Headwoman's tents, Fire Moon 143.
Ganyalis felt like he was going to snap any moment.
His daughter had been taken from him at birth and given to Tania zan-Harash, who was still nursing. He hadn't seen her since, although he had heard the rumours that the girl was bad luck. And Ganyalis himself had been declared rakal - stripped of his clan name and made to work for Headwoman Abina, dealing with the assorted menial tasks that she and Melchol were too busy to handle. That was two moons ago.
Before then, he'd been rather popular with the women of the village, even holding the semi-coveted title of "chief elder's favourite". That is, until he had that argument with Serendipity - he couldn't even remember what it was about - and she stopped speaking to him. A few days later, he stood at the sacred well in the burial grounds and wished for a way to bring new life into their relationship... and the rest was history.
Prisa zan-Li was the only one of his lovers who still paid any attention to him, actually risking her own standing in the tribe with secret meetings by the lake. And in the forest. And that one time, on one of the rare occasions that Abina and Melchol were away from their tent, inside said tent under the furs of the headwoman herself.
Of course, Melchol had caught him in there just as he was kissing Prisa goodnight.
He'd been dragged into the council tent for Abina and the elders to lecture him, like he was a misbehaving child. He managed to feign shame, but in fact it was getting to be too much for him to handle - he'd been shaman once, however briefly, and now he literally ranked below the hunting dogs.
Well, he would get his own back.
And the next morning, the perfect opportunity presented itself.
After announcing that there would be no more births until the move to new terrain had gone ahead, Abina now had suspicions that she was pregnant again, due to give birth in half a moon's time. A third set of twins, most likely, and no doubt she was hoping for at least one of them to be another daughter.
And while Ganyalis was cleaning up after the morning meal - during which Abina had eaten for three, leaving less for him - he'd spotted one of the newcomers from Moonlight Falls walking past. He recognised the man as a partner of Zita, his former mentor - most likely the one who had fathered her son Caleb.
Zita had told him, back when he was her apprentice, that Caleb's father was a gardener - someone who grew plants, another of the Seven Unnatural Evils. She hadn't told anyone else in Kulo Seeri, and the newcomers had been welcomed to the village.
Making sure no one was around to see him, Ganyalis went over to greet the man.
"...and that's how I know. Zita used to take me fishing when she was training me - ask her if you have to. Of course, if you don't want the rest of the tribe to find out, well... there's a task I need some help with. Meet me back here at sunset - or you might regret it."
The camp was relatively quiet that evening, as Ganyalis had hoped. Abina's children were sleeping, while their parents and the other elders were debating over something or another in the council tent. When the outsider, Branch, returned to meet up with him, no one seemed to notice him approaching.
"I knew you'd come back," Ganyalis whispered. "My tent's round the back of the main one - I'll explain everything there." The rage and resentment in his mind was finally pointing him towards a course of action. He'd be free of his chains soon.
"Abina declared me a rakal because I had a kid. One I carried myself, you know what I mean? The council took her from me two moons ago, before you came here."
"So you want me to help get your daughter back?" Branch asked. "I'm sure I..."
"Not quite." Ganyalis smiled. There was something unsettling in that smile, Branch thought, but he kept that thought to himself.
"What I want is to win my place in the tribe back. And for that, well, Abina needs taking care of... and I don't mean we'll be looking after her for the rest of the half-moon."
Branch's jaw dropped. "Are... are you talking about... you want to kill her?" His voice was still hushed, but he looked utterly shocked.
"Like a speared pig. You got it. But not now... death in childbirth would be much less conspicuous. Know any good poisonous plants?"
"I can't do this, Ganyalis. I can't..."
"Just get me some deadly berries or something. I'll do the rest, and afterwards I'll make sure you stay safe. Kulo Seeri will need a new leader soon, after all, and I'm sure I could pull that off."
"You think they'll just let you... you mean, Kenda, too?"
"I won't need to. All I have to do is set it up so I can swoop in and catch Melchol in the act. Framing an outsider shouldn't be too hard, I think."
Branch looked like he was going to be sick. "You're crazy," he started to say, before his thoughts turned to what Zita had said about keeping the details of their life in Moonlight Falls quiet. The family had broken six of Kulo Seeri's Unnatural Evils in some way while they lived there, and this scheme Ganyalis had come up with would make it all seven. But she'd told him that protecting their family was most important, that she wouldn't let their children become rakal. Surely that would happen if Ganyalis blew the whistle on him.
"OK. I'm in."
As Branch walked off, Ganyalis crashed down on his sleeping mat and dreamed of revenge.
VT says: Things will be getting significantly more dramatic in KS from now on... as you may have guessed, I've finally learned to stop wrapping my Sims in cotton wool and let bad stuff happen. I have to admit I'm a little scared for this story arc myself though!
Also, I've got loads of pictures for a full rotation now, so I'll try updating twice a week and see how that goes.