Short note at the beginning: as this is the very first chapter (of my very first simlit, by the way) it's for giving an overview of the situation. Don't expect too much suspense as this will come later on, I promise! ;)
The writing and screenshots improve, too.
Penthesilea let her gaze travel over the green and fertile plain before her when she left the woods. To her left, gray, rough seas sent waves towards the plain, bursting at the coast. In the midst of the plain a lake lay much more quietly, separating several houses from the stormy waters of the sea. Two giant buildings, temples as far as Penthesilea could tell, towered over the villages. The other end of the plain bordered on a hilly ground and was pushed into the heartland. Offshore, a large island harbored close-packed huts.
The young woman breathed deeply. So this was the place where she would make her and her mothers dreams come true: to establish a new and powerful tribe of Amazons. In fact, her older sister had inherited command of her former tribe but Penthesilea would have to prove her strength, cleverness and will power in order to be acknowledged and tolerated by the other tribes. It was a matter of survival because if she failed she would lose her life. While the long-established tribes had suffered a lot from the bad harvests and plague of past decades and were weakened, they nevertheless had the power to kill her off effortlessly.
Anyway, she was sure her mother would be right after all assuming they would wait and see whether they could win her as a member of their own tribe, bringing in fresh blood. She would have to face the other rulers and to win them over. A difficult task, for most of the tribes were led by men who wouldn’t tolerate an unknown woman, although claiming to be a queen’s daughter, to intrude into their territory.
A resolved grin spread on her face. This was a challenge worthy of her and she was ready to meet it.
“Follow me,” Penthesilea commanded the slave, Haimon, she had bought only a few days before. She had never regretted the decision not to burden herself at an earlier point of time of her journey with a companion that might try to flee eventually. Indeed, he seemed to consider flight more than once, being lost in thoughts while following her along the small path through the woods.
He didn’t try at last. Penthesilea had chosen him because although he was strong, she was sure to overpower him in case of a fight. After all, she had been trained in combat for many suns. And to be alone in the woods with a man who was able to defeat her could have come to a bad end. In the day, she watched over him carefully but when it came to encampment in the evenings she chained him in order to be able to sleep without having to fear to be surprised in her sleep. Soon, he gave in and lay down instead of staring into the darkness for hours.
By now, he followed her unquestioningly and did so this time, too. They paced over the plain aiming at a lot Penthesilea had already had her eyes on. It would make a lovely home next to the sea and was overgrown with rich grass. For sure building huts there would be no big deal. Approaching, she smiled. Yes, this would become her new home.
“Now, slave, you will start to build my hut at once. Follow exactly my instructions and everything is going to be alright for you.” He threw a strange glance at her but immediately started working.
She watched him carefully handling the knife and occasionally lent a hand, too as she knew it would take moons for a single man to finish a house.
Usually, he showed some reluctance for the work that had to be done but reacted smoothly to her admonitions. Collecting fruits and other food, too he used to be completely exhausted in the evenings. Penthesilea knew she made him almost to work above his limits.
Nevertheless, her quarters weren’t finished until weeks later, with a basement room for the slave.
The house was to her satisfaction, modest because of the lack of means but brightened by the light of huge windows. A home intertwined with nature and the only thing to rise up over the plain as a sign of her power, the power of the Daughters of the Warrioress tribe.