Artwork by Josh Godfrey

For the Barbarian herders, life was a constant adventure, albeit a slow moving one. Moving from one place to another following the cows…

A serenity and peace has always hung over the herders, completely content with the simple things. Realising that one piece of land, though different, should not really be attached to a person. In fact, the Barbarian herders had developed a fairly different philosophy than most others. All creatures belonged to the land—the land did not belong to the creatures. For this reason, the herders never became attached to anywhere they stopped.

It was an ongoing joke amongst them however, that there must be one place, that one perfect place…

Vinicius was one of the few Herders who pondered if such a place could truly exist. Sometimes he wandered at night, looking at the stars. Maybe it was out there, in another place.

As Vinicius grew older he never stopped searching, and would often comment to the amusement of his clan. He became famous for his sardonic whimsy, and many would provoke him to hear his self-deprecating questioning about a better place. Vinicius was aware of the taunting and would always laugh at the prods, and those prodding knew that he knew, making the cycle never ending.

One day the clan stopped next to a hillside, and Vinicius drew his breath. There at the base of the hill was a gentle stream, and on the other side, the grassland slowly broke up as trees became more common until there was a forest.

Standing atop the hill, Vinicius could see all the way down along the stream to the sandy inlet it flowed into, and he knew this was the place he had dreamed of. He could see the forest, the beach and the grassland as the sun set against a pink sky. Angaria itself seemed to celebrate Vinicius finding what he had searched for his whole life.

Vinicius died that night. But he died happy. And forever after, the hill was named after him, and grapes planted from his favourite drink took seed. His story has never been forgotten, and each time people drink wine made from these grapes … They raise their mug to Vinicius.

Written by Jake Harris

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