"To Ride Death"
To the Roluma people,
Death is a bird:
the axebeaks and spearbeaks
they send into battle.
Just because they are meant to be ridden,
doesn't make it easy:
a cavalry soldier must be
strong and assertive to survive.
To the Duurludirj people,
Death is a sea monster:
the deathfins they face
in the bloodied water.
Just because they are not meant to be ridden,
doesn't make it impossible.
A warsailor must be canny and a bit crazed
to get away with it.
They don't agree on the names
or the politics or the lifestyle,
and each people thinks of the other as mad.
But there is one thing they agree upon:
When you dare to ride Death,
nothing else can touch you.
* * *
Deathbeaks are giant predatory birds akin to terror birds.
Deathfins are sea monsters similar to plesiosaurs.
The Duurludirj people live on islands surrounded by seas full of monsters. Roluma is on the Northern continent but we don't seem to have an article featuring that culture yet, just the fauna.