Genghis Khal is known as the greatest and fiercest conquerer of all time. In the span of a single lifetime, he transformed the shape of the world. He took his people from savage and tribal living of nomadic subsistence and forged them into the masters of the world. His enemies drowned in blood. His people ride from one side of the word to the other.
All shall remember the Stallion Who Mounted The World.
All shall remember Genghis Khal.
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Chapter One: Temujin The Boy
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"Yesugei was a great Khal. It is known." Hoelun, my mother, told me. It did little to stop the stinging in my eyes. She did not cry as we watched the burned pyre smolder. Neither did I. 'Khals never cry.' My father had said. He is gone now.
"Why did they leave us?" I asked her. The tents of the Khalasaar had been gone when I rose this morning. I have spent my entire life surrounded by the people, slaves and horses of a Khalasaar. It was silent other than the crackling of the pyre of my father and the breathing of my mother's mare and my stallion. My Father's horse had fallen to an arrow and crushed my father.
"The blue Khalasaar was defeated by the red painted Khalasaar. Khal Ong now rules the blue tribe. The Great Stallion rides with him." She spoke to me. Confusion wars with sorrow in my mind. "But why are we alone, Mother? Where are our slaves? Where are Father's Bloodriders? Where is Borte? She is to be my wife."
Hoelun turned from the smoldering embers of my father and looked at me with a sad expression. "The Khalasaar has abandoned us. Your father's Bloodriders died honorably in battle against the red tribe. The slave were taken by those stronger than us in our moment of weakness. Borte is the daughter of Dei. Dei is your enemy now. He was a Ko of Khal Yesugei, but now, he is Ko of Khal Ong. She will not be your wife." My guts twisted with sickness and hunger. I felt bile rise in my throat and swallowed it back down with a grimace.
Mother grabbed my chin and directed my face to look at her. "You are a boy Temujin. You are a tall boy now. You can ride and shoot a bow. Your father is dead. It is time for Temujin the boy to die and Temujin the man to be born. I will not make the ride to join the Dosh Khaleen alive without your father's Bloodriders." I started to interrupt her.
"But mother, I can..." She cut me off with a yell. "Silence! Listen to my words! You were born to be great. When you came from me, You were gripping a clot of blood in your hand. It is a sign that you will be a great Khal, it is known. Be the man you were meant to be. Your boyhood is over."
She cupped my face in her hands, tears streaming from her eyes now. "Your braid is still too short to start a Khalasaar yet. You have so much more to learn. A woman cannot teach you to be a man. There are others though, in the lands outside the great grass sea. It is said that in the city of the Black goat that a great Khal with fifty thousand riders was defeated by three thousand men. I want you to go to these people and learn their secrets. Grow your braid long. Return to your people a true Khal."
I looked at my mother in confusion. "Mother, I don't want to leave you alone." I spoke as I gripped her tightly. I had grown almost as tall as she. I gripped her tightly and fought back the unmanly tears building in my eyes. I smelled the scent of my mother's hair. Mare's cheese and the grass flowers she often braided into her graying hair. "I want you to promise me something, blood of my womb." she whispered into my ear.
"Anything mother. Just don't send me away." I answered her, my voice strained with withheld tears.
"Promise that you will avenge your Father. Promise that you will become a great Khal." She whispered.
"I swear on the Womb of the World." Was my reply.
She released me and smiled at me through her tears.
"Men keep their words."
Before I could stop her, she unsheathed the knife on my belt with a jerk and stuck it deep into her own chest.
"Noooooo!" I did not stop the tears that fell from my eyes as I cried out. I gripped her tightly and pulled the knife out of her with a jerk. As I cradled her to my chest, she whispered her dying words through the blood pouring from her lips.
"Men keep their words." She spoke as the light left her eyes and she left me alone in the great grass sea.
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