"Heavy-bearded Y'ffre, speak through me. Tell us of the time before time. Let the story grow in me. Let my heart echo to the pounding of your feet along the story-lines, the bones of the world. I will walk Your steps, and know Your story."
The Spinner's eyes flickered closed. His fingertips slid along the belt, picking out the shape and orientation of the shells. He raised a foot, and with deliberation stamped it on the ground.
"Speak through me, Y'ffre. Tell us of the drum-play of Mara, who beat out a pulse against the darkness that gnawed Old Ehlnofey. Mara, whose eyes glitter like hot coals, known of mer and knowing mer, mother of a thousand-thousand children. She who looks at Arkay's form and does not blush, but breathes deep the scent of Him."
The Spinner took thumping, methodical steps across the hilltop, eyes closed, hands tracing the patterns of shells wrapped around his chest. His voice shamed the night-calls of nearby insects to silence.
The others watching were reverently silent, eyes closed, swaying in time with the Spinner's steps. His feet slowed, pounding deep footprints in the earth. He no longer spoke; he sighed. He whispered.
"'We are who we are,' the taller tribe says, in a voice made of leaf-shivers. 'We taste the earth and feel your steps over us. We were the land of green singing before the bones were set. Before the before-and-after.'"