Friday, May 10, 2013

May to Z: D - More Than One

This time I'm trying something a little different and starting with a place name. Dallus means "meadow town or meadow dwelling". It is also known as Dellus because it is situated in a wide valley full of rich grass. It is the county of Dellus, with the settlement of Dalton, meaning "valley town", in its center.

The dukes of Dalton are Darius, which means "to possess" and Damhian, "a stag or ox". They are the sons of the founder of Dalton, Lord Damius, meaning "to tame". Their father knew this secluded valley would be ideal for raising horses and cattle. He is a master of breaking wild horses. Being that there are not many people with him, he knew that they would never be able manage driving such large herds to market while leaving others behind to tend the remaining livestock. Thus he set up the town of Dalton to bring trade to him. He quickly grew very rich from the selling of fine quality livestock.

Darius is now the Lord or Horses, overseeing all purchases of equines and getting a cut of each sale. Darius is a showman and very aware of his looks. He is always well groomed and insists on only sitting atop the finest of stallions. He chooses to ignore the fact that thick-muscled, show horses are not the fastest and do not make the best warhorses either. His younger brother Damhian is almost completely opposite. He never insists that people call him the Lord of Horns. He has shaggy hair, broad shoulders, and a deep chest. He would rather stand on his own two feet and work from dawn to dusk than to be seen preening on a shining horse and collecting coin for little work.

Sadly Darius's young son Darion usually goes ignored by his father because he's off making money instead of teaching his son to love and respect horses. As such Darion spends much time with his uncle Damhian. One day as Damhian is hard at work with his head down helping to plow fields. Darion wanders away and into one of the wild horse corrals. He climbs the fence and attempts to mount a horse to impress and be more like his father. The stallion throws him and kicks him, knocking him unconscious. The disturbance startles the other horses and they trample the boy lying in the dust. Damhian and Darius hear the commotion and rush to the corral. Darius thinks someone must be trying to steal his horses. Damhian is worried that he can't find his nephew. They discover the lifeless, broken body and each blames the other. Damhian leaves Dalton forever, wanting nothing more to do with his brother or horses. The grief-stricken Darius swears that someday he will find his brother and visit the same pain of loss upon him.

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