The Dream of Spring, Part 3
He is a dead man, Javad thought as the clan elders began to show their disapproval with the two brothers. He is dead and I will have to watch him die.
They had arrived to call upon the elder council to a meeting, a number of them already in a sour mood at the earliness of an event. People at their long-age would rather open their mornings under a chosen tree being honoured by a serving of Mehraqi coffee rather than to deliberate on tribal politics.
The nature of the topic at hand did not help to soothe their humour. It was clearly blasphemy. Verging on heresy, as one of the more devout from the crowd suggested cordially. A chief demanded the respect afforded to him even by his elders, but elders too command respect from their fellow man.
“Your position leads you to presume much, Tabarzadeh” The old man who had voiced the troubling opinion on his brother’s heresy spoke. His clan, the Babek, had distinguished themselves as one of the most powerful families, below the Tabar clan itself, with nearly a hundred head of goats to their name and many of their sons had over the years proven themselves as capable Ghazi’s - an honour that proved troubling to the Tabar. It had been a long time since they had gone on a raid against their rival the Zohaan tribe. Though their Manzur - their God now, Javad supposes, prohibited them to raid upon fellow believers, tribal rivalry did not disappear with theology. People require faith in their leaders as much as their own God demands from them.
“I have no doubt that Asha could have chosen a Babek as likely as he would have chosen me, Ahar” His brother spoke. That was probably not true Javad thought. There are implications beyond theology in this - to be head of a tribe and Asha’s own messenger.
“Last spring you promised to take us on a raid against the Zohaan, and now you want us to turn south and raid some Druj-begotten tribe we know nothing about? All from a dream that crowned you as a messenger to our lord.” Ahar once again spoke. He was slowly becoming the main voice of the council now, and the rest did nothing to hold him back. Lord, Javad thought anxiously we’ll all die now.
Another elder, of another clan - insignificant but known for their piety as one of the first to convert, added “The teachings are clear: Asha is not a man, and he cannot manifest himself as a man. He is unseen, behind even the sun we worship as his chosen sign.” A noise of approval. “It is clear what you are trying to do, Tabarnezhad. The council will not stand for it. Now or ever.”
His heart beat cold at the words. He really did not fancy the idea of being a martyr at his age.
“I call upon an election.” Ahar proposed. It was clear what he was trying to do now, but Javad doubted anyone would oppose him and his family. A hundred heads.
“Talash Tabarnezhad, and by extension the Tabari clan as its head, has posed himself a danger to the tribe by inviting calamity from Asha for his heresy.” Ahar was stood now, leaning on a staff. It was a very fine staff. “I call upon the exile of Talash and the removal of his family from this tribe to face Asha’s judgement alone without us alongside to endure it.”
Javad cringed at the words. He didn’t know what was worse - death or to become tribeless; easy prey on the waste where a ghazi did not have to worry about starting a war with another tribe.
“I also add that as Talash himself has damned his clan and attempted to damn our tribe, he will not be afforded the exile his position entitled, but as a criminal.”
Salt upon wound. Javad felt himself grow sick at the sentence. He looked towards his brother, expecting to find defeat, fear, or dread, and found nothing but confidence in his position. His brother’s eyes met Ahar’s wordlessly, and Javad saw one man grimacing while the other simply nodded in approval. “As Asha wills it.” his brother ended.