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Monday, February 11, 2013

Fiction: Prologue to Temple of the Forbidden God

As I was putting things together for "Temple of the Forbidden God". I came up with this little prologue to - and I will admit it - put myself in the right frame of mind. I'll admit it worked! LPJ posted it as an update to our Kickstarter.

We have reached our basic funding goal - thanks everyone - but do not stop so we can reach higher levels. LPJ and I keep joking that "the more we get, the more I have to work!"

An Enuka's Tale

The enuka tribes of the northern Wyldlands of Bal believe that the mists covering the area to the north can swallow one’s soul. The stories are highly colorful, filled with enormous monsters, heroic acts of bravery and tragic endings.

One tribe, the Red Fangs of Lake Ozomatli, possesses a scale that towers over the biggest of their hunter. If the stories are true, a warrior of great renown left for the mists and brought it back after years spent there. He returned suffering from a wasting disease no shaman could heal; no herb could sooth the terrible pain that wracked his body. As he lay dying and delirious, he told stories of a dragon so massive that its head rested above the clouds and its tail reached beyond the horizon. Enukas came from leagues around to hear the tales of his adventures and his fantastic descriptions of the colossal monster.

His many tales were carved into the scale in the simple script of the Enukan language to pass them on to generations of enukas.

To this day, those planning to travel into the mists seek the Red Fangs to view the scale and ponder the tales and descriptions. Scholars deliberate on the colorful language used and the complex metaphors rarely found in the Enuka’s tongue.

Nine-Fingers sniffed the air looking for a jungle boar. However, the scent he caught was different. There was something out of place in the slight breeze. From his perch high above the jungle floor, he tried to pinpoint its origin. He sniffed to his right and his left before settling on his right. His senses on edge, he leapt to another branch then another, approaching the source of that new smell.

Someone. Yes, someone. A human? It’s been months since a human came to these parts. There are no humans here. Yes, this was the smell of man. Man is trouble, better be prepared, Nine-Fingers thought to himself pulling out his obsidian-lined war club.

The Enuka swung through the thick jungle following his nose, ignoring the other scents. Nine-Fingers did not see the human until he was almost on top of him. The man was in the Atoyatli River, the creek-where-the-water-flows-black, caught in creeping vines where they reach into the river. If left alone, the vines would strangle the man before eating him.

Nine-Fingers used his war club to cut the vines and release the man. Sure, the vines fought back, but his mighty war cry and raw power allowed the Enuka to triumph easily. He roared his victory with a deep and powerful growl, before remembering why he was doing so.

Jumping into the shallow but swift black waters, he pulled the man out onto the shore. The man’s golden skin was covered in mud and festering wounds. Nine-Fingers washed the man’s face, revealing tattoos on his skin. Tattoos that moved. Tattoos of letters.

The Enuka jumped back pulling his obsidian-lined war club, cursing in surprise. He looked at his hands to make sure the magic had not spread to him. Satisfied they had not transferred to him he poked the man again with his club, grunting a greeting in the tongue of man. The man’s eyes opened with obvious effort, and he groaned. A raspy grunt exited his lips, forcing the enuka to come closer. Nine-Fingers’ eyes flew open in a mix of terror and awe, as he understood what the man said.

Sheathing his war club on his back, he grabbed the man under his left arm and quickly ascended the trees where he began swinging from branch to tree branch to vine towards his village. Moving as fast as an enuka ever moved through the thick jungles of the Wyldlands of Bal, Nine-Fingers could not wait to speak with the Elder. The elder, yes the elder would know what to do.

Nine-Fingers reached the edge of the clearing where the females grew rice and he howled his arrival. Immediately, a number of females approached him, war clubs in hand. He ordered them to get the Elder as he gently placed the man on his back. The females stared at the man Nine-Fingers rescued from the river.

Nine-Fingers refused to let them come too close, which only tickled their curiosity even more.

Finally, the elder arrived with one of the younger females. Ordering everyone back, the elder kneeled close to the still unconscious man for a closer examination. The moving letters intrigued him. They did not form words – at least any word that remained for very long. Looking up to the hunter, the elder grunted an inquiry about the man.

Nine-Fingers’ answer was simple and brought fear to every enuka in range.

"It’s the First Ones."

What do you think?


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