During the summer it was always easy to find food. It was everywhere, a call back to the habits of nature and ritual that kept their bellies full and their hearts focused on things greater than simple survival. But summer is only three months long, summer is only one season and of the rest of it, one had to make plans. One could stretch, toil and further the givings of summer, but that only spread in one direction. What one made into fall placated you until the wildlife had consumed every stem, berry, and weed and one is left with nothing. From there if you were lucky winter simply killed you, if you were unlucky it simply killed those around you, froze their corpses and left you to chisel pieces off their hardened, crispy blue skin until the thaw of spring came and you anxiously waited until the first feast of summer hung in the air.
Through this lay the dawn of war. Cold, hungry, one grows angry. Left unfettered it unleashes itself upon those closest to the starving, but directed appropriately, this is where power was made. The battle the Haves and the Have-Nots. The Haves battled for survival, the Have-Nots battled to keep what they owned. There was no bartering, no currency valuable enough to twist the stomach into something small enough to feed on wood and soil.
So instead there was blood. Bones carved with desperate blades, ruddied remainders clawing their way to the stored excesses hidden in the makeshift huts hidden in the cravats the mountains supplied them, hidden, but unmistakable for miles by the smell of bread and mashed grain fermenting into alcohol.
Those that shared weakened themselves and only bartered with the wolves they now mistakenly called their friends. They would banter, smile, bear their teeth in the endless joy of those who have recently staved off death. But it couldn’t last. Food for one divided by two begets only suffering. While one rose, the other fell and soon enough both were left riding the waves of madness, scouring earth and breaking bone to hold off the cold.
And so the earth made them to love war, plagued them to slaughter until peace was just a slip of the tongue brought by the leftovers of the season.