From the Memories of Aah
The Village of Big Chief Bagoomba
The Year of Great Change
“Take care of your business, or it will take care of you.”
I had come to the village of Big Chief Bagoomba to help celebrate the 25th anniversary of his becoming Chief of the Saiyama people. In honor of the occasion, a simple race was set up. The aged korobokuru, Bengoukee went past all potential contestants and assigned each of us to groups. I was with the noted heroes Alyssa of the Huroola, Ziss, and Booki as well as the veteran heroes Koroth, Terra Chaos, and Brismarck. I was a bit intimidated to be in the presence of such well known heroes!
After listening to the boring rules and setting out on our race, we found ourselves a bit lost and having to make us some time. We were still doing well for ourselves at the second of three checkpoints though, when Terra Chaos decided to mess with another group’s minds a bit. They ran off in the completely wrong direction.
When we made it back to Big Chief Bagoomba’s we were disheartened to discover that we had come in second. The snake katanga Sithana’s group had won the event, though Terra Chaos mumbled that they must have been cheating. Unfortunately, one of the five groups—the one that Terra Chaos had scared off—didn’t return. Several hours of celebration passed, and still they didn’t return. It was only when one of the contestants from that group made it into the village, dying of multiple bug bites all over his body that we had any clue as to what had happened to the group. Unfortunately, the man called Hanta expired prior to us learning anything, but Bengoukee was able to invoke a power which allowed us to speak with the dead man since no shaman present could cast such magic.
From Hanta we learned that his group led by the old warrior Jonga had been attacked by giant spiders, as well as spider katanga. He didn’t know what happened to the others in his group, as he fled. We were unable to learn more of use before the spell gave out. Bengoukee then asked us to attempt to find the bodies of his comrades.
So soon, our group had once again set out. We didn’t get far at night, as tracking at night is far more difficult, but we pick up the slack in the day time. After tracking the group to the site of a battle, we followed the nearby trail hoping to find them alive, but fearing to find their bodies. As it was, we were ambushed by a trio of spider katanga and their pet giant spiders. Alyssa bravely took on three of them, while most of the rest of us only had to deal with one. It was a little amusing watching Booki trade flaming arrow spell volleys with their caster and it nearly proved too much for us, but thanks to Koroth’s eliminating his own threat quickly, he was able to help others which soon gave us the upper hand. We were able to fight off the creatures and kill them all.
Not finding any sign of the missing contestants, we eventually gave up and began to head back to Big Chief Bagoomba’s. Along the way, we discovered a still burning body of a jungle tam’hi, who looked as if he had been killed recently. Tracks nearby were nubari footprints, though when they came to the river it was obvious that they changed into spider form.
When we made it back to Big Chief Bagoomba’s, Booki showed Bengoukee a ring he had taken from the pyre of the tam’hi, and Bengoukee identified it as having belonged to his former companion Garalo. He was saddened to learn of his death, and told us a story of youth.
Long ago, the warrior Jonga, the tam’hi Garalo, Arkari now greatest shaman and chieftainess of the Wise Ones, all had encountered a tribe of Black Leopard Katanga whose leader T’kaba had become corrupted by a vile artifact she had found somewhere. The group was not able to destroy the artifact, called the Statue of K’lel’al, so they had hidden it away, hopefully never to be found. With Jonga’s disappearance along with the other contestants, Garalo’s death, and recent news that Arkari herself had died from apparently fright, Bengoukee believed that the corrupting power of the statue was again at work. He asked us if we would be willing to travel to the statue and destroy it. We, of course, agreed.
Soon, we were off toward the distant Forbidden Mountains. Bengoukee accompanied us as far the Zantira tribe, as he had yet to finish making the potion we needed to destroy the wicked statue. Along the way, we discovered that something or someone was playing with us. We fought off a magically enhanced garuda. Bengoukee killed it with a powerful spell, but told us it was almost as if the artifact sensed its danger and was attempting to protect itself.
When we arrived at the Zantira, Bengoukee gave us a balm which he said needed to be rubbed all over the statue. When we were done with that, we needed to use but a single drop of berry juice to activate the magic to destroy the statue.
We set out, and after days of travel made our way to the foothills of the Forbidden Mountains. Once there we were attacked by a tyrant garuda. Alyssa stood bravely against it, but Booki’s spell caused it to quickly lose interest in us and leave us alone. We made our way to our destination without further incident. Once at the cave which Bengoukee had described as looking like a garuda head, we began to investigate within.
After killing a guard spider, we discovered that some spider katanga were preparing an ambush for us. Koroth moved forward stealthily, and we were able to deal with the ambushes very effectively. When we found the sealed chamber, Koroth again pulled his weight with our group by moving the massive rock from the entrance.
Behind the rock we saw the wicked Statue of K’lel’al, as well a trio of spider katanga waiting for us. This combat was no challenge for us, as we were able to target down their leader quickly, and mop the remaining two up within seconds.
After applying the balm to the statue, we watched as the wicked artifact was soon destroyed. It took us several days to get back to the Zantira, where we could report to Bengoukee. A few days after that we arrived back at Bagoomba’s to discover that Bengoukee’s hut had been destroyed by a bolt from the sky while we had been gone. It seemed that fell magic had been trying to end Bengoukee after all, but he believed that we had accomplished something great by destroying the statue. Not only was the the artifact kept from the clutches of Tiger, but we had prevented Bengoukee from being killed as well!