They made their way to another of the curious groups of sandstone boulders that dotted the wild lands. These were unpleasant places to rest, since the many plants that grew in the shade attracted insects, lizards, spiders and scorpions. Ariphal had been told there were goats in this part of the plain, but she had yet to see one.
As her strength returned, Ariphal noticed that Koe had stood up and was digging. She unhooked her trowel and helped him. Soon, a curve of dry bone was visible and then the entire skull. Was this a grave, or had this person died from the heat, perhaps unable to find water?
Praying for the dead as she did so, Ariphal excavated more, until she spotted a curious shape in the dust. Quickly she brushed it off. It was a coin made from baked clay with a crescent moon design pressed into it. It looked like nothing of consequence, but she cried with joy for she knew it for what it was. An ancient coin of the White Sun tribe - worth more than anything she had found in her last ten expeditions!
“My friend,” she said to Koe, “on our return you shall eat well!”
During the mythic epoch the wild lands to the East of the Six Castles were home to nomadic groups of both humans and Lethleinein. Amongst the former, the White Sun tribe were by far the most significant, since many aspects of their knowledge and culture were important to the later peoples who travelled West and settled in the Six Castles and Llaewar.
The White Sun tribe were less superstitious than many of their contemporaries. They studied the world around themselves with keen eyes and survived by being respectful of the great powers with whom they shared the land. They learned how to survive the dry years and had a deep knowledge of the water and food sources of the wild lands. They were skilled at hunting with dogs and hawks and they made careful deals with the desert images to cure illnesses and remove curses.
The tribe’s eventual downfall arrived through the very ingenuity which had previously served them well. They saw six stars fall from the sky in a single night. They calculated where they had fallen to the best of their ability and then travelled through the night to find the site. There they found six clear crystals which glowed with a faint inner light. These crystals - named the White Sun crystals by later scholars after their first guardians - were the single greatest power to survive the mythic epoch and far too dangerous for mortals to wield.
No records survive of the end of the White Sun Tribe, but it seems likely that the whispered warnings of the terrible powers of the crystals were the final legacy they chose to leave. Perhaps, then, it was the crystals which destroyed them.
Knowledge of the White Sun tribe is greatly prized by those sorcerors and explorers who seek to learn of the mythic epoch. Although the White Sun tribe kept oral histories, they had a written language and occasionally fragments of script are found on stones in the wild lands.