Authors: W. Michael Gear
Tags: #Fiction, #Historical, #Native American & Aboriginal
PEOPLE OF THE
by By Kathleen O’Neal Gear
& W. Michael Gear
By Kathleen O’Neal Gear & W.
Michael Gear from Tom Doherty Associates
the first north americans series
of the Wolf
of the Fire People of the Earth People of the River
of the Sea People of the Lakes ‘
of the Lightning People of the Silence
of the Mist People of the Masks the anasazi mysteries
The Summoning God
by Kathleen O’Neal Gear
Moon and Cold Mist
in the Wind This Widowed Land by W. Michael Gear
W MICHAEL GEAR
TOM DOHERTY ASSOCIATES BOOK
If you purchased this book without a cover you should be aware that this book
is stolen property. It was reported as “unsold and destroyed” to the publisher,
and neither the author nor the publisher has received any payment for this
is a work of fiction. All the characters and events portrayed in this book are
either products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.
OF THE MIST
1997 by Kathleen O’Neal Gear and W. Michael Gear
rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book, or portions
thereof, in any form.
and interior art by Ellisa Mitchell
by Tom Doherty Associates, LLC
is a registered trademark of Tom Doherty Associates, LLC.
of Congress Catalog Card Number: 97-14682
edition: November 1997
mass market edition: November 1998
United States of America
To Lucia St Clair Robson and Brian
through the dark and, we hope, into the Light to come.
maps and time line have been omitted, because they cannot be intelligibly
rendered in this scanned version of the book.
of the Mist and the other books in the prehistory series would not have been
possible without the thoughtful encouragement of Tom Doherty, Linda Quinton,
and the rest of the Tor/Forge staff. They have stood behind the project during
the years, and to them we Owe the deepest gratitude.
McDougal, our longtime editor, deserves special recognition for her constant
encouragement and understanding. When we can’t see the forest for the trees,
she is our chainsaw. Thanks, Harriet, we know how lucky we are to have you.
Lucia St Clair Robson, author of Mary’s Land, offered us her house as a base of
operations during our research on the
area. Lucia, thanks for everything,
including your warm hospitality—and most especially for the Rollerblade
experience. Thanks, too, to Ray Williamson and Carol Carnett for the valuable
discussions on archaeoastronomy.
always, Harold and Sylvia Fenn, Rob Howard, and the rest of the special people
at H. B. Fenn deserve the warm thanks we send them.
the prehistoric occupants of the American mid Atlantic coast, the
was a paradise. The rich estuary’s
environment and temperate climate provided everything the people needed for
survival. Yearly migrations of waterfowl and anadromous fish provided a wealth
of seasonal food resources. The forest provided nut harvests, and a habitat for
turkey, deer, bear, raccoons, and other animals. From the marshes, the people
collected cord grass wild rice, muskrats, arrow arum root for tuckahoe bread,
and other foods. On shallow mud flats they caught crabs, dug clams, and
harvested oysters. Deposits of silty loam soil grew corn, beans, squash,
tobacco, and sunflowers, among other agricultural staples.. In such a land of
plenty, only the miracle of applied English obstinacy and ethnocentrism could
have led to starvation in the
colony in 1608.
is still noted for the wealth of its
resources, its natural beauty, the yearly migration of waterfowl, oysters,
crabs, agriculture, and, oddly enough, when one travels a short distance up the
much has changed since the days of the Late Woodland period. Then, as today,
the chiefs demanded, and were paid, tribute.
of the Mist is set during the period archaeologists call Late Woodland II; the
date is around 1300 a.d. This was a period of cultural change for the
Algonquian peoples of the coastal plain east of the fall line. At least three separate
archaeological complexes are present during this transition to larger villages
and incipient chieftainships. For the purposes of the novel we have identified
three ethnic associations: the Upriver villages (
complex); the Conoy (Potomac Creek
complex); the Independent villages and the Mamanatowick’s villages (
complex). Interested readers are referred
to Stephen B. Potter’s Commoners, Tribute, and Chiefs: The Development of
Algonquian Culture in the
for an irf-depth account of the
these people shared many subsistence patterns, relying on fishing, collecting
and gathering, hunting, and agriculture. Archaeologists separate them by their
pottery styles, burial practices, and house shapes. All three groups traded
inland for tool stone, copper, and luxury items. These goods traveled east-west
watershed, as well as north-south up the
, and down the piedmont to the
. To defeat the vicious clouds of
mosquitoes, they greased their bodies; and, while later Europeans would
complain about their smoky houses, the blue haze allowed them to sleep in
and ethnographically, we know that these Algonquians, unlike their northern
kin, were matrilineal-tracing descent and inheritance through the mother. Women
owned the houses, fields, and children, and, as is common among such peoples,
women enjoyed considerable latitude in their sexual relationships. The division
of labor and responsibility was well defined between genders. Most notably, men
hunted, fished, attended to construction, and made war, while women employed
themselves in agriculture, food preparation, child rearing, and clan
the archaeological record, we know that villages were expanding at this time,
and palisades were being erected. People do not build fortifications for fun;
it is hard, time-consuming work. At the same time, many long houses were still
located outside the palisades, indicating that while warfare was endemic, it
wasn’t overwhelming. We have attempted to reflect these oscillating inter
two hundred years, Europeans would arrive in the
and change the lives of the Native peoples
complex would evolve into the Powhatan
chieftainship of John Smith and Pocahontas fame: the Conoy would interact with
Lord Calvert’s Catholic settlement in
. Within the next one hundred years, ninety
percent of the native population would be dead and the cultures decimated.
Today we have only the biased writings of the first European colonists, and the
very fragile archaeological record, to allow us to glimpse what life was like
on the Chesapeake before the first European ship sailed into that most
remarkable of estuaries.
can only imagine what The Panther would say if he could see it today.