This book is titled “Karath Smoothmane – Breaking of the Pact “. It is a complete volume chronicling the events of a centaur chieftain and how the tribe managed to co-exist with the giants of the Thundering Steppes.
The following is the account of my travels with Karath Smoothmane, chief of the Baelazern tribe of centaurs in the Commonlands. Throughout the time I spent with him, I came to know him as a good friend. Not only did I learn his customs, I learned much about his life, as well. One of the most important tales I learned from him is transcribed in the following pages – The Breaking of the Pact.
It was late in the summer when Karath told me why the centaurs would attack only the groups of giants that had six or more in them. Instead of singling out the easier targets, such as the old or the occasional wandering giant, the herd would attack those that could easily defend themselves. He said that this was due to the Breaking of the Pact.
Karath’s sire’s sire was the chieftain of the Baelazern tribe at the time when the Pact was broken. It seems that both the giants and the centaurs had a generations-long truce to share the land, staying out of each other’s way. Both races lived in harmony, even throughout the time of the Rending. Not only would the Shattering destroy the moon of Luclin, it would also break apart the Pact the two peoples held.
As the very moon began to barrage the land, both of the two peoples decided that they must work together in order to survive. Both leaders of the races agreed to meet so that they could work out an alliance, not just a truce. Much ceremony was prepared for when the two would meet.
As both parties met and exchanged their welcoming customs, tragedy struck. In a blazing ball of fire, an enormous boulder from the moon struck the ground where both leaders were, killing them instantly. Only a few people survived the impact, and they went back to describe the treachery of the other side, blaming each other for what happened.
For the next several years, open warfare broke out among both the giants and the centaurs. Finally, when Kararth’s sire came of breeding age, he rose up and united the clan once again. With his eloquent words, he stopped the centaurs from raiding the giants by emphasizing honor. He told them he had a plan.
The plan that Karath had in mind would involve showing the giants that they were nothing more than beasts. They could not defeat their enemies by lowering themselves down to their level. If the centaurs were to survive the Shattering, they must not come out of it as barbaric as a human. Or so, these were the words that Karath had said to his people.
And so the Baelazern clan proceeded to agree to rules of engagement, asking for council from their new chief. As the years went on they, refined their tactics to the point that they would only attack those that could defend themselves. Karath said that since that day, the centaurs have succeeded at his sire’s vision. I asked Karath how many foes they have defeated since then, and he responded with one word, “None”.
I was wondering how not killing a single giant, the centaur’s sworn enemy for close to a hundred years, could be considered successful. Seeing my confusion, Karath chuckled and told me the why. As his sire grew up, waiting for the day when he would rule his people, he would run and play with his only friend… the giant chieftain’s son.
While they played, they both came up with a plan on how to get their people to work together, yet to also keep their pride. When both chieftains were old enough to lead their people, the plan went into effect. Both people would only attack those that could defend themselves. In the end, even though they war with each other, both peoples have not lost one warrior, woman, or child to the other side for the past two generations.