Leyota, daughter of Garhan the Great, followed in her father's footsteps as one of the greatest leatherworkers of Highmountain. Yet her greatest achievement was her willingness to go against the grain and change the old ways.
After the Earthmother reclaimed Garhan, all eyes looked to Leyota to carry on his legacy. She spoke to the elders of her tribe: "My people, long have we hunted these lands, and long have we been blessed with food, shelter and protection.
"But we are wasteful," she continued, "We bury our kills with their teeth, their hooves, their claws."
"It is our way," one elder spoke up, "We leave their spirits with their weapons so they may hunt in the next realm. It is a sign of respect, Leyota. You know this."
"I see it differently, elder. Do we not show respect by ensuring that our prey's death was not in vain?" she asked. "Should we not use everything the Earthmother has to offer? We can strengthen our armor two-fold if we use the rest of the animal in our construction."
The elders spoke quietly for a moment amongst themselves, then looked up to Leyota.
"To change tradition is to change our way of life. We do not believe that adding those components to one's armor will accomplish anything, save to disrespect the creatures with which we share this land."
Leyota's brow furrowed as the elders continued, "We are sorry, Leyota, but we will not allow you to dishonor us. If your quest is to strengthen our armor, you will have to find another way."
The elders left the tent, leaving a frustrated Leyota to think. The next day, Leyota emerged from her tent wearing an unusual set of armor. Her tribesmen eyed her incredulously, scurrying out of her way as she approached the center of the camp.
"This armor is made with the teeth and claws of a bristlefur bear I killed the other day," she announced. Horrified looks washed over the crowd as the realization of what she had done sunk in.
"I challenge any of our warriors to run me through, if they can." The tribespeople looked around at one another, unsure to what to make of Leyota's challenge.
"Leyota!", yelled a voice from the crowd. A stout young brave emerged with a spear in hand, "I take your challenge. You have committed a great disrespect to our traditions by what you have done. It would be my honor to send your spirit away from here."
The brave rushed at Leyota, yet she didn't move a muscle. The spear tip smashed into her chest, sending her falling to the ground with the weight of the brave behind it.
Onlookers leaned in as the dust settled. Leyota's armor was unbroken. The brave, still clutching his spear, stood up and began to examine the tip. It was slightly bent.
He looked down at Leyota and she lay there, clutching at her chest, yet there was no blood to be seen. After a while, Leyota stood up, breathing heavily, but otherwise unharmed.
"This is what I wanted to show you!" she announced. "The animal that I slew was given no disrespect as its life and its body was taken to protect me."
The tribe had fallen silent now, all eyes and ears paying full attention to what Leyota had to say.
"The animals we kill can protect all of us in this way, if we continue to use this method." she continued. An elder emerged from the crowd and approached Leyota. He examined the point at which the spear had struck.
He nodded his head as he spoke, "I understand now, Leyota. There is no vanity here. Only strength."
He turned to the tribe and said, "Leyota has given us a stronger future. Our tribe will not fall so easily to those we hunt, or those who hunt us. And we will continue to honor our animal brothers and sisters in their death by the armor we wear."
And so it was that Leyota, daughter of Garhan, had changed the ways of the past for her people. To this day, the leather armor of Highmountain continues to use nearly all of the animal to give it its strength.