Robin: The dignitary was from a land we had never heard of. But all the same, we treated him as we would any guest, with the utmost hospitality. His name was Raham of the Raylon Kingdom. He thanked us for our hospitality and left after a full night's rest, promising to speak kindly of us upon his return home.
Raham: I shall tell all my brothers of this great tribe! People will come from far and wide for the hospitalities that you offer and your tribe shall be rich and prosperous!
Robin: We were happy to hear that more revered people would come to our tribe. We were barely getting by in our isolation. Not long after that, we were visited by another dignitary from the kingdom, Sau, escorted by several caravans. I cannot remember the last time the night air was so lively!
Sau: I must say, of all the tribes I've visited in the area, this is certainly the most lively!
Chief Calem: Other tribes? But we're the only people we know about in this area.
Sau: Nonsense! My travels have brought me into contact with many people in this area. There were quite a few camps, closely bunched, just over that mountain range.
Robin: We could not believe what we just heard. We thought we were alone when there were other people on the other side of the mountains, just a few days journey. So we mounted an exploratory team with Calem as the leader. After a fortnight, they returned, bringing back someone who was said to be from the tribe of Hesar. We rejoiced that we were not the only ones out here.
Calem: I chief Calem of Njam, along with chief Idav of Hesar, will be making rounds to visit the other tribes. There are over a dozen of us in total, and so trade will surely flourish for us all!
Robin: Over the years, trade between our tribes brought great wealth to us all. We expanded. We became more than just tribes, we became kingdoms. We were known throughout no longer as the Tribe of Njam, but the Njam Kingdom. It was a magical time, until that fateful day.
Sau: Oh my! I'd almost think I was looking at a different land than when I came here all those years ago!
Calem: We cannot thank you enough. None of this would have been possible without your knowledge. Is there anything we can do to thank you?
Sau: You can start by giving me a tour of your market! I should love to see the fruits of your labors, and maybe purchase some too! Hahaaha.
Calem: Haha, of course. Right this way.
Sau: And where do you get all of this?
Calem: It's all grown within the network of tribal kingdoms we've made, thanks to you. Those mangoes came from the Eminos Kingdom and those spices are from the Fojes Kingdom. We trade all throughout the land now.
Sau: Wonderful. I'm happy to know I did some good in the world.
Calem: If there is anything we can ever do to thank you...
Sau: Well, I'd like to take some of these delicacies back home. How many kingdoms are there total?
Calem: There are 13 of us. Funny how a number frought with omen is bringing us such prosperity. I will arrange for some of our finest goods to be transported home to you.
Sau: I insist you and the other chiefs come with me. After all you've shown me, I must show you the kingdom from which I hail.
Calem: I've only heard stories about Raylon. To see it would be a dream come true. May I bring some of the other chiefs?
Sau: I believe we can accomodate a few of you.
Robin: Who would have thought that a simple act of diplomatic sharing would be the first domino to fall, much like our kingdom would? Calem, along with Idav, Casi, and Kobaj, all went to Raylon. Upon their return, they regaled us with what they saw, smelled, ate, and heard.
Casi: They have a massive tower that almost touches the heavens. Contained within it is a massive library, containing more knowledge that one could ever imagine.
Idav: Their formal army is incredible. They use only the finest of hand-crafted weapons and are the most disciplined of soldiers.
Kobaj: Everyone seemed happy. They speak a different language that is actually older than the one we speak. In fact, we learned that ours actually descended from theirs!
Calem: They have the most amazing displays of art and science, I am actually jealous. We decided to place more emphasis on them as well here.
Idav: We may not be on their level in terms of innovation, but i noticed our economies are far more advanced than theirs is.
Calem: I am enjoying this so, but I grow weary. Come wife, I fear the wine will halt my advance to my chamber.
In the privacy of their bedroom.
Calem: Bilal, while the Raylon Kingdom was spectacular, I grow concerned. Sau seemed envious of us, and while we were there, he made a rather steep request.
Bilal: What does he want?
Calem: He wants to bring his armies to our kingdom so that they may better understand integrated alliances. I do not like the idea of foreign armies, but I don't want to insult the people who made our prosperity possible....
Robin: The decisions that followed would cause even more dominoes to fall. Oh, Elaim, even as I write this, I see the path that led to our collapse! Little did we know, but the same thing was going on in all the other kingdoms in our alliance, in clusters, just like our own.
To be continued....