but he caught her interest, because she heard him talking of lands far in the south, lands without snow, houses which reached into the sky and plants growing tall as a mountain. Minóki didn't have a perception of the "south". Though she had heard tales at the campfire of lands without snow and winters without ice, this was all regarded as bunkum and everybody in her tribe laughed at the imagination of snowless lands.
So she tried to be near the fire, when he told stories about these distant lands and listened fascinated. Till the day she forgot, where she was - in a very hostile ambit - where women where not allowed to speak to men without invitation. She posed a question, and a dangerous silenced followed, and hits. But she had caught the attention of Turik of Barsalon, who had well noticed the different appearance of the woman, the strange beauty. However, he didn't want to get into trouble with his hosts, and therefore avoided to look at her closer. Now he had heard her accent, and witnessed her impossible behaviour, impossible for the ice tribe women he knew.
He asked his host about her, and after some bribes was told, that she was a woman of the witch tribes, living on cursed islands far beyond the sea in the east. Turik's interest in her grew, for she was the living proof, that his stories about an ice tribe lead by women was true.
Several days went by, where he did nothing, but talking, drinking and gambling during a late snowstorm that ravaged the lands. Born in the Kuglimz city of Barsalon, he had skills the people of the north didn't know of and soon his host was in deep dept to him. On the evening, when the snowstorm ceased and the weather promised to get fine again, he offered the man to exchange his dept for the foreign woman and some necessary supplements to his food and travel equipment. The man agreed being unwell for some time now with this woman from the "witchlands" around.
So already the next morning both left for the south, walking, with Turik's pony on the leash.
Traveling south. Ms Kíuru followed Turik gladly. She was happy she could leave the northern ice tribes and his promises of wonderlands and descriptions of unbelievable worlds made her heart light. In the beginning their relationship was easy, Minóki was very thankful and did what he wanted, and behaved mostly as Turik expected it. Their stay in Barsalon was short, then they headed southwest. Turik had bought her a horse, and after some initial fears Ms Kíuru not only mastered the horse, but liked riding very much. In this time, he taught her how to write, which she learned quickly, after he had convinced her about the usefulness of this skill. With time Minóki found her way back to her old habits, and that included that she didn't accept every decision of Turik, which made him furious. Living close together, the different ways of life they both were used to, led to arguments and quarrels. Turik had to learn the hard way, that the peaceful Himiko women had means to defend themselves and that in their society the women were the courting part. She was willing to share her body with him, but to her conditions. He always thought that he had told the ladies in New-Santhala unbelievable stories, but now he was in the position to doubt, what Minóki told him about their way of life.
Their voyage was a revelation for Minóki. For the first time in her life, she saw a land without snow. She loved the Heaths of Wilderon they passed, a wide landscape, just green and colourful instead of white. But when coming near to the Shadowlands and Shadow Vell Turik needed several days to convince her to go on. She didn't want to come near the forests and entered one only late during their voyage. They met various people, including elves and dwarves, and their adventures were plenty. The voyage on the Luquador, their diving in the depths of the underground towers of the Kurakim dwarves and their visit of the Injerín's Shaded Forest are just a few examples.
Dro’go Minar’ian. At the end of fall they reached Lu'Weilima, the Kuglim capital in the Celeste Mountains. An early start of winter forced them to stay till the next spring, which turned out to be a pleasant time for Minóki, who enjoyed the people and the town. Dro’go Minar’ian, the Dirg’mystrume (Battle-Leader) of all Kuglimz, which Turik had met already earlier, welcomed them and as his guests, all two had a great time. Minóki admired the colourful clothes and the metal rings in the hair of the warriors, though their meaning frightened her. The eclat came with the spring. Minóki Kíuru refused to travel on with Turik to Santharia. She said, she was very grateful that he had saved her from a life of misery in Searoth, but that she had told him now enough about her tribe and her way of living, that he could write an entire book about her and her tribe, that would be enough. Turik was furious, because he didn't want to write a book, but have someone he could show to the Santharian society. He suspected, that she was in love with Drogo, which added to his misery, but she said only the life of the Kuglimz would suit her, she would probably join one of the nomadic tribes.
Scandalous Arrival in Santharia. Mínoki has not revealed what changed her mind. But in late spring they took a ship and reached Milkengrad after a few weeks of sailing.
It didn't take them long, till they reached New-Santhala. It was the beginning of summer and a very hot day. This factor led to the biggest scandal New-Santhala had seen for years and only Turik of Barsalon is to blame for this, he should have known the effect of a bare bosom onto the inhabitants of the Santharian capital. Maybe it was his revenge for her wish to leave him in Lu'Weilima.
To explain, how this could happen, one has to know about Himiko culture and customs. In contrary to our local coevals, the Himiko think, that their bodies are presents from the gods, and if you share your body with someone, be it just the permission for a look or more, then you praise your god. So they don't have any awe to show their bodies, it is natural for them. This may have derived from their style of living. Their clothes are mainly furs, with the furry side turned inside and worn directly on the skin. Sitting at a hot, warming fire requires to remove these clothes.
Minóki did not have many clothes, when she arrived in New-Santhala, and what she had, including the Kuglimz dress, was just too hot. So she was merely dressed with a linen skirt, Kuglim underwear, and nothing on top except her necklace out of polished predator teeth. A sight for men and women alike. Minóki didn't know, however, that this was so very unusual for Santharian women. The summer before, she had removed her clothes as well, when they were travelling through Northern Sarvonia, but Turik was obviously pleased with the sight and didn't say anything. Back then her pale skin had turned to a nice bronze, though it never reached the tanned dark gold of her face. In this way, she was presented to quite a lot of people, including members of the grand library. Some looked away and were embarrassed, more gazed, but no one said a word, till the writer and historian Dalá Valannía took her aside and gave her a shirt to hide her nudeness. Talia Sturmwind of the Shendar was not present this day, but came as quickly as possible, when she heard about this fabulous woman who reported from a matrilinear tribe in the high north. They both liked each other from the beginning, which was no miracle if one takes into consideration the at least distant similarity of their societies. It took not long, and Talia was asked to write down all about the Himiko what Minóki knew to tell. She trusted her more than Turik, whom she still appreciated, but not really trusted anymore. Since then she lives in New-Santhala, but plans to travel around in Santharia for a while - till she wants to try to make the long way back to her homelands.
Importance. Minóki Kíuru is not only the only source of information about the tribes living around the Three Island's Bay, she has also added valuable information about the mainland ice tribes as well. But her importance stretches much farther, her impact on the recent Santharian society should not be underestimated. Though it is well known in informed circles, that the tribes of the Shendar in and around the Ráhaz-Dáth have a matrilinear society, and that the woman have a prominent and strong position, it was not taken very seriously and they are seen as a curious exception.
Minóki's narration and tales were the cause of a lot of amusement, her reports about their way of life and the role of the woman in society however have an impact on the Santharian society which can't be estimated yet. Rumours are heard, that especially in the nobility and the better off households women have started to question their role in society, the dominant part the men have and their right to decide alone over issues concerning their wives and children. Nobody can foresee, whereto this will lead.
Information provided by Talia Sturmwind