Having her hut, Penthesilea decided to finally meet some of the other rulers. As she had lived from her rare provisions of the journey and some food they had collected in the environments she took Haimon with her in order to stock up. Still, she wasn’t sure she could leave him alone without locking him up in the slave quarters. They were going to a place she had heard of as neutral territory where members of the different tribes could meet without trespassing.
Gladly, she sent the slave to catch some fish, rejoicing in the thought of having some fresh meat for breakfast in the next morning. He seemed to enjoy his new task. Undoubtedly, it was much easier than building a house all on his own.
Once having analyzed her environment Penthesilea spotted a pair of women and decided to engage them in a conversation. Allies, preferably female one, would be very helpful in the task to establish a new tribe.
A woman in a beautiful dress introduced herself as Moira, wife to the leader of tribe Chonar and priestess of the Bright Goddess. The younger woman was her daughter, Morgana. Penthesilea instantly liked both of them, as they were nice and easy to chat with.
However, soon she excused herself and gravitated towards the next group of well-dressed people. The spokesman, king Boras of tribe Borathion, had blond hair and a long beard and was kind too, quite the opposite of his wife, actually. Maybe Niara’s function as a priestess of the God of the Sea had went right to her head. It was easy to tell she was evil on purpose. Yet, she had no influence because she was bound by marriage. Both Chonar and Borathion seemed to be tribes ruled by men.
“So you serve two men.” Penthesilea would have her revenge. “Your husband and the god. How noble of you.” The frosty gaze Niara shot her wasn’t noticed by her husband.
“My, that was a good one!” He started laughing while his wife turned to torment a young red-haired woman, priest adept to the Bright Goddess. So the Amazon learned at once that there was no harmony between either the deities nor their priests.
Again, she went on to speak with the next pair standing aside of the others.
When she arrived, the woman turned only half the way, openly disrespecting her.
“Leave me alone,” she said in a tone indicating she was used to command.
“While I can see you’re a queen,” Penthesilea responded, “you should ask people for their name before you fly in their face.”
The woman folded her arms. “Who are you, then?”
“I’m Penthesilea, daughter of great queen Thestia, descendant of the Goddess of War herself. May you now be so kind as to tell me your name, too?” Turning pale at the illustrious ancestry of the other the womans’ eyes widened.
One moment later, she regained control.
“Well, daughter of Thestia, you will soon come to know that here it is not a name that counts but the woman behind it. My tribal sisters and I have managed to survive in a land ruled by men. I doubt you having neither the courage or strength to do so.”
“You doubt me without knowing me at all? That’s not wise.”
“Surely, as you’re here without a companion you can’t be a queen. And if you aren’t, you won’t survive long among those men.”
“I’m about to become a queen. Soon, I’ll have a tribe of my own and we’ll be kind to strangers to allow them to join us.”
“Anyone will ever join you.”
“We’ll see by time, queen who doesn’t want to reveal her name. It must be a low one.”